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Hidden Mary Blair in Walt Disney World’s “it’s a small world”

2 Aug

I’ve always been terrible at spotting hidden Mickeys. I’ve got the guide and all, but even with incredibly explicit directions, I still can’t see half the things I go looking for, unless I’ve got a personal guide.

One of my favorite Easter Eggs at Walt Disney World is the hidden Mary Blair in “it’s a small world.” She’s hidden in plain sight, and large enough that I can find her just fine. But she’s in such an odd spot that I never noticed until my friend Trace showed her to me. So on my trip to Walt Disney World last month, I captured this video.

Trace tells me that there are hidden Mary Blairs in every “it’s a small world,” but the only other one I could find info on is the one at Disneyland, which interestingly enough is also located with the Eiffel Tower. Anybody out there got the scoop on Paris, Tokyo, or Hong Kong?

Attn Mary Blair Fans: Golden Books Art Exhibit

11 Jul

Golden Books

Can’t get enough of that kitchy Mary Blair goodness? Well then, “Golden Legacy: Original Art from 65 Years of Golden Books” might be just what you need. Blair is among many artists whose work will be displayed in this art exhibit, currently at Children’s Museum of Manhattan.

Hat tip: BoingBoing.

No Plans for “Up With America,” Sez Sklar

5 Apr

Laughing Place has a statement from Marty Sklar, in response to the vocal fan-community criticism of rumored changes to Disneyland’s “it’s a small world.” It reads, in part:

Now the rumors are swirling that we are “ruining Walt’s creation.”  I’ve heard that we are planning to remove the rainforest, add Mickey and Minnie Mouse, create an “Up with America” tribute, to effectively “marginalize” the Mary Blair style and Walt’s classic (all not true).

Much of his post does effectively pull at the heartstrings, and makes a good argument for continued change in the parks (“the greatest “change agent” who ever walked down Main Street at Disneyland was Walt himself”). I’m still a bit skeptical, though . . . and not crazy about the branded Disney characters being introduced to the attraction in any context.

Blair Family Speaks on Changes to “it’s a small world”

18 Mar

Re-Imagineering has a letter today to the Disney Company, apparently from the family of late Imagineer Mary Blair, commenting on the rumored upcoming changes to the Disneyland attraction, “it’s a small world.” The letter reads in part:

The Disney characters of themselves are positive company icons, but they do NOT fit in with the original theme of the ride. They will do nothing except to marginalize the rightful stars of the ride “The Children of the World”. This marginalization will do nothing but infuriate the ride’s international guests and devoted Disney fans.

My Mother and I have always had a strong sense of patriotism for America and I DO support a tribute to America. Disneyland has several venues, which are perfect places for this tribute including “Main Street USA” or “New Orleans Square”; unfortunately the “It’s a Small World” ride is NOT one of them. Once again this will marginalize the children of the world theme and bastardize my Mother’s original art. Furthermore ripping out a rainforest (Imaginary or otherwise) and replacing it with misplaced patriotism is a public relations blunder so big you could run a Monorail through it.

“Bastardize” . . . they’re not mincing words here, now are they?

Re-Imagineering has also recently run a piece discussing its objections to the changes, in some detail.

it’s a small world: “Hooray for USA”??????

5 Mar

I was stunned to read this today in Re-Imagineering, regarding updates to Disneyland’s “it’s a small world:”

Unfortunately W.D.I. has taken ill advantage of the downtime by staking out areas throughout the attraction to place a selection of smiling Disney characters to spice up the proceedings. Imagine a grinning Stitch in Hawaii, a demure Belle in Paris, a Peter Pan in London.

And in one of the most egregious and downright disgusting decisions in Disney theme park history, the gorgeous New Guinea rainforest scene, replete with some of Mary Blair’s most whimsical character creations (a crocodile with an umbrella, colorful birds hatching from eggs) and her drummer children with Tiki Masks on the opposite shore will be replaced with a Hooray for U.S.A sequence.

Um, excuse me? I thought for sure this was an April Fools’ post . . . then I remembered today is March 5.

Now, I’ll confess to having mixed feelings about some of the rainforest section. There are some racial undertones that are disquieting to me, but what the heck, the whole ride’s full of stereotypes (good and bad). But replacing it with “Hooray for USA?”

And as much as I love Stitch, I don’t wanna see him in the Hawaii section of that attraction, thank you very much.

Mr Banks closes the Re-Imagineering post with a call to action:

This is not a change at Disneyland to take lightly. Letters should go out to all corners of the company pleading for a halt to the desecration of Small World once and for all. A campaign to “Save Our Rainforest” is appropriate, one with tee-shirts, wristbands and a countdown clock. It’s safe to say that with enough of a hue and cry from those of us who actually pay the bills at W.D.I the company might do an about face. Fortunately this was a concept that was pitched to executives before Bruce Vaughn and Craig Russell took the reigns at Imagineering so there’s still room for hope.

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