Disney’s Got Tat

Even back in the 1950’s, when the American youth culture first began to rebel against the mainstream society, Disney was on the cutting edge of what the kids wanted. Back when Disneyland first opened, they put out a booklet to encourage the children, the youth and even some adults to rebel against the status quo…well, temporarily, anyway. Temporary rebellion was something Disney could handle, something that screamed individuality but that could be washed off before going back to a status quo existence.

At one point in Disneyland early years, an entire booklet of Disneyland-theme temporary tattoos was up for sale. Why this no longer exists is anyone’s guess. I’m guessing it was fear of hippies dousing temporary tattoos with LSD in the 1960’s that was to blame for the death of this souvenir, but no one really knows.

Look closely at the characters. A grinning Goofy has his sleeves rolled up as though he’s about to try his first sweet taste of that Disney tattoo. Beware, Goofy, the first one is always free. Donald remains somewhat anonymous behind a wall as his chipmunk minions hand over what is to be Goofy’s first step into getting hooked on the tattoo craze. Also, read the front cover closely and you’ll see that it was approved by the Dept. of Agriculture. So, the even the Eisenhower administration was supportive of the temporary rebellion being marketed by Disney.

Yup, even the marketing men at Disneyland were able to predict that someday tattoos and rebellion would both be iconically represented by turn-of-the-century automobiles and double-decker buses. So, yes, it is safe to say that much of the counter-culture of today has carriages, trains and wooden Indians to thank for its very existence.

This nonsensical mish-mash contains everything from trains, animals and an angry native that resembles Lionel Ritchie to a cannon being fired (presumably at an invasion from the cannibalistic Ritchie tribe). NOTE – At no point in Disneyland’s history has there ever been a moment when they employed working armory, so not sure what that tattoo is really trying to convey.

This glimpse into the future of 1985 is a real eye opener into the atomic world of tomorrow. Not only will there be motorized boats (wow!), but also giant squids attempting to strangle themselves every chance they get, roads that go in circles and what appears to be convertible space rockets (gravity is for suckers). Oh, and missiles. Lots of missiles. The Red Scare will be very much alive in the future, so we will be responding to threats with annihilatory retaliation.

This booklet is actually pretty charming and is something I would purchase regularly if it were still made available at the many gift shops that fill Disneyland. This is but a dream. *sigh*

If you want a temporary Disney tattoo, you’re out of luck. However, real ones are just a tattoo parlor away. So, if you wanna be more like George Reiger, the Disney Tattoo Guy, save up your money and get yourself tattooed into Walt Disney’s personal billboard.

Apparently, the ladies love it.