Monday, May 26, 2008
[An interesting side note in Disney / Pixar history
In 1988, Pixar presented its third short,"Tin Toy" , at the Annual SIGGRAPH event with great fanfare. At the same conference, Apple presented "Pencil Test": "this film was created entirely on Apple II Macintosh computers" said the closing titles. It is interesting to note that a future Pixar director, Andrew Stanton ("A Bug's Life", "Finding Nemo" and "Wall*E") was credited as "storyteller" and "animator". Even more interesting is that Nancy Tague was responsible for "Design Police" as well as credited as "animator" and "storyteller". A few years before, at another SIGGRAPH conference, Nancy had met John Lasseter and had since become his wife. This may explain why John is credited as "Coach" for "Pencil Test". Remember this was WAY BEFORE Steve Jobs returned to Apple and his relations with the company he had created then being ejected from were at the time very difficult!
You can see Pencil Test here and here is a Making of Pencil Test.]
- Out to Lunch (I) by Hans Perk
- Out to Lunch (II) by Hans Perk
- WALT & NORMAN ROCKWELL by Mark Sonntag
- A SYMPOSIUM ON PAPER PERSONALITIES by Kevin Kidney
- Evil Queen with Panther Concept Art on Ardendale Station
- Interview with Jules Engel on Toon In!
And blog reader Paul Schnebelen just sent me an email to let me know that he recently started a blog where he reviews books about the Disney theme parks. I like what he is doing, so here is the link.
Friday, May 23, 2008
- Disney's Dike from Time Magazine (March, 1941). Thanks to David Lesjak for pointing me in the direction of the Time archives, allowing me to stumble upon this great article about Phil Dike.
- Bambi’s Music 1 by Michael Sporn
- Bambi’s Music 2 by Michael Sporn
Thursday, May 22, 2008
Are Myklebust mentions:
[It was great to finally see this animated sequence from "Servant's Entrance" (1934)!
BTW: This film was based on a novel from 1930 by Norwegian Sigrid Boo (1898 - 1953), and a Norwegian film version of the book was made in 1933.]
Wednesday, May 21, 2008
Didier Ghez: You wrote The Disney that Never Was a few years back. Will Disney Lost and Found be a "Disney That Never Was - Volume 2"?
Charles Solomon: Disney Lost and Found is more of a companion book than a Volume 2. The format is different and there are more illustrations and less text.
DG: Why did you decide to work on that book? Can you run us through the genesis of that project?
CS: Ken Shue of Disney's publishing arm and Lella Smith of the Animation Research Library had begun the book, then asked me to come in and help with it. They had discovered some interesting new artwork that hadn't come to light when I was writing "Never Was."
DG: What is the most exciting material you have unearthed for Disney Lost and Found?
CS: I was excited to find the earlier versions of The Rescuers. Various artists had told me that the story went gone through two entirely different incarnations before they created the final version. I didn't think any artwork from the earlier stories still existed. The first, which was presented to Walt, stuck close to the original book: Bernard, Bianca and a mouse named Nils rescue a poet from a grim fortress-prison. The second version was a musical involving a singing bear and a crooked penguin in the local zoo who knew Penny before she was taken away. All that remains of that scenario in the finished film is the brief walk Bernard and Bianca take through the zoo at night.
DG: To create your did you conduct a whole new set of interviews with former Disney artists?
CS: Unfortunately, many of the artists are no longer with us. But some of the younger people, including Burny Mattinson and Andreas Deja, were very helpful. And in other cases, I could draw on interviews I'd done previously.
DG: As Disney historians and enthusiasts, can we expect any "revelations" or surprises in this book?
CS: I think you'll find a few surprises--did you know they considered bringing back Cruella DeVil in another film?
DG: What are the main chapters of the book?
CS: It's divided into three sections: one on "Visions Lost and Found," from various films going back to Snow White, then sections on two recent projects: Wild Life and My Peoples.
DG: Even after having written The Disney that Never Was and Disney Lost and Found, do you think there is still a lot of hidden artwork from never-produced animation to be discovered?
CS: The ARL remains an Ali Baba's cave of treasures. And while some of the material is decades old, there are very talented artists at the studio who continue to produce extraordinary work. Paul Felix's original sketches for Tarzan were so beautiful, Peter Schneider moved the project from TV to Features. I love Dick Kelsey's sketches for Hiawatha and anything that Hans Bacher drew…the list goes on and on.
Tuesday, May 20, 2008
Bob Cowan sent me the following question:
[I was writing up some background on a few items I have that have only production numbers on them and I can't seem to find my reference document. Is there a site or do you have anything that matches the cartoon title with the Disney production number?]
Sebastien has all the Disney Annual Reports from the '60s to 2007, and a few from the '50s and the '40s (1945 and 1947). He is wondering if one of you would be willing to make photocopies of the other ones that exist from the '40s. He is also sending me the questions:
[Was the first Annual Report published in 1940 or in 1941 ?
Were the Annual Reports to employees the same as those to shareholders in the '40s?
