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Friday, December 8, 2017

Walter Sheets - my 175th pick to be named a Disney Legend

Lyricist, musician, orchestrator and composer and Walter Sheets is my 175th pick to be named a Disney Legend. He wrote the music scores for several Disney Classic films, live action movies and television shows. He often worked with the great George Bruns. Perhaps his most recognizable work is From The Jungle Book, where he orchestrated the music for such beloved classics as The Bare Necessities and I Wanna Be Like You.

After an independent career, he joined Disney Studios in the late 1950s and worked until 1980. He wrote music for other Disney films such as No Deposit, No Return, Napoleon and Samantha, Prince Donegal, Gus, The Aristocats, Robin Hood, The Strongest Man in the World, Summer Magic, The Fox and the Hound, The North Avenue Irregulars, Hot Lead, Cold Feet, The Tale of Two Critters, The Shaggy DA, The Apple Dumpling Gang, The Love Bug, The Horse in the Grey Flannel Suit, Treasure of Matecumbre, The Bears and I, Herbie Rides Again, Charley and the Angel, Run, Cougar, Run, The Biscuit Eater, The Million Dollar Duck, Rascal, Smith!, The Adventures of Bullwhip Griffin, The Legend of the Boy Eagle, Follow Me Boys!, The Monkey's Uncle, The Three Lives of Thomasina, Savage Sam, The Incredible Journey and the Computer Who Wore Tennis Shoes, among others.

He also orchestrated some of the music played at the theme parks including Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln and music heard at Liberty Square in Walt Disney World.

Friday, December 1, 2017

Rob Minkoff - my 174th pick to be named a Disney Legend

My 174th choice to be named a Disney Legend is animator, writer and director Rob Minkoff.

He has been associated with some of the greatest Disney Renaissance classics,
Examples of his work include Oliver and Company (writer), The Black Cauldron (animator),  The Great Mouse Detective (animator), Sport Goofy in Soccermania (animator), The Brave Little Toaster (character designer), Little Mermaid (animator), Beauty and the Beast (writer) The Lion King (director) and the Haunted Mansion (director and executive producer). He was also the director of two Roger Rabbit shorts -  Tummy Trouble (1989) and Roller Coaster Rabbit and a Mickey Mouse short called Mickey's Audition, which was shown at MGM studios.

While working at Disney he wrote the song "Good Company" for Oliver and Company.

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Ray Huffine - my 173rd pick to be named a Disney Legend

Animator and artist Ray Huffine is my 173rd pick to be named a Disney Legend. He worked on some of the greatest Disney Classic of the Golden Age of Disney.

His work with Disney includes the following films and shorts:

1960 Fowled Up Falcon (Short) (background artist)
 1960 Southern Fried Hospitality (Short) (background artist)
 1960 Fish Hooked (Short) (background artist)
 1960 Hunger Strife (Short) (background artist)
 1956 In the Bag (Short) (background artist)
 1955 Bearly Asleep (Short) (background artist)
 1955 Lady and the Tramp (backgrounds)
 1955 No Hunting (Short) (background artist)
 1954 The Flying Squirrel (Short) (background artist)
 1954 Grin and Bear It (Short) (background artist)
 1954 Dragon Around (Short) (background artist)
 1954 Spare the Rod (Short) (background artist)
 1953 Canvas Back Duck (Short) (background artist)
 1953 Rugged Bear (Short) (background artist)
 1953 Peter Pan (background artist)
 1952 The Little House (Short) (background artist)
 1952 Two Chips and a Miss (Short) (background artist)
 1952 Lambert the Sheepish Lion (Short) (background artist)
 1951 Fathers Are People (Short) (background artist)
 1951 Get Rich Quick (Short) (background artist)
 1951 Alice in Wonderland (backgrounds)
 1951 Plutopia (Short) (background artist)
 1951 Chicken in the Rough (Short) (background artist)
 1950 Morris the Midget Moose (Short) (background artist)
 1950 The Brave Engineer (Short) (background artist)
 1950 Cinderella (backgrounds)
 1949 The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad (backgrounds)
 1949 The Wind in the Willows (Short) (background artist)
 1948 So Dear to My Heart (background artist)
 1948 Melody Time (background artist)
 1947 Bongo (short) (background)
 1947 Mail Dog (Short) (background artist)
 1947 Fun and Fancy Free (background artist)
 1947 Crazy with the Heat (Short) (background artist)
 1946 Song of the South (background artist)
 1946 The Whale Who Wanted to Sing at the Met (Short) (background artist)
 1946 In Dutch (Short) (background artist)
 1946 Make Mine Music (backgrounds)
 1945 The Legend of Coyote Rock (Short) (background artist)
 1945 African Diary (Short) (background artist)
 1944 The Three Caballeros (background artist)
 1943 Victory Through Air Power (Documentary) (background artist)
 1942 Bambi (backgrounds)
 1941 The Reluctant Dragon (background artist)
 1940 Fantasia (background artist - segment "The Pastoral Symphony")
 1940 Pinocchio (backgrounds)

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Bob Mattey - my 172nd pick to be named a Disney Legend

Bob Mattey is my 172nd choice to be named a Disney Legend. Below is an article for the D23 website which details his fantastic career with Disney.

By Becky Cline

Legendary mechanical effects man Robert A. Mattey Jr. began his Hollywood career in the late 1920s, while visiting his father, a costume jeweler who created the faux coins used in the 1927 epic film The King of Kings. The 16-year-old Bob was fascinated by the production process, and was hooked for life.

Shortly after, Bob began working in motion pictures himself, most notably for RKO and Universal Studios in films such as King Kong (1933) and Tarzan and His Mate (1934). Throughout the 1930s and 1940s, Bob did uncredited work for some of the best special effects supervisors in the industry, building werewolves, carnivorous plants, and much more.

In the early 1950s, Disney art director Harper Goff saw the giant mechanized octopus that Bob had created for the John Wayne film Wake of the Red Witch (1948) and knew that he had found just the man to help him through production troubles in Disney’s new epic adventure 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. Harper was having a difficult time with the film’s giant “puppet” squid, which had been fabricated but was not working properly, so he hired Bob to mechanize a new more robust squid, sculpted by Disney artist Chris Mueller.

The film and its monster squid was such a hit that Walt Disney quickly offered Bob a permanent position at the studio as head of the Mechanical Effects Department, and Bob was soon hard at work building a host of mechanical figures for the soon-to-open Disneyland. Bob animated hippos, elephants, and other exotic animals for Jungle Cruise; populated the Rivers of America with lifelike deer, elk, and bears; balanced rocks and made mud baths bubble for the Mine Train Through Nature’s Wonderland; and even worked mechanized magic in Fantasyland where he animated the charming figure of Timothy Mouse high atop the Dumbo the Flying Elephant attraction and gave guests severe sensory overload in the finale of Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride.

