Monday, December 31, 2007

Happy New Year!!!

Not sure your plans for New Year's Eve (a quiet dinner, New Year's Eve party, watching a good movie, early to bed or spending time with family and friends) but want to wish everyone a Very Healthy, Happy and Prosperous New Year!!

Looking forward very much to 2008! The is the first year in a LONG time where I've liked each and every Members Only release and couldn't be any more happier about this coming year's choice for Membership Gift. Is anyone NOT surprised? :)

If you're out driving this evening .. Be Safe!!

Happy New Year!!

A R-ear End Review! :)

Today 2007 comes to an end. Where has this year gone?? As the year winds today, Donald is all ready to take us into 2008!!

As we all think of what our New Years Resolutions will be (how many really are able to keep them???), it's also a good time to look back on this past year.

Was talking with friends yesterday about this and we came up with the idea of a R-ear End Review. This all came about talking about Donald's tush (don't ask .. LOL!). Let's all look back and list our Fab Five ( favorite releases) of the 2007 Line-Up and share our thoughts on this past year. So let's begin ...

1. Ugly Duckling & Mother - Hands down my favorite release of 2006! This sculpt still brings a smile each time I look at it. LOVE this series overall and based on the releases that followed in 2007, can't wait to see what's in store for 2008!

2. Quasimodo - I never thought we'd see another release from The Hunchback of Notre Dame after the Tribute Series release in 1997. The sculpture truly captures that moment in the film for when Quasi for once didn't feel like such an outcast.

3. Peter and the Mermaids - HUGE fan of this film and the Mermaid Lagoon Sequence is one I always wanted to see done and couldn't be happier with the outcome. More interesting was hearing Dusty Horner speak about this piece this past summer and how he wanted a singular sculpt and each character placed exactly as they should be positioned. With the upcoming addition of Wendy, it just gets better! Truly hoping they release the remaining Mermaids. This is one of my wishes for 2008!

4. Esmerelda - My one and only Leading Ladies release. The coloring, sense of movement and just downright sexiness captured in this sculpture is amazing. Her grouped with Quasimodo is one of my favorite groupings!

5. Ludwig Von Drake - LOVE the more esoteric/secondary characters and Ludwig doesn't fail to deliver. Not sure a stand-alone of Mr. Von Drake would have made my Fab Five if not for the addition of the globe as part of the sculpture.

Honorable Mention - Who doesn't try to do a Top 5 and find you always have to sneak one or two more in :) For me, Honorable Mention goes to Mulan. I'm not a big fan of this film, so that in itself says a lot. What I liked about this sculpt was how she had such a delicate look to her. The detail done in how her face is painted how the make-up runs perfectly along her jaw and you can see her actual skin coloring on her neck against the make-up. Hope to see this sculpture expanded into a larger scene in 2008!

Let's hear your Fab Five! Happy New Year!!


2008 Calendar!

The 2008 Calendar is up and running and modified to reflect the arrival of the Pirate Jail Scene at Walt Disney World© Resort this past month.

According to Disneygallery.com, the 6th (and Final) release in the series was scheduled to make its debut at Disneyland© Resort in February 2008 with a Product Release & Signing with Special Guest, Ruben Procopio (Concept Artist on "Jailhouse Scene with Dog"). Product arrived early at Walt Disney World© Resort and some lucky collectors have had the opportunity to purchase in advance.

We've updated both the 2007 Calendar and 2008 Calendar to reflect this.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Applecore. Baltimore. Who's Your Friend?

One of my favorite Donald Duck Cartoons is Donald Applecore, released on January 18, 1952 which also features Chip 'n Dale.

In Donald Applecore, Donald the apple farmer notices his apples have been nibbled on and catches Chip n' Dale in the act. In the ensuing battle, Donald uses a helicopter to spray them (but they have tiny gas masks). Then he brings in the really heavy artillery.

You ask, "why are you blogging about this short?" Well, with New Year's right around the corner, this is one short I had always hoped the WDCC would release, so thought a perfect time to re-campaign :) Had always hoped for a scene that featured both Donald and Chip 'n Dale and always thought this was the perfect vehicle to do that.

Those familiar with this short are very familiar with the following exchange between Donald and Chip:

Chip: "Applecore"
Donald: "Baltimore"
Chip: "Who's your friend?"
Donald: "Me"

There has been some question on the origin of the Applecore .. Baltimore gag. Veteran Disney animator Bill Justice in an interview in the early 1990's claimed that this memorable bit of business was something that he and the other gagmen had invented specifically for Donald Applecore.

In fact, the gag was used in Melody Time (1948) during the Johnny Appleseed sequence. It is incorporated into the song the pioneers are singing during the Apple Jubilee. This at least proves that the whole thing didn't originate with the Donald short.

For those unfamiliar with Donald Applecore, I've included a short clip (courtesy of YouTube.com) below:



Donald Applecore is a Walt Disney Donald Duck Cartoon ©Disney

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Christmas: A Special Time with Family & Friends

In Walt Disney's animated classic Lady and the Tramp, the film begins and ends with Christmas and thought the releases from this film were a fitting end to this month's blog entries looking back on past Walt Disney Classics Collection Christmas Releases.

According to legend, the film's opening sequence, in which Darling unwraps a hat box on Christmas morning and finds Lady inside, is based upon an actual incident in Walt Disney's life. After he'd forgotten a dinner date with his wife, he made it up to her by offering her the puppy-in-the-hat-box surprise and was immediately forgiven.

Lady in Hatbox sculpted by Gwen Dutcher was the Member Gift Sculpture for those collectors who joined the Walt Disney Collectors Society and/or renewed in calendar year 1999.




