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A exclusive: Your first look at the storyline for Disney / Pixar’s “Finding Nemo”

Just can’t wait ’til May 30th to find out what “Finding Nemo” is actually all about? Jim Hill brings you a detailed breakdown of the storyline for Pixar Animation Studio’s next sure-to-be smash.



Are you the type of person who peeks at the end of novels? Who rattles wrapped Christmas presents for a hint at their contents? Who spends hours poking around the Internet, hoping to uncover cool inside info about major motion pictures months before they open?

(Look at whom I’m talking to here. What a question. Sheesh …)

ANYWAY … If that’s truly the type of person you are (sadly, I’m one too), have I got a treat for you! The Web’s first blow-by-blow breakdown of the storyline for Pixar Animation Studio’s next big release, “Finding Nemo.”

Where did I come across this truly cool information? Sorry, but that would be telling. Let’s just say that this month’s trip out to Southern California proved to be exhausting, but very informative.

Now, a brief word of caution here before we proceed: the following “Finding Nemo” story contains significant spoilers. It will give away virtually every major plot point in the picture.

So — if you really want to be surprised in May as you head out to your local multiplex — now might be a good time to stop reading this article.

I’m serious, people. There be spoilers ahead. So proceed with caution.

Consider yourself warned, okay?

Still there?

Okay. Let’s get started, shall we?

Putting it bluntly, “Finding Nemo” is going to be a delight. Another certified smash from those clever SOBs in Emeryville, CA. Plan now to buy at least two tickets for “Nemo” during its initial theatrical release. Based on the work-in-progress version of the picture that I recently got to see, this film is just too good to see just once.

More importantly, make sure that the movie theater that you see “Finding Nemo” in has a really large screen. Better yet, try and find a multiplex that will be projecting the picture digitally. That way, you’ll actually get to see all of the amazing imagery that Pixar’s artists have crammed into every frame.

A word of caution, though. Parents should be aware — right from the get-go — that “Finding Nemo” has some fairly intense sequences. Scenes that may startle and/or genuinely scare some of the smaller members of the audience.

One of those sequences comes at the very start of the picture as Coral and Marlin — a happily married pair of Clownfish — carefully stand watch over their soon-to-hatch clutch of eggs. Suddenly a barracuda appears and — in an instant — Coral and the bulk of the eggs are gone. Only the heartbroken Marlin (voiced by Albert Brooks) and a single, damaged, unhatched egg remains.

Such is life on Australia’s beautiful if brutal Great Barrier Reef. Which is how Marlin ends up being such an overly protective parent to the curious and adventuring Nemo. Forever fretting that his son’s damaged fin (a result of the barracuda attack that killed Nemo’s mother, brothers and sisters) will keep Nemo from being a strong swimmer, Marlin is constantly trying to safeguard his son. Holding him back. Even keeping him out of school (yes, a school of fish … one of the many water-based jokes that you’ll hear in this picture) with the hope that it will help keep his sole surviving child safe.

Nemo — of course — chafes under his overly cautious father’s too-tight control. So Marlin finally relents and allows his son to go off to school. Of course, Nemo’s father immediately regrets this decision. Particularly after he learns the school’s first field trip will be to the dangerous Drop-off (I.E. the very spot where Coral and the eggs were attacked by the barracuda).

In a panic, Marlin rushes after his son and unintentionally embarrasses Nemo in front of his new school-mates: Pearl (a Flapjack Octopus), Sheldon (a Sea Horse) and Tad (a Long-Nosed Butterfly Fish).

Nemo is so embarrassed by his father’s behavior in front of his new friends that the little Clownfish feels that he must now do something to show how brave he is. So Nemo brazenly swims out into the deep water and deliberately “tags” a nearby boat with his fin. This impresses Tad, Pearl and Sheldon … until a scuba diver swims up behind Nemo and nets him.

Marlin looks on in horror as the scuba diver clambers up into the boat with his son still trapped in the net. The frantic father then swims after the boat … but is unable to keep as the scuba diver motors away.

It’s at this point in the picture that daffy Dory makes her entrance. Voiced by Ellen DeGeneres, Dory is a Regal Blue Tang with a sweet personality but some real short term memory problems. This means that the well-intentioned fish can’t retain any information for more than a minute or so … which explains the film’s running gag of Dory constantly feeling like she has to re-introduce herself to poor, harried Marlin.

Still, Dory is relentlessly optimistic. Which is why — when the Regal Blue Tang discovers the scuba diver’s mask (which somehow got left behind as he and Nemo were motoring away from the area of the deep Drop-off) has the diver’s address inside (P. Sherman, 42 Wallaby Way, Sydney) Dory proposes that she and Marlin head off to rescue Nemo. Which is what they do.

It’s at this point in the picture that “Finding Nemo”‘s storyline basically splits in two. Marlin and Dory’s on-going quest to find Sydney Harbor and then rescue Nemo sort of plays out like an aquatic / neurotic version of “The Searchers.” At times comic (their encounter with Bruce, Anchor and Chum — three sharks who have formed their own support group in an effort to cut back on eating fish — is a highlight). At other turns, terrifying (the moment when Bruce falls back into his old habits, as the Great White relentlessly pursues Dory and Marlin through the hull of a sunken submarine, not to mention the pair’s far-too-close encounter with a hungry Anglerfish). Which makes this section of the story immensely entertaining.

But — if I had to pick my favorite part of this story — I think I’d have to go with Nemo’s half of the adventure. For the little Clownfish goes indeed get taken back to Sydney, where he winds up a prisoner in a dentist office aquarium. This portion of the picture then mutates into this brilliant comic riff on “The Great Escape.”

Once he’s been transferred to the dentist’s tank, Nemo finds that he’s surrounded by colorful characters: Gill, the tough but likable Moorish Idol (voiced by William Dafoe) who’s the leader of this motley crew; Bloat, the Blowfish who’s under a lot of pressure (voiced by Richard Kind); Peach, a Starfish (voiced by “The West Wing”‘s Allison Janney) who — thanks to the hours and hours of dental procedures she’s observed while being trapped in Dr. Sherman’s fish tank — has become something of a dental expert. Plus Bubbles, the obsessive Yellow Tang (voiced by Stephen Root) who just lives to retrieve the bubbles that come burbling out of the tank’s teeny-tiny treasure chest.

