Wednesday, May 30, 2007

I received the galleys of Walt's People - Volume 5 this morning. They look good. Only 6 small corrections needed.
Now I have to confess something: when I got those galleys I suddenly realized how utterly overboard I have gone on this volume. I think you can call it the JK Rowling-syndrom: each volume seems to get bigger and bigger. Volume 5 is a mere... 444 page-long! Needless to say, this will not be the case of Volume 6 and I will try to maintin the length around 350 pages in future volumes.
Don't worry, though, the JK Rowling-syndrom stops there: the series will hopefully carry on way beyond Volume 7.
This just in from Jim Korkis:

[This week you featured a fascinating picture of Walt going to court over Mickey's Polo Team. Actor John P. Wade claimed that he had submitted a script to Walt and Walt claimed it was unusable but when Wade saw the finished cartoon, he felt that Walt had taken his ideas. I had never heard this story before and assumed it was just another of the many nuisance suits that are filed against the Disney Studio by authors who feel their stories are similar to Disney animated cartoon stories.

Anyway, to clear up the matter here is an excerpt from TIME magazine (January 24, 1938) that clears things up a bit:

When Actor-Author John P. Wade saw the Walt Disney cartoon, Mickey's Polo Team, he sued Disney for a share of the film's profits. Alleged plagiarism: that the gag of the horses riding the riders had been lifted from Author Wade's skit, The Trainer's Nightmare. In court, attorneys for Cartoonist Walt Disney identified the device as a variation on "the reversal gag," easily traced it to Aesop. Said Superior Court Judge Thomas C. Gould, dismissing the suit and plagiarizing Ecclesiastes: ". . . It appears there is nothing new under the sun."]

Found on ebay. The caption says: "Walt Disney greets Mrs. Thomas Hickey Jr. (left) and Mrs. Creighton Peet. He will be here for world premiere of his Art of Animation, Dec. 11."

Do not miss this morning:
- The Story of Storybook Land by Wade Sampson

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Three great photos found recently on ebay. has posted an interview with Michael Barrier. Can't wait to listen to it this evening.
Two great tributes posted by Vinny Poputo on Youtube:

Tribute to Milt Neil

Tribute to Ward Kimball

Monday, May 28, 2007

Don't miss The Flypaper Sequence Mystery by Michael Barrier.

The Walt Disney Family Museum site has been updated today.

This just in from Andrew:
[Hi there,
Someone recently sent me an old article that I posted on my web site that I thought you might be interested in if you've never seen it before... it's an old article from 1941 explaining how to make a Pinocchio marionette.
The patterns included with it are for the same type of puppet that was used by Disney animators while working on Pinocchio.
Hope you enjoy it,
Great shot of Walt found on ebay thanks to Don Brockway. This photo was taken during the Mickey's Polo Team trial in 1938 (see caption below for more details).

Those of you who know me know that I have been fascinated (since the fall of the Berlin Wall) by vintage Disneyana from the former Communist countries. Michael Sporn stumbled this weekend on a true treasure trove. The Posteritati Movie Poster Gallery (239 Centre St. in New York) is offering for sale through its site an amazing range of Disney posters, a large part of which are from outside of the US. Those from Russia, Czech Republic and Poland are by far the most fascinating to my taste.

The poster above is from a 1955 release of Snow White in Russia. Unauthorized released probably.

The one below is from a 1960 release of Dumbo in the Czech Republic.

The three posters below are all from Poland. Pinocchio is from 1962, Fantasia from 1961 and Peter Pan from 1960.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Vance Gerry by animator Chuck Harvey.

This just in from Jim Korkis:
[eBay has been offering some wonderful previously unseen photos of Walt Disney although sometimes a photo may be misidentified.
The caption for this photo said that Walt was appearing on an unnamed radio show in the 1930s but that sure looks like a Dumbo stuffed toy that young lady is holding which would make it at least 1940 if not later.
Voice artist and writer Keith Scott is the expert on Disney on radio so maybe he might be able to identify this radio show and the two folks with Walt who look very familiar.]
Speaking of ebay, Michael Barrier also recently found a Disney history-related photo whose context he explains this morning on

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Great news: I have just sent Walt's People - Volume 5 to the publisher Xlibris. It should be ready in about 2 month (hopefully earlier). Here is a reminder of the huge table of contents:

