Sunday, March 29, 2009

Simba 'Roar Into Spring' Event Retailer Listing

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.

Please click image at right for a complete listing of Authorized Dealers participating in the event for North America, Canada and Europe. Collectors in Asia should contact their local retailer regarding participation in the event.

The Little House (1952)

A rainy day here in Western PA, so thought a good day to catch up on some recent DVD purchases. I popped in Disney Rarities: Celebrated Shorts, 1920's - 1960's (released in Dec. 2005).
One of my favorite shorts included on this DVD tin is The Little House (1952) based on the 1942 book of the same name, written and illustrated by Virginia Lee Burton.

The story centers on a house built at the top of a small hill, far out in the country. Her builder decrees that she "may never be sold for gold or silver" but is built sturdy enough to one day see his great-great-grandchildren's great-great-grandchildren living in her. The house watches the seasons pass, and wonders about the lights of the city, which grow ever closer.

Eventually a road is built in front of the house. This is followed by roadside stands, gas stations, and more little houses. Next, the small houses are replaced by tenements and apartments. Streetcars, an elevated railroad, and a subway appear to surround the house. Finally, two gigantic skyscrapers are built -- one on each side.

One day the great-great-granddaughter of the builder sees the house and remembers stories that her grandmother told about living in just such a house, albeit far out in the country. When the great-great-granddaughter discovers that it is the same house, she arranges to have her moved out of the city, to a hill in the country where she can once again watch the seasons pass.

As an added treat (for a rainy day), The Little House (courtesy of

The Little House is ©Disney

Robin Hood Poll Results!

Our recent Other Character(s) You Would Like to See Added from Robin Hood Poll has ended. Of those choices polled, the results are as follows:

64% - Lady Cluck
57% - Friar Tuck
54% - Alan-a-Dale
35% - King Richard
28% - Mother Rabbit, Sis & Tagalong
21% - Grandma & Grandpa Owl
19% - Father Mouse & Mother Mouse
17% - Otto (Dog)

I will leave the results up for the Other Character(s) You Would Like to See Added from Robin Hood Poll for a few days for anyone who wants to see/compare the final results.

Thanks again to all who participated!

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Grand Jester Studios Launches New Disney-Inspired Bust Collection!

Grand Jester Studios proudly announces the debut of a new line of dynamic busts designed to capture all the grandeur and power of The Walt Disney Studios’ noblest heroes, loveliest heroines, and vilest villains. Brought to life by Disney and Grand Jester Studios under the creative direction of animator and sculptor Rubén Procopio, these limited edition polystone busts offer collectors and Disney fans alike the opportunity to bring home and display their favorite animated and live-action characters in this detailed collectible format.

The first seven offerings in the collection include the fairest of them all, Snow White, and the diabolical Witch who plots her demise; The Little Mermaid’s majestic King Triton and Ursula the scheming Sea Witch; puckish prankster Peter Pan and his nemesis, the maniacal Captain Hook; and the high-flying Rocketeer, who has earned the distinction of becoming Grand Jester Studios’ first sold out edition.

“My goal is for each character to practically leap off the shelf with their expression and vitality,” states Procopio, whose ability to infuse each bust with a dynamic line of action springs from his years of experience as both an animator and sculptor. Now the famed artist has directed his considerable skills to designing and art directing this amazing new collection of busts. As Procopio explains, “each figure’s pose and attitude is designed to highlight the unique physical mannerisms and personality traits that Disney fans worldwide have come to know and love about their favorite characters.”

Standing between 6 ½” (16.5 cm) to 10 ½” (26.7 cm) tall, these stunningly beautiful busts are remarkable not only for their dramatic poses, but also for the painstaking attention to detail evident in every subtle facial gesture and film-inspired base design. This dedication to character authenticity extends to the smallest costume detail, from the tiny rivets in the Rocketeer’s streamlined helmet to the flaring cut and dramatic folds of Captain Hook’s billowing jacket. Special care is also taken to match each film’s original color palette.

Available for order (while supplies last) through Sideshow Collectibles at, Diamond Comic Distributors’ Previews, and Disney Shopping, Inc. at, the initial wave of Disney busts will quickly expand to encompass iconic and eclectic characters from Disney’s live action and animated films and shorts and Disney-Pixar films, as well. Suggested Retail Prices range from US $60.00 to US $85.00.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Last Call!

A reminder that the following Walt Disney Collector Society offerings for 2008, their redemption period ends March 31st!:
To order these exclusives, contact your authorized Walt Disney Classics Collection retailer and give them your completed redemption certificate (or a copy of the certificate) along with your Walt Disney Collectors Society Membership Number.

Special Note: The WDCS will continue to honor orders for these pieces (along with the Queen of Hearts) after March 31st for eligible Walt Disney Collectors Society Members while supplies last! Production will stop at the end of the redemption period (no more will be made) but the Society will continue to honor WDCS Society Member orders as long as inventory is available.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

A Great Time In Red Bank!

