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  1. #1

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    'The Black Hole' in the parks (help with pictures or just a memory to share!)

    Posting this again in the hopes that somebody has a picture, or even just a memory to share!:
    I'm a big fan of the often-maligned Disney film "The Black Hole", and one of my fondest WDW memories is connected to the movie as well. I was at Magic Kingdom in early 1980 during the peak of Disney's hype for the film (it had premiered in theaters just a couple months before) and the stores on Main Street were filled with Black Hole merchandise. The highlight was a set of animated 3-d displays in the Emporium windows recreating scenes from the film. As a kid into models, I was fascinated with these displays and probably spent way too much time staring at them, much to the dismay of my family.

    I have been scouring the web off and on for years looking for any photographic evidence of these displays. So far the only clues I have found are some brief mentions on various blogs and pics of a few of the figures used in the displays (see link below). It has become a minor obsession with me to find pictures of these displays, of the merchandise, etc.- if anyone has anything I'd be eternally greatful to see even a glimpse of these again!

    The film came out around Christmas 1979, so I imagine the time frame would have been from sometime earlier that year to well into 1980.

    Link:
    Black Hole WDW Window Display - a set on Flickr

    Mark

  2. #2

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    Re: 'The Black Hole' in the parks (help with pictures or just a memory to share!)

    I am sorry I did not see this sooner. I grew up in Anaheim and I too have a vague memory of window displays along main street for the Black Hole movie. I seem to recall one of Old Bob and the other robot that looked like him just not as beat up. I would have been 10 in 79 so not sure if this a memory or something I dreamed but wasn't there some kind of display in Tomorrowland as well? Seems to me like it was when you were exiting Space Mountain. /shrug I would love to see old pictures of any of that as well.

  3. #3

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    Re: 'The Black Hole' in the parks (help with pictures or just a memory to share!)

    I'd really enjoy seeing these, that is my Bf's favorite Disney movie and we are always looking for anything of its existence outside of the actual movie.
    Is there a website out there with all the window displays?
    Little and broken, but still good.

  4. #4

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    Thumbs up Re: 'The Black Hole' in the parks (help with pictures or just a memory to share!)

    Quote Originally Posted by PetiteMortKvsh View Post
    I'd really enjoy seeing these, that is my Bf's favorite Disney movie and we are always looking for anything of its existence outside of the actual movie.
    Is there a website out there with all the window displays?

    Cool! i own this on dvd too....such an underrated Disney film if you ask me!

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    Re: 'The Black Hole' in the parks (help with pictures or just a memory to share!)

    I just saw this movie again on FLIX (cable channel that shows movies without commercials) last night. I hadn't seen it in years. Wow.... sorry but it's just plain bad. But bad in a way I'll watch it because it's like a train wreck. But it will always be interesting since it was Disney's first ever movie that was rated PG.

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    Re: 'The Black Hole' in the parks (help with pictures or just a memory to share!)

    ANOTHER thread on Princess Fantasy Faire?

  7. #7

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    Re: 'The Black Hole' in the parks (help with pictures or just a memory to share!)

    I wish they'd have Vincent lurking somewhere in TL. And the other robot heroes from their movies - Wall-E. Vincent was one bad-a** robot.
    Peter Pan: "You know, your hair is on fire."
    Me: "Yes. It happened after a recent trip to Neverland."
    Peter Pan: "Well, you can dunk your head in the pond behind us, if you want."

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  8. #8

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    Re: 'The Black Hole' in the parks (help with pictures or just a memory to share!)

    Quote Originally Posted by PetiteMortKvsh View Post
    I'd really enjoy seeing these, that is my Bf's favorite Disney movie and we are always looking for anything of its existence outside of the actual movie.
    Is there a website out there with all the window displays?
    No there isn't- that's why I've been searching for info or pics all these years.

    indydisneyfan: Thanks for sharing that- great to hear someone has (even a vague) memory of that!

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    Re: 'The Black Hole' in the parks (help with pictures or just a memory to share!)

    Quote Originally Posted by CaliforniaAdventurer View Post
    ANOTHER thread on Princess Fantasy Faire?
    Oh, snap!

    Agreed with all of the above. I both liked it and yet also thought it was a terrible movie. I can't even explain how I feel these simultaneously exist. It's like black licorice; if you can enjoy the fact that it's candy you can choke your way past how it tastes like tar.

    After Tron:Legacy came out I had heard the rumor of the Black Hole possibly being next on Disney's live-action list. I sincerely hope so. It had so many elements that were cool on their own, but just didn't gel as a whole. That's a valid candidate for a remake in my opinion. Take the movie that was almost there and bring it across the finish line this time.

