Monday, December 31, 2012

Xmas 1933 in Spain. A bit scary...

Friday, December 28, 2012

This DVD has just been released and I will definitely pick it up right away, if only because it contains a never-released-before Disney WWII short, but more importantly because of the 20-minute long short about the making of films at the First Motion Picture Unit, including the animation unit.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

This book is clearly not a "must-have" but if you have enjoyed the others in the series you will want to pick it up when it is released in a few weeks.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

I love this homage to Tintin by Italian artist Corrado Mastantuono and thought you would too.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Courtesy of Garry Apgar and King Features Syndicate (1939).

Monday, December 24, 2012

Has anyone picked up this new book? Is it any good?

Friday, December 21, 2012

What are the best Disney history books of 2012? This year's list is a long one (which is good news) and includes for the first time a book in Italian (although, had I been aware of it at the time, the book Eccetto Topolino by Fabio Gadducci, Leonardo Gori and Sergio Lama would have been part of my 2011 list).

1. JB Kaufman, The Fairest One of All: The Making of Walt Disney's Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs published by Weldon Owen; 2012.

2. Rolly Crump and Jeff Heimbuch, It's Kind of a Cute Story published by Bamboo Forest Publishing; 2012.

3. Bob Gurr, Design: Just for Fun published by Ape Pen Publishing; 2012.

4. Jim Korkis, Who's Afraid of the Song of the South? and Other Forbidden Disney Stories published by Theme Park Press; 2012.

5. David Gerstein (editor): Walt Disney's Mickey Mouse: "House Of The Seven Haunts!" and Walt Disney's Mickey Mouse: "High Noon at Inferno Gulch" published by Fantagraphics Books; 2012.

6. Daniel Handke and Vanessa Hunt, Poster Art of the Disney Parks published by Disney Editions; 2012.

7. Ron Schneider, From Dreamer to Dreamfinder: A Life and Lessons Learned in 40 Years Behind a Name Tag published by Bamboo Forest Publishing; 2012.

8. Luca Boshi, Leonardo Gori, Andrea Sani, and Alberto Becattini, I Disney Italiani published by NPE; 2012.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

I need your help once again: Would anyone have access to the article Fairyland Goes to Hollywood: An Interview with Leigh Harline released in the Pacific Coast Musician magazine from 20 November 1937? If so, could you email me a copy at Thanks in advance for your help.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Just announced on Amazon...

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

It's Diane Disney Miller's birthday today and I thought a good way to celebrate would be by releasing the text of this March 1934 article from Motion Picture magazine. Enjoy!

[Walt Presents Cigars

WALT DISNEY, the papa of Mickey and Minnie Mouse and the Three Little Pigs, has just become the papa of a little Disney, his first child. With toy shops featuring his creations, and nursery wallpaper and furniture and cushions and blankets and rugs showing the amazing adventures of his little cartoon folk, it seems only fair that Walt, himself, should have a little girl to share in all the joy he has created for the children of the world.

He was attending a dinner at which he was being awarded a medal for distinguished service to childhood when he suddenly grabbed his coat and dashed out—to the hospital where his wife (the former Lillian Bounds of Lewiston, Idaho) had just given birth to Dianne [sic] Marie Disney. The dinner party was aghast. But when they heard the reason for all the hurry, all was forgiven.]

Friday, December 14, 2012

I was excited to find out this week that my good friend and fellow Disney historian JB Kaufman had just launched his web site.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Unfortunately Roger Broggie Jr. passed away.

If you enjoyed all of Jim Korkis' previous books and articles, you will LOVE Who's Afraid of Song of the South? This is because not only does Jim give us what makes the Korkis brand famous: excellent stories, great research, fun read, unconventional subject matters (and this book is full of those since it deals with various "controversial" Disney projects, aside from the making of Song of the South) but also because Jim benefited this time around from the profesional editing work of publisher Bob McLain who helps make the book even more readable.

I adore Song of the South and had always wanted to read a good in-depth "making of". Jim's very long essay on the subject does the trick beautifully and this is definitely a must-have.

My only regret: I wish Jim would start including a section listing his sources in a more academic way. The bibliography and the notes are usually the sections I check first when reading a Disney history book and I miss those in Jim's books. But this is just me and for most readers this will only be a very small drawback.

My advice: run to get yourself this great Xmas gift.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

As you saw, Jim Korkis has releasing not one but two new books this year. I will publish a review of Who's Afraid of Song of the South? later on this week (hopefully), but you should not forget to also pick-up The Revised Vault of Walt.

