Monday, December 31, 2007
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!!
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
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: "Who's your friend?"
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
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.
Hope everyone is having a Very Merry Christmas!!
Monday, December 24, 2007
To all our family, friends and friends unknown!
Don, Mary & Amanda
For your Christmas Eve/Christmas Day viewing pleasure is Santa's Workshop (courtesy of YouTube.com):
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 2 of 3:
Part 3 of 3:
Mickey's Christmas Carol is a Walt Disney Mickey Mouse Cartoon ©Disney
Sunday, December 23, 2007
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:
Friday, December 21, 2007
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
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!
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:
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:
Wednesday, December 19, 2007
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.
- 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
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!
1999 - First release in series from On Ice (1935)
Tuesday, December 18, 2007
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
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
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.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.
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.
Thursday, December 13, 2007
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.
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
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
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
Woodfield Shopping Center
Schaumburg Il, 60173
1:30pm & 5:30pm
Thursday, December 6, 2007
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
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 firstname.lastname@example.org so we can be sure to get those corrected in the next update.