Foreword: Mark Mayerson
Michael Barrier: Hugh Harman
Dave Smith: Nadine Missakian
Richard Shale: Ward Kimball
Dave Smith and Richard Shale: Erwin Verity
Richard Hubler: James Algar
Richard Hubler: Winston Hibler
Richard Hubler: Bill Anderson
Richard Hubler: Bill Walsh
Christopher Finch and Linda Rosenkrantz: Bill Walsh
Richard Hubler: George Bruns
John Burlingame: Buddy Baker
Jérémie Noyer: Buddy Baker
Mike Barrier: Fess Parker
Christian Renaut: Walt Stanchfield
Richard Hubler: Marc Davis
Dave Oneil: Alice Davis
Richard Hubler: T. Hee
Harry McCracken: Maurice Noble
Christopher Finch and Linda Rosenkrantz: Al Dempster
Bob Miller: Walt Peregoy
Floyd Norman: Windwagon Smith
Floyd Norman: The Making of The Jungle Book
Jim Korkis: Bill Evans
Alberto Becattini: Jack Bradbury
Alberto Becattini: Lynn Karp
Didier Ghez: Dave Michener
John Musker: In Memory of Vance Gerry
Charles Solomon : Vance Gerry
Christian Renaut: Vance Gerry
Clay Kaytis: Ron Clements and John Musker
Pete Emslie: Cover Art

Found recently on ebay. Caption: Walt Disney and attorney Stewart in 1949.

Steve Hulett has posted a large series of photos on The Animation Guild blog that will allow you to recognize most of the artists that should soon soon in Walt's People:

- Up In the Disney Penthouse
- The Youngquist Send Off
- Disney Days of Yore

Don't forget to also check out today Farewell to Tom Sawyer Island by Wade Sampson.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Just received from Neil Armstrong:
[Hi Didier,

Attached is another photo you may wish to post on your blog.

It shows Walt and his wife Lilly at the Hotel Del Coronado, San Diego, and was taken by H.L. Swain on 26th June 1966. Lilly often comes across as aloof and a little cold in many of the biographies of Walt, but in the mid 1990's she paid Walt a fulsome and touching tribute when she said:

" We shared a wonderful, exciting life, and we loved every minute of it. He was a wonderful Husband to me and wonderful and joyful Father and Grandfather"

There is no doubt she was a remarkable woman, and fully played her part in the Walt Disney Story. The final touching footnote was that she suffered a stroke on 15th December 1997, 31 years to the day since Walt Died. She died the next morning on 16th.

Kindest regards,

This just in from Jim Korkis:

[On the Jack Benny television program, Walt was promoting the showing of his live action film A TIGER WALKS on the Wonderful World of Color. Here's a color photo of the introduction for that television show with Walt and the Tiger. The tiger clearly knows who is the boss.]

Monday, May 21, 2007

I will be in Barcelona tomorrow. The blog will be updated again on Wednesday.
Are you wondering what Don Hahn will be up to during his sabbatical? You will be glad to know that, according to animation historian and director Mark Kausler, he is working on a documentary about his late friend and Disney Legend Joe Grant.
If you check this blog on a regular basis, you are bound to remember the concept drawings of the "Little Rooster" from Cuba by Freddy Moore posted by Jenny Lerew on The Blackwing Diaries a while back.

Van Eaton Galleries has discovered one more drawing in the series and is offering it for sale. I wish I had the $3,500 needed to get it :-)

One last bit about Taliaferro sent by this old friend who used to live in the US:
[This photo is from the October 1963 party in the Penthouse Club at the Disney Studio celebrating the 25th birthday of the Donald Duck comic strip where Walt and Roy Disney presented Mousecars and Ducksters statues to various artists working on the Disney newspaper comic strips. From left to right is Bob Karp (who wrote the Donald Duck comic strip and authored the first original Donald Duck comic book "Donald Duck Finds Pirate's Gold"), Walt Disney, Floyd Gottfredson (artist on the Mickey Mouse strip), Al Taliaferro (artist on the Donald Duck strip), Manuel Gonzales (who at the time was doing the Sunday Mickey Mouse comic strip and inking the Scamp strip) and Roy O. Disney.]
I forgot to mention a few weeks ago that the magazine Tomart's Disneyana Update 65 which contains the second part of the article about pre-1945 Turkish Disney magazines had been released.

Don't miss today:
- The new updates on Toons at War,
- The rare photos of Ward Kimball posted by Hans Perk,
- Dave Hand's notes about staging also posted by Hans Perk: part 1 and part 2.

