Today's the day that the 2012 Newport Beach Film Festival officially
gets underway. And given that -- for the past four years now -- this annual
event has been a lot of animation fans' radar thanks to those
"Evenings of Disney Rarities"
screenings that Oscar-nominated producer Don Hahn and Disney Creative Director
Dave Bossert have hosted ... Well, I thought that I'd reach out to Dave and see
if another one of these genuinely fun evenings of film is in the works for this
Copyright Disney Enterprises, Inc. All rights reserved
The only problem is ... Dave Bossert is a really hard man to
track down these days. In his role as Head of Special Projects for Walt Disney
Animation Studios, Bossert has spent the past few months zooming all over the
globe. Doing things like helping to fine-tune those new animed sequences that
Company artists created for Steve Davison's latest spectacular. You know.
Disney DREAMS, that new projected-in-on-and-around-Sleeping-Beauty-Castle show which just debuted at
Disneyland Paris as the centerpiece of that theme park's 20th anniversary
And when he wasn't in Paris, Bossert was winging his way to Walt
Disney World. Where Dave has been wandering through the construction site for
the soon-to-open Disney's Art of Animation Resort, making sure that the detailing
in the Lion King & Little Mermaid-themed sections of this 1984-room hotel is
Luckily, I managed to catch Dave between flights yesterday
afternoon. He was back in his office in Burbank, getting ready for this year's "Another
Evening of Disney Rarities" screening.
"And given that I've spent so much time over the past
few months working on projects for the Parks ... Well, that's what Don and I
decided to use as the theme for this year's 'Rarities' presentation. How Walt Disney
Animation Studios was really the wellspring for Disney theme parks. How back in
the early 1950s, Walt personally recruited some of the top artists at his
Studio -- people like John Hench, Claude Coats, Marc Davis and Ken Anderson --
to become the founding members of WED. Which is what really helped define Disneyland's
look -- not to mention the amazing design & attention to detail that you
find today in the Disney theme parks," Bossert explained.
Walt Disney interacting with some of the Audio-Animatronic figures thatthe Imagineers created for the 1964 New York Worlds Fair version ofthe Carousel of Progress. Copyright Disney Enterprises, Inc.All rights reserved
And to help illustrate this concept, Dave and Don have dug
down deep into Disney's film archives. Unearthing all sorts of seldom-seen footage
of Walt interacting with Audio Animatronic figures. Not mention other pieces of film which clearly
illustrates how many of the Studio's top animated features wound up filtering
out into the Company's theme parks.
"Mind you, we're not just going to be looking back
during Wednesday night's presentation at the Lido Theatre. We're going to giving
event attendees a glimpse of Disney's future as well," Bossert continued.
"I know that Don plans on bringing along an extended trailer for
'Frankenweenie,' that new stop-motion film for Disney that he's been producing
with Tim Burton. Plus -- if I'm remembering correctly -- Mr. Hahn will also be
sharing a clip from 'Chimpanzee,' that new DisneyNature documentary which he
helped executive-produce. So that should be fun to watch."
And "Chimpanzee" isn't the only Don Hahn-produced
documentary that will be featured at this year's Newport Beach Film Festival. On
Sunday, April 29th at 6 p.m. at the Triangle Square Theatre, there'll be a
screening of "High Ground." Which is that new Michael Brown film that
Hahn produced that details what happens when eleven veterans returning from
Iraq and Afghanistan attempt to climb that 20,000-foot tall Himalayan giant
And speaking of giants ... 2012 marks the 100th anniversary
of the birth of that animation great (and very-short-time Walt Disney Studios
employee) Chuck Jones. And to commemorate this auspicious occasion, The Chuck
Jones Center of Creativity is hosting a trio of events at this year's NBFF.
On Saturday morning April 28th, there'll be a screening of
some of the classic Warner Brothers animated shorts that Chuck helped create at
the Triangle Square Theater starting at 11 a.m. Then -- following that
screening at the Triangle Square -- the Chuck Jones Centennial celebration
continues with a animation seminar & discussion at this same theater
starting at 1:30 p.m. Then -- on Sunday April 29th at 1 p.m. -- it's time for the
"Chuck Jones Big Draw," an interactive event that the festival organizers
hope will " ... provide an environment that inspires the Creative Spirit"
through an afternoon filled with drawing classes and creative video
And speaking of big draws ... The Newport Beach Festival
typically draws a very large crowd every year. And if you'd like to attend Dave
Bossert & Don Hahn's "Another Evening of Disney Rarities"
presentation at the Lido Theatre next Wednesday night at 7:30 p.m. and/or any of the other
screenings and events that I've described in today's article ... It would
probably be wise to snag a seat in advance before you then drive on down to
Orange County. But luckily, thanks to the nice folks at Festival Genius, you
can buy a ticket right now from the comfort of home.
(L to R) JHM correspondent Andrea Monti, Dave Bossertand his lovely wife Nancy at this month's world premiereevent for Disneyland Paris' new night-time spectacular,"Disney Dreams."
But whatever you do, don't miss out on this chance to see
some seldom-seen Disney footage and/or catch a glimpse of Dave Bossert before
he climbs on yet another plane and flies off to some other far-flung theme park
or resort. Make plans now to attend to the 13th Annual Newport Beach Film
You won't be sorry.