Introducing Yesterday, Tomorrow, and Fantasy

Written by Cory Gross. Posted in Features, Yesterday Tomorrow and Fantasy

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Published on April 10, 2014 at 3:00 am with 6 Comments

On behalf of myself and my bride-to-be, the lovely Ashley, I would like to welcome you to the new home of Yesterday, Tomorrow, and Fantasy on MiceChat!  - Cory

Your hosts out for a Sunday drive to nowhere in particular.

Your hosts out for a Sunday drive to nowhere in particular.

 

If you listen to MiceChat’s own Window to the Magic or Communicore Weekly (and if not, why not?!) then you may already have heard from us. For the past several months we have been working quietly at our own blog to share the world beyond Disney with our readers. Now we are ready to share that with an even wider audience through a partnership with the preeminent Disney fan site.

Yesterday, Tomorrow, and Fantasy is dedicated to the original source material that inspired Disney’s films and attractions. When animators put pen to paper and Imagineers draft their blueprints, they do not look in an insular fashion at Disney’s own cultural products, but at the whole wide world beyond the berm. Their work is not merely an invitation to enjoy it for its own sake, but to explore the same stories, places, people, movies, and ideas that inspired them. This journey will take us from French chateaux to Hawaii’s volcanic peaks, from Charles Perrault’s fairy tales to Mark Twain’s satires on American life, and from Hollywood’s Golden Age to the African veldt, and further yet.  I believe that great art always points one to that which lies beyond it, opening one’s mind to a wider world and grander possibilities. I believe that Disney works can, and usually do, aspire to be great art.

 

Château d'Ussé, France.

Château d’Ussé, France.

The five-story pagoda in Asakusa, Tokyo, Japan.

The five-story pagoda in Asakusa, Tokyo, Japan.

Totem Poles and the Empress Hotel, Victoria, Canada.

Totem Poles and the Empress Hotel, Victoria, Canada.

Grauman's Chinese Theater, Hollywood, California.

Grauman’s Chinese Theater, Hollywood, California.

The Grand Canyon, Arizona.

The Grand Canyon, Arizona.

 

In August of 2008 I had the privilege of visiting the Grand Canyon and taking a ride aboard the Grand Canyon Railway for what would turn out to be their last season before retiring their steam engine from regular use. The trip was one of my most direct examples of being inspired by Disney to pursue that which inspired it. The Grand Canyon Diorama along the Disneyland Railroad is, of course, a famous fixture in the original Disneyland USA. I have a particular love for anachronous forms of transportation like steam trains, paddlewheelers, flying boats and zeppelins, so the Disneyland Railroad is necessarily one of my favourite attractions. Imagine my surprise when I learned not long after my first trip to Disneyland in 2005 that there actually was a steam train that took visitors from the former Santa Fe Railroad depot in Williams, Arizona, to the South Rim of this great wonder of the natural world!

The following is a short film I made of that adventure, in the style of a vintage silent film travelogue. I hope to return some day soon to see more of that magnificent canyon a mile deep and 18 miles across. Such a grand canyon demands a more grand investment of time than a mere day can furnish. Perhaps we’ll even follow Donald’s footsteps in Grand Canyonscope by taking the iconic mule ride. (For right now, we’re just working on getting married and taking our first trip ever to Walt Disney World for our honeymoon, with the help of MiceChat’s Fairy Godmother Travel).

The inspiration provided by Disney fuels our trips around the world and to the imaginative realms accessible only by a comfy chair and a good book. We hope that you will join us, and in doing so, deepen your own appreciation for these great works of art! Come back in two weeks as we begin anew with a visit to the real Sleeping Beauty Castle, France’s Château d’Ussé.

 

About Cory Gross

Cory Gross is a professional educator in the museums and heritage field, sharing his passion for history, science and art in his home of Calgary, Canada. He is also the creator of Voyages Extraordinaires, a blog dedicated to Victorian-Edwardian Scientific Romances and Retro-Futurism, which can be found at http://voyagesextraordinaires.blogspot.com.

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  • BradyNBradleysMom

    This has the potential to be an interesting column. I’m going to have to keep my eye on it. I would indeed like to learn about all the inspirations for the Disney attractions.

  • http://micechat.com Dusty Sage

    Cory, we are thrilled to have you join the team and can’t wait to read the articles that you have in planned for us!

  • Tina Sherman

    I’m already in love with this column. The picture of you and your lovely fiance sitting in Toady’s car is absolutely adorable! I very much look forward to your posts. I’m glad you’re here :)

  • George Taylor

    Yay! I’ve been reading Cory’s work almost as long as I’ve been writing!

    Welcome. You’ll make a great addition to the Mice Chat family.

  • Eagleman

    I am looking forward, to the articles ,you have for us !
    I wish you the Best!

  • BigThunder

    Welcome, Cory and Ashley! Great idea for a MiceChat column. Looking forward to it!