The Walt Disney Family Museum recently asked veteran filmmaker Don Hahn to create a film that would celebrate the holidays through the lens of Walt Disney. Under the direction of Diane Disney Miller, her husband Ron, and executive director Richard Benefield, the genesis of this idea became Christmas with Walt Disney, an enchanting fifty-one minute film filled with the joy and merriment of the holidays as well as some unique looks into the Disney family’s holiday traditions.
Mr. Hahn, whose credits include The Lion King and Beauty and the Beast, was tapped to produce this film that will now become an annual event for The Walt Disney Family Museum to stage and entertain their guests each year during the holidays.
Christmas with Walt Disney is full of surprises including scenes from the television specials and vintage commercials from early Disney sponsors such as Kodak and Coca Cola. The studio Dixieland band, Firehouse Five plus Two makes a spirited appearance, as do clips from dozens of Disney’s films including Swiss Family Robinson, Lady and the Tramp, Fantasia and a clip from The Happiest Millionaire featuring Fred McMurray and Greer Garson singing “It Won’t be Long ‘til Christmas”— a very rare clip since this song was cut out of the picture.
“During our first screening of some selected clips to Ron and Diane, we showed clips of Walt skiing and ice skating with Lillian (Walt Disney’s wife), intercut with clips of Mickey and Goofy on ice,” said executive producer Craig Murray. “The quick cuts from Walt to Goofy did the trick and showed how much this man’s life became his art.”
Sounds like the beginning of a great tradition for Disney fans.
What: Christmas with Walt Disney
Where: The Walt Disney Family Museum Theater, 104 Montgomery Street, The Presidio of San Francisco, San Francisco, CA 94129
When: November 27, 2009 – January 4, 2010 (except Tuesdays, December 25 and January 1)
Show Times: 10:30am, 12:00pm, 1:30pm, 3:30pm, 5:00pm and 6:30pm
Tickets: $4-$10; check Website for details