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The year that Mickey & Minnie almost got married



Take a moment. Go check out your Disney t-shirt and coffee mug collection.
There’s an awful lot of anniversary logos & celebration slogans there,
aren’t there? 35 Years of Magic. 40 Years of Adventure. 100 Years of Magic. Remember
the Magic
. Year of a Million Dreams. What Will You Celebrate? Give a Day, Get a
. And – of course – Disney Parks & Resort’s most recent effort, Let the
Memories Begin

But for every one of these Disney Parks promotional
campaigns that receive major media buys, which were then supported by splashy
newspaper ads & numerous TV commercials … There were an equally large
number of campaigns that never quite made it out of committee.

Take – for example – that promotion which Jack Lindquist
dreamed up for Disneyland‘s Summer of 1991. Which was when Jim Henson’s
Muppet*Vision 3D was supposed to have replaced the Great Moments with Mr.
show at that theme park’s Main Street Opera House.

Copyright Disney Enterprises, Inc. All rights reserved

Jack wanted to do something genuinely big to make the public
aware that the Muppets were now in residence at the Happiest Place on Earth.
Which is why he proposed sending Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Pluto & Goofy off
on vacation for the entire Summer of ’91. So that — while the Fab Five were away
from Anaheim — the Muppets would then be left in charge of Disneyland.

And from the moment that you came thru the turnstiles that summer,
you would have known that this theme park had a new (albeit temporary) head
honcho. Given that the Mickey-shaped floral planter that’s adorned the lawn in
front of the Main Street, U.S.A. train station for decades now would have been replaced
by a Kermit-shaped planter.

Mind you, even if you were out driving by on the 5 during
the Summer of ’91, you would have known that something unusual was going on at
Disneyland. Given that – as part of this promotion — Jack wanted to paint the
Matterhorn Kermit-the-Frog green.

The “Here Comes the Muppets” stage show as it was presented at Disney-MGM
Studios theme park. Copyright Disney Enterprises, Inc. All rights reserved

These two over-the-top touches were just the beginning of
the Muppet-type madness that was to have invaded the Happiest Place on Earth
that summer. Over on the Videopolis stage, there were to have been several
performances daily of the “Here Come the Muppets” stage show. Which was to have
been this Disneyland-specific version of that Disney-MGM stage show which ran
at the Studios from May 1990 through September 1991.

And when the Muppet walk-around characters weren’t onstage performing
at Videopolis, they were supposed to be down in Town Square doing meet-n-greets
and/or waving to Guests from floats during Disneyland’s twice-daily
presentation of the Magnificent Muppet All-Star Motorcade. Which was to have
featured Gonzo riding on a rolling camera platform as he directed this music
video which starred Dr. Teeth and the Electric Mayhem.  And did I mention that Fozzie, Scooter and
Rowlf would be riding aboard the Muppet tour bus as it rolled through that
theme park?

That was Jack’s grand plan for introducing the Muppets at
Disneyland in a big way. But all of Lindquist’s hard work was for naught. Given
that – in December of 1990 — The Walt Disney Company’s first attempt to
acquire the Muppets fell apart in December of 1990 when Mouse House management
and the Henson family failed to come to terms.

Copyright Disney Enterprises, Inc. All rights reserved

Anyway … I told that story today because I wanted to give a
sense of the hundreds of hours of hard work that The Walt Disney Company will
sometimes put into the development of a brand-new promotional  campaign for Walt Disney Parks & Resorts.
Only to then suddenly abandon that effort. Which means that the public never
gets to see any of that artwork / see that particular PR narrative unfold.

The other reason that I’m exploring this aspect of the
Company’s history today – on Valentine’s Day of all days – is … Well, did you
see the big news coming out of Toy Fair this morning? Where – after seven years
of being apart — Barbie and Ken have officially announced that they are once
again a couple?

This is – of course – a PR stunt that Mattel dreamed up not
only to spur sales (i.e. look for a special limited edition of “Together Again” set of Barbie & Ken dolls
to hit store shelves shortly) but to also help
reinvigorate this brand. But where this gets interesting is that – back in the
mid-1990s – The Walt Disney Company toyed with doing something very similar
with Mickey & Minnie.

