Thursday, June 20, 2019

I was very sad to hear that artist Milton Quon, who worked on Fantasia and Dumbo passed away on Tuesday. He was 105 years young.

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Some important updates about They Drew as They Pleased - Volume 5:

1. It looks as if the official release date may have been pushed back to October 1, but I am still trying to clarify this. The good news is that the discount on Amazon is now up to 37%

2. If all goes according to plan, you will be able to buy the book exclusively at the D23 Expo and I will be there to autograph it. It will be sold on the Ryman Arts / Hyperion Historical Alliance booth. I will have more details soon about the booth location and the schedule of the autograph sessions.

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Excellent news to start the day. Michael Barrier has just released his interviews with Maurice Noble.

Monday, June 17, 2019

Excellent graphic novel in French, just released in France, which, among other happy surprises includes a page by my good friend Mike Peraza.

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

For those of you who wonder how you can order this special issue of the magazine / newsletter Manuscripts, I just got the following information:

Copies can be purchased for $7 each including postage. Paypal to or check/mo to The Manuscript Society, PO Box 13349, Overland Park, KS 66282

Monday, June 10, 2019

Look out for some exciting Disney history related announcements over the next few weeks: panels, revolutionary new publications, etc. all premiering at the 2019 D23 Expo. Some really major news soon... Stay tuned.

Friday, June 07, 2019

I just received the latest Animation Art Auction catalog from Heritage Auctions (June 15 - 16) which contains some stunning treasures, as always.

Four of the highlights are shown here:

- A huge and very rare treatment for a proposed movie featuring Mickey Mouse.
- A large set of story drawings from the Goofy short How to Play Golf.
- A wonderful promotional drawing by Hank Porter.
- An astonishing piece from Bambi by Gustaf Tenggren.

Tuesday, June 04, 2019

Do not miss this spectacular article by Jim Korkis on CartoonResearch. It is full of wonderful surprises.

Monday, June 03, 2019

I had not idea of the existence of this excellent book until my friend and fellow Disney historian Todd James Pierce mentioned it to me last week.

Friday, May 31, 2019

This just in from Michael Goldberg:

[Didier- Don’t know if you were ever a fan of Motion Picture Special effects, but this short video with Albert Whitlock, who had worked at Disney in the '50s and early '60s, has a nice piece about Whitlock’s work on “Ten Who Dared” an early '60s Disney Film about John Wesley Powell - Explorer of the Colorado River.

Anyway, he talks about one matte painting in the film and how Walt did not like it and his solution.

I have heard the story referenced before, but this is from the Horse’s mouth, as the saying goes!

This link takes you to a wonderful website about Matte Painting by a fellow in New Zealand. This entry is all about Disney Films and contains images that Whitlock refers to in his video.]

Thursday, May 30, 2019

This just in from Theme Park Press about Jim Korkis' new book:

[In over eighty individual chapters, each filled with facts, quotes, and anecdotes, Disney historian Jim Korkis chronicles the very best of a Disneyland that no longer exists, taking us back in time to "Walt's park" and revealing how it has changed between then and now.

Live mermaids swimming in the Submarine Lagoon. ... Pack mules nipping at the shoes of children. ... Flying saucers hovering inches in the air over a circular floor. For many people this was the Disneyland of their youth, but over the years dozens of shows, attractions, and experiences have disappeared forever from the Happiest Place on Earth.

In this latest volume of his best-selling Secret Stories series, Korkis shares behind-the-scenes information—much of it never before in print—about what used to delight guests at Disneyland.

From Main Street's Intimate Apparel Shop and Frontierland's Mineral Hall, to Fantasyland's Pirate Ship restaurant and Adventureland's Barker Bird, Korkis excavates, unearths, and discovers a Disneyland past that will be sweetly nostalgic to some, and a unique glimpse into a forgotten past for others.

Who knows what we'll find!]

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

I have just received my own copy of Ross Anderson's long-awaited book about the making of Who Framed Roger Rabbit.

