Monday, July 30, 2012

They Made the Magic: Marion Darlington

With a Smile and Song would not have been complete without Marion Darlington.  The actress was known for her ability to make birds sing and was hired by Disney to work on Snow White and the Seen Dwarfs, Cinderella, So Dear to My Heart, and Pinocchio.  She appeared in the 1942 film Obliging Young Lady in an uncredited role of bird lover and in 1953 she provided the whistiling solo for Bright Road.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Finding Snow White on the Disney Wonder

I just got home from my first ever Disney cruise aboard the beautiful Disney Wonder: the seven day cruise to Alaska and it was absolutely amazing!  As always, I made it my mission to check out the ship and find everything Snow White related I could to report back.  There was so much concept art all over the ship and so many different locations; the ship was filled with Disney touches!
The first place to find Snow White is in the restaurant Animator's Palate.  Located on Deck 4 Aft, this is one of the three main restaurants in your rotational dinning.  It is also where you can take animation classes during the day on board the ship:
Evil Queen on the wall of Animator's Palate

Hag on wall in Animator's Palate

Grumpy study on the Wall of Animator's Palate

Dopey at beginning of dinning experience in Animator's Palate

Dopey at the end of the dinning experience in Animator's Palate
 The shows on the Disney Wonder were fantastic!  There was no photography allowed during the shows, but during a few of the shows Snow White makes an appearance.  The big appearance is a show segment in The Golden Mickeys: Snow White and Dopey appear for that.  The Remember the Magic, A Final Farewell is when both Snow White and the Prince appear.
Preview reel for the Golden Mickeys featuring the dwarfs watching the clock

Dwarfs Coo-Coo Clock
 Each night upon returning to your stateroom, the fabulous state room host would have turned down your beds and left you a nightly piece of chocolate featuring Sleepy! (on Pirate night you get a Mickey doubloon instead).
Characters are all over the ship!  Including Snow White and Dopey (Dopey did not make many appearances so I never could catch him)
Snow White in front of Tritons during a Princess Gathering
Lastly, what would any Disney vacation be without some shopping?  I was so shocked and excited to find Disney Cruise Line exclusive Snow White postcards!
"Snow White" 5th Edition Artist Series Don "Ducky" WIlliams

If you have never been a Disney Cruise before I recommend checking out Disboards.  This forum has discussion groups forming about every sailing Disney does.  It is nice to get to know some of the people on your cruise, plan a meet, and you can also get involved in a fish extender game.  This is a gift exchange program with other people on the cruise.  It added so much to the cruise - it's fun to check your fish extender each day to see what you get and to go out and deliver your gifts.  I made my pocket fish extender to look like a Snow White totem pole.  I was sitting in the stateroom one afternoon when I heard a little girl go by our door and exclaim: "Mommy look!  It's Snow White's room!"

Friday, July 13, 2012

They Made the Magic: Joe Grant

Joseph Clarence Grant was born May 15, 1908.  When he was two, the family moved to Los Angeles.  His career began with The Los Angeles Record where he drew caricatures of famous people weekly.  These caught the eye of Walt Disney and Grant was asked to draw for Mickey's Gala Premier.  A few years later, he joined the studio full time.  He briefly worked on Who Killed Cock Robin? and then began work on Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.
Grant related in an interview that he based the concept art on the queen on a woman who lived across the street from him who picked persimmons and carried a basket.  He didn't like people to know that and only shared in when he was confident she had passed on.
During work on "Snow White" in 1933, Walt Disney came up to Grant in a hallway of the Hyperion studio in Loz Feliz and asked, "What are we going to do for an encore?" That question led to the establishment of the Character Model Department  He oversaw the people who worked with character design and models.  He was also important to the studio as a writer and gagman.  When the character Model Department was dismantled in 1949, Grant left to work on his own ventures (ceramics and greeting cards).  In 1989, he was asked to return to the studio where he became creative director.  
The only artist to have worked on Fantasia and Fantasia 2000.
Grant became a Disney Legend in 1992.  He won an Academy Award for best short (Lorenzo) and passed away a few months later in 2005.  Two Guys Named Joe is a book written by John Canemaker that features the lives of two important animators:

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

They Made the Magic: Hal Adelquist

Harold Williams Adelquist was born in Utah on July 11, 1914 and moved to Los Angeles when he was six.  By 1933 he went to work for the Walt Disney Studios.  While working for the company he worked in the production, department, the story department, and the personnel office.  He was an un-credited assistant director on Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.  In 1938 he began working for personnel, a difficult position to hold during the strike.  He later became the head of the story department.  In 1955 Adelquist was assigned to the Mickey Mouse Club to help Bill Walsh as the show's production supervisor.  After the first season, he began producing live shows for the Mickey Mouse Club Circus at Disneyland.  And here is where things began to fall apart.  At some point he was demoted to a talent scout and in 1956 It seems that the pressure was too much and he resigned from Disney, but later asked to be re-hired and Walt Disney refused.  It seems they and a falling out.  He died in Long Beach in 1981.
For additional information read more on the original Mickey Mouse Club website, or Cartoon Brew.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

How About Them Apples

Check out this artist featured on BBC on-line.  She recreated scenes from Snow White using apples.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Fourth of July

Happy Fourth of July to all our United States readers!  This is a 2010 pin; check out more information from Pin Pics.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

They Made the Magic: Ken O'Conner

Kendall (Ken) O' Connor was born June 7 1908 in Perth Australia.  He studied art in Melbourne before moving with the family in 1930 and attending the California School of Art.
In 1935 O' Connor joined the Disney studios.
In a 1978 interview O'Connor talked about Snow White:
"I remember at the premiere of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, the audience broke into applause two different times, just for the layouts and paintings.  No characters even on the screen.  The shot of the queen's castle above the mist and the marsh received applause.  I was sitting near John Barrymore, and he was bouncing up and down in his seat as he was so excited.  He was an artist, of course, and he new the kind of work that went into something like that, and appreciated it." Walt's People Volume 6.
Art by O'Connor that will be featured in the Walt Disney Family Museum exhibit for Snow White's 75th.

