Thursday, October 19, 2017

The blog will be updated again on November 3.
One last reminder for those of you in LA!!

If you live in LA, here is an event you do not want to miss. On Saturday, October 21, I will be selling and signing copies of They Drew As They Pleased - The Hidden Art of Disney's Late Golden Age at the Wonderful World of Animation Gallery (9517 Culver Blvd., Culver City) from 2PM to 5PM.

This will be the only time this year that I will be in LA and this will mark the official launch of the third volume in the They Drew As They Pleased book series.

Mindy Johnson will also be there selling and signing her seminal book about Ink and Paint - The Women of Disney's Animation. 

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Some great pieces of concept art that I had never seen before are being sold by Van Eaton Galleries right now. The two above are by Mel Shaw for The Great Mouse Detective. They will not be included in They Drew As They Pleased - Volume 5, sadly, as they feature smoking and drinking.

 The one below is a very early concept for Winnie the Pooh by Mary Blair from the late '30s or early '40s. It is too late to include it in  They Drew As They Pleased - Volume 4 (I am reviewing the galleys at the moment), but you will be glad to know that another piece by Blair from Winnie the Pooh will make it into the book.

Friday, October 13, 2017

Excellent article released by Jerry Beck a few days ago on Cartoon Research:

Louella Parsons on the Great Disney Films

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Today is the day!! They Drew As They Pleased - The Hidden Art of Disney's Late Golden Age has finally been released. If you are curious about Disney's Character Model Department and the elite artists who worked for it, get that book as soon as you can. If you want to see close to 400 pieces of stunning artwork which have never been seen before, get that book. If you want to know a lot more about how the Disney Studio really worked in the late 1930s and in the 1940s, get that book.

Also, please remember that sales of this volume are critical if we want to ensure the future of the series, If possible, try not to delay your purchase, please!

Finally, a quick reminder for those of you in LA:

If you live in LA, here is an event you do not want to miss. On Saturday, October 21, I will be selling and signing copies of They Drew As They Pleased - The Hidden Art of Disney's Late Golden Age at the Wonderful World of Animation Gallery (9517 Culver Blvd., Culver City) from 2PM to 5PM.

This will be the only time this year that I will be in LA and this will mark the official launch of the third volume in the They Drew As They Pleased book series.

Mindy Johnson will also be there selling and signing her seminal book about Ink and Paint - The Women of Disney's Animation. 

Friday, October 06, 2017

On June 12, 2018, Disney Editions will release The Disney Monorail: Imagineering the Highway in the Sky by by Jeff Kurtti and Vanessa Hunt. This is definitely a book I will pick up.

Thursday, October 05, 2017

I have just received a copy of Walt Disney's Nine MORE Old Men - The Flipbooks, presented by Pete Docter.

If you liked the first flipbook box-set, you will love, love, love this one. Finally animators other than than the Nine Old Men get their due: Ub Iwerks, Norman Ferguson, Ham Luske, Art Babbitt, Grim Natwick, Bill Tytla, John Sibley, Hal King, and Freddie Moore.

What a treat!!  

Wednesday, October 04, 2017

Walt's People - Volume 20 will be released before the end of November. I just received the cover drawing by John Musker yesterday and I love it.

Tuesday, October 03, 2017

Here is a great interview about the making of They Drew As They Pleased - Volume 3 by yours truly. Please, please pre-order the book, which will be released in just one week!

Monday, October 02, 2017

Very interesting auction coming up at Bonhams with a tremendous amount of Harper Goff material (way too expensive for me, unfortunately). [Thanks to Michael Goldberg for the heads up.]

Friday, September 29, 2017

SAVE THE DATE (If you live in Los Angeles)

If you live in LA, here is an event you do not want to miss. On Saturday, October 21, I will be selling and signing copies of They Drew As They Pleased - The Hidden Art of Disney's Late Golden Age at the Wonderful World of Animation Gallery (9517 Culver Blvd., Culver City) from 2PM to 5PM.

This will be the only time this year that I will be in LA and this will mark the official launch of the third volume in the They Drew As They Pleased book series.

Mindy Johnson will also be there selling and signing her seminal book about Ink and Paint - The Women of Disney's Animation.

See you there soon!!

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Kem Weber: Furniture Designs for the Disney Studios by Dave Bossert

I love this new initiative by Dave Bossert (click on the link above) and I am planning to support it next week.

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

OK, now that Irma is behind us, that I enjoyed a relaxing two-week vacation and that my computer issues are fixed, I am finally back.