If you look at the back cover, you will see that I wrote about it: "Pulling a Rabbit Out of a Hat makes a significant contribution to the fields of animation history, Disney history, and film history. The research that Anderson conducts is in-depth, original, and all-encompassing. His whole book covers ground that has mostly never been covered before."

I strongly believe this. The amount of original research that Ross conducted to write this book is staggering. However, be warned: this is not a book that is easy to read. The amount of information it contains is much too rich for it to be the case. It is a fantastic reference book and you will learn a lot by reading it. However, Ross tried to include so much in it that it also makes it a difficult read. That is the main drawback.

I had seen an early manuscript and what I discovered with great pleasure in the finished book is a large amount of photos that I had never seen before and which enrich it even more.

This is a must-have and not just if you enjoy Roger Rabbit. There is so much about the "Disney Studio transition" period of the 1970s and early 1980s that you are bound to find the content of this book fascinating in one way or another.

Way to go Ross.

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

This just in from Theme Park Press. I can't wait to read this new book!

[As a motion-picture writer, director, producer, and cinematographer, Jack Couffer shot wildlife films for Walt Disney, journeying to some of the most remote and exotic places on earth. Here, in his final book, he shares powerful, poignant stories about his favorite subject: animals.

Couffer made Disney feature and television films for 30 years. The Living Desert, Nikki, Wild Dog of the North, Never Cry Wolf, and a dozen other titles bear his identity. His stories filmed in far-away places like Africa, the Galápagos Islands, Antarctica, and the wilds of the American West give us a glimpse into the pains and joys of working with friends and adversaries inside the Disney studio.

Replete with photos, My Boss, Walt is Jack Couffer's swan-song chronicle of his long life of exploration, adventure, and joy.]

Friday, May 24, 2019

This new book by author Andrew Kiste is a very welcome surprise. It is very well written and well researched. Andrew got access to documents from the GE Archives, for example, which I had no idea existed. This is a great reference about Disney and the 1964/65 World's Fair, which is well worth picking up.

I have only two minor issues with what I read until now:
- I wish that the author had added footnotes. I am a pain in the neck about this, but I really like to know exactly where the information mentioned in the text comes from.
- Based on the bibliography, it seems like the author may not be aware of the special issue of the magazine Persistence of Vision about Disney and the World's Fair, which I found a little unsettling if correct.

Those are two small points however. I really enjoyed this book. 


Thursday, May 23, 2019

The new animation art auction from Heritage coming up on June 15 and 16 is spectacular. You should really have a look at its stunning catalog.

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

As we await the release of They Drew as They Pleased - Volume 5 in just a few weeks (now only $35 on Amazon!) I wanted to mention that Volume 6 (the final volume in the series) got the official go-ahead from Chronicle Books a few days ago. It will be released next year and will focus on the lives, careers and art of Joe Grant, Hans Bacher, Mike Gabriel and Michael Giaimo.

Monday, May 20, 2019

I just received this new book. I really enjoy all of Jim Korkis' books, but I believe this is the best one to date. It is very easy to read, more than 300-page long, and full of stories that I had not seen anywhere else before. Way to go Jim!

Friday, May 17, 2019

I just received a copy of this new book and thoroughly enjoy it. There are apparently so many new incidental characters in this upcoming movie that the concept artists had a ball while designing them... and it shows. I am looking forward to seeing the movie.

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

I just spotted this book on Amazon but have not yet picked it up.

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

This weekend I received the very first physical copy of They Drew as They Pleased - The Hidden Art of Disney's Early Renaissance (The 1970s and 1980s), which focuses on the art and careers of Ken Anderson and Mel Shaw.  This is the book I had been hoping to write my whole life. It will be released this August. I am offering you a small sample below.

Monday, May 13, 2019

Like many of you I am currently watching the final episodes of Game of Thrones. As you know the series is based on books by author George R.R. Martin. Is there a link between Martin and Disney? It turns out there is, via Edgar Rice Burroughs!

