Sunday, August 09, 2020

Sleeping Beauty Castle

Sleeping Beauty Castle. How many photos have been taken of that thing? A billion? A lot more than that I'll bet. Here's two of them!

First up, from 1960, the castle looks like the kind of place one might expect to see in a fairytale, without cartoony colors or an overload of gold trim. I guess they've doubled down on the idea that a castle from an animated film needs to be more dazzling than it used to be.

This next one might appear to be from the same day, but it is from 1962. As I (and many others) have pointed out, the soft colors also aid with aerial perspective - a kind of forced perspective that implies that the castle is bigger and farther away. Those old-timers knew what they were doing!


Nanook said...


It truly is a thing of beauty.

Thanks, Major.

K. Martinez said...

The Imagineering Fairies Kim Irvine and Tony Baxter aimed their magic Imagineering wands at the castle...

Make it pink!
Make it blue!
Make it pink!
Make it blue!
Put gold on it.
Put diamonds on it.
Put stardust on it.
POOF! It's a pink and blue diamond stardust encrusted castle with gold accents. Yippie!

Nice Castle pics today! Thanks Major.

"Lou and Sue" said...

The castle colors are perfect, but I find myself wanting to reach out and pull the ivy off. IMO it doesn’t look good in these pictures, though I think ivy does look good on some walls.

Chuck, you have a couple servicemen to identify...

JG, I don’t know if you saw my question last night, “What Iberian flight?!”

"Lou and Sue" said...

Oops, I forgot to thank you, Major!

TokyoMagic! said...

The Castle is beautiful in both of these pics. Why on earth would anyone have ever wanted to change it? I'm guessing that the desire to do that, is something similar to what dogs do when they want to let other dogs know, "HEY, I WAS HERE!!!"

Andrew said...

When I eventually visit in person, I won't even recognize it from all of the pictures I've seen on this site. ;-)

stu29573 said...

The new Unimagineers have the color sense of a 5 year old off their ADD meds.

Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, I’ve been thinking, wouldn’t the castle look better if it was purple and lime-green? They claim to not be “afraid of bold colors” after all.

K. Martinez, I’ve heard tell that Imagineering has invested heavily in glitter glue. There is no such thing as “too sparkly”. And I can tell that you agree! :-)

Lou and Sue, I know what you mean about the ivy, and yet I do kind of like how it makes the castle feel like it has been there for a while - plus it softens the “all stone” appearance a little bit. There’s no ivy on the castle any more, but they could always put chia seeds on it. Ch-ch-ch-CHIA.

Lou and Sue, no need to thank me, but you are welcome.

TokyoMagic! I honestly don’t know WHAT they are thinking when it comes to repainting the castle. “More color!” seems to be the eternal mantra nowadays. Why mix a subtle hue when you can use a color right out of the tube? As I’ve said before, bold colors can be used well (see: Mary Blair), but they can also be tacky as hell when applied by the wrong hands.

Andrew, I hope you get to visit soon (when all is safe of course)!

stu29573, the original Imagineers usually had decades of experience working on animated films, or designing sets for MGM (or some other studio), or they’d studied in Europe as art students, never dreaming that they would someday work on an amusement park. But all of that life experience meant that those guys were incredibly ready for the task.

Chuck said...

You mean the castle really used to look like this? I just assumed that the pictures had faded over the years.

Sue, I saw those guys in the second photo. That's Ed Hinkney on the left and Bill Davidson on the right.

Chuck said...

Sorry, Sue, I couldn't resist. :-)

When you travel in uniform, you invariably get the nice, older person who comes up to you and tells you about their cousin who was in the Marines during Vietnam...and then asks if you know them.

This photo is throwing me off a bit. Part of the problem is that they're hiding behind the watermark, which hides some of the details. And while Photoshoppe is an amazingly powerful program, but no matter how many times I say "enhance," it won't turn corners and show me what's on the front of their uniforms.

They appear to be wearing the standard US Air Force Class A uniform of the period, and it looks like they have shiny insignia on their epaulets, but at this level of resolution, I can't tell if they're officers (probably second lieutenants, fisrt lieutenants, or captains) or AFROTC cadets.

Further compounding my confusion is that the guy in back appears to be wearing an Air Force Academy cap device, which is identical to the officer's cap device except that it's missing the clouds and stars above the eagle. Unfortunately, the uniforms are the wrong shade of blue for them to be Academy cadets, and AFROTC cadets had their own unique cap device in this era. It's possible that the resolution is just so poor that part of the cap device just isn't coming through.

About the best I can do is that they are probably US Air Force officers, but there's always the remote possibility that they are from some foreign air force that patterned their uniform after ours.

But their names are definitely Ed Hinkney and Bill Davidson.

"Lou and Sue" said...

Chuck, I didn’t mean those two servicemen, I meant the two in their ‘civies.’

