It gets harder and harder each year to find artwork that you may not have seen before by your favorite artists from the past. Over at his Disney and More blog, Alain Littaye has posted several pieces by Marc Davis. Alain explains that tthe reason these are so rare is that many of them show ideas for the attreaction that were never used. At any rate, they are a great find.
As the park grew, and the public needed more and more in the park to keep them coming back, Walt Disney turned to the artists who he had trusted with his films to help create new experiences for the park. Marc Davis (pictured above) and John Hench are just two of the many artists who started in animation and then found themselves helping Walt with Disneyland. Park staples, such as Pirates of the Caribbean, the Enchanted Tiki Room, and the Haunted Mansion all feature work from former animators.
In this intro from the Disneyland tv show spotlights a few of the lands in Disneyland. These included Frontierland, Tomorrowland, Adventureland, and Fantasyland. For some reason, Holidayland was never really promoted too often, and was closed in 1961. Other “lands”, such as New Orleans Square and Mickey’s Toon Town were added later.
In this intro, we see Tinker Bell act out a bit for each of the spotlighted lands. She zips in and out as the text introduces the next location. It is particularly interesting to see the level of the effects in this piece as well, from Tinker Bell’s pixie dust trail, to the take off of the Tomorrowland rocket ship. Custom animated segments would be used often to promote the park, and eventually animators would begin designing parts of the park themselves…
On this date in 1954, construction began on Disneyland. Making animated films costs money, and it takes quite a while to make one. Walt Disney wanted to make a park for employees to go with their families, he needed a way to keep people interested in his projects, and he needed help funding the studio in between films.
Keep watching for posts related to each of the “lands”, bits of park history, and how animation drove the park while the park drove animation.