In the 1990s, the Walt Disney Studios was trying to adapt A Princess of Mars to the screen and asked Melinda M. Snodgrass and George R.R. Martin to write a treatment. Copies of the work they did on the project can be found at the Cushing Library.

Friday, May 10, 2019

My friend David Peake has just spotted three interesting upcoming books on Amazon:

- The Art of Frozen II by Jessica Julius

- A Tale of Transformation: Twenty-Five Years of Beauty and the Beast On Stage by Jeff Kurtti

- Disney's Land by Richard Snow

Thursday, May 09, 2019

I am really looking forward to picking up the second volume of Julie Andrews' autobiography, which focuses on her years in Hollywood, including the making of Mary Poppins.

Wednesday, May 08, 2019

I am supporting this new book project by David Koenig. I hope many of you will too.

Tuesday, May 07, 2019

This just in from Theme Park Press about Jim Korkis' new book:

[How the Magic Was Born

Once upon a time, the swampy flatlands of central Florida were home to oranges, cattle, and alligators. Then a man came and said, "lo, there shall be a theme park." A few years later, swampland turned to fantasyland, as Walt Disney World arose. This is the story of how it happened.

Jim Korkis, the world's premiere Disney historian, weaves a compelling, organized tale from the thousands of details, reports, and eyewitness accounts—some of them never before in print— about the early days of the most magical place on earth. As with his companion book,
The Unofficial Disneyland 1955 Companion, Korkis delivers a top-down history, from the perspective of high-level Disney executives to that of front-line Disney cast members.

Korkis begins with the initial surveys of the Disney World site in 1958 and takes the story through 1972, telling the complete and definitive story of how the park was designed and built, and how it was run during its first year.

As Walt Disney stood on a swampy marsh in central Florida not long before his death in 1966, he did not see a wilderness, he saw a bright city of tomorrow, a towering castle, innovative hotels, and above all, families having fun in themed lands of wonder.

We know how the story turned out, but now you can stand alongside Walt and experience it all over again, from the very beginning.]

Friday, April 26, 2019

This just in from Are Myklebust:

[Here is another entry to the list of a Disney-film within a non-Disney film that I have discovered;

“Portrait of Jennie” (1948), with Joseph Cotten and Jennifer Jones. The film is directed by William Dieterle and produced by David O. Selznick (Vanguard Films).

In this very strange film, there is a sequence where Joseph Cotten’s character is having a conversation with an old doorman at a (cinema) theatre. In the background you can see an old Mickey Mouse short from the early 1930s being screened.

The whole film can be watched on YouTube:

The sequence with the Mickey Mouse short can been seen from ca. 29:50.
I haven’t been able to identify the short, but perhaps David Gerstein or someone else can help?]

Hello, Didier.  I tried to post a comment on your Disney History Blog website, but I don't think it worked the last few times, so I am sending it by e-mail:

The Mickey Mouse cartoon seen in the background in "Portrait of Jennie" is 1931's "The Delivery Boy."  In the first few scenes, Mickey and Minnie are singing and dancing to a jazzy version of the song "In the Shade of the Old Apple Tree."  Later, they are playing "Stars and Stripes Forever" on the piano.  Some of the piano scenes are out of order.  No scenes of Pluto or farm animals were included, except for a brief final shot of a pig holding a saxophone (through which a smaller pig is pumping water).  During this sequence in the movie theater, the images from "The Delivery Boy" are reversed because Joseph Cotten and  Felix Bressart are behind the screen.

Jeff Peterson]

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

The Disney Books Network has just been updated.
I am definitely looking forward to reading this upcoming book.

Friday, April 19, 2019

This just in from my good friend Harald:

[Something your blog readers may enjoy: recently Saturday Evening Post issues from the 1950s were uploaded to the Internet Archive. Included are also the issues from 1956/57 containing the 8-part series "My Dad, Walt Disney" written by Diane Disney Miller and Pete Martin. As far as I know this is the first time all 8 parts are available on the internet.

Check out the first part at DIX.

The other parts are linked as related entries.

