Saturday, 24 December 2011

A (SEASONAL) DREAM IS A WISH...

I sincerely hope that your
CHRISTMAS...


...will be a FAIRY-TALE
Come True!


Images: Tapestries and frescoes in Auberge de Cendrillon, Fantasyland, Disneyland Paris.

Monday, 12 December 2011

MICKEY MONDAYS: Manifestations of the Mouse

Back in 1982, prior to the opening of EPCOT Center, I was interviewing a top Disney executive for a BBC television documentary I was making about Walt Disney World's second gated attraction.

"Will Mickey and the other familiar Disney characters have a role at EPCOT?" I asked. Mr Exec shook his head. "No," he replied with firmness, "you will only ever encounter Mickey and the gang at their home in the Magic Kingdom."

Well, it didn't take long for that policy to undergo revision as you can see from a publicity photo from 1985, showing the Mouse dressed as an archetypal image of the nation that once owned America as a colony...

Chief Cheeseater

Mickey's outfit is inspired by the distinctive costume of 'The Yeomen Warders of Her Majesty’s Royal Palace and Fortress the Tower of London, and Members of the Sovereign's Body Guard of the Yeoman of the Guard Extraordinary', popularly known as the Beefeaters.

The caption reads:

CHIEF CHEESEATER -- You've seen the famous Beefeaters of the Tower of London. Now meet Mickey Mouse in his costume for WorldFest, December's international festival in the United Kingdom Showcase at Epcot Center. Special holiday entertainment, yuletide decorations, sidewalk food stands and week-end performances of "Skyleidoscope" with its racing dragons and rainbow aircraft are among special features in World Showcase during December.

Monday, 5 December 2011

MICKEY MONDAYS: Manifestations of the Mouse

Happy 110th Birthday
WALT DISNEY


Today's Mickey is Blaine Gibson's 'Partners' statue: a bronze likeness of the Mouse standing hand-in-hand with his creator in front of Sleeping Beauty's Castle, Disneyland.

Image: Brian Sibley

Monday, 28 November 2011

B.M.: 'BEFORE MICKEY'

A highly significant pen-and-ink drawing by Walter Elias Disney will go under the auctioneer's hammer on Wednesday 30 December in the Holabird-Kagin Americana 2011 Grand Final Auction to be held at the Atlantis Casino Resort, 3800 S. Virginia St., Reno, Nevada, 89502, United States.


Boldly drawn with great confidence and competence in the style of 'twenties comics, the drawing is a reminder that whilst in his later career, Walt didn't draw the 'cartoons' that carried his name, the young Disney was no slouch at the drawing-board!

Made in c. 1921 and measuring 8" x 4 3/4", the drawing is attached to a blue page with a heading titled 'Miscellaneous' from 'The Girl Graduate's Record Book' that belonged to Walt's sister, Ruth Disney Beecher. The reverse side of this page has "another work of art and a poem" signed Ipkigenia Gilhouse with the date '21, but it is the Disney sketch that has set the opening bid at a cool $17,500.00!

Many thanks to Michael Goldberg for telling me about the sale, though I doubt I'll be able to keep up with the bidding for long!

Monday, 21 November 2011

MICKEY MONDAYS: Manifestations of the Mouse

Think Mouskashoes and you might suppose we would be talking about a pair of bright yellow boots, but not necessarily!

These Mouse-eared-and-tailed high heels are something else...










They are made by Mellow Yellow and you can check them out at Sarenza.co.uk, although their website says they are currently out of stock. I bet Minnie got the last pair!

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

WONDERLAND WONDERBOOK

It was 1969 – most of my readers probably weren't born – and I was in a state of HUGE excitement: Disney's 1951 animated feature, Alice in Wonderland was being reissued in Britain and was coming to my local cinema.

I was (in addition to being a rabid Disney fan) a crazed Carrollian having fallen in love with the book long before I could even read from having it read to me by my parents.