"All the world is bright and joyful..." It's Christmastime again.

Tramp enjoys goodhearted friends and family gathering near the joyfully decorated tree. Tramp has now been accepted as a true member of the family, and together, he and Lady have been gifted with four lively pups. For Lady, this is the happiest of holidays.

These joyful additions to the Walt Disney Classics Collection perfectly captures the warmhearted joy of the climatic holiday scene of Walt Disney's classic animated feature, Lady and The Tramp.

The Lady and the Tramp Christmas Series made its debut in 2001 with Tramp and Tree ("At Home for Christmas"). Each year, a 2-piece set was added and in 2004, the scene was completed. Jock and Scamp ("Persistent Pup" & "Patient Pal") were released in 2002, Trusty and Puppies ("Old Dog, New Tricks" & "Playful Pup") in 2003 and Lady and Puppy ("Welcome Home" & "Precocious Pup" ) in 2004 completing the series. Each release was Limited to the Production Year of its release. The complete scene was sculpted by Dusty Horner.

Hope everyone is having a Very Merry Christmas!!

Monday, December 24, 2007

Merry Christmas!!


To all the readers of The Duckman's Inside Report and Duckman's Blog, my sincere thanks and appreciation for all the support and encouragement you have all given me over the past year. We want to wish you all a Very Merry Christmas and a safe, healthy and prosperous New Year!

To all our family, friends and friends unknown!
Merry Christmas!
Don, Mary & Amanda


For your Christmas Eve/Christmas Day viewing pleasure is Santa's Workshop (courtesy of YouTube.com):



Santa's Workshop is a Silly Symphony Cartoon ©Disney

Mickey's Christmas Carol: Bah Humbug!

Mickey's Christmas Carol was produced by Walt Disney Productions and originally released in the United Kingdom on October 20, 1983 by Buena Vista Distribution. The film was released in the United States on December 16, 1983 as an accompaniment to a re-release of The Rescuers.

It is an adaptation of the Charles Dickens classic A Christmas Carol, featuring Scrooge McDuck as his namesake and inspiration Ebenezer Scrooge and Mickey Mouse as Bob Cratchit. This film was based on a 1972 audio musical entitled Disney's A Christmas Carol.

Mickey's Christmas Carol was the first new Mickey Mouse cartoon made in 30 years after The Simple Things.

In 1997, Walt Disney Classics Collection released three (3) ornaments from this film, Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse (as Mrs. Cratchit) and Ebenezer Scrooge. In 1998, they were joined by Jiminy Cricket, the Ghost of Christmas Past (pictured above). All sculpted by Patrick Romandy-Simmons, were retired in July, 1999.

In 2000, Parkwest/NALED released a full-size figurine of Ebenezer Scrooge. A Numbered Limited Edition (NLE) of 2,000 sculpted by Blaise Gauba. At the time of its release, it was rumored to be the first of a five-part series that never materialized.

What is Parkwest/Naled you ask? The National Association of Limited Edition Dealers is an organization that provides its member stores with exclusives to certain pieces. A store can belong to NALED and not sell the special editions. Their catalogs are produced by Parkwest, so you'll often hear pieces referred to as either a NALED or Parkwest exclusive.

Trivia: Most of the cast remained unchanged; however, in the audio version, the Blue Fairy (from Pinocchio) and the Queen (from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, in her hag guise) portrayed the Ghosts of Christmas Past and Future, respectively (the Present Ghost, like in the film version, was portrayed by Willie the Giant).

For your Christmas Eve viewing pleasure, below is a Mickey's Christmas Carol, courtesy of YouTube.com shown in three parts.

Part 1 of 3:



Part 2 of 3:



Part 3 of 3:



Mickey's Christmas Carol is a Walt Disney Mickey Mouse Cartoon ©Disney

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Mickey's Orphans: A Black & White Holiday Release!

It's Christmas and Mickey and Minnie are singing carols. Someone drops a basket on the doorstep that has what seems like hundreds of kittens; they quickly overrun the house.

Mickey dresses as Santa, with Pluto as a reindeer, and brings gifts for the kittens. The kittens form a marching band, using kitchen implements; other kittens take saws, hammers, and other tools to the furniture. A kitten uses his toy steam shovel to drop a hot coal down Mickey's pants; two more come up with a toy fire engine. Mickey unveils the tree; the kittens swarm over it and strip it bare. Not your typical warm, fuzzy Christmas story .. LOL!

Mickey's Ophans was released on December 09, 1931 and an Academy Award nominee, Best Short Subject (cartoon) in 1932.

Walt Disney Classics Collection released a 3-piece boxed set featuring Mickey, Minnie and their Christmas Tree in a Numbered Limited Edition (NLE) sculpted by Dusty Horner. This three piece sculpture set is black and white, capturing the classic look and fun elegance of the original film which was never colorized. Ornaments come in a separate box so you can decorate the tree!

A backstamp error can be found on more than half of the initial production run. A Gold Circle backstamp was mistakenly applied to this matched, numbered, limited-edition set of 5,000. The certificate of authenticity also had this error. A running change was made in the remaining production to remove the Gold Circle logo from both the backstamp and the certificate. Packaged in special gold box vs. standard green box.

For those unfamiliar with Mickey's Orphans, I've included a short clip (courtesy of YouTube.com) below:



Mickey's Orphan's is a Walt Disney Mickey Mouse Cartoon ©Disney

Friday, December 21, 2007

Happy Anniversary Snow White!!

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs was released on December 21, 1937, the first animated feature film produced by Walt Disney. It is the first full-length animated feature to become widely successful within the English-speaking world, the first full-length animated feature with sound, and the first to be filmed in Technicolor.

