Saturday, June 30, 2012

Indian Village Signage & Back to Barbie

As I was updating the pages of my site, I realized I hadn't posted this Indian Village photo from the 1960's yet. Check out that signage! Think of what a thrill this was for this little boy—Cowboys and Indians come to life!

Back to the 1991 Sleeping Beauty Diorama: Even though I prefer the artistry of the original and the 2008 versions, R. Potter brings up a good point about how the narrative of the 1991 version is much more cohesive and actually tells a full story. Some of the "flat" look to the 1991 Diorama that you might notice has to do with the use of a flash to capture these extremely rare images. In particular, the scene of Aurora climbing the stairs, following a glowing orb, was much more interesting in person as R. Potter describes for us:

I had read your commentary about this scene and there was actually more to it than my picture shows—unfortunately the flash blurs the more interesting aspect of this scene so I'll have to describe it. Along with Aurora climbing the stairs, there was a glowing ball of light that was seen near the top of the landing. There was also a small figure of Maleficent that would come slowly out of the doorway onto the landing which made this scene more dramatic. But you can't see this from my picture, unfortunately.

Flash or not, it's still amazing to have this colorful record of the 1991 version. Thanks again!

As a bonus, here's a January 1961 photo of the entrance to the Diorama. At left is Dopey, and cut-off at the far right edge is Christopher Fair, Disneyland jester from 1960-1963.

Zooming in for a better look at the Band uniforms and the cast member working the door of the Diorama.

See more vintage and current Disneyland photos on my Disneyland web page.


K. Martinez said...

Sometimes photo imagery doesn't capture or reflect what's really happening visually when you are there in person. I thought the new Matterhorn paint job was ugly from all the photos I saw online until I actually saw it in person last week where it was much more subtle and natural looking.

This also happens with the digital photos online showing Disneyland in such vivid colors. When I was at the park last week I couldn’t help but think how muted and washed out it looked which I assume was because my eye was trained to see saturated colors from online photos. It’s probably why I prefer more subtle or natural color for exterior shots.

Major Pepperidge said...

I remember seeing those dioramas as a kid and getting that "Barbie" vibe. But I still liked them! Like you, I prefer the restored versions that we can see now.

Annie said...

I agree with the sentiment on these dioramas you guys have shared. The lighting made a BIG difference to each scene and unfortunately, camera flashes reveal all the "secrets" so to speak. Just like coasting through Space Mountain with the lights on or seeing what London is really made of in Peter Pan. The darkness up'd the drama.
I remember walking through this all the time and I was so sad when the walkthrough was shut and blocked off. Although... it was a little creepy thinking about all those dolls silently continuing their journey in the darkness... with no one watching... *shiver*

Thanks again for an awesome post, Dave!

TokyoMagic! said...

Ah yes, I forgot about the Maleficent silhouette that would appear at the top of the stairs. I believe we can see part of the ball of light (either unlit or washed out by the flash) on the far right side of the photo....a little more than halfway up the stairs.

In the picture of Aurora dancing with the Prince, the flash appears to have washed out the color, but her dress changed back and forth from pink to blue in this version of the walk-thru too.

And remember, the large dancing Aurora figure and some of the forest animals are now on display downstairs in the Enchanted Chamber Shop (or whatever they're calling it now!)