Monday, March 10, 2014

The Secret Dragonfly

Disneyland’s Soundsational Parade has some hidden surprises for those who look carefully. One of our favorites is Evinrude, the dragonfly who buzzes around in circles behind Tiana’s row boat on the Princess and the Frog unit.

Our idea to include Evinrude began as a last-minute joke between me and Jody during the parade’s dress rehearsals. Watching the big riverboat come down Main Street reminded us of a favorite Disney movie from childhood—The Rescuers—and we thought it could be fun to insert a subtle tribute to the 1977 film somewhere in Tiana’s bayou.

I constructed Evinrude in our studio practically overnight, from simple wooden shapes to match the float’s playful style. Wings were hand-cut from sheets of tinted polypropylene plastic, and the insect’s body was attached to a motorized support inside a giant waterlily.

As it turns out, the character fits perfectly with the parade’s theme as a tribute to legendary Disney sound effects artist Jimmy MacDonald. Jimmy provided sounds for hundreds of Disney films, including Evinrude’s distinctive buzz.

Sound effects genius, Jimmy MacDonald 
Related story:  Rescue Me!