Monday, January 21, 2008

Toons In the Parks: Disneyland's Main Street Cinema

Ahhh, Disneyland. As I was strolling down Main Street USA the other day, a thought occurred to me that concerns this blog. Part of what I love about The Happiest Place On Earth (and all the Disney parks) is the fact that they sometimes take inspiration from beloved Disney movies...and sometimes cartoons. Therefore, I thought this blog would be the perfect place to debut a series I call Toons In the Parks in which I'll catalogue the many different cartoon influences within Disneyland and the other Disney parks. Since Mickey Mouse Follies: Black and White is all about Mickey's earliest cartoons, all the theme park influences posted here will also deal with those same films.

The Main Street Cinema is a place I remember visiting whenever I went to Disneyland as a child. As the years passed, I went there less and less, but I recently re-discovered its charm and its importance to MMF.

The Main Street Cinema continuously runs 6 Mickey Mouse cartoons, all in black and white. Though none of the toons were released as silent films, they all are projected without their soundtracks except Steamboat Willie. What follows are pictures of the posters advertising the different cartoons in the lobby of the cinema.

1928's Steamboat Willie is the only toon projected with its soundtrack. It's very satisfying to hear small children and even adults giggle at Mickey's early personality and antics. I find it interesting that jokes meant to crack up audiences 80 years ago still manage to delight the audiences of today.

1931's Traffic Troubles is the toon where Mickey plays a cab driver who gets into all sorts of mischief.

1931's The Moose Hunt stars Mickey and Pluto and is the cartoon in which Pluto utters his first words.

1936's Mickey's Polo Team is one of my favorites because it contains so many celebrity caricatures. Although this toon was originally released in color, it is projected in black and white.

1928's Plane Crazy was originally intended as a silent film though it was released with a full soundtrack. Ironic that it can be seen daily as it was once intended.

1934's The Dognapper is Mickey's second-to-last black and white film appearance. Next to most of the other films presented in the Cinema, this toon looks extremely advanced animation-wise.

Disneyland's Main Street Cinema is unique because it so far has not suffered the same fate as its sister cinema located in the Magic Kingdom. That area unfortuantely was recently turned into a shop, something I would hate to see happen over here in California. So next time you visit Disneyland, take a break in the Cinema and watch a toon or two.

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