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Toon Tuesday : Mary in the morning, Ellenshaw in the afternoon

Jim Hill

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Toon Tuesday : Mary in the morning, Ellenshaw in the afternoon

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When people talk about upcoming Disney-related events, you tend to hear the same three names over and over again: Anaheim, Burbank, Orlando.

Which is great ... if you happen to actually live near Anaheim, Burbank or Orlando.

But as for the rest of us ... Getting a dose of Disney magic usually involves a plane ticket. Or -- at the very least -- a very long car ride.

Which is why -- whenever I hear about Mouse-related events that are being held outside of Southern California and/or Central Florida -- I really like to talk them up. So if you live in the Bay Area and need a Disney fix, I'm going to suggest that you clear your calendar on Saturday, October 27th. That way, you'll then be available to follow the itinerary that I'm about to sketch out. Which will then send you off on a one-of-a-kind Disney-related roadtrip.

Your day will start in San Francisco. At 655 Mission Street, to be exact. The home of the Cartoon Art Museum.

You'll be at the CAM right at 11 a.m., just as this museum opens for the day. That way, you can be among the very first to see "The Art and Flair of Mary Blair."


 Copyright 2003 Disney Enterprises, Inc.
All Rights Reserved

As you stroll through the Cartoon Art Museum's gallery space, you're going to see an amazing retrospective of this Disney Legend's work. Featuring pieces from Kevin Blair (i.e. son of Mary & Lee Blair, nephew of Preston) 's personal archives, "The Art and Flair of Mary Blair" will take an in-depth look at the groundbreaking concept art that she created for "Cinderella," "Alice in Wonderland" and "Peter Pan." Not to mention the work that Blair did for children's books and advertisements back in the 1950s.

This new Cartoon Art Museum exhibit is sure to be a must-see for Disneyana fans. Given that it will not only feature Mary's movie work but will also touch on the designs that she did for the Disney theme parks. With particular attention being paid to Blair's contributions on the "it's a small world" project.

Well, even if it really is a small world, you're still going to need to get a move on if you're going to complete today's intinerary. So after you've had your fill of Mary's charming geometric designs, hop back in your car and head over the Bay Bridge. Follow 80 East to 580 East out to Livermore. Where you'll then make a stop at "Where the Magic Begins."


Copyright 2007 Disney / Collectors Editions. All Rights Reserved

If you're a Disneyana fan who lives in the Bay Area, you're probably already well aware of this unique shop at Las Positas Court. Which features a wide variety of Disney gifts & collectibles. Not to mention special events like signings by noted Mouse-related authors and artists.

And Saturday, October 27th is a particularly special day at "Where the Magic Begins." Given that visual effects whiz Harrison Ellenshaw will be on site from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Where he'll then be available to sign pieces from the "Disney Art by Ellenshaw" collection.

These paintings draw their inspiration from many of the classic films that Walt Disney Pictures has produced over the past 50 years. With each limited edition giclée-on-canvas being signed & numbered by either Harrison or his Disney Legend father, the late Peter Ellenshaw.

Michael Young of Collectors Editions will also be on hand for this event, where Harrison will premiere a series of castles that were painted by his late father, Disney Legend Peter Ellenshaw. These paintings draw their inspiration from many of the classic films that Walt Disney Pictures has produced over the past 50 years. With each limited edition giclée-on-canvas being signed & numbered by either Harrison or Peter.


Copyright 2007 Disney / Collectors Editions. All Rights Reserved

Which sounds like a really fun way to spend your afternoon, don't you think? Wait. It gets better.

If you hang at "Where the Magic Begins" 'til 5 p.m. on October 27th, you'll then get to witness a one-of-kind Disney wedding. Where store owners Rick & Cindy Russell will be tying the knot, Cinderella style. With the Coach & the horses, the mice and the pumpkins, even the Fairy Godmother will be on hand.

That sounds like a pretty magical way to end your Disney-related day in the Bay Area, don't you think?

For further information on "The Art and Flair of Mary Blair" exhibit at the Cartoon Art Museum, please click on this link and/or call (415) CAR-TOON.

If you'd like to learn more about Cindy & Rick Russell's wedding and/or Harrison Ellenshaw's signing event at "Where the Magic Begins" on Saturday, October 27th, please click on this link or call (866) 441-2766.