Copyright 2011 Mattel, Inc. All rights reserved

As I recall, the initial discussion reportedly began back in late 1992 / early 1993. There was supposedly a concern on the PR side of things at Walt Disney Parks
& Resorts that the Company had maybe gone back to the anniversary well once too often. To explain: That – by continually hyping artificial events like the celebration of Disneyland’s 35th & WDW’s 20th anniversaries – there was a danger that the public would start losing their enthusiasm for these sorts of cooked-up campaigns. Which is why Disney officials were looking to do something different  – something big, bold & dramatic – in order to recapture people’s attention / imagination.

And given that 1986’s “Totally Minnie” program — with its record album, TV special on NBC, merchandise line
as well as a daily parade
at Disneyland
— had proven to be so popular with the public (More importantly, had helped redefine that character. Get Minnie out of the kitchen, out of Mickey’s shadow and then show off this character’s independent spirit & fun nature) … Given that Mickey Mouse’s 65th birthday was coming up, the Company’s Corporate Synergy & Special Projects office toyed with the idea of commemorating this special occasion back having Mickey & Minnie become Man & Wife … er … Mouse & Wife during a year-long event that would run from the Fall of 1993 through the late Summer of 1994.
The scenario (as it was explained to me) was that – sometime just after Labor Day 1993 – Disney officials were to have announced that Mickey had just
proposed to Minnie. More importantly, that she had “Yes.” And since it had
taken these two nearly 70 years to finally make it to the altar … Well, a single day-long
wedding wouldn’t cut it. Which is why Walt Disney Parks &
Resorts wanted to stage this year-long celebration of the marriage of
Mickey & Minnie Mouse. Where the daily Guests at the Parks would then automatically
become guests at Mickey & Minnie’s wedding.

Copyright Disney Enterprises, Inc. All rights reserved

If all had gone according to plan, this was to have been a multi-media extravaganza. With ABC
airing a “Mickey & Minnie Mouse’s Wedding” TV special, plus a daily parade at
the Parks where Disney characters from around the world were to have arrived with
gifts for the happy couple. I also remember something about a nightly marriage ceremony
in front of the castle – with Pluto as the ring bearer and Donald & Goofy continually
jostling to see who Mickey’s best man would wind up being. And then – when the happy couple
had their first official kiss as Mouse & Wife … Well, that was supposed to
have signaled the start of the Park’s nightly fireworks display.
So why didn’t the marriage-of-Mickey-and-Minnie happen? Well, the way I heard it, there were actually people who worked at the Mouse House who were concerned that — by marrying Mickey — Minnie (as a character) would then be taking a step backwards. That — by marrying Mickey Mouse — Minnie would then be forced to settle into the stereotypical housewife’s role.
Then there were those at The Walt Disney Company who were uncomfortable with all the real-life baggage that would then come with these two much-beloved characters finally getting hitched. As in: How were they supposed to answer kids questions like “If Mickey & Minnie’s marriage doesn’t work out, will they then get divorced” ?

Copyright Disney Enterprises, Inc. All rights reserved

Given that there was something that was obviously special about Mickey & Minnie’s relationship (i.e. that they had managed to stay sweethearts for 65 years) … And given that — at least from a little kid’s point of view  — marriage is often seen as icky and/or loaded with all sorts of complicated adult-type emotions … Well, it just didn’t make sense to screw up something that had worked — and worked well — for six decades plus just to temporarily boost attendance at the Disney theme parks and/or sell some collectibles.

Which is why the Company never pursued the Mickey-and-Minnie-get-married idea. More importantly, why Walt Disney Parks & Resorts
went back to promotional campaigns that keyed off of
anniversaries.  Like 1996’s Remember the Magic, 2000’s 100 Years of
Magic and 2005’s the Happiest Homecoming on Earth events.

And given the carefully parsed way that Mattel is approaching the promotion
of Ken & Barbie’s reunion (i.e. “She said Yes. Ken and Barbie Rekindle
their Epic Romance” rather than saying that these two dolls are now gong to get
married), I think that that the Mattel Corporation – just as Disney did back in late 1992 / early 1993 – recognizes the dangers involved in taking a couple that the public has
loved for decades as dating singles now and then making them man & wife.

