Saturday, February 28, 2009

Thumbnail Sketches

I've always been partial to original pencil drawings, what I feel to be the true art of the animation process, especially developmental art. This is a nice little page of thumbnail sketches of characters from Alice.

I'm not sure when this was created, or for what purpose; I suspect it was NOT for feature development but some other purpose because of the Walrus, who appears to be holding some sort of sign. All the characters are very well executed, and I particularly like the Live Flowers denizens like the Rocking Horse Fly and Bread and Butterfly

Friday, February 27, 2009

UK True Story Magazine - December 1951

Here's a cool English magazine from Christmastime 1951. Love the wispy tree and ornaments surrounding Esther Williams in quite the fetching winter coat.

No real story or accompanying article, just a very nice full-color double page spread. Most of the magazine is in two color (black and red/orange) so it is nice to see Alice get the full color treatment.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Cuernavaca Alice Head Vase

Our neighbors to the south produced a slew of Disney figures over the years; some original pieces like the very cool set of wall heads (for lack of a better word), some taken from figures or molds from American Pottery or Shaw, like the MCP figures. But I had never come across an Alice item until I found this.

I was completely blown away when I saw this. A Cuernavaca Alice item, and not just any old rehashed figure, but a take on the Enesco head vase no less. Her styling is a little odd, and the greenish hue of the dress is weird too, but I like the flowers in her hair quite a bit. Figure has not only a stamped Disney copyright, but also a paper label from Cuernavaca.

In comparison to the Enesco vase, it is a little larger, a lot greener, and her teacup is not hollowed out. A very cool piece.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Enesco Alice Head Vase

After the Hagen-Renaker company lost it license in 1960 (or thereabouts) Disney figurines were produced for sale at Disneyland by Enesco. They produced a lot of figures, but they only produced one for Alice: a head vase.

The Enesco head vases are really really hard to find. They made a total four: Alice, Cinderella, Snow White, and Mary Poppins. All but Mary Poppins have a very flat, bisque finish, Mary has a high-gloss finish. And all have little applied bits that make them really fragile. Alice's applied bit is the hand holding the teacup.

Head vases have a large following in general, so these Disney ones cross collecting lines, being sought after by head vase collectors as well as Disney collectors. Expect to pay several hundred dollars if you find one.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Modern Ceramic Products Alice

This last post of MCP figures is a bit of a repost, but figured (ha!) that I'd keep them all together. This is Alice. She looks very similar to the Shaw Alice, and in fact is the closest in size to the Shaw set of all the MCP figures (that I have seen).

There are some subtle differences in the sculpt, but overall very close.

This concludes the MCP series here on the blog, at least until I find the remaining three figures in the set: the March Hare, the Walrus and the Dormouse (coinidently the last three I acquired in the Shaw set as well). I do believe that they exist, I have heard that the Disney Archive has a complete set of the eight figures, but I have not seen them personally.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Modern Ceramic Products Tweedledee and Tweedledum

Thought I may as well continue this series until I run out of figures - which won't be long now. These are the MCP Tweedledee and Tweedledum. I acquired these individually from different sources, probably why they have slightly different paint jobs. As with the Shaw Tweedles, their names are applied overglaze, so tend to rub off. Both retain their original labels, but have been marked out, probably means that the wrong character label was applied, but I haven't tried to figure out what they say.

Once again, giants compared to their American cousins.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Modern Ceramic Products Mad Hatter

Continuing with the MCP theme, we have here the Mad Hatter. Probably the most common - where even that means damn hard to find - I've had this guy for quite a while; I even found him before I completed my Shaw set.

Again, the giant stature compared to the American set.

I wish I knew more about this company and the figures they produced. Disney MCP Figures has some information on the pottery, wish there was a catalog or something. Would love to see someone write the definitive book on the subject.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Modern Ceramic Products (MCP) White Rabbit

Inspired by my friend over at Disney MCP Figures, today I feature the MCP White Rabbit.

As with all the other MCP figures from the Alice set, the White Rabbit maintains the same pose as his American counterpart, but has been re-sculpted larger. In fact, he is HUGE! Just take a look at this comparison photo.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Plastic Novelties Pencil Sharpener - a Page from the Character Merchandising Division catalog

Second in the series of 'Matt is apparently blind and can't see the back side of pages' comes this page from the Character Merchandising Division catalog featuring the Alice pencil sharpener from this post.

