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Item/Description: Original ca 1963 “LOOK” Magazine photograph of Walt Disney & “It’s a Small World” scale model prototype for UNICEF’s/Pepsi-Cola’s New York World’s Fair 1964-1965 exhibit.
This extraordinary vintage ca 1963 photograph, which is officially marked on its reverse side “‘Return to LOOK Library” (referring to “LOOK” Magazine’s library), depicts a smiling Walter Elias Disney proudly posing behind his scale model prototype of the “It’s a Small World” musical boat ride exhibit attraction that was created especially for UNICEF and sponsored by Pepsi-Cola at the 1964-1965 New York World’s Fair (which later became an official Disneyland attraction in 1966).
***Highly cross-collectible, this exceedingly unique and rare (if not “one-of-a-kind”, then at the very least, “one of only a very small handful”) photograph runs the gamut of collectibility - from Disneyana enthusiasts, to World’s Fair memorabilia collectors, to Vintage Photography buffs, to lovers of “LOOK” Magazine, to Theme Park buffs, to Pepsi-Cola aficionados, to fans of Fraternal (UNICEF in particular) collectibles, to Scale Model connoisseurs!
Age/Period: Vintage - ca 1963 (1960s)
The scale model/prototype that is depicted in this “LOOK” Magazine photograph for the “It’s a Small World” musical boat ride attraction is the exact one that was designed/created for the World’s Fair UNICEF exhibit as opposed to the Disneyland attraction, as evidenced by the presence on the actual model itself of the “Pepsi” logo sign which is prominently featured above the marquee that reads “Walt Disney ‘It’s a Small World’ - A Salute to UNICEF...”
Therefore, this photograph dates to ca 1963, prior to the opening of the New York World’s Fair in 1964, and well before the 1966 opening of the attraction ride at California’s Disneyland theme park.
Manufacturer/Identification/Markings/Country of Origin: Reverse side of photo is marked: “‘Return to LOOK Library”, meaning “LOOK” magazine’s library.
Material(s)/Format: Original black & white glossy photograph.
We do believe this to be an original photo printed from the original negative contemporary to the time the photo was taken because of the wording contained on the reverse side of the photo - “‘Return to LOOK Library” - which would also indicate that this photograph was taken by a “LOOK” Magazine staff or freelance photographer and is thus an official “LOOK” Magazine photo.
Size/Measurements: 8"W x 10"H
Quantity: One (1)
Condition Summary (kindly also refer to “Grading Scale” below): “Fine” vintage, collectible condition.
*The front side of the photograph remains very clean and exhibits no soiling, with bright white borders/margins/edges that appear to be quite even in dimensions vs. “cut down”.
*The photographic imagery remains crisp and clear, demonstrating quality developing with consistency of tonality & glossiness.
*Although there are no tears nor any significant bends, folds or creases present on the main areas of the photograph, there are a couple of small “line marks” present which are not readily visible when viewing the photograph “straight on”. If, however, the photograph is tilted at certain angles and/or when viewed in certain lighting, these can be seen as well as felt.
*There is also a not unusual modicum of surface handling (e.g. a few tiny, slight “dents”/dimples).
*While all four (4) corners of the photo do remain sharp/pointy, two (2) of the corners exhibit the faintest of small fold/crease marks, and the lower left corner a slightly more pronounced fold/crease mark.
*The back side of the photo exhibits a tan marking which visually resembles old glue or paper residue typical of items that were once inside scrapbooks. However, when you touch it, there is no feel or texture to it and the photo’s backing is perfectly smooth and flat. It does not show through to the front side of the photo at all.
***CONDITION GRADING SCALE: The condition of a collectible photograph is described using industry standard terminology.
EXCELLENT: One of the best existing examples with exceptional eye appeal. May have very minor flaws that do not affect the overall look of the photo.
VERY FINE: Above-average condition, with very few defects detracting from the look of the photo.
FINE: Average condition, with signs of use such as tears, creases, small stains and dents that don’t compromise the integrity of the photo.
GOOD: Very obvious signs of use affecting the overall appearance of the photo, such as large tears, missing pieces, heavy staining or tape repair..
Excerpted Research Information about the “It’s a Small World” Exhibit Musical Boat Ride Theme Park Attraction (attributed to http://disneylandnews.com/fact-sheets/2009/02/02/its-a-small-world-fun-facts/): “...The public first heard the infectious theme song on April 22, 1964, the opening day of the 1964 New York World's Fair.
Along with a lifelike Abraham Lincoln who stood up and talked, dinosaurs that hovered over newly introduced Ford Mustangs, and a General Electric presentation about America's technological progress, Walt Disney – the fair's ‘farthest flung impresario,’ as The New York Times described him – also presented what would prove to be the expo's most popular draw: ‘It's a Small World – a Salute to UNICEF’ in which visitors enjoy a 10-minute boat ride seeing scenes of foreign lands," reported the newspaper.
Of all people, it was semi-retired Hollywood star Joan Crawford – despite her reputation for mistreating her own kids – who pushed to have Disney honor the world's children.
As the widow of Pepsi-Cola's late CEO Alfred Steele, Crawford sat on the Pepsi board. When the company hesitated in hiring Disney for the pavilion it would sponsor at the fair, Crawford reputedly put her formidable foot down – and Pepsi sponsored It's a Small World.
‘Disney's realistic robots,’ said Time magazine, ‘stalk the fair. [Small World] has about 350 of them, doll-size, flanking a boat ride that children seem to like more than anything else. Scottish dolls climb steep plaid mountains, Iranian dolls fly on Persian carpets, and French dolls cancan.’
During peak periods, the ride – which during its development was called Children of the World – drew up to 40,000 fairgoers a day at 90 cents per adult (about $6.75 today) and 65 cents for those under 12. By the end of its two-year New York run, Small World had been seen by 10 million people.
