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; 2nd ed. 2016).

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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Thursday, April 23, 2020

TEN YEARS OF LONG FORGOTTEN! (Plus: Roy Williams)

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A Grim, Grinning Decade
Among the Grim, Grinning Decayed


These are extraordinary times we are living through, and I hope my readers are all doing the
right things and staying healthy. Courage! Someday this will all be passed, and therefore past. 

Under the present circumstances, celebration feels out of place. Nevertheless, the sand in the hourglass continues to run, heedless of our preferences or the mood of the day; and so, appropriate or not, we do here acknowledge that Long Forgotten has turned TEN. Who'd a thunk? Furthermore, it just so happens that this is the blog's 150th post.

It's so strange to me to think that LF has now been in existence for a solid fifth of the Mansion's. As always on these occasions, I offer my thanks to all you readers and especially to the commenters, you who have made this crazy little hobby feel like it's worth the time and effort.


(Another piece of never-used artwork, from the LF files)


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Okay, that's enough mush (and gloom). As you know, our anniversary notices always include a morsel of Mansionalia. Today, we turn
to someone you might not ever suspect of being a contributor to the history of the Haunted Mansion: Disney Legend Roy Williams.


Roy is best known from his four-year stint on the Mickey Mouse Club TV show, and I'm sure there are a lot of folks who think that's
about all he ever was: A cuddly, avuncular, kid's show co-host. (Did you know that he is credited with inventing the mouse-ears hat?)


He was much more than that, of course. He joined Disney in 1930 and was very active at the studio on a number of projects. He was especially
well-remembered as a immensely talented "gag-man," a veritable fountain of comic ideas and the envy of the studio in that area.


These were often quick, rough sketches, but he also did more sophisticated artwork, like these concept
sketches for parade floats, Disney's contribution to the 1953 Anaheim parade. As you can see, the man could draw.

Images©DISNEY

Anyway, you can read more about Roy HERE. There's some fun stuff HERE, and there's a delightful interview with him in volume four of Didier Ghez's Walt's People series (pp 179-186). But what is Roy Williams doing in a Long-Forgotten post?

Paul Anderson, at the Disney History Institute, has posted on the DHI Facebook page over recent years a number of Williams gag sketches from 1962, suggestions for props that could be used in front of the Haunted Mansion while it was being built. The idea was to give folks something more interesting to look at than construction walls or dirt.


"Skeleton Crew," get it? But there were also ghosts:





Leaving a Mark on Marc?

It's just possible that one of these sketches served as an inspiration for a Marc Davis sketch that resulted in a gag actually used in the Mansion. If true, that would put Roy on the Mansion "B list," those Imagineers who were never officially assigned to the project but who nevertheless made a lasting contribution somewhere or other.

I'm thinking of this sketch, part of the same series:


As soon as I saw it, it reminded me of this Marc Davis concept sketch of the bicycling ghosts:


Since Roy's sketch is from 1962, it's plenty early enough to be an influence on Marc. What do you think?


This is another one of those connections where we will probably never know if it's sheer coincidence or a true case of influence. I myself suspect at least subconscious influence in this case. If Marc saw Roy's sketches (which is perfectly believable), I'm sure he appreciated the humor, and this idea could have bubbled up in his mind later at the drawing board, either consciously or unconsciously.

So when you're looking at the bikers, it'll be fun to think that they may owe their genesis to that jolly ol' Mousketeer, Roy Williams.


(1969ish photo of the bikers in 3D)


(The next post is going to be a good 'un, folks, so stay tuned.)


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19 comments:

  1. Happy 10th anniversary! Your blog is a significant source of my mansion research. Keep up the great work!

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  2. Congratulations on 10 Years of Happy Haunting! What an indelible resource this blog has become in the realm of Mansionalia.

    Now how do we get you a Disney+ Mini-Series?

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  3. Congratulations! Ten Years, and nary a clunker post! You are either extremely talented or the luckiest blogger in the world! (I think it's the first one)

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  4. Your crazy little hobby started mine. Anything I know about Haunted Mansion is a conjecture. I want to let you know there are peeps like me that love this blog and all the people that tslk here. Im reading the Marc Davis 2 volume set that I found here.

    I went to haunted mansion when I was 9, 1973 (anaheim), but never since. I think about it all the time. Anyway, I love this blog and thank you!

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  5. Ten years, amazing. One of the best blogs out there! I've just finished rereading it from the very beginning. So glad that you are still finding things to blog about, and I hope it keeps going!

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    Replies
    1. Thanks, and back atcha. Don't know what I'd do without blogs like yours bringing historical photos to light.

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  6. Congrats on the milestone! Can't wait to see where you're taking this seance next.

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    Replies
    1. Curiously enough, an upcoming post (just finished today) will take us exactly to that room.

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  7. I discovered this blog a few years ago and took a deep dive down the rabbit hole. I'm now going through again and re-reading all of your articles. Even if I may like some of the things that you don't (WDW and HMH respectively) I think your blog is amazing. So glad that you kept this up, and I look forward to any new articles that you bring out.

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  8. Congratulations on ten magical years and long may you run. Every time I see the phrase 'new post up', I know that I'm in for a treat in horrifying sight and sound.

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  9. Like sands through the hourglass, so are the days of our lives.

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  10. Happy Anniversary! Gosh, I guess I've been following this blog on and off for just a little bet less than it's been running. One of my big regrets is that recently, when I had a season pass, I never quite got up the guts to contact you, in particular about the Mansion display in the Lincoln theater. And now here I am in Pennsylvania... alas.

    But anyway, it's amazing how no matter how often it seems like you've examined literally EVERYTHING about the Mansion, you still manage to dig up more! Keep up the good work, and here's to another decade!

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    Replies
    1. Thanks! Actually, the most amazing thing is that there always seems to BE more.

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  11. Like an endless corridor of doors, waiting to be unlocked...

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  12. Congratulations. Your blog is a must-read. I've learned a lot, about a lot of things over here.

    Thanks very much. I hope you keep it up as long as it is still fun. We appreciate it.

    JG

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