Sunday, March 15, 2015

Two From August 1969

Here are two random-ish scans from August, 1969. Perfect for a low-readership Sunday!

We'll start with this photo taken near the shore of the Rivers of America, looking past a flower-filled planter toward the newly-opened Haunted Mansion. I wonder how far back that line went? Did it snake all the way through the tunnels to the Indian Village? It would be worth the wait because the Hatbox Ghost was probably still there. Even though nobody would know his significance for years. There are rumors that he is coming back sometime this year, but part of me wishes that they would let him remain mysterious and legendary. Nobody asked, though.

Well, on that gloomy note, let's look at a dead guy over at this Indian burial site. Those juniper bushes need some attention, they are about to obscure the corpse, and that won't do.


Nanook said...


Okay - I'll step up to the plate: Do you think the powers-that-be at Disney should allow the Hatbox Ghost to remain mysterious and legendary-??

TokyoMagic! said...

Major, I agree with you about the Hatbox Ghost. I guess if it was done properly.....and if it replaced the horrid "new" bride, I might be okay with it. I would really rather just see the new bride be given the axe (pun intended) and have one of the older versions of the bride return. But nobody asked me either.

I spy a wooden bucket just chock full of Tom Sawyer Island maps (in front of the trunk of that tree) in that first pic!

Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, thanks for asking! The answer is "NO"! The folks at Disney seem to be ignorant of the fact that, often, it is better to give LESS information about something. That makes it intriguing. "What is the deal with that guy? What's his story? Why did he disappear?". Then they put him back and tell you his story, and now he's not so interesting. Cool-looking, to be sure, but the mystery is gone.

TokyoMagic!, yeah, the bride is a fairly clunky effect. Her head/face looks like a balloon… it just doesn't really work, though I get what they were going for. They might move her to a slightly different location, but she's not going away… they've invested too much into expanding her story and putting throughout the Mansion. It's yet another example of over-explaining. The old bride was so creepy. "Why is there a scary bride in the attic?". Well, Disney has made up a rather involved tale to tell you why, and it rates about a 3 on the "interesting" scale (out of 10). I used to read murder mysteries that my grandma gave me, and always liked the beginning when something weird and seemingly unexplainable happened. "They found a dead guy in a museum, and his eyes were sewn shut, his clothing was wet, and he had a gold coin in his mouth!". At the end, when we discovered what the explanation was, my reaction would be "Oh, that was IT?". Good eye on the bucket full of maps, I totally missed that!

K. Martinez said...

Bringing back the hatbox ghost would kill the mystique. No thanks!

K. Martinez said...

And about those backstories, I remember back in the day when one of Walt's imagineers explained that they weren't necessarily telling a story, but providing a set of experiences with their attractions.

Whenever Tony Baxter or some other more current day imagineer starts explaining an elaborate contrived backstory my eyes start rolling.

And don't get me wrong. I like mild set up stories like; Dr. Indiana Jones discovered a temple in the deep jungles of Adventureland or Star Tours has opened up a spaceport in Tomorrowland for those weary space travelers. That's okay. It's when it starts taking over the narrative that I get disinterested or turned off.

btw, nice pics today. Thanks, Major.

Nanook said...

@ K. Martinez-

Followers of the comments section of GDB are probably aware of my extreme displeasure with the direction the WD Company has taken when it comes to self-promotion. Stated succinctly: More is Never Enough-! There was a time the company chose a more "nuanced" tack, more along the lines of: Less is More. That philosophy seems to have been marched off to purgatory - and in perpetuity.

One of the most striking examples is the difference between Walt explaining a new: park attraction; film; idea; etc. - and the delivery used when either Eisner or Katzenberg took to "the stage". Both Michael and Jeffrey were falling all over themselves to see how many times 'qualifiers' could be woven-into a simple statement: most expensive; award-winning; 'here's the expert's expert'; no one else could possibly... ; etc.

And that philosophy continues to this day, with just the one example you cited above, as the tip of the iceberg. Clearly "subtlety" has been banished from the Disney vernacular - even if subtle is just was is needed. Ahhh - what can you do-?

HBG2 said...

Great photo! And don't I remember lines like that!

I'm with you on the Hatbox Ghost, believe it or not. His presence is best felt in his absence. Ghosts, you know.

Having said that, yes, I think he'll be showing up, perhaps in May. The official Disney blog has practically announced his return, and there's that new wall and window right outside the attic. Why is it there? Probably it's temporary, while they install HBG 2.0 behind it. This time I don't think they're going to pull away the football, Lucy style.

stu29573 said...

Original bride was MUCH creepier....