DISNEY DRAPES : DRAPES
DISNEY DRAPES : SUN SHADE TARP : SHUTTER SHADE
20,000 Leagues Under the Sea Pipe Organ Replica
20,000 LEAGUES UNDER THE SEA CAPTAIN NEMO'S PIPE ORGAN REPLICA
50th Anniversary Commemorative
Designed by Kevin Kidney
Cast Metal, Resin, Wood and Glass
A music box in the base plays Bach’s Toccata and Fugue in D Minor.
Sculpted by Kevin Kidney & Vladimir Petrov
Released in Spring 2004. Limited Edition of 1000. © Disney
“Here you have art, literature…and even music if you so desire.” Captain Nemo shows off the cultural wonders aboard his submarine Nautilus in Walt Disney’s 1954 science fiction film classic 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. From the enormous velvet-draped viewport windows to the tinkling pedestal fountain, Nemo’s salon is a breathtaking jewelry-box showcase for his collection of books, works of art and antiques that travels with him under the sea. Most impressive of all is the pipe organ at the far end of the room, its gilded pipes bathed in golden light. Here we later find Nemo at the keyboard, his face flushed with perspiration, as he plays Johann Sebastian Bach’s powerful Toccata and Fugue in D Minor; the music embodying the inner torment of a man who has severed all ties to the human race.
Perhaps one of the most famous movie props in Disney’s live-action oeuvre, the pipe organ figures prominently in Jules Verne’s original story as well. Set Designer Harper Goff and Set Decorator Emile Kuri envisioned a sumptuous interior for the salon with the opulent instrument as its centerpiece. In a San Fernanado, California garage, Goff and Kuri found an old electric theater organ which they purchased for fifty dollars.
The polished wood console was adorned in baroque fashion with an array of gold-leafed fruits, an oval framed mirror, and two triangular supports ornamented with ram heads. The fan-shaped rack of pipes (made of plaster) was custom built to fit perfectly into the salon’s tubular framework. “Nothing looks so attractive as a combination of rough iron and elegant luxury,” Harper Goff said.
When Disneyland opened in 1955, Walt Disney trucked the 20,000 Leagues sets down to Anaheim for a “temporary” display in Tomorrowland. For eleven years, the oval mirror atop the pipe organ console reflected a constant parade of awe-struck faces, as guests strolled within the fantastic rooms of the Nautilus. In 1969, the organ moved to its final resting place inside the ballroom of Disneyland’s Haunted Mansion. A new, taller set of pipes was added to better compliment the dimensions of the room, and to allow for the ghostly effect of skulls moving in and out. The original red velvet upholstered bench was sent back to the Disney Studio prop warehouse where it has been assigned to other film and television projects over the years.
For the 50th Anniversary of the film I built this 1/2-inch scale replica of the organ with great assistance from my friend Vladimir Petrov, an artist in Disneyland's entertainment division. Vladimir is incredibly talented and shares my love for painstaking attention to detail – down to the filigreed mirror and the forty-one hand-applied organ stops! On one especially memorable morning, I drove down to Disneyland and photographed the console in the Haunted Mansion from every angle. The original organ bench in the Disney Studio's prop warehouse was also brought out of storage for our reference. Being a huge fan of the film and Harper Goff's art direction, this project was a super treat.
While I understand why they're needed, I really wish those speaker towers didn't really need to be there. From certain angles (like this one) they block key portions of the castle from view. They've done a good job of dressing them up so they look like they belong, but they're still a bit of a distraction to me at least.
It's also unfortunately because nobody ever sees the amazing detail on the base of the towers. If you ever get the chance when you're walking up the path to the Castle, stop along and look carefully below the draped flag down on the pole below it. You'll see carvings of some of the characters from Cinderella. One of those now very well hidden treasures of the Magic Kingdom. They're actually similar to the carvings on the columns inside the castle itself but almost nobody knows they're there.
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