Friday, July 31, 2009

I have just received this magazine from Mexico (from November 1932) yesterday. I thought you would enjoy its cover. It contains a shallow article about the creation of Mickey Mouse but also a rather fun drawing of post-Disney Oswald (below).
Good news: the web site of the Walt Disney Family Museum is now open. Among other things it features an upcoming book by JB Kaufman. Can't wait to get my hands on that one.

Do not miss today:

- New Disney Strike footage by Jerry Beck

Thursday, July 30, 2009

The two books by Pierre Lambert that I was discussing earlier this year, Le Livre de la Jungle (The Jungle Book) and Blanche Neige (Snow White) are now available for pre-order on

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

This is a new blog, created by Ed Gombert, that will definitely be worth following, potentially on a daily basis. Pure delight. (Thanks to CartoonBrew for the link)

This splendid concept painting by Tenggren is being sold at the moment by Heritage Auction. (Thanks to Emmanuel Bourmalo for the link.)

Do not miss today:

- Old Black Magic by Michael Spron (and John Culhane)

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

This just in from Nancy Beiman who is working on her second book:

[The book is called ANIMATED PERFORMANCE. It is about acting for animators--the first time this subject has been covered by an animator, not a stage actor--- and it will contain some Disney material, though it is not about that studio per se.

My Art Babbitt interview (the best one I ever got) will appear in its entirety, excerpted in the text through the book and not in a separate appendix as in PREPARE TO BOARD! I also have interviews with Ellen Woodbury, Woolie Reitherman, and Ward Kimball (the last two are excerpts only, but all contain fascinating material that isn't found elsewhere.)

A special bonus: an interview with my former student Jamaal Bradley on directing and acting for video games. This is a real treasure. I'm doing about 140 illustrations myself.

Publication is July, 2010, and AVA Press is the publisher. It's a large format book, too, much more elaborate than PTB.

Here is a rough cover design. It will probably change a bit through editorial, but this is the artwork I want to use.]

Do not miss today:

Monday, July 27, 2009

Here are a few more treasures that one will be able to discover at the Disney Family Museum. Those are from Gallery 2. Above is the well-known telegram that Walt sent to his brother Roy, which reads “DONT WORRY EVERYTHING OK WILL GIVE DETAILS WHEN ARRIVE”.

Below is Walt and Lilly's wedding certificate.

If you are in La Coruña in Spain within the next few weeks you will want to visit this great animation art exhibit organized by collector Luciano Berriatua.

Friday, July 24, 2009

I like this caricature of Frank Thomas, which was sold recently on

Thursday, July 23, 2009

As mentioned below, the Walt Disney Family Museum is starting to send some photographs that will give us an idea of what can be found in each room of the Museum. I will be featuring on this blog only those photographs that have not been seen often elsewhere.

Here is Elias' violin from Gallery 1, which focuses on Walt's childhood.
This just in through Andy Wang, Communication Manager of the Walt Disney Family Museum:

[As you may have heard, The Walt Disney Family Museum will open October 1, and its website ( goes live on August 1 – when tickets will go on sale!

That’s all in the future. For now, we’re delighted to announce that the museum’s Facebook page is up and running – and we’ve started a Twitter stream as well! You can find them at:

The Facebook fan page has tons of information – museum hours, ticket prices, directions to the museum, links to articles already written about the museum, community discussions, and more. Our Facebook page is pretty new – please feel free to join and spread the word by linking the page to any blog posts you may write. And when we see especially interesting press or blog coverage, we’ll be linking to the stories and posts from our page, as well.
To keep things fresh and exciting, starting today, July 16, we’ll be launching a series of sneak peeks into the museum’s collections and galleries. The previews—which will be sent to you every Thursday until opening day, October 1—will talk about Walt Disney himself, his innovations, and his unending commitment to creating the best. They’ll also include photos of some of the amazing things you’ll be able to see at The Walt Disney Family Museum in person beginning in October.
“My father's name is probably one of the most well-known names around the world, but as the ‘brand’ or trademark has spread, for many, the man has become lost,” said Diane Disney Miller, one of the Museum’s founders. “We are committed to telling the story of Walt Disney’s life, in his own words, and in the words of others who knew him well and worked with him. My father was very open and approachable, and in many conversations and interviews that were captured in audio, you will be able to hear in the galleries as you learn the story of his life. It is a wonderful story. Dad himself loved to tell it. Thanks to the amazing work of many dedicated people, we are fortunate to be able to tell it here using the tools he worked with—art, music, film, and technology—to present an honest yet affectionate portrait of this amazing artist and man.”