I just returned from the Signing Event with Kent Melton and Tony Cipriano at CEL-EBRATION! Gallery this past weekend in Red Bank, NJ. It was an awesome weekend to finally be able to visit the store, see old friends again and meet so many new ones!

Bob & Pam Martin hosted a signing event at their store on Saturday, March 21st that kicked off with a Panel Discussion held at the Count Basie Theatre. I was honored to be part of this panel discussion with two very talented sculptors.

Pam welcomed everyone who attended, introduced the panel and then introduced Kent's wife Martha who spoke about Rose O'Neill, the animator of the Kewpie who is celebrating it's 100th Anniversary this year!

Kent spoke of his recent work on Coraline plus the many films he's worked on over the years and his work for the Walt Disney Classics Collection. He had maquettes of the Cat, Scotty Dog and Coraline from the film. I haven't had the opportunity to see Coraline yet but after speaking with him and Pam about it this weekend, definitely want to check it out.

Tony Cipriano spoke of his work on Mulan, Tarzan and Brother Bear and his work for the Walt Disney Classics Collection. He brought maquettes of Kenai, one of the Moose (not sure if Rutt or Tuke) and Tatana from Brother Bear and Cri-Kee from Mulan. At the close of the Panel Discussion, the group moved from the Count Basie Theater to the store for collectors to meet with the sculptors and have their sculptures and/or certificates signed.

It was great to have our gang together again for another event -- Michelle, Greg, George, Jeff, Carl & John, Ms. V (Virginia) and Lanette. Allen, appreciate you coming in from Long Island, was great catching up again. Was nice to meet Janet (Carl's sister), Robert (Ms. V's husband) , Mindy & Nancy plus so many of Pam's customers who are some of the nicest people I've ever met!

I first met Kent Melton in 1998 at the Rosemont International Collectibles Exposition. This event was held each summer in Rosemont, IL and alternated between the East & West Coast either in the spring or fall. A friendshp has grown since our first meeting and always look forward to seeing Kent at signing events and having the chance to catch up. I had pre-ordered the Ariel with Prince Eric Statue (based on images), so was my first opportunity to see in person .. WOW!

This was the first time I had the opportunity to meet Tony Cipriano. Both a great guy and very talented sculptor. From the Festival of Fools Scene, had only done Quasimodo and Esmerelda, so took this opportunity to finish out the grouping sculpted between Kent (Esmerelda) and Tony (Quasimodo and Clopin) and pick up Clopin. Truly hope to see more of Tony's work in future WDCC releases, as he's a very talented guy!

The evening ended with Michelle, Greg and myself seeing Idina Menzel in concert at the Count Basie Theatre. Many are familiar with Idina from her performances as Maureen in
Rent and Elphaba in Wicked on Broadway and as Nancy in Disney's Enchanted. Idina put on a fantastic show to a packed house singing songs from her latest CD, I Stand plus songs from her previously released CD's and Wicked. I highly recommend if you have a chance to see her perform, to do so as she is not only a fantastic singer but incredible entertainer and performer.

No trip recap would be complete without some recommendations :) If in the Red Bank area, be sure to stay at the Molly Pitcher Inn. The Molly Pitcher Inn offers first-class amenities with the sophistication of an elegant 19th century small luxury hotel and is among the most scenic luxury hotels in Central New Jersey.

For dinner that evening, we ate at the Dublin House Pub Restaurant located adjacent to CEL-EBRATION! Great atmosphere and great food. Highly recommend their burgers and reuben sandwich.

For great entertainment, check out the Count Basie Theatre. A beautiful restoration was done in 2008.

On Saturday, prior to the Panel Discussion, we had lunch at the Broadway Diner. A charming place with incredible food. The food was so good, we had breakfast there on Sunday before heading out. Highly recommend the cranberry and pecan pancakes .. YUM!

I would like to thank Bob, Pam and Nancy for being such awesome hosts and making it possible for collectors to have the opportunity to get together and spend time with the sculptors behind a collection that is very special to many of us.

I look forward to their next event and the opportunity to return to Red Bank!

The 100th Anniversary of the Kewpie Doll!

During the Signing Event with Kent Melton and Tony Cipriano this past weekend, Pam Martin intrduced Kent's wife Martha who spoke about Rose O'Neill, the animator of the Kewpie who is celebrating it's 100th Anniversary this year.

Kewpie dolls and figurines are based on comic strip-like illustrations by Rose O'Neill that appeared in Ladies Home Journal in 1909. The small dolls were extremely popular in the early 1900s. They were first produced in Ohrdruf, a small town in Germany, then famous for its toy-manufacturers. They were made out of bisque and then celluloid. In 1949, Effanbee created the first hard plastic versions.

