Friday, September 28, 2007
[Didier - Very interesting item, that "Poemas a Walt Disney" book that you posted. For what it's worth, 1943, the year this book was published, was also the year the Disney studio started planning a film about Cuba. This was part of the Good Neighbor program, for which the studio had already produced Saludos Amigos and was working on the film that would become The Three Caballeros. Ultimately their plan for a Cuban film was abandoned, but in 1943 they were seriously pursuing the idea, beginning with a survey trip there by Mary Blair in the spring of that year. Coincidence? Best regards - JB]
Thursday, September 27, 2007
Here is what I managed to find about the Cuban poet Villarronda:
His real name was Guillermo González Gómez. He seems to have been born in 1912 in Cuba. He started a journalist career in 1935. In 1937, he won the National Price of Poetry of the Education Ministry for his poem Hontanar. He worked for the newspapers El Eco de Tunas, Orto, Martí, Gaceta del Caribe, Bohemia y La Verónica, in which appeared his «AntiOda a Pablo Neruda». He was the editor of El Espectador Habanero, Acción, Pueblo and Alerta. He adapted novels for the radio and was a journalist on the radio station Radio Aeropuerto Internacional. He was also closely linked to the dictature of Fulgencio Batista and left Cuba shortly after the Revolution.
I loved reading about the origins of the Disney library and even more so being able to identify its original staff members, including Helen Luwdig Hennesy. Was she the wife of Disney artist Hugh Hennesy?
And those links sent by Jim Korkis:
- Urban Legends about Disney and comics are at this link and this other link. At those links, they discuss two items you can find at the following links:
- The never reprinted Donald Duck and the Atom Bomb strip giveaway.
- The Mickey Mouse "suicide strips"
Wednesday, September 26, 2007
While I did not need the help of UMP to release Walt's People, I knew of a few projects which did lack a publisher and that I sent Tom's way. One of those projects is extremely similar to Walt's People and I can't wait to read it.
Working with Walt: Interviews with Disney Artists by Don Peri is due to be released in March 2008 and collects Don's best interviews with Disney artists, all of them published in this book for the first time.
The artists featured should include: Ben Sharpsteen, Wilfred Jackson, Dick Huemer, Ken O'Connor, Ken Anderson, Larry Clemmons, Clarence Nash, Les Clark, Floyd Gottfredson, Eric Larson, Herb Ryman, Harper Goff, Jack Cutting, and a few others!
I contacted Comic Strip historian Allan Holtz who has an excellent blog and he responded that "The only info I have for Colvig is a series titled "Life on the Radio Wave" in the Chronicle in 1922. That research was on the Chronicle microfilm, so at best I'd have a blurry photocopy example or two deep in the files somewhere. I haven't indexed the Bulletin past 1904 since they seemed to have gone with mostly syndicated material. Do you have any more detailed info? It's something I could look into further if there was anything interesting going on there."
Does anyone have any more information that might be able to help Allan do some further research? I wonder how Pinto's cartooning background influenced his work at Disney. Certainly his background as a circus clown influenced the early interpretation of Goofy and his musicial background provided just the right little addition to the "Who's Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf" tune.]
This just in from Jim Korkis:
[With all the attention on the recent candidates preparing for the Presidential race, let's take a brief moment to look back at a forgotten moment in Disney animation history.
The first Presidential animated for television political commercial was done by the Disney Studio to support Dwight D. Eisenhower for President. Walt was a staunch Republican but the Disney Studio couldn’t officially support any particular candidate so it was done privately through Roy O. Disney. Here is the "I Like Ike" animated commercial, produced by Roy Disney and Citizens for Eisenhower-Nixon during the 1952 presidential campaign.
Eisenhower’s television advertising, the first ever for a Presidential candidate, was masterminded by Rosser Reeves, the ad man who created the M&Ms slogan “melt in your mouth, not in your hand.”]
- Bob Camp has started posting scans of the very rare catalog Graphic Gallery 8 dedicated to concept artist Ferdinand Horvath.
- Donald Duck Finds Pirate Gold by Wade Sampson
- Sound Conundrum by Hans Perk
Monday, September 24, 2007
- Why For aren't there more countries in Epcot's World Showcase area? by Jim Hill
- Mickey Mouse Uncut! by Joakim Gunnarsson
- Grim Natwick on Fergy ruffs by Hans Perk
- Hand's On... by Hans Perk
Wednesday, September 19, 2007
Monday, September 17, 2007
Friday, September 14, 2007
Tuesday, September 11, 2007
Ralph was an incredible person. He was genuinely modest, talented beyond all imagination, funny, patient and unfortunately in his later years plagued by health problems that eventually had him in a wheel chair. At last year's NFFC convention in Orlando, he seemed frail but still full of fun and it was clearly apparent how much he and his wife loved each other.
I knew Ralph for about ten years and in fact, before he got really ill, he had talked with me about collaborating with him on a book. We would cover the Fab Five characters decade by decade. He would do the drawings and I would do the text. He was upset when he saw merchandising that had a 40s Mickey with a 50s Goofy and such. So the purpose of the book was to show how the character should be drawn step by step, what the personality was, how they interacted with the other Fab Five characters, their "key" films of that period etc. as a guide primarily for the merchandising but also for the general public. That dream will never come to pass unless I hook up with Alex Maher or Brian Blackmore who were trained by Ralph as his successors at the Disney Design Group. I hope one day Alex and Brian will share some of the many stories they heard from Ralph over the years. I had some notes from previous talks with Ralph in preparation for a longer interview that never came to pass that I will eventually put together for Walt's People once I locate them and organize them.
