Sunday, January 31, 2010
- Richard Todd and Walt Disney, July 1952 by Michael Barrier
Friday, January 29, 2010
Thursday, January 28, 2010
Wednesday, January 27, 2010
- Happy Birthday, Wilfred! by Steve Hulett
- Farewell, Jack: part 7 by Steve Hulett
- Walt Peregoy Exhibit in Encino by Amid Amidi
- The Princess And The Frog’s Supervising Animator Mark Henn – Part 3: The Orlando Features by Jeremie Noyer
- Charlie Thorton by Vincent Potuto
- Real Life Fairy Tale -Snow White by Vincent Potuto
This just in from Are Myklebust about yesterday's post:
[So what is "Scott's Emulsion"?
You will find some information about this healthy liquid and its history here.
BTW; the logo – a very famous trade mark and still used today - has an interesting history in itself, see this link (only in Norwegian unfortunately).]
Tuesday, January 26, 2010
Monday, January 25, 2010
Friday, January 22, 2010
If you enjoy knowing the human being behind the Imagineer and if you like to see really unusual documents linked to Disney and Disney history, then this book is for you. If you are looking forward to reading a few short but insightful interviews with Harriet you will also enjoy the book.
If you are expecting an in-depth, structured retelling of Harriet's life filled with work-related illustrations, then you should pass.
The page below will give you an idea of the type of structure and content the book adopted. My only regret: I wished there were slightly more Disney-related documents and slightly less personal photos, but that's a detail.
Overall the book is a pure delight and the best thing next to having actually known Harriet.
Thursday, January 21, 2010
Next time drive off the cliff! by Gene Fernett and A million and one nights: A history of the motion picture by Terry Ramsaye.
Would a reader of this blog have access to those two books and be willing to scan the pages that mention Powers?
[The brand Persil was a well known detergent, and of course the name Snow White (Snövit in Swedish) fits in perfectly for its purposes. It even took all the color away from her dress.]
Do not miss today:
- Walt Disney in Rio de Janeiro, circa 1941 by Alain Littaye (truly outstanding post)
- DISNEY ILLUSTRATION ON THE COVER OF TURKISH CHILDREN'S MAGAZINE FROM 1939 by Kaya Özkaracalar
- Animators & cartoonists from all over come together to “Help the Hodges” by Jim Hill
Wednesday, January 20, 2010
Tuesday, January 19, 2010
[In the early 1970s, Don and Lynda Ault interviewed artist Paul Murry. That interview is currently begin transcribed and edited for a future edition of Walt's People. Paul Murry is probably best known for his work on Disney related comic strips like "Uncle Remus" and comic books where he supplied the artwork for many of the Mickey Mouse serials in the back of Walt Disney's Comics and Stories. However, Murry got his start at the Disney Studio as an inbetweener and later as an assistant animator to the legendary Fred Moore before becoming a full animator on such classics as "Dumbo".
To whet your interest, here is a brief quote from that interview where Murry talked about the fact that he and Moore would often leave early in the day from the Disney Studios in Burbank and go to a nearby bar to spend the rest of the afternoon.
"That’s what Fred Moore might do in the old days. Big cockney ass of his and he would walk out of the studio, over to the bar, sit there and drink whisky, and talk to old James Jeffries, the boxer who used to be heavyweight champion. They used to hang out together. He was a big star. Haven’t you heard of Jeffries Barn? Used to be down here in the valley. He came out of retirement and fought Jack Johnson. He got beat. Got the devil beat out of him. But you probably don’t know him."
Hard to believe that Moore not only knew Jeffries but was his drinking friend. Jeffries was the Heavyweight Boxing Champion of the world and retired undefeated in 1905. He was coaxed out of retirement to fight Africian American boxing champion Jack Johnson in 1910 in a bout in Reno, Nevada. (The life of Jack Johnson inspired the play "The Great White Hope".) Jeffries was obviously out of shape and his corner threw in the towel in the 15th round. In later years, Jeffries trained boxers and worked as a fight promoter. He promoted many fights out of a structure known as "Jeffries Barn" which was located on his alfalfa ranch at the southwest corner of Victory Boulvevard and Buena Vista in Burbank, California near the Disney Studios. Jeffries Barn is now part of Knott's Berry Farm, a Southern California amusement park.]
