Wednesday, September 21, 2011

It's Andy Anaheim!

The original Andy Anaheim model sheet, drawn by the Walt Disney Studio, early 1954.

Of course, you know all about Andy Anaheim, right?

If you just happen to be in Anaheim this Saturday, I'll be hosting a presentation about Andy at the Anaheim Historical Society CITRUS CELEBRATION in Founders' Park. It'll be old-fashioned home-towny fun.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Ghoulish Delight

Jody and I will be traveling to Walt Disney World for the resort's 40th anniversary on October 1, and Disney asked if we might create something special for a Haunted Mansion themed auction that takes place the night before, on September 30th. We decided on a unique interpretation of the Hatbox Ghost - a one-of-a-kind maquette based on artist Collin Campbell's original painting for the famous 1969 Disneyland Record, "The Story and Song from The Haunted Mansion."

For decades, old Hattie's legend was kept alive for thousands of kids lucky enough to own a copy of this LP, with its "magnificent full-color illustrated book." There was (and still is) something deliciously disturbing and exciting about Collin Campbell's illustrations, and the very best page was the the one that showed "a cloaked man whose head disappears from his body and glows hideously from within a hat box."

As far as we know, we've never seen a three-dimensional figure based on Campbell's Haunted Mansion illustrations, so this may very well be the first. Our 8-1/4" tall ghost was cast from my sculpture and then hand-painted by Jody in Campbell's illustrative style, with "hair" fibers added on as a final touch. The maquette is displayed on a wooden base made of antique weathered barn wood, under a glass bell jar. When viewed through the wavy glass, the figure takes on a mildly distorted appearance that makes him even more ghostly.

Hope to meet some of you in Florida.

Here is where we'll be...

Friday, September 30, 2011 -- WDW's Contemporary Resort
Signing at the Contemporary Resort gift shop from 10am-12pm

Saturday, October 1, 2011 -- WDW's actual 40th Anniversary
Diamond Horseshoe in the Magic Kingdom from 1pm-3pm

Monday, September 05, 2011

September Song

So, how was your summer? Wonderful, I hope.  Mine was outstanding.  

This summer Jody and I went to a bunch of great parties (and threw a couple of really good ones, ourselves), we took some memorable road trips with friends, enjoyed countless bicycle rides on both U.S. coasts, finally landscaped the backyard, and still found time to hang out as much as possible with all our neighbors at the Anaheim Brewery.

But this doesn't mean we goofed around from May to September.  We also worked our tails off.  The Soundsational Parade opened at Disneyland in May and we were part of the promotional hysteria at the beginning.  (As a birthday present from the Disney team, I got to be a chimney sweep in the parade's premier!) We debuted new collectibles throughout the summer, for Disneyland, Walt Disney World, and D23.  We contributed to the new Trader Sam's enchanted tiki bar (and designed a line of custom drinkware that will appear at Sam's sooner or later). We built a pirate parrot, and now we're tackling an exciting project for Tokyo Disneyland.  All in all, one of the best summers of my life.

But one other thing happened this summer that on the surface might seem small, but for me is huge.  I fell in love with the city I live in.  So did Jody!  Anaheim is a uniquely American city with an amazing history, though it has always struggled to find an identity of its own. Except to those who actually live here, most people consider Anaheim to be synonymous with Disneyland, but I've discovered there is much more to this town than that.

In July I had the unbelievable good fortune of being elected vice president of the Anaheim Historical Society.  It's a 35-year old organization of enthusiastic folks who help preserve the history, public art and significant architecture of the city for future generations.  Anaheim's Historical Society is especially vital, and a fantastic organization to be a part of. 

We're about to have our annual kick-off event on Saturday, September 24th and I sincerely hope everyone reading this will come.  The "Citrus Celebration" in Founder's Park will be a wonderful little "small town" event with tours of two historic houses, the gigantic living tree that inspired Disneyland's Swiss Family Robinson Treehouse attraction, orange soda & vanilla ice cream floats provided by Ruby's diner, fresh Anaheim-grown lemonade and presentations on the agricultural era for which Orange County is named.  We're putting a whole lot of effort into this so I hope you can come down and experience an Anaheim I'll bet you never knew existed.

And I hope you'll consider becoming a member of the Society, as well, even if you don't live in Anaheim!