Monday, November 10, 2014

Jungle Cruise Monday night!

Back in 1996, my beautiful wife and I paid a visit to the half assed display celebrating the 25th birthday of WDW. Not what you'd expect for a quarter of a century of making people happy. 

The Jungle Cruise display was small. Some cool Marc Davis reproductions and a couple of maquettes by Blaine Gibson. 

You need coolin', baby, I'm not foolin'
I'm gonna send you back to schoolin'
I want to make sure you know what you're looking at here. This isn't a Disney "Artist Collection" bisque, diamond horseshit, numbered collectible. This is way more important. This is a tool. The second tool in the process of building an Audio Animatronic character. 

By this point (1969) Blaine Gibson was a master at the art of sculpting for AA figures. He would work with the designer, in this case Marc Davis, to nail down the pose and overall look of the character. But this wasn't just for fun. This was the production model for the full scale figure. WED always made models so all of the problems could be worked out BEFORE time was spent on the full scale creation. Once they were cool with it, it would be sculpted life size with this model as a guide. 

Here's the GREAT part. This is what I love so much about old school Disney. You'll notice the ape has no hair sculpted on it. Of course you know that's because the life size version will have a fur cloth suit. Real hair, right? Of course. Mostly double stretch Yak hair cloth from "National Fiber inc". 

Put your little kid self on and look at this next part.

Look at the palms of the hands and the line around his face. On this character, as it still stands today, the feet, face, and palms of the hands aren't covered with fur. WED sculptors were sure to sculpt the fur areas 1/4 lower to accommodate the thickness of the fur cloth. It was all worked out and ready to go in this little model!  

That, my friends, is what I love deep down in my soul.

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