Walt Disney's Snow White premiered at the Carthay Circle Theater on December 21, 1937
and released to theaters by RKO Radio Pictures on February 4, 1938. The story was adapted by storyboard artists Dorothy Ann Blank, Richard Creedon, Merrill DeMaris, Otto Englander, Earl Hurd, Dick Rickard, Ted Sears and Webb Smith from the German fairy tale Snow White by the Brothers Grimm. David Hand was the supervising director, while William Cottrell, Wilfred Jackson, Larry Morey, Perce Pearce, and Ben Sharpsteen directed the film's individual sequences.

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs was one out of only two animated films to rank in the American Film Institute's list of the 100 greatest American films of all time
in 1997 (the other being Fantasia) , ranking number 49. It achieved a higher ranking (#34) in the list's 2007 Update, this time being the only traditionally animated film on the list.

A complete listing of Walt Disney Classics Collection sculptures from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs can be found in the Snow White Section of the website's Secondary Guide & Image Gallery.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

1st Quarter 2008 Update!

The 2008 1st Quarter presentation is now complete!

Just as I was finishing the presentation page, received all the plussing information for each of the new sculptures just announced plus the members-only releases!

Each presentation page has been updated where plussing information is applicable. Within the next week or so, be watching for another update that will include some additional angles plus the addition of the 2008 Calendar!

Merry Christmas!!


Clarabelle Joins the Mickey Mouse Club!

Clarabelle Cow is the newest member of the Mickey Mouse Club!

Clarabelle, sculpted by Bruce Lau is Limited to Production Year 2008.

Mickey Mouse Club was hosted by Jimmie Dodd, a songwriter and the "Head Mouseketeer", who provided leadership both on and off screen. Roy Williams, a staff artist at Disney, also appeared in the show as the "Big Mooseketeer". Roy suggested the Mickey Mouse ears ("Mouseke-ears") worn by the cast members, which he helped create, along with Chuck Keehne, Hal Adelquist, and Bill Walsh.

The main cast members were called "Mouseketeers," and they performed in a variety of musical and dance numbers, as well as some informational segments.

The opening theme, "The Mickey Mouse March", was written by the show's primary adult host, Jimmie Dodd. It was also reprised at the end of each episode, with the slower "Now it's time to say goodbye" verse. A shorter version of the opening title was used later in the series, in syndication and on Disney Channel reruns. Dodd also wrote many other songs used in individual segments over the course of the series.

Although the show was filmed and broadcast in black and white, all of the animated segments - the opening theme, Mickey's introductions and farewells, the Jiminy Cricket shorts, etc. - were filmed in color. Below is the opening sequence (in color) courtesy of YouTube.com:




The Mickey Mouse Club ©Disney

Judge Claude Frollo Joins the Festival of Fools!


A much requested scene by collectors was the Festival of Fools Scene and this past year collectors were treated to the release of Esmerelda (4th release in the Leading Ladies Series) and Clopin & Quasimodo (both Open Edition releases). Every scene needs a villain and in 2008, Judge Claude Frollo makes his WDCC debut as a Numbered Limited Edition (NLE) of 750 sculpted by Patrick Romandy-Simmons. Additional angles to follow.

Judge Claude Frollo is a fictional character, the main villain from Disney's The Hunchback of Notre Dame, as adapted from Claude Frollo in Victor Hugo's novel of the same name. His voice was provided by the late Tony Jay, who had been chosen for the role based on his brief appearance as Monsieur D'Arque in Beauty and the Beast.

Frollo is the minister of justice of Paris, France
. He holds an intense hatred of the gypsy population, expressing a desire to terminate their entire race. In the film, Frollo murders Quasimodo's mother and reluctantly becomes his adoptive father, attempting to raise him to despise the gypsies. Frollo's life becomes complicated when he falls in love with Esmerelda, a gypsy dancer whom Frollo believes to be an evil witch.

This version of Frollo is considerably different from the character featured in Hugo's novel; in the film, Frollo is a violent, hateful man with little to no regard for humanity, while Hugo presented the character as a far more sympathetic, complicated man, although he still remained the novel's antagonist. Despite the character's simplification, his villainious qualities, which include racism, lust and religious bigotry
, remained quite mature for a children's film.

Collectors have commented less scenes, more stand alones so am glad they went the route they did with Frollo and made him part of the Festival of Fools Scene vs. a stand alone/event style sculpture. "Malevolent Magistrate" captures Frollo perfectly as he appears in this sequence of the film as Quasimodo is crowned King of Fools during the Feast of Fools.

For your viewing pleasure, below is a clip (courtesy of YouTube.com) of the Festival of Fools sequence during the Topsy Turvy! song and dance number:







The Hunchback of Notre Dame ©Disney

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Elliott: A Boy's Best Friend!

Today we received images of three (3) more non-member releases for 2008. Due to work and school obligations, will get each release uploaded to the blog once completed to discuss and then do our normal presentation to showcase the 1st Quarter in it's entirety.

Up first, from Pete's Dragon is Elliott! Pete's Dragon (first released on November 3, 1977) is a live-action/animated musical feature film from Walt Disney Productions. It is about a young orphan named Pete in a small fishing community in Maine in the early 20th century. His only friend is a dragon, Elliott, who also acts as his sentinel. Elliott can make himself invisible and is generally visible only to Pete, which occasionally lands Pete in trouble with the locals.

Elliott ("A Boy's Best Friend"), sculpted by Ruben Procopio is a Numbered Limited Edition (NLE) of 750 with a SRP of $275.00 US. Take the Elliott Poll.


