Wednesday, November 17, 2010

#502 and a Little Disney

Wow, I just realized that a few days ago, I posted my 500th entry to this blog and I didn't even notice! Guess that goes to show how out of it I've been lately.

I spent most of today going through books (again) and I have to say, it seems endless. We have an appointment tomorrow to bring in another dozen boxes to the book store, so it had to be done.

After I reached my "quota" for the day, I walked around the house and took a few pictures. Today, some of the pieces hung on the walls caught my eye, so here we go. (And please remember that the house has been unoccupied for quite a while, so a lot of these pieces are really dusty and decorated with cobwebs.)

This is a street sign from Disneyland. They used to make these up for special occasions, affixing them to the lamp posts along Main Street. This one was for Donald Duck's 50th Birthday (obviously) and they would show up later at shows and sales.

It was one of the first
"official" Disneyland pieces
we ever bought.

This next piece is a small porcelain ornament made by the Walt Disney Classics Collection. I can't believe there was a time when we actually wanted figurines of Tinkerbell, they used to be quite rare.

Now she seems to be everywhere, and often, she doesn't even look like herself.

That said, the pieces from the WDCC have always been spot on and this piece in particular, is quite charming. As sold, you were supposed to hang her from a special ornament stand. Never one to be told how to display my collection, I liked the idea of putting her in a lantern, just like Captain Hook had done in the film.

We found this coach lamp
at a thrift store and hung her up.
She has lived in a corner of the house
ever since.
Complete with cobwebs.

Back in the day, we collected so much paper and artwork that finally, out of desperation, we started a small matting and framing business, just so we could conserve our own pieces. Much like photography, it changed the way I looked at a lot of things. I started framing a lot of pieces that weren't originally intended to be "art".

This is one of those pieces. It's actually a small standee that would have been displayed on the counter at a movie theater. I've always loved Elliott (from Pete's Dragon) so this piece was a natural for me. It's mounted "floating" from the background, so he sort of appears to be flying.

I took it to L.A. on one of our trips
and Ken Anderson
(who created Elliott)
was kind enough to sign it for me.

He was a dear man
and is sorely missed.

This next piece is quite special. There is a special lady named Stacia Martin. She is so multi-talented, I don't even know how to begin to describe her. Chances are if you've ever watched any of the special features on a Disney DVD, you've heard her speak.

One of her many talents is that she can do Disney quick sketch.

Now lots of people can draw Disney characters, but few of them can do so at the drop of a hat (most need model sheets and a bit of time). That said, there are a very few talented individuals who can just whip out almost any character and have it be perfect, or on-model as they say in the trade. Believe me, drawing these characters correctly is a lot harder than you think.

Stacia is one of those people.

One of the major characters
we collected was Pluto
(we have hundreds).
So of course, Stacia drew us a Pluto.
To make it extra special,
she signed it to our dogs
(at the time, Nancy, a mutt
and Charles, Carmen and David,
all rescue bassets).
Then she signed it from Pluto.

This still hangs in the dining room
where they used to sleep.

Cool, huh?

This next piece is one of the first pieces
of "serious" animation art
that we ever bought.
I've always loved the 1934 short
Two Gun Mickey.

Here's another early piece,
featuring Timothy Q. Mouse
from Dumbo.

These next pieces are quite special to me, and I will most likely keep them.

We used to belong to a group called the Mouse Club, where we became quite active. This was around 1990 and, at that time, the Disney Company wasn't quite so sure what to make of all these people who collected Disney. I had fallen in love with the Little Mermaid, and wanted very badly to get some of the newer animators to come speak at one of our conventions. The two I was most interested in were Andreas Deja and Glen Keane. At this time, they had never appeared at any collectors conventions, so I was a bit stumped as to how to approach them.

Fortunately, Andreas showed up at a show and sale. Afraid but determined, I went and introduced myself to him and asked if he would be interested in speaking at one of our events. He was just as kind and gracious as could be, and gave me his phone number so we could make further arrangements.

Several days later, I called him and did a phone interview for our newsletter. When we were almost done, I told him I was also interested in meeting Glen Keane, and did he by any chance know of the best way to approach him? He said "Sure, let me go down the hall and ask." A moment later, he came back and said that Glen would be expecting my call.

Boy, these are great memories. Long story short, they both agreed to come speak for us,and the following pieces are drawings they did for me.

Andreas had animated Mickey for the Prince and the Pauper. He would become the go-to guy for animating Mickey.

This next piece has very special memories for me.
At the time, Disney was working on
Beauty and the Beast.
The design of the Beast
was a closely guarded secret.
One day in the mail, this showed up,
and I was one of the first "outsiders"
to see the design.

Both Andreas and Glen came to our next convention and what a great time we had. As I mentioned, Glen was the head animator for the Beast and Andreas for Gaston. For their talk, the company allowed them to bring a rough cut of the "Be Our Guest" sequence from the film.

Everyone who saw it jumped up and was just amazed at the energy of the piece, it was so electric. We all now knew that the Little Mermaid was no fluke, Disney animation was now back on top (after a long dry spell)

Wow, I must sound like an old lady
reliving her memories . . .
Which is exactly what I am!

More to come later.


meowmomma said...

so interesting!!!

I have an old Mickey Mouse toy that I've never seen another like. It's one of those things that you push up on the bottom and Mickey collapses ~ I don't know what they're technically called. I wonder if I took a picture of it you might have some idea of its' value??? I have no clue. It was always in my Mom's toy drawer.

Kate said...

I wish I could help you, but we've been out of it so long, I have no idea.

photowannabe said...

Your pictures bring back some very fond memories for us too. We loved being a part of the True Disney.
I hope you do hang on to some of those special pieces too.

Danamck said...

Thanks so much for sharing these with us. It brings me back to the days of Laser Connection, and all those rare Disney LaserDiscs. BTW - I still have the piece that Andreas drew for me of Jafar. All thanks to you.

Nancy said...

I'm loving the pictures and stories of the Disney stuff! Just a couple nights ago, we saw "Beauty and the Beast" on stage in Orange County. I LOVE that show and the music!! It's my favorite!

Dorey Duncan said...

Thank you for sharing your memories, I hope you put your stories together as a book. Disney seems so commercial now...I miss the Disney of my youth and I love hearing about it through your eyes!