Thursday, April 27, 2017

The blog will be updated again on May 30.
This just in from Ken Kebow:

[I wanted to let you know that our award-winning short documentary about Rolly is now available for purchase!!! Interested parties can go to "www.rollycrump.com" to order their DVD copies.]

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

A new, expanded version of this seminal book (in Norwegian) has just been released.

Monday, April 24, 2017

I just received this book last week. To be totally candid, I have never been very interested in the Pirates of the Caribbean movies so the second part of this volume is one I skipped completely. The first part deals with all of the pirates-related projects that were developed under Walt as well as the Pirates of the Caribbean attractions.

It is a well-written book and quite thorough when it comes to giving an overview of everything Disney related to pirates.

What made the book worthwhile from my standpoint are the pages about the movie Treasure Island which include quite a bit of artwork that I had never seen before. The section about Pirates of the Caribbean is also quite good although I did not discover much in it. At the very beginning of the book is one story sketch from the abandoned Goofy short How to Be a Pirate. I wish there had been a lot more about that abandoned project, which really intrigues me.

Bottom-line: this is not a bad book. For historians and history enthusiasts, it's a nice-to-have (but not a "must have") that does contain a few cool surprises.

Friday, April 21, 2017

Do not miss today on CartoonBrew the preview of Mindy Johnson's long awaited book Ink & Paint - The Women of Walt Disney's Animation!

Tuesday, April 18, 2017


And here is another drawing by Ward Kimball, released in the magazine Script on May 25, 1940.

Monday, April 17, 2017

My good friend Paul Sorokowski spent some time last week researching old issues of the magazine Script. In a few of them he discovered some gag drawings created by Ward Kimball. This one was released in the January 27, 1940 issue of the magazine.

We have Norman Ferguson (Fergy) on the right, but who is his assistant "Mike"? I do not have the answer. Could anyone help?

Friday, April 14, 2017

This is another exhibition you really should not miss if you are in LA!

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Among the papers of Disney Legend Ham Luske, his kids found this small Christmas book that Ham intended to release during his lifetime.

I knew that Theme Park Press and Luske's family were planning to finally make it available, but I totally missed its launch back in December. I will pick it up soon, of course!

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

I just stumbled upon this great special cover of the magazine International Cinematographer while researching something totally different last week and thought you would enjoy it.

Monday, April 10, 2017

Of course, if you want to know more about George McGinnis, who passed away last week, the book to read is From Horizon to Space Mountain.

Friday, April 07, 2017

Sadly: George McGinnis, last Imagineer hired by Walt Disney, dies.

I conducted an interview with George McGinnis back in 2009. It was released in Walt's People - Volume 16.

Thursday, April 06, 2017

It took Amazon a really long time but the price of Jack of All Trades has finally been reduced (for a limited amount of time) to $9.99. If you plan to buy the book, the time is now!

Wednesday, April 05, 2017

One of the artists featured in the upcoming They Drew As They Pleased - The Hidden Art of Disney's Late Golden Age, is the Ecuadorian Eduardo Sola Franco, who worked at Disney for a few months in 1939 and created hundreds of concept drawings for the Don Quixote project.

For those of you who will be in Paris over the next few weeks, the Bibliotheque Nationale de France just opened an exhibition about Sola Franco's amazing illustrated diaries. I wish I could see this.

Tuesday, April 04, 2017

I really, really hope I will be able to attend this exhibition from my good friend, Imagineer Julie Svendsen (click on the image to enlarge).

Monday, April 03, 2017

I am glad to announce that  the book Snow White's People: An Oral History of the Disney Film Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (Volume 1) by David Johnson (which I spent the last few months editing) has been released this weekend. This is a two-part series and Theme Park Press should release the second volume towards the end of this year or early next year, when I finish editing the second half of the interviews.

This first volume contains interviews with the following people:

Wilfred Jackson, Bill Cottrell, Dick Lundy, Grim Natwick, Shamus Culhane, Ollie Johnston, Art Babbitt, George Rowley, Libbie Meador, Eustace Lycett, McLaren Stewart, Ken O'Connor, Claude Coats, Katherine Kerwin, Ink and Paint (Helen Nerbovig McIntosh, Grace Godino, Virginia Pearson), Erna Englander, Elly Horvath, Bob Cook, Eloise Tobelman, and Thor Putnam.

