#057 SANTA FE & DISNEYLAND RR GRAND CANYON DIORAMA SIGN

The scenic route of the Santa Fe & Disneyland Railroad along the South Rim of the Grand Canyon opened March 31, 1958, and the Primeval World section was added in 1966. The name was changed to the Disneyland Railroad in 1974, when changing times caused Santa Fe to discontinue their sponsorship. This is living nostalgia. You can thrill to them to this day as you ride the rail around the Park. Since this rare poster from the Park’s earliest years was first displayed in Disneyland, it has been in the sole keeping of the man in charge of the small company that created it and who worked with Walt from 1955 on to make the banners and decorations that personified his Park. The sign is 16 x 18″, silk screen on poster board, and bears the Trade Show and Sign Crafts Union stamp, Local 831, in the lower right corner. Disney, 1958.

#056 DAVY CROCKETT FLAG

A relic of an incredibly special moment in time, this historic memory-laden design flew over the Davy Crockett Arcade in Disneyland’s Frontierland on the Park’s opening on July 17, 1955. The Crockett craze was at its height, coonskin caps abounded, and Fess Parker, Davy himself, rode down Main Street in the opening day parade, thrilling children and adults alike, as well he should have. Silk screen on natural canvas, the flag is 17 x 13″. Disney, 1955.

#054 PROTOTYPE CHARACTER MODEL STATUE of TIMON

Hakuna matata. dinner is served. There are definitely no worries when Timon, along with his pal Pumbaa, bring Simba into their circle of love and get him through the hard time after, guilt-stricken and terrified, he flees from the Pride Lands deep into exile. This exotic dish of aged and marinated ladybug served on a bed of, a bed of, well, sometimes it’s better not to know to know, ought to hearten him right up. And it’s served with such style. Prepared by Imagineering for theme park development, Timon and his accoutrements were sculpted in acrylic over an armature and painted with mouth-watering accuracy. In all his perfection, he stands 10-1/2″, his base is 10-1/2 x 8-1/2″, and he is the original sculpt from which further maquettes would have been cast. Disney, 1990s.

#053 PROTOTYPE CHARACTER MODEL STATUE of BR’ER FROG

Following the success of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, the Studio’s Character Model Department was formed when Walt realized the artists needed greater control over their characters. Beginning in a single room creating model sheets under the direction of designer and story man Joe Grant, the department expanded to include sculpted figures when Walt decided something more was needed. Known as maquettes, a French term for “scale model,” the three-dimensional models were sculpted and cast completely by hand and produced in small quantities as an aid to visualizing the characters from all angles. The department was closed in the mid-forties because of economies imposed by the war effort. In more recent years, models serving the same purpose were cast in resin and generally unpainted. Maquettes have always been rare and eagerly sought after, but Br’er Frog here and Timon in Lot #054 are in a class beyond and were prepared by Imagineering for theme park development. Sure as you’re born, this uncanny model of the easy-going frog spending the mornin’ fishing who stops to pass a few words with Uncle Remus is so real he seems ready to look up and fix you with his sharp gaze. Every wonderful inch was sculpted in acrylic over an armature and painted to perfection, including the weathered log on which he is sitting. And just look at those expressive feet. He is 10-1/2″, his base is 10-1/2 x 8-1/2″, and he is the original sculpt from which further maquettes would have been cast. Disney, 1990s.