This is the moment we all have been waiting for. That little fish that taught us all to “just keep swimming” is back. On April 2nd it was announced that Disney’s Pixar will be releasing the sequel to Finding Nemo. The sequel will be titled Finding Dory. The movie, which will be directed by original Nemo co-director Andrew Stanton, is set for release on November 25, 2015 in the U.S. I cant wait that long!
Posted in Celebrities, Environment, Events, Media, Media, Movies, News, Rumors, Technology, Uncategorized Also tagged Animation, Disney, Disney Lifestyle, Dory, Finding Dory, Finding Nemo, movies, Nemo, Pixar, sequels
I love Disneyland. My love for Disney reaches far beyond the park. I love anything that is connected to the name Disney. One can’t help but think happy thoughts when you hear the name Walt Disney. When there is anything Disney related I really try to check it out. Recently we decided to take a trek out to the Reagan Library in Simi Valley, CA. The Treasures of the Walt Disney Archives exhibit were there for a limited time and I had to see it before it was gone.
Posted in Children, D23, Disney Company, Disney Reviews, Education, Fine Arts, Hidden Treasures, Hobbies, Lifestyle, Media, Movies, News, Parents, Photography, Relationships, Uncategorized Also tagged Alice Comedies, Alice in Wonderland, Bedknobs and Broomsticks, Children, Disney, Disney childhood, Disney Lifestyle, Disneyland, education, Enchanted, History, Mickey, Mickey Mouse, movies, Photography, Pirates of the Caribbean, Reagan Library, The Disney Archives Exhibit, Treasures, Tron, Walt Disney World, WDW
It’s hard to believe that another Christmas Season is upon us. It seems like just yesterday I was putting up decorations, and getting back from last years’ World Chapter Christmas Party, with the theme, “Disney goes to the Movies.” Our theme for this year’s party is even more magical and amazing. This year’s theme is centered around one of the most iconic variety shows on American television…”The Mickey Mouse Club.” This year’s party is the “Mini-Mouseketeer Reunion” theme. For Disney fans worldwide, it is incredible that 57 years have passed since this family staple production began in 1955. But our party this year was made more remarkable, not for the fact we celebrated Walt’s masterpiece, but the fact that attending the affair were four of the original Mouseketeers that starred in that memorable show!
So I got your attention? Maybe, with better truth in advertising, the marquee would proclaim: “Tom Hanks as Walt Disney.” Yes, Tom Hanks landed the role of our favorite American icon in a movie concerning his chase to land the rights to Mary Poppins from a very distrusting author, P.L. Travers, portrayed by Emma Thompson. Reportedly, this is the first on-screen portrayal of Walt Disney.
There is perhaps no part of Walt Disney’s legacy more ingrained into the American psyche, sans Mickey himself, than the Mickey Mouse Club. This ground-breaking children’s variety show was conceived by Walt and produced by Walt Disney Productions. The original series ran for four years on the ABC television network from 1955 until 1959. Millions of baby boomers (and their parents) were glued to their sets, with Mickey Mouse Ears on while the Mouseketeers (and in some cases, “Meeseketeers and one big “Mooseketeer”) entertained them with music, cartoons, comedy, newsreels and talent skits. And leading the Mouseketeers were the hosts, Head Mouseketeer Jimmy Dodd and his helper, big Mooseketeer Roy Williams.
We all love those Disney souvenirs. No matter where you look, you’ll find Mickey, Minnie, Pluto and every other character everywhere in the parks. In addition, there are treasures from Disney animated and live action movies and all items in between. Any article with the Disney moniker is fair game. And they are not just in the parks. Malls, shopping centers and even online, licensed Disney merchandise are everywhere. But this was not always the way it was. When Walt and Roy first started the Disney Brothers studios, they were a small Mom and Pop organization. Walt was a story man and animator. And the company was always short of monies. He and Roy did not think about the revenue that marketing Mickey and Minnie could bring.
