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.

Sunday, February 17, 2019

Walt's People - Volume 22 has just been released!

I believe it is one of the best volumes in the series. It contains interviews and documents about Ferdinand Horvath, Izzy Klein, Eduardo Solá Franco, Campbell Grant, T. Hee, Ken Anderson, Bill Cottrell, Ken Anderson, Herb Ryman, Andrew B. Beard, Treb Heining, Harriet Burns, Valerie Edwards, Gary Goldman, Tad Stones.

Some of the highlights are: a long autobiographical letter from Ferdinand Horvath, the full Disney-related correspondence of Eduardo Solá Franco, the letters of Campbell Grant, a long interview with Imagineer Harriet Burns, and Gary Goldman's in-depth interview about the Disney Studio in the 1970s.

Friday, February 15, 2019

It is with immense sadness that I learned that Dave Smith passed away earlier today. The 5th volume of They Drew As They Pleased, which will be released in August is dedicated to him and Michael Barrier, the two men without whom Disney history would not exist as a serious field of research.

I first met Dave when I was a teenager, still living in Geneva, Switzerland. I cannot believe that he is gone. I had heard from him by email just 6 weeks ago, when he sent me his comments on the manuscript of Walt's People - Volume 22. This is devastating news.
The new issue of Disney Twenty-Three is about to be released. I am not convinced that it will contain much that will interest me but I will pick it up nevertheless.

Thursday, February 14, 2019

David Peake just sent me a heads up about Marty Sklar's last book, which will be released on November 5, 2019, according to the Hachette Book Group website. It will be titled Travels with Figment On the Road in Search of Disney Dreams. Can't wait.

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Chronicle Books is about to send They Drew As They Pleased - Volume 5 to the printer. It will be released in August. Here is the cover, revealed for the first time. This volume focuses on two of my favorite Disney concept artists: Ken Anderson and Mel Shaw.

Saturday, February 09, 2019

It is with immense sadness that my wife Rita and I just learned today of the passing of Ron Miller. We will always remember fondly his warmth and marvelous sense of humor when we met him a few years back at the Silverado winery in Napa Valley. Our deepest sympathies to the Miller family. This is a very sad day.

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

This just in from my friend and fellow Disney historian, Ross Care about an interesting new Swiss book (in French) which contains a new Disney-related essay by him:

[ABECEDAIRE STRAVINSKY, Foundation Igor Stravinsky, Editions La Baconniere, Geneva, Switzerland, 2018 - "Sous La Direction de Marie Stravinsky" - A collection of essays on everything Stravinsky, beautifully illustrated. An English edition may be forthcoming.

My article is a discussion of how the Le Sacre score was adapted, rearranged, and slightly cut for Fantasia.]

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

This just in (note that the text is both in Italian AND English).

I have contributed an in-depth, original essay to this catalog about the various projects (from 1978 to today) to get Mickey back to the silver screen. It covers both the produced and the abandoned projects and is full of new information.

Monday, January 21, 2019

Jose Carioca and Panchito on the cover!? I can't wait to pick up this book!!

Friday, January 18, 2019

Don't forget that Todd James Pierce's fascinating new book about Ward Kimball has now been released.

Thursday, January 17, 2019

This just in from Tom Sito via Facebook:

[Yay! I approved my cover design today. My new book will be out in March. It's an animators cookbook. 83 recipes from around the world. Dishes from past masters like Grim Natwick and Chuck Jones, to modern masters like Brenda Chapman and Pete Docter. Drinks, Main Dishes and Deserts. The amazing Robert Lence, storyboard artist and gourmet, helped out with testing recipes.]

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

I am helping a friend with an extremely exciting project linked to Fun and Fancy Free and in the process I stumbled upon this fun piece of advertising and thought you might enjoy it.

Friday, January 11, 2019

I am still trying to figure out exactly when in the 1940s this meeting took place, but in the meantime I thought you would enjoy seeing this photo of Walt with nuclear scientist Robert Millikan.

Tuesday, January 08, 2019

I just spotted this new book on Amazon. Could definitely be interesting.

Monday, January 07, 2019

I was checking the Hachette Book Group website earlier today and noticed than a larger number of upcoming Disney history books have been added:

- The Art of Disney Costuming by Rebecca Cline, Jeff Kurtti (Disney Editions, September 2019)

- The Disney Afternoon - A Television Renaissance by Jake Friedman (Disney Editions, October 2019)

- Magic Journey - My Fantastical Walt Disney Imagineering Career by Kevin Rafferty (Disney Editions, September 2019)

- The Queens of Animation - The Untold Story of the Women Who Transformed the World of Disney and Made Cinematic History by Nathalia Holt (Little, Brown and Company, September 2019)

Friday, January 04, 2019

The upcoming book The Disney Monorail: Imagineering the Highway in the Sky by Jeff Kurtti and Vanessa Hunt sounds intriguing and should be an excellent read.

Thursday, January 03, 2019

I just received this ad for the upcoming 300-page long catalog of the Italian Mickey Mouse exhibition which I was mentioning a few weeks ago.

Can't wait!

Wednesday, January 02, 2019

Happy Hew Year to all of you!

Thanks to John Musker I now have the cover caricatures for Walt's People - Volume 22, which I hope will be released by mid-February at the latest.

More about this soon.