Throughout the 1960s and 1970s, Bob continued to work his magic on attractions at Disneyland, including the 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea walk-through attraction, the earliest mock-ups of Haunted Mansion, and he provided special mechanical effects for multiple Disney feature films including The Absent-Minded Professor (1961), Mary Poppins (1964), The Happiest Millionaire (1967), Blackbeard’s Ghost (1968), and The Love Bug (1969). But it was in a non-Disney film of the 1970s that Bob’s greatest mechanical “monsterpiece” appeared to terrify audiences around the world—Bruce the Shark in Steven Spielberg’s megahit Jaws (1975).

When Disneyland opened in 1955, Bob was one of the pioneering artists who was given “screen credit” by Walt on the windows of Main Street, U.S.A. The firmly tongue-in-cheek tribute credited him with the title “Taxidermist,” a nod to his ability to create such lifelike dimensional creatures. In the 1970s, the window was moved and altered, but today it has been returned to its original state, to pay homage to Walt’s wonderful wizard of mechanical effects, Bob Mattey.

Eva Gabor - my 171st pick to be named a Disney Legend

Hungarian-born American socialite and actress. She was widely known for her role on the 1965 to 1971 television sitcom, Green Acres as Lisa Douglas, the wife of Eddie Albert's character, Oliver Wendell Douglas. She portrayed Duchess in the 1970 Disney film The Aristocats, and Miss Bianca in Disney's The Rescuers and The Rescuers Down Under. Gábor had success as an actress in film, Broadway and television; she was also successful in business, marketing wigs, clothing, and beauty products. Her older sisters, Zsa Zsa Gabor and Magda Gabor, were also American actresses and socialites.
She is my 171st pick to be named a Disney Legend

Bob Iger - my 170th choice to be named a Disney Legend

I really like focusing in on the overlooked people on this blog, but at some point I have the name the obvious ones, and Bob Iger will one day be named a Disney Legend, barring any unforeseen scandal. He is my reluctant 170th pick to be given this honor. He will probably be named shortly after he retires, which he said will be in 2019, but has since changed his mind

From his Wikipedia page:

He is chairman and chief executive officer (CEO) of The Walt Disney Company. Before Disney, Iger served as the president of ABC Television from 1994 to 1995 and the president and chief operating officer (COO) of Capital Cities/ABC, Inc. from 1995 until Disney's acquisition of the company in 1996.He was named president and COO of Disney in 2000, and later succeeded Michael Eisner as CEO in 2005, after a successful effort by Roy E. Disney to shake up the management of the company. As part of his yearly compensation, Iger earned $44.9 million in 2015.

During Iger’s tenure, Disney broadened the company's roster of intellectual properties and its presence in international markets; Iger oversaw the acquisitions of Pixar in 2006 for $7.4 billion, Marvel Entertainment in 2009 for $4 billion, and Lucasfilm in 2012 for $4.06 billion, as well as the expansion of the company's theme park resorts in East Asia, with the introduction of Hong Kong Disneyland Resort and Shanghai Disney Resort in 2005 and 2016, respectively. Iger was also a driving force behind the reinvigoration of Walt Disney Animation Studios and the branded-release strategy of its film studio's output. Under Iger's control, Disney has experienced increases in revenue across its various divisions, with the company's market capitalization value increasing from $48.4 billion to $163 billion over a period of eleven years. As a result, Disney has been recognized as one of the "World's Most Reputable Companies" by Forbes (2006–2015), one of "America's Most Admired Companies" by Fortune Magazine (2009–2015), one of the “World's Most Respected Companies" by Barron’s (2009–2014), a “Best Place to Launch a Career” by BusinessWeek Magazine (2006–2010), and a "Company of the Year" by Yahoo Finance (2013).

Tony Fucile - my 169th pick to be named a Disney Legend

Tony Fucile is an animator who worked at Disney and Pixar. He is my 169th pick to be named a Disney Legend

Year Film Position
1987 Sport Goofy in Soccermania Animator
1988 Oliver and Company Character Animator
1989 The Little Mermaid Character Animator
1992 Aladdin Animator: Aladdin
1994 The Lion King Supervising Animator: Mufasa
1996 The Hunchback of Notre Dame Supervising Animator: Esmeralda/Character Designer/Visual Development
2004 The Incredibles Supervising Animator/Character Designer
2007 Ratatouille Supervising Animator/Voice of Health Inspector
2008 Bolt Character Development Artist: Bolt(uncredited)
2009 Partly Cloudy Voices
2015 Inside Out Animation Sketch Artist/Additional Voices
2015 The Good Dinosaur Additional Voices

Stanley "Mickey" Steinberg –my 168th pick to be named a Disney Legend

Stanley "Mickey" Steinberg, former CO of Walt Disney Imagineering, is my 168th choice to be named a Disney Legend. From 1989 to 1994, Mr. Steinberg served as Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of Walt Disney Imagineering, responsible for the development, design and construction of all Disney theme parks.

Disney Legend Marty Skylar wrote this about Steinberg

“Everything’s a lobby!”

—Stanley “Mickey” Steinberg, Senior Advisor, The Portman Holdings Companies; former Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, Walt Disney Imagineering

Mickey Steinberg was my favorite “partner” at Imagineering in the development of Disney parks. From a management standpoint, no one was more responsible for the successful launch of Disneyland Paris, the foundation for Disney’s Animal Kingdom, and the organization of Imagineering’s 140 disciplines into its most efficient working team.

Coming to Imagineering from the respected and successful John Portman Architectural firm in Atlanta, Mickey was initially taken aback by the difference between designing a hotel—a Portman specialty—and Disney park projects. “In the hotels,” he said, “we concentrated on making the lobby the focus of our best design. After all, it’s the one-of-a-kind feature in a hotel. But in a Disney park, everything’s a lobby! You have to treat every design as an important feature, because that’s how our guests experience them.”

So you think your little piece of the project—your part in the storytelling—is insignificant? Don’t tell that to Mickey Steinberg!

Friday, October 20, 2017

Sandy Quinn - my 167th choice to be named a Disney Legend

Sandy Quinn was an executive with Walt Disney World.  He was head of marketing for WDW in Florida through construction, the opening and several years of operation. He is my 167th pick to be named a Disney Legend. He was hired by Card Walker in 1968.

With a few weeks to go before the opening of Walt Disney World, Quinn was given the task of setting up a PGA golf tournament before the end of the year. He ended up recruiting golf Legend Arnold Palmer to get the tournament going. He is credited with launching the Disney Golf connection at Walt Disney World..

The following is a quote form the Orlando Sentinel: "They didn't hand Sandy Quinn any ''Can Do'' bumper stickers when he showed up in 1967 -- though it certainly would have made his life easier. He did get a nickname -- John the Baptist. Quinn was the first marketing executive on the scene. It was his job to tell people what Disney World was all about -- or would be about. Spread the word, so to speak. Actually, his first job was to take a foot-high stack of pink ''call back'' slips and begin the painful process of telling people that nobody cared if Walt was a distant cousin and had promised them a free week at the new attraction. The answer was ''No.'' They'd have to get in line like everyone else."

