Friday, August 31, 2007

Walt Disney's daughter, Diane, has stated that many early years of trying to save money resulted in her dad developing “a hash house-lunch wagon appetite. He liked fried potatoes, hamburgers, western omelets, hotcakes, canned peas, hash, stew, roast beef sandwiches. He doesn’t go for vegetables, but loves chicken livers or macaroni and cheese.”
While Walt's famous chili recipe has appeared a number of times, Disney Historian Jim Korkis recently discovered one of Walt's favorite recipes for macaroni and cheese that has never, ever been reprinted. In appeared in the February 1934 issue of the magazine "Better Homes and Gardens".
Four things to check out this morning:

- The Kingdom That Never Came by JimHill
- The Bob Youngquist Sendoff -- Part the Third by Steve Hulett
- Disney Recruitment Booklet -- 1977
- Disney Envelope on eBay

Thursday, August 30, 2007

The Serbian magazine Truba, number 20.
Layout artist Don Griffith by Vance Gerry.

An interview with Don Griffith by Christopher Finch and Linda Rosenkrantz should appear in Walt's People - Volume 8.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

There are less than thirty-five days until WDW's Epcot celebrates its 25th birthday. From the collection of Jim Korkis, here is the program from the October 1, 1979 groundbreaking ceremonies for that theme park. Looking closely at the map, you can see many differences between the groundbreaking and the opening two years later. For instance, there is a pavilion for Costa Rica but no pavilion for China. The Imagination pavilion is named "Images and Imagination". Walt Disney first announced his plans for Epcot on November 15, 1965 at the Cherry Plaza Hotel in Orlando, Florida. The hotel no longer exists.
Do not miss today:

- A Riches-to-Riches Story by Sue Corbett
- Fresh-Up Freddie by Jerry Beck
- Walt's Favorite Teacher: Daisy Beck by Wade Sampson
- Walt and the Librarians by Michael Barrier

Monday, August 27, 2007

Would anyone have any additional information on the upcoming book from Disney Editions Windows on Main Street by Chuck Snyder? The title sounds interesting.
Don't miss the Wilfred Haughton page that Kaya Ă–zkaracalar just created.
Two things I forgot:

- The Disney Books Network was updated this weekend.
- I just discovered the blog Miscellainey thanks to a post on 2719 Hyperion and loved it.
The Serbian magazine Truba, number 11.

I will not be updating the blog tomorrow. Please come back on Wednesday.

If you read this blog, you really should not miss Michael Barrier's new essay titled Walt's Goldwater Button: The Last Word, Maybe.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Fred Lucky by Vance Gerry.
The Serbian magazine Truba, number 10.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Don't miss today:

- Another Word From Walt by Wade Sampson.

Joe Hale by Vance Gerry.
From the Serbian magazine Veseli Cetvrtak number 12.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Cover of the Serbian magazine Mika Mis 126.
I have been contacted last week by the family of Disney animator Robert Wickersham. Wickersham worked at the Disney Studio in the '30s, but very little is know about him.

Here is what I was able to piece together about his career, though, based on information from historian Alberto Becattini, the internet, the book Silly Symphonies by JB Kaufman and Russell Merritt and some production notes. Would anyone of you have any information to add?

[Animator at Charles Mintz (Early ‘30s)

Animator at Disney starting in 1932 or 1933 and until 1938 or 1939 [Break from late 1933 to early 1935?]
Works on:
Night Before Xmas (33) (Toy band)
Flying Mouse (34) (Mouse’s failed attempt at flight + baby bird with mother)
Mickey Plays Papa (34) (Source: Becattini)
The Robber Kitten (35) (Ambrose from opening through sneaking downstairs)
Who Killed Cock Robin? (35) (Assassin’s shadow; courtroom scene; jury)
Three Orphan Kittens (35) (Opening scenes of kitten entering house; scenes with toys in nursery)
Broken Toys (35) (Sailor; Sparks repairs bandsmen)
Elmer Elephant (36) (Kids huddle, parade, then charge Elmer; Elmer hides nose and falls down hill)
Three Blind Mouseketeers (36) (Mice, through springing of traps)
More Kittens (36) (Kitten with fly on branch; turtle snubs kittens; kittens with bird)
Through the Mirror (36) (Source: Becattini)
Little Hiawatha (37) (Hiawatha + grasshopper in opening scenes, through Hiawatha chasing bunny up stump)
Pluto’s Quin-Puplets (37) (Source: Internet)
The Old Mill (37) (Source : Becattini; but does not appear in production notes)
Wynken, Blynken and Nod (38) (Children fishing; children with starfish in boat)
Mickey’s Parrot (38)

