Friday, May 31, 2013

Looking Back: Fishing Mickey

A recent purchase was Mickey Mouse from The Simple Things, also the subject of my recent blog entry on crazing.

I have always liked this piece but there was always something else ahead of it at the time of its release. Now I'm going back and adding pieces I either passed or missed on. In spite of the crazing, I am very happy with the piece. It's both a fun and simple piece with a lot of great elements to it.

The pail handle is made of metal as the fishing pole. The pole also has real fishing line and a metal hook. Really like the detail of the bait inside the pail.

'Something Fishy' was an Open Edition release sculpted by Patrick Romandy-Simmons and released in March 1999. The sculpture was honored with retirement April, 2001. 

The Simple Things is a 1953 animated short subject, part of the Mickey Mouse Seriesproduced by Walt Disney Productions. Released by RKO Radio Pictures on April 18, 1953, the short is notable as the final regular entry in the Mickey Mouse theatrical cartoon series. Following this short, three special one-shot Mickey shorts were produced: Mickey's Christmas Carol (1983), The Prince and The Pauper (1990) and Runaway Brain (1995).

Click Each Image for a Larger View


Click Image for Larger View
Mickey's Glove/Hand Shows Signs of Crazing
Over the years, I have had many collectors email regarding crazing. Fortunately, I've never had it happen to one of my own.

I recently purchased Fishing Mickey from The Simple Things. At first glance, didn't even notice any signs of it. It wasn't until I began to photograph the sculpt that I could see crazing had begun on Mickey's hands/gloves.

What is Crazing? Crazing is the fine crackling one often sees on many fired porcelain pieces. Crazing is in the glaze and is not detectable when one rubs his or her fingernail over the crazing. Crazing occurs during production when the clay body and glaze cool at different rates. Crazing is a very common condition with virtually all glazed porcelain. Normal crazing or crackling that cannot be seen at a few feet does not typically affect the value of most very high quality art pottery pieces. Buyers should expect some crazing on all glazed or hand-painted art pottery.

Because the clay and glaze of a piece have different chemical compositions, they respond differently when heated in the fire or a kiln. Both clay and glaze will expand under heat, but they do so at different rates.  They also contract when cooled, again, at different rates. If the rates of contraction are too different, and the glaze contracts more than the clay, the glaze will crack under tension.

Most crazing occurs after the final firing of a piece, when the piece has cooled. Some crazing occurs at other times, during thermal stress or if the pottery is left exposed to extremely cold weather.

'Crazing' or 'craze lines' are not cracks. Crazing effects only the shiny glaze on the porcelain, leaving it with a cracked appearance or what looks like tiny lines running in random directions. Age and temperature conditions can cause crazing to occur in various degrees. It typically does not detract much from the value of a piece unless it has become stained beyond what the buyer considers appropriate or the crazing is so severe that it over shadows the beauty of the piece.  Normal crazing is usually an acceptable characteristic found in older porcelain.

This is the one disadvantage of buying a piece through eBay vs. an Authorized Dealer as you don't know how a piece was stored and can't always go by photos. Thankfully not too noticeable and hopefully won't get any worse.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Dream Store and Silent Auction Return to D23 Expo 2013


Special logo apparel, product debuts, artist signings, and a new silent auction
will highlight the Ultimate Disney Event for Fans and Families August 9-11

Click Image for Larger View
BURBANK and ANAHEIM, Calif. – May 30, 2013 – Bursting with D23 Expo-themed official merchandise and other specialty items from Disney Theme Park Merchandise, the D23 Expo Dream Store returns with something magical for Disney fans of all ages. From Disney-inspired apparel, art and collectibles, accessories, books and more, the D23 Expo Dream Store is a Disney enthusiast’s dream come true.  Highlights include:

Official D23 Expo Merchandise will allow Disney fans to take home a piece of the magic from this year’s expo, with an assortment of official D23 Expo inspired merchandise including tees, baseball cap, fleece, jewelry, drink ware, accessories, pins, and Vinylmation™.

Harvey Seatbeltbags
Click Image for Larger View
HARVEYS Seatbeltbags® are sure to make a statement at this year’s D23 Expo.  This new collection which features Sorcerer Mickey, classic D’s and more on some of HARVEYS most popular silhouettes, were created especially for this year’s 2013 Expo.

Disney Theme Park Merchandise will showcase some of its newest releases from Disney licensees and artists, including ACME Archives Limited, Dave Avanzino, Disney Design Group, Dooney & Bourke, Duffy the Disney Bear, Noah, Robert Olszewski, Precious Moments, Linda Rick, Jim Shore, and more.