Sunday, January 17, 2010
- Cliff Edwards, Ward Kimball, Jack Kinney, and the Crows by Michael Barrier
- Farewell, Jack: part 1 by Steve Hulett
- Farewell, Jack: part 2 by Steve Hulett
- Farewell, Jack: part 3 by Steve Hulett
- Farewell, Jack: part 4 by Steve Hulett
- Farewell, Jack: part 5 by Steve Hulett
- Walt Disney’s Creative Organization Chart by Delphine Hirasuna (Thanks to Sebastien Durand for the link)
Wednesday, January 13, 2010
It is Jim Fanning's birthday today, which gives you a great reason - if you needed one - to visit his Tulgey Wood website. Jim is a really good guy and one of the "hidden treasures" of Disney History. He's written books, numerous articles (currently for Sketches, D23, and Disney Dream Files), done research for Disney projects from pamphlets for laserdiscs/videos to scripting episodes of Disney Family Album tv show to materials for DVDs and so much more. More importantly, he is accurate and digs up great stuff that was never previously in print.
[I wanted to alert you to some neat vintage illustrations that sold in a recent auction over at "Illustration House" last December.
If you go to Lot #58, there is an Al Hirschfeld illustration with cameos from Minnie and Mickey. Also, Lots # 72 and 73 are Mary Blair paintings.
Just thought you'd like to see them. Cheers!]
Tuesday, January 12, 2010
Here is what Diane wrote to Jim: "There's another incident in dad's life that's never talked about, but that reveals a lot about his nature. One summer ... maybe 1944, because Sharon would have been at least 7, and I could have been 10 going on 11. He built a trail around the the hillside of our "canyon", the lower part of the lot at 4053 Woking Way. The canyon was landscaped, with flagstone steps descending to the bottom, where the badminton court was, and the screen-enclosed shed with the lifesize wooden horse from which he would have practiced polo shots. This was always locked, in my memory, and we were forbidden entry because of the threat of black widow spiders that, indeed, probably lurked within. I really wanted to be able to climb up on that horse and pretend it was a real one.
"Anyway, he decided to build this trail ... he called it the 'Burma Trail', which should help date it. He labored energetically all summer on weekends. He had Sharon enlisted to bring him root beers at intervals to keep him going. He was drenched in sweat and dirt at the end of the days. There was absolutely no need for this trail. He just wanted to do it. He relished the hard work. He would have been in his early 40's then. I don't know if this has ever been mentioned, and I'm the last person alive who would know about it, and, though it is not an important thing , everything he's ever done is brought up, examined, discussed, and all kind of conclusions drawn. about it. Looking at it historically in his life, it was the post-war period .. He craved intense physical activity, as most of us do. He was home-centered. As he labored on the hillside on the construction of this trail he was concentrating on the job, the placement of each board to support the trail ..each shovel full of earth .. and, at the end of the day, exhausted but satisfied with his day's work, he'd shower and join his family for dinner .. perhaps the scotch mist with mother on the terrace. What was I doing? Swimming, reading, playing the piano .. but I wasn't too curious about the progression of the trail project. I did use it, though."
- DISNEY GUEST STAR DAY With Reddy Kilowatt by Paul F. Anderson
- Blaine Gibson remembers Harriet Burns, the First Lady of Imagineering by Todd James Pierce
Sunday, January 10, 2010
[After many years of work, I am pleased to announce, my memoir biography, "Warp and Weft: Life Canvas of Herbert Ryman" is about to be published. Four hundred pages, with forty-six pages of notes... The website about it can be found here.]
Update: This book is highly problematic and should be read with an extremely critical mind.
[Does anyone here own any original artwork by Jim Fletcher, preferably from the 1960s?
