Monday, March 11, 2024

Goofy and Mickey, November 1967

I wonder who came up with the idea of having popular characters from Disney films meeting and greeting the guests? It's possible that it goes back to the very earliest plans for Disneyland (although they famously had to borrow costumes from the Ice Capes for the 1955 grand opening - costumes that were odd to put it mildly). 

Today I have two cute photos of a little boy posing with two such characters, circa 1967. In this first one, he's with Goofy, posing right near the Mad Tea Party. Mom (or is it Grandma?) stands to the left, she's having a great time. We can also just see Monstro's nose, and the lighthouse ticket booth, as well as Mr. Toad's Wild Ride and the Carrousel. 

Out in front of the Bank of America in Town Square, Mickey Mouse (wearing his finest claw-hammer coat) greets his many fans. Note to self: buy plaid overalls. Mom (Grandma?) enjoys a cigarette while holding a complimentary INA guidebook.


Nanook said...

I'm taking your advice about the plaid overalls. (I just need to locate a matching plaid belt-!)

Thanks, Major.

JB said...

Yeah, the kid is cute but... why did they clothe him in a horse blanket? And wow, that's some extra-chunky air they're breathing! Or maybe it's foggy sea-air that drifted in from Long Beach. My guess is that that is a fairly young grandma off to the left. It happens.

This is the perfect walk-around Mickey costume. Very well proportioned. Except for that over-sized bow tie. It kinda bugs me. It evokes images of the Pinocchio-costumed balloon sellers. The sign in back is promoting "Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln".
Seeing grandma(?) with a cigarette makes me re-think her age. Now I believe that she is the little kid's big sister. She only looks forty-something because of her smoking habit. She's probably only nineteen. ;-)

Nice costumed CM photos, Major. Thanks.

walterworld said...

That granny can't wait to get over to the Hill Brothers to get some Joe...

Chuck said...

While the beplaidded youngster is cute, my eyes are drawn to background details in the second photo.

Standing behind Grandmaormaybemom is the world’s youngest mechanic, resplendent in black, non-skid, oil-resistant shoes and one-piece coveralls. He had heard there was a tool sale going on over in New Orleans Square but was bitterly disappointed to discover that “wrench” was misspelled on the sign. It made him see Red.

Way in the background, between the little grease monkey and the Great Moments with Mr. Dano sign, there appears to be a…drum major(?) wearing a hot pink shirt with rolled up sleeves, burgundy trousers, a white harness, and a white and hot pink fur hat running away from us into the outdoor seating area of the Hills Bros. Coffee House. I’m sure we’re actually seeing something else, but that’s what it looked like to me on first glance. Weird what the brain will do to try to make sense of a visual input it can’t quite figure out.

Bu said...

I would classify this Mickey photo as "art". There is a lot going on here. I saw the Majorette: but couldn't make sense of it. Also: "big brother" also known as "grease monkey" with non-skid flippers...very dark. From an artistic point of view: the photo clearly elevates the prosperity of the present day: with it's imaginary yet tangible exaggerated mice: clearly to expound upon the thoughts of the extreme commercialization of a new "art": the early days of animated cinema. A(seemingly) pure and and (seemingly) innocent time/day/space...overshadowed by the darker force: indicated by "Grease Monkey": the depiction of the working class in a nod to post depression modernism: often found in WPA art: by no means commercial, yet art by and for the masses. Serious. Stoic. The majorette: a whimsical and fanciful twist on absurdity and incongruity in this fantasy world inhabited by (seemingly) unrealistic cogs of this profound over-exaggerated life, with the grounding maternal force of a (seemingly) young "smoking grandma", suspending belief, and breaking this "fourth wall" over the implied innocence of the plaid one: representing the inspired presence of the future: with it's complex yet simplified way of life: without encumbrance of "belts" "suspenders" or "neck ties": indicating a freedom from the constraints of protocol and order of mid-century America. Don't judge the grammar: it's all just Disneyland. Thanks Major.

TokyoMagic! said...

Wow! If you cut off those plaid overalls just above the knees, you'd have the same outfit that my mom dressed me in as wee child! I'm wearing them in photos taken at my third birthday, but also during other occasions. My mom saved them, and one other outfit from childhood (We really were NOT hoarders, I swear!) I'll have to see if I can locate them and whether or not the plaid is exactly the same pattern, but it sure looks the same to me. Now I'm wondering where I could go today, to get them made in "adult" size.

