Tuesday, July 31, 2007
The amount of material I have received recently for future volumes of Walt's People is absolutely staggering (and I am also working on three parrallel projects which make matter worse). Some of you are already helping me with all the transcriptions that need to be handled. However, I need help with one other painstaking task: digitizing.
I have about 20 interviews that need to be digitized. This means scanning them using a scanner that has a good character recognition function and then cleaning up manually each page of the interview, to remove the typos introduced by the scanner. No need to be of English maternal language as for the transcriptions. Anyone with some free time can handle this. I used to do it all myself in the past, but have received way too much material to handle it all alone.
Anyone willing to help?
Monday, July 30, 2007
This Original Disneyland Railroad Story DVD shares the inside stories of many great people who tell about their love for the Disneyland Railroad!If your interested please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org: order information posted on the www.apepenpublishing.com
Interviews with: Roy Disney, Michael Broggie, Art Linkletter, Steve DeGaetano, Bob Gurr, Keith Murdock, Buzz Price, EP Ripley 3rd, Margaret Kerry, Tim Lagaley (refurbished the Lilly Belle), Craig Ludwick (wk at the DLand RR Roundhouse), Kenny Becker (refurbished the Lilly Belle), Brad Larose (shares the inside story of the old Retlaw Train Cars), Russ Becker (refurbished the Lilly Belle)]
Friday, July 27, 2007
Thursday, July 26, 2007
[If you have WAY TOO MUCH TIME on your hands, go to this site and click around. If you go to the Pirate's Arcade, you can have your fortune read and see the 24 fortune telling cards. Or hear Walt narrate the opening of visiting early Disneyland. Or the spiels at the railroad stations.]
Also, I would recommend not missing the following posts today:
- Two Princes and Robin Hood Confidential by Will Finn.
Wednesday, July 25, 2007
Once again, this comes from the astounding collection of Mark Kausler. I would recommend visiting Marks' blog daily. It contains some fascinating insights into quite a few different fields.
[John Parish passed away unexpectedly but quietly Monday night July 23. Many Disney fans will know him from his attendance at a variety of special events over the years at both Disneyland and Walt Disney World. In Disney history, he will be remembered as the Catholic priest who gave the eulogy at Imagineer John Hench's funeral. Hench's conversations with John about the connections between spirituality and Disney concepts was acknowledged by Hench in his book, Designing Disney. John Parish's legacy of love for Disney will be kept alive by his frequent traveling companion and friend, Kim Eggink, who was also acknowledged in Hench's book. Services for John Parish will take place in North Carolina on Friday July 27.]
Tuesday, July 24, 2007
Monday, July 23, 2007
Friday, July 20, 2007
[Donald Duck Orange Juice Goes to War
Donald Duck Orange Juice is the longest surviving Disney licensee starting in 1941. The orange juice is still produced in Lake Wales, Florida not far from Walt Disney World. Although I still don't know what a duck has to do with citrus products (other than the fact that Donald Duck was a hugely popular character during the Forties), I just discovered the following information about Donald Duck Orange Juice during World War II:
"Sixty boxcars of fresh citrus fruit a day are being processed by Florida Citrus Canners Cooperative at Lake Wales. About 40 of those boxcars of fruit are converted into 8,000 gallons of orange concentrate destined exclusively for the United States armed forces and their allies. Total volume of concentrate was expected to reach 800,000 gallons. When reconstituted on the basis of 7 gallons of water to a gallon of concentrate, it will produce 6.4 million gallons of juice with vitamins added. All will be shipped under the coop's Donald Duck brand. Concentrate production has been boosted by the need to reduce shipping space. Concentrate requires only about one-eighth of what fresh fruit requires. "]
Thursday, July 19, 2007
Wednesday, July 18, 2007
This morning do not miss:
- Disney's Lost Chords review by Jim Hill. To add to what Jim is saying: this is by far the best Disney art-book published this year and an absolute must-have for Disney historians. I can not recommend it strongly enough.
