Tuesday, March 31, 2015

If you bought this marvelous piece of concept art by Walt Scott a few months / years ago, could you please email me at didier.ghez@gmail.com? I would love to include it in the second volume of my new book series They Drew As They Pleased.

Monday, March 30, 2015

A reader of the blog attracted my attention this weekend to this interview with Benedikt Taschen which contains this intriguing sentence:

[He exclusively tells The Hollywood Reporter he's planning a series of books with Disney, including a look at its legendary founder, Walt Disney.]

We will see...

Friday, March 27, 2015

One of the most astounding documents that I located when working on the first volume of my upcoming coffee-table book series They Drew As They Pleased were the original diaries of artist Ferdinand Horvath. One entries read:

[Feb. 24, 1933 – Friday – 6469 – Studio 8:05am-12. From 10:30am in Publicity Dept. with Tom Wood, work on illustrations for Bob Wagner’s Script.]

I did not know what to make of it at the time, but then, a few days ago, I located this drawing and everything became much clearer.

The early issues of the magazine Script (edited and published by Robert Wagner) seem to have contained a large amount of Disney-related material and I am looking for ways to get access to all of it. I have a few ideas to achieve this. Keep fingers crossed.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

The Disney Book, which has just been announced on Amazon could be quite fun if one believes the online description:

[The Disney Book is a beautiful, visual exploration of all things Disney from the animated and live-action movies to the theme parks and attractions that have made Disney the beloved brand it is today. This classic DK-style book is packed with stunning visuals including concept art, original story sketches, merchandise, a range of movie posters, and collectibles.

Explore rarely seen treasures including props, art, early merchandise, and more from Disney's extensive archives and celebrate more than 90 years of Disney storytelling and entertainment with The Disney Book.]

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

On Monday, I posted a note about the artist who created these pieces of concept art for the abandoned Hans Christian Andersen project. I knew that there had been mostly two artists working on the project in the early '40s: John McLeish and a French painter called Charles Hoffbauer. Based on their respective styles I am now 99.9% sure that it was actually Hoffbauer who created this art. We should have more info about the whole thing in a few months since some of Hobbauer's diaries have survived and are preserved in Washington D.C.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

This upcoming book from Theme Park Press could be interesting. I like the cover in all cases.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Based on documentation I located recently, I am almost, but not completely, certain that the pieces of concept art created for the live-action section of the abandoned Disney project about the life of Hans Christian Andersen from the early 1940s were created by story artist (and narrator of the "How to" Goofy short) John McLeish (a.k.a. John Ployardt).

The issue is that I have not been able to find any other piece of art by John McLeish (Disney or non-Disney) and I can't therefore compare the style of these renderings to other works by McLeish (save for as series of totally abstract paintings which are irrelevant).

Could any reader of the blog help?

[UPDATE: I was wrong: I am now 99.9% certain that those paintings were created by Charles Hoffbauer, who worked briefly at the Studio and was one of the two main artists working on the Hans Christian Andersen project, along with McLeish.]

Friday, March 20, 2015

This just in from Dave Bossert:

[Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra proudly presents

LACO @ the movies
celebrates Walt Disney Animation Studios

save the date: sat jun 13 @ 7 pm

The Theatre at Ace Hotel
929 South Broadway
Los Angeles CA 90015

Dustin Hoffman honorary chairman

Mark Watters, a six-time Emmy Award-winning composer, conducts the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra.    

- Two previously “lost” Oswald the Lucky Rabbit shorts, Poor Papa (1927) and Africa Before Dark (1928), newly restored, and screened for first time in over 50 years, premiering orchestral scores written by Mark Watters

- Celebrating its 80th anniversary, Silly Symphony Music Land (1935), screened for the first time with live orchestra

- The Sorcerer's Apprentice (1940) with the world premiere of a new adaptation of the score by Mark Watters in celebration of the 75th anniversary of Disney’s timeless classic Fantasia

- Get A Horse (2013) screened for the very first time with live orchestra

- Plane Crazy (1929), the first Mickey Mouse cartoon created by Walt Disney

Plus, additional animated shorts featuring everyone’s favorite Disney character, Mickey Mouse, in The Band Concert (1935), Lonesome Ghosts (1937) and Mickey’s Trailer (1938)

Bring the whole family for a fun and engaging evening of music and film. The event takes place at The Theatre at Ace Hotel, a gorgeously restored 1927 Spanish Gothic movie palace at the heart of downtown’s revitalized Broadway Theatre district.

Tickets, starting at $35, go on sale in April. This event is recommended for age 6+]

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Any one of you knows where we can pick up this book? It seems to have been released recently but does not seem to be available on Amazon. Weird...

