Thursday, June 10, 2021

Hey, Minnie!

Not long ago, I bought this vintage photo print on eBay. In spite of the fact that it had faded to a brownish-pink, you could see that the image itself was something unusual.

We've seen various "fun photo" setups in the Plaza before, usually over near the Red Wagon Inn (more or less). People could poke their faces through holes and become Dopey, or Davy Crockett, or Captain Nemo, among other characters. This example shows a fishing boat, with Minnie, Mickey, and a lunker of a catfish. Not a common scene at all!

I tried to color-correct the image, and the results aren't great, but better than I expected to be honest. It's strange that the cutout for Mickey's face doesn't have... well, his face. Rather they left it an empty, crudely-painted circle, which sure looks odd when there isn't a third person to pose. To be honest, the whole painting is pretty crude by Disney standards, but for me, that adds to the appeal.

One interesting detail is that there is a stamp on the back of the photo informing us that it was printed on the "week ending Aug. 27, 1955". At that point, Disneyland had only been open to to the general public for 40-ish days, so that's pretty cool!

I couldn't help being reminded of an early (1961) painting by Pop artist Roy Lichtenstein entitled, "Look, Mickey". It is based on an illustration in a Little Golden Book, "Donald Duck Lost and Found". This painting now hangs in the National Gallery of Art in Washington D.C.


Nanook said...

That's digging waaaaaay back in Disneyland history. The 'nautical' theme seems an odd stretch, but what the heck.

Thanks, Major.

"Lou and Sue" said...

Major, what a unique find! This cutout even has legs and feet! That Minnie sure is jovial! And there’s definitely a Mickey standing there - but that poor kid didn’t know how to “get in Mickey’s face.” I hope his folks got some better pictures of him, to remember that fun day! It would be a shame if that was the only picture taken that day.

Thanks, Major - great restoration work!

"Lou and Sue" said...

Wouldn’t the parent, who was taking the picture, realize a kid was missing?!?! I hope he didn’t grow up with a complex, as a result.

"Lou and Sue" said...

One last detail: Even the sisters forgot their brother - as one of them wrote the “description” on the back. He definitely needed counseling.

TokyoMagic! said...

I see a face in that crudely-painted circle, but it's not Mickey's face. It's sort of a "Baymax" face.

This was a great find, Major! Thanks for sharing it.

Chuck said...

TM!, I had no idea that you were related to Mickey.

TokyoMagic! said...

Chuck, ha, ha! It took me a minute to figure out what you meant. I don't know why it took me that long! Maybe just because it's 3:30 in the morning, here.

JG said...

Wonders never cease, what a thing to find!

Disneyland and the poor kid both trying to find their way.

Thanks for finding, fixing, spand sharing this, Major. Really brightens the day.


DrGoat said...

Nice archeological restoration Major. That board looks like it was done partially with crayons.
I would love to see any other photos that group took that day Sue.
Correct me if I'm wrong, but I see 3 sets of legs under that thing. Maybe this is the Addams family kids.
Really nice work Major, thanks.

Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, my guess is that this particular “photo op” didn’t last long because they realized that it did not pass muster (or mustard) in several ways!

Lou and Sue, I saw the extra set of legs, but wondered if it could have been a kid unrelated to the two girls? Maybe the equivalent of little Sue when she ran over to meet Goofy! I still can’t quite tell if the “face” for Mickey could be removed for a third child to participate - doesn’t it seem like it should?

Lou and Sue, those legs belonged to a then 5 year-old David Cassidy!

Lou and Sue, to be honest, I probably wouldn’t have mentioned the person the legs belonged to either! Even if they were David Cassidy’s legs.

TokyoMagic!, even though this photo was developed in August of 1955, I can’t help wondering if it was actually taken weeks earlier. This might be from mere days after the park opened!

Chuck, I am ashamed to admit how long it took me to get your joke!

TokyoMagic!, I wish it had only taken me a minute. I kept going back and re-reading your comment, thinking there was a clue there.

JG, yes, this was a fun find. I think Matterhorn1959 had an image of this sign as well, but it’s still a pretty scarce and unusual photo.

DrGoat, the art really is pretty crude, as if they just asked some random employee at the park to "paint something, we don't care what". The black parts really do have that "crayon" look to them! Sue also noticed the extra set of legs, I like your “Addams Family” theory. Remember when Morticia was knitting a baby jumper that had three legs?

Kathy! said...

That picture is so odd. Why does the fish have antennae? Is the other frame to the left meant to be empty so you’re the artwork, or is it missing something? And yeah, even the kids are perplexed by it all. Thanks, Major.

Melissa said...

Hey, that’s some pretty hifalutin’ color correction/enhancement there! And sharp eyes, everyone who spotted that third set of feet; I totally missed them.

