Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Lost Manuscripts

I interviewed Burny Mattinson a few weeks ago and he mentioned the following:

1. Before he passed away, Eric Larson was writting a book about his career at Disney called "40 Years at the Mouse House". The book was never completed but Eric took extensive notes for it.

2. Wilfred Jackson seems to have written a diary during many, many years.

Wilfred was extremely detailed in his correspondance and in his work so I suscpect that those diaries would be a true treasure trove if found (and if they exist).

Through other sources, we also know that Jack Speirs was working on an autobiography before he passed away.

I have contacted Eric Larson's nephew who confirmed that Eric's notes were not found by the family after he passed away and Dave Smith tells me that they are not at the Disney Archives.

We are trting to locate Wilfred Jackson's daughters but this is proving to be a very elusive task.

Finally I have tried locating Jack Speirs widow, Hazel, but I have a feeling that she might have passed away.

Once again we are faced with lost documents and manuscripts. This being said, the first step to finding lost documents is to know that they probably exist, hence this post.

If anyone has any idea of how to locate any of them or know of other rumored documents related to Disney History that have disappeared, please do email me.

This just in from Amid Amidi:

[Today on Cartoon Brew TV we're presenting a lost piece of Disney-related history: the Van Beuren short "Dinner Time" (1928).

Why is it lost Disney history?

This is the film that inspired Walt to pursue making "Steamboat Willie". It was a sound film that Walt saw in New York in 1928 and which made him realize that he could do a better job of combining sound and animation.

"Dinner Time" is specifically mentioned in a letter from Walt Disney to his brother Roy and collaborator Ub Iwerks. Excerpts from the letter are reprinted in the Disney bios by Neal Gabler, Bob Thomas and Michael Barrier, but the actual film hasn't been seen in 80 years.

We're presenting the short exclusively on Cartoon Brew TV. You can see the original short as well as hear a newly recorded audio commentary by animation historians Jerry Beck and Mark Kausler. It's free to watch, and feel free to embed the video directly if you're so inspired!]

Check out this page to see the short.

Do not miss today:

- Melody Board 1 - pt.1 by Michael Sporn
- Ariel’s Song: loving memories of a Mermaid’s lyricist, Howard Ashman

Friday, September 26, 2008

I will be in Paris this weekend and on Monday. The blog will be updated again on Tuesday.

This just in from Ted Thomas:

[We've received the screening schedule from Festival do Rio:

Walt Disney & El Grupo

29/9/2008 - Est Barra Point 1 - 16:00
29/9/2008 - Est Barra Point 1 - 22:00
2/10/2008 - Espaço de Cinema 1 - 19:15
3/10/2008 - Cine Glória - 16:30
4/10/2008 - Est Vivo Gávea 4 - 18:00
5/10/2008 - Cine Glória - 14:30

Kuniko and I will be in Rio September 30 - October 08. The international premiere of the film!]

The above drawing was created in 1942 by the artist Divito for the Golden book of the Argentine magazine Patoruzú in 1942.

Do not miss today:

- Which reminds me... by Michael Barrier (September 24, 2008)
- Ariel’s Song: Glenn Slater, a sparkling lyricist for The Little Mermaid on Broadway! by Jeremie Noyer

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

I will be away tomorrow. The blog will be updated again on Friday.

This just in from Gunnar Andreassen:
[For sale on Ebay just now, see enclosure.


This is an original issue of "INTERNATIONAL PHOTOGRAPHER, MOTION PICTURE ARTS AND CRAFTS", the December, 1933, Volume 5., Number 11. edition of the Magazine, published in Hollywood, California. "This magazine represents the entire personnel of photographers now engaged in professional production of motion pictures in the United States and Canada.", according to the copyright page, with credit also given to Local 659, I. A. T. S. E., and M. P. M. O. of the USA and Canada.