Copyright 2001 Mattel, Inc. All rights reserved

That said, I still think that it’s kind of cool that — according to the official Barbie & Ken timeline that Mattel sent along earlier — it was this couple’s reunion on the set of “Toy Story 3
” that supposedly let to the rekindling of their relationship.

But what do you folks think? Even if this had just been a promotional
campaign that Walt Disney Parks & Resorts cooked up in order to get you
& your family to return to the Resorts in 1993 & 1994, would you have still made a
special trip to Anaheim or Orlando in order to attend the marriage of Mickey
& Minnie Mouse?  Or were Company
officials wise to take a pass on this particular PR stunt?

Your thoughts?

The article was updated / corrected on February 19, 2011 to fold in additional information

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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From toxic gas leaks to the triumph of ‘Finding Dory,’ Lindsey Collins has loved every minute of her time at Pixar Animation Studios



When it comes to “Finding Dory” producer Lindsey Collins, she takes “going-with-your-gut” to a whole new level.

To explain: This Occidental College graduate joined Walt Disney Animation Studios straight out of school in 1994. And after working as a PA on “Pocahontas” & “The Hunchback of Notre Dame,” Lindsey had just been made assistant production manager on “Hercules” when she began hearing people talk about Pixar.

“I was working at Disney with Ron & John (Author’s note: That’s Ron Clements & John Musker, the acclaimed animation directing team behind not only “Hercules” but also “The Little Mermaid,” “Aladdin” and WDAS’ soon-to-be-released “Moana“) and was really enjoying that experience. But just before ‘Toy Story’ came out, there was a brief blurb in the company newsletter about Pixar. And I was like ‘Well, who are these guys?’ And then I got to meet John Lasseter and was just totally blown away by what he and his team were doing,” Collins recalled during a recent phone interview.

Lindsey Collins. Copyright Disney Pixar

“Anyway, Disney liked what I was doing at Feature Animation and really wanted me to stay on there. So they offered me a contract. And I was like ‘I’m fine. I can stay here.’ So I signed that contract. And then I went home and threw up all night,” Lindsey laughed.  “The very next day, I went back into Disney and said ‘I’m sorry. I can’t do this. I really have to go.’ Then I went up to the Bay area and basically pounded on Pixar’s door & said ‘please, please, please hire me.’ “

Luckily for Ms. Collins, Pixar Animation Studios was just in the process of gearing up to do “A Bug’s Life.” More to the point, Sharon Calahan – the director of photography on that production – saw lots of potential in this recent Mouse House escapee.

“Sharon was hugely involved with Pixar’s decision to hire me. And part of that was because I had worked with background painters while I was at Disney Feature Animation. So even though I had no clue how CG worked at that time, I could talk with Sharon in the terms of painting. And she was like ‘That’s exactly how I want people around here to start thinking when it comes to how we light our scenes,’ ” Collins continued.

Sharon Calahan. Copyright Disney Pixar

“Mind you, I was the one who kept telling Sharon ‘I don’t know how helpful I can be to you guys. Because I really don’t understand a lot of what you’re saying when it comes to CG.’ But she wouldn’t give up on me. Sharon kept insisting that – because I had already worked with artists and knew how to communicate a vision for a painting – I was also going to be able to communicate with software engineers. It was just a matter of learning a new language. Sharon was instrumental in convincing me that I had any right to be at Pixar,” Lindsey stated.

Which isn’t to say that life was initially easy for Collins at Pixar. First there was that steep learning curve which came with her new job (“When I first got here, I had no idea what a render farm was. I was like ‘There’s a farm? Like a petting zoo?’ “). Then there was the fact that the Port Richmond office park which housed this animation studio at that time was downwind of a Chevron plant (“Sometimes – because there’d be explosions or gas leaks at that plant — we’d then be told to shelter in place or to not come into work at all that day. We used to call those toxic snow days”).

But even under these somewhat stressful & occasionally toxic conditions, Lindsey thrived. Largely because she really loved her new co-workers at Pixar (“They were people who could really make me laugh. In a way I didn’t know that real adults / professionals could make me laugh. And I feel like I haven’t stopped since I got here”).

Copyright Disney Pixar

But it hasn’t all been big laughs. Take – for example – what happened when Ed Catmull, the president of Pixar Animation Studios, approached Collins (who was producing “Finding Dory” at that time) about a change that he wanted to make to that Andrew Stanton film.