Gee, grandma/mom/big sister sure couldn't wait to have a drag from her ciggy!

JG said...

Photo 1 is a great opportunity to study the “Disney Standard Fence”. Easy to knock together from materials available at your local lumberyard, yet deters indecisive would-be interlopers. Was the Goofy head hard to wear because it’s so lopsided? Was an extra harness required?

Since I wear plaid overalls every day when I go out, I salute this little fellow for getting on board early.

Photo 2 is a form of minor masterpiece, just focus on Mickey and Plaid Boy, it’s perfect. The other people are all swirling around but our Hero’s hand clutching the Mouse with a steely grip, and his gaze is fixed on the Infinite, or a balloon vendor just out of frame.

Bu sounds like he has been channeling art gallery catalogs today, well done, I salute you!

Thanks Major!


Major, re: yesterday’s comments on the fire gong, it’s part of the code requirements that the gongs be located in visible locations so they are obvious when going off. The Cascade Peak gong is already skirting the rules being painted brown, since standard is bright red and a sign saying something like “If this is ringing, call the Fire Department. I’m guessing the location and color both were subjects of negotiation with the local authority.

K. Martinez said...

I always like the cyclone fencing supported by the pastel yellow wooden base, posts and railing. Couldn't sit on that fence railing, that's for sure.

Mom (Grandma?) needed a cigarette badly after spending the day with the kids. The plaid clad child would turn into a "terror tot" from time to time.

Thanks, Major.

Stu29573 said...

Today's winner is "Plaid Boy and the Big Cheese!" Especially if you crop out the cigarette puffer and camera hog girl in pink. Then it's (dare I say it) POSTCARD WORTHY!

Anonymous said...

Nice photos of a piece of Americana for the time. The characters are timeless, the clothing style of the day still seemed more refined. The smoking openly in public has definitely diminished, a combination of public outcry and the rapid departing of those who did.

That distant pink suited individual way in the background in the second photo is a waitress in costume heading back to kitchen with her sandwich order. KS

Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, I knew you would love the plaid.

JB, I can’t imagine a time when that plaid “onesie” would be fashionable, but when you are three, you don’t have much choice in your sartorial options. That air looks pretty thick, but it might just be a “marine layer”. It’s probably smog, though. I like that Mickey costume too, and don’t even mind the bowtie, although I don’t remember him ever wearing a huge bowtie in any of his films. It’s an odd choice. Maybe the lady with the cig is only 12 years old!

walterworld, she has a flask in her purse, a little dash of bourbon will be just the thing in her coffee!

Chuck, I am ashamed to admit that it took me a minute to pick up on the “wrench” joke. I bumped my head when I was a child, I can’t help that I’m slow. And yes, that outfit in the background is crazy. Even if it is just “red” and not “bright pink” (the photo print might lie), it’s still pretty wild, especially for 1967. But the Summer of Love had just happened! GROOVY.

Bu, once in a while we do see guests dressed in such a way to attract our attention, either showing more skin than one might expect, or being “ahead of their time”, fashion-wise. I like to wear three piece suits made out of fur at Disneyland, you’d think that other guests had never seen such a thing before. I wonder if Grease Monkey kid went on to work in a repair shop? That was good money at one time (not sure about now). Or he went the opposite way and became a dancer. You never know. Wow, you got very poetic with your comment! The only way I know how to be poetic is to work the word “daffodil” into a rhyme. Neckties, I will wear one, but only under protest. What a dumb piece of cloth. There I said it.

TokyoMagic!, the first time I met you, you were wearing an outfit very much like the one that kid is wearing. But it looked good! Very flattering. Your mom saved your childhood outfits? Wow! Maybe that plaid pattern was available at Woolworth’s, if your mom was handy with a sewing machine. I’ve read that you can get people on Etsy to make you a custom piece of clothing!

JG, I guess that scalloped top of the fence was something that they could purchase? I’ve always wondered. It has to be produced by the linear mile, right? I’m sure that any of those character costumes would be awkward to wear, I hope those CMs got extra pay for their trouble. The girl in pink to the right of the second photo looks like a child actress that I’ve seen somewhere, but I couldn’t tell you her name. Not Tatum O’Neal, someone more recent. Thank you for the info regarding the fire gong and why it is so obviously placed!