During the making of Snow White O'Connor had to use rotoscoping to draw Snow White: the recorded image of Marge Champion dancing was being traced.  O'Connor remembered being annoyed at having to do this task until Walt came by and went on and on how lucky he was to get a chance to study the movement of a human and how difficult that was and that he had to send others to art school to do it.  By the time Walt was done talking, O'Connor was feeling pretty good about things - as he put it, Walt could sell ice to an eskimo!  (See Working with Walt for more stories).
He eventually was the art director and layout artist for 100 short features and 13 full length feature films.  During World War II he created many training films.  O'Connor worked with Ward Kimball on several of the Tomorrowland projects and he was art director for the Academy Award winning Toot, Whistle, Plunk and Boom.  
He retired in 1975 but was still involved with the company by working on EPCOT's Universe of Energy and Back to Neverland for Disney-MGM studios.  During his retirement from drawing he taught animation classes at California Institute of the Arts.
O'Connor became a Disney Legend in 1992 and died in 1998.

Monday, July 2, 2012

They Made the Magic: John Hubley

Born in Wisconson May 21, 1914, John's Hubley's first job was painting backgrounds for Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. He went on to become an art director with Disney working on films such as Bambi and Fantasia.  Hubley's career with Disney ended after the strike in 1941.
 By 1942 Hubley joined many other fellow animators working for the First Motion Picture Unit creating training films for the armed services.  In 1943 Hubley founded the United Productions of America where he began to pioneer UPA style animation.
In 1955, Hubley and his wife opened thier own studio and made 21 films, 3 of which won Academy Awards.  Hubley died in 1977.  In 2011, the Academy of Motion pictures held a salute to John Hubley, read about it here.  PBS has a movie called Independent Spirits and the website has some great information.  Michael Barrier has a great interview.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

D23 preview of the Treasures of the Walt Disney Archives

Last night I went to the preview night held for D23 members at the Reagan Library in Simi Valley, California.  I've been to this presential library quite often as it's a major field trip for the grade level I teach, so I've always been impressed with the museum itself (how often do you see air force one in a beautiful glass building?).  I think a visit to this presidential library is well worth your time, but now?  For sure!
Pin given the guests of the D23 Preview Day event

The archives display has nine areas to it:
Walt's Early Years, The Golden Age of Animation, The Hub of a Creative Empire, A Bold Entry into Live Action, An area I'm not sure what the offical title was but that, I am calling: modern Disney movies with a little Marvel and theme parks thrown in for good measure, A Renaisance for Animaton, National Treasure,
Patrioic Legacy, the no official name Exit Room
Addition to the museum

In order to accomidate the exhibit, a whole new area was added (a semi-permant tent buildig is what I'm calling it) off the museum.  The exhibit is a good size, there is a lot to see and I was very impressed.

When we arrived, we lined up to check in and when doors opened we went right into the Disney area by passing the rest of the museum (along with everyone else) so it was a little slow at first, but there was so much to see.  We spent about an hour and a half walking through and exploring the exhibit the first time.

The evening also included a buffet; to be more accurate 3 separate buffets: Pirates of the Caribbean (with Cuban quesadilla, druken sweet potato, and Caribbean red beans and rice), Thunder Mountain (with Texas ranch bbq meatballs, western white cheddar and jalapeno macaroni and cheese, crispy western chicken wings, potato skins, and Walt's original recipe western chili),  and Geppetto's Workshop (with braised Italian short rib, grilled vegetable risotto cakes, antipasto salad, and grilled flat breads).  Tables were set up all around the ground floor of the Airforce One pavilion and on the patio outside; it is a very cool place to eat.  There were two other stations: New Orleans Square (coffee and warm chocolate brioche bread pudding) and Main Street USA (lemonade, ice tea, apple pie, chocolate chip cookies, and popcorn).

The entire museum stayed open until 10 for the event, so we did take a picture wearing Mr. President mouse ears in front of Airforce One and walked around the museum.  We also were able to go through the Treasures exhibit again and get better photos with less people around and enjoy some of the video throughout the exhibit.  Bob Gurr and Dave Smith were there signing their new books as well.  They also would sign the archives catalog sold in the gift shop.

And, as to be expected, there are several shopping opportunities avialiable.  The Treasures catalog is great and includes some interesting facts and great photos.  There are two specific Snow White photos in the book.  Also, there are two Snow White pins available for purchase: a replica of the opening sequence book and the Treasures logo with the dwarfs.

Overall I think the event was great; the museum staff and D23 staff were so excited and friendly - it was a wonderful evening.  It really is an impressive exhibit that any Disney fan should try to see.  It opens July 6 and tickets are on sale now.

If you don't want to know what is in the exhibit - stop reading now!

There were several Snow White related items:
Sign for Snow White's Scary Adventures in Disneyland

Dwarfs under Walt's coffee table in his office

Model dress for Snow White worn by Marge Champion

Prop book from opening sequence

On sample animators desk 

Dress worn for Leibovitz photo

Drawn by Bill Justice

Exit area.

For those of you who want to see more pictures of the exhibit (including non-Snow White related) see the album below:

Treasures of the Walt Disney Archives