Knowing it was too good to tear down along with the rest of the fair, ‘Mr. Disney,’ said The Times, ‘has all future rights to It's a Small World, which he may move to Disneyland, in California.’
And so he did – situating it directly north of the Matterhorn in the newly expanded Fantasyland, where it opened under a sparkly new edifice on May 28, 1966....”
AND (attributed to http://disneylandnews.com/fact-sheets/2009/02/02/its-a-small-world-fun-facts/): “‘It’s a Small World’ was originally conceived as an exhibit that would benefit UNICEF, the United Nations Children’s Fund, at the 1964-65 New York World’s Fair. Because UNICEF is dedicated to the welfare of children all over the world, the theme for “It’s a Small World” became an international voyage celebrating the happy spirit of children everywhere.
After two hit seasons at the fair, ‘It’s a Small World’ moved to Disneyland, where it was expanded and then reopened as a major attraction in 1966...
...More than 256 million guests have experienced ‘It’s a Small World’ at Disneyland in California since the attraction opened in 1966...”
AND (attributed to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/It%27s_a_Small_World): “...1964 New York World's Fair. The first incarnation of PEPSI-COLA present's WALT DISNEY'S ‘It's a Small World’ — a Salute to UNICEF and all the World's Children was an afterthought which nearly didn't happen. The Ford Motor Co. and General Electric had engaged Disney early on to create their pavilions for the 1964 New York World's Fair. WED Enterprises had already long been at work developing a ‘dancing-doll’ designed to reproduce human movement resulting in a crude early audio-animatronics fashioned as Abraham Lincoln when the State of Illinois approached Disney to create the Illinois Pavilion, representatives of the state instantly approved after being ‘introduced’ to the robotic figurehead... when Pepsi approached Disney with a plan to tribute UNICEF. ‘Disney seemed to be the showman to give us the package we want … He's terrific. He's got his hands in more bowls than anyone I've ever seen, but he accomplishes what he sets out to do.’ — J.G. Mullaly, Ford's World's Fair program manager.
April 22, 1964 – opening day. ‘A salute to the children of the world, designed by Walt Disney, presents animated figures frolicking in miniature settings of many lands. Visitors are carried past the scenes in small boats. In an adjoining building Pepsi sponsors exhibits by the U.S. Committee for the United Nations Children's Fund. Above the pavilion rises the 120-foot Tower of the Four Winds, a fanciful creation of coloured shapes that dance and twist in the breeze.’ – 1965 Official Guide Book to the New York World's Fair.
The attraction was incredibly successful. Ten million 60¢ and 95¢ tickets for children and adults, respectively, were collected in two half-year seasons and the proceeds were donated to UNICEF. While other attractions had lines out the doors, there seemed to always be a welcoming seat available aboard It's a Small World. The ‘people-eater’ function of numerous voyagers per hour cruise capacity was recognized as a valuable innovation which was incorporated indirectly and directly into future attractions...
...The layout of the UNICEF pavilion attraction area featured a large show building which housed the boat cruise. Promoted as a meeting place with the slogan ‘Meet me under the Tower of the Four Winds’ the broad plaza in front of the pavilion was beneath the immense Rolly Crump designed Tower of the Four Winds. The 120-foot-tall kinetic structure featured many brightly painted whimsies of wind powered propellers, vanes, carousels, pinwheels and other traversing, spinning and reciprocating fascinations which became an eye-catching landmark at the World's Fair. After the fair closed the tower was scrapped for its iron when Disney decided to decline the expense of de/reconstruction and freight costs needed to move the unwieldy structure along with the rest of the attraction shipped home to Disneyland in California. Another epiphany was the phenomenal success and crowds remaining in the UNICEF displays and gift shop at the end of the voyage. Although Disneyland Park's version did not have a gift shop until Mattel sponsorship, it is difficult to find a ride constructed nowadays in any theme or amusement park which does not conclude with a gift shop.”
AND (no attribution): “‘It’s a Small World’ was originally conceived as an exhibit that would benefit UNICEF, the United Nations Children’s Fund, and like several other Disneyland attractions, originated with the 1964-65 New York World's Fair as Pepsi-Cola's pavilion, where it opened on April 22, 1964.
Originally sponsored by the Pepsi-Cola Company, who was working with the United Nations agency devoted to children’s welfare to have a pavilion that would provide a ‘salute to UNICEF and the world’s children,’ the Pepsi Company had trouble coming up with a concept that they liked and finally at almost the last moment, approached the Disney Company. One of the Pepsi board members, film actress Joan Crawford, had heard exciting things about the other three pavilions Disney was doing for the fair and suggested that with the Disney connection with children that Walt could come up with something amazing.
Pepsi executives went to California in February 1963 and met with Disneyland’s construction boss, Admiral Joe ‘Can Do’ Fowler who had to sadly inform the executives that Disney ‘couldn’t do’ the project since it was less than a year before the fair opening and that Disney was experiencing challenges with all the innovative things they were working on for the other three pavilions and needed to focus all their resources on those projects.
When Walt found out, he was incensed. According to one Disney executive, Walt said, ‘I’ll make those decisions. Tell Pepsi I’ll do it!’ So on February 15, 1963, Walt agreed to do a Planning Design Feasibility Study’ for the pavilion .
After two hit seasons at the fair, ‘It’s a Small World’ closed and the attraction ride was transferred to Disneyland where it was expanded and then officially re-opened as a major attraction in 1966. Interestingly, Pepsi-Cola did not continue its sponsorship of ‘It’s a Small World’ once it was moved to Disneyland, and instead Bank of America became the original sponsor for the theme park attraction.”