Thursday, March 27, 2008

Sketches is Starting to Land!

Sketches, Volume 16/Number 1 2008 is starting to land! Featured on the cover is the upcoming Sleeping Beauty Jeweled Box ("Clandestine Conclave"), a Numbered Limited Edition (NLE) of 750 sculpted by Dusty Horner.

Featured in this issue of Sketches are articles on the following:

  • Frollo-Numbered Limited Edition (NLE) of 750 sculpted by Patrick Romandy-Simmons.
  • Sleeping Beauty Jeweled Box-Numbered Limited Edition (NLE) of 750 sculpted by Dusty Horner.
  • Bacchus and Jacchus-Numbered Limited Edition (NLE) of 750 sculpted by Kent Melton.
  • Elliott-Numbered Limited Edition (NLE) of 750 sculpted by Ruben Procopio.
  • Three Little Pigs-Limited to Production Year 2008 sculpted by Bruce Lau. Fourth release in the Silly Symphony Series.
  • Comic Portrait Gallery-Article on colorful, clever and eye-catching comic book covers.
  • Potpourri Section focusing on Disney Couples (Snow White and Prince, Belle and Prince, Roger, Anita, Pongo & Perdita and Briar Rose and Prince Phillip).
Also included with your Society Mailing are the following:
  • Newsflash
  • Walt Disney Collector Society Brochure.
  • 2008 Members Only Redemption Forms (Nephew Duck, Wendy, Mermaid Lagoon, Belle and Tinker Bell).
  • 2008 Winter Catalog Supplement
  • 2008 Walt Disney Classics Collection Retailer Listing (US Retailers Only for mailings sent to US collectors. You can view retailers in Canada and Overseas in the 2008 Retailer Listing in the Authorized Dealer Section of the website.

More on the 2008 Production Mark!

The 2008 Production Mark is the Sleeping Beauty Crown bestowed by the three Good Fairies (Flora, Fauna and Merryweather) upon the Princess Aurora from Walt Disney's masterpiece Sleeping Beauty.

Sleeping Beauty was originally released to theatres on January 29, 1959 by Buena Vista Distribution. The sixteenth animated feature, was the last animated feature produced by Walt Disney to be based upon a fairy tale (after his death, the studio returned to the genre with 1989's The Little Mermaid). In addition, Sleeping Beauty was the first animated feature to be shot in Super Technirama 70, one of many large-format widescreen processes. Only one more animated film, The Black Cauldron, was ever shot in Super Technirama 70.

Aurora's crown will be incised on sculptures produced in 2008.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Happy Easter!

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

Prior to A.D. 325, Easter was variously celebrated on different days of the week, including Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. In that year, the Council of Nicaea was convened by emperor Constantine. It issued the Easter Rule which states that Easter shall be celebrated on the first Sunday that occurs after the first full moon on or after the vernal equinox. However, a caveat must be introduced here. The "full moon" in the rule is the ecclesiastical full moon, which is defined as the fourteenth day of a tabular lunation, where day 1 corresponds to the ecclesiastical New Moon. It does not always occur on the same date as the astronomical full moon. The ecclesiastical "vernal equinox" is always on March 21. Therefore, Easter must be celebrated on a Sunday between the dates of March 22 and April 25.

In the Western Church, Easter has not fallen on the earliest of the 35 possible dates, March 22nd, since 1818, and will not do so again until 2285. This year, Easter falls on March 23rd and will not do so again until 2160. Easter last fell on the latest possible date, April 25th in 1943 and will next fall on that date in 2038.

Featured in this blog entry is the Walt Disney Classics Collection release of Thumper and Miss Bunny, part of the Twitterpated Scene released in February 2002.

Happy Easter!

Monday, March 17, 2008

WDCC Dealer Listing Updated for 2008!

The Authorized Walt Disney Classics Collection Dealer Listing for 2008 has been updated. This update is for authorized dealers located in the United States, Canada and Overseas as of February, 2008.

