Thursday, February 01, 2024

Li'l Pig, March 1963

Here are two cute photos of some familiar little boys meeting one of the Little Pigs. The kids have only just walked past the ticket booths and they've already run into a huge celebrity! And he's not snooty either, but instead he's happy to meet his fans. The body language of the mom and the boy is along the lines of "Go on, go say hi! Don't be scared!". I mean, he is a little intimidating, I must admit.

NASA, we did it. We have achieved our goal of getting a photo of those boys with a giant pig before the decade was out, just like John Kennedy predicted.


Nanook said...

Identical sweaters with matching shirts in contrasting colors. It sounds like a dream of all Moms. And with that green/black/white stripy sweater on the gent standing by the fence, this is certainly from the 1960's, as the date indicates. OH - and can you say 'cute'-? I thought so.

Thanks, Major.

JB said...

I do believe that's the biggest little pig I've seen. No wonder some kids run away screaming!

1) I like this version of the Pigs. Very reminiscent of the cartoon. The older costumes had their charm, but they looked creepy. I'm not sure what the kids are smiling and laughing at; their eyes seem to be looking down toward the Pig's... waist. Maybe the Pig was bouncing his belly up and down? Yes, I'm sure that's it.

2) Really nice photo of the boys and Li'l Pig. It brings up the often asked GDB question of, why were these photos discarded? We'll never know of course, but I still wonder. I feel happy just looking at that smiling Pig, looking at us.
I challenge anybody to tell us what that attraction poster is to the right of the Autopia poster.

Thanks for the porcine pictures, Major.

TokyoMagic! said...

Looking at the size of the pig's head in that second pic, has me wondering something for the very first time. How were the character heads made? Were they cast by using a mold? And if so, where were all those very large molds stored?

Chuck said...

These photos make me happy. Thank you, Major.

TM!, the character heads were mined.


TOKYO : the Disneyland characters heads were fabricated in the Disneyland Staff Shop … in its own section of the warehouse sized building … (located about 30 feet from the north end of the country bear jamboree twin theater show building. The Staff shop did all kinds of casting and moulding and handled anything being made in fiberglass - again the character heads were done in their own section say to jungle cruise animal bodies or Main Street roof corbels and Skyway cabin doors. Above the “head shop” was the feather & jewel room where feathers for tiki room birds were applied and fake jewels for pirates loot , sub voyage treasure and Golden Horseshoe signs were kept. The character heads and bodies and the rest of the walk around fabrication was relocated to a facility in fullerton California when it outgrew the Disneyland space. The staff shop continued to fabricate all kinds of things for Disneyland and sometimes Walt Disney world until it was relocated a few years ago off property and the building was torn down for GALAXYS EDGE…. Also relocated and demolished was the mill shop , the metal shop, the sign shop the paint shop … and located in the original DL RR loco storage shed from 1955 was the cycle shop where ride vehicles and things like trashcans were refurbished and painted . All destroyed and scattered off site. Molds for the character heads and bodies were stored in warehouses that were where TOONTOWN stands now … the molds And plugs would be pulled from storage as needed. Molds were also kept there for toad devils .. baby tikis … drinking fountain pedestals … jungle cruise animals … sun voyage fish … SKYWAY cabin bodied … mission to mars seats etc… fiberglass molds were stored with a casted sample called “plugs” … the moulds for metal were also kept on property for the original Main Street park benches , lampost and horse hitching posts ..masters would be kept in Glendale near WDI and working copied moulds would be made and sent to DL , WDW or TDL if needed.

Bu said...

Asking what the poster is to the right of the Autopia poster is kind of "I can name that tune in one note..." So: I name that "tune" Peter Pan's Flight. Hope this speculation does not create a disturbance in the atmosphere: but we shall see. I enjoy these pigs as well, much better than the earlier "martian" pigs. There are pictures (somewhere) of me and my siblings playing around with this same pigs: giggling just like these kids. I'm wondering when looking at the pigs what there was to giggle about. I suppose they are funny with their little stick arms...but worthy of a guffaw? not so sure. Looks like Mummy has a way of Karate chopping the kids head into "Pig Land"....he doesn't look like he's too into it, but I guess warms up in the next photo. I do have a City Hall story about these pigs and their "antics"...those characters! A guest complained as to some verbalizations the pig was making when one of the pigs ran up to her and said "MOMMY!"....connect the dots: you can't make this stuff up. Guy in suit and hat with Mickey floral: something is going on there: not sure: but it's something! Bring back the alyssum Mickey. I can smell the sweetness through the photos, which reminds me to order my seeds now: a pretty easy to grow flower that adds a subtle fragrance to your landscape. Thanks Major and the Pigs!

JG said...

Ah, “The Pigs of My Youth”. One never forgets one’s first pig… …or something like that. “wipes a single tear”.

I felt so smart when I figured out the window for the poor CM in the pigs hat.

That second photo is worth the price of admission right there, that smile.