Jim Shore
Click Image for Larger View
ACME Archives Limited invites guests to make the magic come alive in your home with the latest releases from Disney•Pixar, Disney Studio Art, Disney Limited, Disney Underground and more.

Disney Design Group highlights a new Signature Collection of artwork including four captivating pieces filled with imagination, which bring to life Sorcerer Mickey and some of Disney’s most beloved characters.

Disney Dream Collection and D23 Expo-Exclusive Jewelry will dazzle audiences with a sparkling new selection of fine jewelry debuting as part of this year’s D23 Expo and featuring classic Disney icons and characters like Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse and Tinker Bell, among others.

Dream Store Autograph Sessions will give Disney fans the opportunity to meet and greet some of their favorite authors, artists, Disney Legends and other notable celebrities. Autograph sessions will be posted daily at the D23 Expo Dream Store.

D23 Expo 2013 Silent Auction offers Disney enthusiasts the rare opportunity to bid on unique artifacts, artwork, experiences, props and more. The D23 Expo 2013 Silent Auction takes place Saturday, August 10, 2013. Tickets for the Silent Auction go on sale June 11, 2013, at 11:00 a.m. (Pacific) Separate D23 Expo admission is required.

Please continue to watch as we release more details about Dream Store merchandise offerings, silent auction lots, and more on and and on Facebook and Twitter at “DisneyD23”.

About D23 Expo 2013
The D23 Expo—The Ultimate Disney Fan Event—brings the entire world of Disney under one roof, providing attendees with unprecedented access to Disney films, television and theme parks. For the latest D23 Expo 2013 news, visit To be part of the D23 Expo conversation, make sure to follow @DisneyD23 and tag your tweets with #D23Expo.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Looking Back: Pedro from 'Saludos Amigos'

As many of family and friends know, I am a HUGE Cars fan! Not to mention, a HUGE fan of Susie, the Blue Coupe, the inspiration behind Cars and Cars 2

Why didn't Susie have a cameo? The flashback scene in Radiator Springs in Cars would have been the perfect spot for this. A missed opportunity to say the least :(

The Walt Disney Classics Collection released Susie, along with Casey, Jr. from Dumbo and Lil' Toot from Melody Time in November 2001. Though the series was never officially called the Transportation Series, its the name that was associated with this specific group of releases. 

Just as the Transportation Series was making their debut, the Walt Disney Collectors Society announced a Members Only release for 2002, Pedro from Saludos Amigos (picture above).

This group of releases has always been a favorite of mine. Crazy as it might sound, have three sculptures of Susie. One in my main collection, one on display in my garage (totally themed in Cars) and one in my office, along with a framed 78 RPM of the classic short narrated by Sterling Holloway.

With the upcoming release of Disney/Pixar Planes, had me looking at my sculpture of Pedro and decided to add a second one to my collection, to display along with Susie in my office at work. He landed yesterday!

Pedro is plussed with a pewter propeller (that actually spins) and leather strap on his mail bag. Notice the detail etched in his wings. This is what made the Walt Disney Classics Collection stand out, releasing some of the more obscure characters like Susie and Pedro.  

Click Each Image for a Larger View

Friday, May 24, 2013

Enesco Announces Additional Sell-Throughs!

Click Image for Additional Angles & Product Detail
The Walt Disney Classics Collection just announced the Sell-Through Status on the following releases:

Pegasus FamilyWalt Disney’s masterpiece Fantasia is a universe of animated treasures, including the celebrated segment that beautifully animates “The Pastoral Symphony.” 

Soaring serenely over the Olympian landscape is a majestic mother Pegasus who, once settled, tends to her multicolored babies in an elegant nest. 

The Pegasus Family ("Mythic Menagerie"), released in June, 2010, is a Numbered Limited Edition (NLE) of 500 and sculpted by Kent Melton. 

The Pegasus Family was the topic of one of my recent Looking Back blog entries.

Click Image for Additional Angles & Product Detail
Robin Hood and Maid Marian - From one of the least portrayed weddings in all of Disney animation, dashing Robin Hood and lovely Maid Marian walk arm-in-arm after having tied the knot.

Robin Hood and Maid Marian ("Merry Matrimony"), an Open Edition release, were released in May 2009 with Skippy Rabbit ("Attentive Attendant") and Toby Turtle ("Peering Page").  Skippy Rabbit and Toby Turtle were Limited to Production Year 2009.

Joining them in May, 2011 and June, 2011 respectively were Friar Tuck ("Bemused Badger") and Allan-a-Dale ("Rural Raconteur") both Limited to that Production Year.