This rare issue featured a nice range of articles by various experts in the field, including an interesting piece on "THE STORY OF SLIDES AND TITLES", by Earl Theisen, "MOTION PICTURE IN INTERNATIONAL UNDERSTANDING", BY WILLIAM A. REID, "MOTION PICTURE SOUND RECORDING", by Charles Feldstead, and pieces on Cameramen, The Camera in the Everglades, Lab Men, The Newsreel World, Cinematographer's Note Book, Television Sets Football Record, and Classifieds, etc., plus great period advertisements throughout for technical products and services, much in the Art Deco style of the period, and of course the very nice cover illustration concocted by Walt Disney himself "in the spirit of Christmas...to get the Three Little Pigs and The Big Bad Wolf together...", drawn especially by Disney for the Magazine.

On page two of the magazine is written:


The International Photographer is proud of the front cover for December.The subject is popular and timely and the art department of this journal enthusiastically hails the co-operation and good will of Mr. Walt Disney and his amazing assortment of livestock mad famous by the genius of himself and his extraordinary organization.In considering the aforesaid genius of Mr. Disney the reader will certainly call to mind, also, the large part taken in the production of the "Three Little Pigs" cartoon by Technicolor, whose new three color system has added so much to the attractiveness of this delightful novelty."]

Do not miss today:

- Sully Sullivan Speaks by Wade Sampson
- Walt Disney - 1933 part 2 by Mark Sonntag

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

This just in from C. McNair Wilson through Jim Korkis:

[Briefly, I came into possession of two guitars that once belonged to Jimmie Dodd (host of the original Mickey Mouse Club in the 1950's. ) I have had them for several years (late 1980's.) It is now time to allow another Disney collector to love them as I have. (I'm just a guy who helped design theme parks: while at Imagineering 1982-91)

They were donated by Jimmie Dodd's widow to World Opportunities, a relief organization headquartered in Hollywood, CA. My mother and fathered worked at "World Op" in the late 80’s and early 90’s. My mother was in charge of all incoming donated items and food—mostly from big corporations. She called me immediately (when I was still at Disney Imagineering.) I made a large donation to the organization in exchange for these guitars which they had planned to put in there thrift shop. They are both in excellent condition.

• Martin 18-T (Tenor guitar), 1958, four string. (Martin serial number, 160750) At 35" in length, it is bit smaller than a full size 6-string guitar. It is excellent condition, especially given that it is FIFTY years old. It has new strings, can be tuned and sounds "Terrific!" and "Amazing" according to guitar-player friends who have played it.

* I also own a 78-rpm record (photo attached) showing Jimmie Dodd playing a Martin Tenor guitar. I have no way of knowing if this is the guitar I own but it is just a great resource that I would include with the sale of the set.

• National Tri-cone Resonator (1928) The model I have is the rare "pear-shaped tri-cone." Mostly the National Guitar Co. made resonator is traditional guitar shapes. These "pear-shaped" models were introduced to attract banjo players as they were more compact but with the same "big" acoustic sound.

The tri-cone has three "speaker-like" round resonators inside, behind the strings that amplify the sound. When you first strum it, it's quite amazing, even startling.

I also have the original case (case is not in great condition, but latches work and it protects the instrument.)

The case contains:

- writing tablet with the lyrics to an song Jimmie Dodd was apparently working on about Florida

- letter address to (postmarked October 1936):

The Eyeopeners
c/o a Radio sta. WKRC, Alamo Hotel
Cincinnati, O
The letter begins: "Dear Jimmie and Happy..."

- Sheet music

- old guitar strings in paper packets

- copy of Christian Science Sentinel, Feb. 10, 1934

All-in-all a most curious collection of items—rare and valuable. I hope to find a new home with a Disneyanna collector for the pair and their accessories.

I showed them (in person) to a couple guitar buyers here in the San Francisco Bay area to get an estimate of value for insurance purposes. (This was in 2005.)

Their estimates were (and I told them, at the time I was not ready to sell them):

- 1958 Martin 18-T $800-1,400

- National Pear-Shape Tri-cone Resonator $1400-2,200

Both experts said they could not place a value other than for the guitar models, age, and condition. They both felt their value would only increase if sold to a collector.

I was able (in 2005) to find a couple National Guitar Pear-shaped Tri-cones on line for sale at $1850 and $2,600.

Again, I’d like to sell them as a set as their primary value is their association to Disney, Jimmie Dodd, and the Mickey Mouse Club—though both guitars are in excellent condition for playing.