Gill, you see, has a plan which will allow all of the fish that are trapped in the doctor’s tank to return safely to the ocean. (Why is it so urgent that Gill and Co. get back to the sea? Well, as it turns out, Dr. S has this niece called Darla. And Doctor Sherman periodically gifts some of the fish he catches to his niece as pets. The only problem is … Darla is really rough on her pets. She reportedly likes to shakes fish to death … which is why Gill and Co. must find a way to escape their aquarium prison before Dr. S finds himself in a giving mood again.)

Toward this end, Gill has hatched a simple but ingenious plan. The imprisoned fish will deliberately try to make their fish tank as dirty as possible, which will force Dr. Sherman to clean the aquarium. This means that Dr. S will have to place Gill et al in little plastic bags along the countertop as he cleans out the inside of the tank.

From there … well, given that Dr. Sherman’s office directly overlooks Sydney Harbor, all the fish have to do is “hop” in their little plastic bags along the countertop over to the open window and then … jump out the window into the harbor to freedom.

It sounds like a fool-proof plan, doesn’t it? Well, it is … until Dr. S installs a brand-new filter in the fish tank. Then — try as they might — Gill and Co. just can’t get their aquarium dirty. This new super-efficient filter just sucked all the dirt and debris out of the water.

Meanwhile … back out in the open water, Marlin and Dory have survived encounters with swarms of jellyfish, not to mention almost getting swallowed by a whale. They’ve even lived through a trip through the “swirling vortex of death” as they tagged along with a squadron of thrill-seeking sea turtles (who sound suspiciously like a bunch of Southern Californian surfer dudes).

Eventually, Marlin and Dory wind up befriending a pelican named Nigel (voiced by Geoffrey Rush) who agrees to take the concerned Clownfish and absent minded Regal Blue Tang inside his bill and fly them straight to Dr. Sherman’s office.

Little do Marlin, Dory and Nigel realize — as they’re en route to the dentist — things have come to a head at Dr. Sherman’s. Darla had arrived and is now insisting that her uncle hand over his latest prize, the little Clownfish. So Dr. S reluctantly scoops up Nemo with a net and places him in a plastic bag. All seems lost …

When Nemo decides to pull a fast one on Dr. Sherman and his niece. Rolling over on his bank, the little Clownfish plays dead. Watching closely from inside the aquarium, Gill and the other fish immediately realize what Nemo is attempting: the old toilet escape. Nemo’s hoping that — if Dr. S thinks he’s dead — he’ll just flush the little Clownfish down the toilet … which will eventually allow Nemo to return to the sea.

The only problem is … Dr. Sherman doesn’t immediately decide to dispose of this alleged corpse by pouring the contents of the little plastic bag in the toilet. Distracted by his niece’s tantrums, he sets Nemo’s plastic bag down on the counter by the window on top of a dental mirror.

It’s at this exact moment that Marlin, Dory and Nigel come flying up to the open window of Dr. S’s office. And — peering out of Nigel’s bill — Marlin sees Nemo floating upside down inside the plastic bag and (understandably) mistakenly thinks that his son is now dead. Grief stricken, the father Clownfish asks Nigel to take he and Dory back to Sydney Harbor.

Meanwhile, Dr. S shuts the open office window (to prevent the pelican from getting back in). Now all of Nemo’s possible avenues of escape seem to be cut off. The little Clownfish seems doomed to end up in the trash …

Until Gill — with the help of all the other fish in the aquarium — launches himself out of the tank in a last gasp effort to save Nemo. The Moorish Idol lands on the same dental mirror that Nemo’s plastic bag is resting on. This impact then sends the little Clownfish soaring through the air, with Nemo’s plastic bag eventually landing in the dentist office’s spit sink. The plastic bag bursts open upon impact, leaving Nemo free to swim down the drain and eventually make his way back to the sea.

Dr. Sherman then scoops up Gill and places him back in the aquarium … where all the other fish congratulate the Moorish Idol on his daring rescue of the little Clownfish.

Meanwhile, back in Sydney Harbor … the grief stricken Marlin has already made his goodbyes to Dory and Nigel. Wishing to left alone in his time of sorrow. Literally moments later, the forgetful Regal Blue Tang runs into Nemo! Given all of her memory problems, it — of course — takes Dory a few minutes to recognize Marlin’s son. But — as soon as she does — these two take off in search of Nemo’s father.

Eventually, Dory and Nemo find Marlin. And there is — of course — a heartfelt reunion. But — since this is a Pixar Animation Studio production (I.E. The studio that believes “Why settle for a climax when you can have a climax on top of a climax on top of a climax?”) — the story can’t just end there.

Which is why an enormous fishing net suddenly descends into Sydney Harbor and scoops up a group of fish, including Dory! All seems lost … Until Nemo has an idea. Using some of the lessons that he learned in the aquarium in Dr. Sherman’s office (I.E. when a group works together, it can accomplish almost anything), the little Clownfish tells all of the fish trapped in the net that if they all work together and “swim down,” their combined force could possibly tear a hole in the net. Giving the terrified group of groupers an avenue of escape.

The only problem is … the panicked fish in the net don’t exactly understand what Nemo is trying to say to them. So — in order for his plan to succeed — the little Clownfish is going to actually have to get inside the rapidly rising net and show the fish what he wants them to do.

Of course, when Marlin hears about what Nemo wants to do, the father Clownfish is beside himself. Here, he’s just found his son again, only to have Nemo immediately risk his own life in an attempt to rescue Dory. Still — sensing a new strength and a sense of purpose in his son (not to mention a change in Marlin’s own once overly-protective nature) — Marlin agrees to let Nemo go into the net and try and save the other fish.

Once inside the net, Nemo convinces the group of frightened fish to work together and … Well, whaddaya know? The little Clownfish’s plan works! The fish all escape through a hole in the net and Marlin, Nemo & Dory all have a very happy reunion.

As the trio now make their way back to their home in the Great Barrier Reef, Nemo tells his father that he can’t wait to go back to school to tell all of his friends about his exciting adventures. And Marlin — who’s obviously also grown up a little bit because of his ordeal — is now finally willing to let go of his son. To allow his child to grow up and venture out into the world.

Sounds like a pretty happy ending, doesn’t it? Well, what about Gill and all of the other fish who are still trapped in Dr. Sherman’s aquarium? Well, I’m pleased to report that — just before fade-out — we get to see Gill and Co. in little plastic bags floating free across Sydney Harbor. So I guess that we can say that the “Great Escape” portion of the story ended happily as well.

