When I said we had a lot of art today, I wasn’t kidding. Right now we can exclusively debut a piece from one of /Film’s favorite artist, Paul Shipper. This piece is a portrait of Walt Disney, the Human being who has won and been nominated for the most oscars, ever. The piece will appear in Hero Complex Gallery’s ‘Award Legends’ art show which opens on February 15th 2013. The Walt Disney print will be a limited edition of 50, printed on 10×8” 300gsm FineArt Giclée. Above is just a close-up shot, check out the full image after the jump.

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A piece of Disney trivia that isn’t exactly new, but might be unknown to casual fans, is that Walt Disney‘s defining character Mickey Mouse has his roots in another animated figure that Disney animated for producer Charles Mintz and Universal before he struck out on his own.

Oswald the Lucky Rabbit was the star of Universal’s first animated series, in 26 cartoons produced in the ’20s and ’30s by Disney and Ub Iwerks. When Disney broke from Universal he had to leave Oswald behind due to restrictions in his contract with Mintz. Mickey Mouse was reportedly born on Disney’s journey home to California from New York after leaving his final meeting with Mintz.

In 2006 Disney (the company) acquired the rights to Oswald, and has been slowly bringing the character back into the active roster. (You can see him in the Epic Mickey game, for example.) 2012 is the 85th anniversary of the character, and so Disney is releasing a recreated bit of Oswald animation, built from Disney’s original sketches. Check it out below. Read More »

As many of you know, I’m a big theme park fanatic. I’m not a huge fan of Pixar’s Cars, but yet I’ve been eagerly awaiting (for the last few years) the addition of Cars Land to Disneyland’s offerings. And while Cars Land is gearing up to open on June 15th, I’m equally as excited to see the launch of Buena Vista Street, Disney’s new opening to California Adventure. Many people are looking at this combination as a complete relaunch of the theme park, California Adventure 2.0. There were a lot of problems with the initial offering, and Disney has spent $1.1 billion re-construction to right almost all the wrongs, and actually make the park feel like a Disney experience.

And what the Imagineers have done with Buena Vista Street is create a new story, an origin story for Walt Disney. They have created a street full of shops and restaurants (like Disneyland’s Main Street) which tells the story of a man from Kansas who arrives in 1920’s Los Angeles to become an animator. Who would have thought a street of stores could tell such a story?

Guests to Disneyland Resort this Summer probably won’t leave DCA talking about Buena Vista Street. They’ll more likely to be talking about Cars Land. But the experience will be felt. Remember, Walt Disney designed Main Street to serve as the opening credits to Disneyland (in face, the credits are on the windows of the stores you walk by as you head towards the castle). A movie’s opening credit sequence can set the tone and make an otherwise good film great, and the Imagineers have created an incredible gateway experience for DCA theme park guests.

Disney has released a fact sheet which explains in detail all of the new offerings. But my favorite part is the many details that make up the storytelling of the new theming on Buena Vista Street.

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The following report was filed by /Film guest writer Reza Lackey:

When you’re growing up, there is always something you would look forward to. The holidays, your birthday, the start of summer etc. When I was younger, there was one event I looked forward too more than any other; My yearly family vacation to southern California where I’d spend an entire day at Disneyland.

For as long as I can remember, my family and I would spend an entire day (sometimes two) of our summer vacation at the Happiest Place on Earth. I would think about this day all year long. I would plan the entire day weeks before. Which attractions we would see in which order, when we would have our meals and when we would claim our seats for shows. I would imagine the sound of the train pulling into Main St. Station. Reading the sign: “Here you leave today and enter the world of yesterday, tomorrow and fantasy.” I would wait 364 days to be there. And finally when that day would come, seeing, hearing and smelling Main Street U.S.A., I would become that happiest kid on the earth. My Dad would look down at me as I opened my brand new park map: “Where too? We’ll follow you.” It was my day.

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VOTD: How Walt Disney Cartoons Are Made

Check out this vintage Disney-produced short informational documentary How Walt Disney Cartoons Are Made which shows how the the studio created the first animated feature film ever produced. The documentary played before feature films in 1939.
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What is Page 2? Page 2 is a compilation of stories and news tidbits, which for whatever reason, didn’t make the front page of /Film. After the jump we’ve included 32 different items, fun images, videos, casting tidbits, articles of interest and more. It’s like a mystery grab bag of movie web related goodness. If you have any interesting items that we might’ve missed that you think should go in /Film’s Page 2 – email us!

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Cool Posts From Around the Web:

What is Page 2? Page 2 is a compilation of stories and news tidbits, which for whatever reason, didn’t make the front page of /Film. After the jump we’ve included 22 different items, fun images, videos, casting tidbits, articles of interest and more. It’s like a mystery grab bag of movie web related goodness. If you have any interesting items that we might’ve missed that you think should go in /Film’s Page 2 – email us!

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24 Frames has learned that Walt Disney Pictures is in talks to acquire Tiki, a screenplay written by musician Ahmet Zappa (yes, son of Frank Zappa) and writing partner Michael Wilson (Shark Tale, Ice Age, Burn Notice, Monster Witness Relocation Program). While the story is not directly related the the Enchanted Tiki Room attraction at Disneyland, Zappa and Wilson were inspired by the animatronic show and decided to write “an action-adventure that mixes in Polynesian mythology.”

I was just at Disneyland a couple weeks ago and visited the Tiki Room, which is one of the older attractions which many of the Disneyland visitors passby on the way to Indiana Jones. It’s one of the most underrated gems in the park, an attraction opened by Walt Disney himself in June 23rd 1963 featuring a room which would come to life using the latest in Audio-Animatronic technology.

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On December 23, 1935, Walt Disney wrote an eight page letter to a gentleman named Don Graham at the Chouinard Art Institute (now Cal Arts) asking him to help train new, and improve old, Disney animators. Walt felt that many of the men he employed weren’t working up to their potential and that by focusing on a few simple things, the studio’s output would improve exponentially. Well, after this letter, the studio released – in order – Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Pinocchio, Fantasia, Dumbo and Bambi. So, it seemed to have worked.

The letter is a fascinating look into the genius mind of Walt Disney, as it details the unique way he looked at movies, humor, drawing, running a company and much more. He details the minutia – such as body type and rhythm of movement – of animation and implores animators not to ignore these incredibly important things. Animators, or just fans of Disney, should really enjoy this. Check out scans of the letter and link to the full transcript after the break. Read More »