Thursday, September 22, 2022

Fun Random Pix!

It's time for a random selection of photos, courtesy of the DREAM TEAM! That's right, Irene, Bruce, and James. We have retired their jerseys, and those now hang high up in the rafters of the vast atrium of Gorilla Industries Inc. It's quite an honor.

First up is this rare shot of the Disneyland Kennel Club. Sponsored by Friskies! For those folks traveling with their pets, it is nice to know that they can be cared for in a comfortable, safe environment. Click HERE to see an older photo when the Kennel Club was sponsored by Kal Kan.

I'm sure that when this photo was snapped, Bruce (or was it James?) had no inkling that Cascade Peak would soon be razed. Even with the Mine Train Through Nature's Wonderland being gone, Cascade Peak seemed like a permanent landmark along the Rivers of America. It just goes to show you something something.

Disney Feature Animation's "renaissance" in the '90s was an exciting thing for Disney fans, and The Lion King (1994) was another huge hit (following "Beauty and the Beast" and "Aladdin"). It's fun to see this sign above the turnstiles, a reminder of those fun times.

And finally, here's a shot that had to have been taken shortly after the opening of Toontown, at the northern perimeter of the park. While there are many things to like about Toontown, I confess that I have always been a little bit underwhelmed by it. Maybe it would be more to my liking if I had small children who wanted to meet Mickey and Minnie? Years later, Roger Rabbit rarely appears in public, so it's nice to see him here.

MANY THANKS to the Dream Team!


Nanook said...

That Kennel Club image is sporting some nice automobile reflections on the glass 'walls'. Let's start to ID them, shall we-?? (As if-!)

[Another long] sigh for Cascade Peak...

Guessing the image with The Lion King is from 1994, so the [then] current iteration of the hotel in the background is the Pan Pacific Hotel.

Thanks to the Dream Team and The Major.

JB said...

Hmm, I didn't know that Friskies made dog food; only cat food. But I just Googled it and they do indeed make the doggie variety of food. Is that fancy "K" initial a carry-over from the Kal Kan days? I wonder if any guests wandered in there looking for something to eat? The trees behind the kennel really make the place look nice.

Cascade Peak: The fire alarm bell thingy is quite noticeable here. Seems odd that it's placed halfway up the side of the mountain. I bet there are ghosts of mountain sheep running around up there.

Roger Rabbit: Poor guy. Even in this photo, nobody seems to be paying any attention to him. The animated Toontown was conceived of for the benefit of his movie (he worked in Toontown) and now he's yesterday's cold mashed potatoes. I'm sure kids today have no idea who he is. I wonder if anyone has bonked him on the head to see if little birdies, or stars, appear.

Thanks Dream Team and Major. (I hope Irene is still doing OK.)

TokyoMagic! said...

My memory of the Kennels is when I boarded my hamster there, and they lost him.

Actually, my only memory of the Kennel is emerging from the Primeval World tunnel while riding the DL Railroad, and always hearing the sounds of barking dogs.

I see that the little kiosk outside of the exit gates was pushing Disney Dollars. They discontinued those, but I don't know why. Disney could bring them back today and charge $5 for a one dollar bill, $25 for a five dollar bill, $50 for a ten dollar bill, etc. You just know that there are people out there who would pay those prices. And for anyone who's hesitant to purchase them, offer them a Disney Snack Tray® with every $50 spent. That will sway them!

Thank you, Major and The Dream Team!

Stu29573 said...

For some reason the Kennel always reminds me of Gaines Burgers. Why? I have no idea other than it was a popular dog food from my youth. I still remember how they smelled when you opened up that little bag. It was much better than on the grill. Or so I assume....
Anyway, the picture of Cascade Peak makes me a little sad. Not only because it would soon be gone, but because the trees have totally destroyed the forced perspective. It seems neglected, and now we know it was.
I think I read that there is some legal junk that keeps Roger out of the parks. Apparently the truce between the major studios didn't last. It doesn't matter now, of course, since he hasn't been "hot" in a few decades.
"PPPPPPPPPPlease make me relevant again!"

JG said...

Thanks Major, Irene and the Dream Team!

Indeed, the Cascade Fire Bell is pretty obvious today. We lost Cascade Peak and gained… …?

