Richard Sherman Signed Disneyland Attraction Poster Prints (2014)

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These two reproduction attraction posters, featuring vintage Disneyland artwork, have each been hand-signed and inscribed by famed songwriter and Disney Legend, Richard M. Sherman.

One-half of the Sherman Brothers song-writing duo whose compositions provide the soundtrack for some of the most beloved films and theme-park attractions of all time, the younger Sherman (1925-2012) was born two-and-a-half years after brother Robert in New York City on June 12, 1928. Sons of a songwriter, the boys grew up in a musical household and Richard went on to study the subject at Bard College, before being drafted into the Army in the early fifties. There, he served two years as conductor of the Army band and glee club. He and his brother had, up to that point, enjoyed limited success writing together, but when famed Mouseketeer Annette Funicello picked up their song “Tall Paul” and turned it into a hit record, their careers took off. The Disney connection paid dividends in the form of a thirteen-year tenure at the studios, during which they scored such live-action films as The Parent Trap, In Search of the Castaways, Summer Magic, The Happiest Millionaire, Bedknobs and Broomsticks, and of course the Academy-Award-winning masterpiece Mary Poppins, for which they took home two Oscars themselves (Best Score and Best Song for “Chim Chim Cher-ee”). The animated projects for which they provided their talents include the Winnie the Pooh series of films, The Jungle Book, and The Aristocats. And, of course, some of their most beloved work is featured in classic theme-park attractions like It’s a Small World, Carousel of Progress, Walt Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room, and Journey into Imagination.

Both the songs, “It’s a Small World,” and “There’s a Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow,” were written specifically for the Disney-created attractions at the 1964-65 New York World’s Fair, the former going on to become the most performed and widely-translated song in history. The message of “It’s a Small World” was directly inspired by the mission and legacy of the attraction’s co-sponsor UNICEF, as well as the Cuban Missile Crisis, the events of which were unfolding at the time. At fair’s end, the attraction was re-located to Disneyland in 1966, and its popularity eventually spawned iterations at Disney parks around the world, due in large part to its iconic soundtrack.

“It’s a Small World”

 

It’s a world of laughter, a world of tears
It’s a world of hopes and a world of fears
There’s so much that we share
That it’s time we’re aware
It’s a small world after all

 

It’s a small world after all
It’s a small world after all
It’s a small world after all
It’s a small, small world

 

There is just one moon and one golden sun
And a smile means friendship to everyone
Though the mountains divide
And the oceans are wide
It’s a small world after all

 

It’s a small world after all
It’s a small world after all
It’s a small world after all
It’s a small, small world

“There’s a Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow” was (and still is) the theme to the General Electric sponsored attraction, Carousel of Progress, which anchored their Progressland pavilion at the World’s Fair. The Sherman brothers would later say that they thought of the composition as Walt Disney’s personal theme song, the lyrics and melody embodying the same sort of optimism and forward-thinking that were a hallmark of the entertainment giant. After its very successful run at the fair, the attraction was relocated to Disneyland in 1967, then transferred seven years later to its permanent home in the Tomorrowland area of Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom. At the time of the move to Florida, General Electric tapped the Sherman Brothers to write an updated theme to celebrate the occasion. “The Best Time of Your Life” was the result, a very successful song in its own right; however, a few years after G.E.’s sponsorship ended, the original theme was reinstated. “There’s a Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow” also later became the theme song of the Disneyland attraction, Innoventions, for the course of its nearly seventeen-year lifespan.

“There’s a Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow”

 

There’s a great big beautiful tomorrow

Shining at the end of every day

There’s a great big beautiful tomorrow

And tomorrow’s just a dream away

 

Man has a dream and that’s the start

He follows his dream with mind and heart

And when it becomes a reality

It’s a dream come true for you and me

 

So there’s a great big beautiful tomorrow

Shining at the end of every day

There’s a great big beautiful tomorrow

Just a dream away

Richard and Robert officially ended their Disney careers in 1973, but would continue to take on individual projects over the next several decades. For their work with the studio, they earned four Academy-Award nominations (two victories) and six Grammy-Award nominations (three victories), among several other awards. They were named Disney Legends in 1990. In addition, the pair’s work independently and with other studios garnered equally impressive success and recognition. In 2005, they were inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame, and three years later, were awarded the National Medal of Arts, the highest honor given to artists by the U.S. government.

The “It’s a Small World” print, replicating the vintage poster-design used in Disneyland upon the attraction’s move from New York, features the tagline, “Join the Happiest Cruise That Ever Sailed ’Round the World,” as well as sponsorship (“Presented by Bank of America”) and location (“Fantasyland”) information. Richard Sherman has provided the following inscription in black ink:

TO MY FELLOW SONGWRITER [X-EDITED-X] KEEP ON CREATING AND DREAMING!!

 

Richard M. Sherman

The second print, which features the vintage design used in Tomorrowland upon the Carousel of Progress’ relocation to Disneyland, introduces the attraction with the following text: “ON STAGE NOW: CAROUSEL OF PROGRESS; FROM THE GOOD OLD DAYS…TO THE POSSIBLE PRESENT.” Sponsorship credit is given to General Electric, the attraction’s original financier at the World’s Fair. Sherman has again signed in black ink, his inscription reading as follows:

TO [X-EDITED-X] – KEEP MAKING THE MUSIC!!

 

Richard M. Sherman

These attraction-poster prints, signed and personalized by one of the most successful and well-known Disney artists of all time, pay tribute to two specific highlights of the Sherman Brothers’ historic career, as well as the collaborative relationship with Walt Disney that led to unparalleled success for all involved.

VALUE: $100

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