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Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Billy Bletcher - 65th choice as a Disney Legend

Billy Bletcher is my 65th choice to be named a Disney Legend. He is most famous as the original voice of Pete. According to the Disney Wiki:

Walt Disney shares a laugh with Billy Bletcher
His notable Disney roles included the original voices of Pete and Big Bad Wolf, Horace Horsecollar in Mickey's Mellerdrammer, Friday in Mickey's Man Friday, King Midas in The Golden Touch, Dirty Bill in The Robber Kitten, Judge Owl in Who Killed Cock Robin?, the Cat Prosecutor in Pluto's Judgement Day, Captain Katt in Three Blind Mouseketeers, the Robot Butler in Modern Inventions, the bass singer and villain on radio in Donald's Ostrich, the short member of the Lonesome Ghosts in Lonesome Ghosts, the Bull in Farmyard Symphony, the Security Guard in The Autograph Hound, the Magic Lamp in Pluto's Dream House, a clown in Dumbo, the dogcatcher in Canine Casanova, Detective Hennessey in Duck Pimples, Donald's boss in Old Sequoia, the motel proprietor in Wide Open Spaces and the music store proprietor in Pluto's Blue Note.

Some other works he voiced for Disney Studios were Mr. Gator in the Happy Amigos, Peewee Pete in Canvas Black Duck, Al Muldoon in How to be a Detective, Pierre in Timber, and a Nazi in Der Fuhrer's Face.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Otto Englander - my 64th choice as a Disney Legend

Otto Englander is my 64th choice to be named a Disney Legend. Englander was a Storyman on animated films for 22 years; he was story director on Dumbo, Pinocchio, Fantasia, Snow White and the Seven Dwarves, The Fox Hunt, Goofy and Wilbur, The Polar Trappers, Don Donald, The Fur Trappers, Three Blind Mouseketeers, Broken Toys, Moving Day, Mickey Cuts Up and other Disney Studio features.
He was also a screenwriter for several episodes of the television show Walt Disney's Wonderful World of Color.

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Ferdinand Horvath - my 63rd choice as a Disney Legend

Original drawing of Horvath's
Ferdinand Horvath worked at the Disney Studios on everything from advertising to illustrations for a pop-up book to painting backgrounds and doing layouts to constructing three dimensional models (such as making a windmill for study for "The Old Mill") to character designs and gags for over fifty Silly Symphonies and Mickey Mouse shorts. His work can be seen in the following short films: MICKEY MOUSE SHORTS: "Mickey's Man Friday," "The Band Concert," "Mickey's Service Station," "Mickey's Garden," "Mickey's Circus," "Mickey's Rival," "Moose Hunters," "Boat Builders," "Clock Cleaners," "Brave Little Tailor," "The Fox Hunt," "Alpine Climbers," "Polar Trappers," "Lonesome Ghosts," "Mickey's Trailer," "Society Dog Show," "Mickey's Follies" and "Magician Mickey."
SILLY SYMPHONIES: "Father Noah's Ark," "Old King Cole," "Lullaby Land," "The Pied Piper," "Cookie Carnival," "Timid Elmer," "Three Little Wolves," "Broken Toys," "Three Blind Mouseketeers," "The Country Cousin," "Woodland Café," "The Old Mill," "Little Hiawatha," "The Moth and the Flame", "The Worm Turns," "The Practical Pig," "Farmyard Symphony," "Merbabies," "The Ugly Duckling" and "Mother Goose Goes to Hollywood."

Much of this information is from Jim Hill Media website. 

Friday, November 18, 2016

Cubby O'Brien - my 62nd choice as a Disney Legend

Cubby O'Brien is my 62nd choice as a Disney Legend.
O'Brien, like Annette Funicello, was personally selected to audition for The Mickey Mouse Club by Walt Disney, in the spring of 1955. Disney had been alerted to him by a staff member, who caught his live performance at a charity gala.
Though he had little prior experience in singing or dancing, O'Brien was placed on The Mickey Mouse Club's first-string "Red Team" right from the start. He quickly picked up enough dance skills to perform in musical numbers, though his solo performances remained centered around his drums. He remained with the show for all three seasons (1955–1958) of original programming, and after filming stopped, went on live-performance tours with other Mouseketeers to Australia in 1959 and 1960.
Cubby was the only Mouseketeer allowed to play musical instruments on camera whether this had something to do with Walt casting him or not is unknown. Certainly Cubby never had the rumors of favoritism surrounding him like Annette did, possibly because his skill was obvious to all. In the show's first week, he got to play drums for Talent Round-Up day in a combo with his father Hack and brother Warren. From then on he was given many opportunities to play rhythm instruments, but his talent didn't end with music; he was a fine comedic actor, and learned enough dancing on the show to fake his way through the numbers. His singing was OK, though he wasn't called on for solos like Karen Pendleton.

