Wednesday, August 16, 2017
One of the most iconic stops along the Oklahoma stretch of Route 66 is the Rock Cafe in Stroud. They serve up the top notch diner road food along with a side of Route 66 nostalgia. In fact, as you can see from their marker, that walls themselves are courtesy of the Mother Road:
On your way in, you'll notice some of the characters from the Disney/Pixar movie "Cars" welcoming you to the cafe. And once inside, you'll see that the Pixar motif continues:
The Pixar crew knew they wanted to heavily feature Route 66 in the film so as part of their pre-production they took a long trip up and down the legendary road. And one of their favorite stops was Rock City.
Not only were they charmed by the by the legendary locale but they were inspired by its owner. Dawn Welch has owned the cafe since 1993 and has seen it through fires, tornadoes and countless road weary travelers. In 2009 she was awarded "Oklahoma's Woman of the Year."
With her impressive business acumen and homespun hospitality, Welch inspired the film's writers and producers to create the character Sally and base her on the Oklahoman entrepreneur. In the film she's a blue Porsche:
So the next time you're away from the Sooner State and start to feel a little home sick, you can always pop in "Cars" and enjoy a little Oklahoma inspiration in your entertainment.
Thursday, August 3, 2017
The smART Space section of Science Museum Oklahoma is committed to showcasing the convergence of art and science. New exhibits rotate throughout the year and bring unique works of imagination and innovation to Oklahoma city crowds.
The most recent exhibit to inhabit the space is "Ray Harryhausen – Mythical Menagerie" which celebrates the work and innovation of legendary special effects pioneer Ray Harryhausen. If you don't know the name, I can guarantee you that his talent has influenced the work of some of your favorite filmmakers.
So without further ado, here are my picks for the Top 5 pieces on display in this menagerie of monsters:
5. Skeleton Soldier (Jason and the Argonauts, 1963)
One of the most famous visuals of Harryhausen's work may the the sight of the sword wielding skeleton army in "Jason and the Argonauts." A few of these guys survived and are on display as well as some partial pieces. They were a part of an incredibly ambitious action sequence:
4. Storyboards (Various)
Storyboards are one of the more underappreciated pieces of the artistic processes in film making. A lot of time, effort and talent go into creating them and then they aren't seen by the movie audience. This one is from "The 7th Voyage of Sinbad" but there are several more on display.
3. Medusa (Clash of the Titans, 1981)
The incredible details of the Medusa model doesn't fully come across in the movie. So this is a great opportunity to really get a close look at the work that goes into a piece like this. Just don't look at her eyes...you'll turn to stone.
2. Bubo (Clash of the Titans, 1981)
Our friend Bupo here stands out from the pack since he's not your typical Harryhausen "monster," but instead, he is kind of/sort of a robot. Or at least he's a mechanical creature created by one of the gods to be comic relief. This model was used for close ups (something different was used for the flying effects seen below).
1. This Crazy Walrus (Sinbad and the Eye of the Tiger, 1977)
This is another example of of an uncommon type of "monster" in Harryhausen's body of work but I knew as soon as I saw it that it would be my #1. Look at this thing. We typically think of walruses as essentially big sea sloths but when you lay eyes on this guy you know you wouldn't want to meet him in a dark alley.
The exhibit runs until Dec 3rd so there's plenty of time to go see Hollywood history live and in person. Take the kids and show them what movie monsters used to look like before computers took over.