Interview: Stan Jolley (Art director of Disneyland, Disney films and TV)


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Stan Jolley at his "Ichpa-Mayapan," which means "exclusive estate"

Stan Jolley at his “Ichpa-Mayapan,” which means “exclusive estate”

Stan Jolley was a Hollywood producer, director, art director, production designer who had a lot to do not only with Disney, but with the very beginnings of Disneyland! His Disney film work included everything from “Zorro” to “Old Yeller” to “Elfego Baco” and “Toby Tyler.” He was the art director of the Academy-Award nominated animated featurette “Donald in Mathmagic Land.”

His large list of non-Disney movie credits include “Caddyshack,” “Witness” and “Superman” and television credits include “Mr. Ed,” “MacGyver” and “Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea.” As the art director for the pilot episode of “Get Smart,” Stan designed the classic title sequence with the doors and phone booth, as well as iconic props such as the “cone of silence.”

In 2009, for my Mouse Clubhouse, Stan invited me to photograph his 22,000 square foot estate. It is part home, part museum. Beyond every corner was not only a part of either Hollywood or Disney history, but with remarkable views in every room. In fact most rooms had at least one mirror in it so that you’d be able to see the gorgeous surrounding scenery no matter what direction you are facing.

Please enjoy the photographic tour below of the home of Stan Jolley and be sure to listen to the audio of that is beneath some of the photos.

This clapboard is from one of the films that Stan directed, "Today's FBI"

This clapboard is from one of the films that Stan directed, “Today’s FBI”

The 7.7 million dollar estate was built and designed in the early '70s by Modernist Howard Lapham for socialite-sportswoman Maxine Cook. An admirer of Frank Lloyd Wright, Lapham focused on blending ancient Maya and modern design.

The 7.7 million dollar estate was built and designed in the early ’70s by Modernist Howard Lapham for socialite-sportswoman Maxine Cook. An admirer of Frank Lloyd Wright, Lapham focused on blending ancient Maya and modern design.

 

This view is the entrance of Stan's house

This view is the entrance of Stan’s house

This pathway which leads to the front door features beautifully aligned stonework columns. From this angle, it seemed like a perfect residence for the man who was the art director of Donald in Mathmagic Land. Just look at all the geometric shapes that can be recognized from this one angle! At the left, on the other side of the greenery is a tennis court nestled into the surrounding mountain scenery.

This pathway which leads to the front door features beautifully aligned stonework columns. From this angle, it seemed like a perfect residence for the man who was the art director of Donald in Mathmagic Land. Just look at all the geometric shapes that can be recognized from this one angle! At the left, on the other side of the greenery is a tennis court nestled into the surrounding mountain scenery.

Mayan calendar carved out of redwood

Mayan calendar carved out of redwood. Be sure to listen to the audio of Stan describing this artwork and the front doors to his house as pictured below.

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The front doors are 14 feet high, four inches thick, weigh 400 pounds apiece and are carved out of redwood

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The arrowhead-shaped pool offers a stunning view overlooking the Coachella Valley

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Stan sits on his couch, surrounded by the mountains. He would often bring a blanket outside and sleep on the couch to enjoy all the natural beauty

Stan stands beside a beautiful portrait of Natalie Wood as she appeared in the movie "Gypsy." Listen to the audio below for a fun story about it.

Stan stands beside a beautiful portrait of Natalie Wood as she appeared in the movie “Gypsy.” Listen to the audio below for a fun story about it.

 

Stan admires artwork from his friend, legendary Disney artist Herb Ryman. Be sure to listen to the audio below of Stan's start with Disney, thanks to Herb.

Stan admires artwork from his friend, legendary Disney artist Herb Ryman. Be sure to listen to the audio below of Stan’s start with Disney, thanks to Herb.