Al Coe - my 166th choice to be named a Disney Legend

Animator Al Coe is my 166th pick to be named a Disney Legend. Below is a partial filmography:


Frank Duck Brings 'em Back Alive

(Disney - Donald and Goofy Cartoon - Animator )

Song of the South

(Disney - Feature Films : Disney - Animator )


The New Neighbor

(Disney - Donald Duck Cartoon - Animator )

Canvas Back Duck

(Disney - Donald Duck Cartoon - Animator )


Grin and Bear It

(Disney - Donald Duck Cartoon - Animator )

The Flying Squirrel

(Disney - Donald Duck Cartoon - Animator )

The Donald Duck Story

(Disney - Walt Disney Presents - Animator )


Bearly Asleep

(Disney - Donald Duck Cartoon - Animator )

Beezy Bear

(Disney - Donald Duck Cartoon - Animator )

Up a Tree

(Disney - Donald Duck Cartoon - Animator )

I'm No Fool With a Bicycle

(Disney - I'm No Fool - Animator )


A Day in the Life of Donald Duck

(Disney - Walt Disney Presents - Animator )

On Vacation

(Disney - Walt Disney Presents - Animator )

Hooked Bear

(Disney - Humphrey the Bear Cartoon - Animator )

Jack and Old Mac

(Disney - Animator )

In the Bag

(Disney - Humphrey the Bear Cartoon - Animator )

A Cowboy Needs a Horse

(Disney - Animator )


Donald's Award

(Disney - Walt Disney Presents - Animator )

Duck for Hire

(Disney - Walt Disney Presents - Animator )


From All of Us to All of You

(Disney - Walt Disney Presents - Animator )


This is Your Life, Donald Duck

(Disney - Walt Disney Presents - Animator )

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Thelma Boardman - my 165th pick to be named a Disney Legend.

Thelma Boardman is my 165th pick to be named a Disney Legend.

She was an American voice actress. From 1941 to 1942, she provided the voice of Minnie Mouse in a handful of cartoons, including The Little Whirlwind, The Nifty Nineties, Mickey's Birthday Party and Out of the Frying Pan Into the Firing Line, as well as The Mickey Mouse Theater of the Air in 1938. Thelma also provided the voices of Donald's Angel in Donald's Better Self and Donald's Decision as well as Miss Bunny, Mrs. Quail and Pheasant in Bambi.

Walt Kelly - my 164th pick to be named a Disney Legend

Walt Kelly was an American animator and cartoonist, best known for the comic strip, Pogo. He is my 164th choice to be named a Disney Legend,

He began his animation career in 1936 at Walt Disney Studios, contributing to Pinocchio and Fantasia. Relocating to Southern California, he found a job at Walt Disney Productions as a storyboard artist and gag man on Donald Duck cartoons and other shorts, requesting a switch to the animation department in 1939. Starting over as an animator, Kelly became an assistant to noted Walt Disney animator Fred Moore and became close friends with Moore and Ward Kimball, one of Disney's Nine Old Men. Kelly and Kimball were so close that Kimball named his daughter Kelly Kimball in tribute.

Kelly worked for Disney from January 6, 1936, to September 12, 1941, contributing to Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Fantasia, Dumbo and The Reluctant Dragon. He also worked on animator for the Mickey Mouse animated shorts Mickey's Surprise Party, The Little Whirlwind and The Nifty Nineties. Kelly once stated that his salary at Disney averaged about $100 a week. During 1935 and 1936, his work also appeared in early comic books for what later became DC Comics.

Kelly's animation can be seen in Pinocchio when Gepetto is first seen inside Monstro the whale, fishing; in Fantasia when Bacchus is seen drunkenly riding a donkey during the Beethoven/"Pastoral Symphony" sequence; and in Dumbo of the ringmaster and during bits of the crows' sequence; and his drawings are especially recognizable in The Reluctant Dragon of the little boy, and in the Mickey Mouse short "The Little Whirlwind" when Mickey is running from the larger tornado.

During the 1941 animators strike, Kelly did not picket the studio, as has often been reported, but took a leave of absence—pleading "family illness"— to avoid choosing sides. Surviving correspondence between Kelly and his close friend and fellow animator Ward Kimball chronicles his ambivalence towards the highly charged dispute. Kimball stated in an interview years later that Kelly felt creatively constricted in animation, a collective art form, and possibly over-challenged by the technical demands of the form, and he had been looking for a way out when the strike occurred.

Kelly never returned to the studio as an animator, but jobs adapting the studio's films Pinocchio and The Three Caballeros for Dell Comics—apparently the result of a recommendation from Walt Disney himself—led to a new (and ultimately transitional) career. He also provided covers for Walt Disney's Comics and Stories, illustrated the aforementioned adaptations of two Disney animated features and did a series of pantomime (i.e., without dialogue) two-page stories featuring Roald Dahl's Gremlins for Walt Disney's Comics and Stories #34–41. His songs "Don't Sugar Me" and "Man's Best Friend" (also known as "Old Dog Trey") appeared in episodes 122 and 404 of The Muppet Show respectively.

Kelly has been compared to everyone from James Joyce and Lewis Carroll, to Aesop and Uncle Remus. He was elected president of the National Cartoonists Society in 1954, serving until 1956, and was also the first strip cartoonist to be invited to contribute originals to the Library of Congress.

1951: National Cartoonists Society, Reuben Award, Cartoonist of the Year[

1972: National Cartoonists Society, Silver T-Square Extraordinary Service Award for "outstanding dedication or service to the Society or the profession".

1989: The Comic-Con International Inkpot Award (posthumous)

Walt Kelly, an inductee into the National Cartoon Museum, (formerly the International Museum of Cartoon Art) is one of only 31 artists selected to their Hall of Fame.

Kelly was also inducted into the Will Eisner Award Hall of Fame in 1995.

Edwin Catmull - my 163rd pick to be named a Disney Legend

Edwin Earl "Ed" Catmull is one of the three founding fathers of Pixar. He was President and CTO of Pixar and now is President of Walt Disney and Pixar Animation Studios. He is my 163rd pick to be named a Disney Legend.

In 2009, Catmull was awarded the Gordon E. Sawyer award from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for his lifetime contributions to computer graphics used in the motion picture industry. Previously, in 2000, Catmull, with Rob Cook and Loren Carpenter, was awarded an Academy Award® of Merit for their work on the RenderMan® rendering system. He has also received two Scientific and Engineering Awards: in 1992 as part of the team for the development of the RenderMan system, and again in 1995 as part of a team for pioneering inventions in digital image compositing. Catmull also shared a Technical Achievement Award in 2005.

In 1986, Steve Jobs bought ILM's digital division and founded Pixar, where Catmull became Preseident and Chief Technical Officer, positions he retained until the Disney acquisition in 2006. At Pixar, he was the key developer of the RenderMan rendering system used in all Pixar films.