[The REVISED Vault of Walt is a sleeker version of the previous (and now out-of-print) edition, with some of the original stories removed and sporting a much lower cover price. The omitted stories will be released soon in digital format as The Vault of Walt Sampler. Jim’s new stories include:

§  “Eating Like Walt” answers the question that if we are indeed what we eat, then what recipes created and sustained Walt’s unique genius?
§  “And the Oscar Goes to … Walt Disney” shares the stories-behind-the-stories of some of the many Academy Awards Walt won during his lifetime.
§  “The Carousel of Progress” discusses how the park attraction has changed over the decades but still remains an homage to the vision of Walt Disney.
§  “The Man Who Shot Walt Disney” reveals the photographer behind the iconic pictures of Walt Disney and how they were created.
§  Finally, as a preview of what to expect in Jim’s newest book, Who’s Afraid of the Song of the South, there is a chapter devoted to some of the most commonly asked questions about Disney’s most controversial film, Song of the South.
As before, the book is divided into four sections: stories of Walt Disney’s life, stories of  Disney Films, stories of Disney Theme Parks, and stories of the many other worlds of Disney, ranging from Nikita Khrushchev, Walt’s women, and the mysterious Gray Seal, to how a Looney Tunes legend Chuck Jones went “looney” working for Disney.]

Jim Korkis explains:

[I wrote The Vault of Walt in 2010 because of my deep concern that the unique history of the Disney Company was disappearing with the deaths of those people who actually knew Walt and who first shared many of these wonderful stories with me.
To my surprise, the book was a hit.
But that was two years ago, and since then, I’ve uncovered many, many new Disney stories, and I’ve learned more about the ones I already told. This is my chance to tell a few of those new stories and to elaborate upon some of the old ones.
In 2013, I plan to write an entirely new Vault of Walt. Rather than keep you waiting, and rather than miss out on my chance to bring the original Vault of Walt up-to-date, I decided to do the next best thing and offer this revised edition at a bargain price.
If this is your first experience with The Vault of Walt, there are many treasures to uncover about the worlds of Disney.  If you are an owner of the original edition (perhaps soon collectible curiosity), this book provides five new stories to maintain your interest until the updated edition is released. If you are upset that some stories are missing, the publisher has made them available as a Kindle book entitled The Vault of Walt Sampler.
So, to summarize, there is the original edition of The Vault of Walt, which is going into hibernation; the revised version that you hold in your hand right now with some new stories; and a Kindle “sampler” with the missing stories from the original edition.
That’s my story, and I am sticking to it.]

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

I just discovered this book about Italian Disney comic book artist Giorgio Cavazzano. Unfortunately none of the sellers online seem to be willing to ship it to Spain or to Miami.

Would a reader of the blog living in Italy be able to help me get a copy of it? (I would pay via Paypal, of course)

Do not miss today:

- Walt's 111th by Michael Barrier
- November and December in Disney History by Garry Apgar
- The Song of the South Frequently Asked Questions by Jim Korkis

Monday, December 10, 2012

Our personal belongings arrived in Miami on Friday. Do not be surprised if the blog is silent for a few days this week or next week. This photo shows only a small part of the issue. Multiply this by three or four and you will understand the challenge we are currently facing. The end result will be worth it, though.
This just in from Garry Apgar. Does anyone know where thIs platter ended up?

Saturday, December 08, 2012

Both of Jim Korkis' new books: The Revised Vault of Walt and Who's Afraid of Song of the South? are now properly available on Amazon. Run to get them! (I will release reviews of both of them over the next few days).

Friday, December 07, 2012

As a Disney historian, what I find to be the most exciting is to stumble upon autobiographies or diaries which have never been released or which I never even knew existed. The Bill Garity diaries, O.B. Johnston's autobiography or Another Book by Don Douglass are a few examples. You can imagine, therefore, how ecstatic I was when I discovered that the key landscape architect of Disneyland, Ruth Shellhorn, had kept a diary and that the diary had been preserved. I had no idea if it would contain anything of interest, but since Ruth had started working with Walt in 1955 just before the opening of Disneyland, I had the feeling that those diaries might be priceless. I also knew that the person who would be most qualified to put them in context is Todd James Pierce.

Todd went to UCLA, got copies of the diaries and has started releasing an utterly fascinating series of articles based on their content. This is clearly one of the Disney history events of the year, so do not miss the first two installments:

Construction Tales at Disneyland - 1955 and The Book of Ruth - Part 1.

Thursday, December 06, 2012

This just in thanks to Jim Hollifield:

[Rev. Glenn Puder, married to Walt's niece, Dorothy, died December 19, 2011 at age 100. The news seems to have gone unreported, which is odd, given the fact that he was featured on the Disneyland opening broadcast and was related to Walt by marriage. I'm forwarding his obituary just in case you hadn't seen it. The piece contained some good biographical material.

