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Babes in Waltland : Part II

Disney Legend Floyd Norman concludes his two part series on “Babes at Toyland.” To be specific, the crucial role that this motion picture played in the creation of that Disney classic, “Mary Poppins”



Picking up where we left off last week ….

The Walt Disney Studio was abuzz with activity as production ramped up on “Babes in Toyland
.” Director Ward Kimball had been replaced by Jack Donohue, and
shooting was finally about to begin.

Still rumors persisted as to why Kimball had been taken off of this picture. And I’ll confess that I have no secret
inside information about his sudden departure. Some say it was the appearance of
an announcement in the Hollywood trades that congratulated Ward on being hired to helm “Toyland.” Ironically, Kimball had little or nothing to do with that ad being in
the trade papers. In any case, some say that this is what ticked off Walt. Which is
why Disney then had Kimball removed as director of this film.

That story may or may not be true. Since I was around at the time, I have a slightly
different take on the whole affair. For those of you who never had the pleasure
of working for Walt, I can tell you that he was a guy who wanted things done
his way. So you can be sure most employees deferred to the boss whenever he had
a suggestion or opinion. Not so with Kimball, who sometimes went out of his way
to disagree with Disney. On occasion, I observed Walt dressing down Ward on the
spot. However Kimball’s behavior never really changed.

Ward Kimball (R) shows Walt Disney & Bill Bosche (L) one of the models that will be used in production of “Man in Space.” Copyright 1955 Disney. All Rights Reserved

Once “Babes in Toyland” moved toward production, Ward Kimball began running things
much as he had on those “Man in Space” episodes that he created for the
Disneyland TV show. Walt had pretty much given Ward a free hand on that quartet
of episodes, but those days were over. Walt finally put his foot
down. And this, they say, was a reminder from the boss that it was Disney’s
name — not Kimball’s – that was on the side of the building.

As for Ward’s replacement … Jack was a gregarious guy with all the flash & dazzle you’d expect from a Hollywood director. Having started his career as a dancer with the Ziegfeld Follies and then cutting his teeth directing TV variety shows in the 1950s, Donohue seemed
to be a perfect choice to helm a production that would feature lots of big dance

And speaking of dancing: Who better to play “Babes” comic villain, Barnaby, than noted hoofer Ray Bolger? At that point, it had been almost 7 years since Bolger had last appeared
in a motion picture. But Walt Disney was very good about putting aging performers back in front of the cameras. And Ray was only one of many Hollywood veterans that Walt
pulled out of retirement and then put back to work.

Copyright 2009 Warner Bros. All Rights Reserved

Of course, given Bolger’s memorable turn as the Scarecrow in “The Wizard of Oz,”
having him be a part of “Babes in Toyland” ‘s cast did much to validate this
movie. But having a performer of Ray’s stature on the lot also had other

How so? Well, keep in mind that this was the Mouse Factory circa 1961. A place where movie stars
& animators all grabbed a tray and then dined together in the Studio Commissary
at noon. And one day as we all stood in line with Bolger, this hoofer decided to put
on a show for the crowd assembled in the Commissary. So he actually did a little dance
routine while waiting there in the lunch line.

Now this was more than two decades after Bolger had played the Scarecrow in that MGM
classic. To be specific, the guy was 57-years old at this time. But Ray still moved with the grace & agility of a far younger man. And
all us “Wizard of Oz” fans who worked at Disney back then were thrilled to get
this private performance as a lunch-time treat.

Still in his Barnaby make-up, Ray Bolger performed for us right there in the Disney Studio Commissary. That old Scarecrow was just as lively as ever

Unfortunately, as much as we may have wanted it to be, the Walt Disney Productions’ version of
“Babes in Toyland” was no “Wizard of Oz.” What went wrong? To be honest, I don’t
know. As I watched the film’s dance numbers being shot on that sound stage,
they all appeared pretty dazzling to me. But when I saw these same numbers 
up on the big screen, they just fell flat.