I'm preparing a Disney book with a quite long biography of Fletcher, and a panel or two from a pencilled page would be a great addition. ]
- The new " Jungle Book " luxury edition is simply Gorgeous ! by Alain Littaye
- Snow White book now available in soft cover edition at affordable price by Alain Littaye
Friday, January 08, 2010
This just in from Disney Historian Jim Korkis who has always loved the character of Jiminy Cricket:
[Many Disney fans know about the sad end of the life of Cliff "Ukulele Ike" Edwards who was the charming voice of Jiminy Cricket, not only in "Pinocchio" but in many of the special animated shorts done for the Original Mickey Mouse Club and for a good number of Disneyland records as well as other projects. Unfortunately, he had a lifetime addiction to alcohol and drugs as well. He entered a nursing home in 1969 as a charity patient having lost all of his money (from taxes, gambling, payments to three ex-wives and more) and the Disney Company was quietly paying his medical bills along with help from the Actor's Fund. At the time of his death from a heart attack at the Virgil Convalescent Hospital on July 17, 1971 at the age of seventy-six, Edwards' passing wasn't reported to the public for several days because hospital officials didn't consider it newsworthy since they didn't know he had ever been famous. His body was initially unclaimed and donated to the University of California, Los Angeles medical school. When Walt Disney Productions found out about this, it offered to purchase the corpse and pay for the burial.
The Actors Fund of America and the Motion Picture and Television Relief Fund paid for the burial instead. A spokesman for the Actors' Fund, Iggie Wolfington, said at the time, " "I can't praise [Walt] Disney Productions enough for the way they continued over the years to look out for Mr. Edwards' well-being." The Disney Company did pay for the headstone.
However there is now a new mystery surrounding Edwards' birth that has been uncovered by George Grant who runs the excellent Original Mickey Mouse Club website (link over in the righthand column). All soruces say that Edwards was born in Hannibal, Missouri in 1895 and that has never been questioned. When Grant started to do some research on Edwards to do an entry for site, however, he could " find no records for him or his family from Hannibal MO; they are absent from the 1900 and 1910 Federal Census for instance. His 1920 Census record is also a bit of a puzzle."
Here is that excerpt from the 1920 Census (taken Jan 15, 1920), "Cliff Edwards was 24 years old, born Illinois, parents both from England, living in Manhatten as a renter in a building with other show business folks. Was listed as married, but lived with a single lodger named Charles Freeman, also 24, born in Russia to Russian parents. Cliff listed profession as actor on stage, Charles as clerk in stock brokerage."
It was not uncommon at the time for actors to lie about their age, real name or background....and this was sometimes done with the creative assistance of the studio they were working for as well....and Edwards did work in Chicago, Illinois (where he picked up the nickname "Ukulele Ike" when a waiter at a cafe where he was performing kept forgtetting his name and called him "Ike"). So there are still new Disney mysteries to uncover, especially if like Disney historians like Michael Barrier, you go and check the official records for the time that often contradict the well-known and often-repeated stories that we all have just accepted as fact over the years.]
Thursday, January 07, 2010
Disney Historian Jim Korkis sent the following:
[Back in the late Sixties and early Seventies, two friends named Wayne DeWald and Gary Brown would track down comic book and comic strip artists like C.C. Beck, Al Williamson, Don Martin, Hal Foster and write to them. DeWald and Brown were both members of an apa (amateur press alliance--where each member published a pre-determined number of his own contribution and sends it to a central mailer who picks out one copy from each stack of submissions puts them together in one magazine and sends it back to each member) named CAPA-Alpha (the first comics apa) and would share some of the information they got from these artists. Occasionally, the artists would also do free original art for them. DeWald tracked down Paul Murry who had been an animator at the Disney Studios but went on to greater fame as an artist for the DELL/GOLD KEY comic books, in particular the Mickey Mouse serials in the back of WALT DISNEY COMICS AND STORIES. Murry had been an assistant to Freddy Moore at Disney.
I recently got in touch with DeWald and Brown to ask about Paul Murry. DeWald wrote: “In Murry’s case, I don't know if I wrote him via Gold Key comics or what. In those days I regularly wrote letters to just about every artist I could think of, usually getting at least a note in response. To the best of my recollection I think we were in touch about 1968-1970. He did four or five illustrations for me of Mickey Mouse, Pluto and Goofy and those are also gone although my good friend Gary Brown still has two of the Mickey Mouse ones that he used for his K-a apa zine, “Ibid”. All the artwork Murry did (for free) was done in India ink and it was on art board. My overwhelming recollection is what a nice guy Murry was and how eager he was to talk about his animation days."
With Gary Brown's permission, here are the two Mickey Mouse drawings by Murry that he ran on his K-a zine in 1970 that he said could be shared with Disney fans. K-a had less than 50 members so less than 50 people originally saw this artwork.]