Their name, often shortened to "Kewpies", is derived from 'Cupid,' the Roman god of beauty and non-platonic love. The time capsule at the 1939 New York World's Fair contained a Kewpie doll. The term "Kewpie doll" is sometimes mistakenly applied to the troll doll.

Many other articles were made using their images, for example, coloring and poem books, cups, plates, curios, etc. The incredible success of these characters made their creator rich and famous. It's a rare example of a woman becoming successful in the media business at such an early date. Kewpies should not be confused with the baby-like Billiken figures that debuted in 1908.

This year marks the 100th Anniversary of the Kewpie Doll. For more information on the history of the Kewpie Doll and Rose O'Neill please visit The Official Site of Rose O'Neill and Bonniebrook Museum.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Robin Hood Poll

As we've discussed in emails, blog and message board entries, the upcoming Wedding Scene from Robin Hood (Robin Hood & Maid Marian, Toby and Skippy), has us wondering (in some cases, hoping) of the possibility of the addition of more characters being added.

The poll includes the following characters, all present in this closing scene, from one of the least portrayed weddings in Disney animation:
  • Alan-a-Dale (Wondering Minstrel-Rooster)
  • Father Mouse & Mother Mouse (Church Mouse and Wife-Mice)
  • Friar Tuck (Friar and one of Robin's Merry Men-Badger)
  • Grandma & Grandpa Owl
  • King Richard (King of England-Lion)
  • Lady Cluck (Lady-in-Waiting for Maid Marian-Hen)
  • Mother Rabbit, Sis and Tagalong (Skippy's Family-Rabbits)
  • Otto (Blacksmith's Dog)
In this poll, you are able to choose more than one character. Please choose only those characters you would truly like to see done. Thanks in Advance!

Spoodles to Close To Make Way for New Restaurant

Followers of my blog, know that in addition to discussing the Walt Disney Classics Collection, another facet is visiting Walt Disney World with family and friends and sharing our experiences at both the theme parks and restaurants (located throughout the theme parks and resorts).

A favorite of ours was Spoodles (pictured at right),
conveniently close to Epcot®Theme Park, at Disney's Boardwalk Inn. We just recently discovered this restaurant through our good friend Michelle, after she ate there in September 2007. We ate there for the first time in May 2008, had an awesome experience (was it the food, the company we were with or both :)??), so ate there again this past November and once again, we were not disappointed (great food, great friends, good times!). Very sorry to hear that it will be closing. Spoodles closing is making way for Kouzzina by Cat Cora, slated to open Fall, 2009.

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (March 17, 2009) - Chef Cat Cora and Disney are joining together to open an exciting new family dining restaurant at Disney’s BoardWalk Resort. Kouzzina by Cat Cora will feature a menu of Mediterranean-style cuisine that pays tribute to the chef’s Greek roots. The restaurant, to be owned and operated by Disney, is scheduled to open by fall 2009 in the space currently occupied by Spoodles.

“I am pleased to welcome Cat Cora and her engaging new concept for Kouzzina to the Walt Disney World Resort,” said Jay Rasulo, chairman, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts. “This collaboration between Cat and Disney represents a significant step in our ongoing commitment to offer unique culinary experiences and choices for our guests.”

As a Mississippi native born to a family of Greek restaurateurs, Cora grew up immersed in two different and flavorful cultures , and has taken from that unique background the kitchen “know-how” handed down through generations. The cuisine at Kouzzina (Greek for “kitchen” and pronounced “koo-zee-nah”) will showcase Mediterranean cuisine and Chef Cora’s philosophy to create simple yet sensational meals.

Cora said that the new restaurant will feature “time-honored recipes passed down from my ancestors, as well as my favorite Greek and Mediterranean dishes that my family loves.”

She began working with Disney in 2008 by creating a Disney Video on Demand series to showcase ways to help families develop more healthy eating habits. “I’m extremely excited about this latest extension of my relationship with Disney,” she said. “Together, we’re going to develop a truly amazing contemporary Mediterranean restaurant.”

The first and only female Iron Chef on Food Network's hit show “Iron Chef America,” Cora is a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America in New York. She also is Executive Chef for Bon Appétit magazine. In addition to hosting the instructional cooking demonstrations for Disney Video on Demand, Cora has been a featured chef at the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival and at Disney’s California Food & Wine Festival at Disneyland Resort.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Look Dawson, We're Making Our WDCC Debut!

The Great Mouse Detective, based on the children's book series Basil of Baker Street by Eve Titus, draws heavily on the tradition of Sherlock Holmes with a heroic mouse who consciously emulates the detective; Titus named the main character after actor Basil Rathbone, who is best remembered for playing Holmes in film. Interestingly, Sherlock Holmes also mentions "Basil" as one of his aliases in the Conan Doyle story The Adventure of Black Peter.

