Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy New Year!!

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

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

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Holiday Hawaiian Style!

It’s a holiday of hilarity as four of Walt Disney’s greatest animated stars have fun on beautiful Waikiki Beach. Hawaiian Holiday opens with the song "On the Beach at Waikiki," immediately establishing its exotic island setting. That famous tune by G. H. Stover and Henry Kalmai was one of the most popular songs of the 1930's and was introduced here by Mickey, Minnie, Donald and Goofy.

Mickey Mouse leads the festivities, comically coaxingsome native music from a steel guitar. Wearing a colorfulfloral lei, Minnie dances a lovely hula, enchantingeveryone with every little movement. Donald relaxesaboard a beached boat, plucking out a sonorous songof the Islands. Meanwhile that all-around (if inept) athleteGoofy gets set to hang ten with some very silly surfing. Pluto was also on hand, rounding out one of the rare occasions when all of Disney’s “fab five” shared the screen in the same cartoon short.

February 2009, the Walt Disney Classics Collection releases a four-part scene (each sculpture sold separately) that includes Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Donald Duck and Goofy. This Open Edition release was sculpted by Jacqueline Perreault Gonzales.

For your viewing pleasure (courtesy of is the animated short Hawaiian Holiday (1937):

Hawaiian Holiday ©Disney

20th Anniversary Release from The Little Mermaid

Ariel and Flounder travel to the surface to watch a celebration for the birthday of Prince Eric, with whom Ariel falls in love. The birthday celebration is cut short by a massive storm, during which the ship is struck by lightning. Everyone manages to escape in a lifeboat, except for Eric who boards the burning ship to save his dog Max. Eric almost drowns, but is saved by Ariel, who drags him to the beach. She sings to him, but when he stirs awake, she dives underwater. Eric has a vague impression that he was rescued by a girl with a beautiful voice; he vows to find her, and Ariel vows to find a way to join Eric.

Triton and his daughters notice a change in Ariel, who is openly lovesick. Triton questions Sebastian about Ariel's behavior, during which Sebastian accidentally reveals the incident with Eric. Triton furiously confronts and punishes Ariel in her grotto, using his trident to destroy her collection of human treasures, including her prized statue of Prince Eric.

In honor of it's upcoming 20th Anniversary comes the release of Ariel with Statue of Prince Eric, a Numbered Limited Edition (NLE) of 1,000 sculpted by Kent Melton.

More from Pirates of the Caribbean!

Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl is a 2003 adventure film, based on the Pirates of the Caribbean Attraction at the Disney Theme Parks.

The story follows pirate Captain Jack Smith and blacksmith Will Turner as they rescue Elizabeth Swann from her kidnapping by the cursed crew of the Black Pearl, captained by Hector Barbossa.

Joining previously released Captain Jack Sparrow (Open Edition) and Captain Barbossa (2007 Winter Premiere Event Numbered Limited Edition of 2,500) are Elizabeth Swann (Numbered Limited Edition of 1,000) and Will Turner and an Opening Title (both Open Edition).

Captain Jack Sparrow and Captain Barbossa were sculpted by Tim Bruckner. Elizabeth Swann and Will Turner were sculpted by Joel Harlow.

Goofy's One-Man Band Joins the Mickey Mouse Club!

Gangly, good-natured Goofy is strikingup the band, a one band, in honor of his best pal and Club leader. Goofy joins Mickey’s parade of animated superstars from the Club ‘that’s made for you and me!’

As with the previous releases from this series, Goofy ("One-Man Band") a Numbered Limited Edition (NLE) of 1,000 was sculpted by Bruce Lau.

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

The Mickey Mouse Club ©Disney

What A Gal!

Donald Duck's girlfriend, Daisy, had her debut as Donna Duck in Don Donald (1937), but became known as Daisy in Mr. Duck Steps Out (1940). Daisy had three nieces in comic book stories: April, May, and June.

No other duck has a sassy sashay to her walk like Daisy; she's one-hundred-percent woman, from the top of the bow in her hair to the bottom of her determined heart. Mistress of high drama, Daisy can go from coy to flaming just as fast as her best beau Donald, and she more than matches him at his own game. A woman who knows her mind, she expects to be treated right: candy, flowers, a night on the town. If Donald won't toe the line, she's not afraid to offer an ultimatum. "Until you develop a more pleasant personality, I don't want to see you again." Threats notwithstanding, she's confident that Donald will always be back, faults and all. In fact, given the choice between keeping him for herself just as he is, or sharing him with the rest of the world, she makes her feelings for Donald very clear. "Me, me, me, me ... ME!" Daisy wouldn't have it any other way. Favorite sayings: "Well, I never!" "Oh, Donald ..."

