Monday, May 9, 2011

Sign, Sign, Everywhere a Sign

We travel back again to Disney’s Hollywood Studios to examine another emblem honoring the legacy of the Walt Disney Studios. Recall from an earlier post that an earlier animation center was on Hyperion Avenue. With the success of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Walt and Roy Disney were able to fulfill a larger dream of a fully encapsulated studio. Located in Burbank California, the studio remains today as the headquarters of the Walt Disney Company. Built at the time to fully streamline the animation process, the physical layout of the campus was designed with animators in mind. Office space for artists was designed to facilitate the ideal levels of daylight for their animation tables. Unique shutters over the windows could be manipulated to control the lighting. The campus included plenty of green space, to encourage collaboration outside of the traditional office environment. Naturally, the streets on the campus were named for Disney stars. The intersection of Dopey Drive and Mickey Avenue has an iconic sign that clearly tells Guests that this is a working studio; animation, multi plane and ink & paint are on the Mickey side, and in between, special effects and the layout department are on Dopey’s side.

According to recently retired Disney archivist Dave Smith, the sign was installed in its location for the Studio Tour segment of The Reluctant Dragon in 1941 and never removed.

At Disney’s Hollywood Studios, a similar sign exists paying homage to its ancestor back at the home office. Just outside of Pixar Place, look for the sign at the intersection of Mickey Avenue and Minnie Lane. Naturally, the DHS sign features Minnie.

(Images courtesy of the Walt Disney Company)

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