Saturday, November 28, 2009
This just in from Jim Korkis:
[While it is always fascinating to read the interviews in Walt's People, it is amazing to actually hear the person tell the story of their life. Here is a link to a multi-part interview with Roy E. Disney where he covers everything from his youth with his dad and Uncle Walt all the way up to the acquistion of Pixar. This is not a short overview. The first part of the interview lasts a half hour!]
- Walt in London - 1934 by Mark Sonntag
- Gobble, gobble... by David Lesjak
- Donald Duck insignia - help! by David Lesjak
Friday, November 27, 2009
[Here's an interesting link, especially for folks interested in Disney in World War II. Mickey Mouse, Popeye, Felix the Cat and other cartoon heroes in a 1944 propaganda cartoon.]
Note: This anti-American cartoon created under the Vichy regime in France is also featured on the excellent DVD, The Golden Age of Cartoons: Cartoons for Victory!.
Before this sequence there is a meeting between Mickey Mouse and the actor Jimmy Durante (a combination of live action and animation).
The sequence has been cut in later releases of the film. However you can find a (bad) copy of this sequence on YouTube.
The films original trailer from 1934 can be found here.
See also the attachment (the original poster).
- Getting off my Keister for Ditier by Ed Gombert (who probably means "Didier" not "Ditier")
Thursday, November 26, 2009
- WEDNESDAY-FUN FOTO "Count Mickula" by Paul F. Anderson
- Conflicts by Michael Sporn
- Marty Sklar to pay tribute to Disney Legend at Ryman Arts fund-raiser by Jim Hill
- “The Art of the Disney Princess” artfully re-imagines classic cartoon characters by Jim Hill
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
His books are the most lavish art books ever produced about Disney movies. They are huge and full of extremely high quality reproductions of pre-production artwork, backgrounds and key set-ups.
The texts are usually very short but well-written (in French) and well-researched, but you do not miss much if you do not speak French. You are paying for the art which fills 99% of each book.
[When is a Don Rosa Duck comic book story not a Disney Duck comic book story? Here is a special two page story that will never be reprinted in any Rosa Disney Duck collection and yet should be.]
- NEWSPAPER EXPLOITATION-Pinocchio by Paul Anderson
- TUESDAY-WALT'S PEOPLE Clarence "Ducky" Nash by Paul Anderson
- DISNEY AND THE MAGAZINE-Snow White in Hollywood by Paul Anderson
- Injun Trouble: The Neverland Tribe by Wade Sampson
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
I have a feeling you will be fascinated by this blog by Kaya Özkaracalar from Turkey. I was.
- Disney Legends recall Walt Disney and the 'Yes, if....' way of management by Robert Niles (thanks to Jim Korkis for the link)
- MONDAY-WALT QUOTE DAY "The Unknown Walt: Grandpa Disney" by Paul Anderson
Sunday, November 22, 2009
[I refer to your very interesting article on the Disney History Institute blog about the cover drawing of Mickey and Greta Garbo, created by Joe Grant. I have a little piece of information that might be of interest to you when it comes to this:
This drawing seemed somewhat familiar to me, even though I can’t recall having seen that cover before.
Suddenly it dawned on me where I had seen something like it.
Last year I bought a photo of Walt at his desk in his Hyperion Office, probably taken in 1937. I sent it to you, and you posted it on your blog with a list of details that I had made. On the desk was an object that was difficult to figure out what was.
9. Item with Mickey (and Minnie ?) and another character. Could it be a cigar cutter?
Now I know what it was: A metal item of Garbo and Mickey. It seems that Walt put a cigarette on top of Mickey.
The question remains: Who could have made this ?
[Bill Justice is getting ready to celebrate his 96th Birthday February 9th, but he’s been in a rehabilitation home for the last few years and visitation has been tightly restricted. A good friend of mine who is a talented Disney artist recently visited him and said Bill had difficulty remembering recent events but if the artist mentioned a name from the "Golden Age" of Disney, Bill perked up and his memories were clear as a bell.
Bill hasn't been in the best of spirits so it has been requested that it would be nice for him to get some holidays cards and of course, some birthday cards, to let him know that he hasn't been forgotten.
My interview with Bill appears in Walt's People Vol. 3.
For those unfamiliar with Bill's many accomplishments, he is probably best known for his animation on the characters Chip'n'Dale and for his early work programming audio-animatronics on such attractions as "Pirates of the Caribbean" and "Haunted Mansion". He was the one who designed the recently closed attraction, the "Mickey Mouse Revue" and painted the huge mural of characters in Exposition Hall at Walt Disney World. Basically, his accomplishments were enough to fill a book...and they did in the limited edition "Justice for Disney" book he authored and that was released by Tomarts Publications.
