Rongo Bowl sculpt by Kevin Kidney

The Disney Tiki Bowl That Almost Was

Rongo Bowl design by Jody Daily
Rongo Bowl design by Jody Daily

In 2004, Disney artists Jody Daily and Kevin Kidney created a line of tiki mugs inspired by the Enchanted Tiki Room. These tiki mugs were hot sellers at Disneyland (one of them, Jody’s Pele mug, is in more Ooga-Mooga collections than any other mug). Amazingly, Kevin & Jody donated their time in designing these mugs, because they so wanted to see them get made.

Many are not aware that there was supposed to be one more mug, actually a bowl with a pedestal base. This bowl is based on the tiki Rongo, the God of Agriculture (“Me number one kite flyer!”) from the lanai pre-show. Using the original Rolly Crump tiki design as inspiration, the sketch at left was created by Disney artist Jody Daily in 2001. In 2003, Disney artist Kevin Kidney created the sculpt based on Jody’s sketch, seen below.

Rongo Bowl sculpt by Kevin Kidney
Rongo Bowl sculpt by Kevin Kidney

This design was the largest and most elaborate of the designs that Kevin & Jody produced, and it surely would have become a favorite among collectors. Sadly, this sculpt was accidentally destroyed at the factory, and none could be produced.

Heart breaking, isn’t it? This should help soften the blow: Kevin tells me that he and Jody have some new tiki mug designs coming soon to Disneyland! I don’t know yet what the designs will be, but Kevin and Jody are in my opinion the best artists at Disney, and they’re sure to be magnificent.

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