I will supply the buyer with a hard copy letter, over my signature, to verify that they had indeed belonged to Jimmie Dod an that my family obtained them directly from his widow in the late 1980's.

I am sending this letter to anyone who inquires about these guitars and National Fantasy Fan Club, and a few other collector/dealers I am aware of through my 18 year work as a Disney Imagineer and then consultant to the Disney Company and Studios.

(Photos below) More pictures available upon request.

Onward & upward,

McNair C. McNair Wilson
Professional Third Grader
2601-C Blanding Ave./No.144
Alameda CA 94501
studio & home (510) 533-IDEA (4332)

78-rpm record showing Jimmie Dodd playing a MArtin 18-T tenor guitar. (Included with purchase of guitars)

1928 National Guitar Co. pear-shaped Tri-cone resonator, previously owned by Jimmie Dodd

Do not miss today:

- Biography of the Disney Family in Canada by Elias Disney (thanks to Michael Barrier)
- Carl Barks Donald Duck dailies by Joakim Gunnarsson

Monday, September 22, 2008

This just in from Edward Summer, Keith Pundt, and the Buffalo International Film Festival:

[I thought you would like to see the two attached images.

In case you don't recognize it, the 1600 Broadway address mentioned for Power's place of business was the same building in which Max and Dave Fleischer had offices (along with many other filmmakers of the late teens and early 20's. I believe (though I'm no expert) that the Fleischers remained there until they moved to Florida. I visited that building many, many times until they finally tore it down a few years ago to build an M&Ms showroom.]

I have just updated the Disney Books Network and while doing this stumbled on the upcoming book Creating Magic: 10 Common Sense Leadership Strategies from a Life at Disney. I don't usually list business books, but this one could be fun considering who Lee Cockerell is.
Do not miss today:

- Air Base Detachment, Gray Field - insignia by David Lesjak
- Goderich and Man by Michael Barrier (September 22, 2008)

Friday, September 19, 2008

Walt's People - Volume 7

Just a quick update to let you know that I have approved the galleys of Walt's People - Volume 7, which means that the book should be released within less than 4 weeks from today.
I have just received my copy of Disney's Lost Chords 2 this morning. Can you believe that this book is even better than Volume 1? The amount of never-seen-before artwok is staggering and the songs are nothing short of fascinating.

From my point of view this is not only a "must-have" but also one of the very best books of 2008.

Do not miss today:

- Hans Bacher's new blog
- Linda Woolverton and Belle by Wade Sampson

Monday, September 15, 2008

Pat Powers

I was contacted recently by a reader of the blog who would like to find some information about Pat Powers. I realized, after having checked a few sources that we do not know much about him and thought this was a very good questions for the blog.

Would anyone of you be able to conduct some research about him?

Do not miss today:

Thursday, September 11, 2008

This wonderful document just in from Gunnar Andreassen:
[A little about the man behind the drawing: Eugene Zimmerman or Zim as he was known professionally. Zim was a famous political caricaturist of the late 1800’s and early 1900’s. He was probably the “Gary Trudeau” of his time. Zim was born in Basle Switzerland in 1862 and sailed to the United States by himself in steerage when he was seven. He lived with his father in New Jersey, apprenticing in the bakery until a sign painter noticed his decorated cakes and offered him an apprenticeship in sign painting. When he was sixteen he moved to Elmira, New York with the sign painter, Empire Sign Co. and made nine dollars a week. During this time he filled a sketchbook with a variety of drawings which were brought to the attention of Joseph Keppler, the famous cartoonist and publisher of Puck magazine. In 1883 Zim was hired for Puck. In 1885 he moved to the Judge magazine where he stayed for many years, through the early 1900’s. Zim passed away in 1935 at his home on Pine Street. ]
This just in from Are:

[Here's another scan of a photo from the CD-Rom: "Walt Disney - An Intimate history of the Man and his Magic"; an aerial view of the Hyperion studio in the 1930's.

The question is; does anyone have a better scan, where you actually can see what's written on the photo - identifying the different buildings?]