Sounds like a fairly convoluted but pretty entertaining story, doesn’t it? Well, I should warn you that the version of “Finding Nemo” that I got to see was an early work-in-progress print. And (as often happens in Hollywood) films are subject to change right up ’til their release date. So — when you finally get to see this Pixar production at the end of May — that version of the film maybe somewhat different from the synopsis you just read.

I only wish that this bare bones description of “Finding Nemo”‘s plot that I’ve cobbled together to could do justice to the great quirky pieces of the picture. The weird little character bits (Like poor Deb. The Black-and-White Humbug fish in Dr. Sherman’s tank that’s voiced by Vickie Lewis. You see, Deb is convinced that the reflection that she sees in the aquarium’s glass is actually another Black-and-White Humbug fish named Flo. [Deb and Flo. Get it?] So Deb spends hours laughing and talking with this fictitious fish) which add so much to the fun of the film.

Then when you add in “Finding Nemo”‘s amazing art direction and how effortlessly the production team tosses off eye popping setting after setting … not to mention the great job that Pixar’s animators did with “Finding Nemo”‘s human characters (if this is the level of work that Pixar can do now with human figures, I can’t wait ’til next summer to get to see what the studio does with Brad Bird’s “The Incredibles”).

So where does this film fit into the grand scheme of things, Pixar-wise? Is “Finding Nemo” as good as “Toy Story” and “Toy Story II?” Sadly, no. Those two films (at least for me) are the gold standard by which all Pixar productions are to be judged. And “Finding Nemo” doesn’t quite reach that very high bar.

Nor is “Finding Nemo” really in the same class as Pixar’s 2001 release, “Monsters, Inc.”

(Again, my opinion. Your mileage may differ.) Why for? Well, “Nemo”‘s somewhat episodic nature (with the story stopping and starting whenever Marlin and Dory encounter another group of kooky characters) sometimes undercuts the film’s emotional momentum. Which prevents this picture from having the same sort of extremely satisfying emotional pay-off that “Monsters, Inc.” had (I.E. that moment when Sulley finally got to see Boo again).

Which (to my way of thinking, anyway) puts “Finding Nemo” in the same class as “A Bug’s Life.” Which — as you’ll remember — was also a visually ambitious film with a very large cast of characters. And — given that “Nemo”‘s director Andrew Stanton also helmed “A Bug’s Life” — it just makes sense that these two projects share some of the same virtues.

So, okay. “Finding Nemo” isn’t exactly “Toy Story” redux. It’s still miles ahead of the competition. A beautiful looking film with a genuinely entertaining story. Tons of colorful characters. If you’re in need of an entertaining night out at the movies, make plans now to go out to your local multiplex on May 30th to go see “Finding Nemo.”

That’s the only downside to the whole situation. Disney and Pixar have this great picture in the pipeline. But we’ve all still got to wait two more months before we finally get to see the finished version.

They’re actually just now putting the finishing touches on “Finding Nemo.” Thomas Newman (cousin to Academy Award winner Randy Newman, the guy who usually scores all of Pixar’s pictures) is waving the baton this time around. Earlier this month, Newman and an elite group of Hollywood’s best studio musicians trooped over to Culver City to record the film’s score on one of Sony’s soundstages.

Once the score and all the sound effects for this picture are finally in place, “Finding Nemo” should go from being merely a very entertaining film to something truly extraordinary. Based on what I’ve been able to see of this film to date, Pixar appears to have another huge hit on its hand.

But just how huge a hit? Given that this will be the very first Pixar Animation Studio release that Walt Disney Pictures has seen fit to release during the extremely lucrative but highly competitive summer season, it’s going to be really interesting to see how this film actually does at the box office. Will “Finding Nemo” go on to become the highest grossing picture that Pixar’s ever released? Or will “Nemo” — like so many of last year’s seemingly sure-fire blockbusters — end up under-performing as its legs get cut out from under it as the next box office behemoth (EX: “The Hulk,” “X-Men 2,” “Terminator 3,” “Tomb Raider 2,” and “The Matrix Reloaded” et al) comes rumbling in to your local multiplex.

Provided (of course) that the promotional campaign that Walt Disney Pictures has put in place for “Finding Nemo” can get the word out, I would imagine that this Pixar production will have no trouble pulling in at least $100 million. But how much bigger a blockbuster this fish story will turn out to be … that all depends on the vagaries of the summer movie-going season. When even well-received traditionally animated films like “Lilo & Stitch” have had to struggle to pull in $145 million.

So how will “Finding Nemo” ultimately end up doing at the box office? Check back in with come late June / early July and we’ll discuss whether this CG project actually sank or swim.

But — in the meantime — if you’re an animation fan (or just someone who likes good movies), I strongly recommend that you make plans now to seek out “Finding Nemo.”

“Finding Nemo” images © Disney/PIXAR

Jim Hill

Jim Hill is an entertainment writer who has specialized in covering The Walt Disney Company for nearly 40 years now. Over that time, he has interviewed hundreds of animators, actors, and Imagineers -- many of whom have shared behind-the-scenes stories with Mr. Hill about how the Mouse House really works. In addition to the 4000+ articles Jim has written for the Web, he also co-hosts a trio of popular podcasts: “Disney Dish with Len Testa,” “Fine Tooning with Drew Taylor” and “Marvel US Disney with Aaron Adams.” Mr. Hill makes his home in Southern New Hampshire with his lovely wife Nancy and two obnoxious cats, Ginger & Betty.

Jim Hill is an entertainment writer who has specialized in covering The Walt Disney Company for nearly 40 years now. Over that time, he has interviewed hundreds of animators, actors, and Imagineers -- many of whom have shared behind-the-scenes stories with Mr. Hill about how the Mouse House really works. In addition to the 4000+ articles Jim has written for the Web, he also co-hosts a trio of popular podcasts: “Disney Dish with Len Testa,” “Fine Tooning with Drew Taylor” and “Marvel US Disney with Aaron Adams.” Mr. Hill makes his home in Southern New Hampshire with his lovely wife Nancy and two obnoxious cats, Ginger & Betty.

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Film & Movies

How Disney’s “Bambi” led to the creation of Smokey Bear



When people talk about Disney’s “Bambi,” the scene that they typically cite as being the one from this 1942 film which then scarred them for life is – of course – the moment in this movie where Bambi’s mother gets shot by hunters.

