Monday, June 14, 2010

Disney's Dick Tracy 20 Year Anniversary

Today marks the 20th anniversary of Disney's Touchstone Pictures adaptation of Dick Tracy which was based off of a comic strip started in the 1930s by Chester Gould. The movie, directed by Warren Beatty, who also starred as the title character, made its premiere at the AMC theater at Pleasure Island at Walt Disney World on June 14, 1990. Here's a cover of that day's Eyes & Ears to celebrate the premiere of Dick Tracy, followed by the two pages that talk about the event.

Although the movie, which had a budget of around $45 million, didn't open to spectacular reviews, it none the less was a hit at the box office grossing just under $23 million its opening weekend and over $100 million in the US for the duration. The movie was loaded with stars including Beatty, Al Pacino, Madonna, Dustin Hoffman, and James Caan to name a few.

In the summer of 1990, everywhere you looked at Disney-MGM Studios, you found Dick Tracy merchandise, posters, characters, and entertainment. For starters, you could see the 'Dick Tracy Diamond Double-Cross' show at the Theater of the Stars...which had a very catchy tune..."Calling Dick Tracy, with a clue and a tommy gun". The show ran from May 21, 1990 to February 21, 1991. I believe you can find clips of this on YouTube.

There was also a 'Calling Dick Tracy' shop where you could buy Dick Tracy merchandise of almost any item from shirts to buttons to balloons to cups. Below is a cup I bought at the Calling Dick Tracy shop.

I was on the WDW College Program the summer of 1990 and remember all the excitement among cast members, especially us students, for the premiere. I remember the rumors that Madonna had rented out the entire top floor of the Grand Floridian. To tell you the truth, I don't even think she showed up at the premiere. I did have the fortunate opportunity to work as a doorman at the Adventurer's Club at Pleasure Island that night. It was really exciting. Unfortunately, I only saw two stars...Michael Eisner and Alan Alda. I still wish we had digital cameras back then! It was very surreal to see these two, especially Eisner. I can always say I opened the door for him!!!

Here is the Dick Tracy hat they gave us doormen to wear during the premiere. It was the same one you could buy at any number of shops at WDW. I can't believe I still have that hat.

Going back to Disney-MGM, as you walked down Mickey Avenue, there were several large photo op displays featuring Dick Tracy where you could literally walk into the picture. I've included a couple of pictures I took with some of my friends back in the summer of 1990 shortly after the premiere.

The references didn't just stop there. During both parts of the Backlot Tour, you could find mention of Dick Tracy. During the riding portion, you were taken by some of the vehicles, bullet holes and all, used in the movie. During the walking tour,
some of the short programs you'd see on the monitors talked about the filming of the movie. Of special interest was Beatty's decision to only use about 7 primary colors in the movie, most notably red, blue, green, and yellow, to give homage to the strips origins. Man, I sure do miss those clips they used to show during the walking tour...very educational.

Well, that is the majority of Disneyphemera I have related to Dick Tracy. I hope you enjoyed looking at the pieces. Now, I just need to add this movie to my Disney movie collection. I wish they'd release a BluRay anniversary edition. Does anyone else have any memories of Dick Tracy at the parks?

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