I think many of you will enjoy the interview that Dave Lee conducted with me about the making of the third volume of the They Drew As They Pleased book series which will be released in just a few days, on October 10.

Friday, September 08, 2017

Dear all: Have you been considering buying They Drew As They Pleased - Volume 2 but postponing your decision? If so, please think about buying it as soon as possible and possibly pre-ordering Volume 3. Both volumes are selling at a 55% discount on Amazon.

If sales do not pick up sharply for those two volumes before the end of the year, I am afraid that the future of the series may be at stake, which is a major concern on my end.

Those books are a labor of love. They are the books I have dreamed of writing my whole life. They can't exist, however, if sales are luck-warm. 

Thursday, September 07, 2017

Project Updates

The blog will be silent for two weeks (until September 25), so I thought it might be time to give you a quick update about ongoing projects. Here is what I am working on at the moment:

1. They Drew As They Pleased

Volume 3 (The Hidden Art of Disney's Late Golden Age) will be released on October 10 this year. Later this week I will be able to start reviewing the first layout of Volume 4 (The Hidden Art of Disney's Mid-Century Era, which focuses on artists Lee Blair, Mary Blair, Tom Oreb, John Dunn and Walt Peregoy). This also means that I am now hard at work conducting research about Ken Anderson and Mel Shaw for Volume 5.

2. Walt's People

Volume 10 has just been re-released by Theme Park Press.

More importantly, Volume 20 will be released between the end of November and the first week of December.

3. Snow White's People - Volume 2

The manuscript is ready and the book should be released between January and February 2018.

4. My Life As A Cartoon by Leo Salkin

The recently re-discovered autobiography and diaries of Disney story artist Leo Salkin should be released around the beginning of next year at the latest.

5. Other projects

The Ward Kimball diaries are for the moment on the back burner for reasons outside of my control, but I am hoping that the project will be back on track at some point next year.

I recently located the lost autobiography of a Disney artist who was also a member of the Firehouse Five Plus Two. The book is quite fascinating, and while I can't give more details about the project yet, I am hoping that it will be released towards the middle of next year.

Wednesday, September 06, 2017

Tuesday, September 05, 2017

For those of us who can read Italian, this book promises to be interesting. I will become available via on October 1.

Friday, September 01, 2017

This just in from Jake Friedman via Facebook:

[After SEVEN YEARS of research, last March I began writing my book about Art Babbitt and the Disney strike. 

My goal: to complete the first draft before the end of the summer.

Yesterday: mission accomplished!!! 

Stay tuned for the book "WAR IN THE FACTORY OF DREAMS".]

Can't wait!

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

I am really looking forward to this upcoming book by Jeff Kurtti, which should be released next year.

Monday, August 28, 2017

This sad news just in from Joseph Titizian:

[I was so sad to hear of the passing of Ginni Mack, the original model and true inspiration for Tinker Bell.

I was honored to meet Ginni and learn of her contributions to Disney Animation from the 1940s to the 1990s as an Artist and Supervisor at the Studio's Ink & Paint Department. I look forward to learning more about Ginni and the many unsung Disney women in Mindy Johnson's upcoming book, "Ink & Paint: The Women of Walt Disney's Animation".]

Friday, August 25, 2017

I just got a copy of this new book by Jim Korkis. As always, this is an enjoyable, light read full of fun stories about little known-aspects of Disney history.

Thursday, August 24, 2017

I just got this newly released book from Theme Park Press.

I love those short autobiographies of Disney's Imagineers and Parks Operations people. This one is no exception: it's a easy and fascinating read. 

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

This just in from filmmaker Aaron Pacentine:

[I'm a filmmaker and producer with I wanted to bring to your attention a brand new independent documentary film on The Parent Trap. Hayley Mills is participating and others from the 1961 film and sequels. I have already received clearance from Disney to go ahead with my documentary. We are also in the process of arranging to using music from the 1961 film as well.  

 We are trying to get the word out on the project and trying to raise the funds.]

I have no information about the project beyond this. I might support it this week.

Monday, August 21, 2017

I have not yet received this very specialized reference book but I know that some of you will want to know that it has just been released.

Friday, August 18, 2017

This book is pure images and no text. This is not a book for historians. It is one for Pixar hardcore fans and art directors.

I enjoyed it very much but I do not consider it a "must have."