Regards and Happy Easter,


Thursday, April 11, 2019

Those who know me also know that I am not planning to go see the new Dumbo movie. I understand why those live-action remakes are made, I know that some of them are good (and some even great) movies, and I have nothing against them philosophically, but I am just not really interested and prefer to stay with my untainted memories of the animated classics.

All this being said, I received yesterday the book The Art and Making of Dumbo and I was blown away by it. This is clearly one of the best "making of" art books that I have ever seen. The research that the author, Leah Gallo, conducted to write the text is breathtaking, the amount, quality and variety of illustrations is unparalleled, and the whole volume was clearly laid out by someone that is truly passionate about her subject matter.

What makes the book even more valuable from my standpoint, though, is the first chapter, which deals with the making of the original, animated movie. Like the rest of the book it is meticulously researched and represents the best history of the making of Dumbo that I have ever read to date, complete with very precise end-notes.

Sadly, the chapter contains a small mistake. A few years ago, in Walt's People - Volume 9, I re-released Mark Langer's interview with Ken O'Connor, complete with the introduction that Mark had written for its original publication in Animation Journal. Unfortunately, author Leah Gallo, when she read that introduction to the interview thought that I had written it and ended up quoting from it attributing the quote to me. You now know that the quote is from historian Mark Langer.

That being clarified, I really recommend Leah's book, especially if you enjoyed Tim Burton's movie.

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

I was excited to learn about the release of this new German book. The title and the introduction article are written in German, but the comic pages inside are facsimile copies from the British Mickey Mouse Weekly and in English. I just ordered a copy.

Tuesday, April 02, 2019

[NOTE ABOUT THE BELOW: I have now heard from a few of you who have read this book and the feedback is a negative one. This is apparently not a very good read at all for various reasons. A shame.]

I just received this new book (which I have not read yet) about Milicent Patrick, better known to all of us as the Disney artist Mildred Rossi. (Thanks to Michael Golberg for the heads up about the book).

I am excited to see a complete biography written about Mildred Rossi and even more pleased to see that the author got in touch with my friend and fellow Disney historian Mindy Johnson to get information about Mildred's Disney years. Can't wait to start reading.

Monday, April 01, 2019

 This just in from Caleb Nelson:

[Below is information about the world premiere compact disc release of George Bruns' music for the Disney film Johnny Tremain:

I have been researching this title since 2003, and am very excited this CD has become a reality. Hope you enjoy the CD!

Jim Lochner's liner notes are marvelous and Kay Marshall's booklet design complements Peter Ellenshaw's production design for the film itself.

There are several emotional high points that George Bruns scores beautifully. His music goes all the way from despair and fear to exhilaration. His music also seems to sound like Ellenshaw's production design and matte paintings, if that makes any sense:-) ]

Friday, March 29, 2019

Alberto Becattini's new book has just been released. If you are a comic book fan, this is a must read.

From the publisher:

[The Grail of Funny Animals

For decades, Italian comics historian Alberto Becattini has been researching and writing about American funny animal comics. In this first volume of his two-part opus, Becattini presents the fruits of his labors, the definitive guide for funny animal fans, collectors, and historians alike.

Becattini examines the funny animal phenomenon, starting from its origins in popular and children’s literature, and continuing through its appearances in newspaper comics, comic books, and comic magazines.

All of the more famous characters are included, such as those created at Disney, Lantz, Warner Bros., MGM, and other cartoon studios, as well as the many lesser-known characters that appeared in obscure comic book titles issued by equally obscure comic book publishers.

During the writing process, and while viewing thousands of comic strips and comic pages, Becattini had many discoveries and “epiphanies” that let him shed light on the identities of hitherto uncredited artists and writers. While his aim has been to highlight the talent behind the comics, rather than the stories and characters themselves, he also provides in-depth coverage of virtually every funny animal comic book, illustration, and animated cartoon.

A must-have title for any serious funny animal fan!]

Thursday, March 28, 2019

Not sure what this new book edited by the son of Buzz Price is worth, but it sounds very interesting and I just ordered a copy.

