Sunday, March 19, 2006

A Ghostly Ordeal for our pal Emile

Upon entering the Disneyland Haunted Mansion foyer, you might notice that, while ornate, it lacks some form of visual entertainment like that of its successors with changing portraits or mirrors where brides appear and disappear. However, it would be an insult to just chalk it up as "plain." The foyer hosts quite a few interesting pieces. For instance, the large mirrors, the beautiful wainscoting, the candle sconces and the massive, spiderweb covered chandelier.

This week, we look at the man who made these fixtures possible and we also link the Disneyland Haunted Mansion to Town Square, much of Disneyland and Walt Disney World, and also again to the movie, 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea.

Emile Kuri was mostly known for being a set decorator for Walt Disney Studios for nearly 40 years. He had eight Oscar nominations and won two Academy Awards, one of which was for his set decoration on 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. Kuri was soon named the head of the studio decorating department and oversaw not only movie set decorations, but also the numerous decorations within the parks themselves. His work was so popular that he was chosen by Walt Disney himself to decorate his private apartment above the fire station in Town Square.

Emile's work could also be seen in the various shops on Main Street, in the Carousel of Progress theatre and Pirates of the Caribbean to name a few.


Blogger McStennson said...

I like that pic of Walt in his apartment. Any idea who those kids are?

9:28 PM  
Blogger Ghost Relations Dept. said...

I believe that the two girls are his daughters, Sharon and Diane, but the boy could possibly be a nephew.

5:19 AM  
Blogger Chris Merritt said...

Emile is one of those "lesser known" Imagineers - I'm glad you are mentioning him! The Mansion is such a great mix of so many different artists styles... Walt knew what he was doing forcing them to all work together...

8:33 AM  

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