Pirates within the Disney Archives

This year marked the 50th anniversary of the Disneyland attraction Pirates of the Caribbean. And with that, the Walt Disney Archives decided that their exhibit at D23 would be dedicated to pirates of all sorts! From early shorts to the latest in the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise. And since this was an amazing exhibit, thar be plenty o’ pictures ahead! Ye been warned!

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Look Not into the Eye of Mara!

On March 3rd Disneyland’s Indiana Jones Adventure, the Temple of the Forbidden Eye turned 20. Yes, the Indiana Jones attraction is 20 years old. I remember when when the attraction wasn’t even there! And I remember when it was being constructed, and guests could walk up to the imposing temple for a peek. We visited again the summer after the attraction opened and how absolutely terrified I was when I rode it for the first time! But it was fun none the less! To celebrate the 20th anniversary of the attraction, Disneyland hosted an exclusive, after hours party for annual passholders.

For the event I was inspired by the attraction, and wore an “adventurer chic” outfit with elements of the attraction, including an eye of Mara pendant from the shortly lived Adventureland Trading Company adventure, and a cobra belt, as the attraction features a giant cobra.

The party offered live entertainment with bands, fortune tellers and, best of all, a special presentation with Disney historian Tim O’Day and Disney Imagineer and Legend Tony Baxter to discuss the development of the attraction. Baxter is one of my favorite behind the scenes Disney guys, and I’ve even labeled myself a Tony Baxter fangirl on occasion, because his credits include some of my favorite attractions at Disneyland, including Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, the development of New Fantasyland, and of course Indiana Jones. It should also be noted Baxter started his Disney career scooping ice cream! Baxter and O’Day shared with us the many ideas were discussed in the attraction’s infancy, showcased concept art, photographs of models (including outlandish plans to integrate the Jungle Cruise and Disneyland Railroad) and the technology that was developed for the attraction.

When the attraction first opened, Guests were given cards to aid in deciphering the Maragliphics (named after Mara whose temple it is) that adorned the walls of the temple. The cards were discontinued, finding their ways into antique shops with dealers who specialized in Disneyland memorabilia, or Ebay, and soon the strange writings on the wall were left to be thought of as just decor. But for the celebration, Guests were given the card again! And could once again decipher the various warnings and hidden gems throughout the attraction’s queue, including a room that features the initials of those who worked on the attraction.

It was an exciting and fun night, and I was thrilled to be able to see one of my favorite Disneyland legends in person, and speaking about one of my all-time favorite attractions.

Outfit
Coat by Desert Suedes: Some antique mall in California, I don’t recall!
Blouse: From my dear friend, and fellow blogger, Christine of Smitten
Skirt: Skirt: Made by me, McCall 7153
Shoes: Miz Mooz
Snake Belt: Antiques at the Market, Las Vegas, Nevada
Watch: Fossil

Marc Davis: Walt Disney’s Renaissance Man

Oh, here we are with another Disney related post! I have apartment shooting slated for this week, however next week is creeping up on me faster than I thought! And we return to Portland next week for Expo/Patrick’s work/a friend’s wedding. So I must get that in order, in addition to dealing with some other more dull matters regarding the move. I also have my Halloween costume to share with you! And I hope to have that post up within the week too! But for now, here’s a mega Disney geek post!

One of my favorite Disney artists is Marc Davis. If you don’t follow Disney animation or Disney Imagineering history, the name Marc Davis may not mean a whole lot. But if you have enjoyed such Disney animated classics as Alice in Wonderland, Cinderella or Sleeping Beauty, or visited Disneyland and laughed at the poor trapped African safari on the Jungle Cruise or enjoyed the happy haunts of the Haunted Mansion, then you have seen Marc Davis’ work. Marc Davis was one of Disney’s “Nine Old Men,” who were the core team of animation for Disney. Many would go on to direct and some would go on to work at Disneyland as Imagineers. Marc Davis laid pen the paper and brought to life many of our beloved animated characters, including Tinker Bell, Maleficent, and Cruella De Vil and later went on to do work for attractions at Disneyland. Recently Disney published a book covering Marc Davis’ work, Marc Davis: Walt Disney’s Renaissance Man, and over the weekend Disneyland hosted a signing of the book with several of its contributing authors and Alice Davis, Marc Davis’ wife, who also did work for Disney.

Alice Davis is another favorite Disney legend of mine. We have her to thank for the darling costumes the children of “it’s a small world” are wearing, and the wide array of costumes seen in Pirates of the Caribbean, including the beloved redhead in the auction scene, in fact, many of the scenes throughout Pirates were originally conceived by Marc Davis in concept, and this Alice smoothed out the edges in costume design and construction.

While a short book, it covers Marc Davis’ childhood, self-taught drawing skills that he honed at the zoo, followed by his entry into Disney, working his way to Imagineering. The book showcases a wide range of his work, everything from early portraits to life sketches to animation drawings to concept art for attractions and most surprisingly his stunning abstract art. Alice Davis receives a small section in the back, showcasing some of her early non-Disney costume sketches, as well as those done for “it’s a small world”.

For those who have helped Disneyland become what it is today, by creating memorable moments for families every day, a special honor is receiving a window on Main Street. For those who may be unaware, next time you walk down Main Street take a look up at the windows. Each and every name you see is a real person who had a hand in creating the magic. Both Marc and Alice Davis have windows on Main Street, side-by-side, of course.

It was a true pleasure to meet Alice Davis, as well as many more, including Don Hahn, who was very active in Disney animation during the 80s and 90s, and was involved in the documentary covering that time period, Waking Sleeping Beauty.

Marc Davis: Walt Disney’s Renaissance Man is available at the Disneyland Resort, as well as on Amazon.