Thursday, March 31, 2011

This just in from Gunnar Andreassen:

[Enclosed art from another book published by Birn (1936).]

Probably also drawn by Wilfred Haughton.

A really beautiful day for me is a day when Michael Barrier decides to release one of his seminal interviews. We had four dry years until a few weeks ago when Michael started to publish about one interview a week. Yesterday saw the release of his (and Milt Gray's) Milt Kahl interview.

I believe the only thing that could make me happier from a Disney-history-related stand point would be to see Michael publish some of his interviews with more obscure (or seldom interviewed) Disney artists: Aurelius Battaglia, Homer Brightman, Bob Carlson, Phil Dike, Carl Fallberg, Gerry Geronimi, Campbell Grant, Jerry Hathcock, Eustace Lycett, Cliff Nordberg, Martin Provensen, or Ralph Wright to name a few, as well as his interview with Tex Avery. I have a feeling that we might not have too long to wait. Beautiful days are here again.

Do not miss today:

- Walt in Kansas - 1922 by Mark Sonntag
- The Miniature Worlds of Walt by Jim Korkis (Great article!)

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

I have to admit that I am really looking forward to being in June to be able to pick up Walt Disney's Mickey Mouse: "Race to Death Valley" (Vol. 1), then in October to get Walt Disney's Mickey Mouse: "Trapped on Treasure Island" (Vol. 2). Granted, I have already read all of the Gottfredson strips, thanks to a half-bootleg edition released in East Germany many years ago, but what will make those two volumes (and the ones that will follow them) special is the quality of the 50-page of editorial content that each will contain. David Gerstein has done a spectacular job lining up the best Disney-comics historians (starting with himself) for the job and the visual documents he has unearthed will bring suprises even to those of us who know most about Disney history.

Can't wait.

Do not miss today:

- Epcot's Japan Showcase That Never Was by Alain Littaye

- "You Can't Sue God" by Jeff Pepper

- Visiting the Magic Kingdom in 1971 by Jim Korkis

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

This just in from Gunnar Andreassen: [I found "A Trip with Mickey Mouse" for sale on eBay some months ago, but it was too expensive for me. Fortunately the description had some good scans of artwork. A very special book as the story takes place in Great Britain. I guess that the artist that made these drawings was the same that made the Disney drawings in "Princess Elizabeth Giftbook".

AUTHOR: Walt Disney

TITLE: A Trip With Mickey Mouse


PUBLISHER: Birn Brothers Ltd.

PUBLICATION DATE: [1935], First Edition

FORMAT: Hardback

PAGINATION: Unpaginated

DIMENSIONS: Height 25 cm x width 19.7 cm (1 inch = 2.5 cm)  

DESCRIPTION: One of the earliest UK Mickey Mouse books.

Divided into the following sections :

The sights of London

At the Mansion House

The caravan

The open road

Mickey wins the race

The lights of Blackpool

A romance at Gretna Green

The wearing of the kilt

The man from the Isle of Man

The lands of shamrock and leeks

More fun in Wales

Mickey Mouse's secret

Mickey the swimmer

The captive balloon

The cricket match

Mickey's marching song

The end of the tour

Illustrated with colour plates of the following :

"Monument to the great fire of London 1666" (frontispiece)

Fun on the scenic railway at Blackpool

Piping through the Highlands

Mickey takes the salute at the changing of the guard

Also numerous drawings, many printed in black and a single colour]

My guess is that the artist was Wilfred Haughton.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

When Mike Van Eaton mentioned to CartoonBrew a few days ago that he was preparing an outstanding auction to take place on May 14, he was not kidding. I have just seen the catalog and this will be the Disney / animation art auction of the decade. Too much good stuff to mention it all in one post so I will show selected elements over the next few days. CartoonBrew mentioned the letter from Walt to Ub (the center piece of the auction) but there is a LOT more to discover.

Believe it or not, the Herb Ryman section itself is 4-page long and filled with art I had never seen before.

The catalog will be online at starting sometime in April.