For those not in the know, William “Sully” Sullivan began his tenure with Disney on July 27, 1955. At the time he was employed by Northrop Aircraft Corporation, but after viewing the historic opening day ceremonies of Disneyland’s official opening on Sunday, July 17, he was hooked. After applying for a job the following Saturday, he quit Northrop and started his career as a ticket-taker on the Jungle Cruise, the first Tuesday after the park opened. He was just nineteen. Bill’s career at Disney lasted 38 years, and said… “If I had to do it all over,” he says, “I’d do it all again tomorrow.”
Sully worked as a “Jungle Bunny” the name given to Cast Members working on the Cruise for about three years. It was after this time his amazing career evolved from ticket-taker to operations supervisor at Disneyland. It was during this time that he learned every facet of Disneyland’s operation and management. With this knowledge, he advanced to management, where his forte became Parks and Resorts. He was part of the operational management team in 1960 at Squaw Valley where Disney hosted the first time opening ceremonies for the Winter Olympics. When the 1964-65 World’s Fair opened in Flushing Meadows in New York, Bill served as assistant Manager for Disney’s attractions at the fair.
Photo credit: Amazon.com
Sam Gennawey is an urban planner, currently working as a senior Associate at Urban Planning and Communications firm in Pasadena, California, that specializes in community infrastructure, planning and development. Sam has a BA from DePaul University in Urban Planning. A Disney lover and fanatic since a kid, he is also a columnist for MiceAge and Micechat and Webmaster of Samland’s Disney Adventures. It is Sam’s expertise in city planning and love of Disneyland and Walt Disney that prompted him to write this important historical and informational book entitled “Walt and the Promise of Progress City.”
In part one of “Disney Dreams,” we explored how the idea of Disneyland came about and some of the many ideas and concepts originally planned, never made it to realization. Let’s gravitate a bit in the future to 1974. By this time, Disneyland is a phenomenal success, but as Walt once said… “Disneyland will never be completed. It will continue to grow as long as there is imagination left in the world.”
This huge expansion project was fostered by Tony Baxter, senior Vice-President of Walt Disney Imagineering. It was to be called “Discovery Bay.” This “land” would be built on the banks of the Rivers of America, between Fantasyland and Frontierland, and would be stylized after San Francisco of the mid nineteenth century (A dramatized version) when the industrialized era was in full swing and adventure was on everyone’s mind.
Source: The Walt Disney Family Museum
Many people say Walt Disney epitomizes the American Dream because he was born into a family of modest means, found a calling in life that he passionately pursued, and created an empire the revolutionized an industry.
There’s no denying the fact that he enjoyed a tremendous amount of success in his life, but do you feel as if he was a “self-made” success?
Recently there has been credible speculation that a new Disney feature is in work, tentatively titled “Saving Mr. Banks” starring Tom Hanks as Walt Disney and Meryl Streep as Mary Poppins author, P.L. Travers. The script is about how Walt acquired the rights to the book for adaptation to the screen. Ironically, though the film raked in five Academy awards including Best Original Song and Score, Travers loathed the picture, and in particular, its animated sequences.
Photo Credit: travelandleisure.com
History paints Walt Disney, among his many artistic talents as one of the world’s greatest story tellers. And few would dare to dispute that. But coming in at second place would be none other than internationally known Disney Historian and author Jim Korkis. Jim is a staple in the Disney community, anyone connected with Walt’s world knows the man. But Jim’s main accolade is his knowledge of UNTOLD AND UNWRITTEN Disney history. Think back to the dawn of civilization. Long before books and paper, and even before written language, tribes of our ancestors sat around the fire, telling stories and tales of long ago deeds and happenings, passing the history of the family to the next generation. If not for these stories, the history would be lost forever.
In all my time watching Disney films, I had never seen So Dear To My Heart before. For that and other reasons I sat down to watch it with great interest. After all, here was a film that was produced in 1948, the very early days of live action at the Disney studio. It had some animated pieces as well as live action, but for such an early film in the Disney live action canon, I had heard very little about it.
That’s a real shame, because So Dear To My Heart is not only an important film in Disney history, it’s a great one as well. This is a movie that tugs at your heartstrings; it makes you cry, laugh and smile – sometimes all in the same sequence. Sure, it’s not original or very inventive, but watching this movie will show you where all the fun Disney sentimentality of future films came from.