“From Steamboat Willie to Pinocchio to EPCOT, Walt Disney’s unyielding ambition was to ignite a sense of wonder and to enrapture audiences through great storytelling,” said Richard Benefield, founding director of The Walt Disney Family Museum. “He recognized the power of art to spark the imagination, and time and again, pushed himself and his companies to the breaking point as he pursued the highest level of excellence in feature animation. The Walt Disney Family Museum will present the compelling story of his life—of his successes and failures—as he entertained and enlightened the nation while it struggled with the Great Depression, joined the fight of World War II, and entered a golden age of prosperity and preeminence.”]
- Das Micky Maus Girl (1930) by Jerry Beck
- Disneyland 54 Years Today by Hans Perk
- Remembering Rescue Rangers by Wade Sampson

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

About two years ago I reviewed the Disney exhibit that took place in Paris at the Grand Palais and then moved to Canada. This exhibit travelled to Munich last year, although quite a few paintings and documents were replaced before the move happened.

I had the pleasure of receiving last week the German catalog and to say that it is a stunning book is an understament. The French and English catalogs that were released for the French and Canadian exhibits were beautiful. This German one is even better, as it contains a lot more photographs and is quite simply more exhaustive than its counterparts.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

A few years back I posted the program of the Moscow Film Festival from the mid-'30s and mentioned at the time:

The shorts The Three Little Pigs, Peculiar Penguins and The Band Concert were shown in the mid-'30s at Moscow's Art Film Theatre. The Three Little Pigs even received a special award at the Moscow Film Festival in 1935.

I believe this photograph is of a Russian movie poster that was released around the same time. I just bought this photograph (not the poster itself unfortunately) last week on ebay.

Monday, July 20, 2009

December 1966 on a Swiss TV program

If you speak French, you will probably be interested in watching the TV program below, which was aired following the death of Walt:
This just in through Howard Lowery:

[A major exhibition of the art of Mary Blair opened this month in Tokyo, Japan at the Museum of Contemporary Art. It is titled The Colors of Mary Blair and features more than 500 originals works and related items created for the films of the Walt Disney Studio, illustration, package designs, and personal expression. The museum's website address for this show is Some of the exhibited works are shown, yet the website is mostly in Japanese. The exhibition runs through October 4.

A catalogue has, or soon will be, published and should be available from the museum. I have inquired into purchasing copies to offer on our website, yet as of this writing do not know if the response will be positive. The same museum hosted the 2006 exhibition The Art of Disney that consisted of works then held by Chiba University from The Art of Animation show that Walt Disney sent to Japan in 1959, supplemented by additional works lent by Disney's Animation Research Library. The museum published a first-rate catalogue for that exhibit, and I suggest you watch the website for the opportunity to purchase a copy of the catalogue of The Colors of Mary Blair.]
This just in from Ted Thomas:

["Walt & El Grupo" will come to the screen in September!

Yes, it is a special little gem of a film, but it still requires enthusiastic audiences on the opening weekend to get a crack at staying in those theaters for another week and, one prays, another and another. So, put it on your calendar, tell your friends, and let's all go to the movies! Our movie.

Walt Disney Pictures is helping out with a limited release, and the first cities to open will be on

Friday, September 11
New York - The Quad
Los Angeles - The Landmark Regent (Westwood)
Anaheim - AMC Downtown Disney 12

Friday, September 25, the film opens in
Seattle - The SIFF Cinema

Other cities will follow, including
San Francisco (probably late October)
Washington, D.C.

We have a poster designed by the Walt Disney Pictures Creative Print folks, (above); a trailer, which will be in selected theaters in the coming week (and on the web soon after);

the website

a Facebook page

If you tweet

and a generous quote from Leonard Maltin: "A revelation for Disney fans everywhere. The past comes alive in this vivid film about a once-in-a-lifetime adventure."

If the film is not currently headed to a theater near you, our understanding is that the best way to change that is to contact the manager of said nearby theater and ask for it. Let them know how to find out more about the film, and that there is a local audience for it.]

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

I will be in training tomorrow and in Paris on Friday. The blog will be updated again on Monday.
The John Basmajian collection of animation art has been famous for many years as one of the most impressive in the world.

David Lesjak emailed me yesterday to let me know that John's family has now launched a web site featuring part of the collection. This site will probably be worth visiting often, especially if its blog is updated regularly.
Do not miss today:

- The Art of the Haunted Mansion: The Book by Wade Sampson

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Thanks to Paul Anderson, I picked up recently on ebay this book from Bulgaria. It may be missing its cover but it is still a great find. Disney items from Bulgaria from before 1950 are extremely rare and this book from 1946 seems to be an oddity, as explained by my friend from Serbia Sasa Rakezic:

[This is from Bulgaria indeed. Great find. It says: MIKI MAUS PLANINAR (Mickey Mouse Mountaineer), ILUSTRACIOT OT UOLT DISNEI (Illustrations by Walt Disney), IZDAETELSTVO "ZNANIE" SOFIA (Published by Znanie (Knowledge), Sofia).

