Tuesday, December 01, 2020

Bre'r Fox and Bre'r Bear

Happy December! Only one month to go until 2020 is over. Today's post doesn't appear very Christmasy at first glance, but (as far as I can tell) the photos are from the same batch that we saw last year, featuring a wonderful Christmas parade. See those HERE, HERE, HERE, and HERE!

Oh, did I mention that the photos are from the Dream Team? Irene, Bruce, and James, that is. Folks are gathered around Br'er Bear and Br'er Fox, who are putting on a little dance show while the Pearly Band accompanies them.

Br'er Bear has got some moves! I wouldn't want to be challenged to a "dance off" by him. 

It must be tough for the person in the costume to deal with the bulk and oddly-distributed weight of that head! As I said in the original parade posts, these photo prints were undated, and I speculated that they could be from the 1980s, but I believe that they could even be from the late 1970s. Fashion experts, what do you think? There's a person in the background holding what appears to be a giant yellow crescent wrench.

I'd wager that we'll never see these characters at a Disney park again, for obvious reasons. I'll miss them.

MANY THANKS as always to Irene, Bruce, and James!


Nanook said...

The reason you're having problems deciding if these images were taken around Christmas time is the seasonal decorations aren't screaming with over-indulgence from every vertical and horizontal surface-! But, Xmas time it is.

And as for that giant yellow "Crescent wrench"... I could try to say something clever, but in reality, the ends are actually handles and the 'tool' is really used to coil-up the crowd control ropes.

Thanks to The Dream Team.

TokyoMagic! said...

Nanook beat me to the answer about the rope-wrapping thingamajigy.

I'm not sure these are from the actual parade, because all of those guests are standing in the street, and blocking the parade route. It might be some kind of exclusive pre-parade performance by Br'er Bear and Br'er Fox.

Br'er Fox is giving us "jazz hands" in that first pic!

TokyoMagic! said...

P.S. Thank you, Major and the Dream Team!


Looking at the guests I I was thinking 1975..... but the popcorn boxes ate the Orville Redenbacher logo which would place the picture 1978 but before 1980. After the 25th Anniversary a new orange and white box was used into the mid 1980’s that featured 19th Century-esque “engravings” of Jungle cruise boat / Ck Holiday loco / mark twain / and Carousel Horse.

I have two friends who where both TALL Disneyland characters ( Brer Bear , Baloo , Goofy , King Leonitus etc ) in the 1980’s and BOTH have similar back and neck problems associated with the neck and shoulder harness system those costumes of the period. I understand most former employees who where these characters at both parks have similar conditions.

Melissa said...

I agree on the 1970s - too many plaid pants for the Eighties. The li’l mop-top in the stroller and his popcorn-loving big brother are like clones of their Dad before his hairline started to recede. I bet they look like twins now that they’re both grown up.

Bre’r Bear is a one-man country bear jamboree.

JC Shannon said...

The little kid in the first pic seems to be saying "Br'er Shm'er, I wanna ride Peter Pan!" I concur, late 70s for sure. You may not know this, but I can cut a rug with the best of them. My Tango at weddings and Bar Mitzvas is a sight you won't soon forget, I tell ya. Come to think of it, I haven't been invited to one in years, I wonder why? Thanks to the Dream Team and Major.

Chuck said...

If I'm remembering correctly, we narrowed this parade down to 1978.

Going to miss our friends from SotS.

Thanks, Dream Team!

Anonymous said...

Ah SoS, so misunderstood. It's a shame when illiterate ignorance kills a whole IP. Oh well, no one said you had to be well read to work at Disney any more. "The Brers" will certainly be missed!

Irene said...

I don't remember that the photos you previously posted got narrowed down to 1978. This is very baffling to me because I really thought that all the photos in the album were from the 90's. I really didn't think there were any from the 70's in there. But again - I could be wrong, has been known to happen - haha.

Anonymous said...

I want to see B'rer Bear and Baloo in a dance-off, in white polyester suits and black shirts. "Stayin' A-a-a-alive".

I have no idea as to the era, other than to observe that GDB has taught me that fashion has a lag-time and styles that define a decade often extend several years into the next decade because ordinary people don't have wardrobe departments keeping them into the latest styles.

I'm watching several 70's and 80's TV shows right now, Carol Burnett, Hawaii 5-0, and Murder She Wrote, the dates and even on TV, the fashions are not always what I expected.

Thanks Major and the Dream Team. Great shots today.


Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, as we have all seen, the Disney mantra is “There is no such thing as TOO MUCH!”. And I get that it can be dazzling, and guests like dazzle. But I would like something a little more tasteful, something that might feel like the decor found on an actual Main Street in the 1940s or 1950s. And I’m still going to go on believing that the tool is a big crescent wrench, because it makes me happy. (Thanks for telling me about the coil up rope thingy though).

TokyoMagic!, where does one go to buy one of those rope coil things? Do they make them on a bandsaw? Maybe I need one, it will be just the thing to turn 2020 around. I agree that the guests are blocking the parade route; a pre-parade show is a good theory.

Mike Cozart, oh, that Orville Redenbacher box clue is a great one! Definitely narrows down the dates to a very small window, which is awesome. Thanks! I would have never even known what the boxes were, they’re so blurry. Good grief, lifelong back and neck problems after working at Disneyland… not worth it. I feel bad for your friends.

Melissa, most of the photos from the Dream Team are from the mid-1990s, but I could definitely tell that these were much earlier. Good point about the plaid pants, ha ha! I always liked the design of Bre’r Bear, but as a kid, I was afraid of the larger characters.