Retailers who are currently part of the Walt Disney Classic Collection's Gold Circle Program are indicated with an asterik (*). You can access the updated Authorized Dealer Listing by clicking on Donald Duck (2008 WDCS Membership Gift) and his nephews.

St. Patrick's Day – Celebrating the Green!

St. Patrick is believed to have driven the snakes from Ireland. Once a pagan himself, St. Patrick is one of Christianity's most widely known figures.

The modern secular holiday is based on the original Christian saint's feast day also thought to be the date of the saint's death. In 1737, Irish immigrants to the United States began observing the holiday publicly in Boston and held the first St. Patrick's Day Parade in New York City in 1766.

Today, the tradition continues with people from all walks and heritages by wearing green, eating Irish food, and attending parades. St. Patrick's Day is bursting with folklore; from the shamrock to the leprechaun and to pinching those that are not wearing green.

Featured in this blog entry is the Walt Disney Classics Collection release from the It's a Small World Series, the two-piece Irish Lad and Harp released in January, 2005.

Happy St. Patrick's Day!!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Figment Pigment: Event Date Announced!

Figment, the adorable purple dragon pops up again in this new Walt Disney Classics Collection sculpture, appearing as an artist playfully employing all the pigments of the imagination, just as he appeared in the original Epcot® attraction Journey into Imagination on April 26, 2008 with the release of Figment Pigment, a Numbered Limited Edition of 750.

Figment (6-1/8"), sculpted by Jacqueline Perreault Gonzales is plussed with silver metallic paint and was inspired by an actual scene in the attraction. The base is the top rung of a ladder on which Figment is standing.

Lovable, unpredictable Figment is a classic symbol of Epcot® and is available exclusively at Disney Theme Parks. Figment will debut at WALT DISNEY WORLD® Resort on April 26, 2008. Look for event information on

Figment is meant to be the literal embodiment of the phrase figment of the imagination. He is composed of various elements Dreamfinder found in his travels including two tiny wings, large yellow eyes, the horns of a steer, a crocodile's snout, and the childish delight found at a birthday party. Figment is described in detail in the Dreamfinder's song "One Little Spark" by the Sherman Brothers.

Previous Figment releases can be seen in the Epcot Image Gallery section of the website. You can also participate in the Figment Poll at the Internet Cafe.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Gold Circle Exclusive: Planning a Good Deed!

From Disney's Sleeping Beauty, comes something new and different for the Walt Disney Classics Collection, Sleeping Beauty Jeweled Box.

Clandestine Conclave, a 2008 Gold Circle Exclusive is a Numbered Limited Edition (NLE) of 750 sculpted by Dusty Horner and features Flora, Fauna and Merryweather as they plan how to protect Princess Aurora from the evil Maleficent.

Sleeping Beauty Jeweled Box is extravagantly plussed with 24 different types of components including 92 CRYSTALLIZED™ Elements (Swarovski crystals) and hinged doors that fold open and close.

Engineered in hand-cast ornate metalwork (recreating the elaborate Gothic architectural style with pointed arches, towers, spires, ornamentation and royal crest).

Previous Sleeping Beauty releases can be seen in the Sleeping Beauty section of the website. You can also participate in the Sleeping Beauty Jeweled Box Poll at the Internet Cafe.

More from Pastoral Symphony: Bacchus and Jacchus!

The opening of the third movement of the Pastoral Symphony section finds the centaurettes and fauns making wine. Attracted doubtless by the smell, Bacchus, riding on his donkey-unicorn Jacchus, is soon with them and eagerly partaking.

Bacchus, dressed in a white robe and with a grapevine garland around his neck, is not especially large but is rotund and very obviously heavy: it is all that Jacchus can do to stagger along under the weight. Bacchus also has a startling habit of falling over, due no doubt to the wine with which the centaurettes constantly replenish his glass. He has bulbous cheeks and a squashy nose and looks as if it has been a long time since a logical thought chased its futile way through his head. His amorous pursuits of the centaurettes end in predictable failure: falling flat on your face is no way to win the heart of a fair lady. Jacchus, not averse to the occassional draught of wine, although the effects on him are even swifter than they are on Bacchus. This dissolute pair end the movement when Bacchus, thinking blearily that he has at last caught a centaurette, purses his lips to proffer a kiss to an equally drunken Jacchus.

