Sunday, March 06, 2011

Gems from May 1958, Pt. 1



A recent batch I acquired from May 1958 has a number gems, so I will sloooooowly dole them out for you, so that I don’t overwhelm you all at once. Here’s a beauty of the entrance to the Sleeping Beauty Diorama located inside the Castle. Note the turnstile at the entrance, no longer there.

For all you signage geeks (like me), here’s a closeup of the one to the left of the entrance.



The restoration of this hidden Disneyland gem is one of the highlights of the many improvements made to the park over the last few years.

Here’s a shot of how the entrance looks today:





In other news...

Thanks to the recent release of “Bambi” on Blu-ray in a Diamond Edition, the Disney publicity team has released these cool behind-the-scenes clips of a few characters eliminated from Bambi.

SQUIRREL & CHIPMUNK
Within early story drafts of BAMBI, the writers explored a variety of forest friends for the young prince to meet. Friend Squirrel & Chipmunk were a couple of buddies designed to be featured in re-occurring segments throughout the film. SQUIRREL was described early on as "a fast-talking, rustic - definitely comic character to personify a kindly, short-tempered little old man, He tells tall stories which even young Bambi can hardly believe. His practical jokes are funny only to himself. Very nosey and gets in on everything, he pokes into everyone's business and can't be insulted." CHIPMUNK is defined as having "a high, piping, staccato-type voice with a rustic quality." He is always with Squirrel and acts as his stooge. A classic 'yes-man,' Chipmunk "echoes everything the squirrel says and has no ideas of his own." One of the comic highlights of this duo was to be their re-occurring shenanigans along with a charming ode to their love of nuts! Eventually, as production progressed, it was determined that the interplay between these two characters seemed to take the emphasis away from the main story and these charming characters were cut. These images of friend SQUIRREL & CHIPMUNK are among the few images remaining from these lost characters, housed within the WDS - Animation Research Library.



HOPPER
In this lost sequence, HOPPER is nearly stepped-on by young Bambi as he is walking through the forest. HOPPER, with his grouchy outlook, let's the young prince and friends know that he is most displeased with them being so clumsy and careless -- calling them "a menace to society!" Within early story drafts of BAMBI, (as early as 1937) the writers explored a variety of forest friends for the young prince to meet. HOPPER is one of many characters developed that Bambi would meet along his forest walk. HOPPER is akin to another legendary Disney bug -- Jiminy Cricket, as it seems they were both in the early stages of development at the same time. HOPPER was described early on as - "a sharp-tongued pessimist. Sees only the dark side of life and tries to convert the cheerful characters to his point of view." HOPPER "is the type who enjoys misery. Gets hopping mad trying to spread his grouchy philosophy." Eventually, as production progressed, it was determined that theinterplay with Bambi and several additional characters seemed to take the emphasis away from the main story and these charming characters, including HOPPER, were cut. These images of HOPPER from his storyboarded sequence are among the few images remaining this lost character, housed within the WDS - Animation Research Library.



BEE
One of the early characters explored within BAMBI, Bee was written as "a pugnacious, ill-humored guy. Keeps to himself and has no friends. Has a terrible temper and gets mad over nothing." He appeared within story meeting notes as early as 1937 and throughout various story explorations he was featured in a short scene w/ Bambi as the young prince first meets his forest friends. While grazing on a patch of clover, Bambi inadvertently swallows BEE and a very clever scene ensues with dialogue between BEE and Bambi's other forest friends on how they might attempt to get BEE out of Bambi's stomach! Eventually, as production progressed, this delightful scene -- and character -- were cut. These three images of BEE are the only images remaining from this sequence housed within the WDS - Animation Research Library.



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5 comments:

Momma Nic said...

Turnstile on a Castle. That is kind of funny to think about,yet it seems completely NORMAL in the Disneyland.

Connie Moreno said...

"I will sloooooowly dole them out for you..."

It's official, we are addicted and you are the supplier, LOL! Great photos and that behind the scenes stuff from Banbi is great. I adore those squirrels. I think we can all agree that Hopper (or his descendant) appeared in Bug's Life!

A Snow White Sanctum said...

Signage geek...guilty as charged. I dig the SB diorama entrance photos.

TokyoMagic! said...

It's interesting to see that the walk-thru took a "C" coupon at that time. I wonder when it was downgraded?

Chris Merritt said...

Gorgeous! I love that original signage for the walkthrough. If only your photographer had taken shots inside... Photos of the '57 version are so very rare....