Now think about $600 hotel rooms and taking classes to use Genie+.

Also noting the weep hole in the retaining wall, and the big storm drain grate right in front, “hard facts”.

Alyssum, we had lots of that in the farmhouse yard under the roses. White and purple, but not mouse-shaped.

Thank you Major.


Nanook said...

@ JB-
"I challenge anybody to tell us what that attraction poster is to the right of the Autopia poster".

Well, based on contemporary images of the area, I suspect it's the Fantasyland poster 'plugging' the Mad Tea Party, Dumbo and the Carousel.

Omnispace said...

Major, Thanks for sharing these happy pictures. Even big round happy Mickey is there. :) It sure looks like a sweater convention at Disneyland. Everyone seems to be in their groups according to matching sweater colors. I wonder why Mom is sleeveless? Did she grow up in International Falls and thinks a 62'F day at Disneyland is "balmy"?

Mike, That's a fantastic rundown of Disneyland's fabrication shops. It's amazing what they achieved there - obviously based on the shops at the movie studios where they would create almost anything. Disneyland was almost like a living movie lot with the guests taking the movies and photos.

Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, I picture the boys speaking like Hewey, Dewey, and Louie: “Hey Mom!” “I want my picture taken…” “With the pig!”. You know, back and forth.

JB, just think of how many ham sandwiches you’ll get out of that pig! I like this pig design too, much more “on model” than the earlier ones. Now that you mention it, I do think that the performer could somehow shake their tummies. I think many photos are discarded because kids move out and have their own full homes full of stuff, and then they are met with the problem of what to do with everything in their parent’s homes. There’s just too much to keep, unfortunately. My family is already trying to grapple with what to do with all of my mom’s stuff. AND… I know what the poster is! I’ll let somebody else chime in, though.

TokyoMagic!, wow, amazing that I never thought about how they made those huge heads! They have to be molded, right? I’d love to hear from somebody who knows for sure though (Mike Cozart?).

Chuck, I’m glad you liked these!

Mike Cozart, thank you for all of the info; I was reasonably sure that the heads were made “in house”, that’s how they did things back then. Maybe not today though? Gosh, I’d love to see all of those molds, I assume that many have been destroyed over the years - I understand that they can’t keep everything, but it’s still a shame. Some versions of character heads were flexible, were they some sort of vinyl? Maybe some sort of “hot melt” stuff that needed to be injected?

Bu, welllll… I know that the poster is not the “Peter Pan” poster, the stripes, even though you can only see a tiny portion, are a big hint. I remember some version of the Little Pigs that looked very much like these, in which a woman claimed that the pig was fondling her. They had to show that the performer had NO control of the arms, which hung uselessly at the side. I guess ya gotta try to sue them for SOMETHING! I think JB was right about the pig being able to wiggle his tummy, I seem to remember seeing footage on one of the old Disney TV shows. It seems hard to believe that any Disney CM would be clueless enough to hint that a guest was a “fat pig”, but anything is possible. Gosh, I don’t remember ever being able to smell the flowers from the Mickey Portrait, maybe the breeze was blowing the other way.

JG, I still get a kick out of the occasional photo in which the sun is just right and you can see the CM inside the costume, squinting out at the camera. Or sometimes they are wearing dark glasses! I’ve managed to have a perfectly good time without Genie+, so at least for now I’m not going to waste my money. On the other hand, maybe I don’t know what I’m missing, having never used it.

Nanook, a winner! We have a winner!

Omnispace, now that you mention it, it does seem surprising that mom is not wearing a sweater. Maybe dad is holding it? Hey, I’ve been to International Falls! We enjoyed a magical visit to the Bronko Nagurski museum. You are so right, Disneyland was definitely related to a movie backlot, with craftsmen and artisans able to achieve almost anything.

JB said...

Nanook nailed it! (I think). Here's a link to the poster:

We can see a sliver of the Carousel roof and maybe just a bit of one of the horses.

(Major knew it all along!) This Pig wouldn't last long in my house. I have a weakness for ham.

Honorable mention to Bu... even though he was wrong. ;-p


Major: Disney does have sone vendors who manufacture walk around characters … but Disney also makes their own when they can. The facility in Brea California ( when the fullerton location closed) makes the storm trooper costumes right next to traditional Disney characters . One of Disneys character costume vendors recently folded ( CHEF Creative - I think in Van Nuys) ) they were getting increasingly fewer orders from themeparks and the cost of manufacturing in California was becoming obscene….. also difficult to get workers trained In plastics fabrication and foam work.


LE CHEF COSTUMIERE -Burbank ( defunct)

TokyoMagic! said...

Mike, thank you for answering my question and providing all of that additional information about the character heads and costumes. I wonder how all of those employees for the various backstage shops felt, about being relocated off-property? And I have also wondered how the Circle D Ranch horses like having to be trailered-in all the way from another county?

TokyoMagic! said...

TM!, the character heads were mined.

Chuck, I've heard that those earlier character heads were panned.