Saturday, December 31, 2011

Snow White "Pook-a-Looz"

We'll say goodbye to 2011 with a Pook post...


Stock images via Disney Store.

You may have asked, as I did when I first heard the name, "What the heck is a Pook-a-Looz?" With the tagline, "Too cute for their own good," these flattened, stylized soft fleece collectible toys were released to the general public spring 2010--in conjunction with a good dose of promotional hype.

What the Pooks are, according to lead designer Jose Zamora, are caricatures of classic Disney character personalities. Zamora says he tried to zero in on one unique feature for each. Over 30 classic characters were "pooked" and sold at the Disney Store, Wal-Mart, Toys-R-Us and the other usual chains. Each of the 12" polyester plush dolls retailed for $12.50 (USD).




The buzz was high when they first hit the market. Disney Consumer Products even created a separate Pook website and promoted them on their Facebook page. On youtube, Disney Living put out a series of "Pook-a-Sodes", short videos starring of course the Pook-a-Looz.

The Snow White episode is so ridiculously adorable, that I can't help but like it. Look for the hidden Pook-A-Looz character at about the 25 second mark.

Video posted by Disney Living.




Dopey and Grumpy Pooks.


In addition to the 12" dolls, a variety of other "Pook" products popped up in stores too. Miniature plush versions of Snow White and Grumpy appeared in the form of keychains attached to mouse ears carabiners. Figures approximately 3.5" tall.


Key chain images shot at Toys-R-Us, March 2011.

Grumpy Pook-a-Looz keychain.


Then there were the Topplers, Walkers, Yappers, and Spinners; released August 2010.

Packaging image via Cutetastic Disney Finds.


Snow showed up as a Toppler (Weebles wobble but they don't fall down).


Toppler images courtesy of xClaribelx.


This past March, almost one year from when the first Pooks began to appear, I visited Toys-R-Us. There were no signs of them anywhere except in the discount section. The few remaining store stragglers were marked down and priced to sell. It looked as though the Pook craze had died down...but in fact, it had not yet pooped out. New 2011 releases did occur at the theme parks.

So we say "goodpye" to the "pold" year with a peek at some pics of Pook madness! Also see the Pook pin.

Pook Pin

Disneystore.com released a limited edition Pook-a-Looz pin series on September 13, 2010. It included a Snow White pin with her holding Dopey's hand. Edition size 250. Enamel cloisonné; 2" wide. Retail $14.95.

Friday, December 30, 2011

Coming Soon! The Carthay Circle to DCA!

The Carthay Circle Theatre in Los Angeles was of course home to the 1937 world premiere of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. Built in 1926, the theater's...
...exterior design was in the Spanish Colonial Revival style, with whitewashed concrete trimmed in blue, with a high bell tower and neon sign that could be seen for miles. From the book, Wilshire Boulevard: Grand Concourse of Los Angeles

Vintage Carthay, circa 1926. Courtesy of vokoban.


Sadly, by the late 1960s, the Carthay could no longer compete with the more modern suburban cinemas of the time. The once grand Golden Age movie palace was demolished in 1969 to make way for office buildings.

The yellow square on this satellite image below marks the spot where the theater once stood...

Modern day satellite with 1927 overlay. Image courtesy of vokoban.


It was 1994 that Disney theme parks first celebrated this historic icon with the expansion of their Sunset Boulevard at Disney Hollywood Studios in Orlando. A replica of the facade was built to house one of the gift shops along this street.

In 2007, the $1.1 billion expansion plan was announced for Disney California Adventure. Among the many new additions to the park would be a centralized replica of the theater facade. Set as a visual anchor at the end of the entry plaza on Buena Vista Street, the Carthay Circle Theatre would again find a home.




Early blue prints showing the Carthay Circle Theatre and its plaza. A fountain will be placed in the center with the "pump house" set across the street...





April 2011 - Construction framing...


Images copyright Loren Javier. Creative Commons License.


May 2011 - Construction framing...

Image provided by TokyoMagic! of Meet the World.


Images courtesy of Original D.


July 2011 - Construction tarps...

Photo by Andy Castro via MiceAge.


August 2011 - Construction tarps...

Image courtesy of Original D.


August 19-21, 2011 - Model on display at the D23 expo, Anaheim Convention Center...



September 2011 - Construction videos from the Disney Parks blog...




October 2011 - Construction tarps, cupola in place...

Image courtesy of Connie at Life is a Journey.

October also saw some new Carthay display items at DCA's Blue Sky Cellar, including the scale model building set within the park entrance diorama...





Blueprints on the table...



Photos on the wall...



And posters up above...



Reproductions of a page from the original 1938 pressbook + the Carthay Circle playbill...




Another 1938 pressbook page reproduction...

Images courtesy of TokyoMagic! at Meet the World.


December 2011 - These shots were taken December 16th...



The left side facade is out from behind tarps and looking mighty fine...






The tower and right side remain mostly covered...





Across the street from the "theatre" is a small building with a matching facade. This is the "pump house" mentioned in the blue prints above. Currently, it's an information booth, but word is that it will also serve as the actual pump house for the plaza fountain...




On December 23rd, the tarps were removed from around the top portion of the theatre tower. On Christmas Eve, even more of the tower was revealed...


Above December shots all generously provided by TokyoMagic! of Meet the World.


And on the 28th, the tarps are nearly gone from the right side too...

Image courtesy of Connie at Life is a Journey.


The memory of the Carthay Circle Theatre will be forever linked to Walt Disney's Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. And while this Golden Age movie palace may be long gone, thanks to theme park imagineers, it won't soon be forgotten.

So what's going to be inside? We'll find out in 2012!