Tuesday, December 16, 2014

The blog will be updated again on December 23.
This just in from Garry Apgar:

[Mickey Jumps the Shark?

English artist and self-promoting entrepreneur Damien Hirst is best known for his 17-foot-long shark floating in formaldehyde — exhibited at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in 2007-2010 — a work that will long live in esthetic infamy. The chi-chi Paris-based créateur de mode Marc Jacobs is currently marketing a "limited edition" Mickey Mouse tee-shirt designed by Hirst.

The image emblazoned on the shirt was created originally at the behest of the Disney Company in the form of a six-foot-high painting on canvas using ordinary household gloss out of a can. The picture was sold at auction in February by Christie's for more than $1.5 million. A portion of that sum was donated to the British inner-city charity Kids Company.

Hirst's Mouse is an abstract, geometric distillation of a silkscreen design by Andy Warhol from 1981, itself a re-working of a 1933 United Artists poster presenting Mickey in one of his early iconic poses. Though surely not to everyone's taste, the pricey Hirst/Jacobs threads might make a nice holiday gift or stocking stuffer for that special Disney fan in your life who won't mind seeing Walt Disney's graphic alter ego deconstructed and dumbed down into a dozen circular daubs of color.

The shirts are sold in kids' sizes at $58 a pop, on white fabric only. The adult model comes in black only ($98), which is strange — if not an outright gaffe — since Mickey's ebony ears against the black background are virtually illegible. (Did Disney Brand Management actually sign off on that?) Also: unlike its two prototypes, Hirst's Mickey has no tail. Ouch.

"100% of the proceeds" from all sales are earmarked for the Kids Company charity, according to the Marc Jacobs website. That may cushion the pain in your purse if you shell out $98 (plus tax and shipping) for one of the tees.

Anyway ... here, for the stout of heart, is a link to the kids' model.]

Monday, December 15, 2014

If you are interested in the history of Tokyo Disneyland and EPCOT, this new book looks intriguing.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Here is a new book, that should definitely be added to my selection of best books of 2014.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

I just stumbled online upon the new Chronicle Books catalog and discovered two upcoming books which should interest you:

- The Art of The Good Dinosaur, of course, but also
- The Art of Funny, a book which is described as follows:

[Each of Pixar Animation Studios’ films begins with the artists in the story department throwing ideas around to see what works best. This fun, collaborative process often results in hilarious scenarios, inside jokes, and illustrated gags, some of which will never make it to the final cut of the film. The Art of Funny features inspired gags from the creation of all of Pixar’s films to date, from Toy Story to Monsters University, bringing together never-before-published illustrations and doodles from the depths of Pixar’s archives.]

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

We are still working on a comprehensive index of the Walt's People book series, but in the meantime, if you are wondering which volume contains which interview, wonder no more: Harald Nast has integrated all that information in his excellent Disney Resource Index.

Tuesday, December 09, 2014

Once again, not really Disney-history related, but those who read French will want to know that the third volume in Sebastien Roffat's astounding series about the history of French animation has just been released and is available on Amazon.fr.

Monday, December 08, 2014

This has become a tradition. Here is the list of what I feel are the best Disney history books of 2014, in no particular order. As always, I have refrained from including the latest two volumes of Walt's People (volumes 14 and 15).

Canemaker, John: The Lost Notebook: Herman Schultheis & the Secrets of Walt Disney's Movie Magic published by Walt Disney Family Foundation Press; 2014.

Brightman, Homer; Ghez, Didier (editor): Life in the Mouse House published by Theme Park Press; 2014.

Smith, Lella (editor): Marc Davis: Walt Disney's Renaissance Man published by Disney Editions; 2014.

Barrier, Michael: Funnybooks: The Improbable Glories of the Best American Comic Books published by University of California Press; 2014.

Johnson, Jimmy (author); Ehrbar, Greg; Ghez, Didier (editors): Inside the Whimsy Works: My Life with Walt Disney Productions published by University Press of Mississippi; 2014.

Hulett, Steve: Mouse in Transition: An Insider's Look at Disney Feature Animation published by Theme Park Press; 2014.

Lesjak, David: Service with Character: The Disney Studios and World War II published by Theme Park Press; 2014.

Apgar, Garry: A Mickey Mouse Reader published by University Press of Mississippi; 2014.

Korkis, Jim: The Vault of Walt: Volume 3: Even More Unofficial Disney Stories Never Told published by Theme Park Press; 2014.