After Disney acquired Pixar in January 2006, Disney Chief Executive Bob Iger put Catmull and John Lasseter in charge of reinvigorating the Disney animation studios in Burbank.

Irene Bedard - My 162nd pick to be named a Disney Legend.

She is probably best known as the speaking voice of the titular character in the 1995 Disney, which is enough to make Irene Bedard my 162nd pick to be named a Disney Legend.

She is the princess in animated feature Pocahontas and its direct-to-video sequel Pocahontas II: Journey to a New World. Bedard was also the physical model for the character.

Irene Bedard is known for bringing a powerful emotional presence to her characters. She was chosen as one of People magazine 50 Most Beautiful People for 1995. She also played Nakooma in Squanto: A Warrior's Tale and voiced Forest Ranger Hero in Higglytown Heroes.

When asked if she had a favorite part or any special memories from the production of Pocahontas, she answered:

I remember giving hugs to everyone on the last day of recording. We had so much fun together. I really enjoy the process of animation; it's all about imagination. I would ask myself things like, "What is it like talking to a tree?" and "What tone of voice would I use to talk to a raccoon or hummingbird?" Even how far the hummingbird would be from me was important. Was it right by my head or farther away? I loved working at the Disney animations studios. It was so wonderful to be told to "take a left at Goofy and a right at Mickey."

Mickey Rooney - 161st choice to be named a Disney Legend.

Legendary actor Mickey Rooney is my 161st pick to be chosen as a Disney Legend.

Rooney was one of the many voices of Oswald the Lucky Rabbit during the character's run at Universal Studios. For Disney, he voiced adult Tod in the 1981 Disney animated film The Fox and the Hound, and played the role of Lampie in the 1977 film Pete's Dragon. In Flubber, he made a cameo appearance on Weebo's screen. 

He also played Movie Mason in the 2000 Disney Channel Original Movie Phantom of the Megaplex, and the voice of Sparky in the 2001 direct-to-video film Lady and the Tramp II: Scamp's Adventure, as well as a Smalltown resident in the 2011 film The Muppets. He also played Old Bailey and James Turner in Walt Disney's Wonderful World of Color.

In 1939, he was caricaturized by Disney himself in the Donald Duckshort, The Autograph Hound. He claimed Mickey Mouse was named after him, but most historians dismiss this claim

He was also the father of Mickey Rooney, Jr. was once a Mouseketeer.

Will Finn - my 160th pick to be named a Disney Legend

Will Finn is an animator, writer, director, voice actor, and storyboard artist for Walt Disney Animation Studios. He is my 160th choice to be named a Disney Legend

Disney Filmography:


1978 The Small One Inbetween artist

1981 The Fox and the Hound Inbetween artist

1987 Sport Goofy in Soccermania Animator

1988 Oliver and Company Animator: Francis, Georgette

1989 The Little Mermaid Animator: Sir Grimsby

1991 Beauty and the Beast Supervising animator: Cogsworth

1992 Aladdin Supervising animator: Iago

1995 Pocahontas Character design ; Visual development

1996 The Hunchback of Notre Dame Supervising animator: Laverne


1996 The Hunchback of Notre Dame Story Supervisor; Additional screenplay material

2004 Home on the Range Writer


2004 Home on the Range Director

Voice actor

2005 Chicken Little - Hollywood Fish out of Water Voice acting

Phil Holmes - my 159th pick to be named a Disney Legend

Phil Holmes, an executive with the Magic Kingdom, is my 159th pick to be named a Disney Legend.

There is a Portrait of Phil Holmes, Magic Kingdom Vice President, in the Bonjour Village Gifts shop in The Magic Kingdom's Fantasyland that contains a few secrets.

Mr. Holmes was a host of the Haunted Mansion, on the opening day of Magic Kingdom and has been with Disney for over 40 years!

Here are some of the Hidden Details in the portrait.
- 40 Year Anniversary Ring
- Donald Duck (40 Year Anniversary Award)
- The peanuts are for the Storybook Circus
- There is a piece of the Haunted Mansion wallpaper
- The genie lamp for the Aladdin ride
- A Magic Kingdom Park Map
- Snow White Apple

Phil Holmes was Walt Disney World's vice president for the Magic Kingdom, the busiest theme park in the world and the epicenter of Walt Disney Co.'s "Year of a Million Dreams" campaign. Holmes spoke recently with Sentinel staff writer Scott Powers. Posted June 19, 2007

Question: Is there still a lot of Walt Disney in this park?

Answer: I believe so. A lot of people such as myself have been here a long time. Yesterday, I was in with a group of about 100 of our salaried cast members, and we were listening to a little bit of a heritage session, called Walt and You, and it takes our newer salaried cast and takes them on that journey [to] understand Walt was a real man. He had this vision and dream, but it took a lot of work. This is the outcome.

Q: Like a remarkable number of other theme-park executives, not just here but anywhere, you started out at or near the bottom. How come that still works well in this business, compared with others?

A: For our company, a lot of our success is based on continuing to bring great people in. I think the culture is one of the draws. It really comes back to the associations and the people who are some of the best in the industry we do. You really enjoy the camaraderie and learning from each other. That has always served us well. What better way to learn the theme-park business than to grow up in it?

Q: Is Universal Orlando's planned new Harry Potter area any kind of threat, and is there a response in the works?

A: I think our opinion is the stronger each of this region's parks becomes, hopefully the more people that come into the Florida area and have a great experience. Hopefully it is the great experience of Florida we focus on. With all the great destinations around the world, it's easy for people to make choices other than Florida. Clearly, I think what Universal is doing will just help strengthen the overall portfolio that we all offer.

Q: What's been your favorite moment so far in the "Year of a Million Dreams" campaign?

A: It has to come back to the [Cinderella] Castle suite and interacting with some of these families that are randomly picked. It amazes me how so many of these families are so deserving and have such great stories of their own. One that comes to mind is a family of five, a mom and four kids -- had saved forever to come down, they were staying in a small campground off property. So when we award that to them, we go with them to pick up a few things so they can spend the night [in the castle]. So they go back, gather that up. They're walking down Main Street. The oldest boy is leading the way. The host says to the mom, "What a beautiful sweater you're wearing." The boy looks to the tour guide and says, "You know, nobody ever compliments my mom." We arrive up on the second floor, at the castle suite; without a word, every one of these kids slips off their shoes and places them at the door. And then the door opens and their mouths just kind of hang open.

Q: Have you had a personal opportunity to hand out any of the more intimate dreams?

A: No. I have had the opportunity to shadow the dream squad, but they entrust that very important job to those professionals, those cast members who are doing a great job with it.

Q: Do you worry at all that the increasingly digital generations will find the 40-year-old attractions quaint but not very exciting anymore?

