Marc Davis Archive


The Face of Madness

hallportraits The Face of Madness

Lighthearted art?

In most discussions of the Haunted Mansion’s origins, the attraction’s dynamic comes down to spooky vs goofy.  If you know the history of the two men credited with the final designs of the mansion (if you don’t, check out yesterday’s post), you know that the overall concept is Marc Davis presenting a lighthearted romp through the spirit world while Claude Coats is described as advocating a dark, atmospheric encounter with the great beyond.

Certainly, there is a good bit of merit to that characterization.  All you have to do is ride the attraction to see the rough three-act progression: creepy transition from reality with unseen spooks, séance room allows spooks to manifest, spooks appear and invite you to the party.  At first blush, it’s pretty didactic. The opening section of the ride is spooky because it’s Claude Coats design.  The last part of the ride is playful because it’s Marc Davis design.  The two parts are held together by the séance room and X Atencio’s amazing score. Wham, bam, there you have it.

But it’s not that simple.  Not at all.

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del Toro Teases Haunted Mansion on MTV

999 haunts 98x300 del Toro Teases Haunted Mansion on MTVOne of the big surprises at 2010’s ComicCon was the announcement of Disney’s association with Guillermo del Toro to work on a new movie based on the classic Haunted Mansion attraction.  Excitement and horror rippled across the internet as Disney unveiled a ghoulish promotional image featuring the legendary Hatbox Ghost and del Toro talked about his ideas for the new film.

And then things went eerily silent.

Until now.  With D23 gearing up this weekend, featuring a 2.5-hour presentation from the Walt Disney Studios on Saturday August 20, fans of the proposed del Toro film have been hoping for news on the project.  A tease of the vision of the film (which sounds as if it is still firmly on track) came out in a conversation with del Toro on MTV’s Rough Cut.

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