WEB-EXCLUSIVE: Check out the Monsters and Beasts exhibit at Anaheim's Muzeo for fun facts and thrills.
Room dimly lit in shades of red and blue, soft, menacing music plays in the background. Suddenly, a roar – from a towering amphibious monster.
Fortunately, the monster is mechanical and things get a lot less spooky once you really start walking through the Monsters and Beasts: Hairy, Scary and Unleashed exhibit at Anaheim’s Muzeo, and really understanding how movie beasts work. The exhibit is designed to keep you on your toes with very realistic monsters and the occasional bestial growl.
While not all of the beasts are terrifying – the gorilla from Disney's George of the Jungle was actually kind of cute – the work and detail that went into all of them is obviously great.
Academy Award-winning visual effects artist John Cox donated the animatronic monsters from his Creature Workshop so that visitors to the museum could get behind-the-scenes looks at the movie creatures through every stage of production.
There are several original storyboards, on which you can view Cox’s own handwritten notes, and actual photos taken at the studio as the monsters were being built. After the storyboards come the maquettes: small, to-scale models of the monsters. The detail and ingenuity involved in creating these beasts are impressive. Particularly amazing is that each hair on all of the gorillas in George of the Jungle was individually sewn into suits operated by actors, and that the cords and wires for the animatronic Inspector Gadget are hidden within the pole of the stop sign he runs into.
Several interactive displays are also scattered throughout the exhibit to keep you entertained – including one that allows you to touch some alien guts.
The exhibit runs through September 6 at Muzeo, 241 S. Anaheim Blvd., Anaheim, (714) 956-8936; www.muzeo.org