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Concept art of Tomorrowland for the opening of Disneyland

artwork reads "Restaurant between Main Street & True Life Adventure Land"

Concept art for what would become the Plaza Pavilion for the opening of Disneyland. Note the artwork reads “Restaurant between Main Street & True Life Adventure Land”

Concept art of Frontierland for the opening of Disneyland shows the "World's Longest Little Bar" next to the Golden Horseshoe. The Mile Long Bar would open in Bear Country in Disneyland in 1972, with mirrors on each side of the bar interior for the illusion of length

Concept art of Frontierland for the opening of Disneyland shows the “World’s Longest Little Bar” next to the Golden Horseshoe. The Mile Long Bar would open in Bear Country in Disneyland in 1972, with mirrors on each side of the bar interior for the illusion of length

Concept art of a South Western Street in Frontierland for the opening of Disneyland

Concept art of a South Western Street in Frontierland for the opening of Disneyland

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Stan had this and the following two images created to potentially adorn Donald Duck’s “office” in an episode of Walt Disney’s Wonderful of Color. Stan added various captions to each just for fun.

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Photos of Stan on the sets of various movies he worked on decorated one of his rooms, including this image. Henry Fonda (left), Stan Jolley (middle), and Fred MacMurray (right) on the set of the “The Swarm,” 1978

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This piece of original concept art for Disney’s “Elfego Baca” was created under the guidance of Stan, who was the art director.

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Construction on the $125,000 permanent Western Street took over three months to complete, and was the combined plans of three of Disney’s art directors, Stan Jolley, Marvin Davis, and Carroll Clark.

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As Stan’s caption reads, this was the “first shot of filming the new Western Street built for Elfego Baca.” Since Stan was the art director for the show, he was there on the set, seen at the bottom left of the photo. Later, when he was the art director of the feature film Toby Tyler, he was the first one to modify the street.

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Stan converted his six garages at the house into art galleries!

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This former garage featured props and artwork with a western theme, and images of Stan’s father, I. Stanford Jolley, who was a character actor, primarily in westerns, for over 43 years.

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This collage features Stan’s dad in many of his film roles. In 1948, the Milwaukee Journal wrote that “I. Stanford Jolley, veteran villain, has died 77 times in 109 movies by 40 different and ingenious methods.” He went on to appear in nearly 400 different films and television shows.

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This artwork was given to Stan for his birthday. It was drawn by legendary Disney artist T. Hee, accompanied by the signatures of many of Disney’s artists (image below). Marc Davis, Dick Humer, Ward Kimball, Bill Peet and Ken Anderson were amongst the group. Yes, the happy names T.Hee, Huemer and Jolley were all working together.

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Stan’s 1955 “Disneyland, Inc.” ID

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Cast & crew party for Zorro with art director Marvin Davis, actor Henry Calvin, Stan and actor Armor Goetten

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Stan with Robert Loggia, star of Elfego Baca

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Here is a Martian Wheat Field concept for Tomorrowland in Disneyland

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Concept art for Tomorrowland in Disneyland, this Metallic Screen Mural would feature fused colored plastic and special night lighting effects.

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Concept for the entrance to Tomorrowland in Disneyland, the rocket would actually be a giant sundial!

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Interestingly, this Disneyland Tomorrowland Entrance concept art is quite similar to Innoventions in the “new Tomorrowland” of 1998.

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This Disneyland concept artwork features the Tomorrowland entrance as it would appear with the iconic “Clock of the World.”

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Stan worked with Fred Joerger and Wathel Rogers of the Disney model shop, to develop the Storybook Land canal attraction. When the attraction first opened, there was no miniature scenery or buildings as there is now. In this image, they are determining the best scale and location for the new scenes.

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Stan stands with a cut out of Snow White’s cottage to determine the best scaling for the miniature building that still appears in the Storybook Land attraction.

Stan's ticket to the opening of Disneyland on July 17, 1955. Click below to hear why Stan did not attend the grand opening

Stan’s ticket to the opening of Disneyland on July 17, 1955. Click below to hear why Stan did not attend the grand opening

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This is the only photo Stan had on display of him with Walt Disney. Stan added his caption of what the conversation might have sounded like.

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