The Walt Disney Classics Collection is proud to announce the debut of Bacchus and Jacchus ("Braying Bacchanalia") a Numbered Limited Edition (NLE) of 750 sculpted by Kent Melton. Bacchus and Jacchus join previously released (and retired) releases from the Pastoral Symphony sequence, the Blue Centaurette, Pink Centaurette and Cupids on Pillar (pictured above with Bacchus and Jacchus), all sculpted by Kent Melton.

Previous Fantasia releases can be seen in the Fantasia Gallery section of the website. You can also participate in two polls -- Bacchus and Jacchus Poll and Pastoral Symphony Poll at the Internet Cafe.

For your viewing pleasure (courtesy of YouTube) is a clip from the Pastoral Symphony sequence featuring Bacchus and Jacchus:

Pastoral Symphony Sequence from Fantasia ©Disney

Next Silly Symphony Series Release: A 'Triumphant Trio'

The Big Bad Wolf returns to the forest, this time with his sons, the Three Little Wolves. Fortunately for them, Fifer & Fiddler Pig are as gullible & silly as ever...

A follow-up to The Big Bad Wolf (1934) and The Three Little Pigs' second sequel, this is a very pleasant cartoon with lots of good imagination at work. The Wolf Pacifier is fascinating & must have warmed the heart of Rube Goldberg himself. This short was followed by the non-Symphony The Practical Pig (1939).

The Silly Symphonies, which Walt Disney produced for a ten year period beginning in 1929, are among the most fascinating of all animated series. Unlike the Mickey Mouse cartoons in which action was paramount, with the Symphonies the action was made to fit the music. There was little plot in the early Symphonies, which featured lively inanimate objects and anthropomorphic plants & animals, all moving frantically to the soundtrack.

Gradually, however, the Symphonies became the school where Walt's animators learned to work with color and began to experiment with plot, characterization & photographic special effects. The pages of Fable & Fairy Tale, Myth & Mother Goose were all mined to provide story lines and even Hollywood's musicals & celebrities were effectively spoofed. It was from this rich soil that Disney's feature-length animation was to spring. In 1939, with Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs successfully behind him and Pinocchio and Fantasia on the near horizon, Walt phased out the Silly Symphonies; they had run their course & served their purpose.

The Walt Disney Classics Collection is preserving this era of Disney animation with the fourth release in the Silly Symphony Series. Joining the Ugly Duckling & Mother, the Old Mill and Little Hiawatha is the Three Little Pigs from 1936 animated short, Three Little Wolves. Triumphant Trio, sculpted by Bruce Lau is Limited to Production Year 2008.

Previous Silly Symphony releases (both from the series and earlier releases from the Silly Symphony shorts) can be seen in the Silly Symphony Gallery section of the website. You can also participate in the Silly Symphony Poll at the Internet Cafe.

For those unfamiliar with the short, I've included a clip of the animated short (courtesy of below:

Three Little Wolves
is a Silly Symphony Cartoon ©Disney

Second Quarter Announcement: The First Wave!

Update: Quite a few emails last night and this morning regarding the 2008 Second Quarter Annoucement. The Duckman's Inside Report will go live at noon EST today (Saturday, March 8th). This allows information to flow from Burbank to the sales force and then to authorized dealers. The update will include all pertinent information plus additional angles for each sculpture.

This announcement includes the first wave of releases planned for Second Quarter 2008 to coincide with the upcoming Sketches mailing. Be watching in the next few weeks for the balance of the quarter to be announced, including the 2008 Summer Premiere Event Sculpture!

When the website goes live at noon today, I will also have individual blog postings for each new release for anyone who has any specific comments. Thanks for your patience!

