Saturday, August 25, 2018

Amazing 1953 LIFE Magazine Pictures Showing Walt Disney in a Brainstorming Meeting About Disneyland with Disney Legend John Hench

I've found an incredible set of LIFE Magazine pictures shot in 1953 by LIFE photographer Alfred Eisenstaedt. The caption says "A relaxed Walt Disney with one of his artists in his Burbank office, discussing plans for Disneyland - the map which they are holding is referred to by Walt as the "$5Million dollar layout".

The Disney artist with Walt is Disney Legend John Hench and, yes, there is a huge map on Walt desk but more about it in a minute. What's specially extraordinary in Alfred Eisenstaedt pictures is that they'r almost sequence shots - just like if he had back in 1953 a camera allowing to shoot ten pics per second like we have now.

Above and below, Walt is thinking, obviously concentrated with his foot on the desk.

On the next pictures John Hench is no longer sitting in the sofa as Walt apparently asked him to come closer to have a look at the map...

Always showing the map at John Hench, Walt post an area on the map...

Same scene of Walt and John Hench looking at the map, shot from a different angle by Alfred Eisenstaedt.

Now, let's talk about this supposed map - or as LIFE magazine quoting Walt "$5Million dollar layout" - a bit more...

What's interesting for a 1953 scene which shows a conversation about Disneyland - which i remind you was still not built in 1953 - is that the plan he shows to John Hench - if we zoom on it - doesn't look at all like a Disneyland plan, at least all the plans we know or have seen before, including Disneyland first layouts. And it don't look either like the plan of Walt first idea, when he wanted to build a small park near the Disney Studios at Burbank....

So, what the hell is this mysterious "$5Million dollar layout" we've never seen before?!? Some friends Imagineers to whom i asked the question thought that it was may be a plan of someplace Walt may have visited. Someplace like Greenfield Village or Tivoli Gardens that Walt was impressed with. But another friend Imagineer - as well as a kind D&M reader, see his comment below - have found it and the map is the very first layout concept for Disneyland and is reproduced both in the Walt Disney Imagineering" book "A Behind the Dreams Look at Making the Magic real”, page 15 top left and page 61 in "Designing Disney's Parks, The Architecture of Reassurance". The caption for it says:
"After Walt Disney questioned the Imagineers as to what they might do with fifty acres of land for the park, art director Marvin Davis attempted to fit everything they had designed thus far onto this site plan - three times the size of Riverside Drive ( Ndr: Walt's first project ). At the time of this drawing, the actual site for Disneyland had yet to be determined. Each square section of the grid represents one square acre of land"

Marvin Davis is also the one who shortly after created "the first site plan including the now famous "central hub" concept, in which different themed lands surround a center point in the park". You have this other plan below.

So, here it is, this plan is in fact an early plan/layouts for Disneyland and these pictures shows a pretty incredible moment of "brainstorming" for Walt beloved project, with Walt apparently not totally satisfied with Marvin Davis plan and thinking with John Hench about how to improve the layouts for the future Disneyland. It's the kind of moment that we never thought we would be able to see, specially 60 years later!

We're not done yet as there is more never seen pictures of Walt below!

The next pictures shows more amazing pictures of Walt explaining "something" to John Hench with his hands like a director can do when he explains a shot to his cameraman.

Two last pictures for which i'll give a lot of money to learn what exactly Walt was explaining to John Hench at that moment!

Wasn't this amazing?

Pictures: copyright TIME - LIFE, Disney Enterprises

Friday, August 24, 2018

Watch Tourists Rob Balloons From Shanghaî Disneyland Staff Because They’re Too Expensive

What should you do if something is deemed too expensive? Most of us would naturally say, “Don’t buy lah!”, but not for these Chinese tourists at Shanghaî Disneyland:

From WOB and Shangahiist: On August 23, a daylight robbery happened in Shanghai Disneyland where a group of tourists robbed all the balloons from the hand of a worker because the balloons were deemed too expensive.

