Sunday, February 08, 2009

It’s Official: Pirates of the Caribbean wins, Pt. 4

I hated to admit it, but I goofed yesterday. I realized that I left out a scene; one of my faves in fact. The drunken pirate who perpetually calls to the mangy alley cats, “Here kitty kitty” is a grim reminder of my crazy next-door-neighbor who yells the same thing every day...from about 7pm until 3am. Yup she’s crazy. The POTC pirate has been missing lately, hopefully just for rehab. I wish he’d take my next-door-neighbor with him. For ToykoMagic, I am displaying this close-up of the “dreadful” cat/fish in the barrel from 1997:

OK...that’s it for catch-up; now we can get back to the business at hand, which is this scene of two drunks finding it more fun to talk to animals.

In the mud below, we have the pirate telling his deepest darkest secrets to a few pigs.

Above our boat is another drunken idiot who is talking to his parrot. Check out this vintage shot and how hairy this pirate’s leg is:

Flash forward to the present day and it would appear that this guy has either discovered Nair or the joys of a razor on his gams.

Next to the auction scene, this one is probably the most iconic of the entire attraction. These poor 3 saps are eternally locked in a prison with the key to freedom just out of reach, in the mouth of “a mangy mutt.” Notice the guest kindly offering a box of popcorn in this vintage still...I don’t think the prisoners really care about the popcorn at this point.

A vintage color shot:

Here are some current shots of the same scene, showing that very little has changed:

And now the saddest part of this little vignette. These other three chaps are also in prison, but they are never featured in promotions, toys, or collectibles. You can almost hear them saying, “Marcia, Marcia, Marcia.” Yes, this unfortunate group of forgotten prisoners would be known as the Jan Brady Trio.

As we travel onto the next scene, beware of the burning timbers and assorted unstable proprs overhead:

More Marc Davis humor is evident in the pistol duel section of Pirates. Our boat has gotten caught in the crossfire between a few happy drunken pirates. Here are 3 vintage shots of this scene:

Other than a few small costume changes (and the need to cover up some of the mechanics on the AA’s), this scene has also undergone very few changes.

Time for our boat to rise back up to the surface again. I always get a little nervous about just how strong the pulley system is that hauls the boat up the final always seems to be straining beyond its means. Before Jack Sparrow came to town, the final scene on the attraction was a pirate attempting to haul away his loot, with a skeleton hanging on for dear life (or would it be “death” in this case?!?).

And now we come to the one disappointment for me in the Jack Sparrow overhaul. Although this scene and the AA figure are technically and visually spectacular, they just don’t fit. Sticking a room of treasure at the end of the attraction makes it look like, well...they stuck a room of treasure at the end. The scene appears as if it was crammed into a space that it barely fits, unlike all the other previous vignettes that literally flow together. Note: in Sparrow’s left hand, apparently he was to roll a coin between his fingers, but the mechanics proved too difficult, so another trinket was placed in his palm instead.

As we head up the lift, notice the beady green eyes that blink at you:

And if it be treasure that you’re after, the exit queue has the map AND a heckling parrot to lead the way. Not sure that I’d believe either one of them.

As you exit the attraction, please be careful!

I hope you enjoyed your tour of one of Disneyland’s most beloved attractions.

See more Disneyland Pirates of the Caribbean photos at my website.


Vintage Disneyland Tickets said...

Amazing and detailed post Dave, thanks so much! The Jan Brady Trio always gets my attention as they seem to be dying for attention! Do they even talk? Great before and after shots, couldn't agree more about the Johnny Deep ending, "contrived" to say the least.

Oh, I'll trade your crazy cat lady neighbor for my crazy neighbor that gets hysterical at 3am every other day, she scream so much that by 7am she is so horse she can’t scream and yell for another 2 days! This has been going on for 10 YEARS!!!

Major Pepperidge said...

Dave, Dave, Dave.... only 27 photos today? You are really slacking off....!

Seriously, great photos from today, especially that neat one of the cat in the barrel (did you get to take that one yourself?). I like how you can see the chopped-off ends of the fish, and what is that mysterious little orange light??

Robin's Egg Bleu said...

One of my favorite rides of all time! Thanks for sharing the memories...did you hear about the atrocities that are about to or already have befallen the dear Small World ride? Ugh....I am so disappointed in what they are doing to it.

Daveland said...

Robin's Egg: I actually went on small world twice yesterday; will be doing my report right here on the blog tomorrow. Stay tuned...don't be so disappointed; much of what has been "reported" has been exaggerated or false.

TokyoMagic! said...

Hey Dave, thanks for the photo of the cat in the barrel! I agree with you and VDT about the last Johnny Depp figure. It has always looked "shoehorned" in to me. As for that former pirate pulling on that rope...he was taken from the World of Motion attraction at Epcot after it had closed, and put into POTC in the '97 remodel. Actually, wasn't there another figure that was bent over in kind of an unflattering position, trying to lift some heavy treasure in that same scene? I believe he was also from Epcot. To me, the two figures always seemed to be just "stuck" in as an afterthought.

Loved this series!!! Thanks for sharing your incredible photos.

Daveland said...

TM: You are absolutely correct; there was another figure in the rope-pull scene that used EPCOT figures. And if memory serves correctly, he DID look like an ad for Preparatiion H! Unfortunately, I don’t have any photos of him...who knew he’d be gone during the Sparrow rehab?!? Which is why I hauled ass over to the old Bank of America building yesterday to get some 'final' shots of that before it is removed in the near future.

walterworld said...

Nice post Dave---

The original final figure was a pirate with a pistol, sitting on several swaying & balancing barrels, aiming and firing at the passing boats.

That figure is now located in the pooped pirate scene, is still on the barrels, and the barrels are now leaking rum or some such spirit into the cups of eager pluderers.

Vintage Disneyland Tickets said...

Just rode POTC Yesterday and I can say its looks great. The fog was extra thick (I like it that way), the lighting and all the AA's looked to be in tip-top condition. The "Here Kitty-Kitty" pirate is still missing, but the cats are there, odd that they move there little mouths but there is no sound :-)