Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween!

Click Image for Larger View

Today is the day when pumpkin shells cast evil spells and witches, ghosts and goblins by the score, who will be knocking at your front door!

It reminds me of my favorite Halloween shorts and unpacking each year, one of my favorite WDCC releases .. Trick or Treat!

The Walt Disney Classics Collection put everyone into the "Halloween Spirit" in Fall 2001 with the release from the 1952 animated short, "Trick or Treat," one of the most beloved and well-remembered of the Duck cartoons. Trick or Treat marked Witch Hazel's debut and the first screen depiction of trick or treating.

Huey, Dewey and Louie visit Donald's house for Hallowe'en, but Donald turns the tricks on them. Sorry to see that Donald Duck is playing tricks on his nephews, Witch Hazel sets out to help them have the happiest Halloween ever. And if the boys "Unca" Donald doesn't want to give out any treats, he better be aware the tricks Witch Hazel has brewing in her cauldron!

Click Image for Larger View
It was this moment that the Walt Disney Classics Collection depicted in their scene release which consisted of Donald's Nephews (dressed respectively as a ghost, witch and devil), Witch Hazel and a very detailed Cauldron Base where Witch Hazel begins to brew her potion. The complete scene was sculpted by Chris Peterson.

Witch Hazel's Spell: "Double double, toil and trouble. Fire burn and cauldron bubble. Eye of needle, tongue of shoe, hand of clock that points at two... This is the real thing you know, right out of Shakespeare."

The 'Trick or Treat' Scene (Witch Hazel, Donald's Nephews (Huey, Dewey and Louie) and Cauldron Base) was honored with retirement on Friday, October 29, 2004. The Opening Title was NOT retired.

 Click Each Image for a Larger View

As a special treat, below is the animated short for your viewing pleasure (courtesy of

So grab your favorite witch's brew and some candy treats and Enjoy!

Trick or Treat is a Donald Duck Cartoon ©Disney

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Lyrics to 'Trick or Treat'

"Trick or Treat" is also the title for the great bouncy song in this cartoon written by Paul Smith. It is sung by the great "Mellomen" which included the voice actor Thurl Ravenscroft. I promise you will be singing this all evening and into tomorrow, once you hear it ]:)

Trick or Treat
Trick or Treat
Trick or Treat for Halloween
Better give a treat that's good to eat
If you want to keep life serene

Trick or Treat (Trick or Treat)
Trick or Treat (Trick or Treat)
Trick or Treat the whole night through
Little scalawags
With fiendish gags
Can make it tough on you

So when ghosts and goblins by the score
Ring the bell on your front door
Better not be stingy or
Your nightmares will come true

Trick or Treat
Trick or Treat
Trick or Treat for Halloween
When the pumpkin shells
Cast evil spells
Your little white house turns green
Your little white house turns green
Your little white house turns green

Every post
Is a ghost
If you've got a witch's brew
And if you want your gate to circulate
Ho ho! We can do that too!

Trick or Treat
Trick or Treat
Trick or Treat
Trick or Treat
Trick or Treat for Halloween
When ghosts and goblins by the score
Ring the bell on your front door
You'd better not be stingy or
Your nightmares will come true

So when ghosts and goblins by the score
Ring your bell or pound your door
Better not be stingy or


Latest Press Release from 'Disney Twenty Three'!


Diane Disney Miller Gives Fans a Sneak Peek Of The New Snow White Exhibit At The Walt Disney Family Museum

Go Behind The Scenes With Epic Mickey Creative Director Warren Spector And Discover How Disney Creates Blockbuster Video Games

Exclusive Interviews With Alan Menken And Sarah Silverman

BURBANK, Calif. – October 30, 2012 – It’s time to get your game on, as the winter issue of Disney twenty-three, the flagship magazine of D23: The Official Disney Fan Club, takes readers on a vivid journey through the world of Wreck-It Ralph, the sensational new film from Walt Disney Feature Animation. The hilarious and touching film begs the question, What would happen if a video game bad guy decided he was tired of being bad?

Available nationwide on Nov. 13, Disney twenty-three answers this question through exclusive interviews with director Rich Moore, writer Phil Johnston, star Sarah Silverman and more. The naturally animated Silverman also offers her personal take on getting toon-ed into the sassy character Vanellope von Schweetz. Along with the new issue, D23 Gold Members will receive a special member-only gift: a vibrant set of pixelated Wreck-It Ralph window clings featuring Ralph, Fix-It Felix, Jr. and the Nicelanders.