Of course, industry vets will tell you that – of all the movie genres – musicals are
the most difficult projects to pull off. Each scene must be colorful, sweet and
lighter than air. Almost like cotton candy. And you then have to maintain this tone
all the way through your picture so that the audience can maintain their sense
of disbelief. Otherwise they’re going to have trouble buying into the idea that
your movie’s characters have to stop every now & then in order to burst
into song.

Mind you, we did have people in the “Babes in Toyland” cast who had no trouble
delivering a proper movie musical performance. Bolger for one. And Ed Wynn was also a
complete pro. Casting “The Perfect Fool” as that wacky toy-maker was one of
Walt’s master strokes on this movie. I used to love going down to the set and watching
Wynn work.

Copyright 1961 Walt Disney Productions. All Rights Reserved

But as good as Ed & Ray were, their young co-stars on “Babes in Toyland” were almost
as wooden as those toy soldiers who come to life during this film’s comic battle sequence. And as
talented as Jack Donahue was, there was little this director could do to bring
their performances to life.

So was it a mistake for Disney Studios to try & produce a live-action full
color version of “Babes in Toyland” as its first full-fledged movie musical? Hardly. I prefer to think of this film as a very valuable learning experience.

How so? I’ll let Leonard Maltin explain. Quoting now from the “Babes in Toyland”
review that you’ll find in his excellent “The Disney Films” book:

Copyright 1961 Walt Disney Productions. All Rights Reserved

“(Babes in Toyland”) was just a case of Disney trying to outdo himself, and channeling
his energy in the wrong direction. It was his first live-action musical and he
profited by the experience. A few years later he turned out a little something
called ‘Mary Poppins.’ Remember?”

Leonard’s absolutely right. Every misstep that was made on “Babes in Toyland” then taught
Walt & his team a valuable lesson about how you actually produce a movie
musical. They then put all of this practical information to good use just two years later when
the Studio began gearing up to make “Mary.”

To me, this seems to be consistent with Disney’s philosophy of never fearing
failure. Walt knew that failing was not a negative as long as you actually learned
from your mistakes. And all of the errors that had been made while making “Babes in Toyland” appeared to bring about a
maturity & confidence in Disney’s creative team. And this then allowed them to
deliver a “Practically Perfect in Every Way” motion picture the next time

Copyright 1964 Walt Disney Productions. All Rights Reserved

With this lesson in mind, it’s clear (to my way of thinking, anyway) that “Babes in
Toyland” shouldn’t really be considered a failure.That film provided an opportunity
to experiment with fanciful sets, special effects and animation mixed with
songs & choreography. All of the elements that Walt’s wizards would then marshal
on the Studio’s next live-action musical.

Okay. So Disney’s “Babes in Toyland” is probably doomed to forever be overshadowed by the version
that Hal Roach produced back in 1934. Which – again quoting from Leonard Maltin’s
write-up in “The Disney Films” …

“(The Laurel & Hardy version of “Babes in Toyland” hasn’t got) the color or
special effects of the new version, but it is everything the Disney film should
have been: charming, funny, frightening and truly memorable.”

Copyright 2008 Legend Films. All Rights Reserved

… but for those of us who were lucky enough to be on the “Babes” set back in
1961, it was still a delightful experience. Much to their credit, the cast
& crew who worked on this motion picture really gave it their all.

Which – come to think of it – is all that Walt Disney really expected.

Did you enjoy today’s column about “Babes of Toyland”? Well, this is just
one of the entertaining & insightful tales that this Disney Legend has to
share. Many of which you’ll find collected in the three books Floyd currently
has the market. Each of which take an affectionate look back at all the years
that Mr. Norman has spent working in the entertainment industry.

These include Floyd’s original collection of cartoons and stories — “Faster!
Cheaper! The Flip Side of the Art of Animation” (which is available for
sale over at John Cawley’s cataroo) as well as two follow-ups to that book,
“Son of Faster, Cheaper” & “How the Grinch Stole
Disney.” Which you can purchase by heading over to Afrokids.

And while you’re at it, don’t forget to check out Mr. Fun’s Blog. Which is where
Mr. Norman postings his musings when he’s not writing for JHM.