Trivia:

  • Originally, Elliott the dragon was not to be seen at all in the film and remain invisible throughout. However, members of the studio animation department gradually lobbied studio heads to increase the amount of visible screen time. At first it was decided he would be only seen at the end of the film, but ultimately the character's screen time was increased to 22 minutes.
  • Animators opted to make Elliott more of an oriental (rather than occidental) dragon because oriental dragons are usually associated with good.
  • There were plans to move the lighthouse, specially constructed for the film, to the Disneyland theme park. Unfortunately, the building had deteriorated beyond repair before this could be done.
  • Elliot the dragon and Pete appear in the Main Street Electrical Parade in the Disney theme parks and the version of Elliott from the parade was an open edition release in 1999.
  • Pete's Dragon was the first Disney feature film to be released on VHS home video, in October 1980.

For those unfamiliar with Elliott and/or Pete's Dragon, I've included a short clip from the live-action/animated film (courtesy of YouTube.com) below:


Pete's Dragon ©Disney

WDCS Automatic Renewals Marching Your Way!

Those who do the automatic renewal with the Walt Disney Collectors Society, Donald Duck, the 2008 Membership Gift is marching your way!

Donald Duck ("Happy Camper") sculpted by Patrick Romandy-Simmons is available from January 01 thru December 31, 2007. Membership Benefits for 2008 include the Membership Gift Sculpture (pictured at right), two lithographs, membership pin, personalized membership card, quarterly supplements, subscriptions to Sketches Magazine and Newsflash plus opportunity to purchase other member-only sculptures (see below).

More specific details and images on this year's Society Membership Gift & Benefits can be found either on the website or recent blog entry.


Question: Will there be a WDCC Calendar for 2008?
Answer: No. The calendar was a 15th Anniversary WDCS special addition to the year for 2007.

Thanks William for the heads up!

Annual WDCC Ball Ornament

The annual Walt Disney Classics Collection ball ornament (pictured above) was introduced in 1999 and made available as part of a special "Holiday Promotion" for a suggested retail price of only $20.00 US with the purchase of any Walt Disney Classics Collection sculpture or Society Membership (excluding opening titles and miniatures).

The ornament featured the WDCC logo and was limited to year of production. The series was made up of the following three (3) releases:

1999 - First release in series from On Ice (1935)
2000- Second release in series from Pluto's Christmas Tree (1952)
2001 - Third (and final release) in series from Lady and The Tramp (1955)

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Walt Disney Studios Holiday Card Series

These Merry Messengers rang in a new Holiday Series, a Gold Circle Exclusive in 2003, inspired by Walt Disney Studios Holiday Christmas Cards.

The first release a 3-piece Numbered Limited Edition (NLE) set of 2,000 sculpted by Bruce Lau. The holidays bring warm greetings from old friends, so here are Mickey and his pals (Minnie, Donald and Pluto) just as they appeared on the official Walt Disney Studios Holiday Card for 1936.

Mickey and his pals (Donald & Pluto) just as they appeared on the official Walt Disney Studios Holiday Card for 1948 with Danny the Lamb from So Dear to My Heart was the second release in the series (2004).

This
3-piece Numbered Limited Edition (NLE) set of 2,000 was sculpted by Dusty Horner. In a conversation with Dusty last fall at a signing event, he said "A Hearfelt Surprise" is one of his favorites!


Here are Donald & his Nephews (Huey, Dewey and Louie) just as they appeared on the official Walt Disney Studios Holiday Card for 1956 in the third and final release (2005) in the Walt Disney Studios Holiday Card Series.

This 3-piece Numbered Limited Edition (NLE) of 1,000 was sculpted by Patrick Romandy-Simmons.

Each release in the Walt Disney Studios Holiday Card Series included a litho of the Holiday Card that inspired the sculpture. You can click on each image above for more detail on each sculpture plus an image of the litho included.

This is one series I wish would have continued. I recall the initial article in Sketches Magazine that introduced the series, showed potential future releases and one I really wish that would have been done featured the Matterhorn and various Disney characters (Pinocchio and Jose Carioca stand out) on toboggans.

If interested in seeing more Walt Disney Studios Holiday Cards done over the years, check out the following blogs -- 2719 Hyperion and ASIFA-Hollywood Animation Archive. My personal favorite is the 1952 Studio Card featuring The Little House.

Monday, December 17, 2007

All The Snow & Ice This Weekend: A Delicate Dance of Winter?? :)

This past weekend it truly felt like winter with the heavy snow and wintery mix of freezing rain and had me thinking of the Frost Fairies as I shoveled away the snow and ice and seeing remnants here and there of fall leaves.

The Frost Fairies ("Delicate Dance of Winter") sculpted by Kent Melton was a Numbered Limited Edition (NLE) of 500 released in September 2005.

The Frost Fairies are from the Nutcracker Suite portion of Fantasia. The Nutcracker Suite a personified depiction of the changing of the seasons; first from summer to autumn, and then from autumn to winter. It features a variety of dances, just as in the original, but danced by animated fairies, fishes, flowers, mushrooms and leaves; no actual nutcracker is ever seen in this version. Many elements are rendered carefully and painstakingly using techniques such as drybrush and airbrush.

The Nutcracker Suite musical score was done by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky. Animation Supervisors were Fred Moore and Vladimir Tytla and Animation by Art Babbitt, Les Clark, Don Lusk, Sy Young, and Robert Stokes.

As an added treat, below is a portion of the Frost Fairy Sequence (courtesy of YouTube.com):




Nutcracker Suite portion from Disney's Fantasia is ©Disney

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Pluto's Christmas Tree Including Lamppost Base Adapter Information!