Which is kind of ironic. Given that – if you watch this animated feature today – you’ll see that a lot of this ruined-my-childhood scene actually happens off-camera. I mean, you hear the rifle shot that takes down Bambi’s Mom. But you don’t actually see that Mama Deer get clipped.

Now for the scariest part of that movie that you actually see on-camera … Hands down, that has to be the forest fire sequence in “Bambi.” As the grown-up Bambi & his bride, Faline, desperately race through those woods, trying to find a path to safety as literally everything around them is ablaze … That sequence is literally nightmare fuel.


Mind you, the artists at Walt Disney Animation Studios had lots of inspiration for the forest fire sequence in “Bambi.” You see, in a typical year, the United States experiences – due to either natural phenomenon like lightning strikes or human carelessness – 100 forest fires. Whereas in 1940 (i.e., the year that Disney Studios began working in earnest of a movie version of Felix Salten’s best-selling movie), America found itself battling a record 360 forest fires.

Which greatly concerned the U.S. Forest Service. But not for the reason you might think.

Protecting the Forest for World War II

I mean, yes. Sure. Officials over in the Agricultural Department (That’s the arm of the U.S. government that manages the Forest Service) were obviously concerned about the impact that this record number of forest fires in 1940 had had on citizens. Not to mention all of the wildlife habitat that was now lost.

But to be honest, what really concerned government officials was those hundreds of thousands of acres of raw timber that had been consumed by these blazes. You see, by 1940, the world was on the cusp of the next world war. A conflict that the U.S. would inevitably  be pulled into. And all that now-lost timber? It could have been used to fuel the U.S. war machine.

So with this in mind (and U.S. government officials now seeing an urgent need to preserve & protect this precious resource) … Which is why – in 1942 (just a few months after the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor) – the U.S. Forest Service rolls out its first-ever forest fire prevention program.

Which – given that this was the early days of World War II – the slogan that the U.S. Forest Service initially chose for its forest fire prevention program is very in that era’s we’re-all-in-this-together / so-let’s-do-what-we-can-to-help-America’s war-effort esthetic – made a direct appeal to all those folks who were taking part in scrap metal drives: “Forest Defense is National Defense.”

Source: Northwestern

And the poster that the U.S. Forest Service had created to support this campaign? … Well, it was well-meaning as well.  It was done in the WPA style and showed men out in the forest, wielding shovels to ditch a ditch. They were trying to construct a fire break, which would then supposedly slow the forest fire that was directly behind them.

But the downside was … That “Forest Defense is National Defense” slogan – along with that poster which the U.S. Forest Service had created to support their new forest fire prevention program didn’t exactly capture America’s attention.

I mean, it was the War Years after all. A lot was going in the country at that time. But long story short: the U.S. Forest Service’s first attempt at launching a successful forest fire prevention program sank without a trace.

So what do you do in a situation like this? You regroup. You try something different.

Disney & Bambi to the Rescue

And within the U.S. government, the thinking now was “Well, what if we got a celebrity to serve as the spokesman for our new forest fire prevention program? Maybe that would then grab the public’s attention.”

The only problem was … Well, again, these are the War Years. And a lot of that era’s A-listers (people like Jimmy Stewart, Clark Gable, even Mel Brooks) had already enlisted. So there weren’t really a lot of big-name celebrities to choose from.

But then some enterprising official at the U.S. Forest Service came up with an interesting idea. He supposedly said “Hey, have you seen that new Disney movie? You know, the one with the deer? That movie has a forest fire in it. Maybe we should go talk with Walt Disney? Maybe he has some ideas about how we can better capture the public’s attention when it comes to our new forest fire prevention program?”

And it turns Walt did have an idea. Which was to use this government initiative as a way to cross-promote Disney Studio’s latest full-length animated feature, “Bambi.” Which been first released to theaters in August of 1942.

So Walt had artists at Disney Studio work up a poster that featured the grown-up versions of Bambi the Deer, Thumper the Rabbit & Flower the Skunk. As this trio stood in some tall grasses, they looked imploring out at whoever was standing in front of this poster. Above them was a piece of text that read “Please Mister, Don’t Be Careless.” And below these three cartoon characters was an additional line that read “Prevent Forest Fires. Greater Danger Than Ever!”

Source: USDA

According to folks I’ve spoken with at Disney’s Corporate Archives, this “Bambi” -based promotional campaign for the U.S. Forest Service’s forest fire prevention campaign was a huge success. So much so that – as 1943 drew to a close – this division of the Department of Agriculture reportedly reached out to Walt to see if he’d be willing to let the U.S. Forest Service continue to use these cartoon characters to help raise the public’s awareness of fire safety.

Walt – for reasons known only to Mr. Disney – declined. Some have suggested that — because “Bambi” had actually lost money during its initial theatrical release in North America – that Walt was now looking to put that project behind him. And if there were posters plastered all over the place that then used the “Bambi” characters that then promoted the U.S.’s forest fire prevention efforts … Well, it would then be far harder for Mr. Disney to put this particular animated feature in the rear view mirror.

Introducing Smokey Bear

Long story short: Walt said “No” when it came to reusing the “Bambi” characters to promote the U.S. Forest Service’s forest fire prevention program. But given how successful the previous cartoon-based promotional campaign had been … Well, some enterprising employee at the Department of Agriculture reportedly said “Why don’t we come up with a cartoon character of our own?”

So – for the Summer of 1944 – the U.S. Forest Service (with the help of the Ad Council and the National Association of State Foresters) came up with a character to help promote the prevention of forest fires. And his name is Smokey Bear.

Now a lot of thought had gone into Smokey’s creation. Right from the get-go, it was decided that he would be an American black bear (NOT a brown bear or a grizzly). To make this character seem approachable, Smokey was outfitted with a ranger’s hat. He also wore a pair of blue jeans & carried a bucket.

As for his debut poster, Smokey was depicted as pouring water over a still-smoldering campfire. And below this cartoon character was printed Smokey’s initial catchphrase. Which was “Care will prevent 9 out of 10 forest fires!”

Source: NPR

Which makes me think that this slogan was written by the very advertising executive who wrote “Four out of five dentists recommend sugarless gum for their patients who chew gum.”

Anyway … By the Summer of 1947, Smokey got a brand-new slogan. The one that he uses even today. Which is “Only YOU can prevent forest fires.”

