Saturday, August 5, 2017

Flag Wavers

Everybody loves a trip to Six Flags Over Texas.  Locals and out-of-towners flock to the park for high speed thrills and kid friendly fun.  The amusement mecca has attracted its fair share of camera crews too since the locale looks great on screen.  So today we have a couple of examples of when Hollywood came to Six Flags!

The Banana Splits Adventure Hour consisted of live action costumed characters (an ape, an elephant, a dog and a lion) having madcap adventures, playing music and introducing Hanna Barbera cartoons that couldn't merit having their own show.

To set up the fun tone of the show they shot their opening credits at amusement parks including Coney Island and, you guessed it, Six Flags!  One of the first recognizable rides you can see in the credits is the Run-A-Way Mine Train:

Another easy to recognize attraction is "El Sombrero":

 If trippy weirdo characters on trippy rides are up your alley then you'll love what comes next.  Sid and Marty Kroft designed the Banana Splits' costumes and, of course, produced their own shows like H.R. Pufnstuf, Land of the Lost and Lidsville.  When it was time to shoot the opening of Lidsville (a show about a land of magic hats) the Kroft brothers knew where to go:

The sequence involves young Butch Patrick (Eddie from The Munsters) running afoul of Merlo the Magician at a magic show at Six Flags.  You can see from the sign above that the producers felt no need to hide the identity of the park or try to disguise it as a fictional park.

With Six Flags definitely being the setting, you can spot quintessential Six Flags accoutrements like Texas Flags and El Aserradero (the Log Ride):

And since we're talking about the Log Ride (and for no other real reason), I have an excuse for posting this old school token that's been lying around for awhile.  I'm not sure what year it's from:

Our last stop at the park involves a much more recent production.  Texas native Robert Rodriguez is known for his gritty, violent action movies but he's also been known to make fun kids movies too.  So when it was time to shoot an amusement park sequence for Spy Kids 2, you can guess where he went.

The Oil Derrick Tower is one of the most recognizable elements in the park.  It's 300 feet tall and was perfect when Rodriguez needed to create his own special effects thrill ride:

Of course, that's the late, great native Texan Bill Paxton as "Dinky Winks."  And that's our last ride of the day.  Time to head back to the parking lot for the long drive home.    Hope you had fun today and that the lines weren't too long.

1 comment:

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