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If you're like me, you spend a lot of time during the
holiday season on the road. Take -- for example -- last night, where Nancy and
I drove down to her sister's place in Massachusetts
so that we could then spent Christmas Eve with the Moores.
Then later today, we'll climb back in the car and once again zoom down to the Bay
State. Just so that we can then do
Christmas dinner with my family.
And given that Nancy and I live 'way the hell out in the
woods of New Hampshire (How far
out in the wilderness are we actually? The directions to our house actually
includes the phrase " ... when the pavement ends") ... Well, that's a
lot of time to spend in a Subaru Forester.
Copyright 2013 Bamboo Forest Publishing. All rights reserved
Which is why I was especially grateful to find a copy of
"More Cute Stories - Volume 2: Animators and Imagineers
Forest Publishing, December 2013) at the bottom of my Xmas stocking this year.
Because nothing makes being stuck in bumper-to-bumper traffic more amusing like
listening to Disney Legend Rolly Crump recall the years he spent working at WED
Enterprises and Walt Disney Animation Studios.
Now please note that one of the things which makes
"More Cute Stories -- Volume 2" (which -- FYI -- is available as both
an Audio CD as well as an MP3 download) so enjoyable is that Rolly is a
warts-and-all kind of guy. So as you listen to this 56 minute-long recording,
you're going to hear about some fairly adult activities that happened in and
around the Mouse House. We're talking about alcohol, recreational drugs and at
least one practical joke that involves dozens of empty condom boxes.
Harriet Burns futzes with the feathers on one of theAudio-animatronic parrots for Walt Disney's "Enchanted Tiki Room" attraction. Copy-right Disney Enterprises, Inc. All rightsreserved
But then again, giving that we're talking about supposedly
racy anecdotes which are set back in the late 1950s / early 1960s, by today's
standards, Mr. Crump's "Cute Stories" aren't really all that
shocking. I mean, how many times are you going to hear a tale about Disney
Studios employees paying a dime each to see a collection of erotic drawings all
because Rolly was looking to buy a bicycle for his daughter?
Mind you, Mr. Crump's co-conspirator in this erotic art
caper was Harriet Burns. Which maybe isn't something that Disney history buffs
would expect to hear about the First Lady of Walt Disney Imagineering
. But then
again, after you listen to "More Cute Stories -- Volume 2: Animators and
Imagineers," you may find yourself viewing Disney Legends like Marc Davis,
Bill Justice, Milt Kahl and Eric Larson in a very different light.
Rolly Crump poses with some of the many mobiles that he has made over the years.
Is "Cute Stories -- Volume 2" perfect? Not really, no. This time
around (as opposed to "More Cute Stories -- Volume 1
"), Rolly tells lots
of very short stories about many different people that he worked with at Walt
Disney Productions. So this recording doesn't really build to any sort of
satisfying narrative conclusion. After nearly an hour of Mr. Crump's admittedly
amusing tales about car pooling with Ward Kimball and/or how about a bottle of
Jack Daniels made street flooding in the San Fernando Valley
that much easier to deal with, this Audio / MP3 just ... ends.
But then again, Jeff Heimbuch (who recorded all of these
stories with Rolly) and Leonard Kinsey (who then mixed & mastered these
recordings) have produced & packaged "More Cute Stories -- Volume 2:
Animator and Imagineers" in a very professional way. Which is why -- in
the end -- I'm more than happy to recommend the latest installment of this
entertaining ( and -- hopefully -- on-going) audio series to Disney history
And speaking of on-going audio series ... I would seriously
be remiss here if I didn't mention that "Unofficial Guide's Disney Dish
with Jim Hill" series which I do with Len Testa of Touring Plans fame.
Earlier this month, Len and I record three -- count 'em, three -- podcasts that
were specifically about the history of the holidays at the Disney theme parks.
And if after you finish listening to those 56 minutes of stories which Rolly,
Jeff Leonard put together you find that you still have some time to kill in the
car ... Well, I then recommend that you download the three most recent episodes
of "Unofficial Guide's Disney Dish" off of iTunes. For that trio of
podcasts then adds up to 93 minutes of behind-the-scenes seasonal stories.
Which -- I'm hoping -- should be more than enough Disney-related audio
entertainment to get you " ... over the river and through the woods to
Grandmother's house ..."
So if you'd like to have a Holly Rolly Christmas, then I urge you to go
purchase a copy of the Audio CD / download an MP3 of "More Cute Stories --
Volume 2: Animators and Imagineers." And if that's just not enough
Disney-related audio to get you where you need to go this holiday season ...
Well, then head on over to iTunes and download a couple of those
"Unofficial Guide's Disney Dish" podcasts that I've done with Len
Testa. Which -- while they may not be as entertaining or informative as what
Mr. Crump has to say -- they're at least better than finding a lump of coal at
the very bottom of your stocking.