And the third thing I found on my random “Let’s see what Tapestry has on eBay” search is actual merchandising of the puppets from when it was still around.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Disney-world-Park-RARE-Tapestry-of-Nations-HAMMERMAN-FIGURE-parade-/161280140508?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item258d0ba4dc

From a recent Theme Park Connection auction, a repair guide for one of the puppets for Tapestry of Nations

In the category of random things found on eBay, here’s a figure of the Dreamseeker Elfin made by the costume contractor as gifts for people in Disney’s Costuming department

WHAT A UNIQUE AND SPECIAL PIECE.  THIS HAND DONE FIGURINE WAS MADE BY THE VENDOR WHO PRODUCED THE COSTUMES FOR THE TAPESTRY OF NATIONS PARADE AT EPCOT. THESE WERE GIVEN OUT AS GIFTS TO THE CAST MEMBERS WHO WORKED IN COSTUMING ON THIS PARADE, ONLY ABOUT  DOZEN WERE MADE.  ELFIN WAS THE NAME OF THE CHARACTER THESE WERE MODELED AFTER.  I AM NOT CERTAIN WHAT THIS IS MADE OF BUT IT IS  A HARD MATERIAL, MAYBE A PLASTIC.  THE BASE IS MADE OF WOOD AND HAS “VEGAS COSTUME WORKS 2001” ON IT (THIS IS THE VENDOR WHO MADE THE COSTUME). MEASURES 13.5” HIGH.  *PLEASE NOTE THIS IS NOT A OFFICIAL DISNEY PRODUCED ITEM*
PLEASE NOTE THAT THERE IS MINOR DAMAGE TO THE BASE, SEE PHOTOS ATTACHED. ONLY DISPLAYED FOR YEARS, AND NOW I AM READY TO DOWNSIZE.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/TAPESTRY-OF-NATIONS-EPCOT-MILLENIUM-CELEBRATION-ELFIN-FIGURINE-CAST-MEMBER-GIFT-/141215235607?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item20e1157e17

Is Captain EO a Good Man?

imagineer2017:

"The cosmos. A universe of good and evil…"

We don’t get much backstory on just who Captain EO is. We know he’s part of some sort of corps, that he’s messed up his missions before, and -oh yea- he’s “infamous.” But why would they call him infamous? That’s not such a kind word for a hero. I say that he is part of an evil terrorist organization that overthrows planet nations and transforms them into territories that will obey him and his group.

Is Captain EO good man? Given that he is referred to as “infamous,” and his apparent attempt to destroy industry (which would cripple planets, disallowing them from producing and engaging in business with other planets) and throw a coup (by changing the personality of the Supreme Leader, she is basically a new ruler) on a planet that does not seem to be oppressed at all, I think it’s safe to say he is not a good man. 

image

The film plays on audiences’ expectations of good and bad. In the film, EO and his crew are on a mission to gift the Supreme Leader with the key to unlock her inner beauty. Audiences, primed to equate ugliness with evil, are instructed to beleive that she is vile because of her appearance. After all, the bleak, grey world and the spider-like look of the hissing Supreme Leader would make her seem evil. But for all we know, the Supreme Leader could have been a great leader! We never see any evidence of oppression or vice. Sure she has guards, but what leader wouldn’t? And while she does lash out at EO and his crew, why shouldn’t she? If EO is indeed a terrorist, she’d want him gone from her planet. She wouldn’t risk having him take over.

The Supreme Leader seems to be keeping the planet running, as well. The planet is clearly industrialized, so I am sure the citizens have money and work. She is keeping the planet productive, and that is essential to a nation’s health. Though drab looking, there’s nothing wrong with the planet’s lifestyle. 

And what of the dancers EO liberates from the columns? Clearly the Supreme Leader is oppressive for putting people in walls! Well, no. They must be prisoners of the state. Who’s to say they aren’t rightfully there? By freeing them from the walls, EO has permitted felons to escape. 

Then here comes Captain EO to sing a song, magically ridding the planet of their industry, freeing convicts, and transforming guards into his own personal army. EO will now be able to shape the planet to perform any task he commands. He has a fresh planet to redevelop in whatever manner he wishes. Not to mention his new army of dancers to help him. 

