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  1. #1546

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    Re: Long-Forgotten Haunted Mansion Effect Episode 4 A New Hope

    I've mentioned once before a handsome book Walt put together and gave to all the folks at Disney who worked on Fantasia, shortly after the film was released in 1940. It contains some pre-production artwork, including several paintings for the "Night on Bald Mountain" sequence. Neither "concept art" nor stills from the actual film, they fit into an in-between niche all their own.

    Here's another piece from that book, sure to delight any HM fan.



    The wraith in the center bottom is so similar to the ballroom wraiths in the HM that it could pass for a painting of one of them. Granted, it's a pretty generic ghost type, but the out-turned hands, the cut of the shroud...this guy is a ringer. A ringer wraith. Maybe an influence, maybe not, but interesting nonetheless.

    The most striking figure is the lacy female. Is she a bride? Hard to say, but probably not. Like the original Little Leota figure. She looks vulnerable and threatening at the same time, like the original attic bride. That mask-like face is interesting too. It's less screamy but otherwise not terribly unlike the skullish organ banshee.

    I guess you could say she partakes of some of the same intriguing ambiguities that certain HM ghosties do.

  2. #1547

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    Re: Long-Forgotten Haunted Mansion Effect Episode 4 A New Hope

    Quote Originally Posted by HBG2 View Post



    The wraith in the center bottom is so similar to the ballroom wraiths in the HM that it could pass for a painting of one of them. Granted, it's a pretty generic ghost type, but the out-turned hands, the cut of the shroud...this guy is a ringer. A ringer wraith. Maybe an influence, maybe not, but interesting nonetheless.

    The most striking figure is the lacy female. Is she a bride? Hard to say, but probably not. Like the original Little Leota figure. She looks vulnerable and threatening at the same time, like the original attic bride. That mask-like face is interesting too. It's less screamy but otherwise not terribly unlike the skullish organ banshee.

    I guess you could say she partakes of some of the same intriguing ambiguities that certain HM ghosties do.
    I think its also interesting to note the similarity of the plant topped columns to those which ring the outside of the Mansion. Also notice how many cross-like markers there are, as opposed to the distinct lack of such symbols in the Mansion.
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  3. #1548

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    Re: Long-Forgotten Haunted Mansion Effect Episode 4 A New Hope

    A topic I've rarely, if ever, raised in these Threads is the Fastpass area. There's a reason for that. I have extremely limited personal experience with it, so I have to rely on photos and comments from others for my opinions. Still, I've been itching to say something about it for some time.

    In case you didn't know, the HM fastpass area was built in 2000. The indefatigable Allen Huffmann at DisneyFans.com, photographer of things other people don't bother photographing, got a couple of very early construction shots.





    Here's a side-by-side comparison from 1999 and 2001:



    For the design, they obviously picked up on the greenhouse concept someone had already proposed for the queue many years earlier:









    A darkfairycthulu shot:



    Yeah, okay; so what? Here's where I get interested. When they decided to populate this greenhouse-like area, they saved some time and probably some dollars by putting in off-the-shelf, commercially available statuary rather than creating new stuff. This was a potentially dangerous choice, since it could have sent an unintended message, "We're cheap," and furthermore, people might wonder whether this statuary is creepy enough.

    Judging by photos, I'd say it works. As it turns out, photographers love the Fastpass gardens, including the statuary, and there's something about a photograph of an ordinary statue that forces you to look at it differently, and dang it but these pieces do look creepy in a very understated way. You look at them and after a lengthy pause, they start kinda-sorta looking back. There's a surface to penetrate, but...I dunno, it's in the photos; you all who are more familiar with the Fastpass area can tell me if it's there live, or if it evaporates once the camera stops looking. I'd be curious to know.








    Not sure exactly where these two are located (pix by Monstersgoboo)





    Some of it IS explicable right off the bat. David, for example, has a built-in glower. He's unfriendly by any measure.



    This one doesn't need much help, either:


    (Andy Castro)


    (Andy Castro)



    And some of it is explained by the skill of the photographer. The entrance to the Fastpass area, once it starts to get dark, can give you a lovely, atmospheric shot, like this one by SA Skylark:



    In a couple of cases, the statue is a little creepy to begin with, and the photog can reach into his/her bag of tricks to enhance it. This sorrowful female seems to be favorite:



    You can do a lot with that:


    (Service Elevator)


    (Valkari51)


    (Loren Javier)

    Another one with potential:


    (Trader Sam)


    (Wax Poetic)

    And here's my favorite of her. Creepy, but just barely so:


    (Tandrew)

    Maybe if I spent some time in the actual place, I wouldn't think so, but at this distance, the DL HM Fastpass area seems like a winner. Thoughts?
    Last edited by HBG2; 06-04-2009 at 07:14 AM. Reason: pic credits added

  4. #1549

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    Re: Long-Forgotten Haunted Mansion Effect Episode 4 A New Hope

    I've never had the chance to go into the place, but I love all the pictures people post of the statues. So in my onlooker opinion, the statues work. I especially like the ones that appear sad, especially the "crying" gargoyle and the "sorrowful lady." The evoke just the right amount of mansion creepiness.
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  5. #1550

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    Re: Long-Forgotten Haunted Mansion Effect Episode 4 A New Hope

    I LOVE the FP garden. Sometimes in summer the gates are unlocked and you can go in and look around in solitude, otherwise you have to wait til winter at either opening or closing to get a bit of alone time with the statues. If it's unlocked, just ask the greeter at the front of the ride if you can go in--same protocol with the "other" pet cemetery, I've found, and usually they won't accompany you if you don't come off as a crazypants. That's just my experience, however, and I've usually found some cool cat CMs at Mansion. Just a bit of info for those who are local but haven't seen it
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  6. #1551

