Saturday, January 1, 2022

What Were They Thinking? - Disney's 2004 Rose Parade Float

You can file this post under the heading of, "What Were They Thinking?"   Or maybe put it in a file marked, "Too Soon???"

California Adventure's Tower of Terror attraction opened in May of 2004.  Just four months earlier, Disney featured this very unattractive float, in the New Year's Day Tournament of Roses Parade.


Even the author of this Los Angeles Times article, asked the question, "What was Disney thinking?"  She felt that Disney's decision to feature this float in the parade, less than 28 months after the tragic events of September 11, 2001, was a bit "too soon."

Here's a close-up shot of the float, by Eric Warren on Flickr:

As stated in the Los Angeles Times advertisement at the top of this post, the float was on display in the park, from January 2nd through January 19th.


The Tower of Terror attraction opened at the park, four months later.  The exterior design of the building was scaled back drastically, from the original version of the attraction at Walt Disney Studios, in Florida.  Personally, I have always thought this version looked very cheap and ugly (just like the float), especially when compared to Walt Disney World's, and Tokyo Disneyland's Tower of Terror attractions.  I was also not a fan of the color choice for the building's exterior.  It reminded me of Disneyland's ugly "brown and gold" Tomorrowland, of 1998.

This artwork of the building was located on a wall in the gift shop, at the exit of the ride.  It was removed in 2017, when the attraction was re-themed to Marvel Studio's Guardians of the Galaxy franchise.

We will wrap up this post with footage of the Tower of Terror parade float, moving down Pasadena's Colorado Boulevard, on New Year's Day.




Here's wishing a very happy New Year, to all!

 

Friday, December 3, 2021

Walt Disney's "Donald Duck and Santa Claus" - 1952

Today, we have another "Little Golden Book" from my childhood.  This one is actually labeled as, "A Mickey Mouse Club Book," on the cover.

However, the inside of the book has the "Little Golden Book" label.  (This particular book belonged to my older brother and had his name printed in it, along with a date of "DEC. 1965")

A later reissue of this book, had the Little Golden Book label on the interior and the exterior, as seen in this image from ebay.

For some reason, the title page had been ripped out of my brother's book, and the publishing information on the reverse side went along with it.  Fortunately, I did find the images for both pages on ebay:


And here is the story of Donald Duck and Santa Claus, in it's entirety:























The inside of the back cover had a list of more Little Golden Book titles that were available:

The back cover:

Here's an extra holiday item!  My brother and I each had one of these books (from Whitman), when we were kids.  You punched out individual pieces from the pages, and then assembled a large Santa with movable arms and legs.  There was also a three dimensional scene to put together, with a fireplace, a Christmas tree, and a mini-Santa.  The red suits on the two Santas were "flocked" (fuzzy).  We had these for many years, but somehow, all the pieces have disappeared, with the exception of the front cover of one of the books.

According to the price tag (.25 cents!), this was purchased at "The Akron."  The Akron was a very popular chain of stores, which got their start in the late 1940s.  They sold an eclectic variety of items for the home, many of which were imported.  They were around for over three decades, but by the mid-1980s, they were having financial problems.  In 1985, most of the Akron stores were sold off, and became Circuit City stores.

I hope all of you, have a very safe and happy holidays!

Friday, November 5, 2021

Walt Disney Productions' The Fox And The Hound - 40th Anniversary

This year marked the 40th anniversary of Walt Disney Productions' The Fox and the Hound.

Disney's 20th animated feature was released on July 10, 1981.  I clipped this ad out of The Los Angeles Times, the week the film was released.

A review of The Fox and the Hound also appeared in The Los Angeles Times.  This critic wasn't all that impressed with the film.

The 1977 Walt Disney Productions Annual Report, had projected an earlier release date for the film, of Christmas 1980According to Wikipedia, the delay was due to sixteen of the animators quitting before the film was finished.   One of those animators was Don Bluth.

The Winter 1980-81 issue of Disney News Magazine featured a "coming soon" advertisement for The Fox and the Hound, on it's back cover.

And the Summer 1981 issue featured an article about the film.

An updated advertisement also appeared on the back cover.

That summer, the Disneyland "Souvenir Guide" included the same advertisement.

The corresponding Disneyland Entertainment Guide featured an ad, as well.

 
 
The nighttime entertainment for July 13-17th, included Pearl Bailey performing on the River Stage, in the "Rollin' River Revue."  I remember seeing this show, and getting to hear Pearl Bailey sing, "The Best of Friends," from The Fox and the Hound.  She was wonderful!
 

That summer, the Main Street Electrical Parade included two new floats, representing The Fox and the Hound.  The first one was the Widow Tweed's car.

There was a cast member hiding among the milk cans in the back of her car, operating a puppet version of "Young Tod."  (The photo above and below, are from the blog, "Disney On Parole.")

The second float (seen below, behind Widow Tweed's car), was Amos Slade's truck.  Riding in the back of his truck, was a cast member inside of an "Adult Copper" costume.  Widow Tweed and Amos Slade's costumes had both been "repurposed," out of costumes from Disneyland's "America On Parade," from five years earlier.

Also that summer at Disneyland, scenes from the film had been recreated in miniature, and displayed in the windows of the Main Street Emporium.  In 2005, some of the scenes from past Emporium displays returned, for Disneyland's 50th anniversary. The window below, featured returning scenes for The Rescuers, One Hundred and One Dalmatians, The Jungle Book, and The Fox and the Hound.

Here are a couple close-ups, of the set pieces for The Fox and the Hound.

Now, we'll take a look at some vintage Fox and the Hound souvenirs, from Disneyland.

This pinback button was sold in the Main Street Emporium:

This poster was also sold in the Emporium, as well as the Character Shop in Tomorrowland:

These next four items all came from the Story Book Shop, on Main Street.

A coloring book, from Whitman:

The back cover:

A sampling of the pages inside:

A "complete picture story" book, from Golden (Little Golden Books):

 The back cover:

The pages inside were basically a "comic book" version of the film, but on a nicer quality paper than traditional comic books.  This was very similar to the "Little Golden Book" Robin Hood comics that I shared, back in May of this year.



The inside covers of the book had information about the making of the film:

A "picture disc" soundtrack album, with songs and dialogue from the film:


An LP record of songs and dialogue from the film, which included a read-along book:








Here's an item that did not come from Disneyland.  I purchased this porcelain figure of "Copper," in Port Hardy, British Columbia, in 1985:

The figurine was part of a series of porcelain Disney figures, manufactured by Wade Ceramics of England.

While searching online, I found two more Fox and the Hound figurines from Wade.

Big Mama:


And Tod:

The Fox and the Hound was released on video for the first time, in 1994.

Inside the package with the video tape, was an offer to purchase a plush "Tod" and "Copper."

 The film was released on DVD for the first time, in 2000.

A special 25th anniversary edition DVD was released in 2006.  And in 2011, a 30th anniversary edition was released on Blu-ray and DVD.  This edition was a two-movie combo pack, which included the 2006 direct-to-video sequel, The Fox and the Hound II.  This was also the first time the film was available in a 1.66:1 widescreen format.

We will end this post with a more "recent" souvenir.  This Fox and the Hound windbreaker jacket was being sold at California Adventure's Elias & Co. Department Store, in March of 2019.


The back of the jacket had both "fox" and "hound" paw prints going across it, horizontally.

Happy 40th anniversary, to Walt Disney Productions' The Fox and the Hound!