Wreck It Ralph is an imaginative, heartfelt adventure that connects many of our favorite classic video game characters with a host of new ones and is sure to delight Disney fans of all ages,” said Steven Clark, head of D23: The Official Disney Fan Club. “In the winter issue, we invite D23 Members to get in the game as we take them behind the scenes with the stars and creative team of the film.”

The winter issue also celebrates the opening of the new Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs exhibit at the Walt Disney Family Museum with an in-depth look at the collection with a peek from Walt’s daughter, Diane Disney Miller, and an exclusive interview with Snow White’s live-action reference model, Marge Champion. Plus, Epic Mickey creative director Warren Spector writes about digging into the Walt Disney Archives to create blockbuster Disney video games.

Disney twenty-three also offers the latest on exciting new projects from the world of Disney and a look at some celebrated classics. In its pages, Disney fans will be able to:

  • Take to the stage as D23’s Billy Stanek and Radio Disney DJ Jake Whetter step into roles in Newsies and Mary Poppins on Broadway
  • Learn “30 Thing You Just Might Not Know About Epcot” from never-built attractions to roaming eight-foot-tall dolls
  • Enter the Magic Kingdom for a look at Walt Disney World’s spectacular Fantasyland expansion
  • Get answers to “23 Questions” with The Little Mermaid, Aladdin and Newsies composer Alan Menken
  • Enjoy a tour D23 Presents Treasures of the Walt Disney Archives and see some of the iconic pieces now on display at The Ronald Reagan Presidential Library & Museum  
In conjunction with the release of winter issue of Disney twenty-three, will feature original and exclusive stories that complement the contents of D23’s beautiful, glossy magazine. Only available on, beginning November 13:

  • Exclusive outtakes and insights from Warren Spector’s revelations about the creation of Disney video games.
  • In celebration of The Lion King on Broadway’s 15th anniversary, Julie Taymor and Thomas Schumacher reflect on the opening night of what has become the fifth-longest running show on Broadway.
  • Expanded interviews and behind-the-castle-walls photos of the Fantasyland expansion at Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom 
Disney twenty-three is delivered directly to the doorstep of all D23 Gold Members, along with a special gift.  Disney twenty-three magazine is also available at retail locations across the country for $15.95, and can also be purchased online at and throughout the Disneyland® and Walt Disney World® Resorts.

D23: The Official Disney Fan Club celebrates the remarkable past, present and future of Disney, taking its name from 1923, the year Walt Disney founded his world-famous company. D23 brings its members a host of exclusive benefits, including a weekly e-mail newsletter; an array of discounts and special offers; free gifts throughout the year; and exclusive, member-only special events.

Disney fans can join the world’s only Official Disney Fan Club by visiting, or at select shops at the Disneyland® Resort, the Walt Disney World® Resort and To keep up with all the latest D23 news and events, follow “DisneyD23” on Twitter, YouTube and Facebook.

History of the Haunted Mansion

Back when Anaheim was a sleepy town filled with orange groves, Walt envisioned a haunted mansion for the "Mickey Mouse Park" he planned to build near his California film studio. When that small park morphed into the larger Disneyland in the mid-1950s, a haunted house concept remained part of the plans, but never made it past the drawing boards.

According to Marty Sklar, vice chairman and principal creative executive at Walt Disney Imagineering, the Haunted Mansion spawned many ideas and went through a number of revisions during its long gestation period. Like the Pirates of the Caribbean, the Disney creative team initially designed the attraction as a walk-through experience. The plans included an old sea captain's seaside manor and a more unsettling "Bloodmere Manor" concept with some bloody shenanigans. The Headless Horseman even galloped his way into one of the plotlines.

The treatments piled up, and a slew of Imagineers developed a gaggle of illusions and effects through the years. When the project finally got the green light in the late 1960's (it opened in 1969), Sklar said that the story was in danger of getting lost amid the effects. Since Imagineering rule number one is that the storytelling is paramount, it was up to Imagineer X. Atencio to cobble together a coherent story.

"There was a sign I created in 1963 that keyed the whole thing," Sklar explains. After Walt came back from a trip to London, Sklar asked him what he was doing overseas. "He said that he was searching old mansions and manor houses for ghosts that didn't want to retire." Even though there was no consensus about the attraction, Walt went ahead and had the exterior of Disneyland's Haunted Mansion built in 1962. Inspired by Walt, Sklar created a large help wanted sign inviting ghosts that wanted to continue practicing their trade in active retirement at the mansion to send their resumes to the "Ghost Relations Dept." The sign hung for many years in front of the empty building. "When X. Atencio started working on the project," Sklar says, "the sign became the thread of the Haunted Mansion."

