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But then with Allwine’s untimely passing in May of last year, it was time for The Walt Disney Company to select someone new to speak up for Mickey. And that
man is Bret Iwan.
Out of respect to Wayne, Bret has kept a fairly low profile for the past year or so. And even though he’s recorded the Mouse’s dialogue for “Disney on Ice: Celebrations!,” “Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep” as well as Fisher-Price’s new Dance Star Mickey toy, Iwan has scrupulously avoided the spotlight. Until now, anyway.
All of that changes tomorrow. When Bret – albeit briefly – is stepping out of the shadows and making a personal appearance at the Stage Nine Entertainment Store. Which is located along Old Sacramento's historic waterfront at the corner of Front and K Street.
“Disney’s Magical Inspiration.”Copyright 1999 - 2010 Stage Nine Entertainment Store, Inc. All Rights Reserved
Iwan – along with Bill Farmer, the voice of Goofy – is appearing at Stage Nine on Saturday from noon to 3 p.m. to help promote the unveiling of John Rowe’s latest Disney-themed canvas, “Disney’s Magical Inspiration.” Which celebrates Sacramento’s Carnival of Lights Parade from 1895. Which – according to some Disney insiders – actually served as the inspiration for Disney’s Main Street Electrical Parade.
Anyway … As part of Saturday’s event, Bret & Bill will be signing purchased pieces of art. And if you happen to drop by the Stage Nine Entertainment Store and The Vault in Old Sacramento tomorrow … Well, this might be a great time to quiz Iwan. Find out how a 27 year-old graduate of the Ringling College of Art and Design, a guy who actually drew Mickey while he was working for Hallmark, wound up being Disney’s go-to guy when it came to making the Mouse squeak … I mean, speak.
Copyright 1999 - 2010 Stage Nine Entertainment Store, Inc. All Rights Reserved
For further information on this Saturday’s event (as well as the “Get Animated! From the Classics to the Computer” that Troy Carlson [i.e. the CEO of Stage Nine Entertainment Inc.] is developing for the 2010 California State Fair), please click on this link.
Troy Carlson has always treated our NFFC Disneyana Chapter wonderfully and, because of his efforts, many of us not only had an opportunity to meet Wayne, Russi, Bill, Tony and other Disney vocal stars and legendary artists, but we were able to form some very special friendships with them.
I'll forever be thankful to Troy for the special invite to see Wayne and Russi on one occasion when Wayne talked about their love affair and then pulled out his uke to perform a couple of Disney songs. It was among the most powerful Pixie Dust Disney experiences I've ever had.
All of us who knew and loved Wayne were saddened by his death -- I gave Russi an extra big bear hug at the D23 Expo and we shared both a few tears and some warm smiles.
But the Mouse lives on as he must.
Welcome Bret Iwan ... and just remember what Jimmy told Wayne ... you're simply filling in for the boss -- Walt.
Speaking for myself, my wife and other members of the NorCal NFFC Chapter, we wish you nothing but the best.
How awesome would that be to be the official voice of Mickey Mouse. Think of the impact that person has on kids and even adults lives. It has to be such an honor. Funny that it is such a young guy. He can do it for many years to come.
It must be hard for Russi to work with someone new filling in fo her husband.