Fantastic concept art for a never-built Hanna Barbera Land by Disney concept/layout artist Bruce Bushman (1911-1972).
If I were to have a second blog it would be a Hanna Barbera animation blog. I'm sure I'm like most of you when I say Saturday mornings as a child were made up of Disney animated shorts, Looney Tunes cartoons, and Hanna Barbera animation. PS: This has nothing to do with the upcoming Yogi Bear movie starring Dan Aykroyd... but I do love me some old-school Yogi! Plus some Jetsons, Flintstones, Huckleberry Hound, Scooby-Doo, Tom and Jerry [before, including, and after the Chuck Jones years], Space Ghost, Quick Draw McGraw, and Smurfs.
Bruce Bushman started with Disney in the late 30s as a layout artist on Fantasia. In 1953 he joined W.E.D. working mostly on designs for Fantasyland and Tomorrowland. He left Disney in the late 50s and landed work in the early 60s with Hanna Barbera as a layout artist there. At some point in the late 60s Bushman was asked to create concepts for a Hanna Barbera land that ended up never being built. I'm not exactly sure what location these concepts were intended for.
Though there have been many Hanna Barbera "lands" or areas in amusement parks around the world (Kings Island, Kings Dominion, Great America, Universal Studios, Carowinds, Canada's Wonderland, Wonderland Sydney) these drawings represent something that could have been more fantastic than them all. Or better yet, how about an entire park. These sketches were auctioned online a few years back but not much has ever been written about them.
Cartoonsville Main Street
According to the artwork, the land's main stretch would have a "Cartoonsville" Main Street.
From the entry gate you would see on your left: Yogi Picnic Basket Restaurant, Boo Boo Gift Shop, Jellystone Park Picnic Area entrance, Winsome Witch Haunted House, and Gulliver’s Adventures Birthday Party Area entrance.
On your right: Bedrock Emporium & Museum of Modern Inventions, Rest Rooms, Hillbilly Bears Shooting Gallery, Cartoonsville Camera Shop & Cartoon Studio, Precious Pupp Restaurant (Granny, Proprietress)
Flintstone Freeway Ride
Gulliver’s Adventures Birthday Party Area
Moby Dick Ride
The Moby Dick ride as you can see would take riders in a whale vehicle. The ride would consist of dark light effects, sea monster, treasure ship, volcano, sand creature, giant squid, shoctopus, electric eel, sub-ship fight, iceberg monster, and and ice cave exit.
I'd love to see how the flying car effect would work as you'd ride through the futuristic utopia in the year 2362.
Space Ghost's "Battle of the Planets" Ride
Surely Bushman drew on his experience with Disneyland's Dumbo ride (see artwork further below) when creating this. It appears to be housed inside a dome. Is that to achieve a dark, space-like atmosphere? His notes indicate a level of interactivity with "simulated ray gun hits" and "individual climb and dive controls".
Not sure exactly what these two rides would be but they look great. The first of the two might have been some sort of Johnny Quest motion ride with projections. The vehicles in the second look amazing with their bubble domes and tank-like wheel systems.
Bruce Bushman's Disneyland Work
Many of Bushman's designs can be found at Disneyland's Fantasyland today. Many of his concepts cannot be found. So it is in the life of a concept artist. I particularly like the Tea Party centerpiece in the middle of the spinning tea cups. Or the whip Timothy Mouse is cracking in the middle of the Dumbos.
The whimsical Fantasyland ticket booth still standing at the Casey Jr. Circus Train entrance was a Bushman design.
I can't get enough of this Pinocchio boat ride idea that had sent riders plummeting down the tongue of Monstro the whale. If I'm not mistaken, it looks like this drawing has the boat ride located in the same area Pinocchio's Daring is located today. Could the 1983 addition of a Pinocchio ride in that location have been inspired by Bushman's concept??
More about this very talented yet under-publicized artist in a future post.