This just in through George Grant:
[By now you must be inundated with Perce Pearce material, but in case no one has sent you that obituary yet, here it is. This was printed from a microfilm copy of the Waukegan News Sun, dated July 5, 1955. The obit appeared on the front page of the paper, and the information in it was likely supplied by his sister, Isabel Pearce.

Percival C. Pearce was born Sept 7, 1899, to Dr Percival Pearce and Jessie Cook Pearce. He was born on his father’s birthday, which likely settled the issue of what to name him. His father was a physician-surgeon and sometime druggist. He had two older siblings: Stamford W. Pearce, who passed away at an early age, and Isabel Pearce. He may also have had a younger sister Margaret, according to his obituary.

His grandfather, W.S. Pearce, had been apprenticed to a druggist in Essex, England, before immigrating to the US. This grandfather settled in Waukegan, Illinois, around 1859, where he raised a large family and invested shrewdly in local real estate. Two of his sons (including Perce’s father) and one of his daughters became physicians, another daughter became a teacher, and yet another daughter, Winifred Pearce, became an artist. She also taught art to students, and operated a small art supply shop. (It was Perce’s uncle, Dr William W. Pearce, and not his father, who served as mayor of Waukegan).

Perce evidently took after his Aunt Winifred, who lived two blocks away from him. He is listed in the 1916 edition of the Waukegan City Business Directory as a cartoonist, at the age of sixteen, and the listing continues through 1919, when he lit out for Denver, Colorado. His first published work was a series of cartoons for the Great Lakes Bulletin, a military newspaper serving the US Naval Training center at Great Lakes, Illinois, just a few miles south of Waukegan. He appears to have been hired for the job by a news syndicate called the Publicity Feature Bureau.

Perce’s cartoon series was named after its hero, Seaman Si. There are images of this series available around the internet, but if you need any others, let me know. The series ran in the paper, was collected into a soft-cover edition in 1917, and reprinted in book form in 1918. At the same time, Perce did editorial cartoons and political caricatures for his news agency, some of which appeared in the New York Evening Post, and were later included in a 1917 article in Cartoons Magazine called "Under the Big Dome" by Elisha Hanson (v. 11, no. 4, Apr. 1917).

In late 1919 Perce left his original position to work directly for a Denver newspaper as a cartoonist. He took a room in the house of John Cory, who was also a cartoonist for the same paper, along with a third cartoonist, Charles Cahn. (I don’t know the name of the paper, but suspect it was the Denver Post).

He worked as a cartoonist in Denver through 1920, but my trail of information on him dries up until 1930. He appears in the federal census for that year in Bay City, Michigan, as the president of his own company. He was still single, but within a year would marry June Herrig Swan, the daughter of a commercial salesman. June was born June 11, 1899, but in later years would shave months or even a whole year off her age, to hide the fact she was older than her husband. According to his obituary, Perce and June had two daughters, Anne and Georgia, both born in Michigan.

According to his obit, Perce started working for Walt Disney around 1934. I have no information on that, but can vouch that he and his wife were consistently registered to vote in Los Angeles County from 1938 through 1954. They initially lived at 1551 N. Stanley Ave in 1938, were both Democrats, with Perce giving his occupation as “artist”. By 1942 they had moved to 8050 Selma Ave, while Perce’s occupation was now “Director”, and later became “Producer” in 1944. He switched political parties to Republican in 1948.

One other unrelated item of information; besides the Southampton to NYC voyages already mentioned in your blog, Perce is listed as traveling from Honolulu to Los Angeles on the SS Mariposa, from Aug 31 to Sep 5, 1938. He was in first class as usual, and hence likely traveled at studio expense, but was not accompanied by his wife or daughters.

Hope this helps!

George Grant]
By the way, according to the Disney Archives, Perce started at Disney on February 18, 1935, left on October 2, 1953 and died on July 4, 1955.
This just in through ebay. The caption reads:

[Walt Disney with executive of Republic Steel. The cartoon drawings behind him show scenes in a steel mill. Perhaps Disney was collaborating with Republic Steel to annimate steel production. Or perhaps Disney was getting visual images from the steel industry as a basis for lava or molten ideas for an animated film.]

