disney legend

NFFC Summer Convention Preview

Although an ‘official’ Disney fan organization has recently come on the scene there are still plenty of good reasons to get involved with the NFFC, the Disneyana Fan Club. For example, there are plenty of things you can say or do at a fan organized convention that you just can’t do at a company sponsored event.

Registration is now open for this year’s 25th Anniversary NFFC Disneyana Convention and All Disneyana Show and Sale July 14 thru July 19 at the Anaheim Crowne Plaza Resort, which is located in Garden Grove, CA.

The 25th Anniversary Convention is shaping up to be the biggest and best Disneyana bash yet, with such Disney favorites as Don Hahn (Disney producer extraordinaire), Paige O’Hara (the voice of Belle in Disney’s Beauty and the Beast), and Jodi Benson (the voice of Princess Ariel in Disney’s The Little Mermaid) scheduled to be part of Celebration Banquet, A Royal Gathering.

Rebecca Cline, manager of the Disney Archives, is scheduled to give a presentation of rarely seen film footage and items from the Mickey Mouse Club Circus. There may even be a few surprises from Disney’s new official fan community D23, which Rebecca is a significant part of.

Of course several of your favorite Imagineers and Disney artists, past and present, are planning on attending the 25th Anniversary NFFC Disneyana Convention and NFFC All Disneyana Show and Sale as well.

Seminars, brunches, banquets, NFFC Disney Legends Luncheon, gigantic NFFC All Disneyana Show and Sale and of course sharing great times with good friends will all be part of this year’s blowout 25th Anniversary event.

Visit NFFC.org to learn more and register.

The NFFC Calendar for the rest of the year is below the cut:

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Wayne Allwine, Voice of Mickey Mouse & Disney Legend, 1947-2009

The first time I saw Wayne Allwine and Russi Taylor was at Disneyland in the early 90s. They were set up outside of the Plaza Inn doing radio interviews. Although later in life they were much skinnier, at this point they were ‘larger’ than the average person. Wayne had this amazing full beard (which was very out of place in the park). It was a little chilly out and they were dressed in matching plaid outfits. Thinking this was some form of celebrity appearance I hadn’t seen before, I stuck around to see what was going on. A few minutes later I was surprised to hear two very familiar mousey voices coming out of these two large people, it was Mickey Mouse and Minnie.

It was almost a decade before I really got to talk with Wayne and Russi and hear them speak at length. In the meantime they had gotten married (in 1997 to each other in Hawaii) and continued to do amazing work both for the Disney company and other projects. Turns out, you would be hard pressed to find a nicer couple of people then Wayne and Russi. They were always happen to meet with fellow Disney fans and spin a tale or two of their experiences as Mickey and Minnie.

Wayne was trained as a sound effects guy and foley artist by one of the best in the business, Jimmy MacDonald. Along the way he learned to do Mickey’s Voice from Jimmy, who himself took over from Walt. Wayne first did Mickey’s voice in 1977 as a lead in voice over for the New Mickey Mouse Club and had his first feature animated voice work for 1983’s “Mickey’s Christmas Carol.”

I recall one anecdote Wayne told at an NFFC event, he had asked Jimmy MacDonald for some advice about doing Mickey’s voice and Jimmy said “remember, you’re just filling in for the boss.”

In 2008 Wayne and Russi were named Disney Legends in a ceremony at the studios. Recently Wayne had been combating complications related to diabetes and was said to be in need of a kidney transplant. Sadly he passed away May 18th as a result of his illness. Official confirmation was made on his Disney Legend bio.

I like to think that now all three voices of Mickey Mouse are reunited somewhere discussing the affect that one little character had on their lives and on the world. Our lives are all richer for their efforts.

Everyone here at The Disney Blog wishes peace and condolences to Russi and the rest of Wayne’s family.

(below the cut is a video of Wayne and Russi talking about their roles and Mickey and Minnie)

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Walt Disney Company inducts 11 new Disney Legends

In a ceremony at the Burbank Walt Disney Studios, the Walt Disney Company inducted 11 new Disney Legends yesterday. The Legends are chosen by a selection committee chosen by Roy E. Disney. The program honors gifted animators, Imagineers, songwriters, actors and business leaders as having… Read More »Walt Disney Company inducts 11 new Disney Legends

Walt Disney Studios honors Ollie Johnston 1912-2008

The Walt Disney Studios has issued a long tribute to Disney Legend Ollie Johnston’s life in the form of the traditional press obituary. It contains many deserved and heart felt tributes from luminaries in the very field Johnston helped define as well as details of Johnston’s richly lived life. Roy E. Disney, John Lasseter, Glen Keane, Andreas Deja and John Canemaker all have tributes.

The full press release is below the cut:

Previously: List of online tributes to Ollie Johnston, Legendary Disney Animator.

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