The best part of the Roger Rabbit movie was Daffy and Donald doing dueling pianos. Toontown? Meh. Too hot there.

The Lion King… I got so weary of that movie. The kids loved it and watched it over and over and over.

Tokyo, the way you describe that snack tray, I’m totally on board, but only if it has a jelly roll.


TokyoMagic! said...

JG, for an extra $15, Disney will let you swap out the Zinger for a jelly roll!

Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, well, I was anxiously waiting for you to ID all those cars based on their reflections, so this is very disappointing. The Pan Pacific Hotel, site of several Disneyana shows that I attended, maybe around 1994!

JB, I think that you need to take this opportunity to learn more about Friskies. Spend the day studying, learn about the company’s history, and their vast array of products that make all of our lives better. Maybe the “K” was a tribute to Kal-Kan, but if you look closely, you can see that it actually says “DKC”, which clearly stands for Dick Knudsen Clark, long-time host of “American Bandstand”. I still think that alarm bell is so odd, but am guessing that they considered some sort of fire or other emergency a real possibility, and needed to be able to alert all of the Nature’s Wonderland personnel. This is before the brain implants, remember. I’m sorry that Roger Rabbit has fallen into relative obscurity!

TokyoMagic!, I actually wonder, what is the weirdest pet anyone ever brought into the kennel? “My llama only eats organic carrots”. I love the thought of hearing barking dogs in Primeval World! You are right about Disney Dollars, talk about a scam. I never bought any on purpose, but a few wormed their way into my collection anyway (when I bought a lot of Disneyland items on eBay, for instance). You regularly see people posting photos of them on Facebook, and I just shrug and go back to my breakdancing. Would that snack tray have little breadsticks and a tub of hummus? I’M IN!

Stu29573, mmm, Gaines Burgers, so moist and delicious! Why buy hamburger when you can use Gaines Burgers? Sure, they look like Play-Doh, but when has that ever stopped me from eating something? Those trees can’t ruin perspective, Walt said so! I used to kind of wish they’d done a sequel to “Who Framed Roger Rabbit”, but maybe the original movie was like lightning in a bottle. Open it up and you’d get zapped. This is a metaphor for… something.

JG, just think, that fire bell was probably not cool enough for anybody to save when Cascade Peak was turned into gravel. But I would have saved it! If possible, I’d have an entire room full of rusty, no-longer-operational pieces of Disneyland attractions. I think that Jessica Rabbit was the best part of the Roger Rabbit movie! I’m not wild about “The Lion King” either; I was happy for Disney’s success, but I personally preferred “Aladdin”.

TokyoMagic!, it’s nice that Disney will let you customize your options for a small price! BTW, did you see that they are bringing Magic Bands to Disneyland? They will supposedly cost around $35 or $45 dollars. Is this on top of the price for Genie+? Ugh, I say, UGH. They released footage with every Disney guest, so damn happy to be wearing their Magic Band.

Chuck said...

"Roger Rabbit: Poor he's yesterday's cold mashed potatoes." But not useless. That's the perfect medium for constructing a sculpture of Devil's Tower for those so inclined...or inexplicably compelled.

Thanks again, Dream Team!

Major Pepperidge said...

Chuck, I tried to make a sculpture of Devil's Tower with marshmallows, and I was thrown out of the Academy.

DrGoat said...

Fun photos Major. Thanks Dream Team!
Just wanted to post this link to a 70 years of Imagineering video on Boing Boing.
Thank you so much Major.

DBenson said...

"Lion King" a subject of nostalgia? I regard everything from "The Shaggy DA" forward as recent. Much as I enjoy a lot of what's come out in the last three decades or so, I have trouble regarding any of it as antique.


Yeah in the late 1980’s and Thru the 1990’s Disney was desperately trying to get all kinds of character family “hits” to drive their catalog and fast growing DISNEY STORE locations …. Eisner was a very disconnected regime leader. Trying to get kids hooked on characters that were from mostly adult movies ….. ROGER RABBIT …. DICK TRACY ….. and those where merchandise flops for adults AND children. Then Disney had a lawsuit with the AA MILNE family over merchandising of Whinnie The POOH …. Turns out Disney let a 1966 licensing agreement drop and had no merch rights to Disneys Pooh but only the early book illustrations so while guests were clamoring for Disneys Pooh guests could only purchase CLASSIC WINNIE THE POOH…..until the greedy Eisners stormtrooper worked out a updated licensing deal …. ( this open wound started as Disney was getting ready to do sone Pooh Attractions ….