A: I think what we have found is, especially in the Magic Kingdom, there are classic attractions like it's a small world, like Pirates of the Caribbean, like Haunted Mansion, where people really enjoy reliving the moment, because of the memories they built around those with their families. You know: "I was able to come with my parents, now I come with my son." Those are really the enhancement, too, the overall experience. I think there is a real balance there. With Monster's Inc. Laugh Floor, we've clearly taken the interactive experience to the next level, and people love that because they can be part of the show. I think we will continue to use technology in that way.

Q: For you, what's the Magic Kingdom's least appreciated feature?

A: I would say there still is a lot of opportunity that our guests can enjoy, as difficult as it is, by enjoying the park at a slower pace. It may take you a day and a half or two days. But, you know, spread it out. Take a ride on the train. Go ride the Tomorrowland Transit Authority. Take time to for the slower things, where you can enjoy the vistas and have family time where you can talk. There certainly are a good number of people who do that.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Roger Mobley - my 158th pick to be named a Disney Legend

 Child actor Roger Mobley is my 158th choice to be honored in the Disney version of the Hall of Famer.

In 1964, after having been impressed with Mobley's performance as Gustav in Emil and the Detectives, Walt Disney signed him to the title role in the highly acclaimed and Emmy-nominated "Adventures of Gallegher" serials for his Wonderful World of Color. Gallegher is an amateur sleuth newspaper reporter, a character created by the author Richard Harding Davis. Contrary to popular rumor, it is Mobley's name that Walt Disney wrote on his very last memo.
some of his appearances on Disney's TV show include For the Love of Willadean, The Treasure of San Bosco, and the Mystery of Edward Sims.

After nine years and appearances in 118 television programs or feature films, Mobley's career was interrupted at the age of eighteen by military service. Mobley was quoted, accordingly: "Uncle Walt [Disney] had plans for me, but so did Uncle Sam, and Uncle Sam won." His last films with Disney were The Apple Dumpling Gang Rides Again and The Kids Who Knew Too Much in the late 1970s and early 1980s.

George Vernon Stallings - my 157th pick to be named a Disney Legend

Animator, director and writer Vernon Stallings is my 157th choice to be named a Disney Legend. Stallings directed the Silly Symphonies short Merbabies before continuing writing for the Disney studios on feature films such as Fantasia, Dumbo, Victory Through Air Power and Bambi. He is the son of famous baseball manager George Stallings.
In 1946, Stallings worked on the writing for “Song of the South” and then took over the writing for the Disney comics and introduced new characters such as Molly Cottontail who would later become Brer Rabbit’s girlfriend. He worked for Disney Studios from 1935-1946.

Friday, September 1, 2017

Art Palmer - my 156th pick to be named a Disney Legend

Animator Art Palmer is my 156th pick to be named a Disney Legend. A cartoonist, painter, and etcher, he was born in Chicago, Illinois on November 27, 1913.  Palmer studied with Frank T. Chamberlin at the Chouinard Art School in Los Angeles.  During the 1940s he was an animator for Disney Studios.  He later had a studio in San Francisco and taught at the California College of Arts and Crafts and the Palo Alto Art Club.  His address was Woodacre (Marin County), California at the time of his death on July 7, 1982. His Disney Filmography includes:

1937  The Old Mill  (Disney - Silly Symphony - Animator )
1938  Wynken, Blynken and Nod (Disney - Silly Symphony - Animator )
               Mickey's Parrot (Disney - Mickey Mouse Cartoon - Animator )
               The Brave Little Tailor (Disney - Mickey Mouse Cartoon - Animator - Drafts Available)
1939 The Practical Pig (Disney - Three Little Pigs Cartoon - Animator )
               The Pointer (Disney - Mickey Mouse Cartoon - Animator - Drafts Available)
1940  Pinocchio (Disney - Disney Theatrical Feature - Animator )
               Toccata and Fugue in D Minor (Disney - Animator )
               Rite of Spring (Disney - Animator )
1941 Canine Caddy(Disney - Mickey Mouse Cartoon - Animator )
               The Reluctant Dragon (Disney - Animator )
               Dumbo  (Disney - Disney Theatrical Feature - Animator )

1942  Bambi (Disney - Disney Theatrical Feature - Animator )

Corey Burton - my 155th pick as a Disney Legend

Voice actor Corey Burton is my 155th pick to be named a Disney Legend.

Corey Burton (born Corey Gregg Weinberg) is an American voice actor best known as the current voice of Ludwig Von Drake, Captain Hook and many other characters for numerous Disney projects, as well as characters from Star Wars: The Clone Wars (including Count Dooku, Cad Bane and Ziro the Hutt) and other cartoons. He has a wide vocal range from voicing high characters, raspy characters and baritone voices. His baritone voice is the reason he took over Tony Jay's roles after his death in 2006.
He has also done a lot of narration work. In 2000, he was called in to dub over Deems Taylor's narration in Fantasia. This was done as when the restoration team was preparing Fantasia, some of Deems' narration was missing or in too bad of condition to be publicly released. So, Corey redubbed all of the film's dialogue to give it a consistent flow. He has also narrated several Disney documentaries and bonus features such as The Story Behind Fun and Fancy Free, Bambi: The Magic Behind the Masterpiece and The Jungle Book: The Making of a Musical Masterpiece. He also provided voice work in several attractions at Disney theme parks, most notably as the monorail tram narration at Disneyland and the Walt Disney World Resort.

He received an Annie Award for his work as Ludwig Von Drake in House of Mouse, and an Annie nomination for his voice work as Captain Hook in Return to Never Land and Jake and the Never Land Pirates. He also voices the Narrator in Future-Worm! He provides the "Feature Presentation" voice on numerous Disney home video releases. Burton has voiced sound-alikes and original characters for over 50 Disney Storyteller records.
He has voiced Professor Owl, Bertie Birdbrain, Jiminy Cricket, White Rabbit, Dale, and others in the Disney Sing-along specials. Her voiced Prince Achmed, Necklace Merchant in Aladdin. He was the Brutish Guard in The Hunchback of Notre Dame. He voiced Titans, Burnt Man, End-of-the-World Man, Tour Bus Guide in Hercules. He provided the voice for an ancestor in Mulan and Zeus in Hercules: From Zero to Hero. He was Dale in Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmas and the announcer in Toy Story 2. He was Gaëtan "Mole" Molière in Atlantis the Lost Empire. He played Gus in several Cinderella sequels and was Onus in Treasure Planet.

He has provided voices for the series Gravity Falls, Penn Zero: Part-Time Hero, Star vs. the Forces of Evil, Mickey and the Roadster Racers, Duck Tales, Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, Disney's House of Mouse, Goof Troop, The Lion King's Timon and Pumbaa, Chip 'n Dale Rescue Rangers, Disney's Adventures of the Gummi Bears and The Magical World of Disney.

