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  • Blog Post: Disney Legend Harriet Burns: A model (maker) of a mother

    If you ask Pam Burns-Clair to describe her mother, she’ll tell you that Disney Legend Harriet Burns was not your typical 1950s housewife. “When I was a girl, the shows on TV were Ozzie & Harriet , Leave It to Beaver and I Love Lucy . These women were very much stay-at-home moms with the chocolate...
  • Blog Post: Blaine Gibson remembers Harriet Burns, the First Lady of Imagineering

    Last year, after Disney Legend Harriet Burns passed away, Pam Burns-Clair decided to put together a book about her mother. Mind you, what Ms. Burns-Clair had in mind wasn't a traditional biography. But -- rather -- a gathering of memories. Which is why -- in partnership with noted Disney historian Don...
  • Blog Post: Marty Sklar to pay tribute to Disney Legend at Ryman Arts fund-raiser

    Today is a day when most people here in the US traditionally take a moment or two to reflect on whatever it is that they have to be thankful for. And for the more-than-a-thousand Southern California students who’ve taken part in the Ryman Arts program over the past 19 years … Well, they’re just thankful...
  • Blog Post: Toon Tuesday: How to have a rockin' good time on Mickey Mouse’s birthday

    So where will you wind up spending MM’s b-day? It’s tomorrow, you know. November 18 th . That’s the date that The Walt Disney Company officially acknowledges as being this iconic character’s “ birthday ” (i.e. the day that “ Steamboat Willie ” – the first Mickey Mouse cartoon with synchronized sound...
  • Blog Post: "Clown Prince of Disneyland" is a must-own ... If you can find a copy to purchase, that is

    For the better part of five years now, I have been waiting on “Wally Boag: Clown Prince of Disneyland” (August 2009, Disney Editions). Ever since I first learned that this project was in the works, I have been dying to get my hands on Gene Sands & Wally ’s book. So imagine my surprise last week when...
  • Blog Post: Mrs. Knott's Chicken Dinner Restaurant celebrates 75 years of great service

    Long before Walt Disney dreamed of turning an Anaheim orange grove into the Happiest Place on Earth , there was this berry stand in Buena Park . Courtesy of the Orange County Historical Society During the depths of the Great Depression, Walter & Cordelia Knott kept their 20-acre farm afloat by selling...
  • Blog Post: "the boys: the sherman brothers' story" spotlights two complicated men who wrote deceptively simple songs

    You already know this story, right? Richard M. & Robert B. Sherman , the house composers for Walt Disney Studios while Walt was still alive. Academy Award winners for their work on “ Mary Poppins ,” Dick & Bob (aka “the boys”) had a gift for producing eminently hummable tunes. As is demonstrated...
  • Blog Post: Toon Tuesday : A tribute to Ollie Johnston

    Last Tuesday night, I traveled down to one of the cities I most dislike in all of Southern California: I went to Hollywood . Good ol’ Tinsel Town, with its sidewalk hucksters wearing eBay costumes of Bugs Bunny and SpongeBob , with its endless food courts and faux-trendy boutiques. Hollywood, that theme...
  • Blog Post: Remembering Harriet Burns (1928 - 2008)

    This past Friday, the Disney community lost one of its celebrities. Harriet Burns passed on at the age of 79. She was the first woman hired by WED as an artist. She was born in San Antonio and remained in Texas for most of her young life, venturing only to Dallas to pursue a college degree in art in...
  • Blog Post: How "One Little Spark" nearly fried the Dreamfinder

    As a kid I'd tune in the Wonderful World of Color every Sunday night. Most of the time Walt would introduce some western or historic feature - or some story like "Melvin, the Manic Marmoset" - and I'd switch over to watch Ed Sullivan . He had ventriloquists ! On a good week, there'd be an animated feature...
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