Tuesday, October 03, 2023

Swiss Family Stuff

I'm happy to be able to share a few more photos scanned from a large batch, given to me by our friend Irene, and taken by her brother Bruce and his friend James. There aren't a lot left, so I'm being a bit more frugal with them. Somehow I feel as if Irene will still be "with us" as long as I have images of hers to share. Which is silly, I know.

The first two pix might not be the most exciting things in the world, but for me, it's nice to see some record of the signage that guests would see as they made their way through the Swiss Family Treehouse. "With every view & every sound, the jungle & its river call out their mystery...". Sounds pretty nice, even if they can't get a cherry Slurpee anywhere.

Whoever carved these signs made sure to make them decorative as well as informative. Even as a child, I marveled at the ingenuity of the Robinson family, and the way they combined items salvaged from the shipwreck with newly-fashioned stuff from the resources provided by the tropical island.

Finally, here's a nice view of the treehouse, lit by intense equatorial sunlight. If you happened to be stuck on an island, that treehouse would be a pretty sweet place to live. I seem to recall that in the original book, the family lived there only a short while, because it was overrun by destructive monkeys, and they eventually built a permanent home in a cave. But that's no fun!

Notice the sign for the old Disney Gallery, located above "Pirates of the Caribbean".

 MANY THANKS to Irene, Bruce, and James.


JB said...

Major, it may be "silly" but I bet every GDBer feels the same way about showing Irene's photos a little at a time.

Hmm, from the wording on the signs it sounds like the writer is trying to convince himself that everything is hunky-dory here on the island. "We don't need no stinkin' civilization!"

While walking through the Treehouse, I remember spotting which things were salvaged from the shipwreck and which things were made from what the island had to offer.

Thanks to the Dream Team; your photos will always be appreciated. Thanks, Major.

Melissa said...

Yes, it it's silly, then color me silly, too.

I love pictures of cool little details like this. Gives you a real sense of being there. The signs manage to convey both "Switzerland" and "Adventureland" in one design.

Bu said...

Ahhh...the Treehouse...will always love anything from the Treehouse...it's interesting in the "double O's" words that they have chosen to layer over the "O"s. I'm wondering if these epitaphs are taken directly from the book, or someone made them up...will look that up. I keep on meaning to go to Founders Park in Anaheim to see the Moreton Bay tree that allegedly helped define the look of the Disneyland treehouse. The film set actual tree still stands in Goldsborough Tobago, and for those as Swiss Family Nerdy as I, there are some very random bits and bobs from WDP being there that still exist. It's on the bucket list. Thanks to Irene and the Dream Team. The only silly things in life are the actual silly things :)

JG said...

If missing Irene is silly, then I never want to grow up.

I really miss the Treehouse and I know that nothing will replace it. I’m afraid to imagine what the new version will be like.

Thanks Major.


Melissa said...

The new Treehouse could be a hit or *lowers sunglasses* a Swiss miss.

Thank you, thank you, I'll be here all week. Rotten tomatoes are available in the lobby.


Melissa : that comment is going in your file.

There is a book underway - written by a duo of Disney designers/ Disney historians … on Disney’s involvement and work on the Swiss Family motion picture production and the eventual Disneyland attraction Walt had built. Some amazing discoveries too. Interesting photo essay on the actual film tree as it exists today ( at least a couple of years ago) and memories of a few people who live on the island who remember when Disney came there … sadly almost no one on the island now knows anything about the Disney film or attraction … but are aware the tree was once a Hollywood subject. The book will also show other filming locations like the rock slide pool and ship salvage grotto … and amazing images of the tree being dressed for filming and off film production scenes .

DBenson said...

Just a reminder that "Swiss Family Robinson" was Disney's big Christmas release for 1960, and there's a brief celebration in the treehouse. That means it's a legitimate option for Disney Adult holiday viewing, especially if somebody can't handle "Babes in Toyland" again.

Dean Finder said...

Major, you've built a community where people meet daily to remember a Disneyland of the past. Anyone who comes here often shares your sentiment.

Melissa, Swissventureland indeed. The carvings remind me of the Snow White mine carts. On the other hand, conjuring strains of The Who playing in the opening of CSI:Boise may counter credit for coining "Swissventureland."

"Lou and Sue" said...

Major, thank you for sharing more of Irene's (and the Dream Team's) pictures. Irene would be thrilled to know we are still enjoying them. She had shared with me, a couple years back, about how happy she was to meet you and give them to you...

Major Pepperidge said...

JB, I guess if I was stuck on a tropical island for an extended period of time, I might try to convince myself that everything was hunky dory too. “These leeches are jolly good fun!”. I’m glad that the Swiss Family salvaged so much from the ship, otherwise it would have been ALL coconuts and bamboo. Way too “Gilligan’s Island”!

Melissa, I guess it’s not so silly, but I know that all the Junior Gorillas hold me in such high esteem that I hate to appear to be a softie!

Bu, it is true that the “epitaphs” (good word!) sound very much like the writing in the book, in which the father/author tells us a story, but also passes along a pious lesson too. I’ve seen photos of the big tree in Anaheim, that’s good enough for me! But I admit that I am very low-class. I feel as if I have read something about the actual Tobago filming location and the tree that is there… but I’ve forgotten it. Maybe it was on Kevin Kidney’s blog?

JG, I’ve seen videos in which they are adding at least some form of water wheel, and that alone brings me great happiness! While I don’t want to get my hopes up too high, I think the new Treehouse will be an improvement over the Tarzan version, at the very least.

Melissa, whoa, you know something’s up when somebody lowers their sunglasses!

Mike Cozart, ah yes, now I kind of remember who is writing that book! I have to be honest, I wouldn’t have thought there was enough info for a whole book about the movie, but then again, there is a new $1,500, 50 pound book about “The Shining”, so anything is possible! I’m sure I will buy a copy of the new Swiss Family Robinson book about the making of the movie.

DBenson, that’s a good recommendation! I haven’t seen The Swiss Family Robinson since my mom took me to see it at the Fountain Valley Drive-In when I was a kid, I’m curious to see how it holds up.

Dean Finder, it’s true, we have a good bunch here at GDB, for which I am thankful. I suppose it makes sense that the carvings might have some of that Germanic fairy tale quality, or at least something that is close enough.

Lou and Sue, just days ago I drove past the park where I met Irene years ago, of course I vividly remembered waiting for her, and seeing her in her bright red Mickey Mouse sweatshirt. She was as nice as could be, and I am very grateful to her for entrusting all of the photos to me.