The Real Smokey Bear

Now where this gets interesting is – in the Summer of 1950 – there was a terrible forest fire up in the Capitan Mountains of New Mexico. And over the course of this blaze, a bear cub climbed high up into a tree to try & escape those flames.

Firefighters were finally able to rescue that cub. But he was so badly injured in that fire that he was shipped off to the National Zoo in Washington, D.C. and nursed back to health. And since this bear really couldn’t be released back in the wild at this point, he was then put on exhibit.

And what does this bear’s keepers decide to call him? You guessed it: Smokey.

Source: USDA

And due to all the news coverage that this orphaned bear got, he eventually became the living symbol of the U.S. Forest Service’s forest fire prevention program. Which then meant that this particular Smokey Bear got hit with a ton of fan mail. So much so that the National Zoo in Washington D.C. wound up with its own Zip Code.

“Smokey the Bear” Hit Song

And on the heels of a really-for-real Smokey Bear taking up residence in our nation’s capital, Steve Nelson & Jack Rollins decide to write a song that shined a spotlight on this fire-fightin’ bruin. Here’s the opening stanza:

With a ranger’s hat and shovel and a pair of dungarees,
You will find him in the forest always sniffin’ at the breeze,
People stop and pay attention when he tells them to beware
Because everybody knows that he’s the fire-preventin’ bear

Believe or not, even with lyrics like these, “Smokey the Bear” briefly topped the Country charts in the Summer of 1950. Thanks to a version of this song that was recorded by Gene Autry, the Singing Cowboy.

By the way, it was this song that started all of the confusion in regards to Smokey Bear’s now. You see, Nelson & Rollins – because they need the lyrics of their song to scan properly – opted to call this fire-fightin’-bruin Smokey THE Bear. Rather than Smokey Bear. Which has been this cartoon character’s official name since the U.S. Forest Service first introduced him back in 1944.

“The Ballad of Smokey the Bear”

Further complicating this issue was “The Ballad of Smokey the Bear,” which was a stop-motion animated special that debuted on NBC in late November of 1966. Produced by Rankin-Bass as a follow-up to their hugely popular “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” (which premiered on the Peacock Network in December of 1964) … This hour-long TV show also put a “THE” in the middle of Smokey Bear’s name because the folks at Rankin-Bass thought his name sounded better that way.

And speaking of animation … Disney’s “Bambi” made a brief return to the promotional campaign for the U.S. Forest Service’s forest fire prevention program in the late 1980s. This was because the Company’s home entertainment division had decided to release this full-length animated feature on VHS.

What’s kind of interesting, though, is the language used on the “Bambi” poster is a wee different than the language that’s used on Smokey’s poster. It reads “Protect Our Forest Friends. Only You Can Prevent Wildfires.” NOT “Forest Fires.”

Anyway, that’s how Disney’s “Bambi” led to the creation of Smokey Bear. Thanks for bearin’ with me as I clawed my way through this grizzly tale.

Jim Hill

Jim Hill is an entertainment writer who has specialized in covering The Walt Disney Company for nearly 40 years now. Over that time, he has interviewed hundreds of animators, actors, and Imagineers -- many of whom have shared behind-the-scenes stories with Mr. Hill about how the Mouse House really works. In addition to the 4000+ articles Jim has written for the Web, he also co-hosts a trio of popular podcasts: “Disney Dish with Len Testa,” “Fine Tooning with Drew Taylor” and “Marvel US Disney with Aaron Adams.” Mr. Hill makes his home in Southern New Hampshire with his lovely wife Nancy and two obnoxious cats, Ginger & Betty.

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Film & Movies

“Indiana Jones and the Search for Indiana Jones”



News came late last week that NBC was cancelling the “Magnum PI” remake. This series (which obviously took its inspiration from the Tom Selleck show that originally debuted on CBS back in December of 1980 and then went on run on that network for 8 seasons. With its final episode airing on May 8, 1988).

Anyway … Over 30 years later, CBS decided to remake “Magnum.” This version of the action drama debuted on September 24, 2018 and ran for four seasons before then being cancelled. NBC picked up the “Magnum” remake where it ran for one more season before word came down on June 23rd that this action drama was being cancelled yet again.

FYI: The second half of Season 5 of “Magnum” (10 episodes) has yet to air on NBC. It will be interesting to see when that final set of shows / the series finale gets scheduled.

This all comes to mind this week – out ahead of the theatrical release of “Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny” because … Well, if CBS execs had been a bit more flexible back in 1980, the star of the original version of “Magnum PI” (Tom Selleck) would have played the lead in “Raiders of the Lost Ark.” Which was released to theaters back on June 12, 1981.

That’s the part of the Indiana Jones story that the folks at Lucasfilm often opt to skim over.

That Harrison Ford wasn’t George Lucas’ first choice to play Doctor Jones.

Auditions for Indiana Jones – Harrison’s Not on the List

Mind you, Steven Spielberg – right from the get-go – had pushed for Ford to play this part. The way I hear it, Lucas showed Spielberg a work-in-progress cut of “The Empire Strikes Back.” And Steven was so taken with Harrison’s performance as Han Solo in that Irwin Kershner film that he immediately began pushing for Ford to be cast as Doctor Jones.

Whereas Mr. Lucas … I mean, it wasn’t that George had anything against Harrison. What with Ford’s performances first in “American Grafitti” and then in “A New Hope,” these two already had a comfortable working relationship.

But that said, Lucas was genuinely leery of … Well, the sort of creative collaboration that Martin Scorcese and Robert DeNiro. Where one actor & one director repeatedly worked together. To George’s way of thinking, that was a risky path to follow. Hitching your wagon to a single star.

Which is why – when auditions got underway for “Raiders of the Lost Ark” in 1979 — Mike Fenton basically brought in every big performer of that era to read for Dr. Jones except Harrison Ford. We’re talking:

  • Steve Martin
  • Chevy Chase
  • Bill Murray
  • Jack Nicholson
  • Peter Coyote
  • Nick Nolte
  • Sam Elliot
  • Tim Matheson
  • and Harry Hamlin

Casting a Comedian for Indiana Jones

Please note that there are a lot of comedians on this list. That’s because – while “Raiders of the Lost Ark” was in development — Spielberg was directed his epic WWII comedy, “1941.” And for a while there, Steve & George were genuinely uncertain about whether the movie that they were about to make would be a sincere valentine to the movie serials of the 1930s & the 1940s or more of a spoof.