Then Disney studios began buying up all sorts of “dead” copyrighted existing non-Disney characters to “Disney re-invent” … from Australia they bought Marsupilanmi , There was also Rolly polio Ollie (??) and of course the massive leagal cost of buying back the character rights to Oswald The Lucky Rabbit. And of course there was the Gumi Bears purchased ….Disney tried to get a following of Gumi Bears by “testing” them at the parks with inexpensive attraction overlays and sone characters greetings and stage shows ( guests kept calling the Gumi Bears EWOKS!!!” And response polls also showed guests could not dicern Gumi Bears or EWOKS …. Lol.

Disney was trying everything to in the 1990’s to create MORE merchandise drivers ….and giant gaudy resort hotels As they began pulling the purse strings on WDI projects and attractions ….

Disney should have know Eisner was going to bring merchandise disconnect to Disney …. He did it when he was with Kenner .. getting them to buy action figure rights to all sorts of ADULT films that Children were not allowed to ever see … like ALIEN … hoping to create another “Star Wars “ figure craze the ALIEN figures were total flops at tge big toy fairs no retailers placed orders knowing the kids would who played with action figures were not seeing the rated R film . How does such a big entertainment person like Eisner not realize that !!?? And then keep making mistakes like that with Rogger Rabbit and Dick Tracy ….

JB said...

Tokyo!, you just know that they'll give them the slightly less desirable version of the Disney Snack Tray, which has only 3 grapes instead of 5... and a Little Debbie cake roll instead of a Zinger.

Major, "DKC", Ah. I didn't notice the other letters. I just thought they were fancy curlicues for the "K". Now I feel stupid. THANKS A LOT, MAJOR! ;-)

Chuck, Or, one could construct a sculpture of Cascade peak! Apparently, the mashed potato version would be just as durable as the chicken-wire, wood, and plaster version.

DrGoat, thanks for the video link. It was fun seeing all the iconic Disney stuff being constructed; even if it was a highly condensed version.

Mike, haha. Gummi Bears; Ewoks... what's the dif?

Anonymous said...

I see the forlorn MT engine and tender in the wrecked pose with sadness. But fortunately this one has ended up at Carollwood and is undergoing restoration..the engine that is...the tender was too far gone "sigh". KS

Anonymous said...

Every tourist attraction need a “Pet Motel”! Sure, you can pay for an accommodating hotel, but you can’t visit the sites you’ve come to see, or even use the restaurants with your pet. This was the Perfect solution.

Literally made it possible to road-trip from SF, spontaneously (I realize those days are long gone anyway), but it was fun.
I would feel bad for my dog Rufus (yes, named for the invisible snorer) as he was subjected to Dino-roars every couple minutes.

The spot of potty grass got so laughably small over the years. But now it’s all gone. No even plausible excuse to walk thru DTD with your dog anymore.

HONESTLY, when this formerly fabulous feature went away, I found that I would RATHER stay home with my dog.

Thanks again for more memories Major.


Chuck said...

Major, I have plenty of experience at being thrown out of Academies. You get used to it.

JB, I guess it would depend on which music you hear in your head that compels you to build it - a five-note motif or a full arrangement of “When You Wish Upon a Star.” Either way, you are not alone.

Nanook said...

"How does such a big entertainment person like Eisner not realize that !!?? And then keep making mistakes like that with Roger Rabbit and Dick Tracy …." I would call it 'hubris'.

Make no mistake about it - Eisner is a bright guy, to be sure. But as with all of us 'mere mortals' - including the likes of Eisner and others of his ilk - not every "brilliant" thought in actuality, is brilliant. I would argue the real successful geniuses on this planet are the ones who are capable of 'self-editing'; for as it turns out even geniuses have bad ideas. It's that giant ego often preventing clear thought where it desperately needs to be welcomed.