Robin Hood, Maid Marian, Skippy, Toby and Friar Tuck were sculpted by Bruce Lau.  Alan-a-Dale was sculpted by Jacquline Perreault Gonzales.

Robin Hood and Maid Marian were retired in May, 2012. Skippy Rabbit and Toby Turtle sold through in August, 2009.  Friar Tuck and Allan-a-Dale are both still available.
Click Image for Additional Angles & Product Detail

Brer Rabbit and Brer FoxWalt Disney loved the animal fables penned by Joel Chandler Harris in which clever Brer Rabbit constantly outfoxed crafty Brer Fox—but this time it looks like it’s the hungry fox who has the upper hand.

But never fear, quick-thinking Brer Rabbit will have the last laugh. First brought to life through Disney animation, these fanciful folklore critters have been immortalized in the classic Disney Theme Park attraction Splash Mountain.

These fun-filled sculptures are plussed with a bronze fork and pewter neck on Brer Fox and a pewter pole for Brer Rabbit.

"Cooking Up a Plan" (Brer Rabbit) and "Last Laugh" (Brer Fox) are a two-piece box set, sculpted by Ruben Procopio and were Limited to Production Year 2010.

They were joined in June, 2011 by Brer Bear ("A Hankering for Hare"), sculpted by Patrick Romandy-Simmons.  Brer Bear, still available was Limited to Production Year 2011.

Click Image for Product Detail
Babette - In November, 2009, the Walt Disney Classics Collection released miniatures of the Enchanted Objects (Lumiere, Cogsworth, Mrs. Potts & Chip and Babette).  They were all initially introduced in full-size figurines but this release they were specifically designed to be in exact scale to Belle and Beast.

"Flirtatious Feather Duster" sculpted by Jacqueline Perreault Gonzales, an Open Edition release was plussed with pewter face and neck (feather portion of body is porcelain) and brass wire handle on back of her head.

Babette was retired in December, 2012.

Please check Authorized Walt Disney Classic Collection Retailers for availability.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Richard Sherman and Alan Menken Concert at D23 Expo 2013!

The two Academy Award®-winning composers share the stage for one night only performing “The Disney Songbook” at the D23 Expo 2013, Saturday, August 10

BURBANK, Calif. – May 23, 2013 – For one night only, two of the world’s most celebrated songwriters and composers will take to the stage for “Richard M. Sherman and Alan Menken: The Disney Songbook.” The concert will take place at the D23 Expo 2013 at the Anaheim Convention Center in the D23 Expo Arena on Saturday, August 10.

Together Sherman and Menken have won a combined 10 Academy Awards for their work with Disney, and have composed music and songs for more than three dozen Disney feature films, over two dozen Disney Park attractions and half a dozen Disney musicals on Broadway.

“I can’t express how excited I am that my esteemed friend Alan Menken and I will be sharing the same bill for the very first time,” said Sherman. “Alan is an incredible talent, and I know we’re both thrilled to be performing for Disney’s most ardent fans—they’re the best and I can’t wait to be a part of what promises to be a very special night for all of us.”

“Richard Sherman and I share so many things; our cherished association with The Walt Disney Company, the blessing of having the opportunity to share our musical talents with "children of all ages" and a genuine mutual admiration—but one thing we've never gotten to share is a concert stage,” said Menken. “This summer at the D23 Expo 2013, we will do just that. And I can't think of anyone I'd prefer to share that stage with. Richard, along with his brother Robert, wrote songs that filled my formative years with joy and fantasy. And, all these years later, I can say with complete honesty that there is no one I've met in our business who is more warm and generous than my friend and fellow songwriter, Richard Sherman.”

Admission to the concert will be on a first-come, first-served basis and is included in the price of a ticket to the D23 Expo. In addition to the 4,000-seat D23 Expo Arena, the concert will be simulcast into a 2,000-seat overflow theater inside the Convention Center.

Richard M. Sherman and his brother Robert B. Sherman composed some of the most beloved songs in the Disney canon. The Disney Legends won two Oscars® for their work on Mary Poppins, and during their decades–long association with Disney they wrote more than 200 songs for 27 films and two dozen television productions. They made unforgettable contributions to such Disney films as The Parent Trap, The Jungle Book, Bedknobs and Broomsticks, and the entire Winnie the Pooh series, as well as the family classic Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. They also penned beloved songs for Disney Parks including the theme songs for Walt Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room, it’s a small world, and Carousel of Progress. Richard wrote the song “Make Way for Tomorrow Today” for the blockbuster film Iron Man 2, and is working on a new stage musical based on Walt Disney’s 1967 animated film classic The Jungle Book, premiering this June at the Goodman Theater in Chicago.