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Looking forward to this off-the-beaten-path book by David Bossert.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Disneyland Paris is about to celebrate its 25th birthday on April 12 this year. To celebrate, the park just released a new book, written by Jeremie Noyer.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

I am fascinated by the history of the Disney commercials from the 1950s and They Drew As They Pleased - Volume 4 will discuss the subject in some amount of detail both in the introduction and in the chapter about Tom Oreb, So I was glad to get this link from Are Myklebust to a website which shows some of the commercials produced by Disney in 1953 for March of Dimes (they were aired in 1954).

Here is some information about them I had in my research notes:

[Donald Duck 1954 March of Dimes (60”) – 5544
Animator draft dated: 10/13/1953
Director: Nick Nichols
Layout: Ken O’Connor
Secretary: B. Sweitzer
Animation: Svendsen, Stevens
Talent: Clarence Nash

Mickey 1954 March of Dimes (60”) – 5545
Animator draft dated: 10/13/1953
Director: Nick Nichols
Layout: Ken O’Connor
Secretary: B. Sweitzer
Animation: Svendsen, Stevens, Hathcock, Tanous
Talent: Art Gilmore

Singers: John Rarig, Bill Lee, Max Smith, Bob Hamlin, Betty Allen, Betty Noyes


Prod number created on Sept. 8, 1953]

Monday, March 27, 2017

Jack of All Trades - 99 Cents (Kindle) TEMPORARY PRICE
Bob McLain just let me know that the interview book with Disney Legend, Ken Anderson will temporarily be 99 cents for the Kindle Version (already set) and $9.99 for the paperback (to be set in the morning). This is a great reference book, with fantastic stories.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

I am starting to gather material for the 5th volume of They Drew As They Pleased, which will focus on the life and career of Ken Anderson and Mel Shaw.

If you own any original artwork by those two artists, could you please email me at didier.ghez@gmail.com? Thanks in advance.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

I am actively looking for in-depth articles about the making of Disney's later animated features, from One Hundred and One Dalmatians to The Black Cauldron. I stumbled upon a great one about Pete's Dragon in an old issue of American Cinematographer, but I am trying to locate others. The movies I am focusing on are:

One Hundred and One Dalmatians
The Sword in the Stone
The Jungle Book
The Aristocats
Robin Hood
The Rescuers
The Fox and the Hound
The Black Cauldron

Any ideas?

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

I know that this is not directly Disney-related but many of you will want to check out the catalog of this upcoming event by Heritage Auctions focused on Knott's Berry Farm.

Monday, March 20, 2017

Friday, March 17, 2017

I will definitely attend this exhibition next time I am in Los Angeles.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Amazon just released the cover of David Bossert's upcoming book about Oswald. I love it and I especially enjoy this version of Oswald by Eric Goldberg.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

I just received my own copy of Paul F. Anderson's new book and love it. As always, Bob McLain from Theme Park Press has done a great job.

Here is the foreword I wrote for the book:

[Ken Anderson’s flurry of inked lines always fascinated me. This is probably why he has remained my favorite Disney artist throughout the years. That and the fact that he designed the characters of all the Disney features that I grew up with: from The Jungle Book, to The Aristocats, Robin Hood and The Rescuers. Ever since I could afford it I decided to collect his original drawings. I never regretted it: looking at them I feel closer to Disney’s creative process than with any other piece of Disney artwork. In other words, I fell in love at a very young age with Ken Anderson’s talent.

Which is why, when I launched the book series Walt’s People, back in 2004, I knew that the first volume needed to contain at least one interview with Ken. And I knew who to talk to, of course: my good friend and fellow Disney historian: Paul F. Anderson.

In the late 1980s, Paul had struck a friendship with Ken, who came to consider him as his adopted son. Helped by this friendship and motivated by his deep interest in Disney history, Paul decided to conduct a long oral history with Walt’s “jack-of-all-trades.” Twenty-one tapes later, in 1993, the oral history was abruptly interrupted when Ken passed away.

I had always dreamed of reading these interviews and of seeing them released in one single place, in book form.

Thanks to the efforts of transcribers Kevin Carpenter, Carol Cotter, Ryan Ehrfurt, Skye Lobell, James Marks, David Skipper, and Julie Svendsen, as well as to the work of my co-editors James Hollifield, Todd James Pierce, and Paula Sigman-Lowery, I am glad to finally see this long-time goal become reality.

You will notice that tape 9 is missing. Despite our best efforts we were unable to locate it. If and when we do so, its content will be released in a future volume of Walt’s People. In the meantime, we hope you will enjoy the fascinating life and time of Walt’s “Jack-of-all-trades,” Disney Legend Ken Anderson.


Didier Ghez
November 2016]

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

This newsletter dated July 6, 1945 contains some intriguing information about Disney. Read the last paragraph to see what I mean. The last sentence about Bambi and Russia is particularly fascinating from my standpoint.