Bill has been a long time friend of the Disney fan community and has attended many conventions, cruise ship excursions, and other events often drawing Disney characters on paper plates and then tossing them like frisbees into the crowd.
It is being requested that Disney fans show their love by sending him a card or letter (remember that he won't be able to respond or fill a request for artwork) and perhaps include a photo that may have been taken with him. Something to remind him of his impact and how he is still very much loved and appreciated.
Bill is one of the few remaining connections to people who actually worked with Walt and Bill's contributions include not just animation but work at the Disney theme parks.
The address is:
Arbor View Wellness & Rehabilitation Center
1338 20th Street
Santa Monica, CA 90404]
Friday, November 20, 2009
Didier Ghez: When and where was Helen born?
Charlene Sundblad: Helen Josephine DeForce was born 23 December, 1900 in Spokane, Washington. Her father was a railroad man eventually becoming the Superintendent of the Northern Pacific railroad for the Eastern Division of Washington.
Education was important and she attended private schools including Ramona Convent in Alhambra California and colleges such as: Wells College in Aurora New York; Stanford in California; University of Washington, Seattle, Washington and finally the University of Southern California, Pasadena, California where she earned her BA degree.
DG: What did she do before joining Disney?
CS: Her first marriage was to Ernest Ludwig, in Seattle Washington on Nov 16th 1925. It ended after the birth of their daughter, Helen Ludwig (my mother) in 1927. During those divorced years, Helen Josephine and her baby daughter lived with her parents who had retired in Pasadena, California. Her mother watched the baby so Helen Josephine could attend Library School. Helen Josephine graduated in 1929 from the Los Angeles Public Libraries accredited Library School and found work as a Children's librarian. Her first position was as assistant Children’s librarian - Salary $115.00.
DG: When and how did she join Disney?
CS: In July 1, 1935, Helen Josephine hired on at Disney Studio. She was the first librarian and her ID card said "Dept-Story." She was 34 years old and very excited as she wrote on her calendar: "Start work at Walt Disney Studio at 8:00".
The loss of her father later that year left her as the 'head of the family.' Her responsibility included her young daughter, and widowed mother. The three of them would continue to live together even after her marriage to Hugh Hennesy.
DG: Was she hired as a Librarian right from the start?
CS: Yes. She was given complete authority to organize and establish the Walt Disney Library. When the Studio moved from Hyperion Street to the Burbank building, she was allowed to choose the draperies and colors for the new library which she physically set up.
Helen Josephine Ludwig was listed in the California Library Association - 1937- Walt Disney Studio, Hollywood.
DG: Did she ever tell you about her life and work at the Studio?
CS: Helen was very proud to have worked for Walt. She took her librarian work seriously and would send off many "notes" to those who did not either check the books out properly or return them in a timely manner. She would chase down all missing books no matter who had them.
One note came from Walt himself:
I HAVE THE FIRST VOLUME DORES- Don Quixote
Interoffice note from Helen to Roy Williams asking him to return a book. He then sketched a caricature of himself on the note in reply.
Cartoon of Helen in a car inviting some school children to eat a sandwich. There is a sign that says, "Don't Eat Lunch Here" and in parenthesis someone had written "Beware of 'Jekyll-Hyde' Librarians."
DG: Did she ever tell you about meetings with Walt?
CS: Hugh died in 1954. Walt Disney attended Hugh’s funeral where he caught a bad cold and vowed never again to attend a studio mans funeral.
(Sympathy note from Walt)
March 16, 1954
We were shocked and saddened this morning to learn of Hugh's passing, and all of us want to extend to you our heartfelt sympathy.The loss of Hugh will be keenly felt by the studio as well as the many loyal friends that he made during his long association with us. And while I know your personal adjustment will be difficult, you do have the sincere and good wishes of your many friends here."
Walt Disney (signed)
DG: Any funny or striking stories she might have shared with you about her work at the Studio?
CS: In 1938, Helen Josephine and Hugh attended the premier of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs at The Carthay Circle Theatre on Tuesday, December 21, 1937.
She told me that the face in the mirror was actually a distorted portrait of Hugh,
that he had 'posed' for it.
After leaving Disney Studio she was responsible for organizing a post card mailer (March 1941) in support of: vote YES on Amendment #1 for the Los Angeles Public Library.
