Prop Culture, originally announced as Cinema Relics: Iconic Art of the Movies is a documentary series for the Disney+ streaming service,[1] it premiered on May 1, 2020.[2]

Summary

This anthology series that takes a unique look at eight beloved films—including Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black PearlMary PoppinsThe Muppet MovieTron, The Nightmare Before Christmas, Honey, I Shrunk the Kids, The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe and Who Framed Roger Rabbit—through the props and costumes (now modern ‘artifacts’) that made them unique. We’ll hear from the craftspeople who created them, the actors who interacted with them, and the collectors/archives who own and cherish them in the show, which will be hosted by film historian/collector Dan Lanigan.

Triva

  • Many of the props featured in this series that belong to the Walt Disney Archives were previously displayed in past exhibits held by them over the years with the Bowers Museum exhibit in 2020 hosting a display that served as a teaser for this series.
  • Throughout many of the episodes, remnants of Disney Park attractions as well as highlighted props that were displayed in some of them can be found throughout the series:
    • In Episode 1 when Daniel Lannigan heads inside the Walt Disney Archives warehouse to see some props from Mary Poppins, right next to V.I.N.CENT from The Black Hole is the giant Pinocchio marionette from the original version of Fantasmic along with the girl dancers who accompanied him.
    • The Maximillian model from The Black Hole that Daniel Lannigan briefly passes by during his time at the Disney Archives in Episode 1 used to hang from the ceiling of the Jim Henson Creature Shop for the original Backstage Studio Tour in Disney’s MGM Studios. Long after the walking portions were retired, the area was converted into a VIP meeting area and Maximilian remained there until 2009 when the Walt Disney Archives took him back. Also displayed in that area was the Tin Woodsman from Return to Oz who is locked up in a crate during the episode.
    • Locked up in a crate inside the Walt Disney Archives and briefly seen in Episode 1 is the petrified statue of Winifred Sanderson made for Hocus Pocus which could’ve also been seen at the Planet Hollywood restaurant in Downtown Disney Orlando before its 2017 renovation.
    • The carousel horse used by Julie Andrews as seen in Episode 1 was regularly shifted around the queue line for The Great Movie Ride back when it still operated in Disney’s Hollywood Studios and the one used by Dick Van Dyke once hung from above the Planet Hollywood restaurant in Times Square which Disney may have loaned to them for a short while.
    • During the “80s After Dark” event held at Disneyland in February 2020, the four futuristic TRON helmets featured in Episode 2 were displayed in the top unused floor of the building currently housing Star Wars Launch Bay. One of the helmets used to be displayed in the One Man’s Dream Museum at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.
    • In Episode 4, Daniel Lannigan and a Disney Imagineer travel to the Disneyland version of the Pirates of the Caribbean ride to see the Aztec treasure chest used in Curse of the Black Pearl.
    • Back when the Honey, I Shrunk the Kids machine from Episode 5 was still dressed up like its appearance in Honey, We Shrunk Ourselves, it was quietly tucked away into a shelf crate for the ”Prop Warehouse” section of the queue line for the Studio Backlot Tour in Disney’s Hollywood Studios before it closed down in 2014.
    • In Episode 6 when Daniel Lannigan takes Kiran Shah to see the sled he originally rode in The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (which was also displayed during the Journey Into Narnia attraction that used to be displayed in Disney’s Hollywood Studios), right next to it is one of the ride vehicles from Francis‘ Ladybug Boogie that used to be in A Bug’s Land at Disney’s Calfiornia Adventure.
    • Several of the Who Framed Roger Rabbit props (or at least similar reproductions of them) in Episode 7 were formerly displayed in several sections of Disney’s MGM Studios with the Roger shaped blinds were fitted above the Hollywood & Vine restaurant, Judge Doom’s outfit was displayed in the original Backlot Tour and Great Movie Ride car, and one of the reference buggies built for Benny the Cab sat on display in the Backlot Express.
  • Episode 4 (Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl) is the only instalment in the series where none of the actors from the original film are interviewed or shown props that they worked with.
  • Throughout the series, several props from other Disney/non-Disney films can be spotted throughout the series. Some of them are pointed out as “honourable mentions” while others are “blink and you’ll miss it” occurrences:
    • Some of the props from Daniel Lannigan’s collection that can be briefly be seen in the opening intro include a Leonardo suit from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles [1990], V’s suit from V for Vendetta, Hellboy and Abe Sapien suits from Hellboy II: The Golden Army, a prisoner outfit from The Shawshank Redemption, one of Cliff Secord’s superhero outfits from The Rocketeer, stop motion miniatures of Robocain from Robocop 2 and the Sandworm from Beetlejuice, and masks made for Killer Klowns from Outer Space (some of them were altered for the trolls in Ernest Scared Stupid).
    • Some of the props that can be briefly be seen inside the Walt Disney Archives in Episode 1 include a fire truck from Dumbo (2019), the throne chair and Mrs. Potts & Chip teacups from Beauty and the Beast (2017), and the Liberty Bell replica from National Treasure.
    • When Daniel Lannigan visits the Prop Store warehouse to determine the authenticity of the TRON scoop arm, other movie props that can briefly be seen include a miniature of Maverick’s 114 fighter jet from Top Gun and the Nostromo from Alien which was rescued by Bob Burns.
    • Stop motion puppets from James & the Giant Peach and Coraline can be seen in Henry Selick's house near the end of Episode 3.
    • Along with a sneak peak at an experiemental stop motion series produced by Phil Tippett, a miniature of ED-209 from Robocop can be seen inside his workshop in Episode 5.
    • When touring KNB Studios to see Mr. Tumnus’ headpiece from Chronicles of Narnia in Episode 6, the Jungle Predator costume from Predators and a Deadite skeleton soldier from Army of Darkness along with a wax figure of Alfred Hitchcock can be seen in the background.
  • When Daniel Lannigan traverses through San Diego Comic Con in Episode 6 to interview WETA Workshop, cosplayers are briefly shown dressing up as Captain Hook and Tinker Bell from Peter Pan, the Tim Curry and Bill Skarsgaard versions of Pennywise the Dancing Clown from Stephen King’s It, patriotic Power Armour from the Fallout video games, and Steampunk characters.

References

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