Monday, March 13, 2017

It looks as if the Walt Disney Family Museum is planning a huge Eyvind Earle exhibition for this summer, and what makes it even more exciting from my standpoint is that they will also release a large catalog by Michael Labrie titled Awaking Beauty: The Art of Eyvind Earle. I will pre-order it now on Amazon.

Friday, March 10, 2017

I have been dreaming of seeing this book in print for years.

I am glad to say that it is finally available!

I can't wait to get my own copy on Monday.

Thursday, March 09, 2017

I just received Jim Korkis' new book about the making of The Gremlins and I loved it. It contains a lot of never-released-before information and is full of great quotes from memos and documents that I never knew existed (with Jim quoting all of his sources). This is a "must have".

Wednesday, March 08, 2017

I spent time this morning reviewing the galleys of Jack Of All Trades - Interviews with Disney Legend Ken Anderson by Paul F. Anderson. The book should be released by Theme Park Press in just a few days. More soon...

Tuesday, March 07, 2017

The Disney Books Network has just been updated.

Monday, March 06, 2017

 And here are the scans I had promised...

Friday, March 03, 2017

Apologies for the long silence of the last few days. It has been an intense week at work and in the evening I have been writing the chapters of the 4th volume of They Drew As They Pleased...  While checking some details related to the chapter about Tom Oreb, I stumbled upon this model sheet. I am still not sure that Oreb worked on this short, but I was amused to see that, always mindful of synergies with his park, Walt originally thought of The Story of Anyburg, USA as being titled Autopia!

Monday, February 27, 2017

This new book by Jim Korkis looks great. I can't wait to read it soon.

From the publisher:

[Blame It on Gremlins?

In the 1940s, Walt Disney had his hands on a new film franchise involving gremlins, little creatures that caused mischief, mostly of the mechanical kind. But no gremlins film was ever made. Walt himself cancelled the project. This is the story of what went wrong. (And it wasn't gremlins.)

Dashing RAF pilot Roald Dahl, best-known as the author of Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, wrote his first book on a topic familiar to his fellow pilots: gremlins. These nasty buggers were often held responsible whenever a British plane was damaged or crashed during World War II.

Dahl convinced Walt Disney that a film, equal parts live action and animation, about gremlins, who were essentially Nazi saboteurs, would be a great companion to such Disney classics as Snow White, Fantasia, and Pinocchio.

Disney bought the rights—in fact, they still own the rights— to Dahl's gremlins, but then ran into a problem bigger than any mythic beast: Dahl himself.

As the Disney studio struggled to make heroes out of the malicious gremlins, and labored to write a script that would appeal to an American audience, a wave of "gremlin mania" swept the country, but Disney had no film to take advantage of it, due in large part to Dahl's lack of cooperation and outright opposition.

Americans soon tired of gremlins, and Disney soon tired of Dahl. The incomplete story, art, and animation for the proposed film was chucked deep into the Disney archives, where it remains today.

Best-selling author Jim Korkis presents the fascinating tale of Walt Disney and the gremlins, from Dahl's early involvement to a mini-resurgence in recent years, with the publication of a trio of gremlins graphic novels.]

Thursday, February 23, 2017

I just got this magazine on ebay and will post scans of the articles it contains as soon as I get it.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

This long-awaited book is finally available at this link. Hurrah.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Were you member of The Mouse Club? I am trying to locate old copies of the club's newsletter and would also love to get in touch with its founders, Julie and Kim McEuen.

Please email me at didier.ghez@gmail.com if you can help.

Friday, February 10, 2017

The blog will be updated again starting on Monday, February 20.
Looking forward to David Lesjak's upcoming book. The cover was designed by Mike Peraza.

Thursday, February 09, 2017

Once again, this book is not about Disney, but I know that many of you will be excited by its upcoming release (June 2017).

Wednesday, February 08, 2017

I stumbled upon this book last week. This autobiography of Yakima Canutt contains a long chapter about his work for Disney. Pure delight for those of you who are interested in Disney's live-action productions.

Tuesday, February 07, 2017

I LOVE this book! You really should pick it up if you are interested in Disney history.