In 1995, Walt Disney Art Classics released its first Holiday Series from the animated short, Pluto's Christmas Tree (1952). This short features the Fab Five and Chip 'n Dale.

In Pluto's Christmas Tree, Pluto comes bounding outside to help Mickey get a Christmas tree. Chip 'n Dale see him and make fun of him, but the tree they take refuge in is the one Mickey chops down. They like the decorations, especially the candy canes and Mickey's bowl of mixed nuts. But Pluto spots them and goes after them long before Mickey spots them. Pluto tries to show Mickey but winds up crashing the tree for his effort. Minnie, Donald, and Goofy drop by to sing carols.

It's first release was
Mickey Mouse and production was limited to that year and Mickey came in both ornament and figurine size. The following year (1996), Pluto became the second release in this series.

In 1997, Chip n Dale became the third release, and marked they're debut as part of the Walt Disney Classics Collection.

Included with the figurine size Little Mischief Makers was a Santa Candle (pictured at right). The candle was also sold separately. It was not done in ornament size.

In 2000, Donald Duck was the sixth and final release joining fellow carolers Minnie Mouse (1998) and Goofy (1999). Also released in 2000 was the Opening Title (pictured above).

To round out the Holiday Series, Walt Disney Art Classics created a new Lamppost Base directly inspired by the film. The base lights up and features spots for all three carolers -- Minnie, Goofy and Donald.

Adapter Information: The Lamppost Base can be lit by either batteries or an adapter (not included). The downside of the batteries, they don't seem to last for very long and for many years now, wasn't sure what type of an adapter to use.

Finally solved that problem thanks to fellow collectors and friends, Bob & Toni and Jimi. Stop by Radio Shack and pick up the following:

A Universal 1.5-12V/300mA AC to DC Power Adapter that retails for $19.98. Wide voltage range and six (6) Adaptaplugs make it ideal for use with numerous electronic devices. For the Lamppost Base, you use Adaptaplug F. Well worth it! Am able to light my Lamppost Base nightly and enjoy throughout the holidays. Thanks Again Guys!

Special Note: The base is available for the figurine size pieces only.

Walt Disney Art Classics made available two disc ornaments available through Parkwest/NALED Dealers. Designed to compliment the figurine and ornament releases, the "Pluto Helps Decorate" disc ornament (pictured at left) was released in 1996 and the "Little Mischief Makers" disc ornament (pictured at right) was released in 1997.


In 1997, Walt Disney Art Classics released a Holiday Base to display your Pluto's Christmas ornaments and/or figurines. The base has the wording "Holiday Series-Walt Disney Classics Collection."

An Annual Ball Ornament was released in 2000 from the ending sequence, featuring Carolers Minnie, Goofy and Donald that will be part of another blog entry later this week.

For complete information and pricing of all the releases from this animated short, please check out the Pluto's Christmas Tree section of the Image Gallery & Secondary Guide.


As a Christmas Treat, I've included a clip of the animated short (courtesy of YouTube.com) below:


Pluto's Christmas Tree is a Walt Disney Mickey Mouse Cartoon ©Disney

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Snow White Celebrates 70 Years With Historic Video Available On-Line!

Premiering 70 Years Ago on December 21, 1937, Disney’s First Full-Length Animated Feature, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.

Complimentary Viewing of Exclusive, Historic Video Available Online! Great American Ink has produced a video, “Behind the Scenes of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs,” which highlights the making and release of Disney’s first full-length feature film. This memorable event is featured in this exclusive, historic video available for viewing online for free at
www.GreatAmericanInk.com or call 1-800-552-2847 to receive a complimentary DVD.

It was December 21, 1937 at Carthay Circle Theatre, attracting Hollywood’s biggest celebrities including Charlie Chaplin, Judy Garland, Shirley Temple, John Barrymore, Clark Gable and Carole Lombard. Mingling with the stars were the anonymous makers of the film whom Walt Disney had given tickets. There was great anticipation to see how the audience would react. Animator Ward Kimball remembers the evening, “We weren’t prepared for the crying and sniffling in the audience.”

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs was an immediate hit becoming the most successful movie released that year. It remains one of the greatest animated features of all time. This film was a significant screen innovation charming millions and pioneering a new field in entertainment.

For this extraordinary accomplishment, Disney won an honorary Academy Award presented to him by Shirley Temple at the 1938 Academy Awards ceremony. The Award was not just a single Oscar statue, but eight – one full-size and seven little ones – all on the same stand.

Great American Ink, a Los Angeles-based vintage and contemporary animation art gallery, is also hosting a complimentary online exhibition of original production art from this groundbreaking film. Visitors can see this exhibit at www.GreatAmericanInk.com or call 1-800-552-2847 for more information.

About the Gallery: Great American Ink, the world’s premier gallery for vintage animation art, offers pre-production concept drawings, storyboards, production drawings, and cels, featuring characters from Disney, Warner Bros., Hanna-Barbera, Simpsons, DC Comics, Peanuts, Betty Boop and more.

Featured sculpture in this blog entry is the 1998 Disneyana featured sculpture of Snow White and Prince Charming (""A Kiss Brings Love Anew") a Numbered Limited Edition (NLE) of 1,650 sculpted by Kent Melton. A complete listing of sculptures from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs can be found in the Snow White Section of the website's Secondary Guide & Image Gallery.

Below is “Behind the Scenes of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs,” video courtesy of Great American Ink and YouTube.com:

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs ©Disney

Your WDCC 'Wish List'

As the year is coming to a close, many readers have been emailing wondering when the remainder of 1st Quarter 2008 will be unveiled? As of this entry, I haven't received and/or heard anything yet :(

As we're waiting for the announcement and keeping with the theme of this month's entries, what are you wishing to be unveiled as part of this announcement and/or future unveilings for 2008??