In the 1945 Annual Report, Grand Canyon and Latin Rhapsody were mentioned among the projects "in story" stage. Were these projects ever completed? I suspect Blame It on the Samba could be the definite title for Latin Rhapsody but what about Grand Canyon?]
Monday, May 19, 2008
If you have read this blog from the start, you may remember this post, in which I mentioned Servants’ Entrance (1934) from Fox, which contains a six minute long animated nightmare sequence in b/w made by the Disney Studio.
A very serious collector from Paris that I met last week was kind enough to give it to me as a birthday gift. Here it is for all of you to enjoy.
The live-action section of the clip is also fascinating. Did anyone say Snow White?
[UPDATE: Diane Disney Miller confirmed that the woman on the photo is indeed Lillian Disney, as we all suspected].
- Kay Kamen - Playthings magazine by David Lesjak
- Kay Kamen Remembered by David Lesjak
- Where's Walt, No. 8 and Where Walt Was: May 16-17, 1946 posted by Michael Barrier on May 16 and May 17, 2008.
- SOUTH OF THE BORDER with Walt by Mark Sonntag
- Rare Disney story sketches from Robert Cowan by Jenny Lerew
- Disney Girls... by Jenny Lerew
- Two interviews about The Pixar Touch. One on Jim Hill and one on The Pixar Blog.
Wednesday, May 14, 2008
Tuesday, May 13, 2008
Needless to say, I am now focusing on Volume 7.
David, had asked me to write a blurb for the book, which, for time reasons, did not appear on the back cover. Here is what I had to say: "Precise, fast paced, and impeccably researched, The Pixar Touch takes us to the roots of the most significant revolution in the field of animation since the Golden Age of the Disney Studio. A must-read."
In other words, get it today :-)
Monday, May 12, 2008
[On June 14th in Anaheim CA, The 1313 Club will be having its first Movie Night with Disney Legend Bob Gurr. This club's movie night will show a small portion of "Meet Bob Gurr Extraordinaire" DVD that will be released on July 20th at the NFFC.
Then there will be a Q & A time as well as popcorn, sodas and more .... So come join us for our first Annual movie night
Time & Date: June 14th - 4:30 pm
Where: Holiday Inn Anaheim - 1240
South Walnut, Anaheim, CA 92802 (off of Ball road)
Cost: $1 for members, $5 for non Members
More info: 951-685-3217
Please email us to save your spot! at: firstname.lastname@example.org]
[Exciting News!! On Saturday, May 17th, Van Eaton Galleries and Creative Talent Network are presenting the 2nd Annual Animation “Book Look” Festival! We are very honored to have among our many talented artists and authors, including Toby Bluth, Willie Ito, Rik Maki, and Don Peri—just to name a few! This will be a wonderful opportunity to share in the Celebration of the Animation World. There will also be a special sale of Disney artwork!
Saturday May 17th, 2008
Van Eaton Galleries
13613 Ventura Blvd.
Sherman Oaks, CA 91423
Animation Book Look is FREE and open to the public]
Friday, May 09, 2008
- I seem to have located an unknown series of interviews with Bill Tytla, in Quebec. It will still take time and efforts to get copies of them but I was thrilled by that re-discovery of tapes that had been forgotten for 41 years.
- I have mostly cracked the "Lars Plush Dolls" nut thanks to collector Mel Birnkrant.
- I received an outstanding article about the English Mickey Mouse Annual series, from David Gerstein that contains some outstanding material about artist Wilfred Haughton. That article will appear as a three-part series in the magazine Tomart's Disneyana Update.
There are a few more nuts to crack, though (it would not be fun otherwise): the Demolay comics are one, Ediciones Modernas from Mexico another. I made some progress on that last front this week also, when I received the Pluto flip book that you see pictured below and some photos of the Mickey one.
An exciting week, indeed.
Thursday, May 08, 2008
[Since you post such wonderful pictures of The Park, I thought I'd share some that I found at a local flea market a few years ago (I also sent them to "Stuff From The Park", I want everyone to see these shots). I collect Disneyland postcards, so I'm always on the lookout for any sort of photographic memorabilia of Disneyland, but these photos are really something else.
They were apparently taken by the very influential photographer and filmmaker Hazel Greenwald from Jerusalem. Hazel was responsible for creating the "Hadassah Archive", a photographic and film arts archive in Jerusalem used for educational and preservation purposes.
It appears she snapped these photos in the early years of The Park, pre 1960. She is documented as having been in the States during the late '50s. How she managed to photograph scenes in the park this empty is anybody's guess. Perhaps she was let in early, or just went on a very slow weekday?
I love these images so much, especially the Disneyland Band in front of the Tinker Bell Toy Shop. They're very artistically shot, and have a lot of depth. They're all 4x5.5 Inches, they're all stamped on the back "Copyright by Hazel Greenwald c/o Hadassah, Jerusalem", and they're also stamped with a series number "A77", except for the DL Band photo it's number is "A34". I bought all 5 photos, and duplicates, for $1!