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

This just in from Are:

[I received this scan of a photo from the Disney studio in the 1930s from my friend Gunnar Andreassen here in Norway.

It's a scan from the CD-Rom: "Walt Disney - An intimate history of the man and his magic" - hence its bad quality.

What the studio staff is holding in their hands is a box of "Post Toasties" each - see the enclosed scan of a box.

Two questions;

1) Does anybody have this photo in a good quality?

2) What is the story behind this photo - a publicity stunt for the "Post Toasties" in the 1930's?

I am enclosing an enlargement of Al Taliaferro (from the staff photo) holding a box by the way.]

Some updates on last week's posts:

[Regarding the catalog of the French animation auction that I mentioned last week. There should be some catalogs being sold on ebay at some point in the future. I will let you now when that is the case. The catalog itself will be in French but the online version will have an English translation.]

and from Russell Schroeder about Disney's Lost Chords 2:

[When I gave you the information about the new book, I forgot to mention if there are readers of your blogsite who want both Vol. 1 and 2, the shipping fee is the same as for one. This might be of particular interest especially for those overseas orders where shipping is a substantial amount.]

Do not miss today:

- Searle and Disney by Amid Amidi
- Walt Goes Hawaiian by Wade Sampson

Friday, September 05, 2008

I will be in Paris from this afternoon until Tuesday. The blog will be updated again on Wednesday.
Help needed with a tricky transcription!

I had the pleasure to interview Disney Legend Milt Albright yesterday during more than 2 hours over the phone. Milt is 92 years old but is in perfect health and has a great memory and his stories about his time working for the company were all extremely compelling.

Unfortunately at some point towards the end of the first part of the interview the batteries of my tape recorder were running out and about 20 minutes from the interview suffered. They have been recorded, but when you listen to them, both Milt and myself sound like Chip n Dale.

Would anyone of you with a good sound equipment and "sound management" experience be willing to try and work on that transcription (those 20 minutes would need to be "slowed down" to be understandable)?

I would like to send a rough transcription to Milt within the next 2 to 3 months to get his comments, changes and eventual approval. Any daring candidate?

This just in from ebay through Mark Sonntag. The caption reads:
[Vintage old lot of something from a great old scrapbook that encompasses Hollywood, Los Angeles, Long Beach California and a lot of other places, you are bidding on 2 1936 era Photos of the "MIckey MOuse Studios" as the scrapbook compiler wrote on the paper next to the photos. Walt Disney studios in the 1930's building exteriors in Los Angeles, California.]
I have just been informed that an auction of animation art will happen in Paris on October 16, 2008.

You can get more details (in French) at this link. I will mention it again once I receive the catalog.
Judi Rogers managed to find a lot more info about Perce Pearce:

[Percival Pearce was born in Waukegan, Illinois, on September 7, 1899. He graduated in 1918 from high school and later graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts in Chicago. He moved to Los Angeles where he met Walt Disney and became a writer, producer and director. He married June Swan and they had two daughters, Mrs. Stanley Kramer of Beverly Hills, and Georgia Pearce, London.

He died suddenly in London on July 5, 1955, of a "coronary thrombosis" (heart attack) while preparing a series of films scheduled for use in the (new) Disney television program that was to begin that fall. He was said to be the model for "Doc" in "Snow White". Only one daughter remains alive but I do not know which one! He is buried in Forest Lawn Cemetery in Los Angeles.

There is a copy of his obit that should be on the Waukegan News-Sun website for June 5, 1955 along with a picture. I don't have a scanner, or I would send it to you myself!

I think we're getting somewhere now! I read that Anne Pearce married Stanley Kramer in 1950 and they were later divorced. I believe she was his 2nd wife. Not sure if she's still alive--but will find out!

In addition:

Percival Pearce is listed on 4 different passenger lists from Southampton, England to NewYork:

Dec. 1946 - Percival is listed as traveling with his wife, June. Their address at that time is listed as 8050 Selma Avenue, Hollywood, CA

Mar. 1950 - Percival is listed as traveling with his wife, June, and daughter, Georgia. Georgia's birthdate is listed as approx. 1933, born in Michigan. Their address at that time is 8050 Selma Avenue, Hollywood, CA

Nov. 1951 - Percival is listed as traveling with June. Their address is the same.

