Saturday, June 16, 2012

Madame Leota

Hey Frightners!

Boy it's been awhile and I seem to start each of my posts with that but the fact is little Mrs. Harper Rose is quite the handful so much so that I have been thinking of starting another blog just about her and my experiences as a first time father but then I really wouldn't have any time on my hands!

Well back to my post. As you can see by the title I'm talking about Madame Leota today. Not much of a new subject for me really since last halloween I focused on making my first every Madame Leota projection effect prop for my haunt and a majority of my posts featured my progress but I wanted to circle back to it since I have been having new ideas on making a new Madame Leota prop this year but something more of a decorative piece rather than the projected effect which I will still use this year in my bay window of my home.

Madame Leota and the Haunted Mansion are both near and dear to me as I am sure they are to most haunters out there. When telling our stories of how we came to love Halloween and haunting most of the haunters I know will say some of their first and fondest memories are of going to the Haunted Mansion, maybe we should start crediting Mr. Disney for being the first haunter ever and thank him for his contributions to our community...but that is a whole other post entirely so back to Madame Leota.

Madame Leota is such a classic and central figure to the Haunted Mansion. Her blinking tombstone is featured in the que line of the attraction and quite a few haunters have started to try to replicate it to add as an addition to their haunts, one in particular is a friend of mine Kristy of the home haunt Noble Manor. You can watch her progress on her video blogs AKA vlogs HERE.

Besides the Madame Leota tombstone we all know and adore Madame Leota herself in all of her floating head glory that is her magical crystal ball which is one of the most impressive scenes of the Haunted Mansion Ride. We all know the rhyme...."Creepies and Crawlies, toads in a pond, let their be music from regions beyond!" of course there is much more to that but you know it!

She is such an iconic figure and one prop us haunters either have created for ourselves or have on our to-do list and it is one for me that I decided to come back to again this year after seeing William Bezeks perfectly awesome Madame Leota piece seen below.

I stumbled upon Williams Blog while searching for Leota images to reference in a new art piece I am working on currently and I am throughly impressed by it. As you can read on on his blog much of his family worked at Disneyland as he grew up as a child so he spent countless hours at the park (lucky him!) his favorite ride becoming The Haunted Mansion an thus Madame Leota became a source of inspiration for him in his art.

I really love the detail in this piece from the glass dome which is hand blown glass from Germany to the   coloring of the hair and perfectly sculpted face of Leota. Unfortunately I came across this post two years two late as he did sell this and a smaller version on his Etsy site. I would have loved to buy one of them!

Williams work has greatly inspired my new Leota piece which I will have more on as progress takes off but I think this is a constant reminder how one iconic figure can become a source of inspiration for generations of artists and haunters alike. I myself doubt that I will ever get tired of creating props of Leota or anything from the Haunted Mansion for that matter.