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Archive for the ‘Disney’ Category

Happy 80th Birthday Mickey Mouse

Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck model sheet

Today is Mickey Mouse’s 80’s birthday!

Plane Crazy (1928)

Steamboat Willie (1928)

He’s sure changed quite a bit over the years, from a wreckless plane-flying letch to a guy who got a tune by wrenching animal tails and hitting them with sticks to the wonderfully appealing Freddie Moore design in Fantasia‘s Sorcerer’s Apprentice to homogenised theme park bobble-head.

Fantasia: Sorcerer’s Apprentice (1940)

Mickey Mouse Club Intro (1955)

What better way to celebrate than by digging up a bunch of old links:

A Biological Homage to Mickey Mouse: “He has assumed an ever more childlike appearance as the ratty character of Steamboat Willie became the cute and inoffensive host to a magic kingdom. By 1940, the former tweaker of pig’s nipples gets a kick in the ass for insubordination (as the sorcerer’s Apprentice in Fantasia). By 1953, last cartoon, he has gone fishing and cannot even subdue a squirting clam.”

How Mickey Mouse Lost His Way

Photos: Around the World in 80 Mickeys

The Runaway Brain: The last Mickey Mouse short, I believe, made in 1995.

BBC Radio 4 Today Programme: Mickey Mouse Turns 80.

Photos: Mickey Mouse Through the Years

And some obligatory affiliate links: Walt Disney Treasures Mickey In Living Colour, Mickey In Living Colour Vol. 2, Mickey Mouse in Black and White, Mickey Mouse in Black and White Vol. 2.

The Usbourne Book of the Future (1979)

Usbourne Book of the Future

I always love looking at optimistic views of the future from the past… and here’s a good one. The Usborne Book of the Future: A Trip in Time to the Year 2000 and Beyond, which was originally published in 1979. Chapters include “Robots: Science and medicine”, “Future Cities: Homes and living” and “Star Travel: Transport and travel”. (via Boing Boing)

It reminds me of the old EPCOT attractions from Walt Disney World like Horizons and Spaceship Earth that were also built around that time.

If you like this it’s also worth checking out the Paleofuture blog for all kinds of fantastic retro visions of the future.

Steve Jobs Audio-Animatronic for EPCOT’s Spaceship Earth

Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak

It seems sitting on the Disney board gets you all kinds of perks. Distant Creations report that an audio-animatronic (1970s, in-garage) Steve Jobs has been added to EPCOT’s Spaceship Earth attraction as part of its recent face-lift.

Spaceship Earth is scheduled to re-open in February with a new theme (more about technology and less about communication), narrated by Judi Dench. (via The Disney Blog)

Haunted Mansion/Bela Lugosi’s Dead mashup

Haunted Mansion/Bela Lugosi’s Dead: A superb mashup of the Ghost Host narration from Disneyland’s Haunted Mansion and Bauhaus’ Bela Lugosi’s Dead.

Haunted Mansion internal WED memo from 1969

Haunted Mansion WED document has a fascinating internal WED document from April 1969 regarding the about-to-open Haunted Mansion Disneyland attraction. (via BoingBoing)

Chris Sanders has a website

Chris Sanders sketch

Chris Sanders, former Disney artist and the creator/director of Lilo and Stitch, finally has a website. He also released a new sketchbook at this year’s San Diego Comi-con which I’ll have to order a copy of to sit alongside the one he printed last year on my bookshelf.

Turn your home into Adventureland

Walt Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room

Is your home lacking a certain… Disneyland-style tiki-ness? Help is at hand. How to turn your home into Adventureland.

EPCOT: Goodbye Spaceship Earth wand

Bye bye EPCOT wand

Ding dong, the wand is dead. Finally!

The hideous millennium wand and dismembered Mickey Mouse arm that’s clung to the side of EPCOT’s geodesic sphere for the last seven years is finally coming down. It has been reported that Siemens, the new sponsor of the attraction, made a request that it be removed as part of the current Spaceship Earth rehab.

In a kind of ironic fashion, the news has been confirmed just one month after the EPCOT Central blog decided to call it a day.

The Leave a Legacy monoliths with remain until at least 2020, but I hope they at least remove the ugly brown decals from the support legs before then.

Some related bits and pieces:

In case you’d forgotten how fantastic it used to look, here’s a reminder. This is a promotional slide from Walt Disney World in 1982, courtesy of Jeff B on Flickr:

EPCOT Center: Spaceship Earth in 1982

Update: Keep an eye on the progress of Spaceship Earth over at

Disney: Sorry, we can’t hire you because you’re a woman

Not new news by any stretch, but this is the first time I’ve seen the infamous rejection letter that Disney sent in response to a woman who applied for a job as an animator with my own eyes: “women do not do any of the creative work in connection with preparing cartoons for the screen in making animated cartoons, as that is performed entirely by young men”. (via Boing Boing)

The Submarine Voyage Returns to Disneyland

Submarine Voyage

The Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage re-opened in Tomorrowland at Disneyland last week after the original Submarine Voyage closed to guests nearly ten years ago. The Re-Imaginering blog heralds the new attraction as a beginning of a promising new era at Disneyland:

Along with the submarine fleet, another long lost unit has come marching home again… the animators. And they are bringing the “Walt” back to Disneyland.

In the acquisition of Pixar, Disney has bought back their wandering soul and healthy inner child – at a premium – and it could not have been a better move. Here are to be found the traditional Disney talents and ideas, the Walt spirit in exile.

The Disney Blog highlights a number of links to launch coverage, two ride-throughs and interviews from the press event.

Disney Geek has a photo journal of his first visit ride of the subs on June 15th.