Thursday, July 31, 2014

I am always amazed at how Chronicle Books manages to produce some truly gorgeous books about the making of movies that are at times totally uninteresting. Case in point: The Art of Planes which I enjoyed tremendously even though I have absolutely no interest in the movie itself (a rare exception when it comes to Pixar movies).

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

I have received last week review copies of four new books released by Theme Park Press over the last few months. My favorite one is Service with Character by David Lesjak which includes a lot of material that I had never seen before. That book is a "must have".

If you enjoy Kindle books then that is the version of David's book you want to get since it contains illustrations, which is not the case of the physical book. But you know me and my love for physical books. Considering how cheap the Kindle version is, I would recommend getting both the physical book and the Kindle one. But that is just me, of course!

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

I need your help.

This letter was sent by Disney artist Kay Nielsen to a friend on December 1940. As you can see, his handwritting is a real challenge.

Here is my current interpretation of the text:

[We are all right, only we are deadly tired – now the dentist is over – it was a horror and [dominated] all my weekends for three months. Tomorrow I am to have the first conference on The Swan of Tuonela. I have got Bill [Wallett] back and he is going to work with me on that music – and it is wonderful music too – only I wished I was not quite so tired. I have done too much and worked too hard on the little [XXX] but I hope this will be good – it might too. I seem to be the sombre sector at that place. God knows whether they really like it – and I have yet to hear anything about the new contract. Strange we must admit.]

Could you help me figure out the XXX? Am I making some mistakes on some other words?

[UPDATE: As many of you noted, the missing word is "mermaid". This now appears so obvious that I want to kick myself ;-)] 

[And here is the corrected text thanks to several of you:

"We are all right, only we are deadly tired—now the dentist is over—it was a hard one—it ruined all my weekends for three months. Tomorrow I am to have the first conference on The Swan of Tuonela. I have got Bill [Wallett] back, and he is going to work with me on that music—and it is wonderful music too—only I wish I was not quite so tired. I have done too much—or worked too hard on The Little Mermaid. But I hope this will be good—it ought to. I seem to be the sombre note at that place. God knows whether they really like it—and I have not yet heard anything about the new contract. Strange one must admit."]

Monday, July 28, 2014

I had the pleasure of watching this weekend on Netflix the episode of American Experience from PBS about Henry Ford and thoroughly enjoyed it.

I am mentioning this, of course, because its director is Sarah Colt, who is in the process of directing a 4-hour long documentary about Walt Disney which will be released in the fall of next year on PBS.

I have had the pleasure of meeting Sarah earlier this year and know that she has done her homework. I have a feeling this documentary will be something truly special and I am hoping that it will be one of the best movies about Walt to date.

Time will tell...

Friday, July 25, 2014

I just ordered the books Pacific Ocean Park: The Rise and Fall of Los Angeles' Space Age Nautical Pleasure Pier and Pleasure Island (Images of Modern America). They are not Disney history books, of course, but so many former Disney Imagineers worked on those two parks that I know many of you would like to be aware of their existence.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

The documentary about Disney and Italy, which I mentioned a while back on the blog has finally been released in DVD. The good news is that the DVD contains English subtitles (but it uses the European format, so unless you have a multi-zone player you will not be able to watch it in the US).

The documentary is very weak, both from a structural standpoint and from the point of view of historical accuracy. However it contains enough rare sequences of Walt visiting Italy for me to be happy to own it. I am a very special nut case, of course, so I would not really recommend any of you outside of Italy to pick that one up.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

This just in from Jim Lentz at Heritage Auctions:

[Did you know Heritage auctions weekly Comic and Animation auction is selling tons of vintage disney animation drawings cels and extibles each week? If you could let people know I'd appreciate it.  This week a ton of feature animation 1990 crew jackets as well as great 30s Disney animation drawings.  These type itmes are up every week!]

I didn't know and I enjoyed what I saw.