Disney+ Expands Menu of Documentary content, including Don Hahn’s Howard Ashman story

One of the marvelous aspects of streaming on demand services is that, given some promotion and decent word of mouth, documentary films have an equal chance to shine with the fictional movies and shows. Disney+ just announced an expanded roster…

Don Hahn’s new book on Disney’s magical mid-century influence is available

One of my favorite speakers at any fan event is Disney writer/director/producer Don Hahn. He brings a wonderful sense of humor along with unique insight into the history and inner workings of the Walt Disney Company. He’s also an accomplished…

PBS Special Caps a Wonderful Year for Disney Composer Richard Sherman

For Richard Sherman, the past year has been among the most rewarding he’s experienced. Even at age 87, he’s still sharing his unique ability touch audiences from cradle to grave with songs he wrote with his brother Robert, other collaborators…

Walt Disney Family Museum assembles Advisory Committee

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The Walt Disney Family Museum just announced a new advisory committee to complement its Board of Directors. The committee is made up of eleven extraordinary individuals, some with connections to the Disney legacy, some independent, whose personal and professional achievements and experience will provide important strategic guidance for the museum. Among the new members are animator Andreas Deja, producers Don Hahn, and Pixar Animation Studios creative genius John Lasseter.

The museum’s Advisory Committee is made up of the following distinguished members:

Andreas Deja first applied for a job as a Disney animator at the age of 10. Born in Poland and raised in Germany, he recalls writing the Studios immediately after seeing The Jungle Book. The Studios wrote back to Andreas explaining that there were no openings, but they were always on the lookout for new talent. At the age of 20, Andreas applied again and was accepted. Andreas began his Disney career working with Eric Larson, one of the legendary “Nine Old Men,” and went on to work on animated films such as The Black Cauldron, The Great Mouse Detective, Oliver & Company, and Who Framed Roger Rabbit. Andreas oversaw the animation of Triton in The Little Mermaid, Gaston in Beauty and the Beast, Jafar in Aladdin, Scar in The Lion King, Mickey Mouse in Runaway Brain, the title character in Hercules, and Lilo in Lilo & Stitch. In 2007, Andreas was honored with the Winsor McKay Award from the International Animated Film Association.

Don Hahn is producer of the worldwide phenomenon The Lion King and the classic Beauty and the Beast, the first animated film nominated for a Best Picture Oscar. Don is Executive Producer of the acclaimed Disneynature Films Earth, Oceans, African Cats,and Chimpanzee, and Disney’s Maleficent starring Angelina Jolie. Don’s other credits include Hunchback of Notre Dame, Atlantis, Fantasia 2000, and The Emperor’s New Groove. Don’s books on animation, art, and creativity include the best seller Brain Storm, the acclaimed educational series Drawn To Life: The Complete Works of Walt Stanchfield, and the much anticipated Before Ever After: The Lost Lectures of Disney’s Animation Studio due out in the fall of 2015. Don also serves on the Board of Directors of PBS SoCal.

John Lasseter maintains creative oversight of all films and associated projects from Walt Disney Animation Studios, Pixar Animation Studios, and Disneytoon Studios, and is involved in a wide range of activities at Walt Disney Imagineering. John made his directorial debut in 1995 with Toy Story, the world’s first feature-length computer-animated film. John also directed A Bug’s Life (1998), Toy Story 2 (1999), Cars (2006) and Cars 2 (2011). John has executive produced all Pixar features since Monsters, Inc. (2001). To date, Pixar’s films have earned more than $8.5 billion in gross box-office receipts. Since assuming creative oversight of Walt Disney Animation Studios in 2006, John has served as executive producer on all of its feature films and serves as executive producer for Disneytoon Studios’ films. In John’s role as Principal Creative Advisor for Walt Disney Imagineering, John was instrumental in bringing Radiator Springs to life with the successful 2012 launch of Cars Land, a massive 12-acre expansion of Disney California Adventure Park. Prior to the formation of Pixar in 1986, John was a member of the computer division of Lucasfilm Ltd. John was part of the inaugural class of the character animation program at California Institute of the Arts and received his Bachelor of Fine Arts in film in 1979.

This Frankenweenie Premiere Post is Black and White and Read All Over

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I wore new shoes down the white carpet layered like so much cotton upon Hollywood Boulevard because I refused to be the one responsible for soiling Tim Burton’s night. Everybody knows that new shoes don’t scuff. Look it up. Besides, there were plenty of dogs sniffing around (mostly alive from what I could tell), and I figured one of them would take the honors. It never happened. Not a single stain. That, my friends, is Disney magic.

It was the premiere of Tim Burton’s latest Disney feature, Frankenweenie, held at Disney’s El Capitan Theatre, and the night was spotless (although I did get some cupcake leavings on my freshly pressed pantsuit).

The premiere was a black and white affair, followed by a private party that was partially in color. Both were filled with the stars from the film, including Tim Burton:

D23 Expo Recap: Day 1

Friday, August 19 was opening day of the D23 Expo (I’m working under the assumption that you are familiar with D23) and it kicked off with a bang. Or a mouse, as the case may be. It always starts with a mouse.

D23 crowdsWhile the expo was open to the general ticket-buying public, it did offer a number of perks specifically to official D23 members, such as discounted passes, special “members only” events and early admission. It pays to belong, people!

Friday’s itinerary started at 9:00 a.m. with two of the aforementioned members only events, namely the Disney Store Opening Ceremony and the Radio Disney Road Crew Dance Party.

Other events that morning included an art contest with Disney.com, vintage footage showcasing the history of the Disneyland Hotel (congrats, DH, on the new ranking!), meet and greets with artists Jim Salvati and Robert Olszewski of the Disney Store and Disney Dream, respectively, and characters from Disney Channel’s Jake and the Never Land Pirates.

Then it was time for the 2011 Disney Legends Ceremony, which was, as you might imagine, magical. However, not everyone was able to attend the ceremony, so they had to settle for other really cool things like The Wonderful Words of Disney… Behind the Page: Kingdom Keepers presentation with Ridley Pearson. I would have loved to have attended this event to discuss some of my issues with the continuity, or lack thereof, within the series, but alas, Mr. Pearson was spared my fanboy criticism, and is probably the better for it.