Thursday, September 25, 2014

Le Jungle Cruise, 1956

Let's take a look at some familiar views of the Jungle Cruise (they are always familiar views, aren't they?) - from the early days of 1956. 

These days, when I am riding the Jungle Cruise, I don't really think about the striped awnings that used to be there...  but admittedly it is nice to be able to really see up into the canopy (if you are inclined to look there) - and it is nice to have a more open view no matter where you sit. BUT... as an on-shore observer, I miss the awnings. They made the boats feel more like big toys!

Look at the way the "mist" makes the trees in the distance grow fainter and fainter. The indigenous natives call this mist "smog", which translates to "stinky air". Those palm trees to our right look pretty spidery and lanky.

Is that the bull elephant, or is it the "mother in-law"? I can't tell them apart. Maybe they should put a rolling pin in the mother in-law's trunk... you know how they like to hit people with those things! I like the warm color cast to the this photo, it makes it feel especially antique.


Chuck said...

I miss the striped awnings' nod to "The African Queen," although I must admit that after the '94 refurb I no longer climb aboard worrying about being captured by the Kriegsmarine on Lake Tanganyika.

Nice set today, Major! Happy Thursday!

K. Martinez said...

While I have nostalgia for the original striped canopy launches, I prefer the look and feel of the Jungle Cruise as it is today. Like the smoky depth of the jungle in the second image.

Chuck - The '94 refurb more closely matches "The African Queen". Humphrey Bogart's boat in the 1951 film was grungy, brown and worn.

If you're looking for the candy-striped canopy launches, it's the 1954 film "The Naked Jungle" that has one in the opening scene with Eleanor Parker.

I only know, because I'm a big fan of the "jungle" film sub-genre and watched both recently.

Chuck said...

Ken - I humbly (and gratefully) stand corrected. Been too long since I've seen either film (which I will be correcting in the near future), and I guess my Jungle Cruise memories helped conflate the two. Thanks for setting the record straight.

And now I'm worried about the Kriegsmarine again...

Melissa said...

1. Everything's better when it's stripey.

2. I really miss the mist effect they used to have in the first part of the WDW Jungle cruise. It's the missed mist.

3. We used to call Mom's wooden spoon "the spanker thing."

Lovely shots of the Rivers of the World today. That dappled green water looks like something out of an Impressionist painting.

K. Martinez said...

Chuck - You might have thought it because "The African Queen" actually was the inspiration for the Jungle Cruise and the one single film that most strongly resembles the Disneyland attraction. The film also happens to be one of my all-time favorites.

JG said...

My biggest fear on the Jungle Cruise is someone pouring my gin overboard.

I thought that Harper Goff was involved in the production design of the African Queen and translated that experience into the JC boats, but that might have been a dream from that one time I had malaria and had to stay in the Native Village for a month until I could walk enough for Trader Sam to lead me home.

...or something.


JG said...

Anyway, Mr. Goff's memorial window is located in Adventureland on the second floor of a building across from the entrance to JC, not on Main Street with the rest of the old guys...


Major Pepperidge said...

Chuck, what if you have the pull the boat through the reeds? LEECHES!

K. Martinez, I always thought that "The African Queen" was credited as the inspiration, but I believe you (regarding "The Naked Jungle" - naked, hee hee). I am a fan of movies about donuts.

Chuck, how can you worry about the Kriegsmarine when there are chupacabras running about?

Melissa, did they actually remove the mist effect in Florida? If nothing else, it would be nice and cooling on a humid Florida day. They have those things at restaurants, fer crying out loud, Disney can certainly afford them. I am happy I was never spanked with a wooden spoon, OUCH.

K. Martinez, it is a great movie, and a few years ago I could not find it on DVD. Maybe by now it is available, but it blew my mind that such a classic seemed to be unavailable. Did you ever reed Katharine Hepburn's book about the making of that film?

JG, don't go on any journeys with spinster preacher's sisters. I didn't know that Harper Goff was involved in "The African Queen", if so, COOL. I think it is fitting that his window is in Adventureland, where his influence (arguably) was felt the most.

JG said...

Hello Major, here is a link to a post with a picture of Mr. Goff's window and a short description of his involvement with African Queen.

Unlike some of the Imagineers, Mr. Goff continued to work on films by other studios and came back to Disney either concurrently, or intermittently, to do films and attraction work. At least, that's what I've read.