It’s worth noting here that three of the more ridiculous set pieces found in “Temple of Doom” …

  • the shoot-out at Club Obi Wan in Shanghai
  • Indy, Willie & Short Round surviving that plane crash by throwing an inflatable life raft out of the cargo hatch
  • and that film’s mine cart chase (which was not only inspired by Disney theme park favorites the Matterhorn Bobsleds & Big Thunder Mountain Railroad but some of the sound effects that you hear in this portion of “Temple of Doom” were actually recorded after hours at Disneyland inside of these very same attractions)

…  all originally supposed to be in “Raiders of the Lost Ark.” I’ve actually got a copy of the very first version of the screenplay that Lawrence Kasdan wrote for the first “Indy” movie where all three of these big action set pieces were supposed to be part of the story that “Raiders” told. And I have to tell you that this early iteration of the “Raiders” screenplay really does read more like a spoof of serials than a sincere, loving salute to this specific style of cinema.

Casting Indiana Jones – Jeff or Tom

Anyway … Back now to the casting of the male lead for “Raiders” … After seeing virtually every actor out in LA while looking for just the right performer to portray Indiana Jones, it all came down to two guys:

  • Jeff Bridges
  • and Tom Selleck

Jeff Bridges as Indiana Jones

Mike Fenton was heavily pushing for Jeff Bridges. Having already appeared with Clint Eastwood in 1974’s “Thunderbolt & Lightfoot” (Not to mention that “King Kong” remake from 1976), Bridges was a known quantity. But what Fenton liked especially liked about Bridges when it came to “Raiders” was … Well, at that time, Jeff was just coming off “Heaven’s Gate.”

Mind you, nowadays, because we’ve all now had the luxury of seeing the director’s cut of this Michael Cimino movie, we recognize “Heaven’s Gate” for the cinematic masterpiece that it is. But 40+ years ago, that honestly wasn’t the case. All audiences had to judge this movie by was the severely truncated version that United Artists sent out into theaters. Which – because “Heaven’s Gate” had cost $44 million to make and only sold $3.5 million of tickets – then became the textbook example of Hollywood excess.


Long story short: Given that being associated with “Heaven’s Gate” had somewhat dinged Bridges’ reputation for being a marketable star (i.e., a performer that people would pay good money to see up on the big screen), Jeff was now looking to appear in something highly commercial. And the idea of playing the lead in a film directed by Steven Spielberg (the “Jaws” & “Close Encounter” guy) and produced by George Lucas (Mr. “Star Wars”) was very, very appealing at that time. Bridges was even willing to sign a contract with Spielberg & Lucas that would have then roped him into not only playing Indiana Jones in “Raider of the Lost Ark” but also to appear as this very same character in two yet-to-be-written sequels.

Better yet, because “Heaven’s Gate” had temporarily dimmed Bridges’ star status, Jeff was also willing to sign on to do the first “Indy” film for well below his usual quote. With the understanding that – should “Raiders of the Lost Ark” succeed at the box office – Bridges would then be paid far more to appear in this film’s two sequels.

That seemed like a very solid plan for “Raiders.” Landing a known movie star to play the lead in this action-adventure at a bargain price.

Ah, but standing in Mike Fenton’s way was Marcia Lucas.

Tom Selleck as Indiana Jones

Marcia Lucas, who had seen Tom Selleck’s audition for “Raiders” (And you can see it as well. Just go to Google and type in “Tom Selleck” and “Indiana Jones.” And if you dig around for a bit, you’ll then see a feature that Lucas & Spielberg shot for “Entertainment Tonight” back in 2008 [This story was done in support of the theatrical release of “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull”]. And as part of this piece, George and Steve share Tom’s original audition for “Raiders.” And what’s genuinely fascinating about this footage is that Selleck’s scene partner is Sean Young. Who – at that time, anyway – was up for the role of Marion Ravenwood) and kept telling her husband, “You should cast this guy. He’s going to be a big star someday.”

And given that George was smart enough to regularly heed Marcia Lucas’ advice (She had made invaluable suggestions when it came to the editing of “American Graffiti” and the original “Star Wars.” Not to downplay George Lucas’ cinematic legacy, but Marcia Lucas was a world-class storyteller in and of her own right), Lucas then reached out to Spielberg and persuaded him that they should cast relative unknown Tom Selleck as Doctor Jones over the already well-known Jeff Bridges.

Now don’t feel too bad for Jeff Bridges. When he lost out on playing the lead in “Raiders of the Lost Ark,” Jeff then accepted a role in the very next, high profile, sure-to-be-commercial project that came along. Which turned out to be Disney’s very first “TRON” movie. Which was eventually released to theaters on July 9, 1982.

Back to Tom Selleck now … You have to remember that – back then – Selleck was the handsome guy who’d already shot pilots for six different shows that then hadn’t gone to series. Which was why Tom was stuck being the guest star on shows like “The Fall Guy” and “Taxi.” Whereas once word got out around town that Selleck was supposed to play the lead in a project that Spielberg was directed & Lucas was producing … Well, this is when CBS decided that they’d now take the most recent pilot that Tom had shot and then go to series with this show.

That program was – of course – the original “Magnum PI.” And it’s at this point where our story started to get complicated.

“Magnum PI” – Two Out of Three Say “Yes”

Okay. During the first season of a TV show, it’s traditionally the network – rather than the production company (which – in this case – was Glen A. Larson Productions. The company behind the original versions of “Battlestar Galactica” & “Knight Rider”) or the studio where this series is actually being shot (which – in this case – was Universal Television) that has all the power. And in this particular case, the network execs who were pulling all the strings behind-the-scenes worked for CBS.

And when it came to the first season of “Magnum PI,” CBS had a deal with Glen A. Larson Productions and Universal Television which stated that the talent which had been contracted to appear in this new action drama would then be available for the production of at least 13 episodes with an option to shoot an additional 9 episodes (This is known in the industry as the back nine. As in: the last nine holes of a golf course).

Anyway, if you take those initial 13 episodes and then tack on the back nine, you then get 22 episodes total. Which – back in the late 1970s / early 1980s, anyway – was what a full season of a network television show typically consisted of.

Anyway … The contract that Selleck had signed with Glen A. Larson Productions, Universal Television & CBS stated that he had to be available when production of Season One of “Magnum PI” began in March of 1980. More to the point, Tom also had to be available should CBS exercise its option to air 22 episodes of this new series on that television network over the course of “Magnum PI” ‘s first season.  

