Do you know why most of the food at Disneyland for the first few years was nothing more than hot dogs and hamburgers? Where did Rolly Crump steal the idea for the sun in the Mexican section of it’s a small world?
The answers to those questions and so much more in can be heard in More Cute Stories, Vol. 1, the new audio release by Rolly Crump and Jeff Heimbuch. Before I tell you guys how awesome it was, let me get a few things out of the way.
Yes, Jeff Heimbuch is my co-host on Communicore Weekly (the Greatest Online Show™) and he co-writes the Disney Review column when we’re reviewing the same item. I’ll be the first to admit that I have a personal stake in the project with wanting it to be successful, but I would never compromise my ethics, even for Jeff.
After the amazing success of the print version of It’s Kind of a Cute Story, Jeff and Bamboo Forest Press realized that there were still tons of cute stories that Rolly could tell. Jeff recorded hours of Rolly dishing about his days at Disneyland. The initial release clocks in at 64 minutes and is a tantalizing treasure of stories directly from Rolly Crump himself.
The stories shared are all about Disneyland. Occasionally, there are some offshoots into other areas of Rolly’s career and those small glimmers are just enticements for future volumes. Reading the book It’s Kind of a Cute Story really gives you an overview of Rolly’s career. You get to know the artist and how he worked. The audio follows the same lines but hearing Rolly tell you these stories introduces a flavor that really enriches the tales. You can’t help but get the feeling that Rolly might have been a little bit of a rascal in his Imagineering days. At least he had a fantastic time working at Disneyland.
Ken [Anderson] just did the original dark rides and then he didn’t continue on. He decided not to join WED, join Cannibal’s Island. He decided to go back into animation. The theory that Ken had on these dark rides was that when you went on the Peter Pan ride, you were Peter Pan. So when you were riding the little vehicle, you were Peter Pan and you were going through the different things that Peter Pan went on his films. The same thing was true with Snow White. You went through the ride and you came upon the witch and she’s swinging around and offering you the apple. So, the whole idea that Ken had was that you were the character but, of course, nobody that ever rode the ride ever knew that and I guess the only way that I found that out about it was that he told us.
Rolly introduces us to a couple of key players at Disneyland that you read about fairly often, but you don’t get a lot of personal information on. Bill Evans was the gardener extraordinaire for Disneyland and there’s been a lot written about him, but not as much about what is was like to work for him. Rolly talks about planting flowers with Bill in Tomorrowland and how something like that simply couldn’t happen today. We’re also introduced to Emile Kuri, an award-winning set designer who did a lot of work for Disney and with Rolly. It’s the little stories that make you really appreciate Rolly and his tales.
A lot of the tales are short and you get an essence of a story that brings a whole story together. These are anecdotes that you won’t hear anywhere else, unless you get to see Rolly live. Even the essence of the stories will let you see Disneyland in a different light. What it comes down to is that this is a wonderful collection of stories from Rolly in his own voice. The inflections, tone and pace all share Rolly’s warmth and his love for Disney. When you hear Rolly smile, you can’t help but smile yourself.
Are you going to pick this one up? Do you have a favorite Rolly attraction?
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ImagiNERDing is written and edited by George Taylor
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