Things You're Just Supposed to Know

Most of the time, Long-Forgotten assumes that readers are already familiar with basic facts
about the Haunted Mansion. If you wanna keep up with the big boys, I suggest you check out
first of all the website, Doombuggies.com. After that, the best place to go is Jason Surrell's book,
The Haunted Mansion: Imagineering a Disney Classic (NY: Disney Editions; 2015). That's the
re-named third edition of The Haunted Mansion: From the Magic Kingdom to the Movies (NY:
Disney Editions, 2003; 2nd ed. 2009). Also essential reading is Jeff Baham's The Unauthorized
Story of Walt Disney's Haunted Mansion (USA: Theme Park Press, 2014).

This site is not affiliated in any way with any Walt Disney company. It is an independent
fan site dedicated to critical examination and historical review of the Haunted Mansions.
All images that are © Disney are posted under commonly understood guidelines of Fair Use.

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Friday, June 18, 2010

Are Imagineers Geeks?

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The easy—and correct—answer to that question is, "Some are, some aren't."  Since once in awhile an argument hinges on whether or not some random detail in the HM is the result of pure geekiness, it's helpful to demonstrate that the phenomenon really is there.  I think a good example can be seen in the attic scale model photos that we've referenced more than once already, comparing them to what is actually there.

As many of you know, they build a scale model of the whole attraction beforehand and photograph it to death, using this as a tool for interior design, finding unforeseen problems in presentation, fine-tuning arrangements of group figures, etc.


The photos are not generally intended for public consumption, although many do eventually get published in various Disney books and magazines.  They're fun to look at, no doubt about it.

Anyway, it seems to me that the Imagineers who revamped the attic contents for the Constance overhaul in 2006 were Haunted Mansion geeks.  They went back to the old scale model photos and incorporated details from them that the public could not possibly be expected ever to notice.

Let's take a look.

This 1969 shot of the Hatbox Ghost corner of the attic model has some curious props in it.  There's an unusual red couch of some kind and some items suggesting the presence of a Victorian-era big game hunter:  a water buffalo head and an elephant's foot umbrella holder.


Flash forward to 2006 and check out the Reginald tableau in the Connie attic:


Notice also that this tableau has two globes in it, which seems like a bit of overkill, doesn't it?  Why have two of them so close together?


Compare this scene with its counterpart in the scale model, and the global mystery is solved by another appeal to the geek factor.  It turns out that the smaller globe is placed almost exactly where its miniature twin sits in the old photo.  Someone might argue that this is a coincidence, but after the example of the big game hunter's red couch, I'm inclined to think it's deliberate.  If the responsible parties ever happen to click on "Long-Forgotten" and read this post, all I can say is . . .


. . . BUSTED!

4 comments:

  1. Is there some backstory of one of these new husbands being a big game hunter that I'm not aware of? Not that I know anything about their backstories...

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  2. The notion that Reginald was a big-game hunter is simply an inference from the items in his tableau that seem to suggest it. I'm not aware of anything about big game hunters in any of the old stories about the attic bride cooked up by Ken Anderson or with regard to Constance. Those are the only backstories with any claim to legitimacy.

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  3. In Jason Surrell's Haunted Mansion book, there is a Marc Davis sketch of a ghostly big game hunter, and a tiger who gets its revenge upon him. Do you think that Reginald's tableau could be a reference to this planned gag?

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    Replies
    1. Yes, it's possible that Reginald was inspired in part by the Davis sketch.

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