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Don Hahn & Dave Bossert to host "Another Evening of Disney Rarities" at the 2012 Newport Beach Film Festival

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Don Hahn & Dave Bossert to host "Another Evening of Disney Rarities" at the 2012 Newport Beach Film Festival

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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 year's NBFF.

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 celebration.

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 just right.

Copyright Disney Enterprises, Inc. All rights reserved

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 that
the Imagineers created for the 1964 New York Worlds Fair version of
the 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."

Copyright Disney Enterprises, Inc. All rights reserved

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 Mount Lobuche.

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 presentations.

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 Bossert
and his lovely wife Nancy at this month's world premiere
event 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 Festival.

You won't be sorry.

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