Sleeping Beauty’s Twin Daughters
This parent page and its offspring pages will be for stories Tonton Jim created and will create using the characters of what was once the last part of JM’s Heaven Bound in Anaheim.
The stories are situated in Storybook Land, an attraction in Fantasyland (“…the happiest kingdom of them all.”) of Disneyland. The characters, mainly Badger, Mole, Ratty, and Toad are from Kenneth Grahame’s The Wind in the Willows. Other characters are drawn from various other classic children’s stories.
The heroine of the stories was named after JM’s grand-niece Marley. Tonton Jim used the name, Max, in his stories and the real, Max, five at the time, wanted to know if he’d get a share of the profits.
Tonton is not sure if it’s legal for him to use Storybook Land as a setting. There are many other books out there, not published by The Walt Disney Company, that use Disneyland as a setting. Far be it from Tonton to rat them out by name, but those books are what encouraged him to go ahead and use Storybook Land for a setting. Aside from which, he has long wanted to try his pen at writing a Disneyland story.
Walt Disney liked miniatures according to one of his biographies. It sure looked like that was the case as we watched his television shows and he presented models of new lands and whatnot. Then there was the Lilly Belle in his backyard, a very large miniature but a miniature all the same.
Tonton always been charmed by the miniature landscape in Storybook Land. “They should devote more space to the land; and high tech it with more lighting, holographs, etc.”. But, not that Tonton knows much – if anything – about amusement park management, it’s probably a case of maximum ride capacity, and, anyway, the attraction already has a long enough line and wait time. The two rides, the canal boats and the Casey Junior train are pretty much original opening day rides, but the tiny landscape wasn’t much to look at until a year later. Even so, it is one of our oldest memories of Disneyland and we hope they keep it for as long as Disneyland exists.
The Wind in the Willows is one of our favorite children’s classics. It’s origins are tragic. Wikipedia provides enough info for anyone to realize that. But if you want a painfully intimate insight to it’s origins read, My Dearest Mouse. It’s more than a bit sad to read once one knows the history of TWITW and the lives of the author, his wife, and his child.
So far, Tonton has written nine stories for what will be the series and he’s really hoping and praying that The Walt Disney Co. will publish them. Otherwise, he fears no one will. Be that as it may turn out to be, the first of the series, The Storybook Story, can be read on a sub-page of this parent page.
The second story in the series is tentatively titled, A Guardian Angel on the Matterhorn. In her second adventure she is escorted by her guardian angel, Chuck the Dodo Bird as she solves the mystery of how a mountain moved from Tomorrowland to Fantasyland and, most importantly, what’s at the top of the mountain.
The third story, La Villa di Padrone Rospo, takes place in Main Street when our heroes venture out of their cloistered little space in Disneyland.
The fourth story, The Final Reading Place Cemetery, is a ghost story that takes place not in Disneyland’s Haunted Mansion but at a strange library situated next to a graveyard for books that are no longer read.
The fifth story, The Golden Tulips of the Painted Desert, takes place in Frontierland’s defunct Rainbow Ridge and Painted Desert.
There exist many possibilities for Marley and her friends in having adventures here and there in Disneyland and so far I’m enjoying the creation of those adventures.
Postings in this website regarding Storybook Land:
Postings regarding Kenneth Grahame and TWITW