The sharpener in my previous post had a smooth edge, but this particular ad shows the scalloped edge version, as below

Also interesting to note is that this sharpener and those pictured in the page do not have a © WDP on them, the but the sharpener in my previous post does...could these scalloped ones be earlier, and then Disney complained about the lack of a copyright?

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Happy Valentine's Day

Happy Valentine's Day! I love this particular valentine, it came from a set of Disneyland valentines that all featured attractions. I don't know the precise date on this, but obviously post-1958.

UPDATE: According to Dave Smith at the Walt Disney Archive, this is from 1964 and was produced by Whitman.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Vira Greeting Cards - a Page from the Character Merchandising Division Catalog for 1951

While preparing another post, I came across this page in the Character Merchandising Division catalog.

Some of you may recall the series I did on Vira greeting cards back in November of 2008. I had overlooked this page at the time because it was on the back of a page, and in this particular catalog almost all of the Alice merchandise is on the front of the page...that'll teach me.

This page is really interesting, and it illustrates very well something I have noted a couple of times before - what was planned for release and what was actually released don't necessarily coincide. Case in point, card number 410, in the above it is a Mad Hatter card; but in reality card 410 is an Alice card, as seen here. The other designs are all pretty close, although some of these renderings are in fact much nicer than the actual produced card.

Another interesting thing to note is that this page only mentions a single set of 6 cards, but in fact it appears as though they produced a set of 12 cards, a birthday and get well card in each of the 6 designs (although I have only seen 4 get well cards to date).

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Original Studio Music Sheet - The Caucus Race

In honor of today's 57th anniversary of Alice in Wonderland receiving a nomination for an Academy Award® for Best Scoring of a Musical Picture, I present to you an original studio mimeo of the music for The Caucus Race.

I'm not exactly sure what the proper name for this is, but it is a large format (Life Magazine size) sheet music printed on one large piece of card stock, folded once. Reproduction is not great (those who remember mimeograph will recall what that looks like), but a cool piece of ephemera from the studio nonetheless.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Inside Disneyland March 1970

I love these little newsletters, I only wish this one had some Alice content inside. But as the film was still four years from re-release, it is hardly surprising.

Unfortunately this is slightly larger than my scanner when unfolded (gotta get a new one), but if there is interest I'll post the contents as best I can.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Motion Picture Herald September 1, 1951

Interesting article on TV in movie theatres (way ahead of their time) from a 1951 issue of Motion Picture Herald. Interesting that they used images of Alice to illustrate the point about dot resolution (commonly known now as DPI or PPI).

This article is very interesting reading, quotes like "Television may turn out to be like sound, something every house, no matter how small, must have;". If they only knew...I have kept this as high res so those interested can read this first page. Enjoy!

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Disneyland Postcard D-16 or Was the Proof Reader on Strike?

Ok, so I know that I'm the only one out there who really pays attention to the Alice merchandise in the kind of detail that is becoming apparent to those of you reading this blog, but come on, this is a HUGE mistake...

I believe our heraldic friend on the left is actually the White Rabbit, and unless I miss my guess, there has NEVER been a March Hare walkaround character at the park - at least I've never seen one or even a photo of one. Other than the glaring error, this is a very cool postcard, featuring my favorite incarnation of Alice, with natural hair and knee socks. Scary rubber head Mad Hatter I think is probably best left in the past.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Disneyland Back Stage Safety Signs

These are a lot of fun. These are safety signs that were posted in the back stage areas of Disneyland to remind cast members to do what they should. In these particular cases...

Wash your hands...

again, but this time with help from a friend...

wear gloves and goggles when dealing with toxic chemicals (cleaning the Tomorrowland fryer one can only assume)...

and of course no smoking allowed! I date these to the late 1970s or so based on the fonts used, perhaps 1980s on the no smoking sign.

All of these signs are 8x10 card stock, with the exception of the blue wash your hands sign, which is actually a giant sticker.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Yugoslavian Movie Herald

Interesting two-color herald or program from a slavic country, probably Yugoslavia, and the language is most likely Slovenian (if anyone out there knows for sure, please let me know).

I believe the title translates literally to Alice in Fairy Land.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Very Nice Drawing on the TAG Blog

Take a peek at this posting on the TAG blog, a beautiful Alice drawing. From the description it sounds like it came from the estate of Clair Weeks. I have a couple of these as well, and they are both large and extremely well rendered.

Thanks to David at the Inkling Animation Studio for pointing this out to me.

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