The main characters are all mice and rats
living in Victorian London. The layouts were done on computers, and the use of video cameras made a digital version of pencil testing possible. The movie is also notable for its early use of computer generated imagery (CGI) for a chase scene that takes place in the interior of Big Ben. The movements of the clock's gears were produced as wire-frame graphics on a computer, printed out and traced onto animation cells where colors and the characters were added. The Great Mouse Detective is sometimes cited as the first animated film from Walt Disney Pictures to use CGI; in reality, 1985's The Black Cauldron has this distinction.

The Walt Disney Classics Collections is proud to announce the long-awaited WDCC Debut of Basil and Dr. Dawson. This boxed set Open Edition release was sculpted by Jacqueline Perreault Gonzales.

Special Update: Ruben has recently updated his blog, Masked Avenger Studios with concept sketches of Basil and Dr. Dawson (click on image at right).

You're Invited to a Wedding!

From one of the least portrayed weddings in all of Disney animation, with a bespectacled Toby Turtle and an hero-worshiping Skippy Rabbit as admiring attendants, dashing Robin Hood and lovely Maid Marian walk arm-in-arm after having tied the knot.

The second scene release from Robin Hood (1973) features Robin Hood and Maid Marian and making their WDCC Debut, Toby Turtle and Skippy Rabbit. The complete scene was sculpted by Bruce Lau. Robin Hood and Maid Marian are an Open Edition release and Toby Turtle and Skippy Rabbit are Limited to Production Year 2009.

For your viewing pleasure (courtesy of is the ending sequence from Robin Hood (1973):

Robin Hood ©Disney

Meet the Sheriff of Bullet Valley!

Sheriff of Bullet Valley is a Donald Duck comic story from October 1948, written and illustrated by Carl Barks.

This comic is probably the longest western story that Carl Barks ever wrote. Donald quotes classical western movies throughout
the story, as being his source of knowledge to guide his actions.

In this story Donald applies for a job as the Sheriff of Bullet Valley and his nephews plan on helping him despite how dangerous he tells them it is. They investigate the mysterious cattle theft from the Diamond Brand Ranch and find out that the thief is none other than Blacksnake McSquirt. It's a fight to the finish when Donald finally defeats Blacksnake.

In "Sheriff of Bullet Valley", Barks caricatured himself on a wanted
poster. In an interview by Michael Barrier from May 30, 1971, Barks said: "That caricature originated in the old Disney studio days in the gag sheets that us guys used to draw of each other
and circulate around. Some of the guys took to drawing me with
this tremendous big schnoz, so I just copied that old caricature."

Sheriff of Bullet Valley, sculpted by Bruce Lau is the second release in the Classic Comics Series and Limited to Production Year 2009. Sheriff of Bullet Valley joins previously released Pirate Gold the first release in the Classic Comics Series featuring Donald Duck and Yellow Beak. Sculpted by Bruce Lau, Pirate Gold was Limited to Production Year 2008.

Third Quarter Sneak Peek: Runaway Brain

Mickey’s in a monstrous mess, thanks to the manic meddling of a mad scientist named Dr. Frankenollie.

While looking to earn money for a trip to Hawaii, Mickey takes a few hours of mindless work,’ never expecting to have his brain switched into the body of a destructive monster name Julius and vice versa.

How will Mickey escape this nightmare??? Mickey Mouse (as you’re not used to seeing him and) Dr. Frankenollie make their WDCC debut from Runaway Brain (1995).

Runaway Brain is an Academy Award nominated seven-minute short-subject animated primarily by Walt Disney Feature Animation Paris that was released on August 11, 1995 attached to the live-action feature A Kid in King Arthur's Court. It was the first time that Mickey Mouse was seen on the big theatrical screen since the 1990 featurette The Prince and the Pauper released five years earlier. The idea for creating a new Mickey Mouse short was to have it ready for Mickey's 65th birthday in 1992 but, obviously, that deadline came and went.

Several story ideas were being considered when animator Andreas Deja remembered that, "Someone at a meeting, and almost out of boredom, drew Mickey Mouse as a monster. Someone else saw it and said, 'That's hysterical!' All of a sudden, the idea came up to do a satire of Frankenstein."

There are multiple layers though out the entire film. While the cartoon does satirize the film version of Frankenstein, the mad doctor is named "Dr. Frankenollie," a tribute to the names of two of Disney's legendary animators, Frank Thomas and Ollie Johnston. The design of the character is a spitting image of Professor Ecks, a mad scientist monkey Mickey tangled with in one of his classic 1930s comic strip adventures drawn by Floyd Gottfredson. Dr. Frankenollie's laboratory is located at 1313 Lobotomy Lane. Disneyland's street address is 1313 Harbor Boulevard.

Mickey Mouse, sculpted by Patrick Romandy-Simmons is an Open Edition release. Dr. Frankenollie, sculpted by Dusty Horner is a Numbered Limited Edition of 750.