Floyd Norman

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The Evolution and History of Mickey’s ToonTown



Disneyland in Anaheim, California, holds a special place in the hearts of Disney fans worldwide, I mean heck, it’s where the magic began after all.  Over the years it’s become a place that people visit in search of memorable experiences. One fan favorite area of the park is Mickey’s Toontown, a unique land that lets guests step right into the colorful, “Toony” world of Disney animation. With the recent reimagining of the land and the introduction of Micky and Minnies Runaway Railway, have you ever wondered how this land came to be?

There is a fascinating backstory of how Mickey’s Toontown came into existence. It’s a tale of strategic vision, the influence of Disney executives, and a commitment to meeting the needs of Disney’s valued guests.

The Beginning: Mickey’s Birthdayland

The story of Mickey’s Toontown starts with Mickey’s Birthdayland at Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom. Opened in 1988 to celebrate Mickey Mouse’s 60th birthday, this temporary attraction was met with such overwhelming popularity that it inspired Disney executives to think bigger. The idea was to create a permanent, immersive land where guests could step into the animated world of Mickey Mouse and his friends.

In the early ’90s, Disneyland was in need of a refresh. Michael Eisner, the visionary leader of The Walt Disney Company at the time, had an audacious idea: create a brand-new land in Disneyland that would celebrate Disney characters in a whole new way. This was the birth of Mickey’s Toontown.

Initially, Disney’s creative minds toyed with various concepts, including the idea of crafting a 100-Acre Woods or a land inspired by the Muppets. However, the turning point came when they considered the success of “Who Framed Roger Rabbit.” This film’s popularity and the desire to capitalize on contemporary trends set the stage for Toontown’s creation.

From Concept to Reality: The Birth of Toontown

In 1993, Mickey’s Toontown opened its gates at Disneyland, marking the first time in Disney Park history where guests could experience a fully realized, three-dimensional world of animation. This new land was not just a collection of attractions but a living, breathing community where Disney characters “lived,” worked, and played.

Building Challenges: Innovative Solutions

The design of Mickey’s Toontown broke new ground in theme park aesthetics. Imagineers were tasked with bringing the two-dimensional world of cartoons into a three-dimensional space. This led to the creation of over 2000 custom-built props and structures that embodied the ‘squash and stretch’ principle of animation, giving Toontown its distinctiveness.

And then there was also the challenge of hiding the Team Disney Anaheim building, which bore a striking resemblance to a giant hotdog. The Imagineers had to think creatively, using balloon tests and imaginative landscaping to seamlessly integrate Toontown into the larger park.

Key Attractions: Bringing Animation to Life

Mickey’s Toontown featured several groundbreaking attractions. “Roger Rabbit’s Car Toon Spin,” inspired by the movie “Who Framed Roger Rabbit,” became a staple of Toontown, offering an innovative ride experience. Gadget’s Go-Coaster, though initially conceived as a Rescue Rangers-themed ride, became a hit with younger visitors, proving that innovative design could create memorable experiences for all ages.

Another crown jewel of Toontown is Mickey’s House, a walkthrough attraction that allowed guests to explore the home of Mickey Mouse himself. This attraction was more than just a house; it was a carefully crafted piece of Disney lore. The house was designed in the American Craftsman style, reflecting the era when Mickey would have theoretically purchased his first home in Hollywood. The attention to detail was meticulous, with over 2000 hand-crafted, custom-built props, ensuring that every corner of the house was brimming with character and charm. Interestingly, the design of Mickey’s House was inspired by a real home in Wichita Falls, making it a unique blend of real-world inspiration and Disney magic.

Mickey’s House also showcased Disney’s commitment to creating interactive and engaging experiences. Guests could make themselves at home, sitting in Mickey’s chair, listening to the radio, and exploring the many mementos and references to Mickey’s animated adventures throughout the years. This approach to attraction design – where storytelling and interactivity merged seamlessly – was a defining characteristic of ToonTown’s success.

