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 09-27-2015 - Author, Historian and Disney Animator Tom Sito, Part One

Tom Sito has devoted his life to creating animation and preserving the animation profession’s rich history. Tom was an animator and story artist at Disney during the studio’s second golden age, contributing his talents to classic films such as Who Framed Roger Rabbit, The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin and Pocahontas. In the years that followed, Tom spent time at both DreamWorks Animation and Warner Bros. His credits at those studios include The Prince of Egypt, Antz, Shrek, Osmosis Jones and The Looney Tunes Movie.

Tom served three terms as president of the Hollywood Animation Guild and his fascination with union history, particularly the 1941 Walt Disney Studios strike, resulted in Tom’s 2006 book Drawing the Line: The Untold Story of the Animation Unions from Bosko to Bart Simpson. Tom is a former vice president of ASIFA/Hollywood, the International Animated Film Society, and in 2010 he received one of the organization’s highest honors, the June Foray Award, in recognition of his significant lifetime contribution to the animation industry.

Tom is currently professor chair of the School of Animation and Digital Arts at USC and he recently appeared in the PBS American Experience documentary, Walt Disney. Tom is a consummate storyteller and in part one of our two part conversation, he shares with us some of the highlights of his animation career. Tom Sito is Tim's guest today in The Mouse Castle Lounge.

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Direct download: TheMouseCastleLounge09-27-2015.mp3
Category:Entertainment -- posted at: 8:39pm PST

MCL 09-19-2015 - 'The Muppets' on ABC and 'The Emperor's New Groove'

Kermit the Frog, Miss Piggy, Fozzie Bear, Gonzo the Great, the whole gang is back for a new show on ABC. The Muppets premieres this Tuesday at 8:00 p.m. And the thing that has us really excited about the show is it’s taking the behind-the-scenes antics that were part of the original Muppet Show and bringing them up to date. So, instead of seeing what goes on backstage while the Muppets desperately attempt to put on a theatrical review, we get to see what goes on behind the scenes as the Muppets attempt to produce a night-time TV talk show, Up Late With Miss Piggy.


The Muppets is a reality show—well, as much of a reality show as a show about the Muppets can be. It comes complete with handheld camerawork, celebrity guest stars, and intimate one-on-one conversations with the cast. In fact, we’re going to get a little taste of that in today's show. Joining Tim today are some of the cast of The Muppets, starting with the green guy himself, Kermit the Frog.



On Monday, September 21st, one of our favorite modern-era Disney animated films is going to be celebrating its 15th anniversary with a special screening at the El Capitan Theatre in Hollywood. The Emperor’s New Groove will be shown at 7:00 p.m. and will be introduced by an esteemed panel of artists: the film’s executive producer Don Hahn, director Mark Dindal, producer Randy Fullmer and screenwriter David Reynolds. In May of last year, Don Hahn was Tim's guest in The Mouse Castle Lounge and among the many things they talked about was The Emperor’s New Groove. Return with us, if you will, to that show and hear what Don had to say about this extremely funny, irreverent and unlikely fan favorite.

For our friends in the Los Angeles area, tickets are still available to see The Emperor’s New Groove on the big screen (and Don Hahn and Mark Dindal and Randy Fullmer and Mark Reynolds). Just call 1-800-Disney6 or visit The doors open at 6:00 Monday night and the screening starts at 7:00. We highly recommend you get there early for trivia, a costume contest and a whole lot more. 


Direct download: TheMouseCastleLounge09-19-2015.mp3
Category:Entertainment -- posted at: 3:49am PST

MCL 09-11-2015 - 'Walt Disney' Producer and Director Sarah Colt

Nearly 50 years after his death, Walt Disney continues to fascinate us. A giant entertainment and media company that he co-founded thrives under his name, and dozens upon dozens of fansites, blogs and podcasts—including this one—exist because of what Walt created: a universe of fantasy and adventure where wishing on stars makes dreams come true and anything is possible with a little faith, trust and pixie dust. While many respect, even idolize Walt, he wasn’t without his detractors—no one who achieved as much success as he did is beyond reproach. For all his talent, creative vision and charisma, he could also be stubborn, short-tempered and distant. In other words, human.


Much has been documented of Walt’s myriad accomplishments in animation, live-action film, television and themed entertainment. That’s the easy part. More complicated is understanding what made Walt tick. What fueled his ambitions? Was his true nature that of the avuncular host TV viewers saw every week, or did he just use it to hide a deeper, darker persona? Many a historian and researcher has attempted to answer these questions with varying levels of success. Filmmaker Sarah Colt is the latest person to join the conversation. Her four-hour documentary, Walt Disney will air over two nights September 14th and 15th on PBS as part of the network’s American Experience series.


Sarah has worked in public television for nearly twenty years. She’s an Emmy Award winner whose directing and producing credits include the documentaries Henry Ford and The Polio Crusade, both for American Experience. In their conversation today, Tim and Sarah talk about how her Walt Disney project came to be and how she managed to make her film with the cooperation--but without the interference--of the Walt Disney Company. We also explore Walt Disney’s legacy and discuss how best to judge his 20th century persona through a 21st century filter. Sarah Colt is Tim's guest today in The Mouse Castle Lounge.
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Direct download: TheMouseCastleLounge09-11-2015.mp3
Category:Entertainment -- posted at: 5:43pm PST

MCL 09-04-2015 - Disney Legend Bill "Sully" Sullivan, Part Two

We hope you're having a great Labor Day weekend. Tim is at the Disneyland Resort this weekend, not only for Force Friday--did you get any cool Star Wars Merchandise?--but also here for the 10th anniversary of the Disneyland Half Marathon. His guest in the Lounge today has nothing to do with either of those events, but you're really going to like him. He's Disney Legend Bill "Sully" Sullivan and you're going to hear part two of Tim's conversation with Sully about his nearly 40 years with Disney.


Sully started out as a ticket taker on the Jungle Cruise at Disneyland in 1955 and finished his career in 1994 as vice president of the Magic Kingdom in Florida. Between those times, he got to know both Walt and Roy Disney. He worked at the Winter Olympics in Squaw Valley in 1960 and the New York World's Fair in 1963 and '64. Last week, Sully told us much about those adventures and in part two of our conversation, he picks things up in October 1971 as Walt Disney World is closing in on its Grand Opening.


Sully also shares some of his fondest memories of both Walt and Roy, as well as the day he got the biggest surprise of his career: the letter from Michael Eisner telling him he'd been named a Disney Legend. It's part two of Tim's conversation with Sully Sullivan in The Mouse Castle Lounge.
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Direct download: TheMouseCastleLounge09-04-2015.mp3
Category:Entertainment -- posted at: 8:34pm PST