It pictured Donald Duck in an authorized manner telling Mickey Mouse
"YOU WANT A BOOK? WELL,
VOTE YES ON AMENDMENT #1 AND YOU CAN HAVE IT"
DG: Do you know who were her friends at the Studio?
CS: I think her work only put her in contact with:
other familiar names were:
and the mention of Tom Codrick because he married Hugh's ex wife, Betty.
DG: When and how did she meet your step-grandfather?
CS: Hugh had previously been married to Betty Price in 1924 and divorced in 1934. My guess is since both were single and the library was a place that Hugh frequented. He would tease her and send her funny little notes of caricatures of depicting a tall, skinny, bobbed hair librarian. She called him "Hoo" and they 'ran off ' to Yuma, Arizona on 2 Jan 1937 to get married.
They lived at 4545 Arcola, North Hollywood, California. This house was located in the Toluca Lake area. A few streets over was Bob Hopes house. She was 36 years old with one daughter, and Hugh was almost 47 years old with one son, Dale.
DG: When and why did she leave the Studio?
CS: I was always told that Disney had a 'policy' that married employees could not (should not?)
work together at the studio. Hence, she left in 1938 and returned to LA City Library.
CS: Hugh Hennesy was born 12 January 1891 in New Lexington, Ohio and died suddenly Sunday March 14, 1954, while on a vacation in Death Valley National Park, California.
Hugh had one brother, Gerald Hennesy who was an electrical inventor and worked at General Electric at one time. Gerald died in 1941.
As a young man, Hugh served in WW1. He was a newspaper man from Washington DC., working at the Washington Times from 1926- 1931. and head of the art department of the Times Herald in Washington DC.
His drawings/sketches were used through out the newspaper; travel section, advertisements, and a column called “Do You Know”.
He joined Disney in 1932; hence he worked for Walt for about 22 years.
An article in the Disney company newspaper called The Bulletin from March 7, 1939:
"Hugh Hennesy was born in New Lexington, Ohio in 1891. He spent his early years drawing on the backs of books and on the wall paper.
After high school, two years at Corcoran Art school, twenty years of newspaper art departments in Washington D.C., and one year in aviation
life began at forty one- with the advent on the screen of one "Steamboat Willie"
The enthusiasm for the future of animated cartoons brought him to the wild and wooly west, and now after seven years of layouts, is still boosting the unusual weather in Room 205. (Hugh said to print this only if the sun is shining.)
Two years ago Hugh married our Librarian, Helen Ludwig, who is now busy cataloguing all thirty-seven books at the Hennesy ranch in Hidden Valley."
Note: Helen never remarried, continued her life occupation as a librarian until forced retirement at the age of 75. She died in 1995. She was 95 years old, and both she and Hugh are buried Church of Our Savior, San Gabriel Cemetery, Pasadena, California.
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
This photo was sent to me recently by the granddaughter of Helen Hennesy. Not certain when it was taken.
[1st row Floyd Gottfredson, Les Clark, Johnny Cannon
2nd row Burt Gillett, Jack King, Ted Sears, Roy Disney, Walt Disney
3rd row Gerry Geronimi, Bert Lewis, Frank Churchill, Ben Sharpsteen, Al Hurter
4th row Wilfred Jackson, Tom Palmer, Webb Smith, Gilles "Frenchy" de Tremaudan5th row Hugh Hennesy, Dave Hand, Charles Phillippi]
[UPDATE FROM DON PERI: From my Ben Sharpsteen interviews:
"This large group of men [is] grouped around a Mickey Mouse celebrating or commemorating the first Oscar that was won by the studio. This group was selected as perhaps being key contributors in the creative production of the studio."
Rest of second row to the right of Walt, Norman Ferguson, Dick Lundy, and Emil Flohri. ]
This was posted a few days ago on the Disney History Institute. I hope that someone could help us:
[J.B. Kaufman sent me an email regarding yesterday’s Institute essay on Walt and DeMolay. The July 6, 1936 clipping from the Kansas City Star was intriguing in that the headline below the photographs stated “Creator Grooms Mickey Mouse for Full-Length Features on Screen”. Of course, J.B. "Mickey Mouse" Kaufman, being the go-to historian on Mickey Mouse, was immediately intrigued and asked if I had the rest of the article. Sadly, I do not, but while we are in the Help Wanted mode, does anyone have a complete run of the Star from 1936? Okay, a bit far fetched, but perhaps some of our Kansas City readers can let us know if the Star has a morgue and what is needed for access. ]
This just in from Don Hahn:
[We are holding a screening of Don Hahn's animation documentary, WAKING SLEEPING BEAUTY, on Monday, November 23 at 7:00pm at the El Capitan Theater in Hollywood.
