EverywhereBut Not All Framed Ink
Article and Photos by Diana "Sacrifice"
year on James Brown's birthday (which, strangely, also
happens to be my date of birth), I make the pilgrimage
to Disneyland. What better place is there to become
a day older? The highlight of the trip is always the
numerous rides on "Pirates of the Caribbean."
Imagine my horror when I found out that "Pirates"
would be closed this birthday, May 2003, for refurbishment.
As my head was entering "the last neck tie I would
ever wear," my sister called with the news of a
"Pirates of the Caribbean" art exhibit at
the Disney Gallery. My life now had purpose: To see
the artwork and tell the world of the bewitched treasures
my eyes did behold up the stairs from the best ride
The first piece you see upon entering
the Disney Gallery is the large pile of gold, gems,
and skulls in the middle of the entry room. About 5"
of glimmering coins and riches, looking as if they were
brought upstairs from the ride below, were right there
within my reach. Don't tell anyone, but I just had to
touch it. I know I can trust those who peruse Tellnotales.com
to keep my secret.
When I was able to pull myself away from
the "For Sale" hallway, I marched right into
the showroom that overlooks New Orleans Square's main
shopping thoroughfare. This is where some of the real
goodies of this exhibit are to be found. In the middle
of the room were two glass showcases which held original
sculptures of our favorite buccaneers and company. Three
grey heads are in the first case: Pirate on Cannon in
Arsenal by Blaine Gibson, Plump Bride at Auction by
Joe Kaba, and Pooped Pirate by Blaine Gibson. Incredible
what can be done with only human hands and tools.
The details and facial expressions were
just spectacular. It took a shove from my sister to
get me away from my study of these disembodied heads.
Yes, they are that cool. Arrrrrrr, Mateys, there's more
to see in the Disney Gallery.
In the showcase next to the heads lives
scaled down renderings in plaster, acrylic, and plastilena
of anatomically incorrect "POTC" characters.
These were all done by Blaine Gibson. Hats off and a
long sigh of "Wow!" to Mr. Gibson, you scurvy
dogs. Walking around the case gives one the chance to
see these works from all angles, which is a treat. When
was the last time you were allowed to do this on the
Every inch taken
available inch of wall space was taken up with sketches
and watercolors of Disney's masterpiece. On first glance,
I thought there were many original pieces. Turned out
almost everything was digitally reproduced. This didn't
take anything away from the beauty of the pieces. I
could go into detail of all the pieces, but this is
only an overview. Most of the sketches and watercolors
in the main showrooms were done between 1962 and 1965.
Marc Davis was the hand of genius who made two dimensions
jump out from their canvases. I was ready to take a
second on my house to buy some of these pieces. Wouldn't
you know that they weren't for sale? They were only
available to view.
we continued our stroll through the Gallery we were
told to step outside and see what had just come in earlier
in the day. There, in front of the fountain of the middle
court, was the masthead from the Black Pearl from the
upcoming "POTC" movie. My sister and I went
straight to it, hoping to rub off some Johnny Depp energy.
we love pirates, but Johnny Depp is Johnny
Depp. Anyhow, this wooden lady of good fortune was approximately
twelve feet high. She is releasing a bird to fly ahead
of her ship to watch the waters for trouble. We asked
for info on the artists, but since we were some of the
first to see this lovely lady, the cast members didn't
have an answer for us. However, they were kind enough
to direct us to the back showroom where art and a preview
from the "POTC" movie were housed.
Okay, confession time again: I don't like
to see previews of movies that I'm dying to see. I like
my mind to sell me on a movie. I also enjoy the surprise
of being surprised when I finally see the movie. Needless
to say, I ignored the television screen playing the
preview. Not to worry, because there was a lot of eye
candy to sweeten my pirate tooth. Sketches, drawings,
I cannot wait for the movie to come out.
If the art is any indication, this movie will rock and
roll. I took a limited amount of notes, so you will
just have to go see this exhibit yourself if you're
curious about the artists. I do have a favorite sketch,
though. It is a penciled drawing of a cursed monkey
by Crash. A rendition of a spider type of monkey that
looks as if it is a few years late for its own funeral.
If I had worn a trench coat
Well, I won't go there.
(Pictured above right: A concept for the pirate zombies,
also by Crash.)
in all, the Disney Gallery's "POTC" exhibit
was fantastic! It didn't make up for the ride being
closed, but it did get my mind off that fact for about
a half hour. I never cease to be amazed by what the
artists of Disney can bring to life. These individuals
didn't have computers to do their work (although there
is nothing wrong with that), they did it all with their
art supplies, hands, and minds.
If X does mark the spot, the Disney Gallery's
exhibit is a double X treasure waiting to be discovered
by all the bilge rats, wenches, scurvy dogs, first mates,
and cap'ins who love "Pirates of the Caribbean".
Pictured at left: Friends Renee and
Diana pose in front of the masthead from Captain Jack's