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Karen Pendleton - my 154th pick to be named a Disney Legend

Karen Pendleton (born August 1, 1946) was an original Mickey Mouse Club Mouseketeer on ABC television from 1955-1958. She was one of only nine Mouseketeers who were on the show during its entire original run. Karen toured Australia in 1959 and 1960 with a number of other Mouseketeers and Jimmie Dodd. She was often coupled with Carl "Cubby" O'Brien in the television series and in live performances as they were the youngest members of the cast.

After the show's run, she left show business and finished school. She got married in 1970, had a daughter in 1973, but divorced in 1981. Following an automobile accident in 1983, in which she was paralyzed from the waist down, she returned to college and earned a Bachelor's degree in psychology. She worked at a shelter for battered women and served on the Board for the California Association of the Physically Handicapped.

She is my 154th choice to be named a Disney Legend.

Monday, July 24, 2017

Jack Cutting - my 153rd pick to be named a Disney Legend

Jack Cutting, my 153rd pick for the Disney Legend honor, was an an animator who hired on at Walt Disney's fledgling cartoon studio in 1929 when he was 21, joining the 19 artists who then constituted the studio. Cutting, who headed the foreign department of Disney studios where he supervised the translations and dubbing of voices, was director of the 1939 Academy Award-winning cartoon "The Ugly Duckling." He retired in 1975.

His partial Disney filmography includes:

1929 : Springtime
1929 : The Merry Dwarfs
1930 : Summer
1930 : Autumn
1930 : Winter
1930 : Hell's Bells
1930 : Playful Pan
1931 : The China Plate
1931 : The Busy Beavers
1931 : Birds of a Feather
1931 : The Ugly Duckling
1932 : Santa's Workshop
1933 : Father Noah's Ark
1933 : The Mail Pilot
1936: The Three Blind Mousketeers
1936 : The Three Little Wolves
1938 : Farmyard Symphony  - director
1939 : The Ugly Duckling  - director
1941 : The Reluctant Dragon
1942 : Saludos Amigos
1942 : South of the Border With Disney
1948: Blame it on Samba
1948 : Melody Time
1960 : Donald Duck and his Companions

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Vance Gerry - my 152nd pick as a Disney Legend

My 152nd pick, Vance Gerry  was a screenwriter, character designer and storyboard artist. According to his LA Times obituary, Garry was  "Regarded as one of the most creative and talented story artists in the animation industry, Gerry joined the Walt Disney Studios in 1955 after studying at the Chouinard Art Institute. He rose quickly through the ranks to become a layout artist. He contributed to the television shows "Goofy's Cavalcade of Sports" and "How to Relax"; the short features "The Truth About Mother Goose" and "Donald in Mathmagic Land"; and the features "101 Dalmatians" and "The Sword in the Stone."

Gerry moved to the studio's story department on "The Jungle Book," Walt Disney's last animated feature. Looking back on that collaboration, Gerry said, "There was an aura about Walt: When he came into the room, you felt it. He focused very closely on what the characters would do and say."

Gerry later made major contributions to "Dalmatians," "The Aristocats," "Robin Hood," "The Rescuers," "The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh" and "The Fox and the Hound."

His Disney Filmography:

1959 Donald in Mathmagic Land Layout Artist

1960 Goliath II Layout Artist

1961 One Hundred and One Dalmatians Layout Artist

1961 Aquamania Story

1963 The Sword in the Stone Layout Artist

1966 Winnie the Pooh and the Honey Tree Story

1967 The Jungle Book Story

1968 Winnie the Pooh and the Blustery Day Story

1970 The AristoCats Story

1973 Robin Hood Story Sequences

1977 The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh Story

1977 The Rescuers Story

1978 The Small One Writer

1981 The Fox and the Hound Story

1985 The Black Cauldron Story

1986 The Great Mouse Detective Story Adaptation

1988 Oliver and Company Story

1990 The Rescuers Down Under Storyboard Artist

1990 The Prince and the Pauper Storyboard Artist

1994 The Lion King Character Designer

1995 Pocahontas Character Designer/Visual Development Artist

1996 The Hunchback of Notre Dame Character Designer/Visual Development Artist

1997 Hercules Story

1999 Tarzan Character Designer/Visual Development Artist

2000 Fantasia 2000 Conceptual Storyboard Artist: segment Carnival of the Animals

2004 Home on the Range Additional Visual Development Artist

Ray Conway - my 151st pick as a Disney Legend

Ray Conway was in charge of the construction of Disneyland and he is my 154th pick to be named a Disney Legend. Not much is known about Ray Conway, although he does have a window on Main Street Disneyland in his honor.  During Disneyland's construction, he worked closely with Charles Alexander, the construction field supervisor and George Mills, who was the foreman for the on-site mills and shops, and their names also appear on the same Main Street window.

Other than that I could not find much in my research about the man. But I thought, the guy was in charge of building Disneyland. Shouldn't he be a legend??

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Pete Docter - my 150th pick to be named a Disney Legend

Pete Docter, my 150th choice to be named a Disney Legend, is an American film director, animator, screenwriter, producer and voice actor who is best known for directing the Pixar animated films Monsters, Inc. and Up, and as a key figure and collaborator in Pixar Animation Studios. The A. V. Club has called him "almost universally successful." He has been nominated for six Academy Awards (one win thus far for Up - Best Animated Feature), three Annie Awards (winning two), a BAFTA Children's Film Award (which he won), and a Hochi Film Award (which he won). He has described himself as a "geeky kid from Minnesota who likes to draw cartoons."

His most recent film that he directed was Inside Out, which was released on June 19th, 2015.

Feature Film Filmography

1995 Toy Story Story/Head Animator Pixar
1998 A Bug's Life Additional Storyboard Artist
1999 Toy Story 2 Story
2001 Monsters, Inc. Director/Story
2005 Howl's Moving Castle English Dub Director/Executive Producer: US Version Studio Ghibli
2008 WALL-E Story Pixar
2009 Up Director/Story/Screenplay/Voice Actors (Kevin and Campmaster Strauch)
2011 The Muppets Creative Consultant Walt Disney Pictures
2013 Monsters University Executive Producer Pixar
2015 Inside Out Director/Story/Voice Actor (Bill's Anger)
2019 Toy Story 4 Story

Animated Shorts Filmography

1997 Geri's Game Animator Pixar
2002 Mike's New Car Director/Story
2003 Boundin' Special Thanks
2008 Presto
2009 Partly Cloudy
Dug's Special Mission Executive Producer
2011 La Luna Special Thanks
2013 The Blue Umbrella
Party Central Executive Producer
2014 Lava Special Thanks
Toy Story That Time Forgot
2015 Sanjay's Super Team
Riley's First Date Executive Producer/Voice Actor (Bill's Anger)
2017 Lou Executive Producer

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Richard White - my 149th choice as a Disney Legend

Voice actor Richard White is my 149th pick to be named a Disney Legend. For Disney, he is most famous for voicing the character of Gaston from the Beauty and the Beast franchise. In a 1991 interview with Newsweek promoting the film, White said that he based Gaston on overconfident jocks he had seen during his teenage years and believed that "had Gaston made it to 30, he would have been twice-divorced with possible hypertension problems".

