Wednesday, June 01, 2016

Devlin Family Photos - Part 14

Hooray, it's time for more Devlin family photos! Let's start with this colorful beauty showing the Sunkist Citrus House on good old Main Street U.S.A. 

Fresh squeezed orange juice is one of my favorite things ever, and it sounds mighty good to me right now.

We can only see a tiny bit of the Penny Arcade to the right, but I absolutely love the hues used - slate blue, soft green, raw sienna, and cream... it is colorful while maintaining the antique feel.

I zoomed in to try to get a look at the window display, but it's hard to see. There's Grandad in his gray sport coat and orange-checked shirt (and let's not forget the hat); he's empty-handed, so I guess he didn't just exit the Sunkist shop. It's fun to look at the other guests, such as the boy with the feathered cap, and the little girl with her mouse ears.

Over on the Jungle Cruise, Mama, Ama and Grandad glide past the Sacred Indian Elephant Bathing Pool - note the spray of water sparkling in the sunlight. One of the things that has always appealed to me about this ride is the ties to the old "True Life Adventure" series of films.


TokyoMagic! said...

I like how almost everyone in that first photo was caught in mid-stride.

Steve DeGaetano said...

Forget the orange juice (although it is tasty in the morning), on a hot summer day at Disneyland, go for the freshly-made lemonade! Icy cold and refreshing! One of my best memories, and sad to have seen it go.

Chuck said...

That second shot looks like it could be a frame from a Disneyland promotional film segment of Walt Disney's Wonderful World of Color. I know it's a still frame, but I keep animating the picture in my mind.

Like you, Major, I've always found the connection with the True-Life Adventures series a large part of the appeal of both the Jungle Cruise and Nature's Wonderland. It's funny how today's tangled cross-promotional efforts in the Parks have a tendency to leave us feeling frozen inside (see what I did there?), but they've always been there from the beginning.

There are important differences, though. Part of the appeal of Disneyland, especially in the early years when it was such a novel concept, is the fact that it immerses you in places you can't normally go in the real world but are familiar nonetheless. Disneyland places you not only in fantasy worlds inspired by film, it actually places you in scenes from Disney films.

There are important technological changes since the 1970s that have changed the impact of the experience. When many of us were kids, the primary way you experienced a Disney film was in a movie theater. You might catch it on TV on Disney's Sunday night show, or perhaps you'd see a short subject on 16mm film at school, but there were no videotapes or DVDs or BluRay discs that allowed you to watch the programs over and over and over again at your leisure. You might remember scenes from the films, but the impact of the experience of finding yourself watching a three-dimensional representation of what you had seen had a fresher feel to it because you hadn't been overexposed to it. It felt really special. Some of my perspective may be due to the difference of seeing it from a child's eyes rather than an adult's, but I really think that for the most part the experience really was different.

Since nobody had a videotape or DVD or BluRay player, there also were no videotapes or DVDs or BluRay discs for Disney to make a lot of money from selling to us, so there was less of an incentive to relentlessly beat us over the head with tie-ins to specific films. And the company's culture was different, with a different marketing style that was more subtle and a greater emphasis on maintaining a logical illusion over making money off a movie tie-in (Hunchback of Notre Dame Festival of Foods in Frontierland, anyone?).

...and that's how you build a watch, folks. I have no idea what time it is.

A grandson said...

There's more of a link between Grandad and the Sunkist House than meets the eye. Grandad worked for and eventually retired from Sunkist, and my recollection is that he could get free OJ's when at the park.

Unknown said...

Nice work, as always, Major. Thanks.

Well put, Chuck. Those are spot-on observations that I hadn't thought of. I think, from time to time, of the changes in Disneyland culture (who doesn't) and you've lined out in good order what were vague thoughts before. Thank you.

Major Pepperidge said...

TokyoMagic!, Main Street was "a world on the move" in its own way!

Steve DeGaetano, I do like lemonade, but my grandma and grandpa had an acre of citrus trees on their Encino property, so to me the taste of real, fresh squeezed orange juice is not only delicious, but it brings back memories of being with them at their home.

Chuck, yes, I can almost see them cutting to a skipper firing his pistol at a hippo, and then cutting back to Mama laughing. With Buddy Baker music in the background, of course! I like your analysis of the original years of the park versus the current iteration; one of the things I especially liked is that there were attractions that had nothing to do with specific movies. "Pirates" and "Haunted Mansion", for instance. And while I know that the Matterhorn was loosely tied to "Third Man on the Mountain", these days that is all but forgotten. Now there are (or were) plans to somehow make movies tied to every attraction that didn't already have one, including the Jungle Cruise. As for the movies, I certainly saw my share of them in theaters, but a vivid memory for me is the local library in Pennsylvania would show movies on Sundays, and they were often Disney movies. That's where I first saw "Fantasia", and got to re-watch one of two of those Kurt Russell films, among others. I loved it! And while, in a way, it is nice that people can see their favorite animated classics whenever they please, I do remember that it was a big deal when one of them was re-released to the theaters. I still remember going to see "Pinocchio" with my grandmother when I was in my late teens, and a little kid was looking at me, clearly wondering, "What are YOU doing here??".

A grandson, thank you for those extra fun memories!

Patrick Devlin, thanks as always for letting me share these great photos.

K. Martinez said...


Great essay and you sum up my feelings about the Disneyland experience today. I'll add that the endless quantity of video footage on YouTube today takes you through every part of the attractions at all Disney parks. You can almost experience an entire park by watching online videos before even visiting a park. I've watched quite a bit of stuff already on Shanghai Disneyland.

I remember shortly before going to Disneyland when Cars Land first opened I watched several videos of the complete ride-thru of Radiator Springs Racers. After I went on the ride for the first time a week later I thought to myself "Yep, just like they showed it on YouTube". Technology and media have definitely changed our experiences when going to the parks and other experiences too.

There are definitely plusses in today's technology though. Visiting blogs like "Gorilla's Don't Blog", "Daveland" and "Stuff From the Park" have opened my eyes to details I never noticed before so when visiting Disneyland today I look for those details if they still exist. In that way it changes the experience of the park in a different way. That was not available before.

K. Martinez said...

It's hard to believe it's Part 14 of the Devlin family Photos series already. I've really enjoyed what I've seen so far. Both pic are so different, yet fun.

The first image is almost like a movie set with movie extras walking along the side walk as the main characters are about to appear.

The second image definitely has a "Walt Disney's Wonderful World of Color" vibe to it.

Nice set today. Thanks to the Devlin family and to Major.

Nanook said...

@ Chuck-

Oh, you hit the nail right on the head. There is a huge difference, starting with the Eisner regime, in the way promos were presented, that can't simply be written-off as 'well, in Walt's day things were simpler and less sophisticated'. Although the that may be true, all one has to do is see how the approach changed radically from Walt's "... we hope you'll come and enjoy it..." to "... this is the greatest thing in the history of mankind, now and forever AND here's an exert's expert to describe to you this incredible experience, that BTW, costs billions of dollars..."

Those are NOT the same approaches.

David said...

I love the brilliant color of this pictures, as if only taken yesterday. Magnificent!!

Unknown said...

I so enjoy hearing each of your unique thoughts and memories of what once was. That Sunkist house has the most beautiful colors. It has such a happy feeling to it, even just looking at a photograph.

Chuck - I appreciate your comment. It really put into words what I've been thinking lately.

Nanook - It definitely feels as if Walt's original approach has left the park in some ways.

Thanks for another great post, Major!