In the "Steampunk: Nemo's Nautilus" post I mentioned that Disney has more opportunities than it may realize with the Steampunk style/genre in the parks. I'm sure when I use the term Steampunk it doesn't immediately bring to mind a specific visual reference the way mentioning Art Nouveau or Film Noir would. So this post is just a random sampling of Steampunk goodness to get the feel, more specific ideas relating to Disney next time.
-Weta Rayguns, Weta is the infamous Visual FX house based in New Zealand that is responsible for Lord of the Rings and King Kong. Greg Broadmore at the Weta Workshop has come up with this line of Rayguns, or as they have been branded "Dr. Grordbort's Infallible Aether Oscillators.
The Raygun website (linked above, make sure you check it out) is an amazing assortment of spoof advertising that is very creative and very Disney-like. They have created enough back story in selling these Rayguns for it's own film. Check out the "spoof-o'-mercial" they made below.
-The Sculptures of Stephane Halleux . I love these designs, they almost read as props right off the set of a stop-motion animation film. The vehicles and characters would easily lend themselves to be interpreted into a Steampunk like ride. There are a lot more amazing designs on the website, make sure to check out the link above.
Random "Objects de' Steampunk:" If it has lots of bolts, gears, gadgets, metal, is steam powered, or requires the use of cool looking goggles to operate- it's Steampunk! (Laptop image courtesy of MonkeyFarm.)
Top Steampunk-esque films... These would be near the top of the list: League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Wild Wild West, 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea, City of Lost Children, Back to Future 3, and certain aspects of Tim Burton's Sleepy Hallow.
- The Edison restaurant and bar in Los Angeles (website worth checking out if you can't get to the real thing.) Self described as "a lounge alive with artifacts from it's history as Downtown LA's first private power plant; a celebration of an era of invention and imagination- the blending of science, art, and industry."
There are a many angles that Disney could pursue with the Steampunk genre. There is enough latitude within the style to go in many directions, be it very dark and edgy, or whimsical and very family friendly. I think it's even rich and broad enough to have it's own land.
But, assuming a "Discovery Bay" actually does end up in the Frontierland land area, I hope Disney would at least sprinkle in some elements of Steampunk, if not actually going all out and really sink their teeth into some of the antiquated future themes.