In those prehistoric, pre-video days I had seen stills from the Disney version, and clips on TV, I had read comic- and picture-book versions and listened endlessly to the Disneyland Storyteller LP, but... I had never SEEN the FILM!

I loved it! As passionately as I felt about the book, I was not so much a purist as to worry about the departures from the original text (although I thought it was more than a bit unfortunate to have mis-spelled the author's name on the credits!) and I went back more than once to the cinema that week to see it again - and again!

The supporting feature was the live action film based on Sterling North's book, Rascal, about raising a baby raccoon which - like all the sentimental Disney animal-pix – I also enjoyed and each visit I managed to pick up the promotional giveaways for the release: the ingenious Alice's Magic Wonderbook, the four pages of which could be manipulated so as to reveal six or, if you were very clever, eight pages!

Here are all those pages...

Alice Magic <span class=

Alice Magic <span class=

Alice Magic <span class=

Alice Magic <span class=

And, finally, the secret 'hidden' pages 7 and 8...

Alice Magic <span class=

Ah, those were the days! Still, now you can watch the film any time you want on DVD and, on Blu-ray, you can watch me and others on the bonus extras talking about the book, the movie and those twin geniuses, Lewis Carroll and Walt Disney...

Monday, 31 October 2011

"WHAT'S THIS? WHAT'S THIS?"

When I first heard, in 2001, that Disneyland's Haunted Mansion was to undergo a holiday season make-over inspired by Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas, I was appalled!

Old enough to remember that Walt Disney was a person not a corporate logo and to hold an absurdly protective idea about the sacrosanct nature of his uniquely personal park, I thought it was the Mickey Mouse equivalent of blasphemy!

Four years later, when I eventually got to see what had been done to temporarily accommodate Jack Skellington, Sally, Zero, Lock, Shock and Barrel, Oogie Boogie and Sandy Claws among the Mansion's 999 happy haunts, I sat back in my doom buggy and chuckled and chortled at the delightfully self-referential wit with which Disney had pulled off this Halloween/Christmas experiment.

Having reached the end of the ride and encountered the hitch-hiking ghosts, I immediately dashed back round to the front door for another visit...

Here, to celebrate the fact that it is

HALLOWEEN

are a few photographic memories from that experience...

Haunted Mansion decorated

Pumpkins

Pumpkin Santa

Clock

Jack Skellington

Skull

Oogie Boogie

Pumpkin Grins

Saturday, 15 October 2011

DISNEY VILLAINY

Disney Villains have had a long-standing appeal with fans before they became a merchandisable gang! Here's an example of the villains franchise from c. 1990: a Disneyland postcard featuring, as its most recent 'baddie', Percival C McLeach from The Rescuers Down Under.

Disney Villains

Thursday, 29 September 2011

TIME-PIECE THURSDAYS: Disney Watches & Clocks

Turning back the watch to in 1985 when Disneyland turned 30...

Watch – Disneyland at Thirty

Monday, 26 September 2011

MICKEY MONDAYS: Manifestations of the Mouse

Mickey (and Minnie) on Disneyland souvenir spoon...

Disneyland Souvenir Spoon

Thursday, 22 September 2011

TIME-PIECE THURSDAYS: Disney Watches & Clocks

Time for something sweet... to eat!

Watch – Winnie-the-Pooh

Monday, 19 September 2011

MICKEY MONDAYS: Manifestations of the Mouse

Franklin Mint crystal sculpture of Mickey Mouse as the Sorcerer's Apprentice...

Sorcerer's Dream

Thursday, 15 September 2011

TIME-PIECE THURSDAYS: Disney Watches & Clocks

Lucky is watching TV super-dog, Thunderbolt, whose adventures unfold on screen as time goes by...

Watch – 101 Dalmatians

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

DEL CONNELL 1918-2011

Prolific animation and comic book writer, Del George Connell died last month aged 93.