“Pixar had this new renderer that it wanted to try out. And Ed felt ‘Dory’ would be the perfect project to try this new technology on. The only problem was that – when Ed approached me – we were already well into production on this ‘Finding Nemo’ sequel. Which meant – if we were going to take full advantage of what Ed was offering us – we’d then have go back and redo a bunch of stuff we’d already done on this movie,” Lindsey said.

“But the good news was – because “Dory” was a sequel to “Nemo” – we weren’t discovering a look for this movie. We were just trying to improve on it,” Collins continued. “And that was the handshake deal that Ed was offering. That – if we agreed to use this new renderer plus some new lighting & shading tools. Basically reinventing the entire back end of the Pixar production line – we’d then end up with a far better looking film that was still set in the same world as ‘Nemo.’ As long as the studio delivered on that promise, Andrew was willing to go for it. Mind you, it would be another full year before Andrew would then actually get to see any footage that this new renderer produced. So it was a huge leap-of-faith on his part. But Andrew was incredibly excited when the redone ‘Dory’ footage began coming in and it all looked so great.”

Copyright Disney Pixar

Another technology challenge that Lindsey had to deal with while producing this “Finding Nemo” sequel was Hank the septopus. But in this case, as soon as Collins saw this character described in an early draft of  Stanton’s ‘Dory’ script, she immediately got Pixar’s character department involved.

“When you’re working as a producer, you get to see pages a lot earlier than the rest of the crew. And as soon as I read that first scene with Hank, I turned to Andrew and said ‘Just how big a character are we talking here?’ And he said ‘I think it’s a pretty big role.’ And I was like ‘Okay.’ And I then went down to the character department and told them that Andrew wanted to add an octopus to the cast. And they all went kind of pale,” Lindsey said. “I think what they knew right-off-the-bat that – if we were going to do an octopus in the ‘Nemo’ / ‘Dory’ world with all of the realism & beauty that entails and then have that character fit in – it was going to be incredibly difficult if not kind of impossible to pull that off. Largely because the character of Hank couldn’t be super-cartoony.”

“I mean, on ‘Finding Nemo,’ we had had Pearl, the little octopus who was in Mr. Ray’s class. But clearly the whole point of a character like Hank was that he needed to be a jack-of-all-trades. That this character was going to have to be able to get in & out of everything. So the character department knew – right off the bat – that this was going to be something that would kind of break the bank, if you will,” Collins continued.

Copyright Disney Pixar

“Now what you have to understand about Pixar is that we play ‘Chicken’ a lot here. By that I mean, we see how long we can let something sit on the page before we then have to finally move it into production. But when it came to Hank, that just wasn’t an option,” Lindsey stated. “Based on this character’s needs, Hank was going to take every minute we had, all the time between when he first appeared in Andrew’s script and when we’d be in full production on ‘Dory’ to build this. So we needed to commit very early on this character. But the good news is that I think we bet right on Hank. He actually wound up being a far bigger character in this film. And I think that was partially because the technology which drove this character was so cool.”

So how did it feel – after five years of hard work – to have “Finding Dory” become this hugely popular motion picture? The fifth animated film in all of Hollywood history to earn over a billion dollars at the worldwide box office? Collins – the mother of three – put a somewhat maternal spin on her reply.

“You have to understand that – when you work on projects like ‘Dory’ or ‘John Carter‘ for as long as Andrew and I did – these movies are kind of like your kids. In that they then go off & have their own successes & failures which are kind of beyond your control as a parent,” Lindsey said. “But as you’re finishing up working on a film, emotions do sometimes well up at the weirdest time.”

Thomas Newman (L) and Andrew Stanton in the booth during the recording sessions for “Finding Dory” ‘s score. Copyright Disney Pixar 

Take – for example – what happened while Collins & Stanton were sitting in the recording booth as Thomas Newman rode herd on “Finding Dory” ‘s scoring sessions.

