Saturday, June 27, 2015

Today at Disneyland: Drawing Disneyland: The Early Years

I had a wonderful time at Disneyland today, including my first look at the Matterhorn since the new Abominable Snowman was unveiled. The more mobile figure is a definite upgrade to one of my favorite rides at the park.

I especially enjoyed visiting the new Disney Gallery exhibit, Drawing Disneyland: The Early Years.

The exhibit celebrates the work of five studio artists who played major roles in designing Disneyland: Harper Goff (Adventureland), Sam McKim (Frontierland), John Hench (Tomorrowland), Bill Martin (Fantasyland), and Harry Johnson (Main Street, U.S.A.).

Here's part of the tribute to Sam McKim, a very successful child actor turned Disney artist:

Sam's design of the Golden Horseshoe saloon, which was also on display five years ago in a 55th anniversary exhibit, was inspired by the set design for the Doris Day film CALAMITY JANE (1953):

Two different looks at Fort Wilderness on Tom Sawyer Island:

This was my favorite thing in the exhibit, a design of the Casa de Fritos restaurant in Frontierland. I worked at Casa de Fritos (later called Casa Mexicana) when I was in college, and it's where I met my husband:

I loved these layouts for the Peter Pan (top) and Alice in Wonderland (bottom) rides by Bill Martin:

And here's an exterior of Peter Pan's Flight:

A John Hench design for Tomorrowland:

Harper Goff's sketches of the Jungle Cruise ride in Adventureland:

And one of Harry Johnson's designs for a shop on Main Street, U.S.A.:

There's much, much more to see in this wonderful exhibit, which I highly recommend visiting.

For more on Drawing Disneyland: The Early Years, please visit the photo post at Dateline Disneyland.


Blogger Maricatrin said...

Great photos! I've seen the McKim children in a lot of their b-western roles, so I was particularly interested to see Sam's work. Are the Fort Wilderness drawings his too?

1:05 PM  
Blogger Laura said...

They were! McKim did a lot of work on Frontierland -- and worked on aspects of other lands as well -- and was also especially known for his very detailed, truly "magical" maps of the park.

One of the things which makes Disneyland so interesting for a classic film fan is the interrelation, in so many ways, of the park and movies. Beyond Sam McKim, there are some other interesting intersections of Imagineering and acting. John Dehner was a Disney animator who went the other direction and became an actor. Disney's Bruce Bushman was the son of actor Francis X. Bushman, and Stan Jolley was the son of character actor (and "B" Western regular) I. Stanford Jolley.

Delighted you enjoyed the photos!

Best wishes,

1:17 PM  
Blogger Maricatrin said...

McKim's artwork is beautiful, what a talented man. I shared the photos with my brother, who has a page on McKim (relating to his movie serial work), and he was excited to see them as well. Here is a link to the McKim page:

I was aware of the great John Dehner's previous career with Disney, but didn't know about the Bushman or Jolley connections, even though I. Stanford Jolley is a very familiar performer to me!

Many thanks for sharing the wonderful photos, and the additional information:-)

7:57 PM  
Blogger Laura said...

Hi Mary! Belated thanks for your note -- I had quite a work crunch over the last few day sand am catching up over the holiday weekend!

I really enjoyed your brother's page on Sammy McKim as well as the story he linked to at MousePlanet, which I didn't recall having read previously. I was also glad to be reminded there is a piece on the McKims in Classic Images and have noted the issue so I can pull it out of my magazine storage and reread it! Please let your brother know how much I enjoyed checking out his site.

Very glad I could share some fun Disney connections!

Best wishes,

5:00 PM  

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