Executive Decisions: Shaping ToonTown’s Unique Attractions

The development of Mickey’s Toontown wasn’t just about creative imagination; it was significantly influenced by strategic decisions from Disney executives. One notable input came from Jeffrey Katzenberg, who suggested incorporating a Rescue Rangers-themed ride. This idea was a reflection of the broader Disney strategy to integrate popular contemporary characters and themes into the park, ensuring that the attractions remained relevant and engaging for visitors.

In addition to Katzenberg’s influence, Frank Wells, the then-President of The Walt Disney Company, played a key role in the strategic launch of Toontown’s attractions. His decision to delay the opening of “Roger Rabbit’s Car Toon Spin” until a year after Toontown’s debut was a calculated move. It was designed to maintain public interest in the park by offering new experiences over time, thereby giving guests more reasons to return to Disneyland.

These executive decisions highlight the careful planning and foresight that went into making Toontown a dynamic and continuously appealing part of Disneyland. By integrating current trends and strategically planning the rollout of attractions, Disney executives ensured that Toontown would not only capture the hearts of visitors upon its opening but would continue to draw them back for new experiences in the years to follow.

Global Influence: Toontown’s Worldwide Appeal

The concept of Mickey’s Toontown resonated so strongly that it was replicated at Tokyo Disneyland and influenced elements in Disneyland Paris and Hong Kong Disneyland. Each park’s version of Toontown maintained the core essence of the original while adapting to its cultural and logistical environment.

Evolution and Reimagining: Toontown Today

As we approach the present day, Mickey’s Toontown has recently undergone a significant reimagining to welcome “Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway” in 2023. This refurbishment aimed to enhance the land’s interactivity and appeal to a new generation of Disney fans, all while retaining the charm that has made ToonTown a beloved destination for nearly three decades.

Dive Deeper into ToonTown’s Story

Want to know more about Mickey’s Toontown and hear some fascinating behind-the-scenes stories, then check out the latest episode of Disney Unpacked on Patreon @JimHillMedia. In this episode, the main Imagineer who worked on the Toontown project shares lots of interesting stories and details that you can’t find anywhere else. It’s full of great information and fun facts, so be sure to give it a listen!

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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Unpacking the History of the Pixar Place Hotel



Pixar Place Hotel, the newly unveiled 15-story tower at the Disneyland Resort, has been making waves in the Disney community. With its unique Pixar-themed design, it promises to be a favorite among visitors.

However, before we delve into this exciting addition to the Disneyland Resort, let’s take a look at the fascinating history of this remarkable hotel.

The Emergence of the Disneyland Hotel

To truly appreciate the story of the Pixar Place Hotel, we must turn back the clock to the early days of Disneyland. While Walt Disney had the visionary ideas and funding to create the iconic theme park, he faced a challenge when it came to providing accommodations for the park’s visitors. This is where his friend Jack Wrather enters the picture.

Jack Wrather, a fellow pioneer in the television industry, stepped in to assist Walt Disney in realizing his dream. Thanks to the success of the “Lassie” TV show produced by Wrather’s company, he had the financial means to build a hotel right across from Disneyland.

The result was the Disneyland Hotel, which opened its doors in October 1955. Interestingly, the early incarnation of this hotel had more of a motel feel than a hotel, with two-story buildings reminiscent of the roadside motels popular during the 1950s. The initial Disneyland Hotel consisted of modest structures that catered to visitors looking for affordable lodging close to the park. While the rooms were basic, it marked the beginning of something extraordinary.

The Evolution: From Emerald of Anaheim to Paradise Pier

As Disneyland’s popularity continued to soar, so did the demand for expansion and improved accommodations. In 1962, the addition of an 11-story tower transformed the Disneyland Hotel, marking a significant transition from a motel to a full-fledged hotel.

The addition of the 11-story tower elevated the Disneyland Hotel into a more prominent presence on the Anaheim skyline. At the time, it was the tallest structure in all of Orange County. The hotel’s prime location across from Disneyland made it an ideal choice for visitors. With the introduction of the monorail linking the park and the hotel, accessibility became even more convenient. Unique features like the Japanese-themed reflecting pools added to the hotel’s charm, reflecting a cultural influence that extended beyond Disney’s borders.