Posted in Disney Reviews, Movies Also tagged Beulah Bondi, Bobby Driscoll, Burl Ives, Danny, Disneyland, Granny, It's A Wonderful Life, Jeremiah, Luana Patten, Rudolph, So Dear To My Heart, Uncle Hiram, Ward Kimball
Photo Credit: JustDisney.com
After the overwhelming success of Disneyland, Walt Disney reflected on WED, the company he created to make his theme park dreams a reality:
Click to hear Walt Disney talk about WED Well, WED is, you might call it my backyard laboratory, you know, my workshop away from work. It served a purpose in that some of the things I was planning, like Disneyland for example, is pretty hard for the banking mind to go with it. I had to go ahead on my own and develop it to a point where they could begin to comprehend what I had in mind. So—it’s been true with alot of things in our history here—we’ve been doing something that’s a little bit out of the run of things, and it’s pretty hard to sell people on what you have in your mind, so you have to go ahead and develop it. And that’s what I’ve been doing with WED.
In 1941, the Walt Disney Studios were not the juggernaut they are today. With a series of troubles hitting the studio – including the box office failure of Fantasia, an animator’s strike and the European box office drying up because of World War II – Walt and his crew needed to figure out a new way of making films. They had to make things cheaper and more profitable.
It was from those circumstances that Dumbo sprang to life. If Snow White and Pinocchio were high art films, with incredible realism and lifelike characters, then Dumbo was a cartoon in the best possible way. Using watercolor backgrounds, caricatured animals and a sweet, simple story, Dumbo managed to build an emotional roller coaster like no Disney film to that point had.
“If you want to know the real secret of Walt’s success, it’s that he never tried to make money. He was always trying to make something that he could have fun with or be proud of.” Neal Gabler, author of Walt Disney: Triumph of the American Imagination, quotes animator-turned-Imagineer Ward Kimball on what drove Walt Disney to work the way he did. Walt spent his whole life believing what set him apart from the competition was quality, unyielding quality, and that everything he did should be done for the right reason, not just the right price.
Ever since the fire broke out in the Enchanted Tiki Room-Under New Management on January 12, 2011, much conjecture on what its return would be was rampant. It was announced at the D-23 Walt Disney World 40th anniversary conference that it would return to its original show format, as in Disneyland. On a personal note, I am very happy. I love the classic attractions, and this certainly qualifies as one. After all, this is the first successful Audio- Animatronic show at Disneyland, utilizing new technologies. The show which is identical to the Disneyland venue, opened at Walt Disney World in 1971, with a different entrance queue and larger show area. The name of the new show was the “Tropical Serenade”
Posted in Disney Company, History, Imagineering, News Also tagged Adventureland, attractions, Enchanted Tiki Room, Enchanted Tiki Room-Under New Management, History, Lago, Polynesian, Re-habs, South Seas, Tiki Gods, Zazu
On May 29, 1941 Walt Disney pulled up to his studio on Buena Vista Blvd, and saw a sight he will never forget. Almost 300 angry protesters were picketing the studio, all of them his cartoonists. Shouting and holding signs, it was a sight that Walt would never forget, and never forgive. But what could have caused this strike? To work at the Disney Studios was the dream of hundreds of artists and animators. To understand this and the events leading up to the most pivotal event in the history of Animation, we have to understand the work environments of the early 20th century and to understand Walt Disney himself.
I have many Imagineering books, but for a long time there was one that I avoided, Designing Disney by John Hench. It kept popping up on Amazon as something I might like, but I always clicked around the silly little orange book. I wanted books about parks, attractions, process and thought, not the memoirs of some random Imagineer. As it turns out, I’m an idiot.
Tony Baxter, the undisputed King of the Splash. Graphic Credit: John Gray
Disneyland had a problem. No one was going to Bear Country, the seldom visited home of the Country Bear Jamboree. No one was sitting through America Sings, the barely attended musical revue celebrating America and its past. No one knew what to do with the 114 soon to be homeless audio animatronics in the America Sings attraction designed by legendary Imagineer Marc Davis. And finally, no one was enjoying Disneyland’s refreshing log flume ride, because it didn’t exist.