Do not miss today:

- MICKEY MOUSE CHAPTER OF DeMOLAY January 1933 by Paul F. Anderson

- Mr. Lincoln & Lee Romaire on Daveland

The Disney Books Network has been updated.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Baker's Instant Chocolate with Jiminy Cricket

I believe this is Production 5957, sequence 002 titled Umbrella

According to the animator draft from July 26, 1957, we would have:
Director: Nick Nichols
Layout Jacques Rupp
Secretary: Carolyn Erickson
Animation: Phil Duncan

Thursday, March 24, 2011

One of the key Disney artists about whom we still know very little is director Nick Nichols. I had the chance to stumble upon an interview with him at the Disney Archives a few weeks ago. I believe it is the only interview with Nichols in existence and I am looking forward to getting a copy of it (it will then need to be transcribed and released in Walt's People, of course).

In the meantime, here is an email I received today from Paul Trotter:

[I have run across information about Disney director Nick (Charles A) Nichols cartoon strips. Prior to his joining Disney he drew several strips including the Adventures of Peter Pen and Just Supposin about 1927-1937. He also sold a cartooning course. I've included some links below.

If you have not seen these before I thought you might find them interesting.

The Adventures of Peter Pen:

(Of course the strip would have been syndicated not just in the paper listed in the above blog)

Just Supposin.

Cartoon Course: Here and here.]

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Jiminy Cricket - United Fund

This TV spot from 1958 is Production 5954, sequence 013

We find the following information on the animation draft from May 29, 1958:

Director: Nick Nichols
Assist director: Paul Carlson
Layout: X. Atencio
Secretary: V. Marcia
Animators: Cliff Nordberg
Harvey Toombs
Hal Ambro
Editor: Baker

And the X-sheet from May 14, 1958 tells is that the following individuals were also involved:
Andy Engman
Mary Flanagan
Johnny Bond
Grace Bailey
Mimi Thornton
Ted Baker
Katherine Kerwin

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Fresh-Up Freddie - Beach

This is sequence 082. We only know that production started on April 9, 1959.

Since Jim Korkis made us aware of their existence in an article he released many years ago under the Wade Samspon nom de plume, Paul F. Anderson, David Gerstein and I have been desperatly trying to locate the Disney comic strips created by Disney artist Fred Spencer for The DeMolay Cordon newsletter.

Paul has now stumbled upon 5 of the strips and has started to post them at his blog.

I believe I may have located a library in New York that holds a complete run of those strips and I think that David Gerstein will soon go and check in person whether I am right or wrong.

I have to admit that the number of previously unknown Disney-history-related documents we have unearthed in the past few years never ceases to amaze me.

Do not miss today:

- Disney’s 1924 letter to Ub Iwerks by Jerry Beck

Monday, March 21, 2011

Fresh-up Freddie - Boxer

This is sequence 058. We only know that production started on July 22, 1958.

Do not miss today:

- The Architect of Delight by Marcel Bonner and Stephen Daly (thanks to Jim Korkis for the link)
- DIXIELAND AT DISNEYLAND AT DHI ... Continued (2) by Paul F. Anderson
- DIXIELAND AT DISNEYLAND 1963 by Paul F. Anderson
- DIXIELAND AT DISNEYLAND AT DHI ... Continued (3) by Paul F. Anderson
- Roger Armstrong Remembers Life at Lantz, 1944-45 by Michael Barrier (not directly linked to Disney, but extremely interesting to read + Mike put a big smile on my face when he decided to post one more of his "interviews" in less than 2 months instead of reviewing a movie. Have you noticed that Mike has posted more interviews in 2 months than in the last 5 years? This is very, very promising!)

Friday, March 18, 2011

The new issue of the Tomart's Disneyana Update has now been release.
Fresh-up Freddie - Holliday Balloons

This is sequence 062. Here is the information from the animation draft dated June 4, 1958:

Director: Lance Nolley
Assistant dir: Paul Carlson
Layout: Jacques Rupp
Secretary: Virginia Marcia
Animation: George Nicholas, Ken O’Brien, Don Lusk

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Here are a few books that you might find of interest.

The most astounishing by far is a biography of Edmundo Lassalle, a Mexican who came to the U.S. in 1935, became a U.S. citizen and an assistant to Nelson Rockefeller, then a member of the Roosevelt Administration before becoming an American espionage agent in Spain while employed as the European Representative of the Walt Disney Company.