“We’d had this huge orchestra for four days. And then – on the last day – Tom cleared the stage and recorded the scene where Nemo, Marlin & Dory reunite in the pipes under the Marine Life Center. Now you have to understand that this is one of the only times in his score for ‘Finding Dory’ that Tom reprises a cue from “Finding Nemo.’ And he has this single clarinet – or was it an oboe? – play that cue,” Lindsey recalled. “And as this was happening, Andrew got really quiet. He was just sitting there, watching.”

“So I went up to him and said ‘What’s going on? How are you feeling about all this?’ Because we were finishing this film up at that time. And Andrew looked at me and he was really emotional. And then he said “I remember the first time I wrote Dory’s name on a piece of paper. I can’t believe how far she’s come.’ And that’s when I started getting emotional too, ” Collins said.

Andrew Stanton & Lindsey Collins. Copyright Disney Pixar

And speaking of ” … how far she’s come,” one might say the same thing about Lindsey. Who – it should be noted here – when she was studying at Occidental College 25 years ago, didn’t major in business or film studies. But – rather – diplomacy and world affairs.

“Those diplomacy skills do actually come in handy when you’re working on a movie. But you want to honestly know the very best thing you can do at college if you eventually hope to become a producer? Work as an RA,” Collins concluded. “Katherine Sarafian – who’s also a producer here at Pixar — also ran a dorm while she was in college. And the two of us agree that that job was great training for becoming a producer. When you’re constantly dealing with people and have to get answers to ridiculous questions like ‘Okay, who pooped in the closet?’ “

The Blu-ray & DVD version of Pixar’s “Finding Dory” hits store shelves today.

This article was originally published by the Huffington Post on Tuesday, November 15, 2016

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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Women in Animation panels prove that there’s more to San Diego Comic-Con than just promotion of pop culture



Thanks to Comic-Con International, now through Sunday, San
Diego is the white-hot center of the pop culture universe.

Photo by Jim Hill

Mind you, there’s more to this four day-long event than
those high-profile presentations in Hall H. Which is where various movie
studios will be parading celebrities & showing exclusive clips. All with
the hope that those 6000 early adopters who have (some of them, anyway) been
camped out in this cavernous convention center for hours ahead of time will
then hop on social media and start evangelizing about how cool that footage
from next summer’s would-be blockbuster looked.

But if you can look past those long lines for
limited-edition merchandise and/or the tens of thousands of people who are
cosplaying, you’ll see that there’s another, more serious side to Comic-Con
International. And that’s the part of this four day-long event which allows a lot
of creatives to reconnect with one another.

Take – for example – Marge Dean, the general manager of
Stoopid Buddy Stoodios (i.e., that Burbank-based operation which is responsible
for “Robot Chicken,” television’s longest-running stop motion series, as well
as Sony’s just-about-to-begin-production-on-its-second-season-for-Crackle
superhero spoof, “SuperMansion”). Over the past decade, she’s made at least
eight trips down to San Diego for Comic-Con International. And what Marge loves
most about this four day-long event is all of the old friends she invariably
runs into as she’s coming & going from the convention center.

Photo by Jim Hill

“Whenever I’m down in San Diego for Comic-Con, I just love
the experience of getting outside the hall, walking down the street and then
suddenly going ‘It’s you ! A guy I haven’t seen in three years ! How are you
!,” Dean recalled during a recent phone interview. “Even though I really don’t
like driving to Comic-Con – which is why, these days, I always take the train
down from LA – I really enjoy strolling around San Diego and then running into
people that I haven’t seen for a long, long time.”

Mind you, Marge is sure to run into a lot of people that she
knows / has previously worked with today in Room 24ABC at the San Diego
Convention Center. That’s because this is where Comic-Con’s “Cartoon Creatives:
Women Power in Animation” panel will be held starting at 4:30 p.m. PT. And
joining Dean at this gathering (which will be shining a spotlight on Women in
‘s goal to have a 50/50 workforce by 2025) will be a veritable who’s
who from the worlds of television & feature animation.