According to Chinese media, as reported by Oriental Daily, a Disneyland staff was holding a bunch of balloons while walking towards the crowd in the afternoon. It was reported that one balloon costs about 80 Yuan (approx. $11.75) and the tourists thought the price was a total rip-off. So, they decided to help themselves to the balloons by snatching them away from the worker. Within 10 seconds, all the balloons were gone.

The embarrassing scene was captured on camera. In the 17-second video, visitors were seen swarming the balloon seller and running away with a balloon in hand along with a big smile on their face.

Shanghai Disneyland confirmed the incident with the media and said they couldn’t comprehend the behaviour of the tourists. What’s more mind-boggling is that some Chinese netizens actually think that it was Disneyland’s fault for setting the prices too high. “If anyone’s to be blamed, it should be Disneyland because the balloons are so expensive!” a netizen who claimed to be at the scene said.

On the other hand, some netizens reckoned that the robbery was indeed a shameful incident. “If the balloons are too pricey, the right thing to do is to just walk away, and not to rob the worker,” another netizen said.

Those of the looters who traveled to Disneyland by subway will not be able to take their balloons home with them as the Shanghai Metro has a regulation against balloons in the subway trains. Instead, they can make a profit by selling the balloons to enterprising merchants who position themselves outside the metro station entrances.

The opportunistic hawkers offer to purchase the balloons for half the cost the guest paid in the park. Then, they take the balloons to Disneytown and sell them off at just under the park rate.

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

The Black Hole

Something not about to theme parks, today. If you don't follow me on Facebook where i've posted this question yesterday, here it is: The question was: Here is a very simple question and the first one who find the right answer will have a cool gift - really cool, it worth to spend a bit of time to find the answer: So, WHAT is the picture below SYMBOLICALLY represents. It's an artist view of something in the universe, and that's the easy part to find. But the question is not there: i've choose this picture to represents something else "symbolically", and that's what you have to find, as well as to explain why.

The answer was (almost ) found by D&M reader Shawn Farell, and here is the explanation but first, this: As you may have noticed each person has a kind of different “energy”. And i’m not talking here about energy in terms of being weak or strong but by the different energies has defined by the Chinese. energetic medicine, also known as acupuncture, one of the oldest and smartest medicine in the world as it takes the problem by the start ( the thought, the emotions ) instead than taking it by the end like occidental medicine does. So, some people have a peaceful energy which they communicate and succeed to make you also peaceful when you leave them, these are people ruled by the WATER energy. Others can be so nervous inside that when you get out of the meeting they made you just as nervous as they were, etc… and these are people ruled by the WOOD energy. And then there is some people energy which is pure FIRE. Now you have two kind of fire, the creative one and the destroying one. The Fire which destroys is basically a swirling energy, like a twister of fire which suck and destroy everything on its path.

Now, some months ago i had sent this image to a friend of mine. As you probably have guessed it’s an artist rendering of a black hole. Black holes are the most destructive force in the universe and they’re invisible, so there is no pictures of them, only artist renderings. Depending of the artist the renderings have different colors and i choose this one with an orange color, just for the fun and here is why. As i was saying to my friend in the email: " Look at the picture below. What do you think it is? Looks like a black hole sucking all energy and everything around it? Yep, that’s what it is. And it’s also the best analogy of what Donald Trump is. Trump IS like a black hole. His main energy is “fire” and it’s a swirling fire, a destructive energy which, like a twister, suck and destroy EVERYTHING or ANYONE passing nearby. And it’s not an allegory, it is EXACTLY what is happening because that’s how Trump energetic system is working.”

Now, months have passed and just look back to all of these people who have been indicted by the special council, and of course yesterday Paul Manafort AND Trump personal lawyer Michael Cohen who now both face potential years in prison ( up to 80 years for Manafort ). Manafort is not indicted for what he did with Trump but he would never have been in jail if he hadn’t been hired to take care of Trump campaign. THAT’s the point, he wouldn’t be in this mess if he hadn’t APPROACH the "black hole" Trump. And Michael Cohen agreed to do the dirty work and pay the women for Trump and now he also faces years in jail ( 8 years so far ). And i don’t talk about the others already charged, coming soon, the Michael Flynn, George Papadopoulos, etc.. and i don’t talk either of all the others who have worked for Trump ( because they wanted their share of power, or money, or glory, you name it ) and who have been fired by him after months of humiliation. It's all about "fire" or "to be fire-d" - remember when Trump was threatening North Korea of "fire and fury"? - and days before he announced he was running for Presidency he said to a friend - according to his biographer - "Watch out, because from the moment i will announce that i'm running i will suck the air all around". That's indeed what happened and it couldn't be more close to what a black hole is doing in real...