Animator at Iwerks from 1933 to 1935

Animator and storyman at Fleischer from 1938 or 1939 to 1941
Storyman and director at Columbia / Screen Gems from 1945 to 1946
Director at Carry-Weston in 1946
Owner /Animator of TV Spots from 1948 to circa 1954
Animator at Warner Bros. /Schlesinger from 1951 to 1954]

One more excellent news which reached me today: Dave Smith is also of the list of Disney Legends honored in 2007. No need to introduce Dave to any of the readers of this blog, of course. In some ways, without him, the field of Disney history would not exist. The only thing I was able to think of when I heard the news yesterday was "Finally!"
Congratulations Dave. Thanks for all the support you, Robert and Becky are providing on a day to day basis.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

This just in from Jim Korkis.
The manuscript of Walt's People - Volume 6 is now complete. I have sent it yesterday to all the contributors for the last row of revisions. This means that it should be released by December or January.

Here is the current table of contents for that volume:

Foreword by Michael Sporn
Michael Barrier: Carl Stalling
I. Klein: The Disney Studio in the ‘30s
I. Klein: Some Close-Up Shots of Walt Disney during the “Golden Years”
I. Klein: Golden Age Animator Vladimir (Bill) Tytla
I. Klein: Walt Disney Took Another Giant Step!
Steve Hulett: Wilfred Jackson
Steve Hulett: Eric Larson
Steve Hulett: Ward Kimball
Steve Hulett: Ken Anderson
Steve Hulett: Ken O'Connor
Steve Hulett: Claude Coates
Robin Allan: Claude Coats
Christopher Finch & Linda Rosenkrantz: Frank Thomas
Christopher Finch & Linda Rosenkrantz: Ollie Johnston
Christopher Finch & Linda Rosenkrantz: Milt Kahl
JB Kaufman: Maurice Rapf
Richard Hubler: Lillian Disney
Richard Hubler: Roy O. Disney
Richard Hubler: Edna Disney
Richard Hubler: Sharon Disney
Richard Hubler: Diane Disney Miller
Richard Hubler: Ron Miller
Richard Hubler: Dick Irvine
Richard Hubler: Marvin Davis
Richard Hubler: Joe Fowler
Richard Hubler: Roger Broggie
Dave Smith: Fred Joerger
Jim Korkis: Ken Anderson
Richard Hubler: Frank Reilly
Frank Reilly: The Walt Disney Comic Strips
Jim Davis and Alberto Becattini: Ken Hultgren
Wes Sullivan: Bud Hester
Wes Sullivan: Iwao Takamoto
Gabe Essoe: Larry Clemmons
Christian Renaut: Joe Hale
Didier Ghez: Steve Hulett
Wonderful news. I just learned from Jim Hill Media that Floyd Norman is also one of the newly named Disney Legends. Not only is Floyd a superbly talented artist but he is also an outstanding human being, who is making this earth a better place on a daily basis, be it through his kindness, his talent, his wit or his willingness to share his memories of the animation world (see Walt's People - Volume 3 and Volume 4).

By the way, Floyd, if you are reading this:

1. Congratulations.
2. We are awaiting impatiently your next book :-)

Monday, August 20, 2007

This just in from Don Brockway:

[Four interesting negatives up for bids on eBay – first item is 150152595343.

It’s a nice set, because it’s very informal and Walt is very animated (no pun intended), with his arms blurred from motion in one or two shots.]

Don has just started an extremely good site (I linked to it once last week), which is definitely worth a visit.

This just in from Richard Huemer (son of Dick Huemer):

"Letter from Bob Iger at Walt Disney Co., received today: "...I am pleased to inform you that Dick Huemer has been chosen as a recipient of The Disney Legend Award. ...On Wednesday, Oct. 10, at 4 pm, we invite you and your family to participate in the Awards Ceremony here at the Studio. A special dinner will be held... Dick will be honored as part of a distinguished group comprised of Roone Arledge, Art Babbitt,Carl Bongirno, Marge Champion, Michael Eisner, [etc.]"