Daisy joins other members of the Fab Five (Mickey, Minnie, Goofy, Pluto and Donald himself) as part of the Spotlight Collection. Daisy is an Open Edition release, sculpted by Patrick Romandy-Simmons.

For your viewing pleasure (courtesy of, one of my favorite Donald & Daisy shorts (watching them dance is priceless!) .. Mr. Duck Steps Out (1940):

Mr. Duck Steps Out ©Disney

Simba: Can't Wait to be King as the 2009 Spring Event Sculpture!

Simba is the Spring Premiere Event featured sculpture taking place worldwide April 17-20, 2009.

The sculpture is from the I Can't Wait To Be King song sequence from Disney's blockbuster, The Lion King. Simba asks his mother if he can go to the water-hole with his best friend, Nala. Their parents agree but only if Mufasa's majordomo, the hornbill Zazu, goes with them. Simba and Nala elude Zazu's supervision during I Just Can't Wait to Be King and go to the graveyard instead.

A Numbered Limited Edition (NLE) of 1,500, Simba was sculpted by Bruce Lau. The sculpture will bear a 15th Anniversary backstamp in honor of the film's release.

For your viewing pleasure (courtesy of, is the I Can't Wait to Be King sequence from Disney's The Lion King (1994):

The Lion King ©Disney

Friday, December 12, 2008

Dancing Aurora & Phillip Suspended Today!

The Walt Disney Classics Collection has suspended effective today, Dec. 12th, the Dancing Princess Aurora and Prince Phillip (blue version), A Dance in the Clouds.

Dancing Aurora and Prince Phillip made their debut, as an Open Edition in 1997. When initially released, the Dancing Blue Version was a darker blue in coloring (actually had a bluish-purple hue to it) and then later released in a lighter blue coloring (like the photo at right). An in-depth discussion can be found in an earlier blog entry, Dancing Aurora & Phillip: Make Her Blue!

Special Note: Suspension means that the item is currently sold out at the warehouse and there is no anticipation to re-order at this time. Please contact an Authorized WDCC Dealer and/or the Theme Parks for availability.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Updated Images of the Vultures from The Jungle Book!

I had the opportunity to see the prototype this past weekend at the Gallery of the Lakes signing event and liked this sculpture every bit as much (if not more) in person as I did when I first saw the pictures.

At left, is a back view of the sculpture which I've added to the Presentation Page (click on Vultures at left) plus a new front version, which better depicts the actual coloring of the final sculpt.

The Vultures were part of the 2009 members only assortment that included two releases from Disney's 1967 classic (and last film under Walt), The Jungle Book:
  • Members Only Limited Edition-Vultures
  • Villains Series-Shere Khan (unfortunately this prototype didn't arrive in time for the event)
The Vultures, rarely portrayed in any other medium mark not only their WDCC debut but the return of the Members Only Limited Edition. This Numbered Limited Edition (NLE) of 1,000, sculpted by Patrick Romandy-Simmons will be made available in February, 2009.

"Things Are Right Dead All Over" is plussed with pewter plant stalks and branches as well as the feathers on Flaps, Buzzie, Ziggy and Dizzy.

Monday, December 8, 2008

A Weekend in 'Wonderland'

Being at Walt Disney World prior to Thanksgiving (and seeing the park transform into the Christmas season) and then traveling to Gallery of the Lakes this past weekend (after putting up my outside lights and decorations), being around all the lights and decorations (not to mention some snow) and spending time with great friends has really put me into the holiday spirit!

I set out on Thursday morning to Rock Hill, NY for the signing event this past weekend with sculptor, animator and good friend Ruben Procopio and Kathryn Beaumont, the voice of Alice (from Alice in Wonderland) and Wendy (from Peter Pan) and Traci Thomas, Brand Manager for the Walt Disney Classics Collection (pictured at left).

It was a great opportunity to finally see in person the Signature Series release featuring Alice & Dinah (from Alice in Wonderland), Dumbo (from the Mickey Mouse Club), the Swiss Family Robinson Treehouse, Mulan & Father (from Mulan), Orville with Bernard & Miss Bianca (from The Rescuers) plus the upcoming Members Only releases that were recently previewed (Dopey, Snow White Apple Ornament and Evil Queen from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs and the Vultures from The Jungle Book. Unfortunately Shere Khan (also from The Jungle Book) did not make in time from overseas).

