The American director, screenwriter and film producer who has just signed the direction of “Halloween Kills” will be behind the camera of the film that will tell the genesis of a myth: the most famous amusement park in the world, inaugurated in 1955. This work will explain how one of the symbols of Walt Disney was born and, of course, it will be produced “in house”, that is, by Disney itself
David Gordon Green, the director who signed the recent “Halloween Kills” (presented out of competition at the 78th Venice International Film Festival on 9 September), he will direct the film on the birth of Disneyland.
It is his name that will appear on the chair from director of the film that will retrace the various stages of the genesis of a myth, that is the most famous amusement park in the world. From its design to its inauguration – which took place in 1955 – and beyond, this cinematic work will tell how one of the symbols of Walt Disney was born. Clearly this is a production made “in house”, ie produced by Disney itself. It is not yet known whether it will be a film distributed in streaming or a film that will be released (first) at the cinema. It will certainly be (sooner or later) available on the Disney + streaming platform (also visible on Sky Q and via the app on Now Smart Stick).
La Casa di Mickey Mouse has chosen the American director, screenwriter and film producer to be told.
The director abandons horror (temporarily)
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For him it will mean abandoning for a while that film genre that he had recently found himself directing. We recall in fact that the new trilogy of the mythical Halloween has had (and will still have, given that one of the three announced films is missing: in 2022 it will arrive Halloween Ends) as a director himself, with a saga reboot which was appreciated by all the fans of this epic that wrote the history of cinema.
On February 9, 2017, John Carpenter himself announced the release of a new film in the saga, written by David Gordon Green with Danny McBride and directed by David Gordon Green. The film (released the following year, in 2018) is a sequel to the first Halloween and ignore all other sequels. Jamie Lee Curtis plays Laurie Strode once again and John Carpenter returns to compose the soundtrack.
The second chapter of what will be a three-act saga signed by David Gordon Green is the one entitled “Halloween Kills”, presented out of competition at the 78th Venice International Film Festival on 9 September 2021. It will be distributed in US cinemas every few days, starting from 15 October, while in Italian cinemas it will arrive on 21 October.
After this horror parenthesis (but the third chapter is awaited, so the parenthesis is absolutely not to be considered closed), the director will approach this very particular project.
In fact, dealing with the history of Disneyland is a challenge for any director: it is the number one location of the spectacular, being the thematic playground of some of the most famous feature films of the seventh art (those of the big-screen fairy tales signed by Walt Disney, in fact ).
Snow White and the Prince’s Kiss, Disneyland’s carousel criticized
The film dedicated to the birth of Disneyland will be written by Even Spiliotopoulos, a name that already belongs to the great Disney family since he has already worked on the live-action film version of “Beauty and the Beast” (released in 2017 and whose screenplay is was edited by him together with Stephen Chbosky).
However, no name has yet been made regarding the cast. However, as this is a very important film for Disney because it tells about Walt Disney’s creation of the “happiest place on earth”, very famous Hollywood stars will certainly be involved, you can bet …
This is not the very first feature film dedicated to the history of Disney: before this, in fact, it was released “Saving Mr. Banks”. The latter is the 2013 film directed by John Lee Hancock and starring Emma Thompson (in the role of Pamela Lyndon Travers) and Tom Hanks (in the role of Walt Disney), loosely based on the real story of how Walt Disney got the rights. of the novel “Mary Poppins” by the Australian author after twenty years of pressing requests.
As for “Saving Mr. Banks”, Walt Disney Pictures (along with BBC Films, Ruby Films, Essential Media & Entertainment and Hopscotch Features) was producing. And if then in the cast appeared Hollywood sacred monsters of the caliber of Emma Thompson and Tom Hanks, once again let’s expect such big names …
The history of the amusement park: the idea
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Disneyland is the most famous amusement park in the world, so famous that it has now become “The Park”, the amusement park par excellence. It opened in 1955 and was the first of a series of 20 parks, located around the globe.