Ho! Ho! Ho!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Revisiting Holiday Themed Releases: Holiday Princess Series

Two weeks from today is Christmas Day! Where has the time gone since Thanksgiving? These past few weeks has been a combination of decorating, shopping, preparing for the season and getting ready for year-end at work.

In these next two weeks, we'll revisit past Christmas-themed releases from the Walt Disney Classics Collection, starting with the Holiday Princess Series.

The Holiday Princess Series made it's debut in July, 2003 with the release of Belle ("The Gift of Love"), an Open Edition release, sculpted by Dusty Horner. This magical holiday sculpture was inspired by "Beauty and the Beast: The Enchanted Christmas" and the first in the Princess Series emphasizing on our favorite Princesses at Holiday. Releases primarily would be 'interpretative' as opposed to 'true to the moment.'

The second release in 2004 (July) was Aurora ("The Gift of Beauty") an Open Edition release, sculpted by Kent Melton. The colors for Aurora's gown were inspired by a 1957 Golden Book of Sleeping Beauty. During a signing event in 2004, Kent said this was one of his favorite sculptures that he sculpted.

In 2005 (July), Snow White ("The Gift of Friendship") was the third release in the series, an Open Edition release sculpted by Dusty Horner. The coloration for the Holiday Princess Snow White is inspired by one of the color variations from the first Snow White film poster. The border treatment on Snow White's cloak is inspired by the pattern on clothing worn by Snow White's mother in an early Little Golden Book.

The fourth (and final) release in the series was Cinderella ("The Gift of Kindness"), an Open Edition release sculpted by Margi Wray, released in 2006 (July).

The Holiday Princess Series was retired in December, 2006. Not a favorite of the hardcore Walt Disney Classics Collection collectors, it did very well in the theme parks and many were surprised the series ended in 2006 before the series included Ariel and Jasmine.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Animation Art: THIS WEEKEND Decmember 8th, Trevor Carlton Returns!

Trevor Carlton returns for 2 Live Performances on Saturday December the 8th at 1:30PM and 5:30PM!

An exciting event to see Trevor Painting LIVE in the gallery.. A ROCK 'n' ROLL performance not to be missed! Trevor will be doing two (2) 60" x 60" Paintings of Winnie-the-Pooh and Tinker Bell along with a SPECIAL PRESENTATION to be seen!

Many Originals and Giclee's by Trevor will be available as well as an autograph signing and dedication of ALL art purchased.

*Please note NO Video Filming will be allowed.

Disney's Pirates of the Caribbean Winter Premiere Event Continues!
Animation Art has only two (2) sculptures left in stock! These figurines by Sculptor Tim Bruckner are absolutely breathtaking, and sure to sell very quickly!

Saturday - December 8, 2007
Animation Art
Woodfield Shopping Center
Schaumburg Il, 60173
1:30pm & 5:30pm

Thursday, December 6, 2007

DVD Special Announcement Update!

Update on Special Announcement from Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment: "There is no great way to direct consumers towards the inclusive product."

There are a couple different versions of the booklet packed inside the Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End DVD release. These versions are MIXED in product packages going across the country for the single disc release, the 2-Disc special edition, and the Blu-Ray release and MIXED to specific major retailers (e.g. Best Buy, Target, Costco, WalMart, Amazon, etc.). We can't predict specifically if a particular DVD package will include the WDCC announcement or not. For example, a 2-Disc version purchased from Best Buy, the WDCC announcement was not in the booklet. but a single disc version purchased elsewhere did include it.

The announcement concerns the Captain Barbossa and Capain Jack Sparrow pieces, introducing many new Disney enthusiasts to the Walt Disney Classics Collection and these sculptures.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

2007 Facts & Firsts!

Many emails I receive have asked, "will there be an updated Facts & Firsts available for 2007?"

The 2007 edition of Facts & Firsts has just been finalized and available for download (click on image at right). This update includes all releases through Fourth Quarter 2007. Additional changes will be rolled into the next update in 2008 which will include a few errors caught that didn't make this update.

Should you catch any errors, please email me at wdccduckman@aol.com so we can be sure to get those corrected in the next update.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Captain Barbossa & Captain Jack Sparrow: WInter Premiere Reminder & Update!

This weekend is the Winter Premiere Event (December 1-2, 2007) marking the WDCC debut of Captain Barbossa and Captain Jack Sparrow!

Captain Barbossa ("Black-hearted Brigand) is the Winter Premiere Event Featured Sculpture. A Numbered Limited Edition (NLE) of 2,500.

Captain Jack Sparrow ("Swashbuckling Scoundrel"), an Open Edition release will be making his Special Advance Debut Dec 1 - 2, 2007 at participating dealers of the Winter Premiere Event, supplies limited. Each piece can be displayed on its own, or together as a pair. With Pirates plundering the year, a Winter Premiere Event was held in lieu of the traditional Fall Premiere Event. Captain Jack Sparrow and Captain Barbossa are sculpted by Tim Bruckner.

Disneyland© Resort will not have it's usual Aribbas Bros. Gift with Purchase for this event. They will be offering a special promotion on December 4th for the release of Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End on DVD. They are opening at 6:30am and the first guests who purchase the DVD at World of Disney© will receive a special matted art piece while supplies last.

Since Walt Disney Classics Collection has a special announcement inside the Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End DVD featuring WDCC Captain Jack Sparrow and Captain Barbossa (part of the booklet packed inside the DVD), Disneyland© Resort is going to promote those sculptures releasing December 4th. They will be available at the World of Disney© store in Downtown Disney.