Was a great day on Friday, spent at the store with Ray, Elaine, Tammy and Gary talking and discussing all the new and upcoming pieces, getting to help set up the WDCC cases and then being joined later in the afternoon by Bob & Toni (my recent WDW travel buddies) and Ruben, Traci and Kathryn (who came in a day early for pre-signing). At the close of the day, Elaine invited Bob, Toni and myself to join her, Ruben, Traci and Kathryn for dinner at Cosimo's Brick Oven in Middletown, NY. What an amazing place! The focaccia bread was to die for! Our waitress shared with us what made it so light, airy and delicious -- mashed potatoes! What a great evening -- good company, good food and good times! Will definitely be stopping by here again the next time in Middletown. Melanie, you knew I couldn't do a trip blog entry without discussing food :)

Michelle and Jimi & Kristen met us at the Hampton Inn in Middletown, NY on Sat., got checked in and settled and we hung out at the hotel until time to leave for the event and meet up with Jeff and Carl who were driving straight to the store. It was great to see old friends as we arrived at the store that we've gotten to know from past events -- Sue, Steve and Barb, Robert, Tom, Melanie & Bill, Ann & Bill and Lynette and meet new ones, Darcy (we've exchanged blog/message board postings and emails, so was nice to finally meet in person, though much too short!). It's always a great (and fun) time catching up! A thrill for me was having Kathryn personalize Amanda's Alice Salvati painting from 'Alice to Amanda'. Thanks Babs for suggesting bringing the painting on the morning I was leaving!

A Special Presentation was held in the Gallery Lounge with Ruben and Kathryn and was such an insightful presentation with Ruben talking about how he came to work for the Disney Studios, the many films he's worked on as both an animator and sculptor and the pieces he's worked on for the Walt Disney Classics Collection (unfortunately we didn't get any hints on future releases) and Kathryn talking about working on both Alice in Wonderland and Peter Pan and working with Walt Disney himself! The presentation concluded with three (3) lucky winners, winning a sketch drawing done by Ruben ... Goofy (won by Michael), Simba (won by Ann) and Alice (won by Robert). Congratulations!

The event concluded with dinner and cocktail reception at Bernie's Holiday Restaurant in Rock Hill, NY and as we were having dinner, it began to snow outside, giving an added magical, holiday feeling to the evening plus it was Ruben's first time seeing snow!

Hoping Sue made it safely back to MA and Ann & Bill had a safe flight to Phoenix the next morning. We returned to the hotel and after breakfast the next morning, returned to the store for our final purchases before heading home.

What a great weekend and one I will NEVER forget. I wanted to close my blog entry with this special photo (above) I took of Kathryn with this year's Signature Series release (truly a wonder to behold) of Alice & Dinah at the event. Be watching for more photos from the event!

Monday, December 1, 2008

Gallery of the Lakes Holiday Signing Event Weekend

Mark your Calendars! December 6th, Gallery of the Lakes is hosting a Holiday Signing Event Weekend with Special Guests, Kathryn Beaumont and Ruben Procopio!

Kathryn Beaumont, the original voice of Alice from Alice in Wonderland and Wendy from Peter Pan!

In celebration of Ruben’s Pirate works and Peter Pan’s own Pirate Adventures, the Exclusive Theme Park Pirates of the Caribbean Series (Helmsman Pirate, Captain of the Wicked Wench, the Auctioneer and Redhead, Pirate with Pigs, Pirate on Archway Bridge and the Jail Scene) will all be made available for this special signing weekend!

Also on hand will be the recently announced 2008 Signature Series release from Alice in Wonderland featuring Alice and Dinah (in her WDCC debut) and Orville (also making his WDCC debut), Bernard & Bianca from The Rescuers and Mickey, Mouse, Donald Duck and Scrooge McDuck from the classic, Mickey’s Christmas Carol!

Itinerary For Saturday, December 6, 2008

  • Signing and Holiday Party
  • Special Presentation-Gallery Lounge
  • Special Charity Auction
5:00pm Tree Lighting
5:30pm Disney Holiday Dinner & Cocktail Reception

Gallery of the Lakes is located in Rock Hill, NY 12775
Please RSVP (800) 692-3087