For your viewing pleasure (courtesy of is the animated short Runaway Brain (1995):

Runaway Brain ©Disney

Sorcerer Mickey: 2nd Release in Disney Artist Series

The Disney Artist Series made its debut in October, 2008 with the release of Tinker Bell, a Limited Edition of 2,000 available through all Authorized Walt Disney Classics Collection Dealers and the Walt Disney Theme Parks.

Magical and mystical, Mickey Mouse (as Sorcerer Mickey from Fantasia) grandly commands all the mighty powers of enchantment. Sorcerer Mickey is Limited to Production Year 2009 and the Second Release in the Disney Artist Series, designed by Disney Master Artist David Pacheco.

Sculpted by Dusty Horner, the backstamp will bear the Disney Artist Series Logo and Dave Pacheco’s imprinted signature.

Aloha from Hawaii!

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©.

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 is proud to announce Hawaii as the latest installment in very popular It's a Small World Series. The Hawaiian Girl and her Leaf Prop are scheduled for a May 2009 release.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Kicking Off CEL-EBRATION!'s 25th Year!

Mark your Calendars! March 21st, CEL-EBRATION! Animation Gallery is hosting a Very Special Signing Event with Special Guests, Kent Melton and Tony Cipriano!

Kent Melton was drawing since the age of one. An artist of natural talent, he grew up in rural Southern Missouri, drawing anything that inspired him from magazines and television shows. Not surprisingly, one of his favorite childhood television shows was The Wonderful World of Disney.

Pursuing his art interests, Mr. Melton moved to California, working on projects for live-action films. It was then he was called upon by the Walt Disney Company to sculpt animation character models (maquettes) for the feature animated film Aladdin. From that moment on, Mr. Melton has made countless maquette sculptures, entrusted by the animators in bringing their two-dimensional drawings into a three-dimensional world.

In 1992, his reputation as a great character sculptor had spread across the Walt Disney Company. It was then that the Walt Disney Classics Collection (WDCC) of porcelain-based sculptures was starting up. They recruited Mr. Melton to be a sculptor for the collection, of which Mr. Melton has become a key member of that team. If you've seen the Walt Disney Classics Collection, then you've seen the work of sculptor Kent Melton. Kent has sculpted more than half of all WDCC sculptures produced to date -- including many collector favorites!

Right out of college, Tony Cipriano secured a position with Walt Disney Feature Animation in Orlando, FL contributing his many skills as an animation 'clean up' and 'rough inbetweener.'

Intrigued by the sculptural work of Disney artists Kent Melton and Ruben Procopio, Tony began sculpting and created several maquettes for Walt Disney feature animated films, including Mulan, Tarzan and Brother Bear. Tony left animation in 1997 to pursue a full-time sculpting career.

In 2007, the Walt Disney Classics Collection released the Festival of Fools Scene from The Hunchback of Notre Dame which consisted of Quasimodo, Esmerelda and Clopin. This special signing event reunites the two sculptors behind this amazing grouping. Esmerelda was sculpted by Kent Melton and Quasimodo and Clopin by Tony Cipriano.

For a complete listing of each of their Walt Disney Classics Collection releases please visit Kent's Sculptor Listing Page and Tony's Sculptor Listing Page.

Event Information

30 Monmouth Street
Red Bank, NJ 07701

2:00-3:00pm Collectors 3D Forum at the Count Basie Theatre Patrons Lounge. Seating is limited, so RSVP's are a must!

3:00-5:00pm Meet and Great at CEL-EBRATION! Gallery.

To RSVP for the event, please call (732) 842-8489. CEL-EBRATION! Gallery is located at 30 Monmouth Street in Red Bank, NJ. Gallery hours are Wednesday through Saturday from 11:00am-5:00pm. For additional information, please visit their website at

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

True Originals: Walt Disney and Oswald the Lucky Rabbit

D23, the first official community for Disney fans was launched yesterday (03-10-09) and included at Boutique 23 was a General Limited-Edition figurine from the Walt Disney Classics Collection.

Before Mickey came to be, Oswald the Lucky Rabbit hopped to animated stardom from the pen and ink of the early Disney Brothers Studio. This dapper Walt Disney sculpture celebrates his seminal success with the happy-go-lucky hare.

Plussed with pewter ears, it is presented on custom hardwood base with inlaid porcelain plaque commemorating "Walt Disney and Oswald'' in a vintage art font. The sculpture can be removed from its base. Sculpted by renowned Disney artist Ruben Procopio, the sculpture is a General Limited Edition of 1,500.

400 of the General Limited Edition will be produced with an exclusive Walt Disney Archives Collection/D23 backstamp and ready to ship in July. This special backstamp version is available only at

The remaining portion of 1,100 will be available to authorized WDCC retailers and will begin shipping to them in September.