Friday, May 18, 2007

This was a quick sketch that Taliaferro did for an old friend of mine who used to live in the US.

Taliaferro did hand drawn Valentine cards for his wife every year of their thirty-plus years of marriage. Here is an example.

Vance Gerry as seen by storyman Al Wilson.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Not to be missed: Clay Katis has just released the third part of his interview with Burny Mattinson.
Don't miss today, Wade Sampson's new article: Just Ducky: Al Taliaferro and Donald Duck.

Speaking of Taliaferro, an old friend of mine who used to live in the US, sent me a few months ago this drawing that Wade mentioned in his article this morning.

[In 1967, Taliaferro drew a very "Disneyesque" burro for Glendale's anti-litter campaign. Here is a copy of Taliaferro's original design that appeared in full color on the trash cans in Glendale for over a decade. The Spanish influence in the drawing is because the city of Glendale was part of the Verdugo Ranch when Spain ruled California. Glendale still uses this character that has been named "Litter Not". He is the official mascot of the Committee for a Clean and Beautiful Glendale although they have eliminated the sombrero.]

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Pete Emslie just sent me the caricatures he created for the cover of Walt's People - Volume 5 and I could not wait to share them.
A friend of mine is desperatly looking for a way to buy the DVD that was released duiring the Paris / Montreal exhibition. Would anyone know where / how he could pick up a copy?

Speaking of the exhibition: when I wrote my long entry about it a few months ago, I forgot to mention the key role that Pierre Lambert, author of quite a few amazing art books about Disney had on this project. He is the person who selected most of the Disney documents and trained Bruno Girveaux regarding Disney animation and Disney artists. To say that he was a good teacher and Bruno a good student would be understatments.
This just in from Jim Korkis:

[Here is a photo currently being auctioned on eBay.

There are many urban myths surrounding Walt Disney and one of them is that he was anti-Semitic. He wasn't and there's a lot of proof to prove he wasn't but people still don't want to believe the truth. Well, here's another piece of evidence. Walt getting the Man of the Year award in 1955 from a top Jewish organization.

When the B'nai B'rith decided to give Walt the Man of the Year Award in 1955, it first did a thorough investigation into the rumors that Walt might be anti-Semitic. They found no evidence and determined that Walt had no anti-Semitic tendencies.

Many Jewish employees at the Disney Studio over the years have confirmed that Walt had no negative attitudes towards men or women just because they were of the Jewish faith. Walt's daughter, Sharon, even dated a young man of the Jewish faith with no objection from either Walt or Lillian. Animator Joe Grant, who was Jewish, has stated: "As far as I'm concerned, there was no evidence of it and I think that the whole idea should be put to rest and buried deep."]

All the interviews I read throughout the years do point in the exact same direction.

The cover of the book I would have loved to write has just been released. According to CartoonBrew, To Infinity and Beyond! is a hefty 320-page volume that celebrates Pixar’s 20-plus year history from its early days under George Lucas to the recent merger with Disney. The book will include two 8-page gatefolds and over 400 color images. Cover price is $75. $51 pre-order at Amazon.
S/R Labs new auction catalog is out and contain quite a few nice pieces, including this beautiful concept drawing by Ferdinand Horvath.

Monday, May 14, 2007

This just in from Joakim Gunnarsson:
Just posted a photo of Walt Disney (?) over at my blog.
Do you know anything about it?
And is it really Walt?
This does not look like Walt but I love this document. Any thoughts?
Two DeSoto ads found on ebay thanks to Jim Korkis.

Quick update about Walt's People - Volume 5.

The mauscript is ready to go to the publisher. This will probably happen within 2 weeks, as soon as I receive the finalized cover from Pete Emslie. This means that this volume should be available around the end of July, a bit earlier than planned. Hurray.

I am hard at work on Volume 6. I will publish the table of contents of that instalment as soon as it is 100% confirmed.

Tomorrow is a holiday in Madrid, so the blog will be dead until Wednesday morning.
I would love to write an article in the next few months about the Mexican publisher Ediciones Modernas who released quite a few great Disney books in the '40s, including a beautiful series of mini-books that included at least 120 titles.

Would any reader of the blog know of anyone who would collect Disney books published by Ediciones Modernas?

I just discovered this photo on ebay that shows Walt Disney and Peron's press minister. What makes it ever more special are the Song of the South plush toys, of course.
Any idea of who might have produced those? They look to me like something that could have been created in Italy by Lenci, but I might be absolutely wrong.
Ward Kimball Videos

CartoonBrew just noticed that quite a few Ward Kimball-related videos were posted on Youtube this weekend. Don't forget to check them out this morning.