He of course sings in the film, taking part as one of the singers in one of the more memorable villain songs ever, named after his character - Gaston. Some of his lyrics -

When I was a lad, I ate four dozen eggs

Ev'ry morning to help me get large
And now that I'm grown, I eat five dozen eggs
So I'm roughly the size of a barge

He has also been a host of Walt Disney World's Very Merry Christmas Parade. He has voiced Gaston for other shows such as The House of Mouse.

Friday, June 23, 2017

Alex Kupershmidt - my 148th pick as a Disney Legend

Animator Alex Kupershmidt is my 148th pick to be named as a Disney Legend. He is considered one of the best animators in the Disney studio today in both hand-drawn and CGI. He is a graduate of the animation department at the School of Visual arts in New York and joined Disney at the opening of the Florida studio in 1989. His Disney debut was on Roller Coaster Rabbit and it was shortly followed by his position as animator in the Florida Gaston and Aladdin units.
Some of his Disney credits are:

(1990) Roller Coaster Rabbit (Animator)
(1990) The Rescuers Down Under (Animator: Percival C. McLeach)
(1991) Beauty and the Beast (Animator: Gaston)
(1992) Aladdin (Animator: Aladdin)
(1994) The Lion King (Supervising animator: Hyena Clan)
(1998) Mulan (Supervising animator: Khan and General Li)
(2002) Lilo and Stitch (Supervising animator: Stitch)
(2003) Brother Bear (Supervising animator: Koda)
(2005) Chicken Little (Animator)
(2007) Meet the Robinsons (Animator)
(2008) Bolt (Animator)
(2009) The Princess and the Frog (Lead animator: Shadow Demons)
(2010) Tangled ​(Animator)
(2012) Wreck-It Ralph (Additional Animation Support)
(2012) Paperman (Final Line Animator)
(2013) Get a Horse! (Animator)

Fred Kopietz - my 147th pick to be named a Disney Legend

Animator Fred Kopietz is my 147th choice to be named a Disney Legend. Prior to coming to the Disney Studios he worked for Walter Lantz, including some Oswald the Rabbit films. After coming to Disney he worked on several Donald Duck films and shorts, along with some of the classics.  Ward Kimball used Kopietz as his right-hand man on the title song animation of The Three Caballeros.

His Disney credits include:

Walt Disney's Wonderful World of Color (TV Series) (animator - 1 episode)
- Man on Wheels (1967) ... (animator)

1961 Donald and the Wheel (Short) (animator)

1961 101 Dalmatians (animator - uncredited)

1959 How to Have an Accident at Work (Short) (animator)

1959 Sleeping Beauty (character animator)

1958 Paul Bunyan (Short) (animator)

1955 Lady and the Tramp (animator - uncredited)

1948 The Trial of Donald Duck (Short) (animation)

1947 Crazy with the Heat (Short) (animator)

1947 Sleepy Time Donald (Short) (animator)

1946 Dumb Bell of the Yukon (Short) (animator)

1946 Donald's Double Trouble (Short) (animator)

1945Cured Duck (Short) (animator)

1944 The Three Caballeros (animator - uncredited)

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Peter Schnieder - my 146th choice as a Disney Legend

Peter Schnieder was the first president of Walt Disney Feature Animation for The Walt Disney Company from 1985 to 1999 and he is my 146th choice to be named a Disney Legend. He was responsible for helping to turn the feature animation department around and creating some of the most critically acclaimed and highest grossing animated features that Disney released. These films included Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988), The Little Mermaid (1989), Beauty and the Beast (1991, the first animated feature to be nominated for an Academy Award for Best Picture), Aladdin (1992), and The Lion King (1994), the highest domestic grossing animated film of all time until 2003.
Schneider also sealed the deal that created the highly successful partnership between Pixar and Disney. He was promoted to studio chief in 1999. In 2001, Schneider left Disney to form his own theater production company. His first major production, developed in association with Michael Reno, was Sister Act (musical) which opened at the London Palladium in 2009. Peter graduated from Purdue University in 1972 with a theater degree.

Along with producer Don Hahn, Schneider produced a documentary entitled Waking Sleeping Beauty in 2009, which focused on the revival of Disney animation during the 1980s and early 1990s. In Disney's 1988 animated movie, Oliver and Company, he was caricatured as a pawn shop owner whom Fagin tries to pawn his watch to.

David Swift - my 145th choice as a Disney Legend

David Swift, my 145th pick to be named a Disney Legend, was an American screenwriter, animator, director, and producer.
He began his career at The Walt Disney Studio as an office boy and rose to be an assistant animator under Ward Kimball in 1938.. He worked on such classic animated Disney films as Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Pinocchio, Fantasia and Peter Pan. He also worked on The Reluctant Dragon and The Nifty Nineties.

Swift eventually switched careers from animation to screenwriting and made his directing debut with the Disney film Pollyanna, starring Hayley Mills. After Pollyanna, Swift wrote and directed the film The Parent Trap, again starring Mills.

In the late 1970's, Swift returned to Disney and wrote the screenplay for the Jodie Foster movie Candleshoe. He was originally set to direct the picture, before being taken off the project and replaced with Norman Tokar.

Friday, May 19, 2017

Renie Bardeau - my 144th choice as a Disney Legend

Renie Bardeau was a Disneyland photographer who produced several of the most iconic Walt Disney photos.  He is my 144th pick to be named a Disney Legend. His first assignment the summer he was hired by head photographer Charlie Nichols was to take publicity photos of the opening of the new attractions for Tomorrowland, especially the Monorail, with Walt Disney and the Nixon family.
His summer job at Disneyland continued until 1963 when he graduated. He assumed he would work at Disneyland until he found some other job in the advertising field.
"One year became five and five became 10, then 10 became 20 and so on," Bardeau said. (It was a familiar story for many of the people that began working at Disneyland like Disneyland Band Leader Vessey Walker and Golden Horseshoe star Wally Boag.)
As those years passed by, Bardeau spent less time in the darkroom and more time in the park. He would receive three or four assignments a day, photographing celebrities or new rides or fireworks.
United States presidents, politicians, award-winning performers, famous athletes, royalty, and a host of foreign dignitaries have visited Disneyland and Renie was there snapping pictures for press packets, Disney archives and in-house newsletters.
When Charlie Nichols retired in 1968, Bardeau replaced him as chief photographer.
Last photo taken of Walt Disney at Disneyland
Bardeau has ridden every ride at Disneyland since 1959, many of them while sitting backward to get specific angles for photos used to publicize a coming attraction.
Bardeau was also responsible for the final professional photo taken of Walt Disney in Disneyland. As Renie recalled, it was at the end of August 1966 (Walt died a little more than three months later) and Walt had been shooting a commercial for Kodak. Walt was in front of Sleeping Beauty Castle sitting in the front seat of Disneyland Fire Department “Engine No. 1” vehicle with a costumed Mickey Mouse.
Bardeau once complained to Disney that the trees along Main Street had grown too large and obstructed the view of Sleeping Beauty's Castle. The trees were eventually replaced with smaller ones.
In all Renie worked as a photographer for Disneyland for 37 years. He snapped over a million pictures for the theme park. He has mingled with Hollywood stars, famous athletes--and, of course, Mickey Mouse, whom he has photographed more than 100,000 times. (Bardeau has seen subtle changes in the famous mouse over time: "He has a bigger tummy to make him look more like the cartoon and his ears are a little smaller.")
Some of this information was taken from an article by JimKorkis on

Ming-Na Wen - my 143rd pick as a Disney Legend

Ming-Na Wen is my 143rd choice to be named a Disney Legend. She has been known by such variants of her name as Ming-Na, Ming Na, Ming Na Wen and Ming Wen.