"Reverend Glenn Darrell Puder, D.D. 1911 - 2011 The Reverend Glenn Darrell Puder, D.D. died early Monday, December 19th, in bed at his home at Aegis of Napa, Napa, California. Dr. Puder served for many years as Pastor of Bakersfield's First Presbyterian Church. Born November 10, 1911 in Ottumwa, Iowa, Glenn lived his first decade on his family's Iowa farm. Seeking better schools for Glenn and his younger brother Bill, the family moved to California in 1923. Glenn attended Fremont High School and Occidental College in Los Angeles. Entering at age 15, Glenn was youngest of his class at Oxy. Decades later, the College honored Glenn for his service with an honorary Doctor of Divinity. The Puder Family has endowed a scholarship for religious studies at Occidental. He claimed a calling to religious work at the age of 12 and fulfilled his dream of becoming a Presbyterian minister by earning a Master of Divinity degree from both Princeton Seminary and San Francisco Theological Seminary at San Anselmo. Glenn soon met another Oxy student, Dorothy Disney; they married on June 10, 1937 and were together for over 70 years. The young pastor and his wife were called to serve at Immanuel Presbyterian Church in Los Angeles. Daughter Linda and sons David and Paul were born during this time. After 15 years the family moved to Bakersfield, just in time for the Great Earthquake of '53. The church was completely destroyed and Glenn and Dorothy worked as a team with the growing congregation to rebuild and expand First Presbyterian Church of Bakersfield. Many busy and productive years were spent in this Central Valley community. Glenn became known as ""The Pastor to the City,"" serving as Chaplain for the Police Department and the Memorial Hospital. After his retirement, he and Dorothy remained in Bakersfield and continued to be involved in the life of the City. One of his life's many highlights was delivering the invocation at the Opening of Disneyland in Anaheim, at the invitation of his wife's uncle, Walt Disney. In 1995, the Puders moved to Napa Valley to live among vineyards near their wine-growing daughter and her husband. The Puders found many new friends at First Presbyterian, St. Helena. Glenn volunteered his time to St. Helena Hospital, Napa Valley Museum, and taught Bible study classes. Dorothy passed away in September '07. After moving to Aegis of Napa, Glenn continued to counsel friends and strangers alike; and many sought and all welcomed his counsel and loving prayers. Survivors include: daughter Linda and family, and son David and family, all of Honolulu; daughter-in-law Nancy (widow of second son Paul) and family of Mendocino. Glenn and Dorothy were devoted to their seven grandchildren and five great-grandchildren of Honolulu, Mendocino, Malibu and Santa Rosa. A small private family service will be held in the Spring. Glenn's ashes will be placed in the family plot in Mendocino, joining wife Dorothy and son Paul. Gifts in Glenn's honor would be welcomed at Occidental College, The Presbyterian Foundation, or any cause of your choice that promotes love, peace, and kindness."]

Wednesday, December 05, 2012

Mickey's Dream, as released in the French magazine Pour Vous dated December 19, 1935.

Tuesday, December 04, 2012

Granted there aren't that many links between Mel Blanc and Disney (2 small ones in total, including a hiccup) but I have to mention this fantastic biography of Mel Blanc by Ben Ohmart which was released just a few weeks ago. It is based in part on the manuscript of the never-released biography of Mel by his son Noel, supplemented by original research by Ben and the result is a "must have" if you are interested in the subject matter.

Monday, December 03, 2012

Here is a project which I believe is definitely worth supporting (I contributed financially to it last week):


As family and friends gather together this week to give thanks, I want to give my personal thanks to all of you who have been supporting my documentary film, Tyrus Wong: Brushstrokes in Hollywood - the first in-depth portrait of 102-year old pioneering Chinese American painter, Hollywood illustrator, kite builder and Disney legend, Tyrus Wong.

While I’ve asked for your support in the past, this marks a very special time.

After many years of in-depth research, development, and filming, the film is now in post-production. This means the finish line is clearly in sight! I’m now writing to ask for your help to reach and cross that line.

I'm thrilled to announce the launch of a KICKSTARTER campaign for my film. This online funding campaign ends on Dec 18th, so please visit the site and give as generously you can. Every dollar counts and there are rewards to be had!

If you prefer, you can write a check to my non-profit fiscal sponsor:  “VISUAL COMMUNICATIONS” (be sure to write “Tyrus Wong” in the memo) and send it to:

Visual Communications
120 Judge John Aiso St.
Los Angeles, CA 90012

In other news...
Tyrus is still going strong at the age of 102 and made a rare appearance at the CTN Animation Expo in Burbank, where I spoke on a special panel and showed excerpts from the film.
Read more about the event in this article from Animation Magazine

And now for something really fun:
Check out this special birthday video made especially for our film's Facebook page, featuring Tony Anselmo (voice of Donald Duck) and Russi Taylor (voice of Minnie Mouse).

Thanks again for your support! (My apologies if you’ve already received news of this.)

Warmest regards,
Pamela Tom
Tyrus Wong:Brushstrokes in Hollywood

Do not miss today:

- Mel Shaw dies at 97; Disney design artist by Valerie J. Nelson [Note: Do anyone of you know what project Mel was working on when the above photo was taken??]
- I'm The Guy They Call Little Mickey Mouse by Jim Fanning
- Who Disney Timey-Wimey by Jim Korkis
- The Evolution of Jafar by Andreas Deja
- Got Donald Duck Adventures #5? WHICH ONE? by Dan Cunningham
- A Rare Citrus Treat by Dan Cunningham

Sunday, December 02, 2012

The Disney Books Network has just been updated.
The Kindle edition of Jim Korkis's new book, Who's Afraid of Song of the South? is now available. The Paperback version will follow soon. I will release a review as soon as it is the case.