The usual gallery locations at WALT DISNEY WORLD© Resort will be offering these pieces as well.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Reintroduction of the American Folk Heroes Series!

The Walt Disney Collectors Society introduced the American Folk Heroes series in 1994, honoring some of Walt Disney's finest but least-known animation. This Members-Only series honored those larger-than-life characters who embody the best of the American character through legend and lore native to these United States.

The first entry was that rootin' tootin' cowboy Pecos Bill followed by his ladylove Slue Foot Sue in 1995 from Melody Time and the legendary baseball slugger Casey at the Bat from Make Mine Music in 1996. The series, by commission only was suspended in 1996.

As the Society celebrates its 15th anniversary, they proudly announce the reintroduction of the American Folk Heroes series with the announcement of a new release in 2008 to be announced soon!

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving!

In the early 1600's, the Pilgrims left their home in England and came across the ocean to America in a boat called the Mayflower. They built their own houses, planted seeds they had brought with them, and made friends with the Indians, who were already living in America. The Indians taught them how to plant corn and hunt and fish for animals that they could eat.

The first American Thanksgiving was celebrated in 1621, to commemorate the harvest reaped by the Plymouth Colony after a harsh winter. In that year Governor William Bradford proclaimed a day of thanksgiving. The colonists celebrated it as a traditional English harvest feast, to which they invited the local Wampanoag Indians.

Now every year we celebrate Thanksgiving to remember the brave Pilgrims and to give thanks for all of our blessings. Thanksgiving is celebrated on the fourth Thursday of November in the United States and on the second Monday of October in Canada.

"Soup's On!" (pictured above), a Numbered Limited Edition (NLE) and 1st release in the Signature Series (2000) always reminds me of Thanksgiving, a day when family and friends gather together. In keeping with the holiday theme of giving thanks, during the socializing or meal, it's a time to share what we're thankful for and/or tell about experiences during the past year which have caused us to feel grateful.

Happy Thanksgiving to all who visit either the Website, Blog and/or Internet Cafe today.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

2008 Villains Series Release Announced: the Queen of Hearts!

Sketches began to arrive today and included is the announcement of the Villains Series release for 2008 .. from Disney's animated classic, Alice in Wonderland, the Queen of Hearts!

Queen of Hearts: "Who's Been Painting My Roses Red?" (12")will be the 2008 Villains Series sculpture debuting in May 2008. Sculpted by Patrick Romandy-Simmons, it has a SRP of $299.00 US. It will be released in May 2008 (Society Members will receive their redemption certificates with the May issue of Sketches).

The Queen of Hearts is a character from the book Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by the mathematician, Lewis Carroll. She is a foul-tempered monarch, who is quick to decree death sentences at the slightest offense. Her most famous line, one which she repeats often, is "Off with their heads!"

When pleased, she can be quite pleasant, but can almost at once change to enraged. The Queen is voiced by Verna Felton.


Enchanted Opens Today!

A classic Disney animated fairy tale meets with modern, live-action comedy in Walt Disney Pictures' Enchanted opening today!

Featuring an all- star cast, the film follows the beautiful princess Giselle (Amy Adams) as she is banished by an Evil Queen (Susan Sarandon) from her magical, musical animated land and finds herself in the gritty reality of the streets of modern-day Manhattan.

Shocked by this strange new environment that doesn't operate on a "happily ever after" basis, Giselle is now adrift in a chaotic world badly in need of enchantment. But when Giselle begins to fall in love with a charmingly flawed divorce lawyer (Patrick Dempsey) who has come to her aid-- even though she is already promised to a perfect fairy tale prince (James Marsden) back home-- she has to wonder: Can a storybook view of romance survive in the real world?

There are many parts of this movie that are clearly references to/spoofs/homages of other Disney animated movies, most of which involve princesses and typically, evil stepmothers. Visit the official website.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

It's a Small World: Little Big Chief

It's a Small World (formatted “it's a small world” by the Walt Disney Company) is a popular attraction at several Walt Disney theme parks: Disneyland© (in California), Walt Disney World© (Magic Kingdom in Florida), Tokyo Disneyland© and Disneyland Resort Paris©. It has been announced that it will open in Hong Kong Disneyland© in 2008.

The ride features a multitude of audio-animatronic figures in the style of children of the world singing the ride's title track (composed by the Sherman Brothers), which has a theme of global peace.

Like several other Disneyland© attractions, It's a Small World originated with the 1964/1965 New York World's Fair (it was Pepsi's© pavilion). After the fair closed the ride was transferred to Disneyland© and when the other parks opened they too included versions of the ride. The attraction was designed by Mary Blair, who was also an art director on several Disney animated features (including Cinderella and Peter Pan). Like many Disneyland© and Walt Disney World© attractions, scenes and characters were designed by Marc Davis, while his wife, Alice Davis, designed the outfits of the dolls.

The name of the ride was originally "children of the world." When Walt Disney demonstrated it to songwriters, the Sherman Brothers, the ride's soundtrack featured numerous national anthems all playing at once. Disney said, "I need one song." In response, the brothers wrote what would disputably be known as the most performed and translated song on earth: It's a Small World.


The Walt Disney Classics Collection introduced the 'it's a small world series in 2003. One release, very fitting for Thanksgiving is the Native American Indian Boy ("Little Big Chief") released in August, 2005. This two-piece set consisted of the Native American Indian Boy (7") and Cactus Accessory (4-3/4").