Which then made things complicated for George Lucas & Steven Spielberg because … Well, in order for “Raiders of the Lost Ark” to make its June 12, 1981 release date, that then meant that production of the first “Indy” movie would have to get underway no later than June 23, 1980.

But here’s the thing: Production of Season One of “Magnum PI” was scheduled to run through the first week of July of that same year (1980). So in order for Tom Selleck to play Indiana Jones in “Raiders,” he was going to need to be wrapped on production of “Magnum PI” by June 22, 1980 at the absolute latest.

So Spielberg & Lucas went to Glen A. Larsons Productions and asked if Selleck could please be sprung from his “Magnum PI” contractual obligations by June 22nd. And they said “Yes.” Then Steven & George went to Universal Television and asked executives there for their help  in clearing Tom’s schedule so that he’d then be available to start work on “Raiders.” And they say “Yes” as well.

Spielberg & Lucas now go to CBS. But instead of the quick “Yeses” that they got from officials at Glen A. Larson Productions and Universal Television, it takes those suits at the Tiffany Network weeks before they then decided to say “No, they couldn’t release Tom Selleck early to go work on ‘Raiders’ “ because …

I’ve never really been able to get a straight answer here as to why CBS execs dug in their heels here. Why they flat-out refused to release Selleck early from his “Magnum PI” contractual obligation and allow him to go shoot “Raiders.”

Payback from “The Star Wars Holiday Special” Trash Talk

That said, it is worth noting that “The Star Wars Holiday Special” aired on CBS back in November of 1978. And given that – in the years that followed —  Lucas wasn’t exactly shy when it came to saying how much he hated that two hour-long presentation (Or – for that matter – how George really regretted caving into the requests of CBS execs. Who had insisted that television stars long associated with the Tiffany Network – people like Art Carney, Harvey Korman & Bea Arthur – be given prominent guest starring roles in “The Star Wars Holiday Special”). And I’ve heard whispers over the years that CBS executives preventing Tom Selleck from appearing in “Raiders” could be interpreted as the Tiffany Network getting some payback for what George had said publicly about the “Star Wars Holiday Special.”

Harrison Ford Comes to Rescue “Indiana Jones”

Anyway … It’s now literally just weeks before production of “Raiders of the Lost Ark” is supposed to begin and Spielberg & Lucas have just learned that that they’ve lost their film’s star. CBS is flat-out refusing to release Tom Selleck early from his “Magnum PI” contractual obligation. So Steven & George now have to find someone else to play Indy … and fast.

The real irony here is … The American Federation of Television and Radio Artists would go on strike in the Summer of 1980. Which then shut prematurely shut down production of the first season of “Magnum PI.” (As a direct result, the first full season of this action drama to air on CBS only had 18 episodes, rather than the usual 22). And because this job action lasted ‘til October 23rd of that same year … Well, this meant that Tom Selleck would have actually been free to start shooting “Raiders of the Lost Ark” on June 23, 1980 because production of Season One of “Magnum PI” was already shut down by then due to that AFTRA strike.

But no one knew – in May of 1980, anyway – that this job action was going to happen in just a few weeks. All that Steven Spielberg & George Lucas knew was that they now needed a new lead actor for “Raiders.” And circling back on Jeff Bridges was no longer an option. As I mentioned earlier, Jeff had agreed to do “TRON” for Disney. And – in the interim – Bridges gone off to shoot “Cutter’s Way” for MGM / UA.

Credit: EW

So this is where Harrison Ford enters the equation. As he recalls:

In May of 1980, I get a call from George Lucas. Who says ‘I’m messaging a script over to you this morning. As soon as it gets there, I need you to immediately read this script. Then – as soon as you’re done – I need you to call.

So the script arrives and it’s for ‘Raiders.’ I read it and it’s good. So I call George back and say ‘It’s good.’ And he then says ‘Would you be interested in playing Indy?’ I say that it looks like it would be a fun part to play.

George then says ‘ That’s great to hear. Because we start shooting in four weeks. Now I need you to meet with Steven Spielberg today and convince him that you’re the right guy to play Indy.’

Of course, given that Spielberg had been pushing for Ford to pay Indy ever since he had first seen that work-in-progress version of “The Empire Strikes Back” … Well, Harrison’s meeting with Steven was very, very short. And just a few weeks later, Spielberg, Lucas & Ford were all at the Port de la Pallice in La Rochelle. Where – on the very first day of shooting on “Raiders” (which – again – was June 23, 1980)– the scene that was shot was the one where that Nazi sub (the one that Indy had lashed himself to its periscope by using his bullwhip as a rope) was arriving at its secret base.

And all of this happened because Harrison immediately agreed to do “Raiders of the Lost Ark” when the part of Indy was first offered to him in mid-May of 1980.  

Before “Star Wars” was “Star Wars”

So why such a quick yes? Well, you have to remember that “Empire Strikes Back” wouldn’t be released to theaters ‘til May 21, 1980. And no one knew at that time whether this sequel to the original “Star Wars” would do as well at the box office as “A New Hope” had back in 1977 (FYI: “Empire” would eventually sell over $500 million worth of tickets worldwide. Which is roughly two thirds of what the original “Star Wars” earned three years earlier).

More to the point, the four films that Harrison had shot right after “A New Hope” / prior to “Empire Strikes Back” (i.e., “Heroes” AND “Force 10 from Navarone” AND “Hanover Street” AND “The Frisco Kid”) had all under-performed at the box office. So to Ford’s way of thinking, taking on a role that Tom Selleck was no longer available to play – one that had the potential of spawning two sequels – seemed like a very smart thing to do. Especially after three years of cinematic stumbles.

By the way, whenever this topic ever comes up, Harrison Ford is very gracious. He always makes a point of saying that he’s grateful to have gotten this career opportunity. More to the point, that he still feels kind of bad that Tom Selleck never got the chance to play this part.

Tom Selleck After “Indiana Jones”

That said, we shouldn’t feel too bad for Tom Selleck. After all, the original “Magnum PI” proved to be a long running hit for CBS. And in an effort to smooth over any residual bad feelings that may have resulted from Tom being forced to give up “Raiders” back in May of 1980, Selleck was eventually allowed to create his own production company (i.e., T.W.S. Productions, Inc. As in Thomas William Selleck Productions). Which – after the fact – was then cut in on some of those “Magnum PI” -related revenue streams.