Among those who are scheduled to appear today are:

Daron Nefcy, the creator / executive producer of “Star vs. the Forces of Evil.”
Copyright Disney Enterprises, Inc. All rights reserved 

  • Lauren Faust (the creator of “My Little Pony:
    Friendship is Magic”)
  • Brooke Keesling (the director of animation
    talent development at Disney TV Animation)
  • Katie Krentz (the senior director of development
    at Cartoon Network)
  • Lauren Montgomery (the co-executive producer of
    “Voltron: Legendary Defender”)
  • Daron Nefcy (the creator / executive producer of
    “Star vs. the Forces of Evil”)
  • Gina Shay (the producer of DreamWorks
    Animation’s “Trolls”)
  • Stevie Wermers-Skelton (the co-director of
    Disney’s upcoming “Frozen” holiday special)

Dean (who serves as the co-president of WIA) views this
hour-long session (which will be moderated by Leslie Combemale of Animation
Scoop) as a great example of a lesser known aspect of Comic-Con International.
Which is the many ways that this four day-long event educates the fan
community. Gives them a clearer understanding of what’s really going on in
today’s entertainment world.

Marge Dean, co-president of Women in Animation, speaking at a WIA event 
honoring Nickelodeon’s contributions to television animation. 

“I mean, did you know that women hold only 20% of the
creative roles in today’s animation industry? While the landscape has obviously
changed over the 20+ years that I’ve worked in this field, women still predominantly
work on the management side of animation. Not the creative end of things,”
Marge continued. “That’s a big part of what the Women in Animation organization
is all about. More to the point, why we’re doing outreach to the fan community
at Comic-Con this week. We’re looking to shine a spotlight on this disparity in
the industry and hopefully create some opportunities for more women to break
through creatively in the future.”

Of course, in order to know where you are (more importantly,
where you’re headed next), it helps to have to have a firm understanding of
where you’ve been. Which is why WIA will be holding a second panel at Comic-Con
International, “She Made That? Nickelodeon hosts Women in Animation.” This
presentation (which will also be held in Room 24ABC from 6:30 – 7:30 p.m. PT on
Friday, July 22nd) will honor some of the real pioneers of
television animation. The women who helped create such memorable Nicktoon
series as:

  • Vanessa Coffey (“The Ren & Stimpy Show,”
    “Rugrats” & “Doug”)
  • Mary Harrington (“Invader Zim,” “Hey Arnold!”)

Television animation pioneer Margaret Loesch

Of course, Coffey was quick to credit the woman who gave her
a leg up when she was just getting her start in animation in the early 1980s.
And that was Margaret Loesch, the then-President and CEO of Marvel Productions.

“At that time, Margaret was the only woman working in
television animation. I was just this intern, working down the hall from Stan
Lee. But Margaret took a chance on me,” Vanessa remembered. “And Margaret not
only mentored me, she genuinely inspired me. I mean, here she was running this
huge production company in a field that was mostly run by men. Margaret proved to
me that not only should women in the animation business but that they could be
these huge successes.”  

You see? That’s what’s really great about Comic-Con
International. If you can just get past all of the hype (not to mention handle those
super-crowded conditions you’ll encounter out on the show floor), you might
then discover that some real education has been mixed in with your

(L to R) Vanessa Coffey, Stephen
Hillenburg (the creator of
“SpongeBob SquarePants”) and and Butch Hartman (the
creator of “The Fairly Oddparents.” 

Comic-Con International is running at the San Diego
Convention Center now through Sunday, July 24th

This article was originally posted on the Huffington Post’s Entertainment page on Thursday, July 21, 2016.

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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Books & Print

It’s Jim Hill in the Restaurant with the Book – The Jungle Book – and You Can Join Him June 5th



It’s a Jungle (Book) Out There

For more than 50 years, The Walt Disney Company has been reimagining the writings of Rudyard Kipling–taking his tales of Mowgli the man-cub and his animal friends and then turning them into hugely popular films and television series.

Let Jim Hill take you from Bill Peet’s far-too-dark take on this tale (which Walt Disney just hated) to Jon Favreau’s photo-realistic box office smash (for which the Studio is already developing a sequel).

You’re sure to go ape as you listen to all of these great behind-the-scenes show business stories.

Join us June 5th, 2016 from 11:30 AM-1:30 PM at HB Burger, 127 West 43rd Street in New York City

Tickets are $62.00: Each ticket includes lunch at HB Burger, the program, and a special souvenir.

Buy tickets now on line here –> Unofficial Guide’s Disney Dish site  or here –> e.t.c. (events — tailor made & customized)

Get your tickets now!

email with any additional questions.

Nancy Stadler

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