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Meet Bill Peet and More on Susie :)

As many of you know, one of my favorite animated shorts is Susie, the Little Blue Coupe which was the subject of a blog entry back in July discussing both the short and it's inspiration for Disney/Pixar's 2006 animated feature, Cars. I recently uncovered more information on author, Bill Peet and Susie's inspiration for Cars, warranting a second entry :)

As previously posted, among the biggest design inspirations for Lasseter and his team was the classic 1952 Disney short, Susie the Little Blue Coupe. One of the key animators on that film was the legendary Ollie Johnston, who at age 92 is the last surviving member of Walt Disney’s original team affectionately known as the nine old men. Lasseter maintains a special relationship (in addition to a love of trains) with Johnston, and he had numerous occasions to discuss the "Cars" approach with his friend and mentor. The film's method of anthropomorphizing the cars, using the windshield for the eyes and eyelids, served as the stylistic inspiration for this film.

Given it being the inspiration for Cars (and many references to support this), it's surprising that Susie wasn't included in the DVD release last year as an added bonus :(

Susie, the Little Blue Coupe is a very agreeable little film, with plenty of good humor & fine animation and once again illustrates Disney's adeptness at giving sympathetic life to an inanimate object. Susie's story was written by Disney animator Bill Peet and is very similar to those he would later author as a celebrated children's author. As always, Sterling Holloway makes the perfect narrator.


If you are a fan of the children's books by Bill Peet, you will love this story. Before Peet was a published author, he was one of the top story men at Disney. Not only did he work on classic features like Dumbo, Sleeping Beauty, Peter Pan and Lady and the Tramp, he also wrote a number of short films like Susie. These include: Goliath II (the story of a 6 inch tall elephant) and Lambert the Sheepish Lion. His storytelling sensibilities are unmistakable in these films and bear his mark like a signature. Peet left Disney around 1965 to write children's books. He died in 2002. Learn more about Bill Peet, Walt Disney's greatest storyman for 27 years at his official website.


Trivia: In Susie, the Little Blue Coupe, a truck in traffic labeled "Peet's Ice," is a reference to writer Bill Peet.


As an added treat (and fast becoming a blog favorite), Susie, the Little Blue Coupe (courtesy of YouTube.com):


Susie, the Little Blue Coupe is ©Disney

To date, the Walt Disney Classics Collection hasn't released anything from Disney/Pixar's Cars. I've set up a Cars Poll to gauge collectors interest in seeing something done from this film.

Given the recent tampering of our Mr. Ray Poll, in order to participate in this poll and/or future polls, you need to contact me via email at wdccduckman@aol.com with your name, board log-in and email address to be granted access to the Survey Folder at the Duckburg Internet Cafe. Apologize for the inconvenience. Let the voting begin!

Monday, November 12, 2007

Song of the South: Celebrates its 61st Anniversary!

Today marks the 61st anniversary of Disney's Song of the South. The working title for Song of the South was Uncle Remus.

Walt Disney had long wanted to make a film based on the Uncle Remus storybook, but it wasn't until the mid-1940s that he had found a way to give the stories an adequate film equivalent, in scope and fidelity. "I always felt that Uncle Remus should be played by a living person," Disney is quoted as saying, "as should also the young boy to whom Harris' old Negro philosopher relates his vivid stories of the Briar Patch. Several tests in previous pictures, especially in The Three Caballeros, were encouraging in the way living action and animation could be dovetailed. Finally, months ago, we 'took our foot in hand,' in the words of Uncle Remus, and jumped into our most venturesome but also more pleasurable undertaking."

There are three animated segments in the movie:

  • "Brer Rabbit Runs Away" (approx. 8 minutes), including the song "Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah".
  • "The Tar Baby" (approx. 12 minutes), interrupted with a short live action scene about two thirds of the way into the cartoon, including the song "How Do You Do?"
  • "Brer Rabbit's Laughing Place" (approx. 5 minutes), the only segment that doesn't use Uncle Remus as an intro to its main story, including the song "Everybody's Got A Laughing Place."

Also most of the last couple of minutes of the movie contains animation, as most of the cartoon characters show up in a live-action world to meet the live-action characters, and in the last seconds of the movie the real world is turned into an animated one.

Although the film has been re-released several times (most recently in 1986), the Disney corporation has avoided making it directly available on home video or DVD in the United States because the frame story was deemed controversial by studio management, despite Uncle Remus being the hero of the story. Film critic Roger Ebert, who normally disdains any attempt to keep films from any audience, has supported the non-release position, claiming that most Disney films become a part of the consciousness of American children, who take films more literally than do adults. However, he favors allowing film students to have access to the film. In the U.S., only excerpts from the animated segments have ever appeared in Disney's DVDs (such as the 2004 two-disc release of Alice in Wonderland (1951), television shows, and the popular log-flume attraction Splash Mountain is based upon the same animated portions).

Despite rumors of a forthcoming DVD release, Disney CEO Robert Iger stated on March 10, 2006 at a Disney Shareholder Meeting that it had been decided that the company would not re-release it for the time being. At the annual shareholders meeting in March 2007, Iger announced that the company was reconsidering the decision, and have decided to look into the possibility of releasing the film. In May 2007, it was again reported that the Disney company has chosen not to release the film. However, rumors to the contrary continue to surface.

The Walt Disney Classics Collection released a 3-piece scene consisting of Brer Rabbit, Brer Bear and Brer Fox plus an Opening Title. Brer Rabbit ("Born and Bred in a Briar Patch"), Brer Bear ("Duh!") and Brer Fox ("I Gotcha, Brer Rabbit!") and the Opening Title were released in 1996 and all were retired the following year on February 15, 1997.

Trivia: Brer Rabbit's laughing heard during the Laughing Place sequence is reused in The Jungle Book (1967) when Baloo tickles King Louie.