Friday, November 30, 2012

UDATE: [I'm Bob McLain, the publisher of the book. Jim and I had planned to have it available on Amazon today - but a last-minute snafu (on Amazon's part) has caused a short delay. Please feel free to email me for details and to ensure that you get a link to the book as soon as it's available:]

Needless to say this new book by Jim Korkis which will is being released today is a must have. While it does not contain any illustrations, the stories Jim tells are priceless. Here is the complete table of contents:

Part 1:

Song of the South: The Beginning
Song of the South: The Screenplay
Song of the South: The Cast
Song of the South: The Live Action
Song of the South: The Animation
Song of the South: The Music
Song of the South: The World Premiere
Song of the South: The Controversy
Song of the South: The Reviews
Song of the South: The Conclusion

Part 2:

Song of the South Credit List
Story Summary of the Film
Short Biography of Joel Chandler Harris
Song of the South Dummies
The Brer Characters
Song of the South Actors That Never Were
Disney Uncle Remus Comic Strip
The Disney Uncle Remus Comic Strip That Never Was
The Song of the South Song
The Power of Words
Song of the South Book
That’s What Uncle Remus Said
Splash Mountain
Saturday Night Live Parody

Part 3:

Whatever Happened to Little Black Sunflower?
Disney’s Story of Menstruation
Disney Attacks Venereal Disease
Disneyland Memorial Orgy Poster Story
Jessica Rabbit: Drawn to Be Bad
Mickey Mouse Attempts Suicide
Walt’s Owl Nightmare
The Mickey Rooney Myth
J. Edgar Hoover Watches Walt
The Myth of Walt’s Last Words
Walt Liked Ike
Disney’s Secret Commercial Studio
The Sweatbox: The Documentary Disney Doesn’t Want Seen
Tim Burton’s Real Nightmare at Disney
Disney John Carters That Never Were
Ward Kimball and UFOs
Walt’s Fantasy Failure:  Baum’s Oz

Thursday, November 29, 2012

This is off-topic.

I had the pleasure to meet a few days ago fellow Miami resident and Disney history enthusiast Andrew Toffoli. Andrew also happens to be the author (and artist) behind a great series of books for kids whose aim is to teach history in an entertaining way using "funny animals". I fell in love with his work and if you have kids those books are definitely worth checking out.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

A book we have all been awaiting for years is Todd James Pierce's work on the early days of Disneyland and Disneyland's "copycats" like Freedomland.

While we wait for this massive seminal book to be released, Disney's Dream Weavers is an excellent, short read, based on interviews conducted by Chuck Schmidt with various Disney Legends including Van France, Marty Sklar and a few others. Worth picking up.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

This just in from Michael Goldberg:

[The link below is to the Los Angeles county Library data base of Menus (they have thousands)
I happend on this one honoring Prince Philip in March 1966, and noticed Walt Disney as one of the sponsors.
Thought this might be of interest to you!
Los Angeles, CA,
March 14, 1966
location of event not given
Velveteen-covered booklet includes a letter from the Prince, a photo, Programme, Menu, Command Performance entertainers, Sponsors, and Banquet Committee

Monday, November 26, 2012

I am completing at the moment a monograph about Walt's trip to Europe in 1935 and working on the final details (much more on this in the next few months, hopefully). A paragraph I just added last week includes the following information:

"One day during his stay in Paris, Walt strolled down the Avenue des Champs-Elysées, the most famous street in Paris, at least as far as the Lord Byron cinema, which every Thursday to Sunday, from 11.00 am to a quarter past noon showed a selection of Mickey Mouse shorts and of Silly Symphonies.  This compilation of Disney cartoons was probably the program L’Heure Joyeuse de Mickey, which United Artists had released in 1934 and which would be featured in various cinemas in France and Belgium until 1936. It included the cartoons Giantland, The Pied Piper, Lullaby Land, The Grasshopper and the Ants, Mickey’s Gala Premier, Three Little Pigs, and Funny Little Bunnies. Between the last two cartoons, a non-Disney comic routine was inserted, titled La Morale de cette Histoire (The Moral of this Story) and featuring French singer André Perchicot.  The significance of Walt discovering a cinema screening solely Disney shorts cannot be understated, since this feature-length program convinced him more than ever that audiences would be willing to accept a feature-length cartoon."

Saturday, November 24, 2012

According to Mike Peraza, one of Disney's greatest concept artists, Mel Shaw, just passed away.

The news saddened me terribly. I have admired Mel's art for years and he was among my top three or four Disney concept artists along with Ken Anderson, Ferdinand Horvath and Albert Hurter. I also had the pleasure of having lunch with him a few years ago thanks to John Lounsbery's daughter Andrea and to Diane Disney Miller. He was a wonderful human being with incredible stories to tell, even in his mid-'90s.

I am still working with Andrea to get his autobiography (Animator on Horseback) released at some point. Let's hope this happens soon since Mel's life is almost as fascinating as his art.

In the meantime, you can read an in-depth interview with him in Walt's People - Volume 12, thanks to Paul F. Anderson.

Friday, November 23, 2012

This letter from November 2, 1965 and this photo of Walt and Lilly were sold online recently. Thanks to Gunnar Andreassen for the heads up.

Do not miss today:

- The First Mickey Mouse Convention by Jim Korkis
- Secrets of Steamboat Willie by Jim Korkis
- The Amazing Rolly Crump by Todd James Pierce
- Greatest Tragedy Update by Todd James Pierce
- The most popular character in screendom . . . by David Lesjak
- Schools closed in honor of Mickey Mouse's birthday by David Lesjak

Thursday, November 22, 2012

An incredibly rare French poster from the '30s seen on ebay last week.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

I thought some of you might enjoy these photos of the 1937 window display from the New Mission Theater in San Francisco which was sold last week on ebay and the 1948 one from Australia being sold by Howard Lowery.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Here is a WWII document spotted on ebay last week and which I had never seen before.

Monday, November 19, 2012

I picked up last week this incredibly rare, self-published autobiography of former Disney background artist Don Douglass, which contain a whole chapter about his short (5 years) stay at Disney in the '40s. I will let you know as soon as I get it how interesting it is.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Speaking of interesting Disney items which were sold recently, Gunnar Andreassen gave me a heads up about ths Oswald "poster" which was sold on All Star Auctions.

According to David Gerstein:

[Researchers colleagues of mine, authenticated it in Los Angeles: it unimpeachably came "down to us" directly from Norm Blackburn's relatives, who wouldn't have faked it. It was glued into a family scrapbook with other verified 1920s items, though nothing more from Disney.
I suspect it's a kind of color guide; a poster sketch does exist to go with it, though unlike the other Oswald poster sketches, it's never been reproduced.]

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Very interesting early Mickey Mouse poster being sold by Heritage Auctions at the moment (thanks to Matt Crandall for the link). Not necessarily the first Mickey poster, but a great item nonetheless.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Here are a few photos from The Daily Mirror from Walt and Lilly's trip to the UK in 1957, which I thought you might enjoy.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

The official release date of Rolly Crump's autobiography has been announced. Can't wait!

Monday, November 12, 2012

While I had the great pleasure of picking-up an extremely rare Disney artist autobiography on ebay this weekend (more on this in a few days), I missed this 4-page document which was sold of Howard Lowery and titled "Summary of Comments on [the abandoned Disney project] The Little Broomstick (1980)".

If the buyer is a reader of this blog: I would really, really love to get a scan of it.

I am really looking forward to this book, which will be released very soon. I will post a review as soon as I get it.

Do not forget that the new issue of Disney Twenty-Three will be released tomorrow.