As if having his own army of civilians wasn’t enough, it also appears that EO has the power to control the minds of leaders. Notice how the Supreme Leader grabs her head, as though experiencing a migraine, soon before she transforms. Could this be EO’s song literally infecting her mind, allowing him to seize control? After all, the song is what turns her over.

And speaking of the song, just listen to the lyrics of the closing song:

We’re Takin’ Over
We Have The Truth
This Is The Mission
To See It Through

It’s clear here EO is saying ‘I came here to take control, this planet is ours, our word is law’

Don’t Point Your Finger
Not Dangerous
This Is Our Planet
You’re One Of Us

This is far more straightforward. ‘You can’t touch me with your laws, I’m in control now, welcome to our regime.’

What is truly haunting is the context in which this song is sung. EO has just converted the entire planet. The Supreme Leader is holding hands with him. He has won. This song is a celebration. EO is bragging that he has taken over.

Things aren’t looking very good for EO. These arguments make us question right from wrong (is good really good?). But let’s not get profound or anything. The film plays off audiences’ expectations. Lucas and Coppola use stereotypical archetypes of good and evil (dark is bad, light is good). But when they are held up to the arguments I have addressed, the archetypes don’t necessarily hold firm.

I for one am not convinced EO is an entirely good man. Between his clear intentions to transform a seemingly non-oppressed planet, his very sinister song lyrics, and his “infamous” reputation, EO does not show many signs of true goodness. Conversely, the Supreme Leader does not show any signs of true malice outside of natural self-protection. 

Slow clap

The Haunted Mansion: The Story Behind the Ride...

yourtriptodisneyland:

The Haunted Mansion is one of Disneyland’s most popular rides, and many fans have made stories for the ride based on what they’ve seen. Walt himself stated he didn’t want to create a distinct story because he wanted people to experience many different ones as they ride. But here is one of the fan…

Most of this is bunk. The Leota/Bride/Ghost Host Love Triangle was something that emerged in the oral tradition of the Florida cast members and was never the true intent of the Imagineers, but the fans and all the people writing Mansion media in the 2000s just went with it. There are grains of truth to the story in that all three of the original walkthrough pitches involved a wedding gone wrong, with the most famous one about Captain Gore and Priscilla essentially being a retelling of the Bluebeard story. Shades of this idea persisted long enough that voice actor Kat Cressida heard a variant of the story as a little girl from her father that worked in Imagineering, which she retold as “The Bride in the Attic”, so most likely what happened was that the basic story got “Telephone Game’d” over the years in conjunction with Cast Members coming up with their own ideas about how the House worked.

Officially, the Ghost Host and Master Gracey are not the same guy. The Ghost Host is actually that guy with the noose around his neck and the hatchet that you see in some of the paintings in the attraction.

The original attic bride, before Constance and the 90s Bride with the “I Do” ghosts, was a skeletal being meant to have been paired with the Hatbox Ghost, her heartbeat being synched with Hattie’s head swapping trick.

As for Leota, the Imagineers have never really had anything about what her deal is other then being the plot device that transitions us from invisible ghosts to visible ones. Even the Eddie Murphy movie keeps her story vague beyond having made some prophecy about how the curse can be lifted. The vidya game which gave her that weird southern belle voice made her part of some secret society fighting a nasty Lich called Atticus Thorn.

To conclude, there isn’t anything really officially concrete about the attraction’s story beyond the Ghost Host having been a suicide case, the house having a reputation for terrible weddings, and the general idea of the Mansion as a retirement home/boarding house for the supernatural.

I’m fine with Death of the Author reinterpretation of the ride and how the Mansion’s story is inconsistent between even the Disney produced tellings because that gives the Mansion as a franchise in general much more of an appealing “Ghost Story” flavor (I actually wrote an Art History paper for a “Myth and Narrative in Art” course about the Mansion’s connection to Ghost Stories and the “Mansion as inconsistently detailed Ghost Story ala Hookhand” that used that as sort of a thesis statement), but don’t pretend that there’s an absolute official story until they actually make things more “text” then subtext. Hell, even the inevitable Disney Kingdoms Mansion miniseries will follow in the other variants’s lead.


Visual Development from Mulan by Ric Sluiter

Visual Development from Mulan by Ric Sluiter

(Source: disneyconceptsandstuff, via conceptualdisney)

The Fox and the Hound (1981) concept art by James Coleman

(Source: animatedli, via conceptualdisney)