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Orange Bird Photo Hunt



Entries in Walt Disney Family (7)


"Saving Mr. Banks" vs. the 1960s

I present side-by-side photo comparisons featuring images from the "Saving Mr. Banks" trailer(right) and images of people and places that inspired scenes from the movie (left). 

I found myself more and more anxiously for the December release of "Saving Mr. Banks" starring Tom Hanks as Walt Disney. The film takes place during the years leading up to and including the 1964 release of "Mary Poppins". How well did movie-makers recreate the period? 

In the trailer we see a persistent Walt Disney invite a reluctant P.L. Travers (author of the Mary Poppins children novels) to come with him to Disneyland. During filming last November, reproductions of various now-extinct props were temporarily added to parts of Disneyland. The classic oval "D-I-S-N-E-Y-L-A-N-D" letters were added to the turnstyle rooftops. Attraction posters were added to the wall in front of the Floral Mickey and Railroad Station. And on the Railroad Station, a Santa Fe sign covering up the current sign.

Extras wore clothing from the era. And look... No new-school snow on Sleeping Beauty Castle (like many fans have been fearing).

Here we see a very close replica of Walt's office.

Walt's office (above left) displayed the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library. Photo by Michael Kane.

Back when the first images of production appeared online, I created and tweeted this photo comparison. It was quickly used by hundreds of movie and news sites. But the joke's on you, Hollywood! I mistakenly used the wrong Walt portrait. I later found the correct one (below). It appears they added a photo of Tom Hanks' head onto the photo of Walt Disney, keeping the same suit and background.

Emma Thompson plays P.L. Travers and pulls off the look rather well.

Robert and Richard Sherman are played by B.J. Novak and Jason Schwartzman.

This black-and-white television footage of Walt Disney interacting with an animated Tinkerbell is nicely recreated with Tom Hanks.

In the original footage, Walt is elevated towards the ceiling of his studio office with Pixie Dust but then is lowered to the ground once he brushes the dust off his suit jacket. Tom Hanks is also elevated until he brushes off the Pixie Dust in the same manner.

The Hollywood premiere of "Mary Poppins" is beautifully recreated. The exterior of Graumann's Chinese Theatre has changed a bit since 1964 but the feeling the premiere is captured beautifully.

How fun is it to see Walt's wife, Lillian, in the film as well (played by Dendrie Taylor).

From what little we've seen, how well do the actors capture the personalities of the people the depict? I say quite well. How well does the film capture the period? Very well. Are there post-1964 architecture and props visible in the Disneyland shots? Yes. Pinocchio's Daring Journey (opened in 1983) can be seen behind Tom Hanks while he's on the Carousel. But really, everything in the trailer feels right, in my opinion. No views of Tomorrowland '98! Overall, was 1960s Disneyland presented well? Absolutely. Will overly-picky fans find endless fault with the film? Most-likely. Will the film present a completely accurate version of the Walt–P.L story? Not likely. Will there be some creative and/or historical license taken? Duh. It's not a documentary. Will the film offer a charming, delightful, and nostalgic "based on" account of this true story? Let's hope so.


Related posts:

THEN AND NOWWalt at Disneyland
That's What Walt Said
Walt's Wife Talks About EPCOT Center
THEN AND NOW Photo Collection



That's What Walt Said

I put together a few of these images recently to post to Twitter and decided to do a whole collection.

I think some of my relatives and neighbors think my wife and I talk like this at home. We did meet each other at Walt Disney World but we also have brains. And so did Walt Disney. Walt didn’t go around speaking in fluffy buzz words. He was a respectable, realistic, intelligent, and rather blunt man. To “future Imagineers” I often suggest keeping the fluffy stuff to a minimum. Keep your resumes and behaviors professional, perhaps a little fun, but always mature enough that the company wouldn’t be embarrassed to hire you.

If you seek a career at Walt Disney Imagineering, read the words of legendary Bob Gurr. And good luck!


Related posts:

THEN AND NOW: Walt at Disneyland
Vintage Disneyland Home Movies- Meeting Walt Disney Himself
Walt Disney and the Santa Maria Railroad
Walt's Wife Talks About EPCOT Center
Carolwood Pacific and Other Backyard Railroads
Walt Disney and Steve Jobs



EPCOT 30TH: A Photo Tour of the Past [Part 3]

Happy 30th Anniversary, EPCOT Center! Right now fans at the park are celebrating the occasion with lots of anniversary-related activities. 30 years ago this month guest participated in a number of ceremonies and dedications. Even Walt Disney's widow, Lillian Disney, attended some of the festivities. We present some extremely rare (possibly never-before-shared) event photos and more never-before-posted guest photos from our Photo Hunt.

Opening Day Ceremonies, October 1, 1982

Card Walker conducted the ceremony. EPCOT Center's "First Family" was recognized. The Winter Park, FL residents got up that morning at 4 a.m. and dodged park security until the parking lot was finally open at 7 a.m. As soon as they drove in Dick and Paula Cason told their kids to run to the gate so they'd be the first family to enter. Card Walker presented lifetime Walt Disney World passes to the family.

Watch it here.


Later that month on October 24 Card Walker welcomed Lillian Disney to a stage on the other side of Spaceship Earth in front of the fountain.

Did any of you out there happen to be in either of these crowds??

The day before a ceremony took place that officially dedicated World Showcase. The large "People of the World" dolls paraded around. Disney characters weren't a part of EPCOT Center until later on. These costumed people met with guests in World Showcase instead.

The "People of the World" or "EPCOT Pageant Dolls" were eventually retired. Here we see a rare group shot on their very last day of appearance.

Michael Eisner and others made way for more recognizable characters to appear.

Remember to old World Showcase omnibus?? It was later painted blue. Then this happened.

And finally, a real treat for you seekers of the super rare, super obscure, and perhaps super mundane. There are only five or so photos of this known to exist online. "The Lost Potties of Denmark"! I borrow this term from our friend Michael Crawford of Progress City, U.S.A. who has extensively researched to topic. The full Denmark Pavilion never happened but restrooms with Danish architecture were built. Here we see them behind the construction wall as the Norway Pavilion is being built. You can see construction of the Stave Church.


Related posts:

EPCOT 30TH: A Photo Tour of the Past [Part 1]
EPCOT 30TH: A Photo Tour of the Past [Part 2]
Rhine River Cruise Mysteries
EPCOT Construction from the Air
THEN AND NOW: Epcot World Showcase [Part 1]
THEN AND NOW: Epcot World Showcase [Part 2]
World Showcase Lagoon- 1983