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Look what is now available for pre-order on Amazon.

I am particularly proud of this volume, which deals with an often overlooked era (Disney's 1970s and early 1980s) and which focuses on the life and art of my two favorite Disney artists: Ken Anderson and Mel Shaw.

Tuesday, March 26, 2019

The first Hyperion Historical Alliance Annual has just been released. It contains in-depth essays about Disney history by Jim Hollifield, Garry Apgar, Todd James Pierce, Lucas Seastrom, Dave Bossert, and your truly.

If you care as much about Disney history as I do, this new magazine is a must have. Note that it is not heavily illustrated. If you buy it, you will do so to read extremely accurate and detailed essays about little-know aspects of Disney history. I have a feeling that quite a few of you will thoroughly enjoy it.

Thursday, March 14, 2019

Speaking of interesting books for kids, this one about Tyrus Wong looks fascinating.

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

If you have kids, this wonderful  new book by my friend Aaron Golberg is a great gift for them.

Tuesday, March 05, 2019

This just in:

[This e-mail is to confirm that Daan Jippes is coming to L.A. at the end of March. He will be signing his artbook at Wondercon Anaheim on March 29 and 30, at the stand of Stuart Ng Books. In the days before the event he will be giving noon talks at Disney Studio's (March 27) and Dreamworks (March 28).

Daan Jippes is regarded as one of the best Disney artists in the world. He is able to adapt any character or style and produce drawings that have great appeal and are full of life. Being an inquisitive and ever exploring comic artist, Daan Jippes also showed his ability to work on storyboards and character development in animation. In 1979 he traveled to the United States where he got a job Disney’s Consumer Products Dept. From there he worked his way into Animation. Jippes has worked on many movies during the Disney Renaissance, including Beauty and the Beast (1990), Aladdin (1992) and Mulan (1998). For Dreamworks he worked on The Road to Eldorado (2000), Joseph (2000), Flushed Away (2006) and Bee Movie (2007).

In 2017 The Dutch Comic Museum held a large exhibition about his work. It was accompanied by a 160 page book written by curator Jan-Willem de Vries. The book was translated in English by Bob Foster and printed in a limited run.]

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Another interesting graphic novel which was released in France recently...

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

I just pre-ordered this book, which I should receive when it is released in July. The publisher's website mentions:

[“Growing up in Disneyland” is part biography about Ron’s father, actor Don DeFore, and his own autobiography. Don DeFore earned a star on Hollywood Boulevard and was a household name in the 1950’s and ‘60’s. He co-starred in numerous feature films with many Hollywood legends, TV shows, and on live theater and is best known for “The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet” in which he played the next-door-neighbor, “Thorny,” and his co-starring role as “Mr. B” in the 1960’s TV series, “Hazel.” The book includes much of Don’s unpublished autobiography, “Hollywood – DeFore ‘n After.”
“Growing up in Disneyland” is a metaphor for Ron DeFore’s life growing up in a celebrity family filled with “Fantasyland” adventures he equates to a “Forest Gump” type life, from meeting the Beatles, Beach Boys, Led Zeppelin, and other celebrities as Associate Director of the Steve Allen Show. His nearly 20 careers include a mid-life crisis as the “Flying DJ” at an L.A. discotheque to political positions within the Reagan Presidential Administration to establishing his own company. “Growing up in Disneyland” is also to be taken literally, as Ron spent much of his youth in Disneyland where his father owned Don DeFore’s Silver Banjo Barbecue restaurant in Frontierland. Ron and his brother, Dave, have given presentations to various Disneyland interest groups after which many attendees suggested, “you should write a book.”
“Growing up in Disneyland” will be enjoyed by any age group from baby-boomers that remember Don DeFore’s many beloved acting roles to those that don’t but are curious how life was in “the good-old-days,” especially growing up in a Hollywood celebrity family. Ron has had so many careers and adventures along the way that readers will have much to keep them from putting the book down.]

Sunday, February 24, 2019

I like this upcoming book's cover.