Friday, February 18, 2011

Dopey Loses His Rod



Recently, I was scanning a batch of images from April 1963 and actually noticed a detail at the park that had previously escaped me. As you can see from this first shot and the following closeup, Dopey at the Snow White Wishing Well is clearly holding a large fishing rod.



4 years later on April 26, 1976, Dopey is still fishing.





Over 4 years later than that, we have entered the 70’s and Dopey still has his rod...



which although Dopey isn't in the shot, you can still see the fishing rod when you zoom in.



However, by October 1995, the rod was gone. Somewhere in between 1971 and the shot I took in 1995, Dopey stopped fishing.





Still gone in 2006:



and in June 2010:



It doesn’t appear to be a temporary refurbishment issue, so I am baffled as to why it disappeared. Any of you know what happened to it?

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15 comments:

Connie Moreno said...

Holy cow, I had never, ever noticed that!!! Maybe it broke? But they would have fixed it, no? Maybe it broke and they thought that it was portraying the "wrong image"?

On a different note, how come I haven't seen any swans???

Chris said...

I heard somewhere that these are not the originals. Their copies of the originals, which were put in the archives for safekeeping. Maybe he lost his fishing rod when they switched them.

Major Pepperidge said...

Amazing! I have lots of photos of the Snow White & Dwarfs figures, but I guess I just don't really look at them anymore. Neat detail!

Something tells me that the lack of a fishing pole nowadays is because it is one less thing to maintain, and obviously not too many people missed it over the years!

Katella Gate said...

It could go either way. Either it was no longer PC to fish (poor little ani-mules), or it broke/fell off and was never replaced.

The fish have been problematic over the years too. The original configuration was for them to spit water and spin, then submerge, then reappear. Sometimes, they'd only do a few of these tricks. Sometimes they just stayed submerged.

CoxPilot said...

Interesting. I thought I had remembered that fishing pole, but chalked it off as a senior moment. Also interesting that my recreation of Dopey is holding a gem from the mine, not a fishing pole. I think I send you (Dave) a photo of the entire set

stu29573 said...

Actually, I think the gag plays much better with Dopey trying to catch the ornamental fish. Him just standing there watching is pretty dull.

TokyoMagic! said...

Boy, this doesn't even spark a memory! I just don't remember ever seeing that pole, but I just went and looked a pic that my dad took of my brother and me in front of the grotto and there it is! The things that you never pay attention to!

I had also heard that the statues are now copies. I wonder if that's true?

TokyoMagic! said...

Hey Dave, the "veining" in the marble is different when you compare your 2006 with your 2010 shot. Maybe they are replacements and maybe it happened just since 2006?

Connie Moreno said...

Hey stu29573 boy am I dumb. I never made the connection between the mechanical fish and the fish pole. DUH...

A Snow White Sanctum said...

Good eye Dave. Personally, I think I like Dopey better with the fishing pole.

The current DL statues are replicas and the "marbling" is painted on.

Last I heard, the originals were be stored at WDI in Glendale, and they were being refurbished (a number of years ago) by a marble expert.

Katella Gate said...

Thanks for that info, Senior Sanctum. It's probably wise that the original statues are in "storage" for their own sake. It's reached a point where they are probably too valuable to be left where they were.

Apotheosis of the Garden Gnome.

JG said...

Now that you mention it, I remember the pole, but never noticed it's lack.

@KG, also remember the mechanical fish and their intermittent antics. Did that ever get resolved or did they just abandon them in place like so many other things?

Thank you Dave, between Storybook Land and this little spot, you cover the most sacred ground in Disneyland for me. I found a picture of my Dad, my uncle and myself in front of this grotto recently. Very moving to see this place figure in so many other memories.

Best to all of you, friends.

JG

Katella Gate said...

@JG: Somebody made a concerted effort to fix the fish. They were working properly from about 2000 to 2005 when I was visiting the park regularly. Can't say about now, but I'd guess that they are still doing well. A lot of details are back on track at the Park.

Davelandweb said...

Last visit to the park the fish were still going up and down at timed intervals and swirling around in a circle. Connie - like you, I never made the connection between the pole & the fish either! Thanks all for the great info here.

MIKE COZART said...

That's true--the ones on display are copies done from the originals that are in storage at WDI. My understanding is that they were getting damages from some kind of mold and when the took them to make castings for TOKYO DISNEYLAND's opening, copies were also made for Disneyland. So everyone check your photos to see if they noticed a change during the 1983 period!

John Hench had mentioned once that when they recieved those statues, it was unknown who sent them. Walt was so curious he had WED "investigate" and it was discovered they were sent from a sculpting school in Genoa Italy. When asked why Snow White was made the same height as the dwarfs, the instructor said all the students were radomly assigneda character and the students were all given the same size block of marble --so the student given Snow White had no other choice than to sculpt a "dawrf-size" Snow White!