Disney History

All posts in the Disney History category

The Disney Parks Podcast Interviews Original Mouseketeer Lonnie Burr

Published April 9, 2014 by Disneyways.com

We are super excited to bring you The Disney Parks Podcast interview with Lonnie Burr – one of the original Mouseketeers from the Mickey Mouse Club TV show!

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Photo Credit
DisneyByMark.com

Lonnie Burr has had an amazing career, and he is not done yet! In addition to Uncle Walt, and Annette Funicello (see Lonnie’s photo with them above) Lonnie has worked with Julia Roberts, Robin Williams (in Hook!), Ginger Rogers, and one my personal favorites – Elvis Presley himself. With years of acting, singing and dancing to Lonnie’s credit – it is very likely you have seen him in many of your favorite TV shows, movies or plays. It has been a tremendous honor for me to get to know Lonnie over email and we are delighted that he has been one of our very special guests on the podcast. Check out Lonnie’s website HERE.

Lonnie’s book “The Accidental Mouseketeer” is now available from Theme Park Press – and you can buy your copy HERE!

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Want to win a FREE copy? Listen to Tony’s interview with Lonnie HERE – to hear the answer to this question:

During the podcast Lonnie mentioned a question Walt Disney asked him on one occasion, when they saw each other on the studio lot.

What was the question Walt asked Lonnie?

Hint: it is only 5 words.

Send us your answer to Disneyparkspodcast@gmail.com – by April 15th, 2014. We will draw one winner from all the correct answers to win a free printed copy of Lonnie’s new book!  The winner will notified by email and will have 24 hours to respond before we pick another winner.

Video Bonuses!

Check out this awesome video of Lonnie that was created in tribute to him for his 70th birthday!

Here is another fun one from way back in 1975 featuring Lonnie and several other original Mouseketeers!

First Look: Disney’s Next Princess Movie

Published January 23, 2014 by Disneyways.com

Moana

Spoiler alert! We’ve got the inside scoop on Disney’s next Princess. While I am sure none of what you read here has been formally announced by Disney, I feel that my sources are pretty reliable, namely the Huffington Post and some others. The movie is not estimated to release until 2018, and a lot can change between now and then… but I think this is fun information that was too good not to share, and I hope you’ll agree.

First let’s talk story. This highly anticipated Disney princess movie is set to be an epic, or even mythic, adventure set around 2000 years ago. The setting will be across a series of islands in the South Pacific. The lead character, our princess, Moana Waialiki, is the only daughter of a Chief, and she comes from a long line of navigators. She’s a nerd about sea voyaging – so when her family needs her help, she sets off on an epic journey. “Moana” has been described as a “Polynesian musical” and it is said that the animation and music will go along with that theme. Mark Mancina will reportedly serve as the project’s musical composer. Typical of many of Disney’s “magical” movies, some of the other characters supporting Princess Moana are demi-gods and spirits drawn from real mythology.

(Hello again Hercules!)

While the studio doesn’t seem to have settled entirely on the overall look of the animation, Moana is expected to use some new, ambitious techniques. John Musker and Ron Clements, who were the directors of Treasure Planet and The Little Mermaid, are expected to have some pretty cool tricks up their sleeves for this movie. Remember how Paperman tried a new blend of the hand-drawn and the digital?

Here is a refresher in case you’ve forgotten:

Beautiful, isn’t it? I hope we get to see something like that again. The good news is that artists behind Moana have been playing around with similar, yet different, cutting edge software and systems. They are testing how much is ready for application to a full-length feature. Musker has said that “it’s far too early to apply the Paperman hybrid technique to a feature,” stating that the technique still has many complications (including color use) to sort out before it can be used for a full-length film. I think with all this time on their side, they can make it happen though – don’t you?

There’s no evidence of the technique here in the concept art (see below) but it’s still an interesting tease of some of the style, even if it is only in an early development phase. Disney has denied that this concept art is for Moana, however that may not be the case. If you remember, Disney denied that many leaked Frozen concept art pieces were real, but in the end they were released as official. In their defense, it is possible that what Disney meant was that the concept art no longer reflects what the film will look like, as the creators may have overhauled it. Such a situation is common in movie development, especially for movies that will not be out for half a decade. The concept art for Moana that you see below was found on an official Disney artist’s website, under a section where she talks about Moana. Additionally, notice that the concept art has the artist’s signature on it.

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Below is a painting by Paul Gauguin that is said to be serving as an inspiration for Moana.