The very first Disneyland (or Disneyland Park) was the only one to have had the honor of being inaugurated by Walt Disney himself. It is located in Anaheim, on the outskirts of Los Angeles. The idea of opening such an amusement park came precisely to Walt Disney, while he was visiting Griffith Park, in Los Angeles, in the late 1930s and early 1940s.
The famous “patriarch” of the most famous production house on earth was together with his daughters, Diane and Sharon. As he sat on a bench, he watched them go on the merry-go-round of horses. Just then he wondered why only children could have fun in amusement parks, with adults on the sidelines, sitting and watching them. Thus was born in his head the intuition of a place where young and old can have fun together.
The bench he sat on that day at Griffith Park was later bought by Disney and today is on display at Disneyland, in the Opera House on Main Street USA.
The construction of the park
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Construction began in July 1954. The promise was to open the park within a year, although such a challenge was truly impossible at the time. The cost was exorbitant: it reached over 17 million dollars.
Hollywood called that project “Walt’s Folly” and there was an unpleasant smell of failure in the air. Unpleasant for Walt Disney and for those who had invested in his dream, but very pleasant to the nostrils of his detractors.
Walt Disney himself visited the construction site every day, offering direction but also encouragement. He spent the night very often in a private apartment located above the Disneyland fire station.
1,200 workers worked without ever losing heart and without ever losing even that fast pace promised to their “foreman”, Walt. Incredibly, the project was completed on schedule. Foreseen by Walt and those who believed in him, not his detractors.
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“To all who come to this happy place: Welcome. Disneyland is your land. Here age relives fond memories of the past, and here youth may savor the challenge and promise of the future. Disneyland is dedicated to the ideals, the dreams, and the hard facts that have created America, with the hope that it will be a source of joy and inspiration to all the world”, These are the words of the original speech given by Walt Disney on the day of the inauguration of Disneyland, which took place on July 17, 1955.
Translated into Italian as: “To all who come to this happy place: Welcome. Disneyland is your land. Here age relives the good memories of the past, and here young people can savor the challenges and promises of the future. Disneyland is dedicated to the ideals, dreams and facts that created America, with the hope that it will be a source of joy and inspiration for the whole world ”.
We will certainly hear these words spoken in the film that reconstructs the story of Disneyland … The grand opening ceremony, which lasted 90 minutes, was televised live on ABC (which was the theme park’s third investor).
An estimated 70 million people – in a country of 165 million – were tuned in to watch the inauguration. In addition to being Walt Disney as the presenter of the historic event, there was also another star to co-present it: the then actor (and future president of the United States) Ronald Reagan.
The so-called “black day” of Disneyland
The opening day was renamed as Disneyland’s “black day”.
In addition to the 6000 guests (approximately) that had been foreseen by the organization, another 22,000 people managed to enter with bogus invitation cards or by climbing over the fences. The number of those present reached over 28,000 guests, many more than the attendants could receive that day.
The event created mileage traffic jams on the highway due to that huge turnout. Inside the park it was hard to walk and the food supplies soon ran out. In addition, a plumbing strike caused the park’s fountains to run dry (although legend has it that it was a gimmick to sell more Pepsi, one of the sponsors of the amusement park).
Many of the attractions were still closed or under construction, in some places the paint was fresh, with the workers still intent on finishing painting the rides.
And suddenly a gas leak forced the early closure of some parts of the park, with the result that the many guests had to crowd into even smaller spaces.
Opening to the public
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On that day the park was crushed by the newspapers of the time but in the end we are still here today, talking about it as one of the most mythical and important places both on a historical and social level and on a cultural level in the history of the twentieth century. But the same Disney managers, in the following years of the rosy career of their company, will refer to that day of the inauguration with the expression “Black Sunday”.
It was then July 18, the day after the “Black Sunday” of the inauguration, the date on which the park was officially opened to the public. People were outside the gates already during the night, anxiously waiting to enter Disneyland. To symbolically buy ticket number one was Roy Disney, Walt’s brother. The rest is history. On the contrary: everything is history, not just the rest.