Monday, November 30, 2015

I am glad to say that John Musker has just sent me the cover drawing for Walt's People - Volume 17. The book should be released in a few weeks. It contains quite a few treasures :-)

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

This book is revolutionary. It is the best account of the early days of Disneyland ever. It will be released in March next year and will be one of the great events of the year from a Disney history standpoint. Can't wait!

Monday, November 16, 2015

The blog will be updated again on November 25, 2015.
Heritage's next big auction will take place on December 13 and 14. The quality of the artwork on sale is simply astounding: never-seen-before pieces from Bambi by David Hall (above) and Retta Scott (below), concept paintings by Mary Blair, JP Miller, and Retta Scott, and on and on it goes. This is an event that should not be missed in any way, shape or form, and I will feature it on the blog at least once or twice again in the next few weeks.

Friday, November 13, 2015

My brother just sent me the catalog of this exhibition which recently took place in Beijing and Shanghai. It's a beautiful catalog, but not one that is worth tracking down: 70% of the content is linked to recent animated features and most of the artwork from the "vintage" titles has already been seen often.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

And another good read from Theme Park Press is, of course, Secrets Stories of Walt Disney World by Jim Korkis.

According to the publisher:

[The Rosetta Stone of Disney Magic

Warning! There be secrets ahead. Disney secrets. Mickey doesn't want you to know how the magic is made, but Jim Korkis knows, and if you read Jim's book, you'll know, too. Put the kids to bed. Pull those curtains. Power down that iPhone. Let's keep this just between us...

If you've come expecting more of the same Disney trivia, you're in for a surprise. This is not a Disney trivia book. It's a book of Disney secrets, each exactly two pages long, and each brimming with backstage lore. Jim Korkis gathered these secrets when he worked at Walt Disney World as an instructor at Disney University. They're all true. They're all cool. And they include:

- How the popularity of Typhoon Lagoon and Blizzard Beach meant the doom of an important piece of Disney history

- United Arab Emirates, Equatorial Africa, Costa Rica, and other planned Epcot pavilions that never were

- Disney's original plans for Figment, how corporate politics turned him purple, and why the Dreamfinder shrunk

- Wilderness Junction, the Alpine Resort, the Enchanted Snow Palace Ride, and other abandoned attractions

- Beacon Joe, the character you've never heard of, even though he appears numerous times throughout Disney World]

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Here is another extremely exciting new book from Theme Park Press.

The publisher, Bob McLain says:

[The Ogren book (Together in the Dream: The Unique Careers of a Husband and Wife in the Early Decades of Walt Disney World) contains stuff that no one has read before, including interactions by R.J. Ogren (a Disney World artist) with Leota Toombs, Marc Davis, Alice Davis (who wrote the foreword), and others.

R.J. painted Animatronic figures and "plussed" attractions. Suzanne drove monorails, marched in parades, and entertained as Sleepy the dwarf. Together, the Ogrens brought their unique skills to Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom during its formative years. This is their story.

R.J. and Suzanne were indeed "together in the dream": their adventures as husband-and-wife cast members spanned the backstage areas of iconic attractions, Main Street parades, and Disney executive offices. They worked with celebrities, Disney artists like Marc and Alice Davis, and the fun-loving, creative geniuses who called the "Animation Art Studio" home.

Among the stories the Ogrens tell:

- Working underwater at the old 20,000 Leagues attraction, aboard the pirate ship in Pirates of the Caribbean, and in the "jungle" of the Jungle Cruise

- How Disney trains its monorail drivers, and the surprisingly rigorous tests they must pass to qualify

- Life in the "Dwarf unit", the tight-knit group of cast members who perform as Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs in the Magic Kingdom

- Why some Animatronic characters don't wear pants

- Repairing bullet holes in the Haunted Mansion, replacing Dopey's stolen head, and other examples of Disney guests gone wild]

This is clearly a "must have" for Disney parks historians and enthusiasts.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Not directly linked to Disney History, but I know that many of you will be interested to know that Think Pink: The Story of DePatie-Freleng by Mark Arnold has just been released. I will definitely pick up a copy.