It's doubtful the current "baby sitter in-charge" is as bright as Eisner, but that in and of itself neither insures success or failure. Not enough credit is given to just plain old fashioned 'good luck' - something Mr. Chapek will require in copious amounts; and so far the jury is still out as to whether enough luck will come his way-!

DBenson said...

Regarding some of Mr. Cozart's assertions.

As I understand it, the epic battle for Pooh was not with the Milne family but the heirs of the fellow who bought the copyrights to the books decades ago. They had profited mightily, far beyond whatever Milne ever did, but were understandably ticked that it was a tiny slice of what Disney was making, and there were legitimate questions of just how much that actually was. And if we want to talk heroes and villains, the plaintiffs had no part in creating the original books or Disney's films and products. Someone in the family happened to make what turned out to be a very lucky investment.

As for Oswald, I don't think Disney incurred any massive expense. ESPN sportscaster Al Micheals wanted out of his contract to move to Universal. Then-president Iger agreed to release Michaels in exchange for rights to Oswald and whatever Universal still had from the character's Disney years (Universal could still presumably market the existing Walter Lantz cartoons featuring Oswald). There was no real downside to Universal in letting Oswald go, and it was a cute PR story for both sides.

Eisner wasn't even the first to merchandise adult properties to kids. Universal Monsters became a kid franchise, followed by toy lines from James Bond to Jurassic Park. Ben Hur got a Marx playset, complete with a little "slave market" tent. MASH also got kiddie playsets, as well as adult liquor decanters in the form of IV bottles.

Yes, Eisner was hungry for "merchandise drivers" -- who isn't? Nearly all studios continue to scoop up anything with even a trace of name recognition: old TV shows and sitcoms, radio characters, comic books, comic strips, pulp novels, etc. Disney's "Lone Ranger" was the SECOND big budget fiasco from that property -- "Legend of the Lone Ranger" action figures filled bins at Kay Bee Toys, along with those of Alec Baldwin as The Shadow. Universal continues to unsuccessfully reboot the old Monsters. And Warner's efforts to clone the Marvel machine using its DC properties remains a sprawling mess.

As for the explosion of on-property hotels at the expense of attractions, Eisner and company discovered that chain hotels off property were raking it in, even when charging more for inferior accommodations -- the exact thing that drove the Disney brothers nuts in Anaheim, where the cheapjack motels surrounding Disneyland had greater ROI than the park itself. So came the drive to keep guests and their credit cards on property with more hotels, water parks, night life, and other amenities outside the parks proper. That did lead to more investment in the parks, especially when Universal upped its game in Florida.

Walt Disney's company nearly ended in the 80s when somebody saw a short-term bonanza in a hostile takeover and sale of assets. After surviving that amid charges of "greenmail", Eisner and Wells were brought in and tasked with elevating Disney from prey to predator. Relentless synergy, hardball business deals and aggressive searching for new franchises spurred and paid for the great animation revival as well as the costly misfires. Eisner ultimately stayed too long at the fair, but the fact is without him Disney might not exist at all, except as a brand name on a shell company and a bunch of titles in Ted Turner's library.

Major Pepperidge said...

DrGoat, thank you for that link! So fun to see the early stages of those classic attractions, and see those wonderful amazing Imagineers.

DBenson, ha ha, I know what you mean!!

Mike Cozart, I hate to knock Michael Eisner too much. Yes, things seemed to fall apart later in his tenure, but in the beginning he managed to stimulate a lot of creativity and growth, and helped to turn the Disney Company into what it is today (for better or worse, I guess). I thought that the days of animated features was over, but the company revitalized that artform. Nothing lasts forever, but we got some amazing films out of it. I know that Eisner made plenty of mistakes, and remember wondering WHY some of them happened. The whole Paul Pressler thing, what in the world. “Rollie Polio Ollie”, ha ha :-). I’m glad they reaquired Oswald (wasn’t that during Bob Iger’s leadership?). Especially since Universal was doing nothing with him anyway. I’d love it if the company did more with him. Have Mickey and Oswald team up for some adventures. i admit that the Gummi Bears seemed like a weird fit, and could not warm to them. I was not aware that Eisner worked for Kenner. Those Alien figures might have been flops (I would have loved to have one!), but man, they are valuable now.

