Sunday, April 01, 2018

Snoozer Snapshots

For this sleepy Sunday, I am using up some uninspiring scans of vintage snapshots.

Here's the "African Veldt" scene, added to the Jungle Cruise in 1964. I totally get why the buzzards are hanging around near the lion's latest kill, but you'd think that the antelope, giraffes, and fellow zebras would be heading for the hills instead of standing there like looky-loos at a freeway traffic accident.

Next is the "Lost Safari", also added in 1964. A nearsighted (they're always nearsighted) rhinocerwurst has treed an expedition, and is threatening to spear the lowest man with his horn. As a kid I worried about that guy. The rest of them seemed pretty safe, assuming that the rhino would eventually get tired and leave. Do you think that odd formation to our right is supposed to represent a termite mound?

Rounding out today's post is this single shot from inside "It's a Small World". A band of British Guardsmen (wearing their bearskin caps) plays the theme song, while all sorts of mayhem goes on elsewhere!


Nanook said...

Have you ever seen any antelope, giraffes or zebras driving on the freeways-?? Then you'd know-! I believe that so-called "termite mound" was actually Lillian's initial offering to Disneyland. But Walt felt it too large for Frontierland, so it ended up on the Jungle Cruise, and a more 'demure' specimen was placed in Frontierland.

Thanks, Major.

K. Martinez said...

The "African Veldt" scene reminds me of the scene in Walt Disney's "Swiss Family Robinson" where Hans and Erntz are trying to free the Zebra stuck in mud/quicksand and the hyenas are surrounding them "laughing" and the vultures are nearby. Thanks, Major.

Jonathan said...

Ah, the Jungle Cruise, one of my all time favorites. I have always loved the movie African Queen. I think Walt captured a river adventure in Africa very well. Attention to detail and the witty banter of the boat captain made for a classic Disney attraction. I first experienced It's a Small World at the New York Worlds Fair in'64. I still can't get the song out my head. Another classic. Thank you Major for the float down two great rides.

Patrick Devlin said...

Nicely done, as always, Major. Does anybody now right off hand what was presented in those areas of the Jungle Cruise prior to the Veldt and Safari scenes being added. I can think of shots of a lion in the tall grass as well as a rhino or two that stomped around in a circular path. I'm pretty sure I saw the attraction prior to its refurbishment but my memory has nothing to pull up. Anyone?

Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, I don’t get it, how could Lillian NOT want a termite mound in her living room? After a while I would stop being creative and just give her jewelry or something boring like that.

K. Martinez, that is an interesting observation - it makes me wonder if there was any connection, since “Swiss Family Robinson” came out in 1960, and the “African Veldt” was added in ’64?

Jonathan, I remember that when I was a kid, I was amazed at how “real” the jungle felt, even though we were in the middle of Anaheim. It really is an incredible feat of art direction. And as I’ve stated on GDB many times, I love “It’s a Small World”, including the song!

Patrick Devlin, I didn’t know, but looking at some scans of souvenir maps over the years, it looks like there were some charging rhinos, and possibly a couple of lions, that were removed to make room for the veldt. I welcome anybody else’s input though...

Melissa said...

I guess the other animals’ feeling of safety is tied to the lions’ feeling of fullness. They're getting cocky.

I've always loved how much they managed to squeeze into the England section of It's a small world. The Guardsmen, the square trees of Rotten Row, The Punch and Judy show, the dancing chess men/kings/castles, Big Ben, Wordsworth’s host of yellow daffodils, and probably more stuff I'm forgetting.


I believe the 1955 rhino scene was a mother rhino “threatening” to charge and her two baby rhinos that turned and ran away ( using the turn table ring on another track to animate the motion) for how simple the mechanism was it resulted in a convincing effect. Also much of the animals shown in the early JUNGLE CRUISE featured the animals hiden part way behind tall grass or vegetation ( hiding the mechanism)so only part of the figure needed to be manufactured.

The early Rivers of America had similar simple motion mechanisms in the early days like a bear that would turn and runaway after a canoe scout fired a “warning shot” into the air ( like the JUNGKE CRUISE hippo pool) as guests passed. This was located a few hundred feet passed the burning settler cabin. It’s interesting that while the bear figure was long gone, the mechanism to this effect remained covered by vegitstiin up untill the Rivers of America redo in the mid 2000’s.

Melissa said...

So, the turntable was a simple bear necessity?

Anonymous said...

Those charging rhino's probably exceeded their credit limit.

I don't remember the JC before the Lost Safari, but I must have seen it, because I do remember Mom and Dad laughing at the new scene and commenting what a good update it was.

I know the Jungle has been changed and updated a lot over the years, but somehow, it's still fun and familiar, unlike so many other "plussed attractions".

Thanks for these pics, Major.