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Tuesday, June 28, 2016

June Foray - my 45th choice as a Disney Legend

June Foray has been one of the most active voice actresses over the past 60 years. She is famous for her voice work as Rocky the Flying Squirrel. Her work with Disney has been profuse as well. Her Disney filmography includes:

Feature Films and Shorts
  • Cinderella - Lucifer
  • Lambert the Sheepish Lion - Lambert Lion (purrs)/Sheep/Mrs. Sheep
  • Trick or Treat - Witch Hazel
  • Ben and Me - Lucifer
  • Peter Pan - Mermaids, Squaw
  • Various Goofy cartoons - Mrs. Geef
  • Who Framed Roger Rabbit - Wheezy/Lena Hyena
  • Redux Riding Hood - Grandma
  • Mulan - Grandmother Fa
  • Mulan II - Grandmother Fa

Television shows
  • Walt Disney anthology series - Grandma Duck
  • Disney on Parade - The Evil Queen
  • Adventures of the Gummi Bears - Grammi Gummi
  • Bonkers - Ma Parker
  • DuckTales - Ma Beagle, Magica De Spell, Scrooge's mother, Mrs. Featherby
  • Marsupilami - Aunt Bethie

Theme park attractions
  • Pirates of the Caribbean - Carlos' wife

Video games
  • Donald Duck: Goin' Quackers! - Magica De Spell
  • Disney TH!NK Fast - Magica De Spell
  • DuckTales Remastered - Magica De Spell

Friday, June 17, 2016

Jeffrey Katzenberg - choice number number 44 as a Disney Legend

Jeffrey Katzenberg is my 44th choice as a Disney Legend. Granted he left Disney Studios in a squabble with other executives in 1994. Still, I go back to the Art Babbitt principle who was named a legend posthumously. Maybe that will have to happen with Katzenberg as well.
No one can can deny his part in the Disney Renaissance, taking charge of Disney's motion pictures during a down time and leading it into its second golden age during the eighties and nineties. The animated films released during this period include The Little Mermaid (1989), The Rescuers Down Under (1990), Beauty and the Beast (1991), Aladdin (1992), The Lion King (1994), Pocahontas (1995), The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1996), Hercules (1997), Mulan (1998) and Tarzan (1999).

He focused the studio on the production of adult-oriented comedies through its Touchstone Pictures banner, including films such as Down and Out in Beverly Hills (1986), Three Men and a Baby (1987) and Good Morning, Vietnam (1987).

After leaving Disney he became part of the formation team of Dreamworks Studios and has been an active part in many of their successful films. The thing that hurts Katzenburg's chances of being named a legend is that he sued Disney Studios over his contract. Katzenberg's lawsuit, which could have been settled for $90 million, wound up costing Disney nearly $270 million -- not counting tens of millions in legal fees.

So while he may very deserving and was a huge creative and organizational force behind some of the best Disney movies ever, his chances of being named a Disney Legend are quite slim at the moment. Still, laying aside the personal drama, he is a deserving candidate.

Don Lusk - Choice number 43 as a Disney Legend

Don Lusk was an animator for many years with Disney Studios before leaving to work for Hanna-Barbera and Peanuts. He is still alive as of this writing at age 102. He has been critical of Walt Disney (notably in the PBS mocumentary), and this may keep him from getting this honor. But once again we go to the Art Babbitt factor, who lead a strike against Disney but was eventually named as a legend.

Don Lusk got his professional career started when he was employed by The Walt Disney Company in 1933. Some of his more notable work included Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Pinocchio, Fantasia, Bambi, Song of the South, Cinderella, Alice in Wonderland, Peter Pan, Lady and the Tramp and Sleeping Beauty.

His other work for Disney included character animation on Farmyard Symphony, How to Fish, Song of the South, Fun and Fancy Free, Melody Time (notably the "Once Upon a Wintertime", "The Legend of Johnny Appleseed" and "Trees" segments), So Dear to My Heart, The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad (notably "The Wind in the Willows" segment), Lambert the Sheepish Lion, Trick or Treat, Ben and Me, the Disneyland episodes "The Donald Duck Story", "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow", "A Day in the Life of Donald Duck" and "The Great Cat Family" and One Hundred and One Dalmatians.