Even with Atencio's focus, Sklar says that there were many different ideas about what the Haunted Mansion should be. The attraction was the first major theme park project developed after Walt died, and without his final say, many of the Imagineers clashed over its direction. "Marc Davis and Claude Coats polarized attitudes," Sklar explains. Davis, one of Disney's "Nine Old Men" of animation, wanted a lighter tone, while background artist Coats pushed for a scarier attraction. "In the end, Marc's cartoony attitude carried the day," says Sklar. "And he probably pushed it in the right direction."

Still, some of Coats' surreal, spookier backgrounds remain evident in the early scenes of the ride. Some of the other Imagineers who lent their ideas to the Haunted Mansion project through the years and whose touch can be seen in the final version include:

  • Rolly Crump-- An artist and magic aficionado. His love of stage magic and illusions inspired effects such as the "Pepper's Ghost" trick used in the Grand Hall and hitchhiking ghosts scenes.
  • Yale Gracey-- A mechanical genius and animator, Sklar says that he was a tinkerer who loved to play around with technology. Gracey and Crump developed the "Leota effect" that brings Madame Leota to life in the Seance Room.
  • Walt Disney-- While Walt passed away before work began in earnest on the interior of the attraction, he played a major role in guiding the project along. One of his most important contributions was his insistence, despite the protests of most other Imagineers, that the exterior of the building remain pristine so as not to disrupt his beloved Disneyland. According to Sklar, Walt said, "Don't worry about it. We'll take care of the outside; the ghosts will take care of the inside."
The attraction opened at the Magic Kingdom in 1971, Tokyo Disneyland in 1983, Disneyland Paris as Phantom Manor in 1992. For each of these parks, the Haunted Mansion is an original attraction.The Haunted Mansion was an opening day attraction at Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom, opening in 1971. This attraction (pictured at left) was developed at the same time as the Disneyland version, resulting in a very similar experience to the Disneyland version, though the slightly larger show building allowed the addition of several new scenes. The attraction was placed in Liberty Square, a small land that was a tribute to colonial America, as the Magic Kingdom did not have a New Orleans Square. Thus, the Mansion was given a Dutch Gothic Revival style based on older northeastern mansions, particularly those in older areas of Pennsylvania and in the Hudson River Valley region of New York.

At Tokyo Disneyland the Mansion was placed in Fantasyland and was a near complete clone of the Magic Kingdom version. The only exterior differences from the Magic Kingdom are two bronze griffin statues guarding the main gates, as well as the left bottom and top windows being both smashed open, and the top having some velvet curtains hanging out. The narration is in Japanese.At Disneyland Paris, the attraction goes by a different name, Phantom Manor (pictured at right).

Courtesy of is a two-part clip on the History of the Haunted Mansion below:

Part I

Part II

Disney's Haunted Mansion Attraction is ©Disney

Monday, October 29, 2012

Disney's Halloween Treat!

While surfing the net, I came across mention of a Disney Halloween Special entitled Disney's Halloween Treat. This classic TV Special first aired Halloween October 31, 1982 and was shown every year after that up until 1995 (which is ironic since that’s when Disney bought ABC).

Originally it was hosted by a talking Jack O’ Lantern and was the unusual length of 47 minutes (a little over an hour if you count the commercials). Around 1990 the special was edited and several pieces clipped in order to fit a 30 minute time slot. The Jack O’Lantern host was also replaced by the Magic Mirror from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. Below is a sample of some of the shorts and tidbits that were included in the special:
“Pluto’s Nightmare” - “Pluto’s Judgment Day” – Pluto (1935)
“Cat Nap Pluto” – Pluto & Figaro (1948)
“Puss Cafe” – Pluto, Milton & Richard (1950)
“Lonesome Ghosts” – Mickey, Donald, & Goofy (1937)
“Donald Duck and the Gorilla” – Donald, Nephews & Ajax (1944)
“Trick or Treat” - Donald & Nephews (1952)
“The Old Mill” – Silly Symphonies (1937)
“Malifacent the Dragon” – “Sleeping Beauty” (1959)
“The Blue Fairy” – “Pinnochio” (1940)
“Wizard’s Duel” – “The Sword in the Stone” (1963)
“The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” (1958)
“The Wicked Witch” – “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” (1937)
“The Bomb” – “Peter Pan” (1953)
“Two Bad Cats” – “Lady and The Tramp” (1955)
“The Butler” – “Aristocats” (1970)
“Cruella DeVil” – “101 Dalmatians” (1961)
“Night on Bald Mountain” – “Fantasia” (1940)
“Skeleton Dance” (colorized, used as background for end credits) – Silly Symphonies (1929)

The original cut of “Halloween Treat” starring the Jack O’Lantern host was released on VHS around 1984 but has been out of print ever since. The copies are few and exceedingly rare.

