The Mouse Castle Lounge Podcast: Disney News and Interviews, Cocktails and Conversations
Disney news and interviews, cocktails and conversation. Join host Tim Callaway as he talks with Disney artists, Imagineers, animators, authors and even a few Disney Legends about Disney movies, music, books, television, theme parks and history. From Mickey Mouse to Moana, Disneyland to Walt Disney World, Pinocchio to Pixar, it's always good times and great conversations.
MCL 07-24-2015 - Disney, Dali and 'Destino' with Ted Nicolaou

It was inevitable—call it destiny, if you will--that the creative paths of Walt Disney and Salvador Dali would one day cross. Both men were born in the early 1900s, and although they were continents apart, they shared similar upbringings. Both had artistic ambitions and both would eventually become the standard-bearers of their respective mediums: Walt in animation and visual storytelling, Dali in fine art and the surrealist movement.

Their personalities could not have been more different. Dali was the flamboyant eccentric, Walt the more reserved, but no-less driven, filmmaker.  Each saw the other as a kindred spirit, though. And what began as a distant mutual admiration, evolved into a creative collaboration and later a lifetime friendship.

In the late 1940s, Dali would come to the Disney Studios to help craft "Destino," a surreal short film intended to push the limits of animation and storytelling.  It was not to be, however, What Dali called “a magical exposition of life in the labyrinth of time,” Walt called “a simple love story—boy meets girl.” It was there the two artists remained at odds. After less than a year’s work on the project, "Destino" was shelved. Decades later, the Walt Disney Studios would resurrect the film from more than 150 surviving story sketches by Dali and Disney artist John Hench. The resulting film would be released in 2003 to critical acclaim, winning numerous film festival awards and being nominated for an Academy Award.

The Walt Disney Family Museum in San Francisco is hosting an exhibition about the two friends and showmen. “Disney and Dali: Architects of the Imagination” explores the artistic collaboration between the two men, showcasing not only original works of Dali, but also that of Disney artists Mary Blair, John Hench, Eyvind Earle and Kay Nielsen. Ted Nicolaou is curator of the exhibition. As a filmmaker, Ted has directed a number of horror films including cult favorites "Terrorvision" and "Subspecies." He’s also created a number of DVD and Blu-ray bonus documentaries for Walt Disney Home Entertainment, most notably “Dali & Disney: A Date with Destino” which was included on the 2010 Blu-ray release of "Fantasia 2000."

Ted Nicolaou is Tim's guest today in "The Mouse Castle Lounge."
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Direct download: TheMouseCastleLounge07-24-2015.mp3
Category:Entertainment -- posted at: 4:29pm PST

MCL 07-17-2015 - Disney Historian Didier Ghez Talks About Disney Legend Eric Larson

Eric Larson was truly one of the greats of Disney animation. He was one of Walt's Nine Old Men and was best known for animating Figaro in "Pinocchio," Friend Owl in "Bambi" and Peg in "Lady and the Tramp." He also worked on other classics including "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs," "Fantasia," "Cinderella," "Alice in Wonderland," "Peter Pan" and "Sleeping Beauty."

His greatest legacy, however, may be as the teacher and mentor to an entire generation of young animators that joined Disney in the 1970s and '80s. He had a passion for his art and a commitment to uphold the standards established by Walt Disney. Eric's memoir, "50 Years in the Mouse House," is a fascinating and heartfelt testament to that passion.

His book, however, was almost lost forever, and the story of Didier Ghez's search for the missing manuscript is nearly as compelling as Eric Larson's life itself. 

Didier edited Eric Larson's original manuscript and combined it with material taken from interviews Larson gave and lectures he presented at the Walt Disney Studios. Didier adds "50 Years in the Mouse House" to his impressive output of historical Disney works including all 16 volumes of "Walt's People" and his upcoming tribute to Disney concept artists, "They Drew as They Pleased." Didier Ghez is my guest today in "The Mouse Castle Lounge."
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Direct download: TheMouseCastleLounge07-17-2015.mp3
Category:Entertainment -- posted at: 6:44pm PST

MCL 07-10-2015 - Ron Diamond and the Animation Show of Shows

Ron Diamond is passionate about animation. He’s executive producer of Acme Filmworks, a commercial animation studio that utilizes the talents of gifted filmmakers and animators from both the U.S. and abroad. Ron’s pet project, though, is the Animation Show of Shows. For over 16 years, Ron and his show have had one purpose: to bring the best animated short films from around the world to the attention of major animation studios like Disney, Pixar and DreamWorks. It’s an opportunity for independent filmmakers, with otherwise limited reach, to have their work seen by respected and influential artists and industry leaders. The Animation Show of Shows has largely been a private enterprise over the years, limited to animation professionals and mostly unseen or heard of by the general public. That’s about to change.


Earlier this month, Ron completed a successful Kickstarter campaign, raising over $100,000 to fund the Animation Show of Shows and help it reach an even larger audience. The Animation Show of Shows is now a registered non-profit organization with the long-term goal of being seen by audiences around the world while still honoring its mission to showcase the best work of animators everywhere. Ron Diamond is Tim's guest today in The Mouse Castle Lounge.

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Direct download: TheMouseCastleLounge07-10-2015.mp3
Category:Entertainment -- posted at: 4:07pm PST