Feb. 1954 - Percival is listed as traveling with June. Their address at this time is 3576 Berry Drive, Hollywood, CA]

Two key questions:

1. Could someone send me a copy of the Obit mentioned above? I can't seem to be able to access it.

2. Would anyone of you have access to story meetings notes from meetings that were attended by Perce Pearce? If so, I really would love to get copy or for you just to contact me. I am now hoping that someone could put together an in-depth piece about Pearce for a future volume of Walt's People

Do not miss today:

Thursday, September 04, 2008

The third book I received last week from Disney Editions is Disney's Dogs by Tamara Khalaf. (Since I had already shown the front cover a few weeks ago, I decided to show the back cover today).

I thouroughly enjoyed that book. It's purely artwork, with close to no text and the format is extremely small, but the artwork has been selected with care and almost none of the pieces included had been seen before. Most of artwork included is either concept art, storyboards or animation drawings, with (thankfully) few cels. Some of the characters are also very obscure which introduces another level of enjoyable surprises.

My only disappointment: the name of the artists who created the art is nowhere to be seen. While I realize that quite a few artists (especially earlier ones) would have been hard to identify, this is from my point of view a real drawback.

In summary: I definitely hope that there will soon be a Disney's Cats as I would love to buy it.

On another note: Alice in Wonderland illustrated by Mary Blair seems to have started shipping on Amazon. I have not yet seen that book but we all know that it will be a pure delight, linke Cinderella last year and Peter Pan next year.
Romano Scarpa - Passeggiata Disney

This just in thanks to Ettore:

[Hi Didier,
I think you may be interested in this short by Romano Scarpa, Camminata Disney. In the early 80s an edited version was used as opening sequence of the italian tv show Topolino Più.


For more information about this check this previous post.

Do not miss today:
- Bill Melendez 1916-2008 by Jerry Beck

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

I will be in Portugal tomorrow. The blog will be updated again on Thursday.
Here is another photo of Walt, probably from 1937, sent to me by Gunnar Andreassen. Any idea who the others are?
I am still looking for information about famous Disney artist Perce Pearce. A reeader from the blog, Judith Rodgers was kind enough to send me the following text she wrote about him. Any other information some of you could add?


During the course of our lives, people often walk in, stay for awhile and then are gone from our lives. Sometimes we think of them and wonder what ever happened to so-and-so??

I was fortunate to have some wonderfully notable people in my life…some who came, stayed a bit, and then were gone as well as others that stayed. However, they all made an indelible impression on me, my life and interests. Now is my time to recognize and honor them!

One such man was Percival Pearce—“Perce” to his friends; and I actually never met the man…but I know his story and I remember the things he did for me.

Perce Pearce came from an old Waukegan family; his father had been an early mayor of the city and his sister was my mother’s dear friend. She owned Pearce’s Book Store on the corner of Gennessee and Washington Streets. From her every Christmas there came a wonderful Caldicott award-winning book or several of them and lots of advice on what books I should be reading!

Her brother was Perce and was an extremely talented artist, drawing cartoons to entertain his friends as a young boy. He always had a drawing pad close by and would draw a story on each sheet and would paste each picture in one of the windows of their 3 story house. Confident of his talent he decided in the early 1920’s to head for Hollywood to see where his talents would lead.

On the pier at Santa Monica, he happened to meet another young artist, also from the Chicago area, a man by the name of Walt who showed him some of the ideas he had to draw a mouse and all of his adventures. He convinced Perce to work with him, and, of course…you guessed it; it was Walt Disney.

Disney was just full of ideas to do storyboards and animation and create more characters that children could love and relate to. By the time he arrived in Hollywood in 1923, he had already made an animated featurette entitled “Alice’s Comedy” which debuted in New York City.