I believe there is an interview with Ralph in Tomart's DISNEYANA but it focuses primarily on his work in merchandising. Ralph's impact will be felt for at least another generation through all those artists that Ralph trained.
* Ralph will be cremated at the Grissom Funeral Home, 803 W. Emmett Street, Kissimmee, on Thursday. TIME TBD
* The funeral will be on Saturday in the Jehovah Witness Kingdom Hall, 1525 Mill Slough Road in Kissimmee . TIME TBD
* In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Jehovah Witness, 1525 Mill Slough Road, Kissimmee (407-933-7547) ]
Monday, September 10, 2007
I was researching a piece for a future volume of Walt's People when I realized that not only had I never seen the educational Donald Duck short Steel and America (1966), but that I did not even know much about this cartoon. I found this short clip online which comes from what seems to be a revised version from 1974.
Would anyone of you know:
- How long is the original short (or featurette) Steel and America?
- How much animation does it contain and how much live action?
- Who directed the animation and who directed the live action?
One of the most astonishing discoveries were the covers of "Dzepni kalendar Mika Mis" (Pocket calender Mika Mis) featured within Mika Mis 152. My Serbian correspondent mentions, "I haven't seen a single copy of these preserved ever, probably because then and now people are simply throwing out pocket calendars when they are through with them, but they were obviously small calendars with mostly Disney-inspired cover designs by local artists - some of them were the same as the covers of regular Mika Mis issues."
Friday, September 07, 2007
- The Disney that Never Was - Volume 2
- The Disneyland that Never Was
- Ferdinand Horvath
- Freddy Moore
- Ken Anderson
- The Great Disney Directors
- Walt Disney's collected letters
- The Hyperion Studio Days
- Vintage Disneyana outside of the US
[Lainey wrote in to ask about the Midget Autopia (and make sure you visit her website) and it made me realize that I am of a different generation and having grown up as a kid in Southern California I got to experience a Disneyland that disappeared much too quickly and quietly over the years.. So here is a short history of Autopia.
When Disneyland opened in 1955 there was an Autopia in Tomorrowland and it was a huge hit. To satisfy the younger kids who couldn't reach the pedals, Walt installed a Junior Autopia on the area where the Mickey Mouse Club Circus used to be on July 23, 1956. The Imagineers cleverly fastened a block of wood to the gas pedal to help out the smaller drivers. However, the demand for Autopia was so high that Walt closed the Junior Autopia in September 1958 and changing the track and the cars, it opened as the full size Fantasyland Autopia on June 6,1959.
Ah, but Walt didn't forget the younger drivers. He opened yet another Autopia, the Midget Autopia on April 13, 1957 and it ran until April 3, 1966. No adults were allowed to ride along with their kids. It was the first Disney Autopia on a track and each car had two steering wheels (not connected to the actual wheels) so both youngsters in the car can pretend to drive. Since I had two younger brothers, they were always sent off in one car and I followed all by myself in my own car and my parents have a slide of me using both steering wheels to drive. When you are a kid you can never be too careful.
So at one time, there were three different Autopias running at once at Disneyland.
The Midget Autopia was removed to make way for "It's A Small World" but Walt donated everything to Marceline, Missouri so the attraction could be the centerpiece of their Walt Disney Park. It ran for several years before going into storage and disrepair.
Most people don't realize that the Midget Autopia was going to be just one of several attractions in an area called "Mousekatopia" that would feature rides all scaled down for very little kids. There was to be a helicopter ride, a boat ride and of course the Midget Autopia. It was all described in a December 27,1956 memo. However, "Mousekatopia" is just another anecdote in the Disneyland That Never Was.]
Thursday, September 06, 2007
[Marceline, Missouri has decided to restore to operating order the famous Midget Autopia that originally was at Disneyland and then donated by Walt himself to Marceline (Walt's hometown) where it ran for many years. The only Disney attraction that operated outside the theme park. The still existing cars and the track have been examined by experts, and historians have been consulted for their input.
Sadly, those of us who enjoyed the attraction as children will be unable to fit into the cars once it is restored. The row of cars in front is a "storage" lane next to the "load" lane. Kaye Malins who is heading up the Disney Museum in Marceline as well as this new project has one of the original yellow cars in the museum. For more information on the museum go to this link.]
Wednesday, September 05, 2007
13613 Ventura Blvd.
Sherman Oaks, CA 91423
RSVP @ 818-788-2357
Attendees receive a commemorative brochure that includes biographies of each artist and a collection of statements and anecdotes from the many celebrated artists who have shared studio space with these great talents.
We hope to see you at the event!]
Tuesday, September 04, 2007
Ben is trying to reach him to discuss some matters related to the biography he is currently writting.
I just received yesterday the catalog of the exhibition held at the Tate Gallery in London, Dali and Film. Aside from my overall interest in the matter, one of the main reasons I ordered this catalog is the fact that it contains no less than 17 concept drawings created for Destino.
Felix Fanes, the author on the text about Destino mentions that Disney met Dali again in October 1957 in Port Lligat (which we knew) and that they discussed a potential collaboration on Don Quixote. I had no idea about that last bit of information and am wondering what Fanes' source could be.