The second is Amid Amidi's upcoming book about Pixar, whicj is finally announced officially on Amazon: The Art of Pixar: 25th Anniv.: The Complete Color Scripts and Select Art from 25 Years of Animation. (Thanks to Sebastien Durand for the link)

And finally another book that Sebastien found, but that does not sound interesting at all: Apple's Cores: Steve Jobs and the Power of Passion by Tory Maru.
Fresh-up Freddie - Bandit

This is sequence 003, titled Bandit. Production started on June 11, 1957.

Here is the information contained in the animation draft (August 5, 1957):

Director: Jack Hannah
Layout: Yale Gracey
Secretary: Mary Satterwhite
Animation: Mike Lah, Volus Jones
Do not miss today:

- Where Walt Was: July 4, 1957 by Michael Barrier
- The Forgotten Brother Who Built a Magic Kingdom by Jim Korkis

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Fresh-up Freddie - Bullfight

The 7-Up commercials created by the Disney Studio in the '50s are all catalogued under production number 5956.

This is "sequence" (translate "commercial") number 002. It started production on June 11, 1957.

Here is the information from the animation draft (date July 5, 1957):

Director: Jack Hannah
Layout: Yale Gracey
Secretary: Mary Satterwhite
Animation: Mike Lah

So Mike Lah (of MGM fame) was back at Disney (or rather freelancing for Disney, I suspect) in the late '50s. This was complete news to me. Mike had worked at Disney in the '30s. An in-depth interview will him will appear in Walt's People - Volume 11.

The book by Joe Potter I mentionned yesterday is an Oral History from 1983 and can be accessed online at this link.
Do not miss today:

- What a Character! - Bucky Beaver by Jeff Pepper
- Ward Kimball Treasures by Amid Amidi

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

I have to admit that I jumped on my chair this morning when I discovered this book. Apparently the Memoirs of General William Potter (known to all of us as Joe Potter and famous for having led the engineering efforts of Walt Disney World) were released in 2005 and I don't believe any of us knew it! I have just ordered a copy and will review it as soon as I receive it.

From my perspective this is definitely major news (in the realm of Disney history that is).

Monday, March 14, 2011

Alice Jello Commercial with Gryphon and Mock Turtle

I just found this commercial on YouTube.

Unfortunately I could not find any information about this Jello commercial during my recent visit to the Disney Archives. I thought you would enjoy it in any case.

[UPDATE from Matt Crandall: This video originally comes from his blog and you can see some great comments about it at this link.]

I will be focused on Disney commercials from the '50s during most of the next few days.

Amazon has just revealed the cover of the upcoming book Walt Disney Animation Studios The Archive Series: Backgrounds and Layouts.
Do not miss today:

- Interviews by Michael Sporn (I can't tell you how much I agree with Michael Sporn's view about the importance of getting access to Michael Barrier's interview transcripts - I am a unashamed addict to those).

Friday, March 11, 2011

Amid Amidi was kind enough to send me recently this great article from American Cinematographer by Carl Fallberg and Lars Calonius about Grizzly Gulch. Apologies for the bad quality of the scans.

Do not miss today:

- John Hubley, an interview by Michael Barrier (I can not tell you how glad I am to see Michael release 2 of his interviews in less than a month. I really hope we will be lucky enough to soon get access to more of his treasures. Although not really Disney-related, this interview and the Robert McKimson one just made my day.)

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Exceptional German timetable from the '30s being sold on ebay at the moment.

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Those caricatures are from the estate of Al Stetter. Any idea who the artists might be?

Do not miss today:

- A Press Conference With Roy O. Disney by Jim Korkis
- Bambi Diamond Edition: an interview with Donnie Dunagan, the original “Young Prince of the Forest” by Jeremie Noyer
- Camundongo Mickey em entrevista - 1934 by Celbi Pegoraro (Interview of "Mickey" from 1934 in Portuguese)

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

In April last year I mentioned a live-action project produced by Carl Fallberg and Lars Calonius and featuring several Disney artists, called Grizzly Gulch. I just realized that more info could be found abou that project in Robert Tieman's book The Disney Keepsakes.

