MOUSE TRACKS Cover Unveiled


Here's the cover design for the April 2006 book, just sent to us by the publisher. Nifty, isn't it? Donna Reed meets Beaver Cleaver!
 
Hmmm.... I'm breathlessly looking forward to your text, but - for me - it's too bad the book cover design doesn't have the same midcentury modern high-end graphic styling reminiscent of the best Disneyland/Vista Record Covers of the golden age.

I'm sure you were limited by the non-use of Disney imagery, but cool graphic styling of the 40-60's can evoke Walt Disney Productions and Disneyland by itself.

This approach seems a bit condescending to the subject, not something pretty for the coffee table or retro-hipster friends, who might expand the base for this product. I would hoped to have seen something more along the lines of the Disneyland/Vista Walt Disney's Music Cavalcade, Fantasia or Tutti's Trumpets covers if a "retro" aesthetic such as this were desired by marketing.

Just a friendly marketing opinion for you from a key demo.
 
Also, the font style doesn't much evoke the period, Walt Disney, Walt Disney Productions, Disneyland/Vista Records as other choices might.
 
Posted by: merlinjones Posted on: November 16, 2005, 08:52:43 AM
Hmmm.... I'm breathlessly looking forward to your text, but - for me - it's too bad the book cover design doesn't have the same midcentury modern high-end graphic styling reminiscent of the best Disneyland/Vista Record Covers of the golden age.

I'm sure you were limited by the non-use of Disney imagery, but cool graphic styling of the 40-60's can evoke Walt Disney Productions and Disneyland by itself.

This approach seems a bit condescending to the subject, not something pretty for the coffee table or retro-hipster friends, who might expand the base for this product. I would hoped to have seen something more along the lines of the Disneyland/Vista Walt Disney's Music Cavalcade, Fantasia or Tutti's Trumpets covers if a "retro" aesthetic such as this were desired by marketing.

Just a friendly marketing opinion for you from a key demo.
I have to disagree with you here big guy! ;D
I think the cover is great and shows how important the family was to the success of Disneyland Records. The albums you mentioned were just not popular enough (mostly due to timing-ie rock and roll popularity)to maintain the cost of producing them. The bread and butter of the company were the storyteller records that parents bought for the kids! Just looking at the cover evolks memories for me of sitting down and listening to the treasury of stories and music. The nice part is that I was able to share them with my kids who also love them now!

Ken
 
Everyone has made good points, and the key factor is that Disney will not allow the cover design to imply in any way that the company endorses the book... even though Randy Thornton and his many associates were more than cooperative with it. That is why the font could not even remotely resemble anything Disney has used in the past. As for the artwork... yes, that IS Disney material, and was among the batch of proposed illustrations they approved for our usage. It was the cover of a circa 1960 sales brochure, and was provided to us by Richard Huemer (son of Dick Huemer, who was writing some of the scripts for the records during that period). So, that is where it originated, and for our purposes it seemed to work best.
 
>>I think the cover is great and shows how important the family was to the success of Disneyland Records. The albums you mentioned were just not popular enough (mostly due to timing-ie rock and roll popularity)to maintain the cost of producing them. The bread and butter of the company were the storyteller records that parents bought for the kids!
 
>>As for the artwork... yes, that IS Disney material, and was among the batch of proposed illustrations they approved for our usage. It was the cover of a circa 1960 sales brochure, and was provided to us by Richard Huemer (son of Dick Huemer, who was writing some of the scripts for the records during that period). So, that is where it originated, and for our purposes it seemed to work best.
 
Disney Records have such a personal attachment to all of us who listen to them, it's inevitable that folks are going to have many opinions about how to best depict them, so it's hard to come up with a definitive "right" or "wrong" way. The cover art was tough to choose, because of the legal restrictions and because of the scope of the book itself.

Tim and I were taken with the idyllic innocence of this art from a direct mail sales brochure. It works for several reasons, one being that we could show a few Disneyland LP covers in there somehow, and another because the book emphasizes the vinyl era from the 50's to the early 80's. This art was done around 1960-61, when America's "Rob and Laura Petries" were listening to "high fidelity stereophonic full dimensional sound," which was the home entertainment rage, much like DVD's, plasma screens and interactive games are now. Just hearing sounds "bounce" from speaker to speaker was a huge thrill back then!

Merlinjones, you are very astute to note that the art reminds you of Golden records or a related label, because we are pretty sure it was created by George Peed, whose art you may have seen on countless Peter Pan Records. He very likely did this for Disney merchandise when he worked on projects for them in the early 60's, including the Disneyland Monorail Game and the Babes in Toyland board game. Peed, who is listed on imdb.com as the brother of Disney artist Bill Peet, also did the character design for the cheesy TV cartoon, "The Mighty Hercules." His style is so unmistakable we are 99% sure this is his work, but we have contacted his widow to verify it for sure.

We hope you enjoy the book!
 
Wild. It so totally looks like a Peter Pan Record cover!
I understand the limitations you all must have been under and wish you all the best - - I'm just spouting very personal reactions anyhow.

I guess it just makes me sad that Walt's classic body of work is so often portrayed these days as dusty/kitschy relics from a time gone by (like "Vault Disney"), as opposed to a living/timeless body of high art and style, as was once so consistently sold to us (even with reissues that were already very old when we were kids).

I suppose this is not going to change as time goes further and further by, so it's something I have to learn to accept and live with!

Look forward to the book!!!
 
Thanks for posting the cover of your upcoming book, Tim--I love it! And Greg, thanks for letting us in on yours and Tim's theory about the artist who created it--please let us know if you hear back from Mr. Peed's wife.

Yep, we weren't a family of five, but that little blonde-haired boy on the cover is DEFINITELY me, excitedly holding his treasured Johnny Appleseed 45, read and sung by Buddy "Georgie Russell" Ebsen(DBR 60)--and about to be played for the umpteenth time(and today, it sounds like it's been played umpteen times--the crackles are now part of the listening experience--I even know when the next "pop" is going to come!). Ken made a great point--the cover also reminds me of how important the concept of family was, and is, to the whole "Disney" experience. I'm happy to say that my son knows that Johnny Appleseed record as well as me--except that he's heard it umpteen times "safely" played back from a CD-R.

Mike

P. S. Tim and Greg--any "pearls" about that Buddy Ebsen recording?
 

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