Tuesday, 8 August 2017

A #Cartoon & #ComicBook Tour Of #London No.8. #Disney

Daily Constitutional Editor Adam writes…

Every year at this busy time I dig into the archives of The Daily Constitutional and repost a few favourites - it allows me to enjoy the school holidays with my daughter and still lead my London Walks tours.

This year I'm reposting my Cartoon & Comic Book Tour of London - a series of posts tracing the inky footsteps left behind in our capital by everyone from William Hogarth to Scooby Doo. It's been one of the most popular series of all on The Daily Constitutional and I'm looking forward to updating it after the holidays with posts on Captain America, the X-Men, George Cruikshank and Mary Darly. In the meantime, here's the story so far…

Panel 8: Disney

Disney has long loved London. Here's a still from Basil the Great Mouse Detective

… and from the opening credits of 101 Dalmatians

… and from Peter Pan

In Peter Pan (the 14th Disney animated feature, 1953) the Darling family live in Bloomsbury and the London skyline provides the perfect backdrop for the magical flying scenes. In Basil The Great Mouse Detective, Big Ben and Buckingham Palace take centre stage. This was the 26th Disney animated feature (1986) and the very first to use computer animation techniques.

101 Dalmatians was the 17th Disney animated feature (1961) and was the movie that saved Disney as we know it. Following the disappointing box office performance of Sleeping Beauty (1959) it is said that Disney was ready to abandon animated features altogether. 101 Dalmatians went on to be the 10th highest grossing picture of 1961 in North America.  

My most memorable London scene In 101 Dalmatians features The Twilight Bark. 

In the wake of human failure to locate the missing puppies, Pongo and Perdita take matters into their own paws and send a message out throughout London. Did you think that dogs bark at nightfall for no reason at all? They are, of course, communicating with one another. 

Pongo barks from what appears to be Primrose Hill…

… the message reaches Danny the Great Dane in Hampstead (a more imposing specimen of cartoon Great Dane than Scooby Doo, see our earlier post)…

As the message spreads through town, we pan out across the London skyline. It has been pointed out that the neon lights of the West End seem to have been relocated to South London, but no matter: it allows the artists to give us a lovely view of St Paul's dominating the city skyline – as it would have done 54 years ago when the film was released.

You can buy 101 Dalmatians here: www.disneystore.co.uk/

Here's how to get to Primrose Hill (and nearby Regent's Park where Pongo and Perdita meet for the very first time)… 

Tomorrow… Sir David Low

A London Walk costs £10 – £8 concession. To join a London Walk, simply meet your guide at the designated tube station at the appointed time. Details of all London Walks can be found at www.walks.com.

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