Friday, July 10, 2009

A Disney MGM Studios celebration - Part One - original artwork



Remember the Epcot original artwork series of articles i did recently? Well, the same day i was at WDW photo library during the 25th anniversary press event, i also had the good idea to ask them some material about the Disney MGM Studios - which they delivered to me after approval of WDW Imagineering. Now, with the digital era we are living in i'm not sure it will still be possible to have access to the photo library, but in those days of the end of the 90's, everybody was still using slides...

So, here is the part one of this Disney MGM Studios celebration, with lot of original artwork, and probably many that you will see for the first time. The first one below is of course a park overview, without the Sunset Boulevard which will be added later.



Next one is another one showing the whole park, from a different angle, and probably an early concept...



...just like this one, showing the soundstage and support buildings.



This one show the Hollywood Boulevard...



And on this one we can see a "Pooh Hollywood corner"...was the shop really built? I'm not sure, but tell me if i'm wrong...



This next one is a bird eye view of the Indiana Jones epic stunt spectacular building.



And this rendering show the final explosion scene.



Now, here are some interesting renderings, as i think - once again, please correct me if my wrong - that they're showing never realised attractions. And the one below show a kind of "filming tour" where guests would have been able to look behind windows to the real shooting of a movie - just like in the animation tour you were able to watch Disney artists working.



Here is another one, probably from the same concept.



Does anyone know to which attraction this next one is related - it seems to be the shooting of a tv show...



As well as this one, maybe the preshow of the one above...



The caption on the slide for the one below is: "Sounds effects theatre"



This one is for the Tram Tour on the New York street.



And here are three renderings for the Catastrophe canyon scene.





Next, is a rendering for the Honey i shrunk the kids playground.



And here is a picture of the model, with two WDI imagineers...



And another photo, shot during the making of the HISTK playground.



This last rendering is also related to an attraction based on the Honey i shrunk the kids movie, and i don't remember if it was finally built or not...i think it was - or is it not? Anybody knows?



I'm adding here the original part two of the article, with a tribute to the Great Movie ride and the Chinese Theater replica with original artwork and great behind the scenes photos of imagineers at work.



Above is the artwork for something that was probably a mural painting, and below a rendering of the Chinese Theatre area.



Another one of the Hollywood Boulevard with the Chinese Theatre in the background.



Here is a rare rendering for the Singing in the rain scene.



And of course, this one is for the John Wayne scene.



Here is the artwork for the gangsters scene.



And this is the rendering for the final Wizard of Oz scene.



Before we have a look to some behind the scenes pictures, here is a great story told to me by a friend imagineer about the "Casablanca" scene of the ride, and more specifically about the real plane one can see in the decor:
"The Casablanca scene has the real Casablanca Lockheed Electra plane used in the movie - and the tail section is in the WDW Jungle Cruise. The plane was located by Malcolm Cobb of WDI/ California, in Texas. Malcolm got the Lockheed registry of all the planes and their history and present owners and set out looking. On this Texas plane, no one had any idea it was the real plane until they ran its serial numbers and found it had been registered to the movie studio that made the film at that time. This was done after the purchase was completed. When Malcolm found it, it had been sitting for some time and not running. Another owner nearby owned three of these planes and wanted much more money for his as they were flyable. Malcolm didnt need one that flew and bought the cheapest one, being the real on. When the man who owned the three planes found out what he had missed, he was pretty upset at himself, as it had been right next to his backyard."

The first behind the scenes picture below shows an imagineer at work on the Busby Berkeley opening scene.



When we think about an Indiana Jones attraction, we generally think about Indiana Jones Adventure, or the Epic stunt spectacular, or the Temple du péril but we often forget that there is a great Indy scene in the Great Movie ride! Here, one imagineer is at work on one of the giant Anubis statues.



Other imagineers at work in the same room.



Final touch to the Ark of the Covenant scene.



Inside WDI workhouse, an imagineer measuring the beautiful Ark of the Covenant replica.



Putting in place the Egyptian mummies...



Final touch on the same mummies...



Almost cheek to cheek between a beautiful imagineer and a quite well done mummy...



No, it's not Tarzan and Jane, but two imagineers at work on the vegetation of the Tarzan scene.



Before i leave, i would like to answer to some of you who asked me where i've got all this Disney's Mgm Studios artwork: Almost all of the Epcot and Disney Mgm artwork you've seen here was delivered to me during th 25th WDW anniversary press event by the WDW photo library.
At that time it was still possible for the journalists to go at the photo library, choose the slides that interest you and ask if it was possible to get them. These one needed an approval from WDW Imagineering, but they gave their approval, and that's the whole story. For the choice of the renderings themselves, you just have to thanks my good taste!

All artwork and photos: copyright Disney Enterprises Inc.

1 comment:

  1. The images with the people looking down on the soundstages were part of the walking portion of the old backstage tour as is the last image at the bottom with the kids on the ant and the bee. The TV studio scenes following those images are from Superstar Television.

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