In the issue of the Studio’s internal newsletter, The Bulletin, from April 4, 1941, repdoduced in the book, we find the following article by John Hubley:

“Grizzly Gulch. Produced by Carl Fallberg and Lars Calonius. Directed by Lars Calonius. Ass’st. direct: Andy Engman. Photography: Lars Calonius. Cast of players: Carl Fallberg, Homer Amos, Andy Engman, Dan Noonan, Tee Hee, Lou MacManus, Dan MacManus, Cornett Wood, Ted Baker, Mel Shaw, Jack Atwood, Bill Keil, Thelma Futch, Joe Gayek, George Roether, Bob Youngquist, Cecil Beard, Bob Vogel, Larry Lansburgh, Andy Engman Sr., Paul Fitzpatrick, horses, trains, Ward Kimball, etc. Production shot on 16mm film. Shooting commenced May 1939; shooting completed December 1940. Locations used: Idlewild, Kernville, Hyperion. Entire cast composed of Disney personnel. Running time: 1 hour, 15 minutes. General release: next week.
The long awaited premiere of “Grizzly Gulch” rewarded its audience with a thoroughly entertaining, well-produced western melodrama. Picture is materially rich, tales a simple direct tale of murder and crime detection in the 1870s.Careful attention was paid to correct historical settings and costumes, achieving a remarkably professional result. Few flaws are apparent. Humor is somewhat hampered by slow telling, allowing audience anticipation to get ahead of the story; the musical score (via phonograph recordings) lacks dramatic build-up. But largely, this reviewer has never witnessed a more successful and less amateur production.”

Monday, March 07, 2011

Lowry Tague (known at the time as Lorey Tague) was one of Disney's artists during the Laugh-O-Grams years.

I was therefore very excited when Michael Barrier located his memoirs (released in 1962). Unfortunately the book contains only a few lines about his Disney career. I am still happy that it exists, though, and that Michael located it.
Do not miss today:

- “Lt. Norakuro and Mickey Mouse” ? by Jerry Beck
- Walt Disney at the Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth by Cory Gross (Thanks to Jim Korkis for the link)
- Diary of a Disneyland Mermaid by Matt Crandall

Friday, March 04, 2011

Julie Svendsen just emailed me to let me know that an exhibition of Walt Peregoy's art is happening until the end of March at the John Aaroe Group located at 14242 Ventura Boulevard in Sherman Oaks, CA. Some of you in the region should definitely consider visiting it.

As a reminder:

[After joining Walt Disney Productions in 1943, Walt Peregoy contributed his unique talents to a number of classic animated features and shorts including "101 Dalmatians", "The Sword in the Stone", "Sleeping Beauty" and "Paul Bunyan" to name a few.

In 1958, along with Marc Davis, Eyvind Earle and Josh Meador, Walt participated in “4 Artists Paint 1 Tree”, a short documentary directed by Josh Meador that illustrated the diversity of the artistic talent of The Walt Disney Company.

In 1974, Walt joined Walt Disney Imagineering where his creative skills and unique visual style helped shape the EPCOT Pavilions, The Land, Journey Into Imagination and Wonders of Life.

Ever since he could hold a pencil, Walt's prolific creativity has yielded paintings, drawings and sculpture. To this day, he still creates his art in his home studio.]
This new book in French about Pixar is probably devoid of interest but some of you might want to know that it exists (thanks to Sébastien Durand for the info).

Thursday, March 03, 2011

You may remember that the very first post of this blog a few years ago dealt with a 1963 Three Little Pigs sequence specially created by Disney for the Mexican movie Cri-Cri, El Grillito Cantor.

During my visit to the Disney Archives two weeks ago, I had the pleasure of finding a little more information about this project.

The sequence was originally supposed to feature the 3 Caballeros in addition to the 3 Little Pigs.

On June 11, 1963, a memo said: “The Studio has agreed to produce for the Instituto Nacional de Proteccion de la Infancia – Mexico, an animated sequence of approximately 470ft., featuring the 3 Little Pigs, Donald Duck, Panchito and Jose Carioca.”

That sequence would get the production number 5954-039.

The animation draft dated July 9, 1963 contains the following information:

Director: Bill Justice
Layout: Ernie Nordli and Dale Barnhart
Secretary: Mary Satterwhite
John Lounsbery
Hal King
Cliff Nordberg
Eric Larson
Jack Boyd
Hal Ambro
Dick Lucas

We also know that the story development was done by X. Atencio.

Wednesday, March 02, 2011