Wednesday, 30 April 2014

Don't make the rookie error ..... know your Mary Blair

Let's compare:

it's a small world

Alice in Wonderland

(source: liveauctioneers)
and the Contemporary Resort's Grand Canyon Concourse

(source: omniluxe)

What do you think brings them all together - besides being Disney things?

it's Mary Blair!
(source: Mary Blair Gallery)
For me, Mary Blair is one, from among many many Disney luminaries, as one who is special.  Every time I see her unique work I feel like I am gaining a glimpse of true American culture.

So Mary was an artist - and worked as one of the original animators for Walt. Her strong sense of design was behind many Disney's pieces including Alice - and also:

Peter Pan


and Song of the South

Mary did about a decade in the fifties away from the Disney studio doing private work for advertising and Little Golden Books - her most famous being I Can Fly


Lured back to Disney, Walt put Mary to work not on films, but on building things! 

Mary's murals decorated Tomorrowland 

Go read the whole post on Yesterland - it pays magnificent homage to the murals and tells the story of where the murals are now
The Gran Fiesta Tour in the Mexico pavilion at Epcot

(source WDW Magic)
And most famously Mary designed it's a small world for the 1964 New York World's Fair to benefit UNICEF. 

I like these attractions at the parks - I feel like I am immersing myself into American art history - not just riding a dumb old Disney thing with a ear worm song. I feel the style is strong and unique and captures a spirit of lightness, movement, naivety - childhood dreams - the way we wish it was. It is isn't about intellectual or inaccessible. This art is congruent in its style, colours, themes and ultimate application. So it works.

My favourite is the Grand Canyon Concourse in the Contemporary Resort 

(source: Mouse Planet)
Over 18,000 hand made tiles, over 90 ft tall and wrapping around the sides of this central elevator column, this magnificent mural captures the spirit and colours of the Grand Canyon.

(source: Burning Settlers Cabin)
I love that I can walk up to and run my hands over the knobbly tiles.

It celebrates the people of the canyon

and the skunks (source: all
There's this cute bear

(source: onmiluxe)
I can't wait to get you there and make you search for the infamous 5 legged goat! 

(of course, if you are coming to the California Grill fireworks dinner you get into this wondrously decorated elevator riser)

This short you tube mini - doco is really charming, full of her art and story, describing how Mary's style emerged.

This partner piece by the young chap includes clips from those final films including Donald and that cute train.

When we are in Orlando, be aware and you'll begin to recognise Mary's influence all over the place.

So how do you find the art of Mary Blair?

(source: Magic of Mary Blair)

If too much Mary is barely enough - with the 50th anniversary of its a small world, Mary Blair displays have been popping up everywhere. Check out:

Friday, 25 April 2014

This is my Happy Birthday Song and it isn't very long

Just when you thought I had gone away ......

Grumpy Cat Birthday : It's Your Birthday, I'm Controlling My Excitement - by Anonymous
It's Mrs Banks 3rd Birthday!!
Ohhh .... so you know those people who never quite finish anything? The finish line is in sight and we just wind down? I bet you are seeing Zontians at Club and District level doing it right now ... only a month to go ....

Aussie comedians Roy and H.G. would describe it as running a race and just in the last 10 metres the lead runner would get out the esky, big umbrella, fold up chair and sit back and watch everyone else cross the finish line.

Well - maybe, just maybe a bit of that maybe happening here on Mrs Banks ..... just maybe.

Only 2 months to go and we'll be together again in Orlando. Oh I have the excitement of grumpy cat ...

3 years I've been pumping out the posts - time to go for the big final push in our last few posts together.

Firstly, let's fire up the Google Analytics and see who's been doing what

Spaceship Earth
Readership Geographical Location
Still the case that the USA is just pipping ahead of our Aussie readers - but ..... no-one else?? O Canada ... why aren't you reading me?

But my Aussie readers win again in that they stay for double the time on the site (because of our super slow broadband speeds here??), they read 1/3 more pages, and 91% of them hit the site, stay and read. YAY!!

Post of the Year
After a 2 year stella run, my anti-Disney Princess rant only came in at No.3
This year, you were all about something else - Mary Poppins! Yes - this post about P.L. Travers and the writing of Mary Poppins from back in July 2011 was the most hit post. My only explanation is that I was probably ahead of my time and picking up collateral damage from the Saving Mr Banks movie.

And where is Zonta in all this? Post No. 6 - Announcing the dates of International Convention. The only Zonta post in the top 10.  My consolation is that people coming to look at my Disney posts are surreptitiously exposed to Zonta!

Finding Mrs. Banks

1/3 by organic searching. Well - Thank you Google - but they are looking for Disney Princesses or Capital Theatre Seating Maps. Oh well.

The red bit is referrals from other sites - and because there are no other Zonta blogs out there, all those referrals are from other Disney fan sites like: Mouse on the Mind, This Happy Place, the DISboards and Aussie Blog Chicks. This would be a direct boost from the new Kill, Refurb, Marry post series.

The green chunk is direct hits and google searches - people looking deliberately for me. Much like the the light blue which is Facebook - so a 1/3 actually DO want to be here!

so after all these stats and graphs, I think we deserve some birthday cake

Is it not magnificent?! (source: cake central)
It is my privilege to serve my readership. Some 16% of all hits are regular returns, and it is humbling to reflect that people give up some of their precious time to come to Mrs. Banks - and make sure I am still alive .... or not batshit crazy .... or whatever.

It's been like having a VERY long engagement. For 3 years we have been planning our trip to Orlando. It is now only a matter of weeks before Mrs. Banks reaches her ultimate purpose.

So what say you? Will you come join us at International Convention?

now - I have to go find the Ken Man and get that cup of tea....