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Instead of a Why For this week, how about a Where For ?

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Instead of a Why For this week, how about a Where For ?

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Natalie Dressed writes in to say:

Thanks for plugging ASIFA-Hollywood's upcoming screening of "Raggedy Ann & Andy: A Musical Adventure." That was one of my favorite movies when I was a kid. And if I actually lived out in LA, I would definitely have made the trip over to the American Film Institute this weekend so that I could first attend that screening as well as listen in on the panel discussion afterwards.

Alas, I don't live anywhere near LA. Or Anaheim. Or Orlando. I live in Connecticut. Where if I want a Disney fix, I either have to haul my butt to the mall or drive all the way down into NYC.

I wish there were more Disney-related stuff going on out in this part of the country. But there isn't. Which is why I rely on sites like JHM, MiceAge, MousePlanet, LaughingPlace and WDWMagic for my daily Disney fix. Thank God for you guys.


Anyway, thanks for making me aware of that "Raggedy Ann" screening. Even though I won't be able to attend Saturday's screening, it was still nice to be able to see even a little bit of that film again via those YouTube clips that you posted.

Just don't forget that there are lots of JHM readers who live well away from California and Florida. So if you could start doing more promotion of Disney-related events that are happening outside of Anaheim & Orlando, people like me would really appreciate that.

Thanks again,

Natalie D.

Dear Natalie --

Hmmn. That's an interesting challenge. Finding some Disney-related events to promote that aren't actually happening in Anaheim or Orlando.

And it's weird that your e-mail should show up today. Particularly since the folks who run OceanEars (Which is the Southern New England Chapter of the National Fantasy Fan Club. Which is this U.S.-based organization for Disneyana Enthusiasts) sent a note earlier this week, asking if I could please talk up their Show and Sale. Which is being held tomorrow one state over from you.

That's right, Natalie. In Rhode Island. At the Crowne Plaza in Warwick, to be exact. From 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

If you're a Disney history buff, you should definitely make a point of checking out the OceanEars Show & Sale tomorrow. Given that this event will feature an appearance by Margaret Kerry, the actress who served as the live-action model for Disney's Tinker Bell. Margaret will be signing autographs as well as talking up her soon-to-be-published bio, "Tinker Bell Talks! Tales of a Pixie Dusted Life."

And speaking of great Disney-related books ... On Sunday, clear on the other side of the country (in Sherman Oaks, CA. to be precise), another chapter of the N.F.F.C. will be meeting. This time around, it'll the Studio Chapter in Los Angeles.

And at their meeting space at the Westfield Shopping Town Fashion Square mall, these folks will be entertained by another Disney author, David Koenig. Who will be talking about his newest behind-the-scenes-at-the-Mouse-House book, "Realityland: True-Life Adventures of Walt Disney World." Which is well worth a read.

And speaking of interesting Mouse-related activities at the mall ... Disney theme park fans know that -- when it comes to finding real bargains on Mickey merchandise -- that nothing beats the Character Warehouse.

This popular series of outlet stores (Which are managed by AMS, that Assets Management & Sales LLC that's based out of White House, TN) come in two varieties. There are the permanent Character Warehouses. One of which is located in the Orangefair Marketplace in Fullerton, CA. while the other is located in Las Vegas at the Annex at Las Vegas Factory Outlets.

Copyright 2007 AMS

And then there are the temporary Character Warehouses. One of which officially opens its doors this coming Sunday at the Puente Hills Mall in City of Industry, CA, while the other (Which is located in the Mesa Pavilions in Mesa, AZ) closes for good on Sunday, November 25th.

Of course, if money is no object when it comes to your Mouse-related merchandise, then maybe you should consider taking a trip to Manhattan. Where -- after strolling up 5th Avenue -- you can then shop 'til you drop at the company's flagship store, World of Disney.

Of course, what with this being the holiday shopping season & all, the NYC World of Disney has a few seasonal specials right now. Take -- for example -- that holiday Disney Bear that they'll sell you for just $10.00 with any purchase of $45.00 or more. Or -- better yet -- that colorful holiday throw which features Santa Mickey & Reindeer Pluto. Which World of Disney will sell you for just $15.00 with any purchase of $60.00 or more.

Mind you, if you'd prefer the real deal -- as in: props that were actually used in the production of motion pictures at Walt Disney Studios -- then perhaps you should check out Reel Appeal. Which opened to the public for the first time today in downtown LA at 523 Hewitt, near 5th and Alameda.

Now through the middle of February, this warehouse will be holding weekend-only sales. Where you'll find all manner of furniture that was used as set dressing in some of your favorite Disney films.