Walt was the brains of the operation—and the heart—while his brother Roy (who lived in California) helped supply the initial financing. With the ideas popping up rapidly, he relied greatly upon Perce to help to carry them out. As a result, there came the animated full-length movie “Snow White” in 1937, and “Bambi” in 1942; “So Dear to My Heart” in 1949. Perce was the director in charge of production and often the writer who helped create the characters and stories.

So……what does this have to do with me?? Every year, from 1948 through 1955, I received 8 movie tickets personally signed by Walt himself and Perce, along with a letter hoping that I would enjoy these movies! I always had young friends who wanted the pleasure of coming to a “movie party”! The movies returned to theaters every few years and always there were free tickets and a letter from Walt and Perce inviting me to attend with my young friends!

Later, in 1950, Perce Pearce was sent to England to make the first live action movies for Disney….”Treasure Island”; to be followed by “Rob Roy” and “The Story of Robin Hood” and “The Sword and the Rose”. Each of these was produced by Disney and directed by Perce Pearce. Nevertheless, each year after that I received the customary 8 movie tickets with a warm letter from Walt and Perce, hoping that I would enjoy these movies with my young friends! I believe I even tried by this time to send a thank you note….but I think it was addressed to Mr. Mickey Mouse and therefore, I am not sure it ever got there!

When Perce was scheduled to return to California, the Bank of England told him that the money he earned in England would have to stay in England. So he settled there in a country estate and lived the rest of his life there.

The man that I never met who was so kind to me still remains somewhat of a mystery. Even “google” cannot shed much light on his life, other than his many accomplishments with Disney—although there are over 1,000 entries under his name.

So here’s to Percival Pearce, and to his many achievements! His sister and the Pearce family in Waukegan have all died, but their many kindnesses will remain with me in my memory.]

Judith Talcott Rogers


Monday, September 01, 2008

I forgot to mention that the Walt Disney Family Museum site was updated on Friday.

Wade Sampson received the following email from Gunnar Andreassen after his column on Mouse Planet last week:
[Hi !

A very interesting story you gave us here ! I have a little bit to add to it.

Some weeks ago I bought a photo of WD at his desk in his office, probably taken in 1937. It was a very sharp photo, and I was able - with the use of a magnifying glass - to read some of the words of the title of a book that lay on his desk. "Jimmie" "blue envelope". I found the book on eBay: "Jimmie Dale and the Blue Envelope Murder" and even the same edition that WD had. I have since then read about the series and the author, and it was great to get more information from you!

Best regards

Gunnar Andreassen]

Gunnar then went on analyzing all the elements in the photo, which I found fascinating. Here is what he came up with:

[From left to right.

(BO) = Item also in photos from his Burbank office
Behind the desk:
1. Photo of baby Diane (BO)
Her first shoes (?) These are on book ends in BO
2. Miniature figures (BO ?)
3. Radio Cabinet (probably)

On the desk:
4. Wooden tray (for outgoing mail ?)
5. Stenography pad (?) and folder (for incoming mail ?)
6. Water Carafe with glass on tray
7. A little stand for a quotation/saying or a calendar ? (BO)
8. A miniature sword (letter opener/paper knife ?)
9. Item with Mickey (and Minnie ?) and another character. Could it be a cigar cutter ? (BO)
10. Ash tray with cigarette
11. Pair of scissors and some pencils
12. Desk pad (BO)
13. Two heaps of: German series of books with fairy/folktales: See enclosure 1
14. Electric desk watch with two pens. (BO) Still there in 1949 - probably one of the pens was used when signing contract with Kathryn Beaumont (voice of Alice) - there is a photo of this event.
15. In Walt’s hands: Andersen: Märchen (H.C. Andersens fairytales German edition, probably illustrated - in the same series as the other fairytale books
16. Statuette of a globe and a man (?) (BO)
17. A bit of a film roll
18. Letter or note: can read one word: “original” - but not the rest
19. Cigarette box (silver ?) (BO)
20. Pistol: Probably a lighter (BO)
21. Book: Jimmie Dale and the Blue Envelope Murder. See Wade Sampsons article: Walt Disney aka the Grey Seal
22. Book: Because of a semi-transparent dust cover the title is difficult to read. Perhaps : “ Great …….. Society”
23. Role of paper: a drawing ?
24. Two horses as book ends. Because of his polo interest ?
25. Book: Our America: A textbook for Elementary School History and Social Studies, by Irving R. Melbo, 1937, 402 pages. Includes a chapter about Walter Disney and Mickey Mouse
26: 4-6 other books: No titles visible

