Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Some original Gottfredson strips.

I wish I could say I owned these, but no, I found them in my files as I've been  clearing hard drive space for the upcoming year of work and backing up onto an external drive. I may have posted a couple in the past but they're worth seeing again. Enjoy.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Season's Greetings

Season's Greetings and Happy Holidays to all, may the New Year be filled with interesting discoveries and adventures.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

More Early Walt

Here Walt depicts a drinking fountain that's been rigged to spurt water in the eyes of green freshmen. Note the patriotic reminders to buy war saving stamps.

In Memorium

Forty five years ago today one of  if not the most influential men of the past 100 years passed away and his influence is still felt in the work being done at his own studio and others, even in my own work. Imagine our world had Walt not been born or not found his passion, how would we have dealt with the dark days of World War II and beyond? Who would have inspired the rest of us, inspired George Lucas, Steven Spielberg and John Lasseter just to name a few?

I've had this photo for a while now and thought it would be fitting to share today, unfortunately it isn't terribly in focus. The news snipe reads:

Springfield, Ill., Nov. 19 1963.  DISNEY TELLS OF LINCOLN FIGURE - Walt Disney, center, arms folded, said Tuesday at a news conference he staked his reputation that an animated figure of Abraham Lincoln he created for the Illinois exhibit at the New York World's Fair would be dignified.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Happy 110th, Walt

 Any idea who's with Walt in above photo?

To celebrate what would have been Walt's 110th birthday (it's already the 5th here in Australia) here are some photos from my collection which I don't think I've posted before. Some we've all seen before, but I like them anyway . . . Happy Birthday Walt.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

OSWALD AD - June 25, 1927

With all the discussion about the 'lost' Oswald cartoon going under the hammer in the UK, I thought I might share this ad from the UNIVERSAL WEEKLY of June 25, 1927 - Oswald's early days.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Disney Exhibitors Book

This fascinating item went under the hammer last week as well, it's an exhibitors book which was sent out to theaters to promote upcoming product and entice theaters to book the films inside. This one's post Snow White, probaby 1938 based on the shorts.

Walt - 1933

I can't believe I missed this photo which went under the hammer last week:

On the reverse:

Walt Disney, famous creator of Mickey and Minnie Mouse, is presented with a diploma of honor from the National Academy of Fine Arts of Buenos Aires by Dr. H. C. Niece, Argentine Consul.

Monday, October 31, 2011

O-ZELL stock certificate

 We've all read about Walt's father's many failed business ventures especially the O-ZELL venture which one historian said was hoped would rival Coca-Cola. An amazing archive of material from Ruth Disney Beecher(Walt's sister) has come up for auction:


What's even more exciting than the O-ZELL material is the Walt original from his McKinnley High, "The Voice" days or maybe a sample he used to try and find work at The Kansas City after returning from France.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

By Walter Disney

For anyone wanting to accomplish something in life and who only sees the difficulty ahead should really look at the life of one Walter E. Disney who in 1917 and 1918 found himself listed last in the art staff credits of the McKinley High School magazine "The Voice."

In these pages we see the very genesis of the artist and genius who would change the shape of entertainment forever, but at that time Walt Disney's dream was simple, he wanted to draw and become a cartoonist like some of his heros, Carey Orr and George McManus, possibly even George Herriman.

World War I rages on in Europe and his brother Roy is in the navy, patriotic themes occupy much of his work at the time, like this piece which depicts two loafers talking with a soldier, in the background police can be seen waiting to nab them. The drawing seems to attempt to emulate McManus right down to the shapes of the characters. Of course Walt is only 16 at this point and hasn't found his own style and voice, you can see him searching though.

This drawing of McKinley High seniors heading to a "Hard Time" prom dressed as hoboes get in trouble with a cop who thinks they are real hoboes, shows very subtle differences to the above drawing like the eyes being inked in and a simpler composition. There is certainly a love of drawing in these early Disney pieces, you can see a kid who has taken his first steps forward in a field of his interest and is totally immersed in it.

Not too long after this last drawing, Walt must have left school and enlisted with the Red Cross. Within two years of these drawings he would discover animation and literally ten years in the future a mouse would be born.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Walt - c. World War II

I recently bought this photo and am wondering if anyone has any idea who that is with Walt? I would peg the photo as having been taken around 1942, note the storyboard for the Thumper springtime sequence from Bambi behind them. We know that the Disney artists didn't start work on military projects until after Pearl Harbor and Bambi was released in 1942 so it would be sometime in that period.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Steve Jobs

I think it's important to stop for a moment and reflect on the passing of Steve Jobs. He was a true visionary who like Walt Disney dragged us mere mortals along for the ride. His self belief and tenacity as a leader changed the world in immeasurable ways, the repercussions of his life will be felt for decades to come. And, like other great visionaries before him he will continue to inspire the rest of us.

His work here is done, RIP and thank you.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

On e-bay

Currently up on e-bay . . . if you have $750 to spare.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Walt in Kansas - 1922 (REDISCOVERED)

Some of you may recall my post on March 30  in which I posted the above photo of Walt directing and Red Lyon filming the Cowles children for what I believed to be one the child filming services Laugh-O-Grams offered at the time.

Funny thing happened, I got a response from a Cowles family member regarding said photo:

I have this photo and others. this and other photos were taken at my granfathers home The childern are Minnie Jeanett Cowles ( my mother) John V. Cowles 11 and Virginia Cowles. My Grandfather Dr. John Vance Cowles took the photo of Walt & Rory Disney(actually Red Lyon)

After a follow up post:

 I heard from Dr. Cowles grandson via e-mail and not only that he was kind enough to send me scans of the other photos he mentioned with the following note:

Sorry it took so long to get back to you. about my mothers birthday party in Kansas Mo., at my Grandfathers home my mom said Truman is in one of the photos as Grandfather was also Truman's Doctor as you know my uncle designed a portion of Disneyland in Ca. I was there while it was under construction my grandmothers name was Minnie as in Minnie Mouse. I believe the photos were taken in 1922, while he (Walt) was still involved in Laugh o gram.

Looking at the photos it's almost easy to imagine it being in the warmer months in Kansas, Walt's got his sleeves rolled up probably doing this as a favor to Dr Cowles who was by then Treasurer of Laugh-O-Gram Films. In the back of his mind are the cartoons back at the studio which he's eager to finish, Rudy Ising and Hugh Harman could be over there at that moment working.

Of course I am only assuming that these photos were taken prior to September 1922 as Dr Cowles was in New York with Leslie Mace when the deal with Pictorial Clubs was closed on September 16 according to Tim Susanin's research. If so then Walt's filming of the Minnie Jeanett Cowles' birthday must have been a favor rather than a service since he didn't advertise the child photographing service until October 1922. Of course it is always possible to still be reasonably warm in October, though I get the impression we are looking at summer here.

It's remarkable to see these photos, here's Walt at the very begining, in just over a year he would begin his upward journey in Hollywood.

Tim Susanin's WALT BEFORE MICKEY is a must read for more information on Dr Cowles and Walt's time in Kansas. I also recommend Merritt and Kaufman's WALT IN WONDERLAND and Michael Barrier's THE ANIMATED MAN (and his website) are also full of solid research into Walt's formative years. And finally, several volumes of Didier Ghez's WALT'S PEOPLE series contain interviews with people who knew Walt at that stage.

I hope you enjoyed seeing this photos as much as I have. Thank you very much to the owner, Dr Cowles' grandson for sharing.