Connell’s credits – though all too often uncredited – included the story of ‘Pablo the Cold-Blooded Penguin’ featured in Walt Disney's The Three Caballeros.


Connell was also resposnsible for the Disney short The Pelican and the Snipe and worked on the Oscar-nominated Ben and Me, as well as the studio’s animated feature Alice in Wonderland.

Responsible for the original Disney comic book characters, Supergoof and Daisy Duck’s nieces, April, May and June, Connell also wrote and sketched 20 years of the Mickey Mouse daily and Sunday comic strips. – one of many ways in which the studio's foundation character was kept in the public eye long after his film career had faded.

Connell worked on comic-books featuring characters from many other animation studios including MGM, Hanna-Barbera and Walter Lantz whose Chilly Willy was clearly a relative of hos own Pablo.

Another of claim to fame is that Connell launched the comic-book careers of the Robinson family who first appeared in the Gold Key publication, Space Family Robinson and later found fame on TV in Irwin Allen's cult series, Lost in Space.

You can read my full obituary in The Guardian newspaper, here.


Monday, 12 September 2011

MICKEY MONDAYS: Manifestations of the Mouse

A privacy door-hanger from Fort Wilderness Resort...

Wilderness Lodge Privacy Door-hanger



Thursday, 8 September 2011

TIME-PIECE THURSDAYS: Disney Watches & Clocks

Personalised Cheshire Cat watch from Walt Disney World...

Watch – Brian's Cheshire Cat Watch

Monday, 5 September 2011

MICKEY MONDAYS: Manifestations of the Mouse

A Brenda White Mickey Sorcerer plate...

Mickey Plate - Brenda White

Thursday, 1 September 2011

TIME-PIECE THURSDAYS: Disney Watches & Clocks

You'd be plane crazy not to like this watch...

Watch – Plane Crazy

The only trouble is the propeller doesn't go round quick enough to keep that crate airborne! No wonder Minnie looks so alarmed!


Thursday, 25 August 2011

TIME-PIECE THURSDAYS: Disney Watches & Clocks

Much-worn and much-loved, it reminds me – every time I check the time – of a memorable visit to Walt Disney World...

Watch - Sleeping Beauty's Castle

Sunday, 21 August 2011

GREATER POOHSPECTIVE

A short TV documentary on the new Disney Winnie the Pooh film in which I make a cameo appearance...



See also my posts on Mark Henn and Andreas Deja.

Thursday, 18 August 2011

TIME-PIECE THURSDAYS: Disney Watches & Clocks

Let your conscience be your guide and keep an eye on the time...

Watch – Jiminy Cricket

Sunday, 14 August 2011

SNOW WHITE AT RADIO CITY MUSIC HALL

Showplace: The Magazine of Radio City Music Hall Vol. 2, No. 3, January 20, 1938 featuring Walt Disney's Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs...

Showplace: 'Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs' at Radio City Music Hall (1 of 16)

Showplace: 'Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs' at Radio City Music Hall (2 of 16)

Showplace: 'Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs' at Radio City Music Hall (3 of 16)

Showplace: 'Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs' at Radio City Music Hall (4 of 16)

Showplace: 'Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs' at Radio City Music Hall (5 of 16)

Showplace: 'Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs' at Radio City Music Hall (6 of 16)

Showplace: 'Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs' at Radio City Music Hall (7 of 16)

Showplace: 'Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs' at Radio City Music Hall (8 of 16)

Showplace: 'Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs' at Radio City Music Hall (9 of 16)

Showplace: 'Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs' at Radio City Music Hall (10 of 16)

Showplace: 'Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs' at Radio City Music Hall (11 of 16)

Showplace: 'Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs' at Radio City Music Hall (12 of 16)

Showplace: 'Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs' at Radio City Music Hall (13 of 16)

Showplace: 'Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs' at Radio City Music Hall (14 of 16)

Showplace: 'Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs' at Radio City Music Hall (15 of 16)

Showplace: 'Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs' at Radio City Music Hall (16 of 16)

Many thanks to Michael Goldberg for this addition to my Disneyana collection.