Friday, March 7, 2008

Silly Symphonies Part V: Little Hiawatha

Walt Disney's Little Hiawatha didn't start out as a series character. He was the eponymous star of a Silly Symphony released May 15, 1937; and while the Silly Symphonies did have the occasional break-out hit (the biggest being Donald Duck), most of their characters came and went and were never seen again.

This particular Silly Symphony concerned a young boy's adventure in the woods. Hiawatha (pronounced Hee-a-watha), no known relation to the hero of H.W. Longfellow's famous poem (and even less to the Hiawatha who once hunted Bugs Bunny), ventured forth with his little bow and arrow, intent on emulating the mighty hunters of his village. He tries to shoot a grasshopper with his arrow, but the grasshopper spits in his eye. He tries to shoot a bunny rabbit, but the rabbit is too cute and pathetic. He tracks a bear, and runs after its cub and right into the mother. The rest of the animals, thankful for him saving the rabbit, come to his rescue.

Hiawatha returned home safely but empty-handed. The director was David Hand, who had earlier directed the Oscar-winning Silly Symphony, Three Orphan Kittens. Hiawatha didn't speak; hence, no voice credits.

Three years later, Hiawatha turned up again, this time in the Silly Symphonies newspaper comic, which was distributed by King Features Syndicate. From November 10, 1940 to July 12, 1942, writer Hubie Karp and artist Bob Grant (who had assisted Hank Porter on the comics adaptation of Snow White) used it for gags about Little Hiawatha. These didn't adapt the cartoon, but did a self-contained story each Sunday, usually without words, about the little boy's doings in and around the village. It was in this sequence that Hiawatha's girlfriend, inevitably called Little Minnehaha, was introduced. She'd originally been designed (by Walt Kelly) for a Silly Symphony that was never produced.
Little Hiawatha made his Walt Disney Classics Collection debut this past August as the third release in the Silly Symphony Series. "Mighty Hunter" is a two (2) piece Open Edition set sculpted by Jacqueline Perreault Gonzales.

For those unfamiliar with the short, I've included a clip of the animated short (courtesy of below:

Little Hiawatha is a Silly Symphony Cartoon ©Disney

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Silly Symphonies Part IV: The Old Mill

The Old Mill was released to theatres by RKO Radio Pictueres on November 5, 1937. The film depicts the natural community of animals populating an old abandoned windmill in the country, and how they deal with a violent thunderstorm that nearly destroys their habitat.

Like many of the later Silly Symphonies, The Old Mill was a testing-ground for advanced animation techniques. Marking the first use of Disney's multiplane camera
, the film also incorporates realistic depictions of animal behavior, complex lighting and color effects, depictions of rain, wind, lightning, ripples, splashes and reflections, three-dimensional rotation of detailed objects, and the use of timing to produce specific dramatic and emotional effects. All of the lessons learned from making The Old Mill would subsequently be incorporated into Disney's feature-length animated films, especially 1937's Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.

The Old Mill won the 1937 Academy Award for Best Short Subjects: Cartoons
. In 1994 it was voted #14 of the 50 Greatest Cartoons of all time by members of the animation field.

The Walt Disney Classics Collection released The Old Mill (pictured above), a Numbered Limited Edition of 750 sculpted by Larry Nikolai as the second release in Silly Symphony Series which made its debut in February, 2007.

The Old Mill is very reminiscent of the Enchanted Places, introduced in 1995, beautifully crafted sculptures that recreated unforgettable film settings made of a special blend of resin and alabaster. Unique touches, termed "plussing" add to the incredible level of detail found in every sculpture. Oil and water based paints are used to convey textures, shadows and special effects. The Old Mill is plussed with pewter, wire, felt and wind sails that actually turn. Included with each sculpture are instructions for the windmill assembly.

For your viewing pleasure (courtesy of is The Old Mill with an introduction by Walt Disney:

The Old Mill is a Silly Symphonies Cartoon ©Disney