Japanese Tourism and Its Impact

During the 1960s and 1970s, Disneyland was attracting visitors from all corners of the world, including Japan. A significant number of Japanese tourists flocked to Anaheim to experience Walt Disney’s creation. To cater to this growing market, it wasn’t just the Disneyland Hotel that aimed to capture the attention of Japanese tourists. The Japanese Village in Buena Park, inspired by a similar attraction in Nara, Japan, was another significant spot.

These attractions sought to provide a taste of Japanese culture and hospitality, showcasing elements like tea ceremonies and beautiful ponds with rare carp and black swans. However, the Japanese Village closed its doors in 1975, likely due to the highly competitive nature of the Southern California tourist market.

The Emergence of the Emerald of Anaheim

With the surge in Japanese tourism, an opportunity arose—the construction of the Emerald of Anaheim, later known as the Disneyland Pacific Hotel. In May 1984, this 15-story hotel opened its doors.

What made the Emerald unique was its ownership. It was built not by The Walt Disney Company or the Oriental Land Company (which operated Tokyo Disneyland) but by the Tokyu Group. This group of Japanese businessmen already had a pair of hotels in Hawaii and saw potential in Anaheim’s proximity to Disneyland. Thus, they decided to embark on this new venture, specifically designed to cater to Japanese tourists looking to experience Southern California.

Financial Challenges and a Changing Landscape

The late 1980s brought about two significant financial crises in Japan—the crash of the NIKKEI stock market and the collapse of the Japanese real estate market. These crises had far-reaching effects, causing Japanese tourists to postpone or cancel their trips to the United States. As a result, reservations at the Emerald of Anaheim dwindled.

To adapt to these challenging times, the Tokyu Group merged the Emerald brand with its Pacific hotel chain, attempting to weather the storm. However, the financial turmoil took its toll on the Emerald, and changes were imminent.

The Transition to the Disneyland Pacific Hotel

In 1995, The Walt Disney Company took a significant step by purchasing the hotel formerly known as the Emerald of Anaheim for $35 million. This acquisition marked a change in the hotel’s fortunes. With Disney now in control, the hotel underwent a name change, becoming the Disneyland Pacific Hotel.

Transformation to Paradise Pier

The next phase of transformation occurred when Disney decided to rebrand the hotel as Paradise Pier Hotel. This decision aligned with Disney’s broader vision for the Disneyland Resort.

While the structural changes were limited, the hotel underwent a significant cosmetic makeover. Its exterior was painted to complement the color scheme of Paradise Pier, and wave-shaped crenellations adorned the rooftop, creating an illusion of seaside charm. This transformation was Disney’s attempt to seamlessly integrate the hotel into the Paradise Pier theme of Disney’s California Adventure Park.

Looking Beyond Paradise Pier: The Shift to Pixar Place

In 2018, Disneyland Resort rebranded Paradise Pier as Pixar Pier, a thematic area dedicated to celebrating the beloved characters and stories from Pixar Animation Studios. As a part of this transition, it became evident that the hotel formally known as the Disneyland Pacific Hotel could no longer maintain its Paradise Pier theme.

With Pixar Pier in full swing and two successful Pixar-themed hotels (Toy Story Hotels in Shanghai Disneyland and Tokyo Disneyland), Disney decided to embark on a new venture—a hotel that would celebrate the vast world of Pixar. The result is Pixar Place Hotel, a 15-story tower that embraces the characters and stories from multiple Pixar movies and shorts. This fully Pixar-themed hotel is a first of its kind in the United States.

The Future of Pixar Place and Disneyland Resort

As we look ahead to the future, the Disneyland Resort continues to evolve. The recent news of a proposed $1.9 billion expansion as part of the Disneyland Forward project indicates that the area surrounding Pixar Place is expected to see further changes. Disneyland’s rich history and innovative spirit continue to shape its destiny.

