Results 1 to 6 of 6
  1. #1

    • Member
    • Offline

    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Posts
    287
    Blog Entries
    2

    The Art of Tokyo Disney Sea - Mysterious Island - A Tom Thordason Tribute

    Tokyo Disney Sea's Mysterious Island



    Here is the part three in my series of articles on Tom "Thor" Thordarson and his amazing artwork. After being Director of Attraction Development at MCA Universal Studios, Hollywood, Tom became a WDI Disney Imagineer with his role as a Director/Senior Concept Designer.

    Among his many assignments at Disney was the task of the concept design for one of the main "E-ticket" rides for the new Tokyo Disney Sea theme park in Japan called, "Journey to the Center of the Earth" the top rated thrill ride of Tokyo Disney Sea. Tom was also a key team player in the early design phases of many other attractions for Disney Sea, especially 20000 Leagues under the Sea at Mysterious Island.

    Those of you who had the luck to visit this gorgeous theme park and remember Mysterious Island rides will see below how important Tom Thordarson's contributions were to the design of these rides.

    First, i want to thank Tom very very much for the beautiful artwork and pictures he kindly provided to me for this article.

    Here is Tom, in his own words, remembering his work on Mysterious Island and Journey to the center of the Earth:

    "When I was first invited to be part of the TDS team, it was truly a project that I cannot recall being more excited about. Mysterious Island, with it's magical energy full of classic adventure was where everyone knew I belonged focusing upon, though I played with concepts for Port Discovery as well. They basically said: "This is based on the Jules Verne book in general, but give us your take on it." Disney had explored it loosely as a studio tour designed by Scott Sinclair, but I was allowed to use or scrap any past ideas as to the content of this story as it would become a ride.

    I watched the movie with Pat Boone and read the book. I sat in my office at Imagineering for close to a year creating this ride in countless drawings, storyboards and paintings. I presented this ride again and again and was told by staff that my sound effects and enthusiastic body gestures were a "hard act to follow". lol! Michael Eisner was chuckling and well entertained repeatedly at my performances, I recall well. One Corporate Exec. stated, as I finished the very first presentation with my story boards, "Is it HOT in here..or is it me?

    I truly lived this ride...over and over and by the time it was in show model form, I felt I had ridden the thing a thousand times. Every rock form, creature and sound was something I had to describe to the team in drawings and verbal dramatizations."

    The first paintings below are Tom's artworks for "Journey to the Center of the Earth", Mysterious Island's feature ride. They are presented here in the chronological order of the attraction (If I'm not mistaking!) and also with some pictures that were shot before the opening, all from Tom's personal collection.

    Here is Tom's design for the "Terravator" - the lift which "carries" the guests "deep down" to the load area.




    This next artwork is Tom's painting for "Journey" load area. Long before it was built.



    All the decor of "Journey to the Center of the Earth" is, of course a "subterranean" decor. So, as it is often the case at WDI, Tom and his early team went exploring caves for references for Journey's design. Tom is on the bottom right of the picture below. Tom says, "I could go on forever telling everyone about the details. I have included pictures of one of my early research trips into actual caves where i took countless photos. We had rangers take me deep into the caverns below where most people have ventured in tours. But I had to make all this bigger than life. I had to learn from real nature, but then project a sci-fi logic to the rest."



    The rest of this story including many more never-seen-before artwork images is available at the link below on MiceChat partner site Disney and more:

    Disney and more: A Tribute to Tom Thordarson - a.k.a " THOR " - Artwork - Part Three : Tokyo Disney Sea Mysterious Island
    Last edited by loaloa55; 10-16-2009 at 05:19 AM.

  2. #2

    • Gateway Fantasmic!
    • Offline

    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Salt Lake City, UT
    Posts
    342

    Re: The Art of Tokyo Disney Sea - Mysterious Island - A Tom Thordason Tribute

    Very cool! I love Disney Sea! It's so beautiful!
    "Crowded classrooms and half-day sessions are a tragic waste of our greatest national resource - the minds of our children." -Walter Elias Disney

    SEE MOM! Even Walt Disney thought school was bad!

    Twitter http://twitter.com/dogtherock
    YouTube http://www.youtube.com/user/dogtherock
    Facebook http://www.facebook.com/waltdisneyscaliforniaadventure
    (Look at the URL i got for Facebook

  3. #3

    • hatbox ghost believer
    • Offline

    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Ventura, CA USA
    Posts
    549

    Re: The Art of Tokyo Disney Sea - Mysterious Island - A Tom Thordason Tribute

    Three words: Fab-U-Lous! Thanks for sharing this fantastic story & gorgeous piccies!
    Jon A. Leslie
    nojarama
    http://www.nojarama.com



  4. #4

    • MiceChat Administrator
    • Man of mystery and
    • Offline

    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Temple of the Forbidden Eye
    Posts
    13,759
    Blog Entries
    3

    Re: The Art of Tokyo Disney Sea - Mysterious Island - A Tom Thordason Tribute

    Mysterious Island is an artistic and engineering marvel. They essentially turned an entire land into the weenie for the park. I can still remember how awe-inspiring Mysterious Island was when I first saw it upon entering the park. I was drawn to it like a magnet.

    Alain, the artwork and your account about the construction of Journey to the Center of the Earth were fantastic! Thank you!!!

    Dusty
    Find us on Facebook:

    .

    How do you support MiceChat? Join MiceChat GOLD!,



  5. #5

    • Banned User
    • Offline

    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Orlando
    Posts
    14,940

    Re: The Art of Tokyo Disney Sea - Mysterious Island - A Tom Thordason Tribute

    Agreed Dustysage. 8 years after opening and visiting as often as I do.. I still marvel everytime I pass under the Miracosta, seeing the volcano in front of you.. and going up close to see the details that somehow escaped you after a 1000 visits to that area.

  6. #6

    • Member
    • Offline

    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Posts
    176

    Re: The Art of Tokyo Disney Sea - Mysterious Island - A Tom Thordason Tribute

    Mysterious island is defiantly a masterpiece! I always get excited walking under the volcano and entering the 20k area.

Similar Threads

  1. mysterious Island drawing(third gate idea)
    By pianoman13 in forum Disneyland Resort
    Replies: 24
    Last Post: 04-06-2008, 11:11 PM
  2. A UK Tribute To Disney Music
    By tjcjr in forum MiceChat News Archive
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 06-12-2007, 04:52 AM
  3. Mysterious Island at Disneyland?...
    By WDWSageoftime in forum Disneyland Resort
    Replies: 64
    Last Post: 05-27-2007, 08:01 PM
  4. Rockr's Tribute to the Disney Villans
    By Rocker in forum Disneyland Resort
    Replies: 9
    Last Post: 01-28-2007, 12:51 AM
  5. Ocean Spring Resort with Mysterious Island Theme Park. Increasing Competition at PRD!
    By HongKongDisneyland in forum Hong Kong Disneyland Resort
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 04-12-2006, 03:04 PM

Tags for this Thread

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •