THE PICTURE OF THE DAY, 4/7/2014
“Tribute to Rex Allen in Walt Disney’s Carousel of Progress”
Rex Allen (1920-1999) (wikipedia, IMDB) was a Western actor and singer who narrated quite a few Disney Wonderful World of Color, nature, and film productions. He was the original narrator (father) in the 1964-65 New York World’s Fair version of Carousel of Progress and appears in the current Walt Disney World version in the pre-show video and in the finale as the grandfather sitting next to the Christmas tree in the 20th century technology scene (“Anyone can do that voice-activated stuff!”). He also narrated Charlotte’s Web and the Purina Dog Chow commercials. In 1983, he was honored with a star on Hollywood’s Walk of Fame.
A visual tribute to Rex Allen also appears in Walt Disney’s Carousel of Progress in the 3rd scene, stage left, where Jimmy is dressed as a werewolf working on jack-o-lantern. If you look to the very right side of the table, next to the portrait of a woman on the telephone, you will see a Rex Allen LP sticking out from behind the frame. The album cover shows Rex Allen in a cowboy hat. It is a very subtle tribute to the “Arizona Cowboy” that I had never noticed until I was going through a series of photos from the attraction and this detail jumped right out at me.
Although this image did not require any major processing other than the standard adjustments, I wanted to share this detail with you because I really appreciate when Disney honors their past and stays true to their roots. Although there have been several iterations of the Carousel of Progress since 1964, the general premise has remained the same and if/when it undergoes another revision, I hope the optimism and humor remain in place.
On another note, I added an entire new album of photos from Walt Disney’s Carousel of Progress. You can see all 60 pictures right here.