Thursday, February 22, 2018

This just in from Theme Park Press:

[A Few Words About Our Star...

In this definitive book about the cinematic career of Mickey Mouse, animation historian Gijs Grob analyzes each of Mickey's theatrical films, in chronological order, with introductory essays, plot summaries, and notes about the talented creatives who brought Mickey to the silver screen.

Grob divides Mickey's filmography into seven parts, beginning with his first primitive efforts in 1928 and continuing through Get a Horse! in 2013, with substantial sections about Mickey's "barnyard" years, the introduction of his friends and rivals, and his "settling down" to cartoon prosperity, as Goofy, Pluto, and Donald eclipse his fame.

The book also includes a look at Mickey's "doppelgangers," the little-remembered Foxy, Milton, and Rita; a list of Mickey's Academy Award nominations; comprehensive "show notes" that include release dates and the names of the animators, storymen, layout artists, musicians, directors, and others who created each Mickey film; and extensive notes and index.

Throughout, Grob stays opinionated, pointing out flaws where he finds them, and not letting Mickey (or Disney) off the hook for a poor performance.]

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Kosti Ruohomaa was a special effects artist at the Disney Studio from 1938 to 1941. After he left the Studio he became a professional photographer.

I just discovered a few days ago this fascinating biography which contains a great chapter about Kosti's work for Disney and about 15 never-seen-before photos that Kosti shot while he was working at the Hyperion studio and later in Burbank. From my standpoint, in themselves these photos are worth the price of the book.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Another photo found online which I had not seen before.

According to the caption, this is Walt Disney skiing at Sugar Bowl Lodge on September 5, 1941. That date does not make any sense, of course, since Walt was still in South America.

In reality the photo was taken during the first part of 1941, according to this article on the site of the Walt Disney Family Museum. I will find to find the exact date at some point...

Monday, February 19, 2018

I am so glad to see the autobiography of Larry Watkin released today by Pulp Hero Press. I had been looking forward to this release for more than a year.

Larry Watkin was a screenwriter on some of the best Disney live-action films, including Treasure Island, Robin Hood, and Darby O'Gill and the Little People, as well as a fascinating human being.

50 pages of the book are focused on his Disney career, not counting the in-depth afterword by Disney historian, Todd James Pierce.

I will pick up my own copy right away! 

Friday, February 16, 2018

Just found online this photo of Walt at the Golden Gate International Exposition of 1939.

Thursday, February 15, 2018

This just in from Are Myklebust:

[I found this very interesting photo on a Charlie Chaplin website to day:

Members of United Artists at United Airport in Burbank, July 1933

L-R: Ed Finney, Hal Horne, Walt Disney, Al Lichtman, Mary Pickford, Charlie Chaplin and Joe Schenck.

The first four were heading to Chicago for a convention of film exhibitors.

Link to the blog posting for details and identification:

Futher information about the four lesser known persons on the photo:

Edward Finney (1903 - 1983), film producer.
Hal Horne (1893 - 1955), publicity director for UA (and later a publisher).
Al Lichtman (1888 - 1958), businessman and film producer.
Joseph M. Schenck (1878 - 1961), Russian-born film studio executive.]

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

This just in from David Peake:

[I just found this  today on the Hachette Book Group website:

Practically Poppins In Every Way - A Magical Carpetbag of Countless Wonders by Jeff Kurtti (November 2018).

Also the Taschen Disneyland book has dropped off the Amazon website.
The Ub Iwerks and Monorail books both have release dates in 2019.]

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

This just in from Theme Park Press about this new book, for your information:

[The Past in Mint Condition

Film critic Josh Spiegel analyzes in depth the poignant themes of loss and nostalgia that run beneath the exuberant playfulness of the Toy Story and Cars films. He concludes with a chapter on Disney animation in the 2010s. With photos.

Pixar tickled a yearning in adults who gave up their own Woodys and Buzzes but still cling to the idealized wood and plastic and stuffing of their lost-forever youth. As their own children face forward to the future with Buzz Lightyear's "To infinity...and beyond!" they hear just an echo from their past.

Spiegel adroitly positions the Pixar films as not just animated fodder for the kids but as surprisingly sophisticated—and introspective—fare for the grown-ups.

"Affectionate, vivid, and insightful. ... Even if you've seen these movies a thousand times, you'll discover something new about how yearning for the past defined the future of animation."
—Anthony Breznican, Entertainment Weekly]

Monday, February 12, 2018

I just received two good books about Walt Disney World: One by Aaron Goldberg (released by Quaker Scribe Publishing and the other one by Andrew Kirste (released by Theme Park Press).

If you have read Andrew's previous two volumes you know that his work is quite in depth and will satisfy those of us who want to know about the most minute details in the parks and about the historical background.

Aaron's volume takes a different approach: it is much more of a summary, but it is illustrated and highlights some details about the making of each of the attractions.

Both are really good books for park enthusiasts.

Friday, February 09, 2018

I did not learn a whole lot in this wonderful new book about the Sherman Brothers, but it is a good read and Katheryn did locate a few new sources of information which do make this volume special and worth having if you want to know absolutely everything there is to know about the most famous of Disney's song-writing teams.

Thursday, February 08, 2018

I just received a copy of this new book from Theme Park Press and can confirm that the quality of the research and of the writing is truly excellent. This will become of of the two key reference books about the making on Animal Kingdom (along with the Melody Malmberg book which was released in 1998). A "must have" for park enthusiasts.

Wednesday, February 07, 2018

My wife Rita and I at the Annie Awards. I have to admit that I am proud to have been chosen as recipient of the 2018 June Foray Award.

Tuesday, February 06, 2018

This just in from Christian Svenningsen:

[While I was researching about Queen Margrethe II meeting Walt Disney on her California trip to Disneyland, I couldn't find anything in the history books at the local library. My mind was set up finding other documentations of this story than some comic book of our Danish queen from her birth 'til her coronation day on January 1972, which is where I first learned about it. The librarian at the info desk asked me if I had found anything useful, I explained him my research, and he looked it up on the database. He found documentation of King Frederik and his princesses attending the Rebild Festival in 1961 where Walt Disney was the American speaker that significant year. Not exactly what I was looking for, but the librarian shared some anecdotes of his father attending the festival and meeting Walt Disney, which was something better. He told me his father was eager to meet Walt Disney, and Walt even made a paper hat for him. He located a photo of Rebild Festival 1961 where Walt was visible at the front seats next to the Royal Family. He jokingly couldn't find his father among the attendants on the hilltop in the photo from The Danish Emigration Archives. I asked for a copy of this Photo, and he generously printed it out for me.]