Saturday, December 23, 2006

Merry Xmas! Jews, Gentiles and Everyone In-Between!

Hey everybody! Well, that beloved day is upon us!

The little Lord Jesus will have first laid down his sweet head approximately 2041 years ago! Talk about staying power!

Ya gotta respect Christianity's skill in the public relations department. No matter what your background, the thematic holiday of Christmas is most successful advertising campaign of all time!

A lot has been done by mankind in Jesus' name...some good and some well, not so good. One thing I'm certain he'd be proud of is, Santa's Village theme parks!

If there's one thing theme parks do best, it's to re-package a thematic concept, melt it down into a homogeneous syrup and spread it around for everybody with a colorful icing. Yummy, yum-yum!!!

This time, we'll center on the now defunct, Santa's Village in Skyforest, California.

Because I've been away and probably will be for a little bit more, I thought I'd choke you with an overdose of sugary images from this visual playground.

There's a lot so be sure not to swallow it all at once! These images consist of brochures, postcards and slides...

Of course, there's a billion reasons to love Santa's Village; colors, candy, cartoony architecture, 50s kitch, mushrooms, elves, reindeer, phallis, pixies, fat men, fat women, trains, seasonal denial...the list could go on forever.

More so than any other place, Santa's Village tip-toed the line between creepy and cute!

Now that's one way to get an underage boy into your creepy boudoir!

For the purposes of this blog, I'd like to draw your attention to yet another aspect of the Santa's Village's shameless, wonderful, roadside/carny-esque rip-off if it's beloved neighbor to the south, Disneyland.

Not entirely on the surface mind you, but there in spirit. I'll point some out and see if you can find some others.

Of course, the biggest comparison would be Fantasyland. So many elements in Santa's Village draw from Disney's European flavored land.....

Cinderella's Pumpkin Coach and Pinocchio's Village are represented. Tinkerbell's Toy Shop with dolls of many lands can be found. There was even a "Wee Puppet Theater" at the park.

Alice In Wonderland was sure not to miss her place at Santa's pad!

Ah, yes. Main Street and it's call back to a bygone era...

Steam trains, turn of the century automobiles and hand made candy emporiums flourished here...

And here we have a Santa's Village equivalent of the Main Street Flower Mart...

Pixies selling pansies...

Not to mention dads who just tried their darndest to let the spirit overtake them....

Herman likes Santa's Village 'cause at least it's a hellavalot cheaper than Disneyland!

Santa's Village was educational too! Did you know Santa responds to more than just milk and cookies after he shimmies down your chimney?

I'd lock up my house pets and small farm animals on Christmas Eve...just to be safe.

Hey, let's not forget Tomorrowland! Here we have representation of both the Monorail and the Astro Jets!

Part Matterhorn Bobsled, part Frontierland Stagecoach, Santa's Sleigh Ride was powered by almost live Reindeer...and occupied by almost live guests!

They look like pretty happy beasts of burden, don't they?

Well, I'm certain there's many, many more comparisons out there. I have some more pics but alas, I have to save some for next year!

Anyhow, have a happy holiday theme park fans and I'll see you on the other side!

Tuesday, December 19, 2006


Wowzie, wowzie, woo-woo!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I've been searching for something on this new dvd set for 20 years! I'm on camera, grilling both Roy Disney and Art Linkletter about the possible existence of a very rare film. Dave Smith has heard my wrath on this subject! Low and behold, today it's finally released!!!!

Kodak Presents, Disneyland '59!

My sweet lord! I've been told time and time again that this thing simply didn't exist. Bill Cotter has said he had never heard of an existing print.

For those of you who don't know, this was the "second opening" of Disneyland in 1959. Broadcast live a'la "Dateline Disneyland", this 90 minute special was hosted by Art Linkletter and featured celebs and visual intros to what the newly revamped park had to offer on June 14, 1959. Luckily, Dateline Disneyland was filmed as a kinescope from the live broadcast. Disneyland '59 was said to not exist on film. Well, this surprise DVD set offers it in all it's restored glory. The 'pre-filmed' or 'canned film footage that was inserted live into the original broadcast has even been restored and inserted, crystal clear into this new DVD.

Talk about an early Kwanzaa for me!!!! This was the Holy it exists in my fuzzy, greedy little paws!!

If you love Disneyland, YOU MUST GET THIS SET!!!!!!

Monday, December 18, 2006

Jeez! Thanks Santa!

Joe Barbera (1911-2006)

Well, I'm sure many of you are wondering where I've been. Let me apologize in advance.

After almost eight years as an independent in animation, I've started a new gig at Dreamworks Animation. I have to say, so far I love it! What a great place.

On the excuse note, things were a little crazy when I first started and I had to place the blog on the back burner for a little bit. I promise to pick things up in the next week.

That said, I heard the crappy news today.....we lost another massive figure in animation today. Joe Barbera. He's absolutely one of my heroes and this is a big loss for those of us who loved his work.

I'm off to an event this evening but I'll try to post something later. just wanted to say....something before getting plastered this evening. Besides, it's very possible I might not make sense later!

In the meantime, get the latest news from my favorite site,
Cartoon Brew.

Again, I apologize for the absence but I shall return!
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