Behind the Silly Symphony Swings

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Disney just announced a Disneyland Exclusive Annual Passholder 3″ figure based on the DCA attraction Silly Symphony Swings. It will retail for $14.95 and be available beginning December 23rd at D-Street Anaheim and Off The Page inside DCA.

The swings attraction opened in June of 2010, but the Silly Symphony goes back much further in Disney’s history. The Silly Symphony was a collection of animated shorts that began in 1929 and spanned a decade. This series is of great importance to the history of Disney animation for numerous reasons.

Flowers and Trees (1932) was the first full color Technicolor cartoon. Silly Symphony was also the vehicle that introduced my favorite Disney character Donald Duck, who debuted in 1934 in “The Wise Little Hen.”

The Silly Symphonies also took home the Academy Award for Best Cartoon Short 6 years in a row and influenced how Walt Disney himself would take a step back from directing Disney’s animated films in favor of producing and creative director roles. As far as Vinylmation, before this DLR exclusive, The Silly Symphonies were the inspiration for at least two figures that I can find. One of my absolute favorites is this 9″ Holiday 1…

This figure draws inspiration from The Skeleton Dance, the first ever produced Silly Symphony. The skeleton is perfect and the curtain opening up to reveal the black and white short on the back of the head is just an amazing detail. The second figure is actually much more recent.

Three Little Pigs was a 1933 Silly Symphony, and it’s baddie was The Big Bad Wolf, who Gerald Mendez designed for Villains 2. Now, after all that, we come around to the Silly Symphony Swings.

The swings are located on Paradise Pier at Disney’s California Adventure. Guests are swung around the base in this carnival type ride. The funny thing about the actual attraction is it isn’t based on an actual Silly Symphony short! The Band Concert, from which it’s design comes from, was a short produced in 1935 staring Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck and various other characters. The short holds a special place in history in its own right, as it’s Mickey Mouse’s first appearance in a color cartoon. (watch the short here.)

Imagineers used this colorful short as the basis for the swing’s design because of its “symphony storyline.” Let’s take a look at the Vinylmation in more detail along side the attraction. As the story goes, Mickey is the bandleader, so he sits atop the attraction.

So no better place to paint in Mickey than the ear of this Vinylmation.

Beautiful detail in the tiny little ear. On the very top of the vinyl’s head, you can see a design that mimics the gold music note design Mickey stands on atop the attraction. Moving down, the attraction and vinyl both feature the red and white awning. Then, at the bottom of the awning on the attraction, is a series of scenes from the short.

Instead of an intricate design on the face of the vinyl, the designer went with this…

Still grabbing the feel of the golden frames, but adorning the middle with a green Mickey head. As the short progresses, a tornado approaches, but the band continues to play on. Amid the chaos of the storm… wind, leaves and instruments swirl around. At the attraction, the pole at which the swings spin around captures this feel…

And the Vinylmation body mimics this pattern…

The feet of the vinyl feature the base of the funnel cloud and a sign that reads “Band Concert Today In The Park.”

Overall, its a great looking Vinylmation. The colors are bright and it has a ton of action for a little three inch figure. And the Mickey in the ear is very detailed. To me, a Disney enthusiast, this is more a nod to a legendary color short than to the swings attraction itself. I actually skipped this ride when visiting DLR in August… did I miss out on a good one? I can tell you this, I will not miss out on picking up this beautiful Vinylmation when it launches later this month. Hey Zoe! …that means you need to make a trip to D-Street for us. At least you don’t have to think about what to get MC and I for Christmas.

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About the author

Nick LoCicero

Nick LoCicero has almost 20 years experience in the media industry. He has worked on numerous Disney related media projects, most know at WDWNT for WDW News Tonight. He has been visiting Walt Disney World since 1982. After moving to Orlando in the late 90's he became a passholder, developed a fascination with the history of the vacation kingdom and has spent way too much money on park merchandise.

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