Below is the intro of Disney's Halloween Treat (courtesy of

Disney's Halloween Treat is ©Disney

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Looking Back: Pinocchio And A Few 'Friends'

Click Image for Larger View
Pinocchio happens to rank in my Top 5 favorite Disney films.  The story takes place in Italy, is a great story (the puppet Pinocchio's adventure to become a real boy) which involves many encounters with some unsavory characters...the conniving Honest John  (John Worthington Foulfellow) & Gideon, the puppet maker Stromboli and Lampwick, a naughty boy Pinocchio meets and befriends on his way to Pleasure Island.

The Walt Disney Classics Collection released these characters thru different formats between 1996 and 2006.

Click Image for Larger View
Pinocchio ("Good-bye Father") sculpted by Kent Melton was released as an Open Edition release in September, 1996 as part of a scene that included Geppetto ("Good-bye Son"), Jiminy Cricket ("Wait for Me, Pinoke!"), Figaro ("Say Hello to Figaro") and an Opening Title.  The scene (all except the Opening Title) was retired in November, 1998.

The sculpture captures the innocence of Pinocchio after he has been brought to life by the Blue Fairy and skips off to his first day at school.  Little did he know the adventure (or trouble) he would come to face.

However the naive Pinocchio is spotted by con artist Honest John and Gideon who quickly decide to sell the living puppet for money!

Click Image for a Larger View
John Worthington Foulfellow (better known as Honest John) and Gideon were released in April 2003 as the Fourth (and Final) release in the Duos Series.

"Felonious Fox" (Foulfellow) and "Feline Flunky" (Gideon) sculpted by Kent Melton were Limited to Production Year 2003.

This was easily my favorite release of this short-lived series.  Both characters personalities were captured perfectly, Honest John's sly, ever thinking ways to trick the poor, innocent Pinocchio and Gideon, the simple side-kick, who like Dopey, never uttered a word in the film.

Special Note: Foulfellow & Gideon were packaged and sold separately differing from previous year releases.  The Walt Disney Art Classics originally had targeted to sell these pieces as a set and at a suggested retail price that was in line with past releases in the Duo Series. However, in order to create the characters properly and do them in the true Walt Disney Classics Collection quality, the development of the sculptures came in at a higher cost. Therefore, not wanting to compromise on quality in order to reduce the cost, Walt Disney Art Classics decided to offer the pieces individually so as not to make them prohibitive cost-wise for collectors to purchase.

Click Image for a Larger View
Stromboli, the bearded puppet maker forces Pinocchio to perform onstage in order to make money. He speaks in an Italian accent, though he is identified as being a gypsy. He is the only villain of the film to be part of the official Disney Villains line-up. He is not seen again after the scene when Pinocchio is locked up, so his defeat remains unknown, but it is likely that his career suffered a slump without Pinocchio.

Stromboli made his WDCC debut as part of the Villains Series in 2002.  "You Will Make Lots Of Money For Me" sculpted by Dusty Horner, was available to active Society members by Special Order with Redemption Certificate from 05/15/02 thru 09/30/02.

This was one villain I actively campaigned for and couldn't have been any happier. The release wasn't like the majority of previous Villains Series releases, where the villain and environment (turret, bed, throne, etc.) were all one sculpture.  Stromboli came with a Table Accessory but was separate of the sculpture and allowed for more display possibilities or as in my case, just kept the table in the box and was able to work the stand alone Stromboli sculpture in with my other releases from that film.

Special Note: With Stromboli, collectors noticed the Stromboli and Table Accessory set were not numbered and wondered if there would be dealer displays available as with past Villains Series releases. Due to the complexity of matching numbers for both the sculpture and table accessory, they were not numbered and dealer displays (marked with a DD denoting Dealer Display) were made available.
Click Image for Larger View

Lampwick meets Pinocchio on the Coachman's stagecoach, and the two quickly become friends. Though Lampwick has never been to Pleasure Island, he has heard great things about the fun they can have there.

