Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Mickey Mouse 50th Birthday Parade, March 1978

Here are a few so-so photos of a parade that celebrated Mickey Mouse's 50th birthday! As all of you surely know, Mickey officially debuted in the 1928 short subject, "Steamboat Willie" (even though two other films starring Mickey were made first - "Plane Crazy" and "The Gallopin' Gaucho"). I particularly love the mouse in those earliest films, when he could be rambunctious, adventurous, and a little naughty. 

As we can see, J. Worthington Foulfellow and his friend Gideon have reformed their wicked ways and are more than happy to carry the banner celebrating their friend's birthday, while the White Rabbit and Br'er Fox follow close behind, thrilling kids by shaking hands.

There he is! This photo reminds me of when I went to the Disneyland Hotel for it's 50th anniversary - there was a fun event that included a display of rare historical artifacts (courtesy of Don Ballard) and a cake in the shape of the Sierra Tower. At some point, Mickey Mouse made a surprise appearance; the happy expressions on the faces of the people (including the hotel staff) was pretty remarkable. They were so thrilled to see him! Mickey just has that star quality, no doubt about it.

It's nice to see Pinocchio, a character from a film (my favorite!) from 1940, alongside Miss Bianca and Orville, from "The Rescuers" - Disney's latest animated feature (released in 1977, less than a year before these photos were snapped).  Orville is walking like an Egyptian long before the Bangles had the idea.


Nanook said...


"... when he could be rambunctious, adventurous, and a little naughty". Yes, there's nothing as much fun than a 'naughty' Mickey Mouse. In both the second and third images, we can spy a gentleman who's carrying-on a one-man campaign to "keep mens hats alive", in spite of the fact it's 1978-! It also appears [in the third image] he's doing double-duty and carrying his wife's-? handbag. (Someone should tell him that hat simply won't "go" with that handbag-! Tsk, tsk, tsk. I don't even want to think about his shoes).

Thanks, Major.

Melissa said...

I love when a parade photo is of high enough quality that I can zoom in and see the expressions on the spectators' faces. I know I turn into a wide-eyed grinning idiot at every Disney parade, and it's great to see the same thing happen to the people frozen in time.

Speaking of frozen, that giant cupcake has been out in the hot sun too long; look at that frosting run!

Melissa said...

@Nanook - I noticed that Sinatra wannabe, too! I'll call him Frankly Si-NOT-ra.

K. Martinez said...

There's one thing I've always enjoyed at Disneyland and that is the wonderful parades. Especially if it has lots of classic Disney characters. Mickey Mouse is looking his 1970's best! Thanks, Major.

TokyoMagic! said...

I've said it before and I'll say it again, "I Love A Parade!"....especially a vintage Disneyland parade. I don't remember them using the Walt Disney Studios "Fifty Happy Years" logo again for Mickey's 50th, but there it is on that banner.

Melissa, the sky looks a little gray in these photos. Maybe instead of the hot sun, someone left the cupcake out in the rain. I don't think that I can take it, 'cause I'm sure it took so long to make it....

Stefano said...

I read that meeting the characters, especially Mickey Mouse, and riding Dumbo are the biggest thrills for the preschool set. An exception was a small boy I saw who was terrified by Captain Hook. The Hook performer was very skilled at pantomime and acted out a contrite and self- effacing pirate, but no go.

TokyoMagic!, the winter and early spring of '77- '78 was an epic El Nino period in Southern California, a flood to remember in this current fifth year of drought. At least Ma Nature didn't bring a cloud to rain on this parade...

Melissa said...

LolStefano, that reminds me of the last time I ate in the Crystal Palace at the Magic Kingdom. It's a character meal with Winnie-the-Pooh and friends, and at the table across from us there was a couple with a baby who just WAILED anytime he caught a glimpse of one of the characters. The parents really wanted a picture of him with Pooh, but every time the tiny tot saw the big bear, it was Tearduct City. But Pooh was so patient; he'd sidle up to the baby out of his view, and pet his little head for a few minutes until he calmed down before trying again. They finally got the picture with Pooh standing behind the baby.

And I have to admit, anytime I get close to a character I'm five years old again!

Disneyland Park is melting in the dark,
All the sweet, pink icing flowing down...

TokyoMagic! said...

Stefano, oh yeah, I forgot about that. The ground was so saturated from all the rain. Then we got some wind and three of the trees on our street fell over!

Melissa, I don't think I'll have that recipe again.

Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, it’s a personal thing, but I generally like the early Mickey Mouse, before all of his rough edges had been polished smooth, and he might do something as unthinkable as drink a beer (“The Gallopin’ Gaucho”)! It looks like the man with the hat is helpfully holding his wife’s handbag while she takes photos of the parade.

