Friday, January 29, 2010

Freaky Fridays @ The Haunted Mansion: Madame Leota



This vintage promotional shot of the Seance Room totally blows out the cool video of Madame Leota, and all that we are able to see in the crystal are the fright wig and the bust that the film is projected onto; definitely not as cool looking without the effect. NOW you see why they say, “No Flash Photography, Please!”



A few “lights on” shots:





I really do enjoy this scene; Leota’s whiskey-soaked voice and corny warnings are fantastic. What a great prelude to the ballroom scene. Here are a few frames from the original film shot for Madame Leota:



A few years ago, a projection semi-resembling the Hatbox Ghost was added to The Seance Room; in addition, a blue orb circled the head. This is a tough one to photograph, and even if it weren’t, I don’t know that I would spend much time trying. The green wall projection on the right with the blue orb that circles it adds nothing to this vignette, and in my humble opinion, actually detracts from it. This photo is pretty blurry, but you get the idea.



As Daveland reader Gavin Elster commented: I think the projection takes the focus away from Leota. The green projection looks exactly like what it is... A projection on a flat surface. While other effects in the room were painstakingly created to take advantage of projected effects this simple projection looks like no creative thought was used. Its as if they saw a blank space in the mansion and needed to fill it. Honestly the area behind Leota should be kept dark to keep the focus on the new(ish) floating ball effect.





I have mixed feelings about the addition of the floating effect for Madame Leota. Even though it is dark, the wires are still visible. Just seeing this headless woman talking in the crystal ball is all I really need to see to be impressed. Adding a cheap parlour trick to the show only detracts. On top of that, it makes her more difficult to photograph. This is one of the reasons that I can still stand to go through this attraction when it has the Nightmare Before Christmas overlay: Leota stays still. MUCH easier to photograph!











Anybody care to see the spellbook on her table?



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9 comments:

Chiana_Chat said...

...the book, from Blackbeard's Ghost? Original? Gotta agree with you Dave, they really should leave better alone. Need the judgment to know when they can't really plus something and put their attention on something new. Just my humble, the original nailed it.

George Taylor said...

Nice!

Love the close-up for the spellbook!

Major Pepperidge said...

Considering that the floating Leota is hard to photograph, your photo is one of the best Madam Leota pictures I've seen, floating or still!

I never noticed the table legs that look like serpents before.

William Bezek said...

Leota's daughter may be a legacy but her face just does not have the appeal of her mother's to my eyes. Hey, did you see the page number in the book? 1313

Davelandweb said...

Good catch, Will!

Anonymous said...

Her daughter is a legacy? Isn't she the one that recently destroyed Small World?

Davelandweb said...

Fact: Kim Irvine is the daughter of Leota Toombs, the original Madame Leota and a very talented Imagineer. As for Anonymous' 2nd question—that's a matter of opinion.

TokyoMagic! said...

Looks like the table base has changed since that promotional shot was taken. I agree with you 100 percent about the floating ball. If they could do it without seeing the wires....fine, but I have never NOT been able to see the wires when I go through. Keep it stationary, I say!

By the way...I'm not the one that voted for Tokyo DL's Mansion in your survey! Ha! I was thinking about it, however. Tokyo's has a couple extra scenes that Anaheim's does not have, so I think I like their interior better, but I still think Anaheim's exterior is the best!

Anonymous said...

Oh come on you perfectionists-the floating ball is pretty awesome in disneyland-hardly noticeable at all...
and if you just use your imagination as "Walt"would expect the effects would be awesome!