Lampwick ("Screwball in the Corner Pocket"), sculpted by Dusty Horner was released as an Open Edition release in September, 2006 as part of the Pool Table Scene (complete scene retired in March, 2011) which also included Pinocchio ("He's My Conscience"), Jiminy Cricket ("It Wouldn't Hurt You To Take Orders From Your Conscience") and Pool Table Base. 

I like how Lampwick's cocky, 'I don't care' attitude was captured and the sense of movement in the way he's holding the cue stick behind his back.  In recent years, there has been the removal of cigarettes in some Disney films, so was glad they didn't worry about political correctness and left him smoking on the cigar.  I like the detail of the cigar band which I never noticed until photographing the sculpture.  It's this attention to detail that sets the Walt Disney Classics Collection from other collectibles.

Nothing would make this Pinocchio fan any happier than if the Walt Disney Classics Collection would release the Coachman and Alexander :)

Click Each Image for a Larger View



Wednesday, October 17, 2012

WDCC 'Sold Out' Status Update!

Click Image for Product Detail
& Additional Angles
The Walt Disney Classics Collection announced the Sold Out status of the following: 

Roger, Anita, Pongo & Perdita from 101 Dalmatians
Cyclops from Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas
Click Image for Product Detail

"Tangled Up Romance" sculpted by Kent Melton was a 2006 Gold Circle Exclusive released in August, 2006 with an edition size of 1,000.  

This romantic entanglement featured a 45th Anniversary backstamp in honor of the film's release.

"Myopic Monster" sculpted by Patrick Romandy Simmons was Limited to Production Year 2011.

Please check with your Authorized Walt Disney Classics Collection Dealer for Availability.

Looking Back: 'Lost Scene' Dancing Snow White & Prince

Click Image for a Larger View
The Walt Disney Classics Collection released the second of two 'lost scene' moments from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs in March, 2006

The first was the Soup Scene (2000 Signature Series release) and another scene was deleted after the concept art phase.  The sequence was for the song "Someday My Prince Will Come." The artists had planned a fantasy scene where Snow White imagines herself waiting on a cloud when Prince Charming suddenly appears in a swan-shaped boat guided by cherub-like stars.  He steps out of the boat and onto the cloud where he dances with Snow White and the stars encircle them and shoot love arrows at them.  Finally, they kiss then together they climb into the swan boat and sail away.  

The song remained with Snow White sitting before the fire singing about her prince.  Without the clouds, stars, boat and Prince, we still see how she loves him and understand her desire to be reunited with him.

"A Dance Among the Stars" sculpted by Kent Melton was released as an Open Edition release capturing this deleted concept moment.  Snow White's veil and gown are plussed with opalescent paint. Her crown is painted with a shiny gold paint. 

This lost scene of Snow White and her Prince was profiled as part of the Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs Platinum DVD bonus features. The sequence was abandoned but was revisited in "Dance In The Clouds" in Sleeping Beauty.

Click Each Image for a Larger View

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Looking Back: The Headless Horseman and Ichabod Crane

Click Image for Larger View

"When thundering hoofs echo through the darkness in the tiny valley of Sleepy Hollow, fearful farmers pull the covers over their heads.

The only man foolish enough to be on the roads on such a night is Ichabod Crane. But is that ghastly figure bearing down on the teacher a wrathful spirit -- or just a jealous prankster?"

Click Image for Larger View
In my recent blog entry, fellow collector Mark mentioned displaying the Haunted Mansion tombstones with the Headless Horseman and Ichabod Crane set.  Honestly, had not thought about the tombstones with this set, so took some pictures yesterday and thought they worked really well. Hoping they do additional tombstones to display both with my Halloween Lilo and Stitch display and the Headless Horseman set.

This set is one I have displayed all year round.  One of the Walt Disney Classics Collection best releases.  In this set you have both an animated style horse and the sculpting of a life-like horse plus the look of utter fear in both Ichabod and his horse's face (and body expression) and true terror embodied by the Headless Horseman and his horse.

The Headless Horseman ("Haunting Horseman") and Ichabod and his Horse ("Terrified Teacher"), a NumberedLimited Edition (NLE) set of only 3,500, plussed with a stainless steel sword were sculpted by Kent Melton

Redemption forms were sent to active Walt Disney Collector Society members in July, 2000. Orders were taken on a first come-first serve basis. Sculptures began to ship in Fall, 2000.

Click Each Image for a Larger View