Friday, September 23, 2011

Seeing pink (elephants)

I feel compelled to make mention of one particularly strange scene in Dumbo. In efforts to console Dumbo, Timothy suggests he take a drink, not knowing that the pail has been spiked with champagne. What results is one of the strangest pieces of animation I've ever seen.

The DVD featurette explains that this sequence was the studio's effort to try new things in animation. From that perspective, I suppose one could appreciate the animators' ingenuity in imagining things that had never been shown on film before. One of my favorite parts is when the elephant-camel (sounds weird but that's totally what it is!) morphs into a snake and then a belly dancer. Um, what?!

One wonders if this was pure creativity or if the animators were drawing from any certain... ahem... personal experience. Needless to say, this is one of the strangest, and creepiest, scenes in a Disney animated movie. One website ranked it among the top 100 scariest movie scenes of all time!

In my research for this post, I came across a whole bunch of different Pink Elephant-related paraphernalia. One wonders if Dumbo was perhaps the catalyst for making this such a popular theme across a wide variety of products.

Clearly, some people do not realize the origin of this phrase, otherwise they might reconsider using it as a baby shower theme or hair clips for girls.

click for website
Click for website
For some reason though, I think this tshirt and car wash seem to understand the irony a little better.

buy on zazzle (look i'm advertising for free!)

I guess the car wash sign in Seattle is something of a landmark! huh... the things you learn!

Pink Elephant
Photo by MV Jantzen

Apparently there's also a brand of Pink Elephant cigarettes in France that are vanilla flavored. If I were to ever pick up smoking, which I never intend to, these would be the ones I would try. I mean, vanilla flavored! Doesn't that sound delicious?

But perhaps the best reemergence of these Pink Elephants on Parade in popular culture are the techno remixes that have popped up in the past few years. Apparently those people in the 1940s were ahead of their time. While techno is not my favorite genre of music, it's quite amazing how well the animation and the music seem to suit each other. Here are just a couple of dozens I found:

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