Friday, March 23, 2007

12 years later, I still exclaim as I used to do in 1995, when I first discovered the web: "I love the internet!"
You remember that photo with Walt and the kangaroo I posted yesterday? JB Kaufman sent me the story that goes with it:
[I can't swear to it, but I'm guessing that the Walt photo you posted was taken at the studio, on the occasion of the wallabies. Do you know about the wallabies? According to a syndicated story that appeared in newspapers in 1934, an Australian admirer sent Walt a gift of two wallabies, a male and a female. By the time they reached the States, they had produced a third. According to this story, the Disney staff promptly named the male wallaby Leapo, the female Hoppo, and the baby Poucho. This of course became an obvious inspiration for the cartoon Mickey's Kangaroo, released the following April. Joe Grant told me in 1988 that the newspaper story was true; he remembered the wallabies being kept in a pen outside the story department. I asked him if the name that appears on the mailing label in the cartoon, Leo Buring, was the name of the real-life person who sent the animals to Walt, and he thought it probably was. - JB]
And if that weren't enough, Hans Perk published on his site this morning the first part of the notes from a Reluctant Dragon story meeting where we learn that Kay Nielsen worked on the dragon's cave. This comes as major news to me. I knew of his work on Fantasia and Little Mermaid, of course, and - thanks to John Canemaker - of his concept paintings for Sleeping Beauty. But The Reluctant Dragon!

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