06 May 2009

Thermal efficiency

Not many remember The Rocketeer, the 1991 live-action film or the original comic series, but it has always held a special place in my heart, as do many of Disney’s live-action films. The Rocketeer was set in 1938 in Los Angeles, directly in the middle of the Hollywood that never was and always will be. With such a solid tie to the times and ideology of Disney’s Hollywood Studios, then Disney-MGM Studios, The Rocketeer was a natural addition to the park.

Most notable of The Rocketeer’s appearances were the Bulldog Cafe that resided on the Backlot Tour and The Rocketeer’s nightly appearance, for the summer of 1991, during Sorcery in the Sky, where he would fly around the Chinese Theater. However, the nineties did not see the end of The Rocketeer’s presence inside of the park. Even today, along the shores of Echo Lake, Peevy’s Polar Pipeline serves up ice cold treats and a little eye candy for The Rocketeer enthusiasts.

As the story goes, Cliff Secord and his friend, and aviation mechanic, A. “Peevy” Peabody find a stolen jetpack that had been hidden in their hangar by a crew of gangsters. The jetpack had been stolen from Howard Hughes who, after its supposed destruction in the hangar, burns the remaining blueprints. As any pilot and mechanic worth their grease would do, Cliff and Peevy begin experimenting with the jetpack and fashion a proper helmet for flying with the pack. Peevy himself, before he is willing to let his friend fly with the jetpack, begins to tinker, adjust, and draw up detailed schematics of the jetpack.

Aside from the jetpack and helmet, which combine to make Cliff Secord look like a life-size hood ornament, Peevy’s blueprints can also be found among the frozen Coca-Colas and lemonades of Peevy’s Polar Pipeline, dated 15 October 1938 and including fantastic equations and technical terminology.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I think I hear my tools and spare parts calling from the garage…

1 comment:

Scott said...

Ryan,
Interesting article. I was working at WDW when the movie came out and remember all the Rocketeer stuff in the shops and other stuff all around the Disney-MGM Studios. I'll have to dig up some of my old Eyes & Ears and see if there are any articles about The Rocketeer.
Scott