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Animation fans can make a real difference this coming weekend

Animation fans can make a real difference this coming weekend

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Greetings from the Universal Orlando Resort. Where I’m now in my final day of covering the grand opening of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter.

The red carpet at the opening of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Orlando Resorts
Photo by Jim Hill

It has been an absolutely amazing couple of days. And I’m heading back to New Hampshire tonight with all sorts of stories to share about how the folks at Universal Creative took J.K. Rowling’s stories and Warner Bros. “Harry Potter” films and then created … Well, what can only be described as the new gold standard when it comes to taking a fantasy film & its characters and then translating that into an immersive theme park environment.

The Red Carpet at the opening of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter leads right into Hogsmead
Photo by Jim Hill

And I promise that – starting next Monday – I’ll be sharing all that stuff. Stories that the cast members from the “Harry Potter” films shared (EX: Daniel Radcliffe & his fellow actors just finished shooting Part II of the “Deathly Hallows” on Saturday. So after they tearfully said their goodbyes to the cast & crew of the very last “Harry Potter” motion picture, they then flew across the Atlantic. Where Daniel & friends then found themselves standing in a Hogsmeade Village that wasn’t made out of plywood and green screen set extensions, but out of steel & stone. And as they stared up at that recreation of Hogwarts Castle ... Well, Radcliffe describes the sensation as being “ … bloody surreal”), not to mention some great behind-the-scenes stories about how this ambitious new addition to Islands of Adventure actually came together.

Daniel Radcliffe and Rupter Grint at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter grand opening
(L to R) Daniel Radcliffe & Rupert Grint at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter
grand opening press event.
Photo by Jim Hill

But that’s next week. And – right now – I’d like to talk about the coming weekend. More importantly, two very worthwhile events that I’m hoping JHM readers will make an effort to take part in.

Animation artwork from "lorenzo" to be featured in the Pres-Aid live auction
Animation artwork from "Lorenzo" to be featured in the Pres-Aid live auction.
Image courtesy of Pres-Aid / The Animation Guild. All Rights Reserved

First up is Pres-Aid’s live auction. As you may recall, this is a fund-raising event that the Animation Guild has set up for Pres Romanillos. Who recently suffered a relapse of leukemia, and is now in the hospital awaiting a repeat bone marrow transplant. To help out with Pres’ medical bills as well as his day-to-day expenses, his friends in the animation community have come together to stage a charity art auction on Romanillos’ behalf

Animation artwork from "Aladdin" to be featured in the Pres-Aid live auction
Animation artwork from "Aladdin" to be featured in the Pres-Aid live auction.
Image courtesy of Pres-Aid / The Animation Guild. All Rights Reserved

This event will be held on Sunday, June 20th at 1105 N. Hollywood Way in Burbank, CA. People are invited to begin registering at 1 p.m. with the bidding expected to get underway at 2 p.m.

Animation maquette from "Aladdin" to be featured in the Pres-Aid live auction
Animation maquette from "Aladdin" to be featured in the Pres-Aid live auction.
Image courtesy of Pres-Aid / The Animation Guild. All Rights Reserved

However, if you’d like to check out some of the 150 pieces of art (some of which I’m using to illustrate today’s JHM article) that will be coming up for bid on Sunday … Well, Gallery 839 (i.e. the Animation Guild’s display space) will be open to the public from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. today and from noon to 2 p.m. on Saturday. And I encourage all of JHM readers who live & work in the Los Angeles to swing on by TAG headquarters this coming weekend to help support Pres-Aid.

Illustration of Hades from "Hercules" to be featured in the Pres-Aid live auction.
Illustration of Hades from “Hercules” to be featured in the Pres-Aid live auction.
Image courtesy of Pres-Aid / The Animation Guild. All Rights Reserved

Mind you, if you don’t live in LA but would still like to get in a fund-raising effort that has ties to animation … Not to worry. The Plane Crazy Chapter of the NFFC – Disneyana Fan Club will be holding their Dayton Disneyana event this coming weekend. Which will feature pin trading games, door prizes and silent auctions with proceeds going to Give Kids the World Foundation.

Paige O'Hara
Paige O’Hara

“So where does the animation tie in come in?,” you ask. Well, Paige O’Hara (i.e the voice of Belle in Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast”) is coming to Ohio this coming weekend. To be specific, she’ll be at Fairmont's Trent Arena from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday and from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sunday.

Paige O'Hara's painting of Bell from Disney's Beauty in the Beast
Paige O’Hara’s painting of Belle
from Disney’s “Beauty & the Beast”

So if you or your family would like to meet Ms. O’Hara (And here’s a fun fact that sort of ties this Plane Crazy Chapter fund-raising event to Pres-Aid: One of the very first animated features that Mr. Romanillos worked after he’d be been hired by Disney in the late 1980s was “Beauty and the Beast.” Weird, huh?), you should definitely consider attending Dayton Disneyana.

Wizards walk through Hogsmead in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Resort in Orlando
Photo by Jim Hill

And speaking of events … I gotta get back to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter press event. Come by on Monday and I promise to share my impressions of everything that I’ve seen and heard over the past three days here at the Universal Orlando Resort.

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