Tuesday, November 30, 2010

This exciting news just in from Joseph Titizian:

[The Walt Disney Family Museum has just released a beautiful hardcover photo book titled "Picturing the Walt Disney Family Museum". There is light text in the book by Founding Executive Director Richard Benefield, and a forward by Diane Disney Miller. The book is a large format book of glossy photos of each gallery in the museum. It highlights key artifacts in each gallery and has gorgeous overview shots of Gallery 9 and the a two page spread of the amazing Disneyland Model. Photography is not allowed in the galleries to protect the documents and artwork, so this book is a must have souvenir of a visit to the WDFM. ]

Apparently, the book retails for $34.95 and can be purchased in the Museum Store, or online (starting December 10) at http://www.waltdisney.org/.

This just in from Don Hahn:

[After a year of touring film festivals and art house cinemas, corporations and art schools, WAKING SLEEPING BEAUTY is finally headed to DVD this week, November 30! The disc holds 80 amazing minutes of bonus material, out-of-picture scenes, and never-before-seen footage of Howard Ashman, Joe Ranft and other greats of the time. A separate audio commentary hosted by Don Hahn and Peter Schneider features all new sound bites by Jeffrey Katzenberg, Glen Keane, Mike Gabriel, Rob Minkoff, Kirk Wise, and the last interview done by Roy Disney. Follow us on facebook: http://www.facebook.com/WakingSleepingBeauty

Celebrate the brilliant people behind Disney Animation past and present with WSB for the Holidays.



By the way, sharp-eyed Greg Ehrbar spots a Jim Korkis cameo in WAKING SLEEPING BEAUTY today on his blog.

And do not forget that today two other great DVDs are being released: Walt & El Grupo and The Boys: The Sherman Brothers' Story.

Do not miss today:

- Wanna learn more about Disney's "Musicana" ? Then go pick up a copy of the "Fantasia" Blu-ray by Jim Hill
- Can the "Fantasia" Blu-ray help raise the Walt Disney Family Museum 's profile? by Jim Hill
- Happy Birthday Mickey Mouse! (belated post) by David Lesjak
- 1934 Disney corporate Christmas card art by David Lesjak
- Don Hahn discusses Fantasia 2000 and Waking Sleeping Beauty by Jeremie Noyer

Monday, November 29, 2010

Help needed

Would any of you have access to the Disney strike footage that was posted about two years ago on the John Basmajian collection website? The link to the site has been down for a while and a good friend needs it for a lecture.

[Update: Actually I just found it on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6L2CEAdklmg]

Sunday, November 28, 2010

I learned about this new book through CartoonBrew while I was on vacation. I just ordered it up and can't wait to read it.

This just in from Joel Cohen:

[Due to circumstances beyond my control the Disney auction for December 9th2010 Has been moved to the year 2011. I will inform you of the date as soon aspossible. Thank you for showing interest . The date will also be posted onmy web site and Bloomsbury auction web site as soon as it is available.]

Thursday, November 18, 2010

We are leaving for a 10-day vacation in Cuba tomorrow. The blog will be updated again on Monday, November 29.
Not sure how I managed to miss the release of this book last year, but I am certainly grateful to Jerry Beck for having mentioned it on CartoonBrew recently.

Jerry says: "This has some very readable and important pieces by some of my favorite writers: Karl Cohen on blacklisted animators, Charles Solomon on Disney’s wartime cartoons, J.B. Kaufman on pioneering animation distributor Margaret Winkler, John Canemaker on - what else? – Winsor McCay, Linda Simensky on Bugs Bunny Merchandising, Michael Frierson on Gumby, Helen McCarthy on Miyazaki’s Totoro and on and on… absolutely great stuff. Authoritative and a very enjoyable read. It’s a good one. Get it. "

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

I was reading recently part of John Meredyth Lucas' autobiography. John was a writer who worked for Disney on the "Zorro" TV series and on the documentary about the making of 20.000 Leagues Under the Sea. The best story Meredyth Lucas tells, however, deals with an abandoned segment for the Disneyland TV show, which would have told the story of the submarine "through the ages." What makes the story interesting is that Willy Ley was assigned to work on the project along with Meredyth Lucas. Walt apparently gave up on the idea when he saw the "rushes" with a heavyly-accented narration by Ley.

Ley, along with Van Braun and Heinz Haber, was of course also employed by the Studio at the time as adviser on Ward Kimball's space shows.

The Willy Ley papers are preserved at National Air and Space Museum (part of the Smithsonian Institution) in Washington D.C. Among the documents preserved is Ley's correspondence throughout the years.

If one of you lives in Washington D.C. could you visit those archives and check Boxes 1 and 2 which contain Ley's correspondence from the '50s to find out if he discusses his work at Disney? Box 33contains documents about Man in Space (folder 7) and could also be of interest.
Jack Lindquist's autobiography is now available for pre-order. Do not miss the excellent article on MiceAge on this subject.

Do not miss today:

- Walt's Forgotten Essay by Jim Korkis
- “Making Mickey Mouse Act For the Talkies” by Jerry Beck

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Amazon has finally released the cover of Don Peri's upcoming book, Working with Disney: Interviews with Animators, Producers, and Artists. Can't wait (I think I already mentioned that ;-).

Monday, November 15, 2010

I was trying to find some information yesterday about the person in charge of the building of the Disney Burbank Studio in the late '30s, Frank Crowhurst. I googled his name and found something about him in an old article by Jim Korkis. I then started researching Disney and the space shows by Kimball, as background material related to an interview with artist Bill Bosche by Dave Smith which I unearthed recently, and realized that Jim Korkis had just wrote a great essay on the subject. My fascination with the DeMolay Disney comics started thanks to another article by Jim Korkis. And on it goes.

Which is why I was delighted to receive my review copy of The Vault of Walt last week. I am of the old school and still find it more practical to browse through a physical book than to search the web, so having so many of Jim's columns gathered in one place is sheer pleasure. There is more: since Jim has expanded on those columns tremendously I have also discovered tons of new information.

In other words, as I had hoped, The Vault of Walt is clearly a must have for any serious Disney enhusiast. The only thing missing (as is the case in the Walt's People series - but we are working on that) is an index at the end.

The exciting news is that I believe Jim is already at work on future volumes. I can tell you that I will be the first to pick them up.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Collector Joel Cohen will auction his stunning collection of Disney books and vintage Disneyana on December 9th. For more information about this exceptional auction, check this link.

I was browsing Amazon yesterday trying to identify new upcoming books about Disney history and stumbled upon something weird: a whole series of books about Oswald the Lucky Rabbit, Steamboat Willie, Flowers and Trees, The Wise Little Hen (and on it goes), by an author called Diana Rowe, all to be released on November 1, 2010 by an unknown publisher called 6 Degrees Books.

I googled 6 Degrees Books but could not find anything about them and all the books they are planning to release according to Amazon are listed as November 1, 2010 (including the non-Disney ones). As to Diana Rowe's web site it does not even mention those upcoming Disney books. Very, very weird.

Do anyone know what this is all about?

I have a feeling that this upcoming book will be boring, but then I might be wrong and some of you will want to know that it exists.

Do not miss today:

- Remembrance / Veteran's Day by David Lesjak

Friday, November 12, 2010

Amazon has just released the cover of Tim Susanin's upcoming book, Walt before Mickey: Disney's Early Years, 1919-1928, and I thought you would enjoy it.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

I have often mentioned that my favorite pieces of Disney art are concept drawings and concept paintings. It will not come as a surprise therefore if I tell you that Walt Disney Animation Studios The Archive Series: Design is by far my favorite volume in this great series. There is beauty to be seen at every page: from the Horvath drawings at the beggining to the very small piece from 101 Dalmatians by Walt Peregoy at the end.

Some of my favorite artwork in the book: some drawings by Horvath created for the Nutcracker Suite, a small painting by Sylvia Holland for The Three Caballeros, David Hall's artwork for Peter Pan, a very weird drawing of Maleficent, Walt Peregoy's art for 101 Dalmatians, some fabulous character studies by Ken Anderson for The Jungle Book, some Black Cauldron drawings by Tim Burton, some Beast drawings by Mel Shaw, Andreas Deja, and Chris Sanders,...

In other words, this book is clearly a must-have.

My only slight reservations are that we have seen many of those drawings before (not the ones I mention above). I have the feeling that the Animation Research Library could really have unearthed a few more unknown treasures, especially when it comes to Disney shorts, Mary Blair, Ferdinand Horvath, David Hall, etc. I also have an issue with the fact that exactly half of the book is focused on post-1988 artwork. There is clearly a "political" decision at work there which bothers me.

Then again, those are minore qualms. I can't wait to see the next instalment in this series.
Armchair Archivists — November 9, 2010 - Walt's last filmed appearance

Frankly it does not get much better than this in terms of Disney history. Do not miss this video. This promises to become a "can't miss" series on YouTube.
Dalí, Disney, Destino i Fantasia al Museu de Figueres

Here is a report (in Catalan) about the Dali and Disney exhibition mentioned yesterday (thanks to Emmanuel Bourmalo for the link).

Do not miss today:

- The Three Disney Space Shows That Never Were by Jim Korkis
- How Disney Legend Jack Hannah helped open "The Vault of Walt" for Jim Korkis by Jim Hill

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

If you are in the North of Spain in the next few weeks, you might want to visit this small exhibition about Dali and Disney at the Dali Museum. (Thanks to Emmanuel Bourmalo for the link)

Monday, November 08, 2010

Tomorrow is a holiday in Madrid. The blog will be updated again on Wednesday.
While researching a totally different subject I stumbled upon this fascinating Oral History with Ray Watson, who was Chairman of Disney from 1983 to 1984.
Do not miss today:

- Classics are Back at BOOM! this January
- Toy Story 3: Pixar writer Michael Arndt tells the story behind the story by Jeremie Noyer

Friday, November 05, 2010

This just in from Are Myklebust:

[Here’s a link to a short (only one and half minute long), but very interesting film clip of Walt Disney visiting Tivoli in Copenhagen, Denmark in 1961, and where he is more casual than usual in clips like this:


(There are also another film clip from 1949 referring to the newly released “Anders And” (= Donald Duck in Danish) comic book. And no, it is not Marilyn Monroe we see in one of the other clips, but a girl winning a “look-alike” contest.) ]

Thursday, November 04, 2010

Not sure what this book is worth but at least now you know that it exists (thanks to Jim Korkis for the heads up).
Do not miss today:

- Walt's Unsung Star: Remembering James MacArthur by Jeff Kurtti
- Backstage With The Original 'Mickey Mouse Club' by Jennifer Armstrong
- Carl Stalling on Acetate by Michael Barrier
- Walt Liked Ike by Jim Korkis

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

No much about Disney in this interview with Campbell Grant, but I thought it would be a good appetizer while waiting for Michael Barrier's interview with him (which should appear on Michael's site in the following few months I believe).

Monday, November 01, 2010

Two weeks ago I mentioned the autobiography of Lloyd Beebe, Wilderness Trails and a Dream. I have now received it and can confirm that if you care at all about the history of Disney's True-Life Adventures and other nature-related movies, this is a "must-have."

Speaking of Lloyd Beebe, I also stumbled last week upon an exceptional interview with him conducted by Brian Shoemaker in 2000, that I believe you will all enjoy.
Do not miss today:

- Happy 97th Birthday, Don Lusk! by Jerry Beck
- Happy Birthday Don Lusk... by Steven Hartley
- Peet What You Sow by Ger Apeldoorn