Special Update: Ruben has recently updated his blog, Masked Avenger Studios with concept sketches and unpainted resin images of Walt Disney and Oswald (click on image at left).

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Grandma Fa & Cri-Kee Providing "All the Luck We Need!"

In the most recent issue of Newsflash (Fall 2008/Winter 2009-Volume 16.4/17.1) collectors were treated to the upcoming release of Grandma Fa and Cri-Kee from Mulan (1998).

Scheduled to make their WDCC debut in May 2009, Grandma Fa and Cri-Kee are a Numbered Limited Edition (NLE) of 500. Grandma Fa is plussed with pewter hands and legs. Cri-Kee is pewter with brass antennae.

"I've Got All the Luck We Need!" sculpted by Patrick Romandy-Simmons, measures 6-1/2" and has a SRP of $160.00 US.

Grandma Fa and Cri-Kee make a great companion piece to the 2007 Open Edition releases of Matchmaker Mulan and Mushu. Matchmaker Mulan was sculpted by Margi Wray and Mushu was sculpted by Bruce Lau.

Special Update: Ruben has recently updated his blog, Masked Avenger Studios with concept sketches of Grandma Fa and Cri-Kee (click on image at right).

Celebrate the Launch of D23 this Weekend!

Your favorite walk is down Main Street, U.S.A., and your heart skips a beat at the sight of the world's most beloved mouse. You know the lyrics to every Disney song, and one of your favorite pastimes is wishing upon a star. You're a fan of all things Disney, and up until now you've had no official community to share your passion for Disney, to celebrate timeless Disney stories and traditions with other fans. That all changed today at The Walt Disney Company's Annual Shareholder Meeting in Oakland, California, when Disney President and CEO Bob Iger officially launched D23, the first official community for Disney fans.

Named in honor of the year 1923, when Walt left Kansas City, headed for Hollywood and founded what would become the Disney Studios, D23 gives Disney fans VIP access to all things Disney through a brand-new website; Disney twenty-three, the club's beautiful quarterly magazine; and, in perhaps the most exciting news of all, the D23 Expo, a Disney fan mega event to be held at the Anaheim Convention Center this fall!

Dave Pacheco Product Release & Signing Celebrating the Launch of D23: The Official Community for Disney Fans

Special Guest: Disney Master Artist, Dave Pacheco
Date: Saturday, March 14, 2009
Time: 9 a.m. to 11 a.m.
Location: Disneyana Shop, Main Street, U.S.A.

Disney Master Artist Dave Pacheco will be on hand for a very special appearance and signing on Saturday, March 14, 2009. Dave will sign a selection of artwork, a t-shirt and a pin featuring some of Disney's most beloved characters, which he created for D23's stunning new advertising campaign. D23 - Disney's first official community for fans - celebrates the wonder and excitement that begin in 1923 when Walt Disney opened his studio in Hollywood.

The following items will be available as part of the product release & signing:

Deluxe Prints with D23 matte

Bandleader Mickey Deluxe Print - $40.00 (Dimensions: 14"x18")
Jiminy Cricket Deluxe Print - $40.00 (Dimensions: 14"x18")

Tinker Bell Deluxe Print - $40.00 (Dimensions: 14" x 18")

"Made For Me and You" T-shirt - $24.95

Bandleader Mickey Pin - $12.95 (Limit TWO (2) per Guest)
(Specially created to celebrate the launch of D23. See Wristband Guidelines Below. Available while supplies last.)

D23 Membership Exclusive Charter Member Certificate Custom Matte & Frame - $89.95 $89.95
See Cast Member for Details

D23 Disney Twenty Three Magazine Premiere Issue - $15.95

Special Preview

This weekend, guests will have the opportunity to preview a prototype of the Walt Disney Classics Collection sculpture of Walt Disney with Oswald the Lucky Rabbit ("True Originals").

Sculpted by renowned Disney artist Ruben Procopio, "True Originals" is plussed with pewter ears and presented on custom hardwood base with inlaid porcelain plaque commemorating "Walt Disney and Oswald'' in a vintage art font (the sculpture can be removed from base).

400 of the General Limited Edition will be produced with an exclusive Walt Disney Archives Collection/D23 backstamp.

You do not need to be a member of D23 to attend this event. For more information regarding D23, please visit

Below is a video ad for Disney’s new Official Community for Fans D23 (courtesy of If features clips from Disney movies plus Disney Cast Members and Guests talking about some of the greatest Disney moments in their lives.