Major, that Lichtenstein painting is totally new to me! I guess you could say Donald is... hoist on his own canard.

"Lou and Sue" said...

hahahaha! Fun comments from all!

Kathy, you sure are right about that silly fish...not sure if the kid that drew this was maybe trying to draw a cat fish(?) or maybe planned to draw a lobster but forgot to draw claws??

I FINALLY got Chuck's joke. TokyoMagic!--we tease you cuz we love you!

Major, if that picture was taken 8 years later, I would safely assume it was me photobombing it.

DrGoat said...

Sue, you did spot those legs...I guess I need to read some things twice before it is received by my feeble gray matter. Speaking of that, I still haven't figured out Chuck's joke. Also pleading accelerated decrepitude.
That fish looks like something out of The Incredible Mr. Limpet.
Excellent comment Melissa. Made me laugh.
Major, I do admire and respect the fact that you saw that image on Ebay and bought it. If you hadn't, it wouldn't be here in a glorious, restored state for us to see.

"Lou and Sue" said...

DrGoat, Chuck was teasing TokyoMagic because he covers his face, too, (like Mickey here) for pictures. But, truth be known, TM HAS appeared on blogs (internet) — without his face covered! There’s no doubt he must’ve been a cute kid — but his childhood photos are the ones he covers.

Melissa said...

So, for all I know this may be a famous image and I’m the last human on Earth to see it, but I just wanted to share this picture that came across my Tumblr feed this morning because it made me happy in the same way GDB does: RFK and John Glenn splashing down on the Matterhorn, June 1968

Anonymous said...

Melissa, that is a fantastic photo, thanks for the link.


Bu said...

Wow...a company full of artists and that's what they came up with? Must have been some sort of Lessee! Thanks for the photo, I wouldn't have believed it- but there is the Plaza Inn clearly behind! Thanks also for the John Glenn/Kennedy link Melissa...for some reason I remember having a brief interaction with Mr. Glenn- thought he was on the Board of Directors in the 80's...but that was another astronaut: Gordon Cooper and he was a consultant (not on the board) for EPCOT. I found an award online: "Disneyland American Heroes" given to John Glenn in 1985- probably a publicity thing for the 30th anniversary. I think there was a "thing" parade/event/something with more "American Heroes". I can't seem to get any data, so possibly a past life regression is in order.


I’m with BU: considering everything had to be approved by Walt .... that photo op panel is pretty amateurish ... if not tacky.

There have been several photos posted here on BDB showing “THE AMERICAN GAZETTE PARADE - a salute to the American Hero” from 1985.

Major Pepperidge said...

Kathy!, I assume that the fish is supposed to be a catfish, with their long “barbels”. It is weird, though! As for the empty frame, your guess is as good as mine.

Melissa, that Lichtenstein is from his early period, back when Warhol also toyed with doing comic strip pastiches. From what I understand, Warhol realized that he had to do something else once he saw Lichtenstein’s work.

Lou and Sue, I think it’s pretty clear that whoever painted that billboard did not go out of their way to research an accurate fish! Oh how I wish I would find a photo (NOT taken by Lou) with a young Sue cavorting!!

DrGoat, reading ahead I see that Sue clued you in to the TokyoMagic! mystery. It is a pretty inside joke, so it is understandable that you might miss it. I was very happy to win this photo - in fact I was the only bidder.

Lou and Sue, TokyoMagic! always covers his face, even when he was a kid, because of his distinctive and large handlebar mustache.

Melissa, I have seen that photo before, but it is a great one!

JG, sobering to think what was to come in 1968…

Bu, since the Red Wagon Inn was sponsored by Swift’s Premium Meats, is it possible that Swift’s had the photo op painting made? Unlikely I guess, but I just can’t imagine how something so amateurish got made. Very neat that you met Gordon Cooper! Any of those original astronauts were legends and heroes, I was “space crazy” when I was little, always drawing space capsules and Saturn V rockets (probably with six stages).

Mike Cozart, I wonder if Walt saw that and said that it had to go, and that’s why we see the more familiar, and better-painted versions that show up in photos?


MAJOR: The Great Race was on Turner Classic Movies last night - complete with intermission .

Melissa said...

The photo op board looks pretty faded for 40 days. I wonder if it was brought in from someplace else, and that’s why it’s not up to usual show standards.

Dean Finder said...

Is it possible they had a lessee/vendor in the early days of the park to do in-park photos, like they do today with Photopass?

Major Pepperidge said...

Mike Cozart, DARN! I'm sorry I missed it.

Melissa, I think it's more a case of the photo being very faded, and also that the sign itself was painted so crudely.

Dean Finder, yes, I think that could be a real possibility (see my comment to Bu!).

JG said...

Major, I had the same thought re ‘68.