So, think about Trump like a black hole, a force that you can’t escape and which sucks and destroys everything on its path if you're too close to it, and you’ll get it. And by the way, it don’t destroy only people, it destroys everything and won’t stop anytime soon. Not because Trump is evil, or stupid, or egomaniac ( although… ) but simply and only because that’s how its energetic system works: it’s a swirling fire that destroys everything, whether it’s people, values, and even dreams.

Editing: Always about Trump,Things didn't go well for Trump these last days if you've followed the news, with some of his closest collaborators "flipping" and putting him in potential legal jeopardy. For decades, Trump has obsessed over magazine covers with his face on them. They hang all over his office in Trump Tower. There will be some doozies on newsstands next week that he might not like, like the next Time magazine cover depicting the president treading water".

Picture: copyright TIME Magazine

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

D&M Find the Town Which Served as Inspiration for the Land of Sweets in Disney's The Nutcracker and the Four Realms

Disney's The Nutcracker and the Four Realms movie to be released this fall is based on Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker Ballet, itself based on an 1816 E.T.A. Hoffmann story. The screen adaptation centers on Clara’s adventures in an ornate palace and the fanciful lands that surround it. Producer Mark Gordon told Entertainment Weekly that "bringing the experience of the ballet to a wider audience was very much a part of why he and Disney wanted to tell the story on movie screens." You can read the full EW article HERE, and excerpts below,

Four Realms blows things up to an eye-popping scale. “We did our own version of some of the different visuals that one has seen over the years in some of the classic ballet versions,” says Gordon, while production designer Guy Hendrix Dyas adds, “It was vitally important to try my hardest to fulfill everybody’s vision of what this world would be like if they really saw it outside of a ballet stage setting.”

The Castle: At the center of the movie is the palace, where the regents of all the realms convene. The castle set, which star Mackenzie Foy (Clara) calls “insane,” boasts a working portcullis and floor-to-ceiling tapestries.

“There’s a strong Russian historical context to The Nutcracker, so it was a very natural aesthetic to start studying architecturally. The key to making the palace feel fantastical was to take the Russian historical architecture and add elements like highly saturated colors. “You’re not really sure, looking at some of these buildings, whether they are real palaces or toys in the imagination of a child,” Dyas says.

In the middle of the palace is the throne room, with four corners looking north, south, east, and west, to each of the different realms.

The Land of Snowflakes: For this realm of politicians, ice producers, and miners, Dyas took inspiration from a famous Swedish ice hotel and 16th-century German villages, transforming that architecture into layers of ice.

The Land of Flowers: In this agricultural home to farmers and beekeepers, Dyas turned to Dutch windmills and villages in the south of England to design his floral masterpieces.

The Fourth Realm: Previously known as the Land of Amusements and ruled over by Mother Ginger (Helen Mirren), the Fourth Realm is now a mysterious place, which the creative team will only describe as “creepy.”

The Land of Sweets: Inspired by the character of the Sugar Plum Fairy (played by Keira Knightley), this land was built from real candy. “They had to put signs that said, ‘Don’t eat the candy,’

Now, Robert, a faithful D&M reader from Munich, sent me this morning this note with the pictures below, saying: "I guess I know where the animator got his influence for one of the kingdoms. It’s the city of Rothenburg ob der Tauber. A wonderful and charming city some kilometers north of my home town. The whole city is kept in a historic setting."

The first picture below is from the film production, and have a look at the two next pictures showing the city of Rothenburg ob der Tauber in Germany. I think the pictures speak by themselves and its seems pretty obvious that it was used as inspiration for the land of sweets, which is no problem. Of course they added a Russian and sweets theming all over it.

