Friday, October 7, 2011

The Colors of Mary Blair at Disneyland- Part Two: it's a small world

The iconic "it's a small world" facade concept art.

Last week I showed you pictures I took of inspirational art for Disney films from the awesomesauce Colors of Mary Blair exhibit in the Disney Gallery. This week, we're moving into the next room and showing some of the art she made as inspiration for fellow Imagineers in creating attractions for the parks. I decided to focus this entry on the art that she did for "it's a small world", which deservedly got the lion's share of the wall space since it is such an icon for Disneyland. Apologies for not getting more closeups on the informational cards. I was too dazzled by the colors and fabulousness in front of me. 

I absolutely adore the fancy detailing that they added to the corners of the mattes for these pieces. Perfect, subtle, whimsical touch.

One of the cool discoveries about her work was how often she used the collage technique. She used everything from wrapping paper to lighting gels.

The experience of seeing these pieces inspired by different regions and countries side by side in this way was fantastic. She was really able to boil each place down to signifying colors and patterns while keeping it all unified by her own visual style. You can see how each piece has its own unique color palette and how much of each piece actually comes alive in the attraction. They really incorporated not just the feel, but many specifics from Mary's work.

The following shots are of maquettes for some of the figures from "it's a small world" which were in the display cases in the center of the room. It really amazes me how wonderfully the people who collaborated on the attraction were able to take the very singular style of Mary and make it fully dimensional without losing her spirit. It was one of the great challenges of film artists working from her inspiration and was never fully realized, much to Walt's dismay. Turns out, her ultimate artistic statement would be "it's a small world" after all.

Next door to the Disney Gallery is "The Disneyland Story featuring Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln", which I visited for the first time. Both are fantastic, by the way, and sadly passed up on all too often by people undoubtedly dashing madly towards something that moves more quickly. Tucked into a corner in a display case was a bit more "it's a small world". These folks are from the clock in the facade of the attraction.

Sorry bout the flashmark, mini Carmen Miranda.
So much Mary Blair, so little time! I will post one more set of pictures soon that show Mary Blair in the rest of the park. Until then, I leave you with a picture of some very questionable merch from a shop right next to "it's a small world". Now I'm sure that if you asked a cast member what these little dojobbers are, they would have a cutesy-wootsy answer like "Happy Jolly Mini-Cups of Joy". But come on. Look at them. You can't tell me that they didn't produce "it's a small world" shot glasses. I guess they finally answered the call of all the folks who said that they'd have to get drunk to make it through the ride without wanting to bang their heads against a wall.

"its a world of tears", not "a world of beers", y'all.

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