Melissa, you can’t see quite so many faces in today’s photos, but I like to zoom in as well. Those Easter parade pix from a few months ago had some great expressions in the crowd. Mmmmm, cupcakes!

Melissa, aw, poor guy… little did he know that his choice of hat would be made fun of decades later…!

K. Martinez, I admit that, as a rule, parades are something to be avoided for me when I’m at Disneyland. The lines will be shorter while everyone else is lining Main Street! But I have enjoyed some of them, especially the Electrical Parade.

TokyoMagic!, it’s funny you should say that… I saw that “50” logo and thought, “Huh, I thought that was for the ’50 Happy Years’ event”. And it WAS! Think of the money they saved using it twice! Am I the only person that thinks the lyrics to “MacArthur Park” are dumb?

Stefano, I like seeing the characters walking around (or they used to walk around) - Hey! There’s Pluto! - but I was never one for wanting a photo with them. I didn’t get a photo with a character until sometime in the 90’s (Buzz Lightyear). I can totally understand kids being afraid of those big, weird creatures!

Melissa, it’s funny, as an adult we can see that Pooh or Tigger or even Mickey are like big toys, soft and huggable. But to a tiny baby, they look like giant monsters! I appreciate that the actor who was playing Pooh had enough patience and experience to take it slow and be gentle. I’ve never done a character dining thing, but I suppose that it is the best way to see lots of your favorite Disney friends in a relatively short amount of time.

JC Shannon said...

Great parade photos today. I love a fedora, and Frank pulled off the look perfectly. People watching is my favorite thing to do at a parade. Is it just me, or are there faces hidden in the cupcake frosting? Weird. Thanks Major for the great scans.

TokyoMagic! said...

Major, I have never understood the lyrics to that song. Maybe I should look it up to see what it's all about.

JC Shannon, now that you point it out, I can see a face that kind of looks like the Caterpillar from Alice In Wonderland!

JG said...

I used to love the Disney parades, then they discontinued the Electrical Parade, and that was the end.

The parades used to not be the huge blockage to navigation that they are today. Maybe because the park was less crowded to start with? Now I use the parades and shows as an excuse to get on the Haunted Mansion with a 10 minute wait.

Thanks for the pics, Major.


Major Pepperidge said...

TokyoMagic!, wow, you actually remember the weather from 1977? I don’t remember what I ate for lunch yesterday. (Oh yeah, it was hot dogs).

Jonathan, sure, fedoras are great, but aren’t those hats with the giant dyed ostrich feathers even greater? I’m sure the Rat Pack must have worn those when the cameras weren’t pointing in their direction.

TokyoMagic!, you mean it’s not about baking cakes?!?

JG, I have to admit that I enjoyed the last parade I saw in Disneyland, though I forget which one it was. However, I saw a different one in DCA, and thought it was a noisy disaster.

TokyoMagic! said...

Major, I only remember the rainy winter that year, because of the three very tall pine trees on our street that fell over, due to the ground being so saturated. One of the trees belonged to our next door neighbor and the tree fell across both of their cars in the driveway.

Okay, "MacArthur Park" is about MacArthur Park in Downtown Los Angeles and a love affair that ended. It was originally written for The Association in 1967, but they passed on it and it was recorded by one of the song's co-writers, Richard Harris. I haven't heard that original version. Donna Summer's disco version was a number one hit for 3 consecutive weeks on the Billboard charts in 1978. It was released exactly one week before Mickey Mouse turned fifty. Coincidence???

Nanook said...

@ TM!-

And then of course, there's this.... "In 1992, Miami Herald journalist Dave Barry conducted a poll among his readers who selected Harris' recording as the worst song of all time, both in terms of "Worst Lyrics" and "Worst Overall Song". Barry commented: "[I]t's hard to argue with survey respondents who chose it as the worst." "

Well - once again, a 'survey' comes up with the "answer". I thought "We Built this City" by Starship was considered the "worst"-? In both cases, where they are far-from being among the greatest pop songs ever recorded, they're certainly far from being called "the worst".

Once again - a 'survey' proves its total uselessness. Message to Mr. Barry: 'It turns out there's plenty to argue about with ANY survey; as far too many of them are total bunk-!

TokyoMagic! said...

Nanook, I did read about that poll on Wikipedia. Again, I haven't heard the original version of "MacArthur Park," so I wonder if those results were based on Richard Harris' performance or the lyrics, alone. I would go look for the original version on YouTube, but I'm knee deep in the hoopla right now

Nanook said...

@ TM!-

The Richard Harris' version is the hit version, in 1968. It sounded as if it's unenviable 'title' was based on both song & performance.

("Knee deep in the hoopla" - indeed-!)

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Melissa said...

People in my hometown still talk about the blizzard if '77, when the plows couldn't get out and all the kids had to stay at school overnight.