Thursday, October 28, 2010

Trent at the Haunted Mansion

Monolithic Studio's head, Reuben Lilienthal, was close friends with Walt Disney. Both of them enjoyed the publicity machine and making the most of it. When Walt and his team began the design of his Haunted Mansion at Disneyland in 1961, he contacted Reuben about the possibility of reuniting Trent, Madra, and Gene for this attraction in some capacity. Reuben was more than pleased at the idea of getting his three favorite stars of yesteryear together again.

Flash forward to 1966; the construction of the exterior had been finished for 3 years, but the attraction itself was still in a state of turmoil. A sign outside of the Mansion gave a tantalizing glimpse of what was to come, but guests had to patiently wait to get inside for another few years. To keep the momentum going, Walt decided to stage some publicity shots to continue to whet the appetites of the curious public. By this time, Reuben had already passed away, but Trent, Madra, and Gene were still excited about the possibility of working with Walt.

Here are a few of the rare shots from that day. Trent played host:

Madra was filmed and used as the projection head for Madame Leota:

And Gene dressed up as the ghastly bride in the attic who was jilted by her fiance at the altar:

Sadly, it wasn’t long after these photos were shot that Walt passed away. It would be another 3 years before the Mansion would open, and the Disney Imagineers felt that the Monolithic Trio were no longer relevant to the current generation. So...these photos have sat in the dusty files of the archives until they were recently discovered. Hope you enjoy!

MANY thanks to Alana Bennett for doing an incredible job of recreating the Disneyland Haunted Mansion cast member outfit for Trent to model!

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1 comment:

  1. Those are very good photographs. I could not take decent pictures without a nice poster as background. I use 36" x 24 " size posters for Gene dolls size. Sometimes it does not work, because the bench or the car or the lamp post or the door is the wrong proportion.