JB, instead of grapes, why not use three tiny strips of fruit leather? Those won’t go bad! And as prices go up, you can keep making the pieces smaller and smaller. Speaking of sculptures of Cascade Peak, I hope some of you have seen the wonderful Mine Train model at Walt’s Barn, look it up on YouTube!

KS, gosh, I did not know that the tender was too far gone. Couldn’t they just rebuild it? Maybe money is an issue.

MS, I agree, it was a stroke of genius (well, maybe “genius” is too strong a word) to have a pet hotel on park property. I’m sure MANY people were relieved to have a safe, comfortable place for their beloved pet to stay. I wasn’t sure if they still had a place to board your pet, sounds like they don’t. Too bad.

Chuck, ha ha, I’ll just be over here with my friends, the ones who built perpetual motion gizmos. Newton, shmooton! I’m not sure if “When You Wish Upon a Star” is my favorite Disney song, but it is way up there.

Nanook, some of Eisner’s decisions were so odd. “I like Montana (or was it Wyoming?), let’s do an animated movie about bears”. “My son likes hockey, let’s acquire our own hockey team”. And so on. Maybe he thought he was like Walt and trusted that if HE liked something, the public probably would as well. Most people agree that Frank Wells was a person who could probably “edit” Eisner. I’m not sure how much of an influence Jeffrey Katzenberg had on projects outside of the feature animation division.

DBenson, while I like the Disney version of Pooh, I would not have been that hearbroken if disney had lost the rights to the bear. I admit that I got a bit tired of the endless Pooh merchandise at the park. But, I guess you give the public what they want. Meanwhile, if you look at the later years of Ron Miller’s run, the company was definitely trying to branch out into more adult fare, trying to break out of the “kid stuff” box that the Disney Company was put into. It’s actually kind of impressive to see what he did just before Eisner replaced him. I can’t blame Eisner for wanting merchandise dollars, look at what merch did for George Lucas. Billions were at stake, they couldn’t just ignore it. Even the addition of hotels to the Florida property was ultimately a smart idea, although I feel like it is going a bit overboard these days. Still, the company is about making money and having happy shareholders. I agree with you, Eisner stuck around for too long, but nobody can say that he didn’t do a lot of amazing things for Disney.


DBENSON: oh I know the story very well : I worked with the Disney Company from 1990 to 2005 then on and off as a consultant, job-shopper and staff until July of this year.

Of course Ben Hur wasn’t rated R. Hitler kept Germany together the way Eisner kept Disney together …. Disney had plenty of plans for addition resort hotels …. But Eisner had plans for 3 star hotels at 5 star costs …. Designed not by imagineers but by his high-end popular rich clientele architects…… and build them he did. He also greatly upped the costs of both Disneyland hotel and existing Walt Disney World hotels like the contemporary and Polynesian ( built as moderate priced hotels ) and charged premium prices …. Trying to attract his elite Hollywood friends . I remember the joke quote at WDI regarding all the massive hotel price increases and what reservation castmembers were going to have to say to guest : “thank you for your interests in Walt Disney World … we’ve upped our standards , so up yours !” Lol!

Dean Finder said...

I really don't care for that signage on the pet motel. With the more modern window layout carried over from the Kal Kan days, it looks like someone dropped garden trellises on the roof of the place. It's typical of the era of over-the-top pseudo Victorian details.

That's a pretty sad view of Casdcade peak. The trees really do make it look like a tiny structure.

DBenson - I agree with your assessment of Eisner. He got too caught up in his seeming success to recognize bad decisions he made later (not to mention, the loss of Frank Wells to restrain him from his worst ideas), but he did save Disney from being taken over and sold off in pieces. Imagine the level of TRE if Disneyland was owned by Six Flags. Also, I get the sense that Eisner loved Disney, something not apparent in later execs (can you imagine Chapek on the Sunday night show intros?). I don't think Eisner would have traded his job at Disney for another entertainment company, while Iger would have been happy to jump ship for more pay at any other company.

Anonymous said...

Hahahahahaha! Mike, that’s hilarious!


Nanook said...

@ Dean Finder0
Forget Six Flags... McDonald's was bandied about as a potential 'suitor'-! No fooling.