Monday, February 06, 2017

This just in from Todd James Pierce:

[DHI 035 - Project Spring
In the early 1960s, Walt Disney explored building a tourist attraction in Monterey, California. The story of that never-built project on the DHI Podcast.
iTunes: http://tinyurl.com/j34rl38
Stitcher: http://www.stitcher.com/s?fid=85297&refid=stpr
GooglePlay: http://tinyurl.com/jurtey3
Libsyn: http://directory.libsyn.com/episode/index/id/5054160


Friday, February 03, 2017

Disney Twenty-Three just announced the content of its next issue. A few fun things in there:

- A celebration of the Main Street Electrical Parade’s 45th anniversary, as it returns to its original home at Disneyland Park
- The wonder and beauty of Disneynature’s newest film, Born in China
- A peek at what’s to come during the 25th anniversary of Disneyland Paris
- Eleven cool experiences you may not have known about at Walt Disney World Resort
- A look inside the newly renovated Walt Disney Animation Studios headquarters

Thursday, February 02, 2017

Speaking of Australia...

In the early 1930s, Disney was first represented in Australia (on the Consumer Products side) by the company John Sands Ltd.

In February 1935, Walt Disney Enterprises established a subsidiary in Sidney and soon after contracted Mr. W.R. Granger, former Sales and Promotion Manager at John Sands, to run it.

Wednesday, February 01, 2017

This just in from Todd James Pierce:

[Five years after Disneyland opened, Walt explored building a series of micro parks across the country, parks roughly three to four acres in size and filled with Fantasyland-style attractions for kids. The story of these never-built micro parks, known inside the company as Project Satellite, on the DHI Podcast.

iTunes: http://tinyurl.com/j34rl38
Stitcher: http://www.stitcher.com/s?fid=85297&refid=stpr
GooglePlay: http://tinyurl.com/jurtey3 ]


Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Yesterday, for obvious reasons, Google paid homage to American civil rights activist Fred Korematsu.

I have been working recently on the diaries of Ward Kimball and here is a short intoduction I wrote about another great American of Japanese descent, Chris Ishii:



On November 29, Ward got a new assistant, Chris Ishii. Ishii, along with Tom Okamoto, Masao Kawagushi, and James Tanaka, was part of a handful of Nisei who worked for the Disney Studio at the time.
Born on August 11, 1919 in Fresno California, after high school Ishii decided to attend Chouinard because a family friend, Mr. Oka, knew Gyo Fujikawa, who taught at the school. He joined Chouinard in September 1936 and graduated four years later. Following graduation, thanks to the recommendation of Chouinard’s business manager, Vern Caldwell, Ishii was hired by Disney and worked on the tail end of Fantasia, The Reluctant Dragon, Dumbo, and some Donald Duck and Mickey Mouse shorts. He left Disney after the strike, and after Pearl Harbor was interned at the Santa Anita Assembly Center where he created a cartoon featuring a young Nisei boy, Li’l Neebo for the camp newspaper, the Pacemaker. When it became possible, Ishii joined the Army and worked for the Military Intelligence Service for three years in China, Burma, and India. After the war, Ishii returned to the Disney Studio for a year, then started his own studio, before finally turning to freelance work and moving to New York. He passed away on November 6, 2001 in Dobbs Ferry, NY.


Monday, January 30, 2017

This just in from Bob McLain (owner of Theme Park Press) about the newly released book Remembering the Magic by Suzanne and RJ Ogren.

[A Monkey Paw in the Magic Kingdom

When R.J. and Suzanne Ogren "remember the magic" of Walt Disney World, they're not remembering their trips to the most magical place on earth, they're remembering their jobs: Suzanne as a character performer, R.J. as an artist. Their backstage stories are like none you've ever read before.

How do the ghosts, pirates, bears, presidents, jungle animals, and all the other audio-animatronic figures in the Magic Kingdom look as flawless today as they did when the park first opened, in 1971? Disney employs an on-site team of artists to inspect and repair every figure equipped with motion and sound, in every attraction, as well as all of the sets, murals, and props.

R.J. Ogren joined the Magic Kingdom's mischievous, prank-playing team of artists in the 1970s. He survived nearly drowning in the Jungle Cruise; an oil-spewing, country-singing bear in Country Bear Jamboree; runaway ghosts in Haunted Mansion; and many other close encounters of the magical kind, armed only with his paint brushes, scrapers, and black-light paint.

Along with his wife, Suzannne, who worked as a character performer and later in the Entertainment Department of the Magic Kingdom, R.J. counts his time spent as a Walt Disney World cast member as some of the best years of his life.

His and Suzanne's stories are sure to make you laugh, such as the time R.J. discovered Lincoln's monkey paw in the Hall of Presidents, and maybe even shed a tear. With a foreword by legendary Diamond Horseshoe Revue performer Bev Bergeron!]

Friday, January 27, 2017

I just love these unauthorized covers from the Mexican magazine from the 1930s, Paquito.