Saturday, March 30, 2013

The Westerner Magazine - September 1951

This is awesome.  A copy of The Westerner magazine, the company periodical for Western Publishing, home of Little Golden Books and all sorts of other fantastic printed items from the 1930s onward, including a slew of Alice material from the original release.  This issue features an Alice cover!
The cover story is about the Goodwill parade in Racine, headquarters of Western, and this was the Disney Alice float in that parade, featuring a live Alice.  
I'd swear that the float was constructed out of Stensgard display parts, normally used for store window displays.  Stay tuned for a future post on Stensgard.  I've never seen any pieces, they probably didn't survive since they were glorified styrofoam.
This issue also includes a story on the local screening of Alice.  Just look at those great display pieces!  Those kids certainly look like they are having a good time.
Nice inset of the cover on the copyright page as well.

Friday, March 29, 2013

The American Weekly Sunday Supplement - August 11, 1946

Quite possibly the earliest published article on Disney's Alice is this from August 1946 in The American Weekly, a newspaper Sunday supplement that ran for decades, and frequently featured articles and covers dedicated to Walt Disney and his various projects.
This issue contains an article written by Walt Disney (or so they would have us believe) that essentially summarizes the history and story of the Alice books, and their universal appeal.  Accompanying this article are some very interesting drawings from the studio, noted as 'modern' in the various captions.  It would be very interesting to know who did these, and when, by this time I would have assumed that Mary Blair would have been driving the look and feel of the picture, with dialog recording just around the corner in 1947.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Alice Attraction Ticket Booth - October 1958

Recently on eBay there appeared a amazing series of photographs from October 1958 of various attraction ticket booths.  I was fortunate enough to acquire this photo of the Alice ticket booth.
All the photos had turned pretty dramatically, I did my best to restore the color, but it is still a little wonky.  If you look closely you can just make out the ticket booth cast member in her Alice costume.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Re-release Studio Preview Invitation - March 22, 1974

Ok, in general I'm not a big fan of the 1974 re-release art, but I have to admit that this is pretty fun.  This is an invitation to the studio preview of the 1974 re-release of Alice in Wonderland, featuring a vividly striped cover!  If IMDB can be believed, the official release date was March 15th, 1974, so this would be more of a studio screening rather than a true preview.
I love they way they striped the entire front with just the outline of the Cheshire Cat.  The art for him is the same as for the 1974 standee, previously posted here, although not nearly as obnoxious.  Inside is the standard art for the re-release, with the date and time blaring out of the White Rabbit's bugle.  Admits two.
There was a  previous preview invitation posted here, a true preview as it was months prior.  I guess they were either trying to let as many people see it as possible, or perhaps they were trying to gauge its potential for success?  Hard to say what the studio types were thinking in the 1970s, pretty much the worst period ever for the studio.  Regardless, 39 years later this is still a cool piece.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Tele-Views Magazine - Week of March 17th, 1951

In the spring of 1951, the Disney studio was in full swing promoting the upcoming release of Alice in Wonderland.  I've previously posted about the Fred Waring TV show that was almost entirely dedicated to Alice, including a full adaptation complete with live musical accompaniment featuring Kathryn Beaumont and Sterling Holloway.  This issue of Tele-Views features an article on that episode.
Interestingly, the photograph - while not associated with the article - pictures Mindy Carson, who recorded a version of I'm Late and Twas Brillig that I'm particularly fond of.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

The Case of the Mysterious Artwork

Several years ago I was approached by a reader of the blog who had a very unusual piece of artwork.  He wrote the following:

"My father was a member of the press who interviewed Walt Disney several times from 1947 on and always managed to bring home little bits and pieces of Disney wonderfulness, particularly after I came into the picture in 1950.  Among them was this pencil drawing which we never had properly framed. It was just stored down in our basement and I would take it out and look at it from time to time. It seemed to be some kind of work in progress, but what it actually is, or was, or was supposed to be is still a mystery to me."
It certainly looked like a Disney-created piece, but I had never seen this image before.  Flash forward a few months later and this piece came up for sale, and I acquired it!  I still didn't know what it was, but I liked it.  It is done in a combination of pencil and pen & ink on tissue or vellum.
Then two weeks ago I received this Italian newsprint magazine (again with the Italians!) called La Domenica del Corriere.
On pages 10 and 11 there is an article and images from Disney's Alice, with some grabs from the film and a nice image of Kathy,
and just look at the images near the top in lavender!
Finally the mystery is solved!  It was art prepared for magazine articles about the film and probably specifically addressing the similarities to the Tenniel art.  I've still not come across this art in a US publication, but it must exist somewhere!
The only differences between the original art and this published version is the captions on the Mad Tea Party.  But other than that (and the fact that it was published in color, pretty common), it is indeed the art in question.  Cool.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Stimme der Frau from Germany - January 26th, 1952

This is a German magazine, whose title loosely translates to Woman's Voice, from January 26th, 1952.  Inside is typical 1950s women's mag contents (recipes, fashion, etc)...
and this one page article with illustrations for Alice, including several comparisons between the Disney version and the Tenniel version.
Oddly, when I was trying to find information on this magazine, I came across an entry on the German wikipedia that mentions a magazine of the same title as being a communist women's magazine from Austria.  Based on the content of this magazine, I doubt it is the same :-)

Thursday, March 14, 2013

1969 Sun Carnival Parade Postcard

I'd never heard of this before, apparently in 1969 Disney contributed a great deal of entertainment and floats for the 34th Annual Sun Carnival, the entertainment events leading up to the Sun Bowl college football game in El Paso, Texas.
This postcard shows nearly the full Alice float from the parade.
Amazingly enough, I located a clip of the parade, and of this exact float, at the Texas Archive of the Moving Image.  The video quality is a little dark, and it suffers from period editing styles (lots of crossfades and superimposed imagery, stupid 1960s) but you can definitely tell it is the same float.  Click the image below for the 9 seconds that the float is onscreen.  For those viewing on iOS devices, the segment begins at the 7:42 mark.
I tried to embed the video directly, but I couldn't figure out how to turn autoplay off on their flash player.  You can view the entire 13 minute video here.

