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 10-23-2015 - Disney Author and Historian Jim Fanning, 'The Disney Book'

You’d be hard pressed to find a more prolific Disney writer than Jim Fanning. For over 30 years, Jim has written countless articles for publications ranging from Disney News to Disney Magazine to Sketches to Disney twenty-three. He’s contributed stories to The Hollywood Reporter, Disney Newsreel and Persistence of Vision. His work internally at Disney has spanned nearly every division including Feature Animation, Home Video, Publishing, Interactive, Online, Educational, Character Voices, Disney Stores and Consumer Products. Not bad for a kid who started his career at Disney in the mail room.

Jim has written a number of books and his latest is a compendium of Disney history called The Disney Book: A Celebration of the World of Disney. It reads like a greatest hits package, spotlighting the many watershed moments of Disney animation, live-action film, television, theme parks and merchandising. It takes us from Walt’s humble beginnings as a cartoonist and animator in Kansas City all the way to the gargantuan construction of the Walt Disney Company’s latest resort enterprise, Shanghai Disneyland.

Pretty much everything in the book is the glossed-over “official” version of Disney history, which is unsurprising given the book was published by DK, an official licensee of Disney. Nevertheless, it’s an enchanting read with plenty of photos and artwork that serve as a perfect introduction for those new to Disney, and a nostalgic reminder to the rest of us of how Disney magic hooked us in the first place. Today, Jim talks about the creative efforts it took to bring The Disney Book to life, the many Disney Legends he’s gotten to know over the years, and why some of his projects you may never quite understand. Jim Fanning is Tim's guest today in The Mouse Castle Lounge.

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Category:Entertainment -- posted at: 3:06pm PST

MCL 10-16-2015 - Disney Historian Didier Ghez, 'They Drew as They Pleased'

Disney historian Didier Ghez is once again paying a visit to the Lounge—this will be his fourth time. He just can’t get enough of us.

It’s always a pleasure to have Didier on the show and today he’s here to talk about his latest project, They Drew as They Pleased, a book series celebrating the great concept and story artists of Disney’s past. 

Before an animator begins to work magic with a character, he or she draws inspiration from the sketches and designs of concept artists. The Disney Studios set the standard for this artistic collaboration beginning in the 1930s, bringing aboard major talents such as Albert Hurter, Ferdinand Horvath, Gustaf Tenggren and Bianca Majolie. Didier’s first volume shines the spotlight on these artists, whose influences can be seen in numerous Mickey Mouse and Silly Symphony short cartoons of the era as well as feature films like Snow White and Seven Dwarfs, Pinocchio, and Fantasia.

Much of the art Didier has compiled comes from rarely seen private collections or from deep inside the vaults of the Disney Animation Research Library. It’s a genuine treat to be able to see them publicly for the first time. Just as fascinating are the book’s biographical notes, which give a compelling look not only at the talent and temperament of the artists profiled, but also insight into what it was like to work for Walt Disney at the beginning of the studio’s first golden age. We cannot recommend They Drew as They Pleased enough and we cannot wait to see what the future volumes hold.

Here today to talk as he pleases is Didier Ghez, Tim's guest in The Mouse Castle Lounge.
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Category:Entertainment -- posted at: 7:07pm PST

MCL 10-03-2015 - Tom Sito, Part Two, and the CHOC Walk in the Park

For over 50 years, the Children’s Hospital of Orange County has provided state of the art pediatric care to children throughout Southern California. Walt Disney himself was among the many community leaders who championed the need for an area children’s hospital in the early 1960s and helped make it a reality. CHOC Children’s, as it’s known today, has grown from a 62-bed children’s hospital into a complete pediatric health care system with numerous facilities serving multiple counties. CHOC Children’s has been recognized nationally for both its critical care and nursing excellence.

Each year, the Disneyland Resort partners with CHOC Children’s to put on the CHOC Walk in the Park, the largest single pediatric fundraising event in the country. It’s a three-mile stroll through Disneyland, Disney California Adventure and Downtown Disney that draws thousands of participants annually. Since 1990, the CHOC Walk has raised over $24 million to support the health and well-being of children. Joining Tim in The Mouse Castle Lounge today is Zach Abrams, director of special events and corporate relations for the CHOC Children’s Foundation. He’s going to tell us everything we need to know about this year’s event coming up on October 11th.

Before we get to Zach, though, Tim wraps up part two of his fascinating conversation with author, historian and former Disney animator Tom Sito. Last week, Tom shared stories about his memorable animation career, where he worked alongside many of the greats including Richard Williams, Shamus Culhane, Art Babbitt, Glen Keane and Eric Goldberg. Tom appeared recently on the PBS American Experience documentary “Walt Disney” and last week he talked at length about the documentary and its portrayal of Walt, his life and his legacy. Tim and Tom pick up that part of the conversation by looking at one of more persistent—and false—rumors that continues to dog Walt Disney’s reputation.
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Category:Entertainment -- posted at: 10:51am PST