Jonathan, it’s true, that kid is not impressed. “I gave up reading ‘Goodnight Moon’ for THIS?”. By the way, I think “Goodnight Moon” should be made into a 2 hour action movie starring The Rock and Tom Cruise. You know, I’ve never been to a Bar Mitzvah, and I am not happy about that. Same with a Bat Mitzvah. Where am I supposed to meet nice Jewish girls?

Chuck, I didn’t recall that we’d narrowed down the date (I don’t recall much of anything, as you know), but 1978 is right in the ballpark. So YAY US! Not that I can take any credit.

Stu29573, I will miss the animated characters from SotS, but the live action stuff honestly is no great loss. Just my opinion of course, I’m sure there are plenty of people who love the whole movie. Remember, one of the excuses that Disney gave for getting rid of the “Swiss Family Treehouse” is that kids wouldn’t know what the attraction was referencing anymore. So dumb.

Irene, that group of photos was unique in all of those albums you gave me; they looked different (on different paper, and had a different, warm palette). I was surprised as well, but pleasantly so. Could these have been taken by Bruce? I’m not sure how old he would have been in 1978. Thanks Irene!

Major Pepperidge said...

JG, a dance-off would be cool, but what about a no-holds-barred wrestling match? I could just see Baloo jumping off the ropes, flying through the air, and landing on Bre’r Bear. KerSMACK. Then Bre’r Bear could hit Baloo with a folding chair. Well, maybe not. Fashion definitely has a lag-time, but there are also those people who are right in step with the times. Probably women, mostly. You’ve been watching some good shows! My mom and brother are currently in a “Columbo” mode. My mom said, “They’re all the same, but I don’t care!”.

Melissa said...

I recently did a full rewatch of Columbo! The sameness is comforting, like slipping into a comfy pair of shoes. And of course, in October I observed Columbo Day, when there’s always just one more thing to celebrate.

Anonymous said...

These 'characters' were, themselves, characters to the CMs as well. So sorry to hear that they have been banished. We loved them for what they were...not for what we are told they are perceived to be today.

Getting off the soapbox...when I looked hard to the Pearly Band members, I only recognize one, perhaps 2, from my time there (left early '78). Immediately told myself this is late 70s to very early '80s. KS

JG said...

Major, a cage match would not be fair since Baloo knows Krav Maga. I hear he is in training constantly.

I didn't care for Murder She Wrote or Magnum PI when they were first on the air. I remember my parents watching both when I was home visiting. Now I love both shows because I have since spent a lot of time working in the locations where both were filmed and the scenery is very familiar. "I've been there!" "I know where that is!" etc. Relaxing somehow.


"Lou and Sue" said...

Mike, my neck and back hurt from just reading about your two friends. Ouch! I recently heard from a friend of a past "Mickey Mouse" cast member - who said they also had neck problems. Not worth it! To add insult to injury, Disney pays the "face" characters more than they pay the ones stuffed into those big heads.

Thanks, Irene & The Dream Team, and Major - for a little sunshine and dancing!

Chuck said...

Finally had a chance to look at the comments on the first previous post you linked. The consensus from a year ago was 1977-78 for this parade, although none of the clues that led us there are visible in these pictures.

Melissa said...

In addition to the weight and construction of the fur costume, all your movements have to be really exaggerated. I’m not surprised injuries happen.

Major Pepperidge said...

Melissa, I used to take painting classes at a small local art school (this was nearly 20 years ago), and Peter Falk was one of the students! Not in any of the classes that I took, but I would see him in the hallways once in a while, and it was always a shock!

KS, I don’t know for sure that the SotS characters won’t show up in the parks, that is just my assumption (though it seems to be a pretty safe one). I would be perfectly happy to see Br’er Bear and Br’er Fox (did Br’er Rabbit ever appear?) walking around. I’m amazed that you even recognized one or two of the Pearly Band members; I figured that musicians in those bands came and went all the time.

JG, I didn’t learn about Krav Maga until I watched the first “Bourne Identiy” movie (still my favorite of them). It looks pretty brutal. I never got into Murder She Wrote, but used to watch “Magnum P.I.” when it was in syndication. Lots of shows from the ‘60s and ‘70s used great Los Angeles locations; “The Rockford Files” is a good one for some proxy sightseeing.

Lou and Sue, jeez, I hope they have figured out how to make those costumes so that the people inside aren’t physically hurt. I while I guess I understand why the “face” characters would get more than the “big head” characters, some of those actors do amazing things with only pantomime (and no facial expressions)!

Chuck, based only on the clues that were available in that first post, I’d say that your estimate was amazingly on the nose!

Melissa, good point; I guess it’s like animation, you need a gesture to “read” immediately.

TokyoMagic! said...

Major, Br'er Fox and Br'er Bear usually walked around the park without Br'er Rabbit, but Br'er Rabbit did appear in the park's 25th Anniversary Parade:


Br'er Rabbit also appeared in the Christmas Parade, the year that I was in it, but he was represented by just a doll, which the other two characters carried around by it's ears.

Tokyo Disneyland currently has a Br'er Rabbit walk-around character, who can usually be found hanging out in TDL's Critter Country:


Irene said...

I gave you more than one album? Sheesh - shows how good my memory is! So if those photos were in a different album, then yes they could have been taken by Bruce. He was 36 in 1978.

Anonymous said...

Major, I love Rockford Files. I remember watching with my Dad and noting all the LA scenes so familiar to him, and now to me.

I used to get the DVDs from our local shop, now closed. I can't seem to get it streaming anywhere, very sad.