In conclusion, the history of the Pixar Place Hotel is a testament to the ever-changing landscape of Disneyland Resort. From its humble beginnings as the Disneyland Hotel to its transformation into the fully Pixar-themed Pixar Place Hotel, this establishment has undergone several iterations. As Disneyland Resort continues to grow and adapt, we can only imagine what exciting developments lie ahead for this iconic destination.

If you want to hear more stories about the History of the Pixar Place hotel, check our special edition of Disney Unpacked over on YouTube.

Stay tuned for more updates and developments as we continue to explore the fascinating world of Disney, one story at a time.

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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From Birthday Wishes to Toontown Dreams: How Toontown Came to Be



Mickey's Birthday Land

In the latest release of Episode 4 of Disney Unpacked, Len and I return, joined as always by Disney Imagineering legend, Jim Shull. This two-part episode covers all things Mickey’s Birthday Land and how it ultimately led to the inspiration behind Disneyland’s fan-favorite land, “Toontown”. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves here. It all starts in the early days at Disneyland.

Early Challenges in Meeting Mickey

Picture this: it’s the late 1970s and early 1980s, and you’re at Disneyland. You want to meet the one and only Mickey Mouse, but there’s no clear way to make it happen. You rely on Character Guides, those daily printed sheets that point you in Mickey’s general direction. But let’s be honest, it was like finding a needle in a haystack. Sometimes, you got lucky; other times, not so much.

Mickey’s Birthdayland: A Birthday Wish that Came True

Fast forward to the late 1980s. Disney World faced a big challenge. The Disney-MGM Studios Theme Park was under construction, with the company’s marketing machine in full swing, hyping up the opening of Walt Disney World’s third theme park, MGM Studios, in the Spring of 1989. This extensive marketing meant that many people were opting to postpone their family’s next trip to Walt Disney World until the following year. Walt Disney World needed something compelling to motivate guests to visit Florida in 1988, the year before Disney MGM Studios opened.

Enter stage left, Mickey’s Birthdayland. For the first time ever, an entire land was dedicated to a single character – and not just any character, but the mouse who started it all. Meeting Mickey was no longer a game of chance; it was practically guaranteed.

The Birth of Birthdayland: Creative Brilliance Meets Practicality

In this episode, we dissect the birth of Mickey’s Birthdayland, an initiative that went beyond celebrating a birthday. It was a calculated move, driven by guest feedback and a need to address issues dating back to 1971. Imagineers faced the monumental task of designing an experience that honored Mickey while efficiently managing the crowds. This required the perfect blend of creative flair and logistical prowess – a hallmark of Disney’s approach to theme park design.

Evolution: From Birthdayland to Toontown

The success of Mickey’s Birthdayland was a real game-changer, setting the stage for the birth of Toontown – an entire land that elevated character-centric areas to monumental new heights. Toontown wasn’t merely a spot to meet characters; it was an immersive experience that brought Disney animation to life. In the episode, we explore its innovative designs, playful architecture, and how every nook and cranny tells a story.

Impact on Disney Parks and Guests

Mickey’s Birthdayland and Toontown didn’t just reshape the physical landscape of Disney parks; they transformed the very essence of the guest experience. These lands introduced groundbreaking ways for visitors to connect with their beloved characters, making their Disney vacations even more unforgettable.

Beyond Attractions: A Cultural Influence

But the influence of these lands goes beyond mere attractions. Our episode delves into how Mickey’s Birthdayland and Toontown left an indelible mark on Disney’s culture, reflecting the company’s relentless dedication to innovation and guest satisfaction. It’s a journey into how a single idea can grow into a cherished cornerstone of the Disney Park experience.

Interested in learning about Jim Shull’s original idea for a Winnie the Pooh ride? Here’s concept art of the attraction proposed for the original Toontown in Disneyland. More on [Disney Unpacked].

Unwrapping the Full Story of Mickey’s Birthdayland

Our two-part episode of Disney Unpacked is available for your viewing pleasure on our Patreon page. And for those seeking a quicker Disney fix, we’ve got a condensed version waiting for you on our YouTube channel. Thank you for being a part of our Disney Unpacked community. Stay tuned for more episodes as we continue to “Unpack” the fascinating world of Disney, one story at a time.

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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