Disney's The Nutcracker and the Four Realms will be released in theaters on November 2. In the meantime watch the latest trailer below.

Pictures: copyright Disney

Monday, August 20, 2018

Limited-Time Celebrations for Mickey Mouse 90th Anniversary in All Disney Parks

Mickey Mouse is celebrating soon its 90th Anniversary and you can be sure that the Walt Disney Company won't let you forget about it, plenty of special events are coming...

...and Disney just announced the first one as they are launching an interactive art exhibit called "Mickey: The True Original Exhibition" in honor of his 90th anniversary. The 16,000 square-foot interactive experience will feature original work from renowned and emerging contemporary artists. The artwork will be inspired by Mickey and his global impact on popular culture and art.

The exhibit will have a limited run in New York City from Nov 8, 2018 to Feb 10, 2019 and will be open Tuesday-Sunday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. at 60 10th Avenue, New York.

Tickets are available for $38 per person at

Editing: Disney Parks just announced that Mickey’s birthday celebration will span across the globe with a series of events at all Disney Parks sites around the world, including the previously announced World’s Biggest Mouse Party – a limited-time, global celebration of Mickey and Minnie – as well as ‘Mickey: The True Original Exhibition’ in New York City.

Walt Disney World Resort in Florida will celebrate Mickey’s birthday from November 16-18 with special merchandise and food & beverage items as well as the chance for guests to celebrate at Magic Kingdom Park during the “Move It! Shake It! Dance & Play It!” Street Party, sing “Happy Birthday” along with the Dapper Dans on Main Street, U.S.A., and join in a special birthday dance party at Rockettower Plaza Stage in Tomorrowland. Then in 2019, Walt Disney World will continue celebrating when World’s Biggest Mouse Party comes to the resort.

Disneyland Resort in California will host a celebration cavalcade for Mickey Mouse on November 18, featuring some of his special friends and the Disneyland Band, starting at “it’s a small world” and pausing for a special moment at Sleeping Beauty Castle before continuing down Main Street, U.S.A., to Town Square. The party continues when World’s Biggest Mouse Party begins at Disneyland Resort in 2019.

Disney Cruise Line will join the celebration when World’s Biggest Mouse Party takes to the seas in 2019.

Shanghai Disney Resort will be the first to kick off World’s Biggest Mouse Party with a brand-new Mickey-themed float at the opening ceremony of the Shanghai Tourism Festival on September 15 to commemorate the Shanghai launch of World’s Biggest Mouse Party. At Shanghai Disneyland, a giant birthday card will be installed next to “Storytellers” statue, featuring birthday wishes from Mickey’s pals. From November 16-18, guests will enjoy themed food and merchandise offerings as well as the opportunity to sing “Happy Birthday” to Mickey just before the nighttime spectacular show each evening, all culminating with a special nighttime birthday spectacular at Enchanted Storybook Castle on November 18.

Hong Kong Disneyland will begin its World’s Biggest Mouse Party activations on Mickey’s birthday, November 18, with commemorative park tickets, special food & beverage and merchandise, a hotel room overlay and “We Love Mickey” projection show through February 2019. And Hong Kong Disneyland guests will receive special birthday stickers, available only on November 18.

Tokyo Disney Resort will join the celebration this fall with special decorations and merchandise.

Disneyland Paris will celebrate the World’s Biggest Mouse Party this fall and into winter with new holiday season entertainment and special surprises.

Pictures: copyright Disney

Sunday, August 19, 2018

A Collection of Rare Walt Disney Imagineering Artworks

I've got some rare Walt Disney Imagineering artworks for you today - actually as they are from Disneyland golden era it is "WED Enterprises" artworks -  and there is even one that you'll see below which is still on sale on the Van Eaton Galleries website, all the others are already sold. Make sure to click on each artwork to see them in big size.