More to the point, while “Magnum PI” was on hiatus following its second year in production, Selleck flew off to Yugoslavia. Where he then shot his own Indiana Jones-esque film for theatrical release. Which was called “High Road to China” in the States, but – overseas – was promoted as “Raiders of the End of the World.”

FYI: Warner Bros. released “High Road to China” stateside 40 years ago this year. On March 18, 1983, to be exact. It didn’t do all that great at the box office. $28 million in ticket sales versus $15 million in production costs.

And over the years, there’s even been some talk of finding a way to maybe set things right here. By that I mean: Finally finding a way to officially fold Tom Selleck into the world of Indiana Jones.

Could Tom Selleck Work with Indiana Jones?

The way I hear it, between the time when “Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade” was theatrically released in May of 1989 and when “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull” debuted in May of 2008, there were a number of ideas for Indiana Jones sequels tossed around. And from what I’ve been told, there was at least one treatment for a fourth Indiana Jones film written that proposed pairing up Harrison Ford & Tom Selleck. With the idea here being that Selleck was supposed to have played Ford’s brother.

Obviously that film was never made. And – no – I don’t know what state Indiana Jones’ brother was supposed to be named after.

This article is based on research for Looking at Lucasfilm “Episode 80”, published on June 29, 2023. Looking at Lucasfilm is part of the Jim Hill Media Podcast Network.

Jim Hill

Jim Hill is an entertainment writer who has specialized in covering The Walt Disney Company for nearly 40 years now. Over that time, he has interviewed hundreds of animators, actors, and Imagineers -- many of whom have shared behind-the-scenes stories with Mr. Hill about how the Mouse House really works. In addition to the 4000+ articles Jim has written for the Web, he also co-hosts a trio of popular podcasts: “Disney Dish with Len Testa,” “Fine Tooning with Drew Taylor” and “Marvel US Disney with Aaron Adams.” Mr. Hill makes his home in Southern New Hampshire with his lovely wife Nancy and two obnoxious cats, Ginger & Betty.

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Film & Movies

Will “Metro” – that “Cars” Spin-Off Which Disney Developed – Ever Get Made?



Will Metro Ever Get Made?

First came “Cars” in June of 2006.

This Pixar Animation Studios production did so well (Of all the high grossing films released that year, “Cars” was No. 2 at the box office. Only “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest” sold more tickets in 2006) that Disney execs asked John Lasseter to develop a sequel.

“Cars 2” came out in June of 2011 and also did quite well at the box office (It took the No. 7 slot in the Top-Ten-for-ticket-sales that year). Which is why Disney then asked Pixar to prep a follow-up film.

“Cars 3” would eventually arrive in theaters in June of 2017. But in the meantime, Disney & Pixar began exploring the idea of expanding this film franchise. Largely because the amount of money that the Mouse was making off of the sales of “Cars” -related merchandise was … To be blunt here, mind boggling.

Don’t believe me? Well, then consider this: In just the first five years that the “Cars” film franchise existed, global retail sales of merchandise related to these Pixar movies approached $10 billion. That’s billion with a “B.”

So is it any wonder that – while Pixar was still trying to get a handle on what “Cars 3” would actually be about – the Mouse (through its DisneyToon Studios arm. Which produced home premieres like those “TinkerBell” movies) began actively looking into ways to expand this lucrative franchise?

“Planes” – The First “Cars” Spin-Off

The first “Cars” spin-off to arrive in the marketplace was “Planes.” This Klay Hall film (which was set in “The World Above Cars”) was released theatrically in August of 2013, with the Blu-ray & DVD version of “Planes” hitting store shelves in November of that same year.

“Planes: Fire and Rescue” followed in the Summer of 2014. And while a “Planes 3” was definitely put in development (At the Disney Animation panel at the 2017 D23 Expo, John Lasseter not only shared a clip from this film. But he also revealed that this project – which, at that time, was entitled “Space” – was slated to be released theatrically in April of 2019) … This animated feature was abruptly cancelled when DisneyToon Studios was shuttered in June of 2018.

But wait. There’s more … In addition to the aborted “Planes 3,”  Disney had other “Cars” spin-offs in the works. One was supposed to be built around boats. While yet another was supposed to have shined a spotlight on trucks.

“Metro” – The World Below Cars

And then there was “Metro.” Which was supposed to have been set in the inner city and focused on what went on in “The World Below Cars.” As in: Down in the subway system.

Just in the past week or so, a few pieces of concept art for “Metro” have surfaced online. Giving us all an intriguing look at what might have been. These preproduction paintings suggest that this “Cars” spin-off would be far grittier than … Say … the sort of adventures that Lightning McQueen & Mater would typically have out in Radiator Springs.

Metro - Cars Spin-Off Movie Poster
Credit: Disney
Metro - Cars Spin-Off Concept Art
Credit: Disney
Metro - Cars Spin-Off Concept Art
Credit: Disney
Metro - Cars Spin-Off Concept Art
Credit: Disney

That said, it’s worth noting here that – just in the past year or so – we’ve seen Disney & Pixar attempt to expand the turf that these two characters could comfortably cover. Take – for example — “Cars on the Road,” that nine-part series which debuted on Disney+ back in September of last year. This collection of animated shorts literally sent Lightning McQueen & Mater off on a road trip.

So who knows?

Given that Bob Iger (at Disney’s quarterly earnings call held earlier this week) revealed that the Company now has sequels in the works for “Frozen,” “Toy Story,” and “Zootopia” … Well, is it really all that far-fetched to think that – at some point further on down the road – Disney & Pixar will put yet another sequel to “Cars” in the works?

One that might send Lightning McQueen & Mater off to explore the gritty inner-city world that we glimpsed in all that concept art for “Metro,” that never-produced “Cars” spin-off.

Time will tell.

Jim Hill

Jim Hill is an entertainment writer who has specialized in covering The Walt Disney Company for nearly 40 years now. Over that time, he has interviewed hundreds of animators, actors, and Imagineers -- many of whom have shared behind-the-scenes stories with Mr. Hill about how the Mouse House really works. In addition to the 4000+ articles Jim has written for the Web, he also co-hosts a trio of popular podcasts: “Disney Dish with Len Testa,” “Fine Tooning with Drew Taylor” and “Marvel US Disney with Aaron Adams.” Mr. Hill makes his home in Southern New Hampshire with his lovely wife Nancy and two obnoxious cats, Ginger & Betty.

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