K. Martinez, why is the fencing called “cyclone fencing”? Good point about how it would prevent guests from sitting on it!

Stu, ha ha, I guess I can see the resemblance to Big Boy. All he needs to do is hold a giant hamburger above his head!

KS, I can’t say I miss the smoking, even now my brother smokes and has no clue (seemingly) that others don’t enjoy the smell of his Marlboros. Wow, thanks for the info about that pink-suited person, I would have never guessed that that was a waitress!

Kathy! said...

Fun characters today! I wonder why Lil' Plaid is looking off to the side in both photos. The person behind (Grand)Ma in the first picture with short, dark hair might be holding a cigarette too. Goofy and the lady in the green dress both look like they're trying to remember something. Gotta love Mickey's giant buttons on all his red his pants; what would be the purpose of those besides FASHION? Thanks, Major.

Melissa said...

I mean, obviously the VFA goes to the little guy in the bagpipe costume, but it's a close second place for the lady in the Jackie Kennedy sheath dress and ratty blue Keds. My headcanon is that she started the day out in pumps, realized about midmorning how much she was going to be on her feet, said "&#@% it," and put on the shoes in her beach bag.

Melissa said...

The YouTube channel Theme Parks Should's Exist recently uploaded an interesting documentary on the history of tobacco and smoking at the Disney Parks. I'm sure it's all old news to most of the Junior Gorillas, but it's still a fun watch.

I always assumed the buttons on Mickey's trousers were a holdover from the days when men usually wore suspenders, but you know what they say about assuming.

JB said...

Chuck, thanks for the "Wrench" "Red" chuckle. (You need to copyright "Chuckle".)

I hope we all get credit for sitting in on Bu's art class!

Tokyo!, be sure to post a picture of yourself on your blog, wearing your Scottish lederhosen!

Major, I agree, the fashion world is way overdue for a change in men's neck ornamentation. I remember back in the '80s(?) some guys wore neckties made to look like a fish. (Salmon? Trout?) What's needed is something completely different than a strip of colored cloth hanging around the neck. I haven't wore (worn?) a tie for over thirty years.

K. Martinez said...

Major, from somewhere on the internet:

A cyclone fence, also known as a chain-link fence, is named for its ability to withstand high winds and weather systems. The name comes from its resilience against cyclonic or windy conditions. Its design allows wind to pass through with minimal resistance, making it suitable for areas prone to strong winds.

Melissa said...

I want a cyclorama fence, that just keeps moving behind me so I can jog in place and look like I'm going somewhere.

Melissa said...

Guys, I'm pretty sure I just misused the word "cyclorama," but I can't think of hat the real word is. The older get, the less I can be trusted with nouns.

Nanook said...

@ Melissa-
I want to say it's a 'moving panorama', but I'm not 100% certain.

"Lou and Sue" said...

JB, I agree. Mickey's bow tie should be about half the size, IMO.
Mickey's bow tie reminds me of the bows on the back of my childhood dresses that I wore to church and school (girls couldn't wear pants in grammar school, back in my day). My mom couldn't tie bows very well, but my grandma always could, perfectly. We lived in a '2-flat' - in the upstairs 'flat,' and my grandparents lived downstairs. Most mornings, while getting ready, I'd run down the stairs, yelling for grandma to "Pleeeeese tie my bowwwwww." My grandma could've tied Mickey's bows, no problem.

Chuck, Mr. "Dano"?? What am I missing? Also, did you notice that young Mr. Mechanic has Maleficent wings?!


Loved all the comments, today.

Now I'm going to watch that Disney-smoking documentary, thanks, Melissa.

Chuck said...

Sue, veteran character actor Royal Dano provided the voice of Lincoln in the original versions of Great Moments With Mr. Lincoln at the 1964 NYWF and DL and the Hall of Presidents at the MK. I vaguely recall him also doing Lincoln in a voice-over (although there is no Lincoln animatronic) in the American Adventure in EPCOT, but it’s been at least 27 years since I’ve seen that show so I wouldn’t quote me on that.

Lou and Sue said...

Thank you, Chuck.

Melissa said...

I remember an episode of The Rifleman where Royal Dano played a man who thought he was Abe Lincoln.