Melissa said...

I feel it is my duty
To think of Sleeping Beauty
Each time I see a passel
Of tourists in her castle
Along with those two fair men
Who probably are airmen
Gee, that castle would be dismal
The shade of Pepto-Bismol

stu29573 said...


JC Shannon said...

The two men in the first photo are discussing the castle. The first man says "This castle is perfect the way it is, I sure hope no one ever tarts it up." The second man replies "Don't worry, Walt will never let that happen." They then go on to the rides, and agree that the Mine Train is their favorite. Thanks Major.

Nanook said...

@ Melissa-
'passel' & 'castle'. Just how long have you been waiting to work 'passel' into a sentence-? Perhaps next time, it can be "the chalice from the palace..."

Bravo, indeed-!

Chuck said...

Well played, Sue...well played.

No Melissa poem is ever unwelcome here. Thank you.

And Ken - I got so excited about the boys in blue that I forgot to mention I love the mental picture your comment evokes.

Major Pepperidge said...

Chuck, in the earliest years the castle was painted battleship gray - but there were sparkles in it! Ed Hinkney? You mean The Hinkster himself? That rascal!

Chuck, I used to experience the same phenomenon when people heard what school I’d gone to. “Do you know (random name here)?”. I never knew the person. Sorry about the watermark! I usually try to place it where it is less-obtrusive, but I’m not always successful. I thought that maybe they flew for United and were on a brief furlough before they had to fly to Chicago. As far as I am concerned, identifying The Hinkster is enough, and should be enough for anybody.

Lou and Sue, I’m glad they’re not in their skivvies.

Melissa, I think this might be your best yet!

stu29573, I’d say “ditto”, but know it would sound really lame.

Jonathan, they also wished that they could eat some sort of long fried donut thing covered in cinnamon sugar, but realize that it’s a crazy dream that will never come true because people love popcorn, peanuts, and Fritos too much.

Nanook, you have to admit, there aren’t that many words that rhyme with “castle”. There’s “hassle” and “tassel”, and “vassal”. And I’m done! A rhyming dictionary reminds me of “facile”, which is a good one. They also list a bunch of words I have never seen before. “Nassl”??

Chuck, Sue isn’t afraid to play hardball when she needs to. When I read Ken’s comment, I thought of a nighttime light show with the voices of the three fairies from Sleeping Beauty (or two of them, I guess), with the castle changing color in a blink. How has this not happened yet?

Melissa said...

@Nanook The flagon with the dragon has the brew that is true.

"Lou and Sue" said...

This is off the topic, but Melissa’s last comment made me think of this:

Has anyone seen the movie Another Man’s Poison with Bette Davis? It’s a classic!

Major Pepperidge said...

Melissa, flagons? Dragons? Wagons? Other words that end in "...agons"??

Lou and Sue, I have never seen that movie, why do you ask? Does it have lots of car crashes, CGI robots, and explosions, like all the best movies do?

Omnispace said...

I think Melissa gets extra points today. Bravo!

I'll add my vote for the original castle aesthetics. I'm a firm believer that children have the capacity to appreciate the more realistic version as adults do. As a kid I always knew when I was being pandered to and never bought into it.

Anonymous said...

You know, I find it rather ironic that Disney decided to construct its big castle around a movie that hadn't even been released yet, and yet the movie still went on to bomb in the box office (though the movie has certainly improved its overall image in later years).

BTW, I'll be on vacation this week, but I have posts scheduled throughout the week. Feel free to comment on them when they become uploaded.

JG said...

Original Castle is Best Castle.

Clearly, the current "imagineers" either have no idea what to do with the legacy they are mangling, or, more likely, have a different agenda than the original designers.

What we see happening with Disneyland is similar to the destruction of other historic downtowns across the country. Unfortunately, there is no way to get a historic architecture review for these revisions.

Sue, I did see your comment, but only today. We flew to Barcelona from SFO last year on Iberian Airlines (I think). It was a real cattle car with terrible service. We didn't realize that "everything" had to be ordered on-line in advance of the flight, so we got no food, drinks, or even water on the 11 hour flight because the attendants were unable to process transactions or take cash. I felt lucky to arrive.


Anonymous said...

Excellent as always Melissa.
I was trying to find one of your creations on this site the other day but was unable to locate it. It was the one you did about a dark photo of Main Street and it was written like a film noir detective scene. Wish I could remember where it was. It was a classic.

"Lou and Sue" said...

JG, thanks! That flight sounds awful...I can't imagine getting nothing to eat or drink for 11 hours! I've always said that if anyone brought a couple hot pizzas on a plane, they could easily sell pieces at a premium price and make enough to pay for their trip. There have been times when I would've paid top dollar for a slice!


Melissa said...

Anonymous, I have s vague memory of that; so happy to know you enjoyed it!