Tuesday, January 11, 2022

Ringing in the New Year!

 It's a new year and changes are a happenin' here in the Tulgey Wood.  We are finally getting back to flood recovery, and have now successfully made our first pass at the contents of all the storage bins.  Next phase is to rebuild all the displays - no mean feat, especially with a nationwide lumber shortage!  But fear not, I will continue to post things as I find time, and give updates on the progress with the book.  Which I'm happy to say is continuing.  I'm well into the second chapter "Toys, Games, & Puzzles" and have uncovered a few interesting bits related to them.

So let's start off with something newly acquired this year:  This super cool set of kokeshi dolls from Japan, probably 1960s or early 1970s.  Not quite within my usual time period, but I have a very soft spot for kokeshi dolls.

Alice and the White Rabbit have the traditional wobbly heads, but the cards are static.  According to the person I got them from, they are by a company called Senshukai, which is still in business today!  Their first kokeshi dolls were made in 1954, but I'm not sure when they acquired a Disney license.

Thursday, November 25, 2021

Happy Thanksgiving!

 To everyone in the US, a very happy Thanksgiving, and may your turkey be more appetizing than this one!

Monday, August 30, 2021

Model Sheet of Alice from February 1950 - a Recent Addition!

Over the years I've been very successful in finding model sheets of many of the characters from the film, including some very odd ones indeed.  And as one might expect, there were several of Alice herself.  But for the past 32 years one of the Alice sheets has eluded me, but no longer!  Sheet 250-7 is finally in the collection!

This sheet has a couple of very famous poses, most - if not all - taken from the Caterpillar sequence.  The central image is of Alice leaning on the mushroom listening raptly to the Caterpillar, and the image just below it is of Alice saying "...who you are first?"  Feels good to finally have this sheet after so many years.

Thursday, August 12, 2021

Sunday News September 9, 1951

This is truly spectacular.  This is a copy of the Sunday News, the Sunday supplement of the New York Daily News from September 9, 1951.  That in and of itself is not that spectacular, even though it does have a very nice cover featuring Anne Francis of Forbidden Planet and Honey West fame.

No, the spectacular part is on the very next page, the inside front cover to be exact, which sports - in glorious full-color rotogravure - an amazing photo of Kathryn Beaumont speaking animatedly to her Wonderland friends in doll form.  I do find it amusing that whoever wrote the caption got the two rabbits mixed up.

These dolls have appeared before in several black and white photos, and while it is never clear what exactly they are, it now seems UN-likely that they are Lars of Italy (thanks to the keen eye of uber collector Mel Birkrant).  They could be custom made just for the studio or even by the studio, but regardless, this is just an amazing image.  And a rare full color image from the time.

Wednesday, July 28, 2021

70th Anniversary of the US Premiere

 Yes, that's right, the world premiere was 2 days before the US premiere.  Walt was doing a big push in the UK what with having so many productions active over there using up money in limbo.  So a great excuse for a big 'do across the pond.  But that doesn't mean interesting things didn't happen back here in the US.  Here are two items that are favorites in the collection, both have been posted before, but I think they deserve another day in the spotlight.  First up is a press preview ticket for the film, a full month before the premiere!

This is such a cool piece of ephemera, something that the studio would have mailed to various publications so they could review the film prior to release.  It is amazing things like this survive at all, means that whomever received it didn't go!  My thanks to you, unnamed press guy.

Next is a studio preview ticket, for 2 weeks before the premiere.  Again, the only reason this survived is they didn't go!  Which I find hard to believe.  Wouldn't you go to a preview of the most hotly anticipated film from the studio in ages if you could?

I owe a particular debt of gratitude to John Koukoutsakis for this post.  

Monday, July 26, 2021

70th Anniversary of the World Premiere in London

 I would be very remiss indeed if I let today go by without a post, it's not everyday one turns 70 after all!  Today we have a copy of the UK Photoplay magazine from August 1951, with a cover of Esther Williams looking quite fetching.  But the real gold is inside.

A four-page full color illustrated article on the film.  And while the illustrations are just frames from the film, the design is amazing!
Telling the story via this series of stills as if they were taken directly from the 35mm film is quite charming indeed.
And this was apparently a popular article.  It is the two centerfold wraps of the magazine, and this issue is often found with these four page missing.  People had good taste!

Wednesday, June 2, 2021

Screen Stories Magazine - August 1951

As I continue to unearth items from the Tulgey Wood as part of the writing process, I have begun scanning the vast numbers of magazines in the collection - both to index and catalog them for my research, and to prepare the images for inclusion in the book.  A recent example is probably the most well-known cover from the original release, that of Screen Stories from August of 1951.
The is everything you could want in a cover:  bright colors, lots of characters, very little text to interfere with the images.  The only way you could improve upon it was if you used new bespoke art rather that the standard set of images used by nearly everyone.  But who am I to complain, it is a great cover!
The interior contains a frequently seen 2/3 page film advertisement in two colors (red and black), one that was published in seemingly ALL the movie fan magazines that summer.
It also sports one of the longer publicity pieces issued for Alice, a 6-page article, the first three of which are illustrated with some very standard black and white stills from the film.  
The article is basically a synopsis of the movie, hence the name of the magazine.
This magazine is notoriously difficult to find in good condition, as the paper is super cheap quality newsprint, thus making it very prone to brittleness and chipping.  
The cover, too, is nearly always slightly damaged at least, due to the way the magazine is constructed, with the interior sets of folded pages (called signatures) stapled together and the cover then glued around the full interior.  
The staples are never flush with the pages ('natch) so invariably they create impressions in the cover, and introduce damage.

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