With eight Academy Awards, Alan Menken has received more Oscars than any living person. He has written songs and scores for some of the world’s most beloved films: Tangled (Oscar nominee), Enchanted (three Oscar nominations) The Little Mermaid (two Oscar wins), Beauty and the Beast (two Oscar wins), Aladdin (two Oscar wins), Pocahontas (two Oscar wins), Hercules (Oscar nominee), The Hunchback of Notre Dame (Oscar nominee), Little Shop of Horrors (Oscar nominee), Home on the Range and Newsies. His song “Star Spangled Man,” was the patriotic anthem of the 2011 hit film Captain America: The First Avenger.

Menken’s Broadway successes include his 2012 Tony Award® for Newsies, plus The Little Mermaid (Tony Award nominee), Beauty and the Beast, Little Shop of Horrors, and Sister Act (Tony Award nominee). His other stage productions include King David, God Bless You Mr. Rosewater, The Hunchback of Notre Dame and his latest stage production Aladdin: The New Musical, opening next year. At Disney Parks, Menken added an exclusive ballad (“To Be Free”) to his song score for Aladdin: A Musical Spectacular at Disney California Adventure and penned “Compass of Your Heart,” the catchy theme song for the attraction Sinbad’s Storybook Voyage at Tokyo DisneySea.

Tickets for the D23 Expo are available at a discounted price for a limited time. Though June 15, tickets are $52 for a one-day adult admission and $42 for children 3–12. Tickets for members of D23: The Official Disney Fan Club are $45 for a one-day adult admission and $37 for children. Multi-day money-saving tickets are also available for both D23 Members and the general public, and D23 Members can save as much as $144 off the price of admission, based on the purchase of four three-day tickets at the D23 Member rate before June 15. For more information on tickets and the ticket pricing structure for members and general admission, visit

About D23 Expo 2013
The D23 Expo—The Ultimate Disney Fan Event—brings the entire world of Disney under one roof, providing attendees with unprecedented access to Disney films, television, and theme parks. For the latest D23 Expo 2013 news, visit To be part of the D23 Expo conversation, make sure to follow @DisneyD23 and tag your tweets with #D23Expo.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Disney Toon Planes: New Trailer & Screen Caps!

Planes is an upcoming spin-off of Pixar's animated Cars franchise and the first film in the Planes trilogy. 

Pixar Animation Studios, the production team for the Cars movies, will not be producing the film. Instead, it will be produced by DisneyToon Studios. It was initially set to be released as a direct-to-video film, but will now be theatrically released by Walt Disney Pictures on August 9, 2013 in the Disney Digital 3D and RealD 3D formats.

Despite the fact that Pixar isn't producing the film, John Lasseter, being chief creative officer of both Pixar and Walt Disney Animation Studios (and director of Cars and Cars 2), will be one of the producers.

Latest Theatrical Trailer

Screen Caps
(Click Each Image for a Larger View)

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Disney/Pixar Announces That A New ‘Toy Story’ Toon Is Coming To TV This Fall!

Is Pixar making Toy Story 4? It’s possible. But we now know they’re at least making a fourth Toy Story Toon, following in the steps of Hawaiian Vacation, Small Fry and Partysaurus Rex
The short is called Toy Story of Terror and will premiere on ABC this Halloween, making it Pixar’s first TV special … Toy Story of Terror won’t be a short film like the other Toy Story Toons. It’s a 30 minute special directed by Angus MacLane (Small Fry) described as follows:
Bonnie is on a road trip to go see grandma with her mom and the toys are in the trunk. Mom gets a flat tire and they have to spend the night at a motel and all kinds of chaos ensues.
The director says Jessie is the man character this time around, though everyone else will show up too, including new characters like Combat Carl, voiced by Carl Weathers. Plus fans will find influences from films like Psycho, Aliens, and Predator.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

D23: The Official Disney Fan Club Launches Reimagined D23.Com Website June 17th!


