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Entries in Concept (13)


Upcoming Concept: Sword in the Stone Dark Ride

I've been spending my Christmas break watching and pausing my favorite childhood animated feature, The Sword in the Stone.  And since childhood I've wanted the film to have more of a theme park presence... in ride form of course.

In an upcoming post I plan to state my case for why a Sword in the Stone Fantasyland dark ride WOULD be successful and why it WILL NEVER be built. I'm not one to believe that box office numbers dictate the popularity of a ride based on the same film.  Nor do I believe an "old, outdated, forgotten" film cannot make a great ride and remain popular.  Look at: Mr. Toad's Wild Ride, Splash Mountain, Alice in Wonderland, etc.  More thoughts to come.  This idea is of course not going to win the award for original concept for it is based on an already-existing creative work, but it will be fun to think about.

For now, enjoy (as I have this week) these great pieces put together by Sandro Cleuzo using Milt Kahl drawings.  Fantastic.

And these great shots have inspired me to put on thick-rimmed glasses and narrow black ties while sketching concept art at my drawing board.




A Disney Artist's Designs for a Hanna Barbera Land

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.

Jetsons Ride

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".

Other Rides

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.


Related posts:

"A Day at Disneyland" 1960s Super 8mm Souvenir Film
Vintage Disneyland Home Movies- Meeting Walt Disney Himself
Matterhorn for Magic Kingdom Fantasyland
Fantasyland Expansion Model



Matterhorn for Magic Kingdom Fantasyland


Concept for an East Coast Matterhorn! Newly-created concept art created by Imagineering

I was talking with my pal Hoot the other day about how a Matterhorn mountain would fit perfectly in Magic Kingdom's Fantasyland.  Disney talked about the idea decades ago.  It was intended to go where Toontown is today.  The latest rumors about the 'new Fantasyland' or 'Fantasyland Forest' say that some people at Disney are rethinking the whole thing- minus The Little Mermaid ride and the Be Our Guest Beauty and the Beast restaurant.  

I Say Give Us a Matterhorn!  
Wouldn't that make everyone happy??  The thrill-seekers and the nostalgic-minded alike?  The 20K (or former 20k) property is ginomous.  It can fit a mountain, a few dark rides, and a whole lot more.  Hoot says he wants a Pinocchio dark ride and I agree.

A Boat Ride and Swiss Village
In the concept above (drawn on a napkin this afternoon) you'll see the old classic Matterhorn taken to a new level.  Not only is there the Matterhorn mountain much like you see at Disneyland, there is a boat ride going through the lower caves of the mountain and through a Swiss Village.  The Swiss Village would include a full-service restaurant with the boat ride through the middle.  There will be a quick-service restaurant and a bakery full of swiss cheeses and pastries (at the request of my wife).

Two Tracks?
Also unique to this design--- Not only is there a regular bobsled track through the mountain, the concept includes 'Junior Bobsleds' for the little ones.  I ran this idea past Lilly and she said to make the tracks begin and end at the same time.  That way younger riders and older riders can can load and unload together, both experiencing the 'same' attraction at the same time.  This way the little riders get to ride the Matterhorn AND have a more thrilling ride to look forward to when they are older.  The junior track would go through lower caves of the mountain but mostly traveling through smaller hills outside the mountain.

I say the bobsleds on both tracks should not only depart next to each other but they parallel each other for the first little while before going their own separate ways.  THEN they meet up next to each other at a couple points along the way THEN end at the same unload dock.  Now you can ride the same attraction three ways:  regular, junior, and by boat.