Behind the desk:
27: Telephone
28. Edgar Bergen’s puppet: Charlie McCarthy - probably smaller version than the original
29. Charlie is sitting on a metal box: The same box as on desk on early 1930ies photo ?
30. An apparatus that has something to do with the telephone: also on photos from the early 30ies.
31. A figure of a dog or horse (?) - also on the early '30s photos ?
Walt has a flower on his lapel
Enclosure 1 - German fairytale books:
Could these have been bought by WD in Germany on his Europe Tour in 1935 ?

The following titles can be read:
4 books by “Brüder Grimm”
2 books by H.C. Andersen (one in WD’s hands)
Des Knaben Wunderhorn
A book by Ludwig Bechner (?)
Reinecke Fucks
Till Eulenspiegel
A book by H.P. Hebel
Die Blume im Lied]

I forwarded this photo to my friend Jim Korkis who had the following comments:

[The Charlie McCarthy ventriloquist doll is interesting especially considering the connections later. When Snow White was released, there was a special radio show of Edgar Bergen telling Charlie the Disney story of Snow White plus there was a special book (I have a copy) of Charlie being involved with the Snow White story. Bill Walsh was the agent for Bergen and later became a Disney writer and producer. Edgar and Charlie were in Fun and Fancy Free and then later on the first Disney Christmas tv show. ]
This just in from Tom O'Day:

[Hi Didier - -

Just saw your post regarding “Walt Disney World – Then, Now, and Forever.” I thought I would drop you a line and remind your readers of how this type of book came about. I collaborated with the irreplaceable Bruce Gordon in fashioning an entirely new style of Disney theme park souvenir book – a book that would not just highlight what was new but also honor the past in a totally refreshing way. The result was the extremely popular book “Disneyland – Then, Now, and Forever.”

Not unlike what my good friend Jeff Kurtti experienced with the new WDW book, Bruce’s role on the DL book was “chief designer, critic and advisor.” Together we split the research and selection of the photos/artwork about 50/50 and I was responsible for securing (and ghostwriting) the “Introduction” by Julie Andrews and the “Foreword” by Michael Eisner (I guess that secret is out of the bag!), plus authoring all text throughout the book. When “Disneyland – Then, Now, and Forever” premiered on May 5, 2005, as part of the launch of the park’s 50th anniversary, the Resort quickly sold-out of its entire stock within hours. During the 18-month long celebration the book broke merchandise sales records for a Disney theme park exclusive publication.

With the 50th anniversary now a distant fond memory I’m happy to report that “Disneyland – Then, Now, and Forever” has recently been updated with a slight redesign, plus a few new pictures and artwork highlighting recent changes to the Disneyland Resort including the popular additions to “Pirates of the Caribbean,” the “Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage” and “Toy Story Mania!” The new version of the book is currently available at the Disneyland Resort.

Please see attached graphics.

I think Jeff Kurtti’s new WDW book is a terrific addition to the “Then, Now, and Forever” line-up. It’s not easy squeezing 47 square miles (or 27,500 acres or nearly 40 years of fun) into a 192 page book! I too am looking forward to seeing “The Art of Walt Disney World.”

All the best,

Tim O’Day]
This just in from Francesco Diella:

[The Platinum release roll-out will be:
Pinocchio, the beloved story of a wooden puppet who wants to become a real boy, comes to Platinum Edition DVD and Disney Blu-ray in spring 2009.
Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, honored with a special Academy Award® for screen innovation will be released in Platinum Edition in fall 2009.
The restored and remastered Fantasia Platinum Edition and Fantasia 2000 Platinum Edition will be available in 2010. In conjunction with these releases, Destino, the unfinished animated feature film created by Walt Disney and famed surrealist painter Salvador Dali will release.
Beauty and the Beast, the only animated film ever nominated for an Academy Award for Best Picture, will join the Platinum Collection in fall 2010.]