- A Salute to Club 55 by Wade Sampson.
Tuesday, July 17, 2007
Monday, July 16, 2007
Friday, July 13, 2007
Thursday, July 12, 2007
Librarian to Disney by Janet Martin in Wilson Library Bulletin (December 1939).
By the way, I am still trying to locate a copy of John Canemaker's article Disney Backgrounds from the magazine Print.
Here’s a story I love. Roy Williams was a legend. Roy was a 320 pound former All American high school football player. He was a little baby. He was a child. He was a naïve child in this great body who could throw people around. An enormous gag man. He just churned out these cartoons like you wouldn’t believe. Walt decided that Roy should be a little more dignified so we helped Walt out.
When Roy was made a gag captain we made it an important thing. He had to wear a suit, tie, and a vest….and socks. Everything. Then he came over to this new building. They were really just a couple of apartments we had gutted and made into rooms for the storymen.
We had Roy all dressed up. I got Ethel, who was his wife, to make sure Roy wore the suit and everything. It didn’t really fit. Nothing buttoned. Nothing really worked. As gag captain, one of his jobs was to go around and “pass” on the gags that everyone had done. He came into the room.
We took this little guy, Joe Sable, who was a new guy who was maybe five foot two and weighed all of eighty pounds. We took T. Hee’s pants. T. Hee was a big man in those days. He lost over three hundred pounds. We took his pants and wrapped them around and around Sable and tied it up with a belt.
So Joe is saying, “Mr. Williams, is this gag acceptable?”
And Roy is going crazy. “Are those your pants? For crying out loud, are those your pants? Have you been on a diet?”
Joe says, “Yes, sir but what’s good for one person isn’t necessarily good for another.”
Roy is getting desperate. “Never mind that. What have you been on?”
Joe says, “I hate to tell you but it was sauerkraut juice. You should probably check with your doctor. Now about this gag…”
Roy bolts away and calls his doctor. At least he had that much sense. He got the nurse and asked her if sauerkraut juice is good for diets and she says “yes, but…” and Roy hangs up before she finishes and runs across the street and got a gallon of sauerkraut juice and drank this whole can.
The meeting with Walt on gags is due to come up in less than ten minutes. This whole business began to work on poor Roy’s insides and there was a lot of Roy to work on.
Have you ever heard elephants trumpet? That was the sound coming out of him. Roy would come in to the boards and these sounds are starting. Boom. Boom. He runs down the hall to where we had a lavatory and we hear “Bang! Bang! Bang!” We had the doors all locked.
Then we had the next building fixed the same way. Wherever he went there was no chance for him to get any relief.
Walt comes in and sits down on a camp chair and he is already drumming his fingers and saying, “All right. All right. What have you boys got here?”
Roy tries to start telling Walt the gags and he just can’t take it any more. Roy bolts out of the door and knocks over everyone in his way and makes it across the street to the main building finally.]
Wednesday, July 11, 2007
Tuesday, July 10, 2007
[I was reading an interview in a British magazine with Costume Designer Penny Rose, who created the pirate outfits for the Pirates of the Caribbean movies. When she did the second and third films, one of the first things she did was to talk with actor Johnny Depp about any changes he would like in his Captain Jack Sparrow outfit. His response? "My darling, Jack Sparrow is Mickey Mouse; he doesn't change his clothes." However, the character did end up with a few more belts and bling anyway. ]
Monday, July 09, 2007
That being said, I had never read Aleksandar's comics. There were two reasons for this: they were not yet available in English and the French version published by L'Association (publisher of Persepolis amound other "classics") was out-of-print. The second reason was that I had seen some of the panels of his stories and was put off by his underground style (see, I have always been attracted to more classical styles like Tintin, Asterix of even the more realistic style of Blacksad).