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Today is a beautiful day since Michael Barrier has just posted a new interview on his site... and it's a fascinating one. Mike was the only one to ever interview Gerry Geronimi. I can't tell you how excited I am to finally be able to read it.

If, like me, you enjoy those interviews tremendously, I would strongly encourage you to email Michael to tell him so!

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Good news: all thye volumes of Walt's People released by Theme Park Press are now available for the Kindle.

And speaking of alternate book formats, Inside the Whimsy Works: My Life with Walt Disney Productions is now available as an audio book!

Monday, March 16, 2015

Update on current book projects

I spent part of this weekend correcting the last batch of galleys from the first volume of my new book series The Drew As They Pleased. I am very proud of the result both text wise and illustration wise. Most of the 400 illustrations have never been released before and a very large part of the information included in the text is brand new. The book should be released around September this year. More about it soon.

In parrallel, a few weeks ago, I have sent the manuscript of Walt's People - Volume 16 to its contributors for review. I am expecting to see it released around June of this year.

Finally, the Eric Larson autobiography is moving along, though a little slower than originally planned. I am awaiting a few elements from a contributor. Provided I get those elements by some time in April, I am hoping to see the book released around the end of June at the latest.

And of course I am already hard at work on They Drew As They Pleased - Volume 2 (which will be full of extremely exciting surprises content-wise and illustration-wise), Walt's People - Volume 17, and (along with Ross Care) The Wildred Jacskon Letters and Diaries.

The Ward KImball Diaries and a few other side projects which are sligthtly more long term are also keeping me busy. This is fun!

Saturday, March 14, 2015

The Disney Books Network has just been updated.

Friday, March 13, 2015

Great photo of Retta Scott seen recently on D23's Twitter account. This is from late 1945 / early 1946 and Retta is posing in front of the storyboards that she created for the abandoned musical project On The Trail.

More on this next year in the second volume of They Drew As They Pleased.

(Rosana, Lucas: This image is posted here as a thank-you note to both of you.)

Thursday, March 12, 2015

If you have to read everything ever written about the Mickey Mouse Club, then this very short new Kindle book released by Theme Park Press is for you. It contains the fun story of the visit of the original Mickey Mouse Club to Australia, complete with rare photos of the visit. Definitely not a "must-have" but an entertaining read for the MMM-fanatics.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

A few years ago, CartoonBrew posted the first part of an article about the Disney Studio and its artists by Studio publicist Janet Martin. I love Janet Martin's articles since they often contain real stories, not just PR stuff. Thanks to Joseph Smith we now have access to both parts of the article. A really fun read. The article was released in the magazine Your Charm dated August 1941. Enjoy!

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Exceptional auction coming up at Heritage Auctions. Among the highlights, from my standpoint are this piece of concept art from Baby Weems by John P. Miller, this unpublishable drawing by Horvath for the abandoned short Jungle Mickey and this piece id concept art for Jungle Book by Walt Peregoy. There is a lot more stunning art by Walt Peregoy in that auction, by the way.

Monday, March 09, 2015

The cover of Don Hahn's upcoming book has just been released. Can't wait!

Tuesday, March 03, 2015

The blog will be updated again on March 9.
This gorgeous painting by David Hall for Peter Pan was sold recently by the auction house Phil Weiss. If you bought it, or if you own artwork by David Hall, could you please email me ASAP at didier.ghez@gmail.com? I am still gathering documents for the second volume of my new coffee-table book series They Drew As They Pleased.

Monday, March 02, 2015

One of the great joys of Disney history is that you are always making new discoveries.

As I have mentioned often, one of my favorite Disney history books is The Disney That Never Was by Charles Solomon. It is a book that I simply can't stop re-reading time and time again. In recent months, though, through my work on They Drew As They Pleased, I have made a few discoveries about its content that I thought I would share here:

a) The color storyboard drawings of The Gremlins at the top of page 104 were drawn by artist Holling C. Holling.

b) All of the drawings of Don Quixote from page 162 to page 165 (even those attributed to Bob Carr and Martin Provensen) were actually created by Eduardo Solá Franco.

In the last few weeks, I also made a few discoveries related to John Canemaker's The Lost Notebook (which is at the very, very top of my list of best books of 2014).

a) The above photo (page 263 in the book) shows researchers Mary Goodrich (left) and Diana March (right).

b) The drawings of the "bug orchestra" that John attributes to Johnny Walbridge on page 162 were actually designed either by Walt Scott, Don Christensen or Lloyd Harting (the three artists who actually worked on the abandoned overture for "The Nutcracker Suite" section of Fantasia).