Mind you, you shouldn't expect to find anything that's too recognizable -- like the bed from "Bedknobs & Broomsticks." Before Walt Disney Studios agreed to sell off the contents of its prop warehouse to the folks who run Loft Appeal, they first had Dave Smith and the staff of the Disney Archives go through this 85,000 square foot facility. Only after 5000 of the more recognizable props were removed did Disney finally agree to sell off the rest of these items.

For further information on Reel Appeal's operating hours (as well as special instructions about how & where you need to park while you're visiting their display space), give Rich & Ron a call at (213) 625-1725. Also ... Given that we're talking about over a million different items here, be sure and allow yourself enough time to shop.

Speaking of time ... It always amazes me when the stagehands who work on the road companies of these Broadway musicals can just break down a set, toss it onto the back of a truck and then -- less than 48 hours later -- have this very same show up & ready to go in an entirely different location that's literally hundreds of miles away.

Case in point: Disney's "High School Musical on Tour." Disney Theatrical spared no expense while it was mounting the stage version of this uber-popular Disney Channel Original. So we're talking about a set that features a state-of-the-art lighting and projection system. Basically an enormous amount of equipment.

And yet once the curtain comes down at 8:30 p.m. on Sunday's second performance of HSM at Playhouse Square Center, the stagehands get right to work so that -- less than 48 hours later -- this same show can then begin performances at the Providence Center for the Performing Arts. That's breaking down a set, then packing it up, driving over 600 miles from Ohio to Rhode Island, unpacking this same set, doing lighting and sound checks ... All before the curtain has to go up again on Tuesday night at 7 p.m.

I honestly don't understand how they can do it.

The folks behind Feld Entertainment's latest "Disney Live!" production -- "Playhouse Disney Live!" -- would (in theory, anyway) seem to have a far easier go of things than the "High School Musical" crew. After all, once they complete tonight's performance at the Wicomico Youth and Civic Center in Salisbury, MD, this traveling arena show has a comparatively short haul -- just 300 or so miles -- to the Veterans Memorial Arena in Binghamton, NY. Where on Sunday afternoon, they then be making the 22nd stop in their 70-city tour.

What's that you say? You don't want to see peformers pretending to be toons. You want to learn how people actually make cartoons? Well, if you want to pick up a few tips from one of the real masters of this artform, then you should probably stop by the ASIFA-Hollywood Animation Archive (Which is located at 2114 West Burbank Boulevard in Burbank, CA). Once you're there, you can then check out their new "Grim Natwick's Scrapbook" exhibit. Where you can then check out artwork that this industry legend -- who worked for virtually every major animation studio over the course of his 60-plus-year career -- personally produced.

Or better yet, if you want to learn how cartoon are made today ... Then why not make plans now to go "Behind the Scenes at Pixar" ? This special one-day event (Which -- FYI -- is a fundraiser for the Emery Ed Fund) is being held on Saturday, December 1st right on the Pixar campus up in Emeryville, CA. It will feature three hours of activities, including classes as well as self-guided tours of this animation studio's gallery and grounds.

Mind you, this "Behind the Scenes at Pixar" event is a bit on the pricey side. With individual tickets starting at $100 per person and then running all the way up to $5000 for those who wanted to be listed as a "Emery Ed Fund" sponsor. But the upside is that -- with your admission -- you also get a free lunch as well access to Pixar's state-of-the-art main theater. Where a selection of the studio's Academy Award-winning shorts will be screened.

On the other hand ... If you're more of a Saturday morning fan, may I suggest that the book signing & art sale that Van Eaton Galleries will be holding on December 1st. Where animation historian Jerry Beck will be on hand to autograph copies of his newest book, “The Hanna-Barbera Treasury."

So there you have it, Natalie Dressed. A whole selection of Disney & animation-related events, fun places to go and sights to see. All of them happening within the next two weeks. And not a one of them happening in Anaheim or Orlando.

Would you folks like to see more articles like this on JHM? Which talk various events around the country? If so, let me know, okay?

In the meantime, have a great weekend.

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  • Thanks for the plugs for the Studio Chapter and OceanEars meetings, Jim! Anything that can give a few more people a chance to experience a little more of the NFFC and have some fun besides is greatly appreciated.

  • Ah, if only New Jersey were as interesting...

  • This article reminds me of one Jim wrote while at MousePlanet in which, in response to an e-mail I sent to his ex (who was also writing stories at the time).  My e-mail was used by Jim as a reason for a road trip down through NYC to past the DC area with stops at various Disney related places (stores, outlets, ABC Television, etc.).

    So, yes, Jim, there is pent up interest in various things Disney (and other JHM type related places) throughout the country (even New Jersey, which does have some interesting Disney places).  (Example for evea: NJ Pin Traders has meets just north of New Brunswick, NJ, where they meet to trade pins, but mainly to share and talk.)

    Now, my question is: will Jim ever get his Disneyland CD ever completed and shipped?

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