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.

In the summer of 1955, William “Sully” Sullivan got a job at Disneyland, just days after he watched the park’s grand opening on television. It was the beginning of a career with Disney that lasted nearly forty years. Sully started out as a ticket taker on the Jungle Cruise before becoming a Jungle Cruise skipper. And that was just the beginning. Sully moved up the ranks at Disneyland, with side trips to the 1960 Winter Olympics in Squaw Valley and the 1964-65 World’s Fair in New York. He got to know both Walt Disney and Roy Disney. He even met his future wife in Adventureland. Sully ended his career as vice president of the Magic Kingdom in Florida, and in 2005 was named a Disney Legend.


In his memoir, From Jungle Cruise Skipper to Disney Legend: 40 Years of Magical Memories at Disney, Sully talks about the many adventures he had during his lengthy career, and he’s going to share a few of them with us today. In part one of our two-part conversation Sully tells us about Walt, the early days of Disneyland, and the four principles that guided Sully throughout his career. Sully Sullivan is Tim's guest today in The Mouse Castle Lounge.
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Direct download: TheMouseCastleLounge08-28-2015.mp3
Category:Entertainment -- posted at: 5:19pm PST

MCL 08-21-2015 - Inside the Disney Marketing Machine, the Walt Disney Hometown Museum and the Walt Disney Birthplace

Another D23 Expo has come and gone. Hopefully you caught our slightly inebriated recap of the festivities on Inside The Mouse Castle. Today, we’re going to sit down in the Lounge with some of the people who were part of the Expo. Tim's got Kaye Malins and Peter Whitehead with the Walt Disney Hometown Museum in Walt’s boyhood home of Marceline, MO. They’re going to talk about their ambitious fundraising efforts to restore the Midget Autopia, which was relocated from Disneyland to the city of Marceline in 1966. It operated in Marceline for a number of years before falling into disrepair and now the Museum wants to bring it back…and you can help.


Another great cause to support is the Walt Disney Birthplace in Chicago. It’s the actual home designed and built by Walt’s parents in 1893 and the very place Walt was born in 1901. The Birthplace is undergoing an extensive restoration and Todd Regan will be here to bring us up to date on how it’s progressing.


Before we get to that, though, we’ll be joined by the former director of corporate synergy with Disney, Lorraine Santoli. She’s also an author who’s had a long time association with the original Mouseketeers. In fact, Lorraine hosted a celebration of 60 magical years of the Mickey Mouse Club at the D23 Expo. She was joined on stage by the likes of Sherry Alberoni, Sharon Baird, Bobby Burgess, Tommy Cole, Darlene Gillespie, Cubby O’Brien and Doreen Tracey. It was a delightful presentation.


Before the Expo, Tim and Lorraine chatted on the phone about her latest book, a memoir of her 22 years at the Walt Disney Company, Inside The Disney Marketing Machine. In it, Lorraine recalls the many memorable events she was part of in the 1970s, 80s and 90s including Mickey Mouse’s 50th birthday, Donald Duck’s 50th birthday and Disneyland’s 30th anniversary. She also talks at length about the leadership styles of Disney’s top executives during that time, Michael Eisner and Frank Wells. It’s an insightful look behind the scenes of an entertainment company on the verge of becoming the media giant it is today. 


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Direct download: TheMouseCastleLounge08-21-2015.mp3
Category:Entertainment -- posted at: 5:25pm PST

MCL 08-14-2015 - The Making of 'Pinocchio' with Disney Historian J.B. Kaufman

Pinocchio is arguably Walt Disney's most triumphant achievement in animation. The charming, perilous and ultimately heroic story of the wooden boy who wanted to be real has delighted movie audiences for 75 years. It's a film that represents the absolute peak of Disney animation artistry and storytelling. How the movie came to life is as compelling as the story of Pinocchio himself, and author J.B. Kaufman has written an exquisitely detailed book about it: Pinocchio: The Making of the Disney Epic.


J.B. is always a welcome guest in the Lounge. You may recall a conversation Tim had with him a few years ago about two of his other amazing works of Disney history, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs: The Art and Creation of Walt Disney's Classic Animated Film and its companion volume, The Fairest One of All. These are must-reads for any Disney enthusiast, just like J.B.'s meticulously researched book on Pinocchio. He's at the D23 Expo this weekend, but not because of Snow White or Pinocchio, mind you. Because of Silly Symphonies.

In 2006, J.B. wrote a comprehensive history of Walt Disney's Silly Symphonies with co-author Russell Merritt. Drawing on that expertise, both historians were asked to contribute liner notes to the upcoming release of the Silly Symphony Collection on vinyl from the Disney Music Emporium. Tied to that release, you can catch both J.B. and Russell at the D23 Expo along with music producer Randy Thornton. They'll be inside the Anaheim Convention Center at the Disney Dream Store today at 4:30 p.m. and Sunday at 3:45 p.m. They'’ll also be at the Expo’s Autograph Central Saturday at 1:00 p.m..


