One of my dreams came true this month. Since I wasn’t able to take you all with me, I have been wondering how in the world I could put it in to words in an attempt to convey what it was like. I’m just a regular person – not really special in any way (the Skyway Film Festival was open to the public!) but, I felt very privileged and honored to “walk on the red carpet” in June of 2015 for the World Premiere of the film, Walt Before Mickey.
Not only was I able to check this once in a lifetime experience off the bucket list – but it also involved Disney. Somebody pinch me!
I want to thank my good friend Adria, President of the World Chapter of the Disneyana Fan Club, for sending over these questions regarding the recent movie premier that several of our club members attended Walt Before Mickey. Her email inspired me with a format to put all of this together in words and pictures for you today.
As a reminder, this film is based on the book “Walt Before Mickey” and covers the early years of Walt Disney’s career. Shot in Florida, Walt Before Mickey, which stars Thomas Ian Nicholas, Jon Heder, David Henrie and Jodie Sweetin, chronicles the life of Walter Disney from his childhood in Missouri to his start as an animator. Directed by Khoa Lee as his first feature length film, this amazing movie is based on the book by author Timothy S. Susanin- and forwarded by Diane Disney Miller (Walt’s daughter).
1.) What was your first impression when you arrived at the premiere? The Manatee Performing Arts Center is spectacular, newly remodeled, and comfortable. A very nice lady on staff explained to me that this chandelier is an original – used in the film Gone With the Wind! This beautiful, important fixture looked right at home in this space.
2.) Was there a lot of pomp and circumstance? Yes, I thought so. The door was held open for us by gentleman in elaborate costumes, looking much like the one Ponce de León may have worn when he discovered Florida. What a nice touch!
3.) Where there a lot of people? How many would you estimate? Yes! I have read that there were 500 people there.
4.) Did you get to meet the producer, director or any of the actors or actresses? Yes. I have known Arthur L. Bernstein and Armando Gutierrez (Executive Producers) for quite some time. We have communicated by phone, facebook, and I have interviewed them in the past. Meeting them in person and getting to hug them (finally) was like seeing old, familiar friends.
5.) What did you think of the movie? I LOVED this movie.
6.) What did you like? The actors did an amazing job and there was SO much attention to detail. The authenticity was incredible. Much of the clothing really was from the early 20th century and great care was taken to care for these costumes. We were all amazed to learn that it was filmed so close to home.
What didn’t you like about it? I know there is a lot of red tape involved, but I would love to see this movie be released nation wide. Every Disney fan should see it.
7.) Any other thoughts you’d like to share? I am just so thankful for this beautiful evening, all the new friends I have met, and how kind everyone was.
8.) If an opportunity like this present again in the future would you like to attend? In a heartbeat!