These clips prompted Jim Korkis to send me the following email:

[Concerning the Kimball You Bet Your Life:

Seven days after this show aired in 1954, TOOT WHISTLE PLUNK AND BOOM received an Oscar (Kimball directed the Disney short.) This same year, Kimball started work on the Tomorrowland MAN IN SPACE show. He was already a celebrity thanks to Firehouse Five Plus Two. He had even been profiled in ESCAPADE magazine (a PLAYBOY imitation).

Regular folk were the usual contestants on the show, but sometimes there was the occasional celebrity—Jack Benny, Liberace, Edgar Bergen (with young daughter Candice) and Ray Bradbury among them. Nobody really watched You Bet Your Life to see people win fabulous prizes because there were quiz shows that had much bigger prizes. People tuned in to NBC on Thursday nights to see Groucho and what he would say.

DeSoto sponsored YOU BET YOUR LIFE ("Tell ‘em Groucho sent you"). Walt Disney appeared in two DeSoto newspaper ads in 1939 but never drove one. They told him if he appeared in the ad they would give him a free DeSoto. Walt said he didn’t need a car but his mother Flora said “your father and I need one” so Walt appeared in the ad. In one of the ads, he is sitting in a lawn chair by the car and over to the left is a butler with a tray of drinks.]

Also worth the detour are the new posts on Toons at War.

Friday, May 11, 2007

This just in from Are:

[Hi Dider - and David!

David Lesjak is right about that this is a presentation piece or a diploma of some kind given to Walt Disney at the Golden Gate Exposition held in San Francisco in 1939.

You will find a similar one here (- a small image however);


This just in from Jim Korkis (I love it!):

[This comic appeared in a small magazine during the infamous Disney Strike of 1941. Artist and animator Shane Glines did an outstanding scan of it for his website years ago and it no longer seems available at his website.]

Thursday, May 10, 2007

This just in from Are:

[Hi Dider!

When I studied the photo of Florence Ward (whoever she is) and Walt from 1939, I discovered that on the poster she is holding, you can see the name “Walt Disney” printed on the banner in the posters right corner. Obviously she is holding some kind of Disney-poster. Dou you have any idea what kind of poster this could be? Seems to be some great art!



Any ideas?

[David Lesjak mentions:

"My guess...

I think the poster has something to do with the 1939 Golden Gate Exposition held in San Francisco.

I think the poster is either part of a presentation piece given to Walt Disney, or perhaps the Disney Company sponsored a display at the expo and the poster was part of the exhibit.

Elements you can faintly make out in the poster lead me to this conclusion. "]

[Byron adds:

"Isn't this likely the Florence Ward of Florence Ceramics, which famously manufactured ceramic figurines from the late '30s through the 1960s?"]

Thanks for all the comments. That's when this becomes really fun.

This just in from Neil Armstrong:
[Hi Didier,

As promised here is a scan of one of my recent purchases.

It is a great shot from the archives of the San Francisco Examiner showing Walt, with Mickey, acting as Grand Marshall of the Tournament of Roses Parade on New Years Day 1966. You can see in the photo how much Walt was aging in that last year of his life. As Bob Thomas put it in "Walt Disney: An American Original":

"On New Years Day 1966, Walt Disney was my millions on television as Grand Marshall of The Tournament of Roses Parade in Pasadena. To the generation that had seen him weekly on his television series he seemed little different. The same straight hair and trimmed mustache - perhaps a little greyer - and the same wide grim and upraised eyebrow. But those who worked closely with Walt could see changes."]
Hake's new auction contains quite a few spectacular items, including:

- The Deadline newsletter from January 1937,
- This beautiful and extremely rare Australian box (below),
- The items against VD featuring Donald posted on CartoonBrew this morning (see previous post),
- The 100-copy-limited-edition of the Pinocchio storyboard book.

If one of you manages to pick up the Deadline or the Pinocchio book, it would be greatif you were to send me scans to post on the blog.

Do not miss today:

- Donald Duck Wants You: to use condoms! on CartoonBrew,
- The stunning 1949 (!) storyboards of The Sword in the Stone posted by Michael Sporn,
- The Disney Bulletin from May 3, 1940 posted by Joe Campana and that I keep forgetting to mention here.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Unusual photo from the New York's World Fair found last week on ebay.