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  • Nice post.

    I have seen the work for the Mary Blair exhibit, it's going to be awesome.  I am very biased of course. The Cartoon also has exhibits with the work of Edward Gorey and local artist Lark Pien.

  • Cartoon Art Museum website does not seem to have info on the Mary Blair exhibit.  At least I couldn't find it.  

    Can anyone please tell me how long that exhibit will be on display?   We can not be there on 10/27 but do plan to be in the Nay Area later in the year.

  • OK Jim, now you've gone and done it LOL. The Cartoon Art Museum is close to the current location of the antique carousel that my cousins once owned. And I gotta go see that Disney store in Livermore. For those interested in the carousel, it's at Moscone Center. It's a 1906 Loof Company Carousel. My cousins owned San Francisco's beloved and much missed "Playland at the Beach" where the carousel operated for many years. It's all original and completely restored so give it a whirl if you're in the area.

  • The carousel is wonderful and ZEM (which is next door) can be fun for an adult who likes to be a kid. I love to do the stop motion while I am there.

    Here is the press release for the Mary Blair show Arrowyn, hope it give you all the info.

    The Art and Flair of Mary Blair

    October 27, 2007 - March 18, 2008

    "Mention the name Mary Blair, and few will recognize it.  But say she designed 'Alice In Wonderland,' the 'It's A Small World' ride at Disneyland, and painted many of the most popular Little Golden Books, and people will 'Oh yeah!' in recognition.   Few others working in animation in the '40s and '50s were as  innovative, interesting, and accessible as Mary Blair.  Through her unique color styling and graphically strong shape language, her work pushed animation design in a different direction towards a more evocative, suggested feeling of the subject matter.

    "Blair's work is decidedly not realistic, but it evokes powerful emotions in the audience.  Her sense of color defies logical explanation, yet somehow feels emotionally perfect.  No wonder Walt Disney loved her work.  Like animation itself, her paintings were a caricature of real life; more intensely evocative of the thing than the thing itself."

    --Pete Docter, Director of "Monsters, Inc.," Pixar Animation Studios

    The Cartoon Art Museum is proud to present The Art and Flair of Mary Blair, a retrospective exhibition of the work of famed animation designer Mary Blair (1911-1978). One of the first women to work as a concept artist for Disney, Blair was responsible for the look of some of the key Disney films of the 1940s and 1950s including Cinderella and Peter Pan. Her colorful, charming geometric designs, synonymous with 1950s style, appeared in advertisements and children¹s books. Perhaps her most famous creation, however, is the Disneyland attraction ³It¹s A Small World,² which Blair originally designed for the 1964 World¹s Fair. She was posthumously recognized as a Disney Legend in 1991 and  was honored with a Winsor  McCay animation award in 1996.

    This once-in-a-lifetime exhibition includes an array of Blair¹s groundbreaking concept art for classic Disney feature films including Alice in Wonderland, Cinderella, and Peter Pan, Disney shorts such as The Little House, Johnny Appleseed, and Susie, The Little Blue Coupe, and Disney theme parks and attractions, including ³It¹s A Small World.²

    The Art and Flair of Mary Blair showcases the full scope of Blair¹s career as an artist and illustrator, including early watercolor paintings, commercial illustrations for such clients as Hanes, Pall Mall, and Baker¹s Chocolate, a selection of Blair¹s fine art, unpublished family photographs, and children¹s book illustrations, including pages from the classic Little Golden Book I Can Fly.

    Information regarding the opening reception and additional programming will be announced as details are confirmed.

  • I meant to write ZEUM and not ZEM

  • I just found out that the Cartoon Art Museum has a blog: http://cartoonart.livejournal.com/ where they have all the current information. The website is in the process  of being updated.

  • Thanks Atomic Bear!

  • I wanted to thank you for alerting me to the Disney store in the Bay Area I visited it and was very happy to see a wide selection of Disney items. I got a few gifts.  They even had a tree full of disney ornaments. I got  a flier for the event you mentioned on the 27th. It had an art gallery that was quite amazing. I also found out Pixar is coming with a book signing with Leslie Iwerks and Karen Paik in November. Anyway I had a good time visiting this store. I will also be going to see the Mary Blair show. Thank you it is hard for those of us who can not get to the Parks. Made my day.

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