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RuncoToons… OF THE FUTURE!

It’s the curse of the Disney researcher that Disney, historically, has published far more documents for internal use than they have for fandom or the general public. Whether Eyes & Ears of Walt Disney World, Disneyland Line, Disney Newsreel, or one of a million old departmental newsletters, there’s a huge paper trail that’s always turning up new surprises.

One of the best sources of information from the development of EPCOT Center and Tokyo Disneyland is Imaginews, an employee newsletter for the Imagineers of WED and MAPO which ran from the late 1970s until sometime in the mid 1980s. As with most old cast publications, it’s a less-glossy look at Disney, full of in-jokes and the kind of in-the-trenches humor that arises from tight deadlines.

Several cast publications made a stab at including employee-drawn cartoons at some point during their run, but these usually were high school newspaper-grade gags. A notable exception is, perhaps unsurprisingly, Imaginews. Imagineer Chris Runco (also responsible for “Go-Bots“) created a series of gags which were printed during the early 1980s and played on some of the iconography of EPCOT – especially the pavilion logos. They also convey some of the mood at WED at the time – the above gag takes its cue from the driving slogan behind the creation of EPCOT Center and Tokyo Disneyland, “We Can Do It!” It’s a nice bit of history for EPCOT fans and, most importantly, they’re pretty funny.

The guy on the right is thinking of Flash-animated cartoons

 

It's a fun gag, but I would buy the heck out of those balloons - and those omnimover toys!

 

The first Julie Reihm-bot was designed by John Hench in 1965... they evolved... they rebelled... there are many copies... and they have a plan

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