Here’s some bits and bobs to clean out my stack of interesting stories that have been piling up…
First, we have Mickey Mouse from the Year 900!!!
The “Stuff From the Parks” blog has posted this fascinating diagram from 1954 of a proposed layout for Main Street at Disneyland. Notable are the early ideas for shop themes, the Nautilus set walk-through in the Opera House and accompanying animation studio demonstration, and most interestingly the International Street concept that would never be built but resurfaced nearly thirty years later as World Showcase at EPCOT Center.
One of the stories that kind of slipped under the radar recently was that Scott Trowbridge, vice president of Universal Creative Studios, was hired away by Walt Disney Imagineering and is now the new vice president of creative research and development. This is big, big news as Trowbridge was senior show producer on The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man, a perennial contender for the title of best dark ride ever created. This is a huge coup for WDI and I can’t wait to see what it leads to.
Staying in the parks, about.com has an interesting talk with Imagineer Tony Baxter about Disneyland’s new Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage and the path that the attraction took from the original Submarine Voyage‘s senseless closure in 1998. While a great story, it underlines how my ‘home park’ in Florida has suffered from the lack of a powerful champion in WDI’s brain trust.
John Lasseter talks about animated shorts, WALL-E, and Pixar’s future slate and animation’s chances at the Oscars. WALL-E has started having sneak previews, and Leslie Iwerks’ documentary The Pixar Story has started a round of public screenings.
Disneyland in Malaysia! Disneyland in… Siberia? Malaysia and Siberia might want to call Hong Kong, who’s going to have to bail out the faltering Hong Kong Disneyland, which continues to fall below attendance expectations due to the glaring lack of any actual amusement in their amusement park.
Finally, I should mention the passing of renowned Imagineer and author Bruce Gordon who died November 6th at the far too young age of 56. Gordon was a fan favorite at various conventions, and authored or co-authored a number of authoritative books on Disney parks, animators, and imagineers. He was currently working with the Disney family on The Walt Disney Family Museum in San Francisco and had a number of books in the pipeline for publication. He will be greatly, greatly missed.
And… this. Umm…
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