Obviously I am overjoyed at the idea that Dick Huemer is finally going to be honored as a Disney Legend, an homage that is long overdue. But as everyone else who read this email, I can't avoid being stuck by the most momentous news it contains: Art Babbitt is also on the list of Disney Legends. Deserved, obviously, but also a sign that times are definitely changing. I believe some of us feel quite dizzy this morning.

Do not miss today:

- Century Birthday - Dick Lundy by Joe Campana
- Diane Disney Miller on Neal Gabler by Michael Barrier (posted on August 17, 2007). You really have to read this.

Friday, August 17, 2007

This just in from Mark Sonntag:

[I always like reading early Disney articles; I find this one quite interesting as it doesn't really perpetuate the myth that it all started with a mouse.]

Just spotted this German tin box from WWII on ebay and thought that some of you - especially David Lesjak, owner of Toons at War - might enjoy it.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Following Wade Sampson's article Walt and DeMolay, the DeMolay organization did further research trying to find copies of the Mickey Mouse comic strip done for its newsletter in the Thirties. Unfortunately, so far they have only been able to locate a better version of the very first strip along with a caption that confirms that it was Fred Spencer who did the artwork and possibly the scripting.

Those strips have become one of the Holy Grails of Disney history. If you have any suggestions as to how to locate the other ones, do drop me a line.

Do not miss today:

- Walt Disney's Stamp of Approval by Wade Sampson
- The "Disney Afternoon" shows that you didn't get to see by Jim Hill

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Here is the animator draft for Mother Goose.

Tomorrow is a holiday in Spain. The site will be updated again on Thursday.

Lots of very good stuff to read this morning:
- Michael Barrier has posted interviews with Clarence Nash, Billy Bletcher, and Jim Macdonald. Those are also schedulded to appear in Walt's People - Volume 7. (The above image comes from Michael Barrier's site)
- Excellent review of the book The Mickey Mouse Treasures by Jeff Pepper.
- In Defense of Mavericks by Floyd Norman
- And, of course, do not miss part 3 and part 4 of the Mark Kirkland interview about Moe Gollub.

Monday, August 13, 2007

I was going through my weekly check of this morning when I stumbled upon those two totally unexpected books in Italian paying homage to two of the legends of Italian Disney comics: author Rodolfo Cimino and artist Luciano Bottaro. I have not yet seen the books but the author, Paolo Castagno, definitely knows what he is talking about, so those should be must read if you understand Italian.

From a 10-inch Decca LP (1949) Ginger Rogers as Alice in Wonderland.

This just in from Jim Korkis:
[This Alice in Wonderland version was produced specifically for release as a sound recording. Initially on a set of three 78rpm records on the Decca label in 1944. It was re-released in 1950 in 7" 45 rpm format and as a 10" LP. The cover art was copyrighted by Walt Disney. In fact Walt Disney was supposedly considering an 'Alice' movie in 1944, with famous dancer, Ginger Rogers, playing the lead. This is the 10" vinyl LP version and, to quote the rear cover, "The heroine of a hundred motion pictures triumphs in her new and most endearing role: the Eternal Child".]

Friday, August 10, 2007

Rare 1955 Disneyland Color Footage of the Mickey Mouse Club Circus

Alain Littaye from Disney and More was kind enough to point me in the direction of this great clip. More info about it can be found here.

In the same spirit as Hans Bacher's Animation Treasures, Rob Richards has launched the Animation Backgrounds blog. Definitely worth a visit.
Don't miss today:

- Michael Barrier's Disney biographies new feedback page (the photo above comes from Michael's site)
- This fascinating interview with Moe Gollub on the TAG blog. Here are part 1 and part 2.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

I would like to get completely off-topic for a change (I won't do this often at all).

I am a Disney-addict, as you all know, but I have another addiction that I must confess: books. I never ever stop reading and am quite eclectic in my choices. I am sharing this with you, because the addiction is so strong that the first thing I usually do when I visit the house of friends is to spend a lot of time in front of their bookshelves to understand what they are currently reading and what they've read, in the hope of knowing them better and of discovering a few books that I had never thought of and that might sparkle my interest (I am rarely disappointed and always have at least a hundred un-read books on my shelves even though I usually devour with pleasure two or three per week).

