Monday, May 31, 2010

Hoarders (The Disney Version)

Good lord people. It's been over 4 months since I've blogged about Disney. FOUR MONTHS. How in the hell can that be?

This cannot stand.

When I played Lennie in "Of Mice and Men", as I started to develop my character, I found myself picking things up off the ground and stuffing them in my pockets. I would see a piece of straw. Into my pocket. A mouse? In my pocket. Pretty much anything. I decided that Lennie, if he had money, would just be a compulsive hoarder of goods (and not-so-goods)... Piling things up in his house and pissing George right-the-hell off.

The Tofu Muchacha has said I sort of have the same inclinations to some degree.. hopefully never to the extent of those poor people being capitalized upon on television, but you know... I like stuff. I'm a bit sentimental. I like to revisit things from my past from time to time.

I have often found myself day dreaming about what I'd do with a time machine. Obviously, I'd use it to make myself rich in some way. I've considered how I'd go about it... Would I buy up huge parcels of land, and then wait until the sprawl-binge of the 70s and 80s and sell it off for gigantic profit? Would I buy houses in affluent areas of Cincinnati for 15 thousand dollars each back in 1920 and sell them off one-by-one today for a million each? Would I acquire rare baseball cards and autographs and lock them away in a safe (to let them age naturally, but safely), uncover them all, and then have a big lucrative auction of my dozens of Babe Ruth signed baseballs and Jimmy Foxx signed bats and whatnot?

The answer to all of these is, of course, yes.

But... what would I keep? What obscure piece of history would I hoard for myself? My thoughts always comes back to Disney related memorabilia. I have these big elaborate fantasies about meeting a 21 year old Walt Disney and just quietly working for him at the Hyperion Studios or giving him a pep-talk after Pat Powers screwed him out of Oswald the Rabbit. So...

In honor of my hoarding tendencies, my elaborate Disney-related day dreams, and my lack of a Disney post for a good long while... I bring you...

5 Pieces of Disney History I'd want For My Very Own...
(assuming unlimited space and money... obviously).

1) The original multi-plane camera. (Pictured above)
I mean... it's a god-damned monstrosity of a thing. I'd obviously need to have like a whole room dedicated to Bertha. (That's what I'd name it.) I don't draw, really, so the odds of me actually using the thing are pretty much nil. That said... It's one of the most important developments in animation ever. Without it you wouldn't have Snow White or anything that came after it. I've discussed it before, but as a refresher... The multi-plane camera was a machine Walt Disney and Ub Iwerks invented to provide multiple layers in their animation. The first animation released that used the multi-plane camera was called The Old Mill. Anyway, it represented a huge visual leap in animation... taking it further away from amusement and closer to art. I'd LOVE to have that thing. Good ol' Bertha.

2) The original blue-print for Disneyland
Let me count the reasons this would be fucking awesome to have... 1) A blue print and a map are essentially the same thing, and I collect antique maps. 2) It would look amazing hanging in the Disney Room in my mansion. 3) Disneyland represented a quantum leap in family entertainment. The way people vacationed changed forever. The theme park was born. 3) The original blue print for Disneyland is the embodiment of the birth of my favorite place in the world. An honorable mention would be the original concept art for the park.

3) The original sound reel for Steamboat Willie
I started thinking that I'd want something from the early days of Mickey Mouse. A lot of folks would want an original print of Steamboat Willie, and who could blame them? Well... I've never been much of a traditionalist, and in college I did a ton of sound designs and scoring for the theatre productions. Creating a really good sound design is pretty cool... I'd venture to say that there's never been a cooler sound design than the original Steamboat Willie. Once again, Walt was on the forefront of the technology (my biggest argument against the people who resist change at Disney World). We all know the history of Steamboat Willie, and how it was the first animated film to have fully synced sound. Having the original sound reel would be killer.

4) The Tiki-Room Parrot in the above picture:
I am not like... a huge fan of The Enchanted Tiki Room or anything, but I do like it a lot. That's not really the point though. Walt Disney was a huge lover of technology and was kind of obsessed with toys and robotics and one of his favorite features of Disneyland was that it was a showcase for things like audio-animatronics and things like that. This particular Parrot is special, because Walt used it in a feature about the Tiki Room on his television show. Choose a reason I'd want it? Original animatronics from Disney. Direct connection to Walt Disney. Disneyland in its youth. It's more emblematic than specific to this piece.

5) Walt's drawing table from Hyperion/Laugh-o-Grams
What more could a person want? It's Walt's drawing table.... I mean.. He created Mickey Mouse. He created Oswald the Rabbit and Donald Duck and Goofy and Chip and Dale and a million other characters we've all grown up with. He created a dynasty of entertainment. He invented the modern theme park. He introduced depth and sound to animation. He's my hero. Any everything he did was all started at that drawing table. It'd be like the writing desk where Thomas Jefferson wrote the Declaration of Independence. It'd be like the easel Picasso used while painting Guernica.

Looking at my list, I can't help but note that all of these are historical pieces. Things instrumental in creating the Disney that I have come to love. Oh man... I could think about it all day..

What things from history would you want?

1 comment:

Caren said...

Did you know I have a 6 hour tape of all the old classic Disney cartoons? I think it may go back to the very beginning but not being the Disney afficionado you are I don't know. Your sister loved it.