For now, however, let's wish upon a star and go behind the scenes for a look at the making of Pinocchio with J.B. Kaufman, Tim's guest today in The Mouse Castle Lounge.


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Direct download: TheMouseCastleLounge08-14-2015.mp3
Category:Entertainment -- posted at: 1:48am PST

MCL 08-07-2015 - Randy Thornton and Disney's Music Legacy

Randy Thornton is a long-time producer and restorer of Disney music. In his nearly 29 years with Walt Disney Records, he has received numerous recording industry awards including ten Gold Records, four platinum records, six Grammy nominations and one Grammy win. Randy is the producer of the "Lost Chords," a collection of songs originally written for classic Disney animated films like "Peter Pan" and "Cinderella" that never made it into the final productions. Some of those "Lost Chords" found their way into one of Randy’s other projects, "The Legacy Collection."

"The Legacy Collection" is a series of collectible CDs celebrating the anniversaries of great Disney films like "Fantasia," "Pinocchio," "Lady and the Tramp" and "The Lion King." They’re available online from Amazon and at Currently available only at the Disneyland Resort is the "Disneyland Legacy Collection" set, three CDs celebrating 60 years of Disney theme park magic. Can’t make it to Disneyland? No worries. The set will be available online later this month. Each "Legacy Collection" set is handsomely packaged with original cover art by Disney artist Lorelay Bove. The sets also contain song lyrics, concept art and extensive liner notes rich in Disney history.

Randy Thornton is an artist who takes great pride in his work. In his conversation with Tim Callaway, he talks at length about his career and his passion for preserving Disney’s great music legacy. Randy is Tim's guest today in "The Mouse Castle Lounge."
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Direct download: TheMouseCastleLounge08-07-2015.mp3
Category:Entertainment -- posted at: 10:11pm PST

MCL 07-31-2015 - Snow White, Silly Symphonies and the Disney Music Group
The D23 Expo is coming up August 14-16 at the Anaheim Convention Center. At a Disney fan gathering where the Walt Disney Studios and Disney Parks and Resorts typically get the lion's share of attention, the Disney Music Group this year will have a much higher profile. DMG oversees the various Disney recording labels like Walt Disney Records and Hollywood Records and also runs Disney Music Publishing. In addition, they manage a very cool website where you can purchase all manner of Disney collectible music items, the Disney Music Emporium.
At the D23 Expo, the Disney Music Group and the Disney Music Emporium will present a concert called Disney in Concert: A Silly Symphony Celebration. They’ll screen a selection of Walt Disney’s famous musical cartoons backed by a 32-piece live orchestra. How cool is that? The concert will tie in with the release of an epic musical boxed set—on vinyl—called The Silly Symphony Collection. Contained in the set will be remastered audio recordings of all 75 Silly Symphony cartoons released between 1929 and 1939. Expo attendees will be the first people able to pre-order the Silly Symphony set. After that, it can be ordered online at the Disney Music Emporium beginning on August 17. The set will list for $399.98 and will include a free digital download. If you pre-order it, you’ll also receive a 10” vinyl single with "The Skeleton Dance" on Side A and the "Three Little Pigs" on Side B.
Recently, Tim paid a visit to the Walt Disney Studios and sat down with Jon Heely, director of music publishing and concert licensing at the Disney Music Group. They talked about Silly Symphonies, of course, but they also talked about an amazing limited edition book release from the Disney Music Legacy Libraries. It’s the Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs Master Score. And by master score I mean a reproduction of every piece of sheet music from "Snow White" illustrating how the music synchronized with the film. The printed score even includes notations by numerous artists and technicians that helped bring the movie to life. Only 400 of these are being released. The first 200 are available now at the Disney Music Emporium. Another 200 will be available at the D23 Expo.
Jon Heely is my first guest in The Mouse Castle Lounge today. I also chat with Randy Thornton with the Disney Music Group and Kevin Augunas, Neil Schield and Jesse Obstbaum with Fairfax Recordings.
It's a great time to be a Disney music fan. Enjoy!
CORRECTION 8/5/15: When I originally posted this story, I indicated that the notations to the Master Score were made by "Snow White's" original composers, i.e., Frank Churchill, Leigh Harline and Paul Smith. That may be a possibility, but since this was a working document, the truth is a number of artists and sound technicians would also have made notations to the score to assist with the recording and audio synchronization including (possibly) studio engineer Bill Garity and director Wilfred Jackson. We can't be exactly sure who made what notations--but doesn't that make it even more interesting?
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Direct download: TheMouseCastleLounge07-31-2015.mp3
Category:Entertainment -- posted at: 7:39pm PST