I cherish them, and love to share them with friends and fans of Disneyland, I figured if you wanted to post them to your blog it would be an ideal venue to share them with the Disneyland fans I couldn't normally reach.]
[I though this is interesting to share as I wrote on my website. There is a 1985 trailer of Disney´s "The Black Cauldron" released on a Pinocchio VHS that year with a two seconds cut scene from the "cauldron born" sequence. (1:23 to 1:24)]
Wednesday, May 07, 2008
Didier Ghez: Can you tell me something about the events that surrounded the creation of your famous Paris Match cover?
Pierre Nicolas: It’s relatively simple. The day that Walt Disney passed away I was called by Armand Bigle that was the person in charge for Disney in France and even at the European level, in the offices of the Champs-Elysées. He put me in touch with people from Paris Match who took me to the office on rue Pierre-Charron where Paris Match was published. There the redaction committee took place, which included Thérond, the director of the editorial board, Pigneau that did the layout, Bourgeas, the art director, Croizard, the associate editor, Collette Porlier and Mrs. De Saint Edvire. We discussed for a while about what should be done, because they wanted to do something about the death of Walt Disney and they were thinking about a cover. But as ever, when people speak about Disney, they want to put too much in. They wanted to remind people [on the cover] of each movie, each known character. But on the cover this would have been confusing. And it had to go to the printing house within the following hours. So I did not have time to do too complex a thing. So obviously I thought about creating the face of Mickey, thinking that it was the most simple and quickest idea. It was a bit of laziness but it was also a logical idea. So that is what I did. The only issue is that I was in the offices of Paris Match and there was not much there. They brought me to a small drawing office where I found some drawing supplies. It was at night! I had been called to the meeting at around 10.00PM and I finished the drawing around midnight or one in the morning, in a hurry. It had to go to the printer. I worked with some drawing tools that were not mine. I could have done much better with a full day in front of me and if I had been at home or at the Disney office.
In the following years, there was a party at the Club of the Art Directors to say that the Paris Match cover had received the award for best cover of the year. There was an award, of course, but to get it I would have had to spend 200 francs! So I refused. I thought this was amazing. I never even saw the award.
DG: This cover became very famous in the whole world. Were you surprised by this?
PN: It was the first, which might have made it famous. A few months or years after I received a phone call from a journalist from Paris Match who told me that the grandson of the CEO of Match had sold the original drawing of the cover in a gallery in New York, to someone called Andre Sheller.
PN: No. He came only once and met with Bigle. Bigle introduce me, that’s it. Walt one entered my office by mistake while looking for Bigle and apologized in bad French. I found this funny as he seemed to blush. I thought it odd that such an important person would be so kind and would blush. But that’s it. I did bring him a letter from Bigle two days later at the hotel Plaza Athénée. I was never in contact with him, unfortunately.
Bob also launched a blog about comic book art (non-Disney).
Tuesday, May 06, 2008
This just in from Jim Korkis:
[Thanks to a Disney friend, I was able to see an old episode of the original Mickey Mouse Club television series that had an interesting segment that I had never seen before entitled “Karen in Kartoonland”.
As a kid, I loved (and still do) the “how to draw” cartoon character books. Apparently, Walt knew that the kids in his television audience loved to know how to draw Disney characters as well. When the “Disneyland” television series was being developed, one of the project proposals for that first year was a section entitled “Everyone Can Draw”. Supposedly, Roy Williams would handle the segment. The idea never developed any further for the show and Williams ended up using his cartooning skill at Disneyland itself delighting guests with quick sketches of Disney characters and on the Mickey Mouse Club.
In fact, for the original Mickey Mouse Club television series, the idea of a “how to draw” segment was revived.
The idea was going to be called “How To Draw” but by the time the project got going, little Mouseketeer Karen Pendleton had become popular so someone had the clever idea of calling the sequence “Karen in Kartoonland” and having her visit a Disney artist. The title was an allusion to Alice in Wonderland. The episode I recently watched had her visiting Disney artist Bill Justice who showed her how he animated Mickey Mouse and asked Karen to model facial expressions that he then duplicated on Mickey’s face.
Apparently, there were four “Karen in Kartoonland” episodes: January 19, 1956 (Pluto), February 2, 1956 (Mickey), February 16, 1956 (Things), March 1, 1956 (Jiminy Cricket).
For me, this is just another example of one of the many Disney “lost treasures” that should be included as an “extra” on some Disney DVD.]
[Referrering to the posting at Mark Sonntag's blog "Walt's early gig" (April 25, 2008)
Walt Disney quoted in Bob Thomas biography:
"The Newman was playing a Cecil B. DeMille picture, Male and Female, and all I had to work with was a standing photo of the stars Gloria Swanson and Thomas Meighan. Well I thought it would make a better ad if they were lying down, and that's how I drew them."
Could it be this photo (above)?]
[Here is another still from ”Male and Female” (1919)]
Monday, May 05, 2008
[I was wondering if any of your readers would have any insight on the attached items -- subject, artist, etc.]
Any ideas? Of course the crucified Mickey is very likely to be a gag drawing. But what about the others?