When it comes to experiences and details, Disney spares no expense. Hence the opportunity they provided on a recent press trip for a group of bloggers, myself included, to meet Rich Moore and Clark Spencer, the director and producer of Wreck-It Ralph, respectively.
While the conversation (below) was interesting and informative, I was even more excited about the setting for our interview. We actually got to sit in Roy Disney’s old office that is housed in the large sorcerer’s hat on the Walt Disney Animation Building. The story is that Roy Disney only used the office for a short period of time due to the vertical stripes painted along the interior of the round room (see above) — he complained that sitting in it made him feel like he was spinning, so he relocated elsewhere. These days the room is used primarily for photo ops and entertaining me, apparently.
Here is some of that aforementioned conversation with Rich Moore and Clark Spencer that I promised you:
I first met Atticus Shaffer by accident. It was the premiere of Real Steal and I was with my son. The place was packed and he lost me in the crowd. I called his name.
“Atticus!” I shouted above the din of Hollywood chatter.
I looked down and there was Atticus, just not my Atticus. It was only slightly awkward. I then spent the next few minutes (don’t worry, my son appeared, too) talking to his father about the name we both chose for our sons and the different responses that we get from people. For example, “Did you know that name is from a movie?” ranked high with both of us.
The answer, of course, is yes, an excellent movie, but we got the name from the book. Stay in school, kids!
This time, when I met Atticus Shaffer and his family it was in the quiet comfort of a hallway in the Loews Hollywood Hotel, and when I met his mother I had to recap the original tale. Still awkward.
However, Atticus was excited to see me again. He grabbed my hand for a surprisingly firm shake and asked, “How are you, Sir?” Then we chatted for a moment before I excused myself out of their family time. I’m not one to intrude.
I walked away thinking about the horror stories one hears about Hollywood and childhood, and it was nice to chalk one up for the good guys.
It turns out that the role Atticus plays in Tim Burton’s latest horror story homage Frankenweenie isn’t quite as nice. Edgar “E.” Gore is two parts laboratory assistant and one part Peter Lorre, and skews heavily toward the weaselly and sneaky. You know the type.
I was attending Disney’s premiere of the film in Hollywood, part of an invited group of bloggers, and prior to the screening we had the opportunity to sit down with Atticus and his Frankenweenie costars, Charlie Tahan (Victor) and Robert Capron (Bob). Here is some of that conversation:
Danny Jacob is the man behind the music of Disney Channel’s hit show Phineas and Ferb, and now you love him already. I’m sure he gets that a lot.
Jacob has performed on a number of award-winning projects (we’re talking Oscar, Emmy, and Grammy!) and is a three-time Emmy nominee as a composer. Some of his popular television works include the main title songs for shows Lilo and Stitch, The Emperor’s New School, and Jackie Chan’s Adventures.
Mom, Danny Jacob is performing the song for a title sequence.
Sorry about that.
I recently spoke with Danny Jacob over a pretty poor phone connection (curse you, spotty cell phone coverage!) and discussed the music of Phineas and Ferb as well as his own influences… Hey, where’s the interview?
If you’ve been to the Disneyland Resort, Walt Disney World, or even on a Disney Cruise, chances are you’ve seen people walking around with a bright yellow book and a tendency to periodically stop and stare at rather obscure signs, windows, and random bits of architecture. Those folks are hunting Hidden Mickeys. Be very, very quiet.
The book in question is by Steven M. Barrett, and is part of his popular series titled Hidden Mickeys: A Field Guide to (insert Disney location here)’s Best Kept Secrets. There’s also an app for that!
Each book offers a number of Hidden Mickeys for Disney guests to search for on their visit. What is a Hidden Mickey? “A partial or complete image of Mickey Mouse that has been hidden by Disney’s Imagineers and artists in the designs of Disney attractions, hotels, restaurants, and other areas. These images are designed to blend into their surroundings. Sharp-eyed visitors have the fun of finding them.” — from Hidden Mickeys: A Field Guide to Disneyland Resort’s Best Kept Secrets, Chapter 1 “Hidden Mickey Mania”
Barrett has been canvasing Disney parks (and ships) to track the elusive Hidden Mickeys for over 20 years. He’s found a few.
I recently had the pleasure of speaking with Mr. Barrett via Skype about his books, the website that they have spawned (HiddenMickeyGuy.com), and life as America’s most-celebrated Hidden Mickey hunter.