Members Will Have Online Access to Vast Array of
Exclusive Disney Content

Disney to Celebrate Expansion With New Free D23 Membership Level

BURBANK, Calif. – May 16, 2013 – On June 17, D23: The Official Disney Fan Club, will launch a massive reimagining of website, opening up the wonderful worlds of Disney like never before to its members. The site will provide access to newly digitized content that delves deeply into The Walt Disney Company’s vault of material, past and present, along with exclusive glimpses of the future. The new gated content will be free to current D23 Members; plus D23 is launching a new free level of membership, which will include access to this incredible content. will continue to offer the latest Disney news free to all guests who visit the site. But D23 Members can unlock even more magic in each section by logging in and accessing content whenever a golden key is shown.
We’re creating a unique destination that celebrates, in all respects, the essence of Disney,” says Steven Clark, head of D23. “We believe the new site will offer one of the most engaging Disney experiences yet—with even more to come in the future. We look forward to debuting the new to our current members as well as to new ones from around the world.”
The reimagined will feature exclusive celebrity interviews; vintage film clips; rarely seen artwork and photography; treasures from the Walt Disney Archives; behind-the-scenes previews of new movies and theme park attractions; and more.
Website highlights at launch will include:
·     23 Questions – We enhance our popular feature with audio interviews with Once Upon A Time star Ginnifer Goodwin who reveals her Disney favorites—and what she’s looking forward to in the next season of the hit ABC show. Plus an exclusive withPhineas and Ferb’s popular “evil mastermind” Dr. Heinz Doofenschmirtz, who talks about his truly devious plans… and Christmas.
·    D’scovered – Treasures unearthed by the Walt Disney Archives. In the coming weeks the Archives will share extremely rare imagery from the proposed Mickey Mouse Park, a concept which evolved into Disneyland; spine-tingling alternative dialogue for the Haunted Mansion penned by Disney Legend X. Atencio; the illustrated story script for “The Karnival Kid,” the 1929 short in which Mickey Mouse first speaks; and a very special memento created for Walt by legendary artist Salvador Dali.
·   Disney A to Z – A complete and newly-updated electronic version of the definitive Disney encyclopedia with more than 7,000 entries written by Dave Smith, founder and Chief Archivist Emeritus of the Walt Disney Archives.
·    D23 Presents – A deeper dive into all parts of Disney from the opening of Mystic Manor in Hong Kong Disneyland to rarely seen footage of the former Disney Studio on Hyperion Avenue.
·  Disney Legends and the Walt Disney Archives – Two new microsites; Disney Legends will provide a deeper look at those who’ve made significant contributions to the Disney legacy, and the Archives site will open up the doors of this venerable institution so D23 can share more of The Walt Disney Company’s expansive collections.
In addition, new departments and sections include: Weird Disney, looking at some of the more unusual and outrageous pieces of Disney’s past; Characters, profiling the most beloved characters from television, film and comics with concept art and complete biographies; The Quotable Walt Disney, a digitized version of the out-of-print book featuring some of Walt’s most enduring words;Ask a Legend, a video feature in which Disney Legends like Marty Sklar answer fans questions; First Look, which gives members a glimpse into what’s new and what’s next including Monsters UniversityAttraction Rewind, celebrating the beloved attractions of Disney’s past which once delighted theme park guests; and Muppetology, which opens up the Muppet-acular universe of our fuzzy friends. D23’s popular video series Armchair Archivist and Disney Geek will also return with all-new episodes.
And that’s just the beginning—on launch day, will reveal even more surprises.

D23 Free Membership will include:
• Members-Only Website Content: Access to all exclusive content on
• Exclusive Merchandise: D23 offers its members access to exclusive, limited-edition merchandise and collectibles.
• Subscription to Weekly D23 FanFare E-newsletter with breaking news and special offers. (You may opt out of receiving FanFare after your first e-newsletter arrives.)
• Discounted tickets to the D23 Expo 2013: The Ultimate Disney Fan Event (For more information click here.)

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Haunted Mansion Attraction Queue

Click Image for a Larger View
In the former location of the turnstiles in the Haunted Mansion Attraction queue, guests now have the option to split off to the left to what Disney calls “the graveyard,” or stay to the right and proceed directly into the attraction. 

A cast member was stationed at this split to instruct guests what the difference between the two lines was. We opted for "the graveyard."

Upon entering "the graveyard" you come upon the following five (5) busts:

  • Bertie - Avid hunter and expert shot, in the end that’s what he got.
  • Aunt Florence - Never did a dishonorable deed. Yet found face down in canary seed.
  • Uncle Jacob - Greed was the poison he had swallowed. He went first, the others followed. His killer’s face he surely knew, now try to discover who killed who.
  • The Twins, Wellington & Forsythia - Departed life while in their beds, with identical bumps on identical heads.
  • Cousin Maude - Our sleeping beauty, who never awoke the night her dreams went up in smoke. Note: Need to retake this photo on next trip as I accidentally didn't include Cousin Maude.
The busts pose a riddle for guests to solve, determing which character killed which. Each features a different weapon on their respective plaques. Thanks to Brent & Maria for pointing this out. Had a great time figuring who did in who!

Click Each Image for a Larger View

Tribute to Marc Davis
Replica of Organ in Ballroom
Sea Captain Crypt

Bride's Ring

Leota (Eyes Closed)
Leota (Eyes Open)