Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Did the beautiful National Parks Posters inspired WED Imagineers for Disneyland Attraction Posters ?

Recently, i've discovered these wonderful National Parks posters that you will see below. Obviously most of them were designed a long time ago - i didn't found the exact date but i would say at least 60 years ago. When i was looking at some of them, i couldn't stop thinking about the old Disneyland attraction posters. You know, posters like this one of the Grand Canyon Diorama...

...or this one realised for the "Rainbow Caverns"

...or also this one, always for the Grand Canyon Diorama.

Although the Disney posters are more stylised, i've wondered if the style of the posters you will see below served as inspiration for WED Imagineers, a long time ago. As i don't have the answer, if anybody at WDI reading this article knows about it, he is welcome to let us know in the comments!

Edited: I just had the confirmation that these national parks posters were the most direct inspiration for some of the attraction posters, and specially for the DLP Grand Canyon Poster.

And now, it's time to discover these great National Parks posters, i'm sure you will enjoy them a lot!

Let's end with this poster realised for the Old Faithful Inn at Yellowstone. As i told you in a previous article this old hotel served as inspiration for WDW Wilderness Lodge.

As i'm pretty sure that some of you would like to have one (or more) of these posters at your home if it was posible to find them, i have a good news: it's possible! At least two web sites exist where you can order them in big size and it is Ranger Doug Enterprises and The Parks Company web sites.

Disney attraction posters: copyright Disney


Eric Scales said...

Yes Disney was most definately influenced by thse types of posters, but not only from the National parks. Travel posters were always large graphic displays that were silkscreened and designed to be easily read by passersby even if they were hurrying by in a crowd. Just google "vintage travel posters" and you'll have no shortage of examples. Though the ones you've got are stylistically very much like Disney's posters. A lot fo this is owed to the fact that both are silkscreened, and that style usually involves large areas of flat color with emphasis on shadow and light.

Anonymous said...

Hello Allen, I am giving you a heads up that several clips of The Princess and the Frog have leaked online. All the clips are in an interview with John Lassater. The villain is finally shown, and it looks charming. Here is the link the the video, please credit "Ryan" for the video. As of right now it has not hit the mainstream Disney fan sites.


Anonymous said...

btw, your the only blog that I gave that link too, and I'm sure it will be everywhere soon. It's circling the entertainment sites.


Matthrix said...

so beautiful posters :) i love this kind of art :)

Alain Littaye said...

Thanks, Ryan, it's very kind, but the video has been already posted on The Disney blog since yesterday.

Anonymous said...

I purchased large format calendars (one for 2008, another for 2009) of these posters at Barnes & Noble. The posters themselves were commissioned by the Works Progress Administration during the Great Depression; the calendar has a nice description of the posters and the WPA. Unfortunately the author of the calendar was unable to determine who the artist or artists were.

Anonymous said...

Eric is correct: the silkscreen method and techniques of the 20's through the 60's created a very similar look. Travel posters military recruitment, workplace moral posters too were very similar-but it was basically the style of poster making of the day (when silk screening) certain color aesthetics and detail levels might vary for the period. Bjoronson who did most of the first Disneyland posters did travel posters at one time, so the Disney posters would automatically have a similar feel.

Now, the 1992 Euro Disneyland Grand Canyon poster was specifically created to emulate Santa Fe RR service posters on the 1910 period (one of the exact examples you show!) I think the

For the most part none of the original attractions posters make any attempt to graphically "theme" the artwork to the area--or attraction's theme period (with the exception of some lettering types here-and there) Almost all of them are still very modern weather they are for Tomorrowland or New Orleans Square. The 1965 and 1966 Lincoln Posters go a bit more beyond to reflect a "period" styled poster (the tan version, like a playbill of the 19th century, the other like a 5 dollar bill!) The first truly "Themed" poster is probably the 1971 Walt Disney World Country Bear Jamboree --but this was not silk screened.

The 1976 Disneyland Railroad Bicentennial poster was inspired after pre-announcement posters were displayed across the USA in 1974/75 for the GREAT AMERICAN FREEDOM TRAIN...During the production of Disneyland RR version poster is was decided to start revamping some of Disneyland's earliest attraction posters (like 1976 Jungle Cruise and 1977 Disneyland RR) The 1977 Disneyland RR was inspired by posters done by the Union Pacific and Central Pacific Railroad posters of the 1870's. The art work for the 1976 version was done knowing that costs would be saved so the screens could be used for the planed non-Bicentennial version!

-Mike Cozart