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    Re: Long-Forgotten Haunted Mansion Effect Episode 4 A New Hope

    Another excellent post, HBG2, and great compendium of the side garden statuary....the photo I like best, however, was the view of the Mansion side pre-fastpass garden, as I never really paid attention to the Mansion/that area in detail till after it was already added. Thank you!
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  7. #1552

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    Re: Long-Forgotten Haunted Mansion Effect Episode 4 A New Hope

    I usually just go into the fastpass area through the exit...as long as you are not messing around with the Fastpass computer or other equipment or doing anything that is...of bad taste, they do not mind at all. I know this only because I went into the area with a Butler on one of their days off since I have only been into the area when it was being used during holiday and was uber crowded. But if you feel like you are going to get in trouble, it does not hurt to ask the Greeter

  8. #1553

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    Re: Long-Forgotten Haunted Mansion Effect Episode 4 A New Hope

    The FP area is only open during HMH? How do you get in from the exit?

    I agree that they did a great job creating a subtly creepy mood for the FP area, which I haven't seen in person yet. Most FP areas I've seen aren't themed at all.

  9. #1554

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    Re: Long-Forgotten Haunted Mansion Effect Episode 4 A New Hope

    There is not a gate blocking off the exit...

  10. #1555

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    Re: Long-Forgotten Haunted Mansion Effect Episode 4 A New Hope

    Quote Originally Posted by HBG2 View Post
    Maybe if I spent some time in the actual place, I wouldn't think so, but at this distance, the DL HM Fastpass area seems like a winner. Thoughts?
    Well, when you're actually in the fastpass area, you hear the faint sound of a music box playing, and it gives you the chills. The music is actually from Phantom Manor, but it fits perfectly into this environment.

  11. #1556

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    Re: Long-Forgotten Haunted Mansion Effect Episode 4 A New Hope

    The HM fast pass area is indeed a lovely & creepy place (the PM music box soundtrack is an added bonus).

    BTW, if you ever saw the Dr. Who episode "Blink" (the best episode EVER!), you'd appreciate it even more (and you'll NEVER turn your back, or blink around the statues in there,or anywhere else for that matter, either)!

    As for only being able to access it during HMH, sometimes, if you ask a cast member, they will let you in (like the old pet cemetery) to view the area.
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  12. #1557

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    Re: Long-Forgotten Haunted Mansion Effect Episode 4 A New Hope

    I love the fastpass area. When I went there to get HMH fastpasses, I really thought it looked nice. It really captured that New Orleans Garden District feel... I think it would be awesome if they extended that theming into the switchback area.

  13. #1558

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    Re: Long-Forgotten Haunted Mansion Effect Episode 4 A New Hope

    Honestly I think it comes off looking better in photographs than it does in person. It is kind of cool, and the photographers did some good work in bringing out the individual elements, but standing in the middle of it, I think it feels just more like a random hodgepodge of off-the-shelf items rather than an effectively themed environment.

    It just kind of seems like a fail on multiple levels to me. It's clearly themed to HM, but is used only for HMH, to which is bears no real thematic relationship. If used as designed, it still would only be modestly effective, but it's not even allowed to do that. It's a shame to see even a modest effort being hamstrung in that way, rather than being put to use where it might do some good, such as the actual queue.

  14. #1559

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    Re: Long-Forgotten Haunted Mansion Effect Episode 4 A New Hope

    Not to change the subject, but I have a question, so I have come to the experts. I'm sure it's been covered before, but the discussions I could find on the topic didn't specifically address these.

    I've been listening to the cemetary soundtrack, and I'm having a little trouble placing a couple of the tracks.

    First, where does the monotone trio track belong? Does it fit to anybody specific, or is it just in the background - maybe of the tea party group?

    Second, on my track with the opera singers, there's a third male singer performing the actual lyrics in a European accent. Is this meant to be the headless knight?
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  15. #1560

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    Re: Long-Forgotten Haunted Mansion Effect Episode 4 A New Hope

    Quote Originally Posted by PleaseRemainSeated View Post
    Not to change the subject, but I have a question, so I have come to the experts. I'm sure it's been covered before, but the discussions I could find on the topic didn't specifically address these.

    I've been listening to the cemetary soundtrack, and I'm having a little trouble placing a couple of the tracks.

    First, where does the monotone trio track belong? Does it fit to anybody specific, or is it just in the background - maybe of the tea party group?

    Second, on my track with the opera singers, there's a third male singer performing the actual lyrics in a European accent. Is this meant to be the headless knight?
    I believe the German-accented guy is supposed to be the Knight. As for the monotone chorus, even though it comes from around the teaparty area, I don't think it's supposed to be them. There's a snooty, British-accented duet that in my opinion belongs to the king and queen on the teeter-totter. That would make sense to me, but the couple at the table is another candidate.

    The problem is, no one at the teaparty is singing. You have what looks like a set of private conversations going on, like the mummy tableau. They're not lined up and singing at you, like the busts, the opera singers, and the headsman's trio.

    I've always thought the monotone chorus is the dead in their graves singing. I don't know why, but it seems right to me. A general, overall thing.

    Hmmm.

    You know, it's never occurred to me before, but none of the ghosts on the left side of the track are singing, or are obviously singing. They're all engaged in other activities or private conversations. The only left-side ghost that looks like it's singing is the hellhound, and that's not GGG but a howl. The cats and owls also look like they're singing, but (1) they're not ghosts, and (2) the soundtrack shows that they're just putting out non-musical animal noises. On the right side of the track, however, you have three vocal ensembles and not much else (crypt shroud, brick-arm). I don't suppose that means anything, but it's curious.

    Just another Mansion mystery, I guess.

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