We have the capacity at the theater to open up the screening a bit wider to include animation friends and former colleagues. We hope that you can help us spread the word by posting the attached invite on your blog. Anyone who sees it can RSVP directly to 818-560-5550 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
There are a limited number of seats available on a first come, first served basis.]
I have just received my copy of a book that I mentioned earlier on the blog called Walt's Words of Wisdom. That book is definitely not worth buying and frankly does not even deserve a review as it is virtualy empty and is not linked to Disney at all.
Monday, November 16, 2009
Take for example the above poster. Here is its description:
[German film poster from 1934.
This is the only known copy of this version. It's a lithograph printed on two sheets, Measuring 198 x 125 cm it is the largest known German pre-war-poster known to exist. It is also one of only three known German pre-war-poster using the official Disney Characters. All others were drawn by Geman artists (showing some odd interpretations of Mickey Mouse).
It is in perfect condition.]
Sunday, November 15, 2009
This just in from Jim Korkis:
[Here is a link to a site reprinting a lot of the Disney Golden Books including "Once Upon a Wintertime" by Tom Oreb!]
- DizBits by Michael Barrier
- Mickey Mouse and Demolay by Paul Anderson
- Kansas Cityan Decorates Protege by Paul Anderson
- "Macaroni Mickey Mousse" by Jim Korkis
- JOURNAL OF A DISNEY HISTORIAN #1 by Paul Anderson
Friday, November 13, 2009
I have been in contact for the last few days with the granddaughter of Helen Hennesy who used to work as a Librarian at the Studio in the '30s and later on married the legendary Disney layout artist Hugh Hennesy. Charlene, Helen's granddaughter, was kind enough to send me a few photographs of her step-grandfather, Hugh, that you will see above (apologies for the very low-res. I am hoping to get a better versions of all of them at some point in the future).
I will post one more next week.
- Suspended Animation provides online showcase for the non-Disney art of noted Disney artists by Jim Hill
Thursday, November 12, 2009
The Vance Gerry Memorial Blog run by Ed Gombert is always a fascinating place to visit. It is becoming even more exciting these days as Ed is posting concept art from the abandoned project The Abandoned. Pure delight.
I like those books as they are likely to excite kids about the delights of Disney history.
Do you, like me, love the fact that Disney history is a never-ending subject?
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
Paul has been a mentor and a friend for years, which made it all the more difficult when he fell off the map for serious health reasons. But thankfully he is back and what is equally exciting: he has decided to open the vaults and share his invaluable knowledge and truly unbelievable collection.
As a side note: Paul is still getting back up to speed, so if you are awaiting an email from him give him a few more weeks. He will answer you.
- Walt Disney Was NOT Born in Spain by Wade Sampson
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
- Ed Benedict - Animafilm Intvw by Michael Sporn
- Disney historian Didier Ghez on the Walt Disney Family Museum: a flame more alive than ever by Jeremie Noyer
Friday, November 06, 2009
Thursday, November 05, 2009
It shows Walt with the Argentine artist Burone Bruche. We know that part of El Grupo met with the vary prominent Argentine "animation master" Quirino Cristiani, but this is the first time I hear about this other meeting.
Pablo is also trying to find out if El Grupo ever met with the other Argentine artist Juan Oliva. No news about this yet.
- Wild Life by Mark Mayerson
Wednesday, November 04, 2009
My favorite Argentine book series has always been the one released by Editorial Tor. In the article I was able to show all the books from that series save two. Two years ago I located one of the "missing" two that I featured on the blog. Yesterday I managed to buy the other one, which you can see here.
- Mickey, Donald, Pluto and the Boy Scouts by David Lesjak
Tuesday, November 03, 2009
[You are probably familar with the fact that Madame Tussaud in London, UK had a wax figure of Mickey Mouse in the early 1930's! But how did it look like? Well, here is the answer.]
[7th November 1930: An employee at Madame Tussaud's waxworks museum on Marylebone Road, London, putting the finishing touches to a waxwork of Mickey Mouse at the keyboard. ]
- Zorro: How Disney Legend Floyd Norman was put in jail by Sergeant Garcia! by Jeremie Noyer
The new Animated Views / News web site looks great by the way.
Sunday, November 01, 2009
- Rare Walt Disney Letter Up for Auction (Thanks to Jim Korkis for the link)