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Entries in Marc Davis (8)


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:




Don't ask me why but I love looking at the inside of animatronics as much as I enjoy looking at the outside.  I'm a fan of Country Bear Jamboree and it's Marc Davis style.  More than anything I like watching a room full of entertaining animatronics do their thing.

The photo?  This photo of the broken down "Max" head was taken a few years back in none other than Magic Kingdom's Haunted Mansion itself.  It was collecting dust under the elevated Doom Buggy track in the Séance (Madame Leota) Room.  Before declaring it completely "abandoned", I must make an educated guess that it is/was used for parts.  Duplicate animatronics exist for many, but not all, figures in the parks so one can be fixed while the other stays in the attraction.  Could this have come from Disneyland? Don't know.  I'd love to know how much was sent to Florida in the weeks that followed that sad day in 2001 when the Playhouse closed to make way for Pooh.

Marc Davis Concept Art

Did you know?...

· Disneyland had two identical theaters to handle high capacity. One long lobby with two theater entrances.  Ever notice?  I was in there one night back in the 90's and went in the wrong door, noticing a mirrored image of the theater I had just seen.  Remember the cool coin-operated machines in that lobby?  Foot massagers and stuff.

· Magic Kingdom was the first to get Country Bear Jamboree, not Disneyland.    

· The show was originally intended for Disney's Mineral King Resort

· California Adventure's Grizzly Peak area will never get a rebuilt version of Country Bear Jamboree (like rumors have said) because cool things like that never get built anymore, especially in DCA.

· Marc Davis hated the idea of Christmas and summer versions of Country Bear. (Confirmed by his wife, Alice Davis when I asked her about things that ticked off the late genius.  She said, "he never understood why they didn't just leave these things alone.  They just make them worse when they mess with them".  Well said, Alice.

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