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Talk about a book that took me completely by surprise. With a title like this I was expecting a pure "marketing" product. Not so at all. This is an outstanding book, full of never-seen-before illustrations and photographs, and impeccably researched by Marcy Carriker Smothers, an author who clearly cares deeply about her subject matter.

This is a book that will be a pure delight to fans of Walt Disney himself and to Disneyland enthusiasts. I never thought I would say this about a book titled Eat Like Walt, but this is clearly a "must have" for many of us.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Outside world events rarely influence what is posted on this blog, but it happens from time to time.

They Drew As They Pleased - Volume 4 (Chronicle Books, 2018) will feature a chapter about Disney artist Walt Peregoy. Before he joined Disney for good, Peregoy created this beautiful drawing featuring the US, Russia and the UK defeating Hitler and Nazism...

Anyway... Brighter things tomorrow with a rave review of a book I was originally not expecting to like.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

I just received recently a review copy of Oswald the Lucky Rabbit: The Search for the Lost Disney Cartoons by Dave Bossert and David Gerstein. From my standpoint there is no doubt that this is a "must have."

It is full of never-seen-before artwork, photographs and illustrations (and I mean from cover to cover) and the text will allow you to know absolutely all there is to know to date about all the Oswald cartoons. I was utterly fascinated when I read an early version of the manuscript a few months ago.

Then again, I am biased, since I played a small part in this quest by strongly recommending to Dave and David to work together on this project (the quest for the lost Oswald and Alice cartoons not the book itself). I can't tell you how excited I am with the results and with the number of "new" Oswald shorts that they have re-discovered.

Monday, August 14, 2017

I will be reviewing two wonderful new Disney history books over the next few days, but in the meantime my good friend and animation historian John Canemaker has just released the first review of They Drew As They Pleased - The Hidden Art of Disney's Late Golden Age and I though you might enjoy reading it.

Friday, August 11, 2017

Ink & Paint: The Women of Walt Disney's Animation is a revolutionary book about Disney history. It finally gives the women of Walt Disney's animation (not just those from Ink & Paint) the place they deserve... and it's a very important place.

The book is also absolutely massive. You are definitely getting tremendous value for your money.

And it is chock full of brand new information and photographs... from start to finish.

I truly believe that this is a book that will remain THE reference on the subject in 50 years.

More importantly, I believe that this is a book that none of us can afford not to get. This one absolutely has to be part of your Disney history library.

The author, my good friend Mindy Johnson can really be proud of what she achieved!

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Here are two new books that have just been released by Theme Park Press. The American Animated Cartoon is a re-release of a great book that had been long out-of-print. And here is what the publisher sent me about Passport to Pixie Dust, a biography I will definitely pick up:

[Ted's Excellent Adventures

Ted Kellogg sweltered through weeks in the jungle. He was far from civilization, and the natives were sometimes restless. The boats were leaky. The skippers were sketchy. The spiels were in Spanish. Fun times on the Jungle Cruise? Think again. This was no E-ticket ride...

Before Ted Kellogg began his 32 years in service to the mouse, he put on his figurative fedora and channeled his inner Indiana Jones. From tropical jungles to the open sea, Ted survived a deep-sea dive that went too deep, a monstrous storm off the coast of California that nearly wrecked his ship and killed his crew, robbers and night raiders in Central America, and other hair-raising encounters.

With the jungle and the sea out of his system, mostly, Ted took a job in Disneyland, but before long he transferred to Walt Disney World, then being built, and took charge of the park's many water craft. If it floated in or around the Magic Kingdom, Ted Kellogg knew about it.

Equal parts adventure story and Disney cast member memoir, Ted's tale is testament to the power of following your dream, whether on land, on sea, or in a certain Magic Kingdom.]

Wednesday, August 09, 2017

I discovered those two photos recently thanks to my friends Tom Morris and Jim Hollifield. Jim wrote:

[This photo (of Walt and the rabbit) was taken when Walt visited Hot Springs, Arkansas and met animals in the now defunct "IQ Zoo," an unusual organization which studied and demonstrated learned animal behaviors. The woman is Marian Breland, who operated the IQ Zoo with her husband. Here's another photo from the same day in which it appears Walt is wearing the same jacket and tie. A reporter who covered Walt's visit shared this with me. He remembered that Walt was hoping for some Hot Springs therapeutic relief from neck and back pain in late 1965; a colleague snapped the photo of him as he waited to talk to Walt. Sadly, this gentleman only took notes while he talked to Walt, and the reporter seen interviewing Walt for a radio station is now deceased. Perhaps there's a recording out there somewhere! Here's a link to a page with info about the IQ Zoo.