Let's start by this Nature's Wonderland Guidebook Insert ( above and below ), a rare insert to the 1960 Disneyland Guidebook which was also available as a handout flyer at various souvenir kiosks throughout the park in the summer of 1958. Featuring outstanding Nature’s Wonderland concept billboard artwork, the flyer touts the coming attraction in Frontierland and America the Beautiful in Tomorrowland. The flyer measures 8" x 11.25" and is already sold.

Below, a lithographic poster print depicting a concept drawing of Frontierland at Disneyland. This poster is from the Disney Gallery. The overall measurements of the piece are 18" x 24" and the image itself measures 14" x 17.5".

Here is a concept drawing of the Mark Twain attraction at Disneyland. This poster is from the Disney Gallery. The overall measurements of the piece are 19.75" x 27" and the image itself measures 15.5" × 26".

Three rare original concept sketches used in the development of Big Thunder Mountain attraction at Walt Disney World and Disneyland. These artworks were created by Imagineer Clem Hall.

Next is an an original concept design painting created by Disney Imagineer Clem Hall while working on EPCOT at Walt Disney World. Clem Hall created imagery for use in the American Adventure attraction, Space Mountain, Big Thunder Mountain, and the various world pavillions at the WDW and Disneyland theme parks. This particular painting depicts imagery of a Riverboat very similar to the Mark Twain which is nicely detailed an finished, and potentially comes from the development of the France Pavillion. The piece measures 22" x 30" overall with the main image area measuring 15" x 20". The piece is in overall very good condition with edge wear that would be expected in concept art that is being handled by an artist. On sale for $1500 on the Van Eaton Galleries website HERE.

Next artwork is a lithographic poster print depicting a concept drawing of the entrance to Adventureland at Disneyland. This poster is from the Disney Gallery. The overall measurements of the piece are 18" x 24" and the image itself measures 13.5" x 19.5".

 Next artwork is a lithographic poster print depicting a concept of an aerial view of Adventureland. This poster is from the Disney Gallery. The overall measurements of the piece are 18" x 24" and the image itself measures 14.5" x 18".

Here is a Jungle Cruise Concept drawing of the Jungle Cruise that was created by Bruce Bushman. This poster is from the Disney Gallery.

Next artwork shows a lithographic poster print on an artwork showing an addition to Fantasyland and Hook Pirate Ship restaurant. When Fantasyland opened, the area surrounding the ship was not themed. Later they built Storybookland with Monstro 1956/57. The rockwork attached to Monstro is still shaped exactly like this art shows. However the focal point looks like an early idea for Mermaid Lagoon from Peter Pan. Ultimately that would become Skull Rock, which would last until 1982.
The overall measurements of the piece are 24" × 29.75" and the image itself measures 19" x 23. 5". The artist is not specified but it's most probably a Herb Ryman artwork.

Below, a lithographic poster print depicting the side view elevation schematics for Geppetto's Village in Disneyland. This poster is from the Disney Gallery. The overall measurements of the piece are 18" x 24" and the image itself measures 12.5" x 19.5".

Next is this limited edition lithographic print featuring a concept artwork for the short-lived Disneyland Viewliner. The print measure 11" x 14" overall with an lovely image that measures 8" x 10".

Next artwork is a lithographic poster print depicting a concept drawing of the entrance to Tomorrowland at Disneyland. This poster is from the Disney Gallery. The overall measurements of the piece are 18" x 24" and the image itself measures 14" x 16.5".

Next is a rendering from a flyer showing the America the beautiful in Tomorrowland Circarama attraction.

Below, a rare concept-art for Disneyland Tomorrowland Hall of Chemistry, now extinct as we know.

Next is a rare concept painting for Walt Disney World Space Mountain painted by Clem Hall. The overall piece measures 8" x 11".

Below, a rare giveaway from the TWA Rocket to the Moon attraction at Disneyland. This certificate would certify that the individual had, "rocketed round trip to the moon from the Disneyland Spaceport via TWA Rocket Ship." An enjoyable early artifact that was designed for the ride's opening in 1956. Especially rare is that it is unused and not filled out by the park-goer! This certificate measures 7" x 5" and is in very good condition.

 All pictures; copyright Disney