Moreover, on the inner cover it's marked that it's number 24 of the "Miki Mouse stories" of the "Cheap Book " edition. It's not clear if that is part 24 of an edition only dedicated to Mickey Mouse stories, or (which is more likely) it is just one of the books dedicated to Mickey Mouse in an edition of different stories. This is all that I was able to guess... (The name of the translator is Vyara Mak, if that is of any significance to you).

The book was approved by the Ministry of People's Education. As an addition, they added a story by Leon Tolstoy! I can't tell which story it is, because that part is missing, but it's interesting that the new ("Communist") government mixed stories by Disney with Tolstoy!]

Do not miss today:

Monday, July 13, 2009

This just in from Jim Korkis:

[In June 1992 at a press preview for Disney's latest animated feature, "Aladdin", Disney Chairman Jeffrey Katzenberg announced several animated feature projects in development besides "King of the Jungle" which was due out the next year. (It became "The Lion King".) Those projects included: Homer's "Odyssey", Sindbad the Sailor, Pocahontas, Swan Lake (which Katzenberg described as "an original story dealing with the mythology of dragons"), "Song of the Sea" (about whales) and a "more lighthearted project called 'Silly Hillbillies On Mars'" These were all in addition to work on "Fantasia Continues" due on June 1995. The "Silly Hillbillies on Mars" project came about when a Disney artist mis-read the title "The Martins and the Coys" about the famous hillbilly feud that was made into a Disney short. The artist thought it say "The MARTIANS and the Coys". Apparently, when Katzenberg left the Disney Company for Dreamworks, the majority of those projects ceased to exist.]

This just in from Dave O'Neal. Not sure yet what the book is worth. I did not buy the first edition as the subject seemed too narrow for my tastes but for some reason I decided to give it a go this time around.

[On July 17th 2009, the second edition of our book"Anaheim Vacationland" will be shipping.

Anaheim Vacationland tells the story of the area that surronds Disneyland. The motels, shops, places to eat, the crazy extinct attractions likethe Japanese Deer Park, Wax Museums, and so forth.

The large full color 244 page book has been updatedand since the first one sold out so fast in 2008, we have done a second edition for you.

When Walt Disney chose Anaheim as the city to build Disneyland in, everyone in the public and his own friends, thought he was crazy. All that was in Anaheim in 1955 was farm fields and dusty old roads. All that changed drasticallyin 1955 when the new theme park opened.

Anaheim was now known as Vacationland. In this second edition of the sold out book by David Oneal, you will be treated to a treasure trove of historical photos, and first hand accounts of the effect that Disneyland had on Anaheim. Disney legend Bob Gurr, Marty Skylar, Buzz Price (the man who decided on Anaheim as the place to build Disneyland) and otherDisney historians like Don Ballard and David Oneal take the reader from the Anaheim boomtown of the 1950's and 60's to the decay of the 70's and 80's and eventual rebirth as the resort district that is today.

244 full color pages with amazing images of the Spacemotels, Tiki Motels, western motels and googgie buildings! Plus explore the history of the Movieland Wax Museum, Japanese Deer Park and other areas of Vacationland. The first book was an instant sell out, get your copy today.

Due to a special deal with our printer we are able tooffer the book at a special price of $24,99

You can see tons of preview pages, images as wellas order the book now at:

I hope you enjoy the new book, loaded with Disney legends stories, images of the park and surronding area from 1955 to now.]

Friday, July 10, 2009

Currently being sold on ebay (at too high a price for my taste) is this Estonian version of Blaggard Castle from 1936 published in Tallinn, Estonia by the editor Maaling. The book is 244 pages including 120 pages with b/w illustrations. This is such an unusual book from such an unusual place that I had a feeling you may like to see it.
This just in from Gunnar Andreassen:

[Fred Spencer made an analysis of Donald Duck in 1935 and with it followed several model sheets: an important document in the development of the Duck. I found some of the pages from this on eBay a couple of years ago, but photos of page 3 and 4 (out of 5) were missing. Could you or any readers of your blog provide or post the missing pages ?Enclosed page no. 1 and model sheet no. 1.

The photo of Spencer comes from a 1932 staff photo.]

Thursday, July 09, 2009

I was excited to read yesterday that the new issue of The E-Ticket has been released but extremely sad to know that it will be the last. For more info visit 2719 Hyperion.
Do not miss today:

- Lynn Hart: Adventurers Club and Forbidden Disney Song Writer by Wade Sampson

Friday, July 03, 2009

I will be in Milan for work from Monday to Wednesday next week. The blog will be updated again on Thursday.
Looking for a rare book

I just realized that there is a book I still do not have in my reference library. The worst side of this is that it is written by one of the Disney historians that I most like and respect: John Culhane.

