Tuesday, June 30, 2015

This just in from Don Hahn via Facebook. Not directly Disney-related but I know that many of you will want to support this:

[Alright animation fans, my pal Ron Diamond is putting together an insanely great project to showcase animated short films to the world, and no one...really, no one, works harder or more passionately to present the work of Planet Earth's most brilliant talents to the rest of us animation starved viewers than Ron. Short films are about risk, experimentation, wonder, inventive technique, solitary expression, artistic bravery and so much more. So dig in and support Ron on Kickstarter and you'll be supporting some brilliant talent that needs to be seen to be believed! Click it and give, then back to The Bachelorette! KickstartASOS.com]

Monday, June 29, 2015

Looking forward to this upcoming book from Theme Park Press...

Friday, June 26, 2015

And Walt's People - Volume 3 has just been re-released by Theme Park Press.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Help Needed

Is any reader of this blog based close to Tampa, Florida and willing to help me with a short Disney history related research project at the University of South Florida? If so, could you email me ASAP at didier.ghez@gmail.com?
Just released by Theme Park Press. This is a book I have been waiting for for a looooong time.

As mentioned a while back, this book is fascinating. It covers Walt's time as a Red Cross volunteer in the same amount of details as Tim Susanin's book (Walt Before Mickey) had done with Walt's early professional years. For many this is a book that is almost too detailed. Not for Disney history geeks, of course. A "must have" from my standpoint and the never-seen-before photos it contains are priceless.

Bravo David Lesjak!

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

I am happy to announce that 50 Years in the Mouse House: The Lost Memoir of One of Disney's Nine Old Men is now available on Amazon!

Astonishing homage to Mary Blair which can be watched at this link. (Thanks to Sebastien Durand for the heads up.)

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

And here is the book cover with a drawing created by Dan Jeup.

Monday, June 22, 2015

Eric Larson's autobiography will be released by Theme Park Press at the end of this week if all goes well. Joe Campana, Bob McLain and I spent a large part of the weekend working on it. The book contains a lot more than Eric's lost manuscript. Here is the table of contents...

Memories of Eric by Burny Mattinson
The Lost Memoir by Didier Ghez
A Short Biography of Eric Larson by His Brother Roald Larson
50 Years in the Mouse House
Eric Larson Remembers
Larson in Mexico by J.B. Kaufman
Mexican Trip Sketchbook
Notes About Animation and Entertainment
The Lectures
Mentoring with Eric by Dan Jeup
Memo from Don Graham to Walt Disney (December 23, 1935)

Friday, June 19, 2015

This came in the mail a few days ago. First physical copy. It looks wonderful. This has been a dream for close to 25 years, so you can imagine my happiness. The release date is still September 8. The book can be pre-ordered on Amazon.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

This extremely rare French poster from the 1930s will soon be sold by Heritage Auctions. I have to admit that I love it.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

The Shirley Temple auction which will take place on July 14 will include a few Disney items. (Thanks to Daveland..com and to Michael Goldberg for the heads up). 

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

This new book which was released a few weeks ago by Theme Park Press is likely to contain some interesting elements. While researching it, the author (Christian Moran, a documentary filmmaker) did new video interviews with Rolly Crump, Bob Gurr, Dr. Maureen Furniss (who teaches animation at CalArts), Jim Korkis, and Sam Gennawey.

Here is what Theme Park Press mentions about it:

[Walt Disney is well-known for animation, theme parks, and Mickey Mouse. But his real passion was technology, and how he could use it to shape a better, prosperous, peaceful future for everyone.

From Walt's start in the 1920s as a struggling cartoonist to his unrealized dream of EPCOT, documentary filmmaker Christian Moran tells the amazing story of how technology created by Walt and the Disney Studio entertained and changed the world.

With lengthy recollections from Rolly Crump and Bob Gurr about their many years working for Walt, along with analyses from Disney historians Jim Korkis and Sam Gennawey, and animation historian Dr. Maureen Furniss, Ph.D., this book adaptation of Moran's forthcoming film, Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow, features:

- A new perspective on the life of Walt Disney, focusing on the technology he pioneered to make his magic happen

- How Walt used the Silly Symphonies as a "research and development" tool

- Walt's reluctance to build "Disneyland East", and why EPCOT was to be his crowning achievement

- Exclusive stories from Bob Gurr and Rolly Crump about Walt's robotics, Disneyland, Autopia, the 1964 World's Fair, and much more

Find out how Walt Disney shaped the future while entertaining the masses, and then catch the film when it's released in 2015.]

Monday, June 15, 2015

The latest issue of the Carl Barks Fan Club Pictorial has just been released. I will order my copy today.

Friday, June 12, 2015

In just a few weeks Theme Park Press will release David Lesjak's new book about Walt's time in the Red Cross.

The book, whose beautiful cover was designed by Mike Peraza, is fascinating. It covers Walt's time as a Red Cross volunteer in the same amount of details as Tim Susanin's book (Walt Before Mickey) had done with Walt's early professional years. For many this is a book that is almost too detailed. But NOT for Disney history geeks, of course. A "must have" from my standpoint. And the never-seen-before photos it contains are priceless.

David Lesjak mentions:

[I'll have copies for sale at the Pacific Northwest Mouse Meet in Lynnwood Washington on July 11. The book will be available on Amazon and through Theme Park Press. The book contains transcripts of 60 previously unpublished letters between Walt and his former Red Cross canteen boss Alice Howell, as well as a total of 16 photos of Walt and postcards he sent home that have never been published before. There is also a scrapbook containing five pages of art Walt created while in France and which he sent home to a high school chum - the book will showcase the art publicly for the first time. The book draws heavily on the landmark Pete Martin interviews so readers will be able to "hear" Walt talk about this pivotal time in his life.]

Thursday, June 11, 2015

According to the Disneyana Dispatch newsletter and to Jim Korkis, David Koeing is about to release a new behind-the-scenes book about Disneyland on July 17, 2015.

[UPDATE: Michael Goldberg located the book on Amazon. This clearly will not be my cup of tea.] 

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

This just in from Bob McLain:

[Steve DeGaetano self-published the now out-of-print WELCOME ABOARD THE DISNEYLAND RAILROAD in 2004. His press run sold out quickly, and used copies on Amazon are selling for hundreds of dollars. The book was popular among Disney and train enthusiasts - Bob Gurr told Steve that he'd found information in the book that even he didn't know: "Such detail...amazing since I was there and you weren't even born yet."

Steve is raising funds to re-release the book (through Theme Park Press) on Kickstarter. The goal is to put out a full-color, hardcover, "coffee-table" edition, with hundreds of photos and an up-to-date revision of the original text. Steve is close to reaching his initial minimum funding goal, but there are lots of upgrades he'd like to make if the goal is exceeded.

More details here.]

Tuesday, June 09, 2015

This just in from Christian Svenningsen:

[I have two more questions that's troubling me:

The first one is, who pitched the idea of doing Beauty and the Beast in the late '80s?

We know that Ron Clements pitched The Little Mermaid, Howard Ashman pitched Aladdin and Jeffrey Katzenberg pitched his original idea that became The Lion King, but what about Beauty and the Beast?

The second one is, who pitched the idea of doing Tarzan? In the production notes here on the internet, Disney only gave the project to Kevin Lima.]

Monday, June 08, 2015

Project updates

Here are a few updates on the book projects I am currently working on:

- Walt's People - Volume 16: Cover art by John Musker received. The manuscript will be delivered to Theme Park Press by the end of next week and it should be released early July.

- They Drew As They Pleased - Volume 1: I should see a physical copy of the book by the end of the month. Can't wait. The release date is still September 8 and I am hoping to be in Los Angeles for some autograph sessions in November, around CTN.

- Autobiography of Eric Larson: I should have all the elements I need to finish the editing by the end of the month and I am hoping that the book will be released at some point in August.

- Walt's People - Volume 17: Progressing fast. I am hoping to have a manuscript to circulate to the contributors by September, for a release around February next year. We will see...

- They Drew As They Pleased - Volume 2: Most of the chapters are now written, save one and I will be working on the initial art selection next weekend.

Friday, June 05, 2015

Finally! Can't wait for this book...

Thursday, June 04, 2015

You probably already all know this, but JB Kaufman's new master opus, Pinocchio - The Making of the Disney Epic, has now been released. It is a "must-have", obviously.

And speaking of my good friend JB, I learned last week that he had started to write a great series of online articles for Jerry Beck's Cartoon Research website.

You can read Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3 and probably should do so right away.

Wednesday, June 03, 2015

This just in:

[The Silly Symphony Collection is a first-of-its-kind box set from Walt Disney Records and Fairfax Classics featuring the complete restored soundtracks from all 75 Silly Symphony shorts from 1929-1939, with over 8 hours of music spread over 16 vinyl LPs. The collection is housed in 8 tip-on gatefold jackets with original animation art in a beautifully constructed foil-stamped and numbered slipcase. Soundtracks of Disney classics such as “The Skeleton Dance” by Carl Stalling, “Three Little Pigs” by Frank Churchill, and Donald Duck’s debut “The Wise Little Hen” by Leigh Harline will be presented in full for the first time ever on record. Each gatefold jacket includes detailed liner notes for every short by Disney historians J.B. Kaufman and Russell Merritt, authors of the definitive book on the Silly Symphonies.

    Fans can stay tuned to http://sillysymphonycollection.com for news, updates and pre-order information.
    Every D23 guest who pre-orders the collection will instantly receive a special 10” single featuring the complete soundtracks to The Skeleton Dance and Three Little Pigs.]

Tuesday, June 02, 2015

I love the books released by Chronicle Books (then again I might be a little bit biased, of course) and I adore Pete Docter, so no wonder I enjoyed The Art of Inside Out so much. Now I simply can't wait to see the movie, which will soon be opening to great reviews if those I read last week are any indication.

Lots of books to cover this week as I catch up after three weeks in LA. More soon.

Monday, June 01, 2015

I just found the clear confirmation that Tom Oreb is the author of the drawings included in the book Jabberwocky released by Disney Press in 1992.