Wristband guidelines are as follows:

Wristbands will be distributed entitling bearers to the opportunity to purchase the D23 pin released in association with the product release and signing. Wristbands for pin will be distributed near the West Esplanade Guest Information Kiosk one hour prior to park opening until one hour past the opening of Disneyland® park. Wristbands will then be available at the location until 12 Noon or while supplies last. In addition, holding a place in line for others in your party will not be allowed. Guests who wish to obtain a wristband to purchase a pin must be present when the line forms or they will be escorted to the back of the line. We ask that you do not queue up prior to 6 a.m. Wristbands will be valid for the purchase of the pin at the designated merchandise location until 1:00 P.M. on the day of distribution. Wristbands are limited. At 1:00 P.M. any remaining pins will be available for purchase at the designated merchandise location by persons who have not previously purchased the pin on the day of release. Theme park admission required. Lost, stolen or damaged wristbands will not be replaced. Wristbands have no cash value. Restrictions apply. Subject to change without notice.

Merchandise available while supplies last. A limited number of pieces will be available on the day of the event. We ask that only two (2) items be signed per Guest. We ask that you bring no personal items to be signed. Event merchandise must be purchased on the day of release at the event location. Valid Disneyland® Resort receipt may be required. Artist signing is subject to space and time availability and is not guaranteed. Artist will only sign their respective merchandise purchased on the day of the event only. Event information subject to change without notice. Separate admission is required to enter Disneyland® Resort theme parks.

Monday, March 9, 2009

All Sewn Up!: Dry Retirement of the Dress Mannequin from Cinderella

Honored today (03-09-09) as a dry retirement is the Dress Mannequin from Cinderella.

The Dress Mannequin made its WDCC debut in February, 2005 (the 55th Anniversary) as an Open Edition release with Cinderella ("Oh, Thank You So Much!), Lucifer ("Catnap Interrupted") and Mice in Sewing Basket ("Surprise!"). The Dress Mannequin includes Cinderella's Sewing Book as part of the sculpture. In February 2006, Gus & Jaq ("Tiny Tailors") was released as a companion piece to Lucifer.

This is the second sculpture from that scene release to be retired. The Mice in Sewing Basket were retired in August, 2007. Cinderella was sculpted by Rafaello Vecchione; the Dress Mannequin, Lucifer and the Mice in Sewing Basket was sculpted by Chris Peterson and the Gus & Jaq miniature was sculpted by Jacqueline Perreault Gonzales.

A dry retirement means that there is no longer product in the warehouse. Please check with your authorized dealer for availability.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Review: Hawaiian Holiday

The most anticipated release for me for First Quarter 2009 was the scene release from Hawaiian Holiday (1937). The set finally arrived this past week and I couldn't be any more happier.

Hawaiian Holiday is one of those rare occassions when all of Disney’s Fab Five shared the screen in the same cartoon short. The gang is on vacation. The Mice have little to do with the plot but Donald's hula (Donald learns why you don't wear a grass skirt near a fire), Goofy's attempts at surfing (Goofy has some surfing problems) and Pluto's encounters with a starfish & crab (Pluto and a starfish have a tiff, followed by an encounter with a hermit crab) are very enjoyable.

This short translated perfectly into 3D. Each character is perfect sculpted! It's really hard to pick a favorite. Jacqueline Perreault Gonzales did an amazing job in bringing this short to life. The coloring and plussing (at least for me) is very reminiscent of the Snow White Dancing Scene (released between November 1994 and August 1995), which featured Snow and the Seven Dwarfs. Ironically, both films were released in 1937.

I specifically like the coloring used for Mickey and Minnie's face and the way it was applied, a soft flesh-tone coloring with a slight hint of blush near the corners of each of their mouths. The pose chosen for each compliment one another very well and displaying Minnie at a slight angle (vs. straight on as in the official images provided), she interacts more with the sculpture of Mickey and gives a more realistic feel of her doing the hula to the strings of his guitar. These two could have held their own released as a boxed set if so desired.

The Donald sculpture not only gives us the character of Donald but the added bonus of having him sitting in the boat (giving the scene some depth) plus two additional characters, the crab and starfish (could these be the same two that Pluto encountered?). Like Doc in the Snow White Dancing Scene, both Donald's ukulele and Mickey's guitar are plussed with brass strings. They could have cheated and painted the strings in a darker coloring but plussing such as this, is what sets WDCC apart from other collectibles. The body of the crab (except for his two front legs) is made of pewter.

Goofy rounds out the scene in his retro bathing suit holding his classic long board. This is my favorite Goofy released to date. Goofy is plussed with nylon hair and the surf board is made of resin. Hopefully we'll see this scene completed with the future release of Pluto and an Opening Title. This is my favorite scene to date of any combination of the Fab Five characters. It's a feel good/put a smile on your face scene and one that was worth the wait in seeing done!

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

Hawaiian Holiday ©Disney

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Fab 5 Go Hawaiian Giclee

Collectors Editions has released a giclee that I'm very excited about - Fab 5 Go Hawaiian from Disney's animated short, Hawaiian Holiday (1937) featuring Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Goofy, Donald Duck and Pluto. I think the pairing of this giclee with the recently released Hawaiian Holiday Scene from the Walt Disney Classics Collection would make an awesome grouping!

