Disneyland City Hall Reading

Written by George Taylor. Posted in Disney, Disney History, Disney Parks, Disneyland Resort, Features, Imaginerding

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Published on February 18, 2013 at 4:01 am with 8 Comments

The other half of Communicore Weekly, Jeff Heimbuch, was out in California promoting the best Disney book of 2012 and found some great details at City Hall in Disneyland. I begged, er, requested some of the photos and was so impressed that I’m going to share with you today. Let’s take a look at some of the books you’ll find in the bookcase at City Hall and what they might mean!

Well, sometimes a book is just a book. This looks more like a guest ledger. I wonder if Jeff tried to open it?

What’s important to notice with these books is the author. In some cases, it might give us an interesting insight into the character and storyline. Imagine if the Hatter had written Alice in Wonderland? I assume that this version of Cinderella by Drusilla and Anastasia tells quite a different tale.

We’ve got Mickey Mouse written by Disney and Lillybelle by W.E. Disney. Is Lillybelle a book about his wife or the engine from the Carolwood-Pacific? Could it be a reference to the private car on the Disneyland Railroad?

Lots of great titles in this section! Wonderful World of Color is a reference to the classic television show and by extension, the new fountain show at California Adventure. Hunchback of Notre Dame by Quasimodo is pretty obvious. The Banks wrote Mary Poppins. Of course, Mary Poppins is the nanny to the Banks family: George; Winifred; Jane; and Michael. I’d like to read what the different family members thought about the practically perfect Poppins. Walt and You has two authors: Sidejas and Kimbrell. Ray Sidejas was the former operations manager for custodial services. Bruce Kimbrell is with the Disney Institute and wrote the Disney training program, Walt Disney and You.

Jane Wyman played Polly Harrington in the film (and book) Pollyanna. She was Pollyanna’s aunt in the town of Harrington. It seems like Scuttle (definitely not a guppy) wrote this version of the Little Mermaid while Abu, the scene-stealing monkey penned Aladdin. Lambert the Sheepish Lion, was a 1952 animated short that was written by Bill Peet, Ralph Wright and Milt Banta. Hercules was penned by none other than Megara (hands down, she is my favorite Disney heroine).

Sleeping Beauty was written by Flora, Fauna and Merryweather, also known as the three good fairies. Mancub wrote the Jungle Book. It’s probably safe to assume that his tale is a little different from the published works and the animated feature. J. Cricket wrote Pinocchio. It’s probably safe to assume that he’s no fool. The last book in this section is 101 Dalmatians by DeVille. Her version might be a little spotty, though.

Cogsworth and Lumiere penned Beauty and the Beast. It’s probably a tale as old as time, with some great banter. Snow White was written by Seven Authors. Telling the story from seven different points a view was a spectacular idea; more authors should work together like this. The true autobiography on this shelf, Mulan was written by herself. It’s a strong tale of heroes, family and love. The Lost Boys talk about Peter Pan   . It’s an inspiring tale of never growing up and finding your marbles. The last book is The Sign Painting Course by Matthews. This is a reference to a real book by author E.C. Matthews, who also wrote other titles about sign painting, animation and illustration in the late 1920s. Eric Christian Matthews lived from 1892-1977. I would assume that his books were in the studio library and might have influenced the earliest animates shorts (title cards) and, quite possibly, the various windows throughout Disneyland.

I was able to find an obituary in Signs of the Time Magazine from1977:

During the more than 50 years Mr. Matthews was associated with the industry, he authored books on cartooning, commercial art, illustrating, landscape painting and numerous other subjects. Mr. Matthews was also known for his innovations in sign painting technique, including demonstration of a simplified method for working with gold leaf and other signs on glass. In addition, he pioneered the lacquer system, beginning in 1926.

Mr. Matthews began what was to become a varied career in 1912, after leaving his father’s ranch and a promising future in rodeos behind him. He lettered his first trucks that first year and the interest and talent displayed eventually led to a formal art school education four years later. In the spring of 1920, he found employment with a large auto painting company lettering trucks, the same year his first book, How to Paint Signs and Sho’ Cards was published. Twenty years and many editions later, the book still remained on the market.

It always amazes me how even the tiniest little details at the parks will lead to other discoveries and connections.

Do you have a favorite detail at City Hall? Which one of these books looks most interesting to you?

ImagiNERDing is written and edited by George Taylor

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About George Taylor

George has been obsessed with Disney theme parks since the first time he saw a photo of the Haunted Mansion in the early 70s. He started writing about Disney in 2007 and has amassed one of the world's largest Disney-related libraries.

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  • Trumpet

    Great Article George

    It is amazing what is in City Hall, and knowing where to look, you can find great hidden secrets in the parks.

    Thanks Again George


    • George Taylor

      Thanks, Trumpet!

      I love the little details and I love them even more when they’re in book form. :)

  • tonecapo

    Great post and pictures! A perfect example of the well thought out details that go into the parks. Stuff like this makes me look forward to a visit, it’s always fun to find something you haven’t seen before.

    • George Taylor

      Thanks, Tony!

  • DannyeF

    I love how Mulan wrote Mulan!

  • Trevor

    I was just noticing this on my last visit. Great stuff!

  • kat3010

    Great discovery. Thanks!

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