Tuesday, November 13, 2012
Ursula's Lair - another scene from The Little Mermaid Jr.
Ursula's Lair is another scene from The Little Mermaid. If you remember, Ursula is the sea witch, and her hide-out is a dark, sinister place depicted in purples, black and pinks. It's where she looks into her crystal ball and bosses around her two henchmen, the electric eels, Flotsam and Jetsam.
At first I thought I'd make the lair out of the turned-around and seaweed draped columns from King Triton's castle, but the more I thought about that, the more problematic it seemed. I'd have to really disguise the columns so they wouldn't look like columns, and it would take a lot of doing to get hanging seaweed (my disguise of choice) to look like it was floating UP instead of hanging DOWN. Hence, plan B, shown above, which I think might be even better. It's a whale skeleton.
I take the platform with the step shown in the Triton's Court scene, and add another step or two on the back. This can attach with some swinging latches on each side of the platform. (Don't know what you call them, but there is a peg like thing on one side, and a swirling hook on the other side that swivels around and then loops over the peg.) Big whale bones would be attached to the back, taller platform, but the front platform (also used for Triton's throne) would have square peg-holes in the top that the bones would slip into. I think I'd have to make the whale bones out of 3/4 inch plywood so it stands upright. There would be a pair of bones on the step, and two pairs on the platform. They'd have to bow out quite a bit toward the front part so that the audience can see what's going on in the back, but it would make a nice creepy look and best of all, it moves the action UP into that problematic vertical space. Ursula could climb up and down the stairs to accentuate her points, and she'd be framed by those whale bones. In front of the platform there could be a pointy crystal-ball holder and get this - if I can find a clear, plastic ball shaped item, WE CAN MAKE THE CRYSTAL BALL LIGHT UP with our battery operated light packs we bought last year - Whooo HOOOO!! LOVE IT! You know what else I love about this scene? It's not much work for me, other than designing it. The painting is relatively easy. Moving right along...
Update: I heard a little earlier today that instead of a crystal ball for Ursula, we're going to do a bowl with a fan hidden inside blowing some billowy fabric up in the air... which solves my problem of locating a plastic bowl to use as a crystal ball. I might still even be able to use lights in the bottom, too.