That being said, when Aleksandar's works were published a few months ago in the US, as Regards from Serbia, I knew I had to get that book. Aleksandar is a delightful penpal (or "keyboard pal" to be more precise) and I thought reading his works might be a way to know him better. You know where this is leading, of course.
I got the book last week and started devouring it this weekend.
I - suprisingly - adore Aleksandar's graphical style and the way he is telling his stories of what life was like in Serbia during the Bosnian war and then below the NATO bombings. The book is both funny, subtle, moving (at times), very strong (always), and fascinating in the way Aleksandar (real name Sasa) captures all of the day-to-day absurdities.
I have finished Chapter 1 (comics srips) and have just started reading the emails that are collected in Chapter 2, about the bombings. After having read this already, I felt surprised that Aleksandar's works didn't win awards in prominent festivals (or have they and am I just badly informed?). Regards from Serbia definitely has the strenght, from a narative and stylistic point of view of a Persepolis (from example).
Ever since I lived in Argentina right in the middle of the financial crisis, the riots,... I have been interested in the "small" and "big" absurdities that situations like the one Sasa lived can create in the life of normal people and that not many people in Europe or the US can even start to imagine. What Sasa lived in Serbia is of course way more dramatic and lasted way longer, but there is that same sense that the reality as perceived from abroad is so much more simplified that lived on the ground. Something that we all know intuitively but that we only understand with more clarity through works like Aleksandar's.
Since the book contains at least one page mentioning Disney comics, I do not feel totally off-topic by plugging it shamefully here :-) I just truly feel it's worth discovering and couldn't help but try and share my delight with a few of you.
[Is Chuck Williams (the assistant animator who'd been at Disney's from the 'fifties - not to be confused with the later Chuck Williams) still around? I barely got to know him at Disney's in the late '80s . I was just starting out and he was getting ready to retire. He did some great key cleanup on King Triton in The Little Mermaid. I can't remember if he retired after Mermaid or if he stayed on for The Rescuer's Down Under?]
I am actually very interested in interviewing Chuck if he is still alive and would really appreciate any info you might send.
[I wonder whether you could assist me in finding an early document from the planning stage of Disneyland? Even though the conceptual drawings for the little "kiddie park" projected by Walt for the sixteen-acre site across Riverside Drive are widely published, I have not been able to find the text of the "Burbank prospectus" presented to the Burbank Board of Parks and Recreation in March 1952.
To my knowledge, the only author who has seen this document is Karl Ann Marling, who mentions its presence in the Imagineering library (Architecture of Reassurance, pp. 52-54, 215). I am only familiar with the article, "Walt Disney Make-Believe Land Project Planned Here" in the Burbank Daily Review, partially reproduced in Gordon and Mumford, Disneyland Nickel Tour, p. 14). Marling mentions that excerpts from the prospectus are reprinted in a different publication, The Burbank Leader, but her documentation is imprecise.]
Friday, July 06, 2007
[When I came home, I was too tired to go out and see the July 4th fireworks, so I spent the time watching the DISNEYLAND '59 special on the YOUR HOST, WALT DISNEY Disney Treasures DVD.
It was amazing to see actors Clint Eastwood and Dennis Hopper in a Disneyland parade. It was interesting to see how gracious and friendly Vice President Richard Nixon was to Walt Disney, quite a different persona than the embattled Watergate villain of decades later. Also, it made me smile to hear host Art Linkletter say that Walt was "the happiest kid in the park". But what was really amazing to me is that I had heard that Walt was embarrassed because he would move his lips when he read something. I had seen that happen on a clip of Walt doing the voice of Mickey Mouse for "Mr.. Mouse Takes a Trip" with Billy Bletcher as Pete when Walt was mouthing Billy's lines while Billy was saying them. However, in this special, when the Admiral is reading the dedication of the Submarine Voyage ride he must have been reading off of cue cards because you can see Walt standing next to him mouthing the exact same words! It seems to go on forever and Walt seems to be totally unaware that he is doing it!]