Upon my first visit to the Polynesian Resort at Walt Disney World, as I approached the elevator in the lobby, my eye immediately went to a hand-painted cel of Mickey and Minnie from this short. I was unfamiliar with the Disney shorts at that time, so did some research upon returning home to find this short not only contained Mickey and Minnie but the rest of the Fab Five as well. I had always hoped WDCC would release a scene from this short (still keeping fingers crossed we see Pluto to complete the scene in the near future), so you can imagine how excited I was with the 2009 First Quarter announcements :) If that wasn't aware, this year Collectors Edition also announced something from this short as well. Does it get any better than this??

I didn't waste any time in ordering this giclee. Mine is from the general edition size of 95 and referred to as a B.A.T. (Thanks Very Much Michael!!) which means Bon a Tirer. Here an “official” definition of B.A.T. (French of course…):

When the artist is satisfied with the graphic from the finished plate, he works with his printer to pull one perfect graphic and it is marked "Bon a Tirer," meaning "good to pull." The printer then compares each graphic in the edition with the BAT before submitting the graphic to the artist for approval and signature.

There are in fact two editions of this image that were done, and the following details should help to disseminate between the two:

Animation Art Limited Edition

Collectors Editions premiered this painting and limited edition at Animation Art Limited event in Schaumburg, IL during a VIP Trevor Carlton event on December 5, 2008. This edition is limited to 30 and measures 15" X 25-1/2". The original painting was sold at this event and fully disclosed to all in attendance that the 30 piece edition was the debut and unique to Animation Art Limited. Additionally, it was announced that a general edition of this painting would be released as part of the first Disney Fine Art releases in 2009.

2009 Winter Disney Fine Art General Release

This limited edition has a general edition size of 95 and measures 22" X 35".

About the Artist

Monte Trevor Carlton was born in 1972 in Olympia, Washington State. Although he took up painting in high school, the first artistic passion that Trevor embraced was acting. He decided to forgo an art scholarship in favor of attending a dramatic arts scholarship at Skagit Valley College.

Trevor next attended the Lee Strasberg Acting Workshop. The following year he relocated to Los Angeles to pursue an acting career. Amidst the chaos of auditions and callbacks, Trevor paid the bills by working in a custom furniture store, specializing in antiquing and faux finish designs.

It was here that a style was born. Using reclaimed lumber as his "canvas", he started painting images of vintage Americana with subjects ranging from pop icon celebrity to the hey day of jazz.

After numerous gallery shows in Los Angeles and private commissions he has now combined his unique style to that most American of symbols, MICKEY MOUSE. Along with a series of classic lobby card paintings, he has also created a performance piece that has him painting a large canvas of our favorite Disney characters in a matter of minutes.

“I want people to imagine they found my artwork in some old run down movie theater basement. Unpreserved and forgotten, an antique bearing the nostalgia and character that only time can bring.” ~ Trevor Carlton

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Space Suit Figment Signing Event Update! has updated their website with more information regarding the upcoming release of Space Suit Figment!

Event: Space Suit Figment: Journey Into Imagination, from Walt Disney Classics Collection
Special Guest: Jacqueline Perreault Gonzales
Event Date: Saturday, April 25, 2009
Event Times: 11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. & 3:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Event Location: Art of Disney, Epcot®

Product Information

Sculpted by Jacqueline Perreault Gonzales, Space Suit Figment: Journey Into Imagination is a Numbered Limited Edition (NLE) of 750 that captures all the star-searching playfulness of Figment as he hitches a ride in outer space, just as in the attraction. Hand-crafted of fine porcelain, Figment features a hand-made glass portion on his helmet with kiln-fired metallic paint on his space suit. Figment stands 6 1/2" high and retails for $140.00 US.

Event Information

On Saturday, April 25, Jacqueline Perreault Gonzales (pictured at left), who will be on hand for a special appearance and signing the newest Disney Theme Park Exclusive sculpture from Walt Disney Classics Collection, Space Suit Figment: Journey Into Imagination. Jacqueline will be appearing at the Art of Disney, in Epcot® from 11:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m. & 3:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.

For a complete listing of Jacqueline's Walt Disney Classics Collection releases and her bio, please visit her Sculptor Listing page.

Pre-Order Opportunity

A limited number will be available for pre-order. To pre-order, please contact Walt Disney Event Services at (407) 827-7600. Walt Disney Event Services is open Monday–Friday from 9:00am – 12:00pm & 1:00pm – 5:00pm.

Guests may only purchase up to two (2) Space Suit Figments. All orders will be processed and charged on Friday, April 24th. Please allow 2-4 weeks for shipping.

All pre-ordered sculptures will be signed by Jacqueline Perreault Gonzales.