Welcome to those of you joining me from Home is Where the Mouse Is and those of you just hopping aboard. I am the 2nd stop on our Magical Blogorail. Today we are discussing some of the Disney Legends we admire.
“Her watercolor sketches were extraordinary placemaking,” Marty Sklar once said. “They expressed the concept so beautifully you felt you had already ‘been there’ in her restaurants and shop interiors, Walt’s suite for New Orleans Square, or along the promenade in Epcot’s World Showcase.”
When it comes to Disney and art one of the first names people think of is Mary Blair. I love her work and murals but I wanted to highlight another woman who’s vision is also throughout the parks, Dorothea Holt Redmond. She began her career at David O. Selznick’s studio and worked closely with directors helping them create the look of their films with her illustrations. “Gone with the Wind,” “The Best Years of Our Lives,” “The Ten Commandments,” “Funny Face,” “Sabrina” and “White Christmas” are just a few of the films she contributed to.
She also worked with Alfred Hitchcock on seven films, including “Rebecca”, “Rear Window”, and “To Catch a Thief.” Tania Modleski, a USC English professor who is documented the contributions women made Hitchcock’s films says that Redmond “was masterful at working with light and shadow,” and “deserves credit for working with Hitchcock to convey the German Expressionist aesthetic he has been praised for adopting throughout much of his career.” “Casting a Shadow: Creating the Alfred Hitchcock Film,” an exhibit put on at Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in Beverly Hills in 2008, also documented Redmond’s collaboration with Hitchcock.
Dorothea began working with Walt Disney Imagineering in 1966. At Disneyland, she helped transform the interior of the Red Wagon Inn Restaurant into the Plaza Inn and the interior and exterior settings of several restaurants and shops in New Orleans Square. She also worked with Walt himself to design the Royal Suite, a private apartment in New Orleans Square above Pirates of the Caribbean for Walt to entertain special guests. Walt passed away before the project was completed and at one time it was the home of The Disney Gallery.
In 2008 the space became the Disneyland Dream Suite. The 2,200 square foot apartment with rooms themed to Adventureland, New Orleans Square, and Frontierland was based on the designs that Dorothea had created. You can check out a tour of the Disneyland Dream Suite at Mouse Planet.
Dorothea also worked with WDI on the Walt Disney World project in Florida. She worked on several projects including Fantasyland, Main Street, and Adventureland. This watercolor of the Enchanted Tiki Room is one of my favorites.
But perhaps her most recognized work are the beautiful murals in the entry passage through Cinderella Castle. The five fifteen by ten foot panels are an abridged version of the story of Cinderella. Artisan Hanns-Joachim Scharff took Dorothea’s drawings and with the help of his wife and daughter, he hand cut and shaped over one million pieces of multicolored Italian glass, real silver, and 14 carat gold.
As a movie and Disney geek, I loved learning about all of the projects Dorothea contributed to. Make sure to take the time to admire these murals on your next visit. It’s a great way to honor someone that brought us so many beautiful places in the Disney Parks.
Thank you for joining me today. Your next stop on the Magical Blogorail Loop is Disney Babies Blog.
Here is the map of our Magical Blogorail should you happen to have to make a stop along the way and want to reboard:
1st Stop ~ Home is Where the Mouse Is – Mary Blair and Yale Gracey
2nd Stop ~ Rolling with the Magic – Dorothea Redmond
3rd Stop ~ Disney Babies Blog – X Atencio
4th Stop ~ My Pixie Dust Diary – Lee Cockerell
Final Stop ~ Disney Nouns – Floyd Norman