Cubby appeared in the Disney film Westward Ho, the Wagons with Tommy Cole, Karen, and Doreen Tracey in 1956. The four Mouseketeers had barely any lines and very few scenes in this tepid Western. As the second season started, the Mouseketeer production numbers shifted more to emphasizing older teen couples. Cubby still appeared in comic bits, but he was more often solo than paired with Karen.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Joe Rohde - my 61st choice as a Disney Legend

Imagineer Joe Rohde is my 61st choice to be named a Disney Legend. Here are some excerpts form his Wikipedia page:

Rohde is a veteran executive at Walt Disney Imagineering, the division of The Walt Disney Company that designs and builds Disney's theme parks and resort hotels. Rohde's formal title is Executive Designer and Vice President, Creative.  Rohde's trademark is a large collection of earrings he wears in his left ear, all of which are souvenirs from decades of travel to remote corners of the world. This tradition began when he stuck his 5 year anniversary pin into his ear. Rohde is the lead designer of Disney's Animal Kingdom, one of four theme parks at Walt Disney World Resort in Florida, and the principal creative force behind the park's Expedition Everest thrill ride, which debuted in 2006. He is one of the lead designers behind the new Disney Vacation Club property Aulani in Oʻahu, Hawaii. He was chosen for the role because of his experience with the Island and its native people, having grown up in Hawaii.
Rohde joined Imagineering in 1980 during the development of Epcot as a model designer and scenic painter for the theme park's Mexico pavilion. He later worked as a designer on the refurbishment of Fantasyland at Disneyland, the Captain EO 3-D film attraction starring singer Michael Jackson, the Norway pavilion at Epcot and the Adventurers Club, a 1930s-themed bar and lounge that opened in 1989 within the Pleasure Island entertainment district at Walt Disney World Resort.
Rohde was featured in an April 2006 Travel Channel documentary titled Expedition Everest: Journey to Sacred Lands. The program was produced by Discovery Networks during expeditions to China and Nepal in 2005 called Mission Himalayas. The treks were sponsored by Discovery, Disney, and Conservation International to promote the Expedition Everest theme park attraction and conduct scientific and cultural research in remote areas of the Himalayas. Rohde served as the model for Harrison Hightower, the owner of the fictional "Hightower Hotel" which houses the Tower of Terror attraction at Tokyo DisneySea outside Tokyo, Japan.
Currently Rohde is leading the team transforming Disney California Adventure's Tower of Terror into Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: Breakout!. The attraction is expected to open Summer 2017.This new project is part of the expansion of his role as global creative leader of the Marvel property.

Keenan Wynn - my 60th choice as a Disney Legend

Keenan Wynn is my 62nd choice as a Disney Legend. He played in several Disney Studios live action films as the bad guy you love to hate. He is most famous for playing Alonzo Hawk in the Absent Minded Professor and The Son of Flubber. According to his Disney Wiki page: Keenan Wynn was a character actor and son of Disney legend Ed Wynn. He's famous for playing Disney villains, mostly the villainous businessman, Alonzo Hawk. In Snowball Express he portrays Martin Ridgeway. He also played the corrupt district attorney John Slade in The Shaggy D.A., the sequel to classic Disney comedy, The Shaggy Dog.

Saturday, November 5, 2016

Stan Quackenbush - my 59th choice as a Disney Legend

a cleanup drawing of the queen's transformation
by animators Campbell Grant and Stan Quackenbush
Stan Quackenbush is on my list simply becasue his name is is so amazing. He was an early animator for Walt Disney Studios, working on some of the better shorts the company produced. A partial list of those films are: Mickey's Amateurs, The Old Mill, Donald's Nephews, Wynken, Blynken and Nod, Polar Trappers, Ferdinand the Bull, The Ugly Duckling and Beach Picnic. He is also one of the animators credited with working on Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. He was on the team that animated the wicked witch. It is also so fitting that he helped animate early Donald Duck cartoons, with  a last name like Quackenbush.