January 30, 2013

Wednesdays With Walt : Paperman - Full Animated Short Film

Walt Disney was well known for being an innovator. He was known for doing things in his own way and I think he would have really loved the new animated short from the Walt Disney Animation Studios, Paperman. I first saw Paperman when I went to see Wreck It Ralph with my family and I can definitely see why it was recently nominated to win the Oscar this year for Best Animated Short.

My favorite part of Paperman is the clever use of color. While Paperman is mostly black and white, the vivid bursts of red are very dramatic and poetic and reminds me of the "girl in the red coat" from Steven Spielberg's Schindler's List. If you haven't had a chance to see Paperman, you really should. The story is charming and the animation and imagery alone is worth seven minutes of your time.

January 23, 2013

Wednesdays With Walt : A Walk In Walt's Disneyland Footsteps

December 8th, 2012 was a very memorable day for me. Not only did I get to spend the day at Disneyland, but it was also the day that I visited a special place in Disneyland that I had only dreamt of visiting before. Thanks to the newly updated A Walk In Walt's Disneyland Footsteps tour at Disneyland, I was finally able to visit Walt Disney's private apartment just above the Main Street Fire Station.

The photo opportunity in Walt's apartment comes at the end of your visit. They will use your camera and take one pic like this for you. I didn't think they'd allow pictures or I would have put on makeup... 
I highly recommend this three-hour tour to anyone (other than young children) interested in Walt Disney and Disneyland history. With the help of several audio clips, our friendly and enthusiastic tour guide explained exactly what makes it all so special. We walked through Disneyland and learned about Walt's childhood, his home life, his career and, of course, his special relationship with Disneyland. We walked down Main Street U.S.A. to Sleeping Beauty Castle before taking a ride on Peter Pan's Flight and discussing Walt's childhood as a dreamer and entertainer and his special relationship with his brother Roy. We strolled through New Orleans Square and discussed Walt's ex-girlfriend Beatrice and his unforgettable love affair with Lillian, the special girl who would later become Mrs. Walt Disney. We visited the lobby of the exclusive Club 33 and were able to take photos in front of the french lift. Throughout the tour, we learned about Walt and all his roles as an artist, a husband, a father, an American and as a leader. We took a ride on the Disneyland Railroad and ended our tour back on Main Street U.S.A. with a private lunch (which we ordered at the beginning of the tour) provided by Disneyland's own Holly Jolly Bakery. In addition to a boxed lunch, complete with a cold drink and dessert, each of us were given a tour pin as a souvenir from our special day. 

So if you are interested in Walt Disney and Disneyland history you should go on the updated A Walk in Walt's Disneyland Footsteps tour during your next adventure in Disneyland. It's a very supervised tour and you have limited photo opportunities in both Walt's apartment and Club 33 but it is truly amazing just to visit those special places and see it all firsthand. With my Annual Passholder discount, I paid $87.20 for the tour. As always, theme park admission was required. 

January 9, 2013

Wednesdays With Walt : Pete Docter’s Flipbook Tribute to the Nine Old Men

Yesterday Walt Disney Animation Studios The Archive Series: Walt Disney's Nine Old Men: The Flipbooks was released. It is well-known that Walt Disney had a knack for finding talent and that was especially true in the case of his beloved Nine Old Men, who are the focus of this extraordinary set of animation flipbooks. This special tribute set consists of nine hardcover flipbooks and was created by Pete Docter, the famed director of Up. It celebrates the work of Disney Legends Les Clark, Eric Larson, Frank Thomas, John Lounsbery, Ward Kimball, Ollie Johnston, Mark Davis, Wolfgang "Woolie" Reitherman and Milt Kahl and I highly recommend this flipbook set to anyone inspired by the animated world of Walt Disney or flipbook animation. This set also includes a small booklet of Disney history and, while it retails for $60, it's currently selling on Amazon for $37.80. 

The official description reads: "This box set of nine flipbooks pays tribute to Walt Disney’s original animators – the Nine Old Men: Les Clark, Eric Larson, Frank Thomas, John Lounsbery, Ward Kimball, Ollie Johnston, Mark Davis, Wolfgang Reitherman, and Milt Kahl. Each flipbook features a scene from an animated Disney feature in its original line-drawn form, having been selected from among a wide range of films for great movement and classic characters. Such iconic clips from the reel of Disney animation history include: Lady and the Tramp’s moonlit spaghetti dinner; Sorcerer Mickey’s ordeal with a horde of mops; and Thumper’s announcement that a prince has been born! In addition to the flipbooks, the box will contain a booklet providing additional information about the artists."