More info, including the original photo and Walt's follow-up letter.]

Tuesday, August 08, 2017

disney film on alchohol

I was interviewing artist Tad Stones a few days ago and realized that in the late '70s he had written and directed a Disney educational short that I had never seen, titled Understanding Alcohol Use and Abuse.

I just found it on YouTube and thought that some of you would enjoy it.

Monday, August 07, 2017

My good friend Sebastien Durand just attracted my attention to the fact that an upcoming exhibition at the Cinematheque de Paris will pay homage to the story man / writer of Asterix, Goscinny, and that part of it will focus on the fact that he was heavily inspired by Disney as a kid.

Wednesday, August 02, 2017

I just received a review copy of A Kiss Goodnight. It's a cute kid story about Walt, but what makes the book special of course is the song by Richard Sherman and the illustrations by Floyd Norman.

Tuesday, August 01, 2017

And so now I have three practically-impossible-to-find foreign books to locate: The "Power of Princess" exhibition catalog from Japan, the Shanghai Disneyland book that was only given to the VIP guests for the Grand Opening of the park and this French book about Pirates of the Caribbean written by my good friend Jeremie Noyer and only given to cast members at Disneyland Paris. I am not amused.

Monday, July 31, 2017

They Drew As They Pleased - Volume 3 will be released in October this year, so I spent the full weekend "finalizing"... Volume 4! That's the volume that will cover the 1950s and 1960s and specifically: Lee Blair, Mary Blair, Tom Oreb (pictured here), John Dunn and Walt Peregoy.

The text is written and has already gone through a first round of edits at the publisher and I have just delivered the massive caption file (which is what I was working on this whole weekend).

If all goes according to plan, the cover will be ready by next week and we will be able to move to layout in September. Still a lot of work ahead, but this is getting very fun.

Friday, July 28, 2017

Sad week for Disney history: Marty Sklar dies at 83.

I find this to be a catastrophe both from the human and Disney history perspective, since so many tales will remain untold.

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

This just in from Theme Park Press about Jim Korkis' new book:

[Wish Upon a Secret

You've heard Jim Korkis' secret stories of Walt Disney World. Then you heard more of Jim Korkis' secret stories of Walt Disney World. Now, with the neighbors gone home and the kids asleep, Jim has a special treat: other secret stories of Walt Disney World. Gather round.

You know what's more fun than finding Hidden Mickeys at Walt Disney World? Reading secret stories about Walt Disney World. And no one knows more Disney secrets than Jim Korkis. Just when it seems like the secrets well is dry, the often imitated, never duplicated Korkis hits a gusher:

- The Stromboli Room in Fantasyland, the evil dentist on Main Street, and the elusive Lone Ranger in Frontierland

-  Debunking dinosaurs, counting flags, and the many secrets of Epcot's World Showcase

- Hidden treasures of the Disney World resorts, including nanny chairs, kukui nuts, and vanishing magicians

- Fighting dragons, outrunning villains, racing through a dinosaur dig, and other attractions that never were

Each story is short enough to read whenever you have a spare moment that needs Disney in it. That's, like, every spare moment, so pace yourself...]

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

David Peake just noticed that the Hachette Book Group web site is announcing the release of a book about the 50th Anniversary of Club 33, written by my good friend Tim O'Day. The planned launch date is December 12 of this year. More about this soon, hopefully...

Monday, July 24, 2017

Once again, here is an author who did his homework. The biography of Roy O. Disney that Scott M. Madden wrote is the best biography of Roy that anyone without direct access to the Disney Archives could have written. Madden used all the available sources really well and the tale he told is what one would have expected to read in the disappointing biography by the great Bob Thomas.

In no way is this the last word about Roy. One still awaits the book about him that a historian with full access to the Disney Archives will be able to pen, but this is an extremely satisfying read for now.

My only quibble: once again I dislike a book cover. But that is obviously a very minor issue. 

Thursday, July 20, 2017

This newly released history of Disney's True-Life Adventures is a great read. The author did his homework. This does not mean that the book explores the whole history of Disney's documentaries in-depth, but Christian Moran does a good job when it comes to summarizing the testimonies of all the artists and cinematographers who worked on them. The book is well-written and full of great quotes. It is definitely worth picking up.

For those of us who are awaiting the definite in-depth history of the True-Life Adventures (which might be way too much for many readers) we might still have to wait a few more years though...

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

This is a CD I will definitely order in a few weeks...