    I still have my action figure of Maxmillian but the arms on Vincent were just too fragile. I've long since lost my action figure of him.

    Those window displays were memorable and IMHO probably the best windows display in Disney's history. All window displays are cool but The Black Hole's just won the prize.

  10. #10

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    Re: 'The Black Hole' in the parks (help with pictures or just a memory to share!)

    In one of David Koenig's books as part of an antecdote about guest reaction to characters, he claims that the black-robed and masked android 'crew' characters were out in Tomorrowland/the Space Mountain speedramp around the time of the film's release, but never seen photos or additional corroboration for that.

  11. #11

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    Re: 'The Black Hole' in the parks (help with pictures or just a memory to share!)

    I remember the Main Street window displays for TBH vividly. The attention to detail was astonishing. The set pieces matched up exactly in the scenes.

    I only remember seeing some monitors placed above the exit speedramps at SM that would flash the movie logo every few seconds. They hung around for at least a year. Never saw any android CM's.
    "The old man's gonna knock on the sky. Listen to the sound."

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  12. #12

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    Re: 'The Black Hole' in the parks (help with pictures or just a memory to share!)

    Quote Originally Posted by WildeNight View Post
    I wish they'd have Vincent lurking somewhere in TL.
    I've seen a remote control R2D2 before, which is pretty much the same thing, just the original and not a knock-off.
    "You can cut me off from the civilized world. You can incarcerate me with two moronic cellmates. You can torture me with your thrice daily swill, but you cannot break the spirit of a Winchester. My voice shall be heard from this wilderness and I shall be delivered from this fetid and festering sewer."

  13. #13

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    Re: 'The Black Hole' in the parks (help with pictures or just a memory to share!)

    I remember seeing The Black Hole on TV when I was very young... it was the first sci-fi movie I'd seen that didn't involve cartoon characters and it really fascinated me and instilled that love I have for 70's sci-fi looks.

    I happened upon a model kit of the ship and some comic books by Disney in an antique store a few years back and was pleasantly surprised. I should've picked them up!

  14. #14

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    Re: 'The Black Hole' in the parks (help with pictures or just a memory to share!)

    I remember the movie pictures in the Space Mountain exit. It started with a words, "Now that you have experienced Space Mountain, see space in a new in this new movie" or something like that.
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    Re: 'The Black Hole' in the parks (help with pictures or just a memory to share!)

    LOVE this thread. I wish I'd spotted it sooner, and I wish I had photographs to share. Unfortunately I don't. However, I do have some memories.

    Keep in mind that I was only about eight or nine at this point, and my memories may be fuzzy. First off, I remember actually seeing the movie in Disneyland (presumably at the Opera House), complete with overture. My mother worked at Disneyland and had procured tickets somehow. I remember they had artwork on them. I want to say it was line art of the sentry robots, but I've never found a picture of them anywhere to verify. Unfortunately I don't think we kept them.

    I, too, remember the window displays on Main Street, but not well. I remember them being elaborate and fascinating given that I was predisposed to liking the movie anyway. (Side note: I agree it's not a good movie, but I still have a soft spot for it. Great score by John Barry, too.)

    They used to have people wandering around the park in the "humanoid" costumes (black robes and mirror mask) and the sentry guard costumes. My mom and I were "backstage" at one point talking to a CM she knew with his sentry guard helmet off. He complained that the sentry costumes weren't really made for everyday use in the parks, or something to that effect. I guess they were the actual ones used for the movie. Apparently screws would occasionally just pop out and require repair of the costume.

    My mother worked in the wardrobe department and would sometimes take me with her to work if there wasn't a sitter available. One time I wandered down to another floor and found a room filled with costumes, including a "humanoid." I tried the mask on! I remember it smelled horrible! Maybe it was dirty? A security guard found me and politely told me I needed to rejoin my mother. Still a childhood highlight, though.

    Lastly, I remember they had the actual life-size figures of the robots, including Maximilian (my favorite), to pose with and look at. They were also the same ones used in the movies. Sadly, in those pre-digital days, I don't think we had a camera with us. I'm unclear on where they were or for how long, but I have a vague memory of being on a higher level, outdoors, in Tomorrowland. I'm not sure where that would've been back then. The upper level of Space Mountain maybe? Or the Starcade? My memory says they were outside, but with some kind of ceiling structure, so they weren't completely open to rain. But again, my memories are vague.

    Does anybody else remember this? Better yet, does anybody have pictures? What I wouldn't give to have a picture of my eight-year-old self with Maximilian....

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