Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Magic Forest: Storybook Forest

I know I've posted a lot about the Magic Forest, but there were so many wonderful, weird, creepy, strange and ridiculous things contained within the relatively small park that I'm still having a hard time grasping the scope of it all (this will be my last post on it though—unless until I go back).

Most of the park felt very collected rather than curated. Figures of varying styles and genres are placed around seemingly haphazardly—Santa next to Uncle Sam, chickens next to elephants, Robin Hood next to the Easter Bunny. Things get slightly more cohesive when you enter the Storybook Forest section, although the style of the figures still varies wildly from scene to scene.

A large portion of the figures are of the glassy-eyed, often open-mouthed variety that is common throughout the park. It's pretty obvious that these figures were all made by the same person, and they're the reason I though this post was Halloween-week appropriate—they're terrifying.

As the name implies, the Storybook Forest includes figures and scenes that can be found in classic storybooks and nursery rhymes. Goldilocks and her three bears (which looked an awful lot like seals), the Old Lady in the Shoe, the Mad Hatter, Jack Sprat (and his wife), Little Jack Horner and Little Boy Blue are just some of the stories represented.

Like a lot of other things in the Magic Forest, most of the storybook scenes were broken or damaged in some way. Almost all had buttons that, when pushed would tell the story on which the scene was based—in theory. I think I pushed every one and had about a 10% success rate, but it should be obvious by now that a large part of the Magic Forest's appeal to me was its scrappiness.

And like finding a Van Tassel headstone at Green-Wood, I was thrilled to see two classic Washington Irving stories represented: Rip Van Winkle and the Legend of Sleepy Hollow, which both felt right at home in the overgrown, cobweb-covered, slightly spooky and entirely wonderful Storybook Forest.

See all posts about the Magic Forest

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