The 1941 Walt Disney Animators Strike

The Walt Disney Corporation has such a good family-friendly image.  It really styles itself as an ideal place to work.  We can only imagine that things were even better in Disney’s golden era, when the man himself was still running things.  But that wasn’t always the case; in fact, in 1941 hundreds of Disney animators went on strike. The Business Insider has some fantastic photographs of and other images from the strike, and of the materials the strikers were circulating.  But it’s a bit lacking on the specific details of why animators would go on strike, especially so soon after … Continue reading

Preserving the Laugh-o-Gram, Walt Disney’s First Studio

If you’re at all interested in Disney history, or even just that of film or animation, there’s something going on right now that you really ought to know about. A group called “Thank You Walt Disney” is currently trying to raise enough money to preserve the Laugh-o-Gram building in Kansas City, MO. Local news site Ozarks First has the details. The Laugh-o-Gram building is the site in which Walt Disney did his first professional animation work around 90 years ago, before he moved out to Hollywood and built the company that would bear his name. The studio was on the … Continue reading

Tom Hanks to Play Walt Disney in “Poppins” Movie

Earlier in the year the internet was abuzz about a fake movie poster created by French graphic artist Pascal Witaszek. It featured actor (and former Mouseketeer) Ryan Gosling with dark hair and a mustache reclining in a train car. He held a pencil poised above a drawing pad. Outside the window a cloud formed the shape of a Mickey Mouse head with ears. The poster was for a Walt Disney biopic entitled “Walt,” starring Ryan Gosling and directed by Ron Howard. It was entirely fake, but plausible enough that it really got people thinking. What would a Walt Disney biopic … Continue reading

Obscure Disney History in “Epic Mickey”

Who are you again? “Epic Mickey” was a video game that, while enjoyable, suffered from multiple problems. One of them was that it perhaps catered to too narrow of an audience. It was chock full of Disney history – and I mean old school, black and white short cartoons Disney history – but it was a video game. How many gamers also get a thrill from references to Mickey’s most obscure cartoon companions? I imagine that there isn’t too much of an audience overlap. Of course that’s not to say that no one enjoys the two; the game’s developer himself … Continue reading

Disney Logo Change

When I went to see “The Muppets” I was so excited for my favorite puppet troop’s long-awaited big screen revival that I didn’t notice something interesting. In fact, I didn’t even realize that this something had happened until December, when all of a sudden a ton of news stories broke about it (perhaps I wasn’t the only one who didn’t notice right away). Disney’s changed its famous pre-film logo again. This time, instead of giving it another animated overhaul, they’ve changed the name. Rather than saying “Walt Disney Pictures,” it just reads “Disney.” The funny thing is, even when I … Continue reading

Fun for Grown-Ups at Disney: Epcot

Given that Disney World is a family friendly park there aren’t a lot of places there that are exclusive for adults. Today I’ve decided to focus on somewhere that, although it contains plenty for kids as well, would also make a fun day out for grown-ups. Many of the Epcot attractions I’ll look at might also appeal to some kids, but I tried to choose things that would better hold an adult’s interest. When I think of Epcot the World Showcase comes first to mind. Epcot is home to pavilions dedicated to 11 different countries from across the globe. Each … Continue reading

Walt Disney and the U.S. State Department

About a month ago I learned of the most interesting rumor about “Saludos Amigos” and “The Three Caballeros.” The little-known 1940s flicks, which feature Donald Duck traveling to Central and South America, meeting, and having adventures with Brazilian parrot Jose Carioca and Mexican rooster Panchito Pistolas, were supposedly commissioned by the U.S. State Department. As soon as I read this, I instantly had to know more. I really wanted to learn the real story, if one existed, behind the rumor and share it with you here. I couldn’t do that, however, until I was able to find at least some … Continue reading

Disney Watches Recall; Dapper Day at Disneyland

Today’s article, like my pets blog post yesterday, is going to be a bit of a mixed bag. I’m doing this because an important news item broke yesterday morning that I need to share. Because the story isn’t very long, however, I’ll then go over the details of an unrelated event at Disneyland. First things first: The Disney Blog reports that yesterday the Walt Disney Corporation issued a recall on hundreds of watches that were sold at the park. The children’s watches, which light up when a button is pressed, could potentially burn the skin of the wearer. All of … Continue reading

The Walt Disney Family Museum

To keep many of his animators from being drafted, Walt Disney struck a deal with the government to create promotional material during the Second World War. I’ve written twice now about things relating to The Walt Disney Family Museum, but I realized that I’ve never covered details about the museum itself. Before it opened it was examined here on the families.com Disney blog, but now that it’s been in operation for over a year let’s look at the institution again. The Walt Disney Family Museum was co-founded by Diane Disney Miller, eldest daughter of Walt Disney, and Richard Benefield in … Continue reading

Walt Disney and NASA

Walt Disney visiting Wernher von Braun at the Marshall Space Flight Center When preparing my article on the Walt Disney Family Museum’s video contest, I searched a stock photography website for historic images of Walt Disney. I was baffled to find a NASA-owned picture of him alongside scientist Dr. Wernher von Braun. My husband didn’t understand my incredulity. He said that’s what top executives do: rub shoulders with other powerful people. Walt Disney was a great mover and shaker in his day and it makes sense that he’d hang around NASA or any other large company or government institution. I … Continue reading