The book is simply called Walt Disney and was released in 1974 by the Zagreb Film Festival. Would anyone reading this blog own a copy?
Ed Summers was kind enough to send me the beautiful little catalog of the Mickey Mouse cartoons festival organized by The Buffalo Internation Film Festival on April this year. I especially loved the homage to Mickey by Maurice Sendak and I thought you might enjoy it too.

A few items from the estate of the actor Henry Clavin (Sgt. Garcia in Zorro) are being sold at the moment on ebay, including this great drawing.
Thanks to David Lesjak for the information.

Thursday, July 02, 2009

This just in from my Serbian friend Sasa Rakezik (also known as Zograf):

[Enclosed is an ad that I found. It was published in Politika daily from Belgrade, on January 25, 1941. It's announcing a "double program" for a movie show. One was obviously Snow White and the 7 Dwarfs, while the other feature is a "story of a life of the Russian emigrants in the US", titled Blood of a Kozak.

The Snow White ad was probably done by Vlasta Belkic, who did these covers for the Mika Mis magazine. As you can see, there was not even a title of a movie. It was probably so popular that just a picture of the characters would tell it all. It is actually like a REBUS, because between the drawing of a Snow White and the Dwarfs there is a Cyrillic letter "i"(which means "and"). The short description says, "The unique creation in the history of film - unlike anything before, it has no competition at all. It was only through enormous efforts that this wanderful presentation of the kingdom of beauty and magic was made true".]

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

This just in from Jim Korkis:

[In the course of working on an article I ran across an article in LOOK magazine from July 26, 1955. I am attaching a page that has two GREAT photos that have never been reprinted. I love the photo of Walt in a Davy Crockett coonskin cap kissing his six month old grandson Chris also in a Davy Crockett cap.]
This just in:

[By Leo N. Holzer
Friends of the Walt Disney Family Museum

Well, here’s news many of you have been waiting for: Details about the annual membership plans for the Walt Disney Family Museum.

There are three levels for basic membership — Individual, Dual and Family — and a premium “Founding Membership” with additional perks.

All memberships are annual from date the museum opens or your registration date. For example, if you sign up now, your membership would be good through Sept. 30, 2010; but if you make it a Christmas present to yourself, family or another and sign-up on Dec. 18, then the membership would be good through Dec. 18, 2010.

All memberships include admission into the museum with a timed-entry ticket, (best acquired) from the Museum’s Web site ticketing system, once it becomes operational Aug. 1 or in person, as available.

The Web-based ticketing system will offer tickets up to 60 days in advance. During August, tickets may be obtained for any day in October, as available.

It’s possible that there may be very few, if any, tickets available at the door on some given days, especially weekends, until well after the museum’s opening.

What is a timed-entry ticket?

Well, the system has been designed to help avoid overcrowding in the galleries. Ticket-holders will have a 15-minute window for entry, 10-10:14 a.m.; 10:15-10:29, etc.

Additional basic membership benefits include: a quarterly newsletter mailed to a member’s address; a 10 percent discount in the Museum Store; a membership card and additional discounts for educational and public programs.

The price for an Individual Membership is $75; $55 for seniors over 65 and students with valid ID. It allows tickets for one person on any day of operation, as available.

Dual membership, which includes admission for two, is $125 general and $95 for seniors.

The Family Membership is $175 and includes tickets for four, as available, on any day the museum is open.

All basic memberships are fully tax deductible.

Now, let’s talk about the premium FOUNDING MEMBERSHIP plan. It’s $500 per person, of which $425 is tax deductible.

Founding Members get all the basic individual membership benefits along with an additional 5 percent discount in the Museum Store; a total of 20 admissions for guests; an exclusive membership card and pin; an autographed copy of a newly published book; a numbered certificate signed by Diane Disney Miller and Executive Director Richard Benefield; and, invitations to select events, lectures, concerts, receptions and openings.

Those 20 guest admissions may be used in one visit — with coordination with the membership office for any group larger than 8 — or the Founding Member could use six in October, four in December and hold the remaining 10 in reserve for later.

Only Founding Members who join before the end of 2009 will get the signed and autographed certificate, which will be retired.

There’s an additional charge of $25 on all International Memberships.

To receive a membership application, send ane-mail to For questions or to process an application over the phone, call (415) 345-6810.]
Do not miss today:

- Who was Walt Disney? by Jerry Beck
- Ghostly Gracey: The Merlin of WED by Wade Sampson
- Mickey Mouse & Ginger Rogers by David Lesjak
- Happy Birthday, Phil Harris! by Pete Emslie
- The Julien Michael Jackson auction. It is session five and six that have the Disneyana items from Jackson's collection (thanks to Jim Korkis for this link)