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We can end here by saying we’re a long way out from Moana, with its release unlikely to happen before 2018. We have lots of time to speculate and dream about what will come of it. The look of the film could change quite a bit in the meantime, and that’s always worth bearing in mind. Regardless, I think Moana is a wonderful concept, and shaping up to be really quite tremendous. Only the next 5 years will tell! In the meantime I am perfectly happy to play my Frozen soundtrack over and over and relish in my new favorite character of all time, Queen Elsa.

What are your thoughts on all this? Please leave me your comments below!

If you enjoyed this post be sure to check out Solving the Mystery Surrounding the Rapunzel Tower in new Fantasyland and our entire collection of World Secrets!

On This Day in Disney History: November 21st

Published November 21, 2013 by Disneyways.com

Nov21

 

1929:
The following snippet appears in this day’s issue of The Film Daily
(a daily Hollywood publication):
Walt Disney, with his “Mickey Mouse” and “Silly Symphonies” series, is paving the way for
a bigger and better year. Grauman’s Chinese, Carthay Circle, Fox Palace, and Criterion
theaters have signed for the product. The Disney boys are making rapid headway with
their creations, adding new sound effects with each cartoon.

1942:
Mouseketeer Ronnie Steiner is born in Canada.
He joined the Mickey Mouse Club in the first season as a dancer.

1955:
The Mickey Mouse Club airs on ABC-TV. Today is Fun With Music Day. Musical numbers include Roy Williams dressed as the “boy at the dike” singing Roy at the Dike and Jimmie Dodd dressed as Tom Sawyer (along with a handful of the Mouseketeers) singing Painting Aunt Polly’s Fence.

2001:
Disney World unveils its holiday lights and decorations with The Osborne Family Spectacle of Lights at Disney-MGM Studios.
(Arkansas businessman Jennings Osborne received worldwide attention when he first created the luminous light show for his daughter more than a decade ago.) The glowing bulbs light Residential Street, Washington Square and New York Street in merry holiday displays that include 170 flying angels, two 30-foot-tall carousels, illuminated trees, and 50 lighted Mickey Mouse figures.

On This Day in Disney History: November 19th

Published November 19, 2013 by Disneyways.com

Nov19

On November 19th there are a few important Disney birthdays.

1959:
Actress Allison Janney, the voice of Peach in Disney/Pixar’s 2003 Finding Nemo, is born in Dayton, Ohio. She also supplied the voice of Charlene Doofenshmirtz on Disney Channel’s Phineas and Ferb. (Allison is also known for her role as C. J. Cregg on the television series The West Wing.)

1905:
Actress Eleanor Audley, the voices of the wicked Maleficent in Disney’s 1959 Sleeping Beauty AND Lady Tremmaine in the 1950 Cinderella was born in New York City. Both characters were given facial features to resemble Eleanor thanks to animator Marc Davis.

1906:
Writer Imagineer and Disney legend William Cottrell is born in South Bend, Indiana. He was the brother-in-law of Lillian and Wlt Disney. William workde on Pinocchio, The Reluctant Dragon, and Alice in Wonderland. He was also the first president of what is now known as Walt Disney Imagineering.

On This Day in Disney History: November 18th

Published November 18, 2013 by Disneyways.com

Nov18

On November 18th Actor Owen Wilson was born in Dallas, Texas. The year was 1968. Owen is the voice of Lightning McQueen in the movies Cars and Cars 2.
Actor Delroy Lindo is born in 1952 in London, England. He is the voice of Beta, a Rottweiler and member of Muntz’s pack of talking dogs in Disney-Pixar’s UP.

Actress Elizabeth Perkins, the voice of Coral in Disney’s 2003 Finding Nemo, is born in Queens, New York in 1960.

November 18, 1978:

This is the first year Mickey has an official birthday! We interviewed Jim Korkis for the Disney Parks Podcast recently. Jim is an amazing wealth of knowledge on all things historic with the Disney company. You can take a look at some of the books he has written all about Disney history HERE. You will definitely want to add them all to your collection if you haven’t already. During the podcast recording, Jim shared with us how there is controversy about what the actual date of Mickey’s birth truly is. However, as a general rule, Disney Archivist Dave Smith has declared that November 18, 1928, was the first general public appearance of Mickey Mouse … thus creating an “official” birth date. Have a magical day!!

On This Day in Disney History: November 17th

Published November 17, 2013 by Disneyways.com

littlemermaid

On this day in Disney History, November 17th, The Little Mermaid is released in theaters in 1989.

To learn about our interview with Pat Carroll, voice of Ursula, please click HERE.

To see a video of the Little Mermaid attraction in New Fantasyland click HERE.

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