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Tuesday
May112010

Marc Davis and Disneyland's Rivers of America Rehab

Updated 5/12

I nearly peed my pants when I saw this.  But this time it was the good kind of pants-peeing.  I am thrilled to see that this Marc Davis concept is being used for the latest Rivers of America renovation.  I've never seen this raccoons looking at the skunk piece and it's fantastic.   


This is what the Rivers need.  A little more wild life here and there, some of which is in true classic gag form. (Thank goodness it's not Meeko).

Photo from MiceChat

Marc Davis has been my favorite concept artist since I can remember.  Disneyland and Magic Kingdom would not be what they became without Marc Davis.  He put more personality into the rides than anyone.  Not even Walt himself could have done the job so well.  

It's a cryin' shame he had to die in early 2000 at the age of 86.  It's also a cryin' shame some of his greatest concepts never made it very far off the drawing board (Thunder Mesa and the Western River Expedition).  Anyway, I'm happy to see that he has not gone completely forgotten when it comes time to add to existing classic attractions.

I'm terribly sad to see the old broken down train from Mine Train Through Nature's Wonderland taken out.  I'm am happy to see the addition of Mike Fink and Davy Crockett to the river (in voice form).  The old burning cabin (remember the dead guy out front with an Indian arrow through his chest?) will now be Mike Fink's cabin complete with keel boat out front.  Remember that ride?  I hope we get to hear Fink mouth off to ol' Davy but it might just be them singing.  Keep in mind, they could have had some stupid voice recording of Johnny Depp or Brother Bear or some crap like that.  "Who in the world is Mike Fink??" You best be doing your homework if that just went through your mind.  Go out and rent yourself "Davy Crockett and the River Pirates" tonight.

This is another cool old Davis painting used in the early development of Rivers of America (Magic Kingdom).


Don't he look like something right out of his own drawings??


Here's some pretty cool footage of the man.  It's the third of three parts.  The other two are great too, mostly about his fantastic animation career.

 

Other Rivers of America Rehab articles:

http://www.ocregister.com/video/?videoId=84086250001&lineupId=1125901233

http://micechat.com/forums/blogs/dateline-disneyland/1489-rivers-reopened-swingin-symphony-creating-carsland-d23-remembers-roy-more.html

 

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Reader Comments (11)

Right on.

May 11, 2010 | Registered CommenterAdmin

I love those old "Disney Family Album" episodes. They have them for most of the old greats. Very good memories brought back. Thanks.

May 11, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterTL98H8R

The skunk log is already on the rivers of America. check out Miceage

May 12, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBlake

Thank you, Blake. Good find. I've updated the post with a photo.

May 12, 2010 | Registered CommenterFritz

Very nice post, Fritz! It amazes me that they used this Marc Davis concept! I'd like to see more of his concepts come to life at Disneyland AND WDW.

That Riverboat concept may have been done for WDW. In any case, that scene was actually built and existed in the area of river just before the Haunted Mansion. Fiberglass logs and stumps were anchored in the water and the early spiel told of the dangers of navigating the river. It didn't last long as the logs deteriorated, sank, and looked like shit. The only part of this scene that remains are the river markers with the red barrels. The first ViewMaster set for WDW's Frontierland shows this scene almost exactly like the Marc Davis sketch come to life!

While I'm running my trap, when WDW opened there were no figures along the river. Maybe a deer or two but no Beacon Joe, no Indians at the camp, etc. When the River was enhanced in '73, I believe, all of those figures were installed along with the opening of Tom Sawyers Island. The Log Jam scene didn't make the cut and was removed.

Thanks a million for posting this tribute to the master!

.

May 16, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterHoot Gibson

Good call, Hoot. Man, I love those old ViewMaster slides.

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?VISuperSize&item=170420201754

May 17, 2010 | Registered CommenterFritz

The additions to RoA are small, but great. I wonder if there was a fight to allow such an inconsequential addition. I'm surprised they didn't add Pocahontas characters.

June 7, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterSpokker

"Don't he look like something right out of his own drawings??" Yup! I can so picture an animatronic version of him in Pirates or something!

July 9, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterEmily Oriotis

Always love the fact the title design for the Disney Family Album is John Lasseter

August 10, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMatt

As I was scrolling down the post I noticed a familiar image here that currently sits above my entertainment center. They had framed matted prints of this particular image with the raccoons and a skunk on a log in the rooms of the hotel next to California Adventures. A friend of mine who worked at the park happened to catch them being sold as they were redplacing the art in the rooms and gave me one as a gift. It is nice to know a little bit more about it's history. :)

September 18, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJames C

Maybe I should know this, but in the image of Disney and Davis, who does Disney have his hand on? We're they making a film or what were they doing?

February 19, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterBrad

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