She is well-known for providing the speaking voice of the title character in Disney's 1998 animated feature film, Mulan and has since reprised the role in most of the character's subsequent appearances, including Kingdom Hearts II, Sofia the First, the Disney Infinity series, and among others.

Many of the other voices actress who played Disney princesses have been named Legends already, including Jodi Benson (Ariel), Paige O'Hara (Belle), Lea Salonga (singing voice of Jasmine and Mulan), Linda Larkin (Jasmine), Anika Noni Rose (Tiana), Kathryn Beaumont (Wendy Darling), Adriana Caselotti (Snow White), Illene Woods (Cinderella) and Mary Costa (Aurora). Plus Carrie Fisher was just elected for her portrayal as Princess Leia. Just this omission is enough to drive an OCD person insane.

She also currently portrays Agent Melinda May on the ABC/Marvel TV series Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., June Woo in The Joy Luck Club, and voiced Dr. Hirano in the Disney Channel animated series, Phineas and Ferb. She voices Savannah in Milo Murphy's Law and Vega in Sofia the First. She has been a celebrity narrator at the Candlelight Processional at EPCOT Center.

Friday, May 12, 2017

John Sibley - my 142nd pick as a Disney Legend

Animator John Animator is my 142nd pick to be named a Disney Legend. The following is a quote from the 50 Most Influential Disney Animators Blog:

"Sibley is known best for being the Goof master at Disney for many years. He animated Goofy on over 40 shorts and really did some of the greatest stuff on the character ever done. He also did lots of entertaining, brilliant animation in other shorts and in features. However John unfortunately was viewed down upon as a B-animator and hasn’t gotten the recognition that he deserves. This is a shame because he’s a very unique talent and one we’ll never see anybody like again."

He worked on several films and shorts, including:

The Reluctant Dragon (1941)

Three Caballeros (1944)

The Legend of Sleepy Hollow (1949)

Goofy Gymnastics (short) (1949)

Motor Mania (1950)

Lady and the Tramp (1955)

Sleeping Beauty (1959)

One Hundred and One Dalmations (1961)

The Sword and the Stone (1963)

Winnie the Pooh and the Honey Tree (1966)

Harrison Ford - my 141st pick as a Disney Legend

Harrison Ford is my 141st pick to be named a Disney Legend. He is best known for his roles as Han Solo in the original Star Wars trilogy, and as Indiana Jones in the Indiana Jones film series, both collaborating with George Lucas. He reprises his role as Han Solo in Star Wars: The Force Awakens. He set to star in the upcoming Indiana Jones 5. The official release date has been set for July 19, 2019, following a statement from Disney chairman Alan Horn. It read: “Indiana Jones is one of the greatest heroes in cinematic history, and we can’t wait to bring him back to the screen in 2019. 

He also played Quinn Harris in the 1998 Touchstone Pictures film Six Days Seven Nights. He appeared in the TV special Disneyland's 60th Anniversary to give a preview of the Star Wars lands coming to Disneyland and Walt Disney World Resorts.

I was quite surprised that Disney announced this year that Carrie Fisher and Mark Hamill would be named Disney Legends but did not name Harrison Ford or James Earl Jones. Ford and Jones actually have more impressive Disney resumes and are bigger cultural icons than Fisher or Hamill. It is possible that Ford (and/or Jones) could be a last minute surprise announcement like Johnny Depp was in 2015. I also wonder if Ford was not named due to his broken leg episode from Force Awakens and the subsequent lawsuit.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Webb Smith - my 140th pick as a Disney Legend

Artist Webb Smith is my my 140th pick as a Disney Legend. He is credited with helping to develop the storyboard system. According to the Disney Institute blog, "Storyboards originated at Disney Studios in the 1930’s and were, according to Walt Disney, invented by Animator, Webb Smith. As the story goes, Smith would draw sequential scenes for a new cartoon and pin them to the walls of his office instead of describing the plot with words.

Walt, none too happy about the now blemished walls of his recently redecorated office, recognized the value in Smith’s design and ordered corkboards on which the sketches could be placed. Storyboarding soon became the standard for mapping out new cartoons and quickly translated into other areas of Walt’s business."

He was involved in the following Disney films:

  • The Three Caballeros
  • The Stork's Holiday 
  • Victory Vehicles  
  • How to Swim 
  • Saludos Amigos
  • Dumbo 
  • Fantasia 
  • Pinocchio
  • Mother Goose Goes Hollywood 
  • Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs 
  • Don Donald 
  • Three Blind Mouseketeers 
  • On Ice 
  • Three Little Pigs 
  • Birds in the Spring 
  • Mickey Cuts Up 

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Jim Crouch - my 139th pick as a Disney Legend

Jim Crouch, Principal Color and Paint Specialist at Walt Disney Imagineering, is my 139th choice to be named a Disney Legend. A gifted artist, Jim's work is evident throughout the parks, including the paintings of infamous Pirates along the attractions interior queue walls. Crouch is also responsible for the portraits of Captains Jack Sparrow and Barbossa that appear in the attraction queueJim's likeness makes a cameo appearance as one of the doomed bridegrooms in the Haunted Mansion's Attic Scene.
His significant contributions can be seen in all of the Disney Parks in regards to paint and sculptures. His production paintings in the park include the Ghost Host in the Walt Disney World Haunted Mansion and paintings of infamous pirates along the Disneyland attractions queue walls, among others. He recently led a team of artists who did a complete makeover of Peter Pan's Flight at some of the theme parks.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Phil Dike - my 138th pick as a Disney Legend

Phil Dike was an artist, teacher, and story scenario developer who worked for the Disney studios from 1935 to 1945. He is my 138th pick to be named a Disney Legend. At the Walt Disney Studios he taught art and color theory while working on animated films. Among the many classic films he worked on were Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Fantasia and The Three Caballeros. In 1938, Dike served as president of the California Water Color Society.

After World War II, Dike left Disney and went back into teaching and painting full time.