Friday, May 30, 2008

Freeze Frame! - Early Florida Tourists

Donald Duck visited the Sunshine State nearly two decades before Walt Disney World emerged out of central Florida swampland in late 1971. Donald and his nephews toured similar swampy landscapes in the 1953 cartoon Don's Fountain of Youth, released on May 30, 1953. The cartoon makers were likely guiding Donald and the boys through an area near St. Augustine. They travel along US Highway 1, and come upon the site of an old Spanish fort, dated 1571. It would appear that background artist Art Riley drew inspiration from both Castillo de San Marcos and the Fort Mantanzas National Monument (pictured) located in Saint Augustine. The Castillo de San Marcos was constructed during the latter decades of the 17th century; Fort Mantanzas was built in the mid-18th century.

Images © Walt Disney Company


Anonymous said...

It seems that director Jack Hannah liked using Flordia as the background for this cartoon. Seven years later, Jack used Flordia several more times in cartoon, but at another Walt's studio- Walter Lantz. By the early 1960s, Florida's wetland were slowly disappering as Civilan life was starting to become more common. Hannah made reference to this in "Southern Fried Hospitality" (1960) starring Woody Woodpecker and a "new" character name Gabby Gator.

Anonymous said...

Very cool. Thanks for showing me this. I love St.Augustine and the fort and have been there many thimes! It's great to have a Disney Connection to one of my favorite landmarks! Jeff, keep up the great work!

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