All this to say that I do not have access to your bookshelves, but that I would like you to share with me - through the comments feature on this post - the books that were the most important in your lives, for whatever reasons (style, subject, particular scenes, author,...)

Here are mine (listed in no particular order). Do note that some were read in my teens, others in my twenties and others way more recently. They all have something in common though: I felt either more happiness or more awareness after having read them, to a degree that was way above the one I had experienced with the other books I discovered throughout the years. They are some of the key books of my life.


- East of Eden by John Steinbeck
- Ana Terra by Erico Verissimo
- To Kill a Moking Bird by Harper Lee
- Magister Ludi by Herman Hesse
- 1984 by George Orwell
- Foundation series by Isaac Asimov
- Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell
- Le Lion (The Lion) by Joseph Kessel
- Monsignor Quixote by Graham Greene
- Memoires d'une Jeune Fille Rangee (Memoirs of a Dutiful Daughter) by Simone de Beauvoir
- War and Peace by Leon Tolstoi
- Magellan by Stefan Zweig
- Le Comte de Monte Christo (The Count of Monte Cristo) by Alexandre Dumas
- Letters to Olga by Vaclav Havel
- L'Or (Gold) by Blaise Cendrars
From the Serbian magazine Veseli Cetvrtak number 42.
I received a fascinating email from Jeff Kurtti yesterday who managed to identify quite a few of the individuals who appear on the old photographs of Walt from Mark Sonntag's collection. Here we go:

- This photo shows Carman Maxwell and Walt.
- This one and this one are probably featuring Marion Cauger and Walt
- Finally, this last photograph shows Walt and Margaret Metzinger (not Mary Flanigan)

Great caricature of Roy Williams for sale on ebay at the moment through Howard Lowery.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

This just in from Rob Richards:

[Hello Didier!

This weekend I acquired another wonderful Disney animation cel from eBay.

I like to say every cel has a story to tell.

This has the original Art Corner Gold Seal, dated 1959. So its authenticity is irrefutable.

However, it provokes some fascinating questions. Like, for starters, what film it is from... (or possibly early TV animation.) I don't have the cel yet, but from the photo the lines appear to be xerographic. Being dated 1959, this would be during the earliest days of xerographic lines (and 101 Dalmatians, the first feature to use the processs [from end to finish], was undoubtedly in production at this time.)

While the characters Chip 'n Dale were nearly identical, I am sure you know they had distinguishing features: "Chip" has a brown nose (think chocolate chip) and "Dale" has a red nose and buck teeth. But - this cel has a red nose but no buck teeth! Maybe Dale saw a Disney orthodontist?

Any ideas?]
Can't wait to get Hogan's Alley number 15 when it gets released as it contains Jim Korkis' extremely in-depth article about The Gremlins.

Don't miss this morning:

- The Secret Origin of Space Mountain by Wade Sampson
- Third edition of "Hidden Mickeys" field guide is three times the fun by Jim Hill
- All the new updates on ToonsAtWar
- Early Disney Movie Music - with a British Flair
- Gottfredson 1928

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Here is the animator draft for Birds of a Feather.

This just in from Are Myklebust to celebrate the first birthday of the Disney History blog.
[“The 7th Birthday of Mickey Mouse” 1935 Celebration Giveaway Button – Mickey first major birthday celebration (even the date was wrong).]
Jeff Kurtti and Bruce Gordon are keeping themselves busy these days. I already mentioned a few of their upcoming books last week, here is one more found on amazon by one of the readers of this blog:

The Art of Walt Disney World, schedulded for January 8, 2008. Way to go!
Sad news: the Disney and Spain exhibition project was cancelled yesterday, for reasons that would be too complex to explain. I am exploring other concepts that could lead to interesting results, though.
Ward Kimball Tomorrow at Grizzly Flats

Jim Korkis was kind enough to draw my attention to this 7-part show posted on YouTube which features a very long interview of Kimball by Tom Synder.

Monday, August 06, 2007

Two long awaited books have finally been released in the US:

- The Mickey Mouse Treasures by Robert Tieman and Dream Worlds by Hans Bacher.