The video is a nice snapshot of late 1960s culture.  What's cool is that there is other Disney stuff in the video, including a brief clip of Wally Boag performing his famous Golden Horseshoe routine with the spitting teeth, and of course Can-Can girls!  And lots of rubber head Disneyland walkaround characters.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Zaccagnini Dodo

And the hits just keep on comin'!  Take a look at this bad boy, a Zaccagnini Dodo!
I seem to say this a lot, but who knew this existed?  And he's huge, almost 9 inches tall!
And best of all, he still retains his original sticker on the base.
I don't think I'll ever know exactly how many characters were made by Zaccagnini, but it sure is fun finding new ones!

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Italian 2-Sheet - Alice with Dinah

The last of the Italian posters for now, this 2-sheet featuring the same art as was on the magazine ad posted here.  The dimensions on this are also quite large, half as big as the 4-sheet (go figure) measuring in at 100x140 cm or 39x55 inches, just slightly smaller than a US 40x60.
This poster has been in my collection for a very long time, so long in fact that I noticed some light foxing on the linen border that I will have to have cleaned at some point so that it does not encroach on the poster itself!!

Monday, March 11, 2013

Italian 4-Sheet - Alice in the Garden of Live Flowers

This is one of the most beautiful posters ever issued for Alice, the Italian 4-sheet, or 4-fogli.  This poster is quite large, measuring 140x200 cm or 55x78 inches - similar to an American 3-sheet, and features wonderful art of Alice with the flowers and several other Wonderland denizens.
Image courtesy of Little Nemo Online
I do not own this poster, nor have I ever seen one for sale, but I would give my left...well you know.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Italian Jumbo Fotobusta Style B

Style B was a relatively recent discovery of mine, again with the bizarre size, so Jumbo Fotobusta Style B it is.
I love all the named images in this poster, especially some of the more esoteric like the Mome Raths and the Bread and Butterflies.  And of course who doesn't love Biagio Lucertola?

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Italian Jumbo Fotobusta Style A

As I mentioned in the past few posts on fotobustas, they were originally 35x50 cm in size, which lasted until the late 1950s at which time the size changed to 50x70 cm.  Which makes these next two posters in the series oddities.  They are from 1951 given the RKO logo (and the date in the bottom border), and they are clearly related to the other fotobustas given that they use the same art of the March Hare holding the Technicolor sign, but they are also 50x70 cm in size.  So what are these?  For the time period they cannot be called fotobustas since they are too large, but there was no other poster size (that I'm aware of) from that time period that match these dimensions.  So I'm calling them Jumbo Fotobustas...because I can.
First up is style A, featuring a montage of images from the film including several images that were constructed for publicity stills as seen in the post on Color-Glos.  Interestingly, just below the title is a line of text advertising the adaptations in books by the publisher Mondadori.  Could these be advertising posters for the books?

Friday, March 8, 2013

Italian Fotobusta - Anybody Know?

While I have not seen a 12th fotobusta, it seems likely that one does exist.  If anyone out there knows what it is, or has a picture of it, I'd love to see it!

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Italian Fotobusta - Alice Asleep Paired with Alice and the March Hare at the Mad Tea Party

Eleventh in the series features a view through the keyhole looking at Alice asleep with Dinah, paired with Alice and the March Hare at the Mad Tea Party

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Italian Fotobusta - Caterpillar Paired with Alice Fleeing Card Army

Tenth in the series features two images from the end of the film, the Caterpillar with butterfly wings on the Sea of Tears, and Alice running away from the Queen of Hearts and the card army.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Italian Fotobusta - The King of Hearts at the Trial Paired with Alice in the Tulgey Wood

Ninth in the series features the King of Hearts at the trial with the card guards flying through the air, paired with Alice looking at the signposts in the Tulgey Wood.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Italian Fotobusta - The Jury Paired with Alice in the White Rabbit's House

Eighth in the series features the jury at Alice's trial, paired with Alice exploding from the White Rabbit's house.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Italian Fotobusta - Cheshire Cat and Queen of Hearts Paired with the Iris

Seventh in the series features the Queen of Hearts with the Cheshire Cat, paired with the Iris in the Garden of Live Flowers.  Again we see the censor stamps on this poster.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Italian Fotobusta - Alice and the Cheshire Cat Paired with the Card Painters

Sixth in the series features Alice looking up at the Cheshire Cat as he prepares to open show Alice the short cut to the Queen of Hearts, paired with the Gardener Cards painting the roses red.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Italian Fotobusta - Alice and the Caterpillar Paired with Alice and the Flamingo

Fifth in the series features Alice talking with the Caterpillar paired with Alice and a giggling flamingo croquet mallet.  This example also retains its censor stamps.

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