Sorry for the delay in getting back to you folks reading the Dispatch - I was having so much fun during the last couple of days of Convention that I fell asleep before I could check in!
We had a really fun and interesting Friday to wrap up DisneyanaMania, followed by a chance to meet good friends and find great buys at the All Disneyana Show and Sale on Saturday and a chance to celebrate Disneyland's 56th birthday on Sunday.
We kicked off the Friday morning seminars with a presentation by Bob Garner, a producer of TV specials and commercials featuring Disneyland and Walt Disney World, as well as the Walt Disney Treasures DVD Disneyland: Secrets, Stories and Magic and the co-author of the book Disneyland: The First Quarter Century.
Bob had some wonderful stories to share about some iconic moments you've probably seen on TV. For example, Bob told us the story of how Mickey Mouse ended up on top of Spaceship Earth for one promotional film, and also how he was able to convince us that "something's gotten into the Matterhorn" for a Disneyland commercial. From moments reminiscing with Rolly Crump to adventures with Danny Kaye at the opening of EPCOT Center, Bob's recollections gave us a idea of everything that it took to create some magical moments on film and video.
After Bob's seminar, we got the opportunity to spend an hour in conversation with animator (and recent Disneyana Fan Club Disney Legend) Mark Henn. Club president Gary Schaengold served as host of an "animation hour" with Mark, discussing his career with Disney and the art of animation.
Mark told us all about his experiences working on classic films like The Little Mermaid and Beauty and the Beast and animating the "silly old bear" for the new feature Winnie the Pooh. We also learned how Mark earned his reputation as Disney's "ladies man" (animating several Disney leading ladies, that is).
Our final Convention seminar was a look into the past and perhaps a taste of the future for many of our members, as we heard from former Imagineer Eddie Sotto. Eddie joined us to tell us about what it was like to be a part of the team designing and building Main Street U.S.A. for Disneyland Paris.
Eddie was a wonderful speaker, and his presentation give us insight into both the joys and the frustrations of being an Imagineer working on a Disney theme park, and he told us about a few things to look for when visiting Disneyland Paris - which just might come in handy, since we got word at Convention that the club is planning an event in Paris in April 2012 to celebrate the park's 20th anniversary!
Our final event on Friday was the club's annual Legends Luncheon. Animator Eric Goldberg (whose credits include lead animator for the Genie in Aladdin as well as producer of the Rhapsody in Blue segment of Fantasia/2000) and Imagineer Kevin Rafferty (a senior concept writer who worked on attractions such as Mickey's Philharmagic and Toy Story Midway Mania) joined the ranks of the Disneyana Fan Club Disney Legends at this year's luncheon.
Eric and Kevin both had some wonderful tales to tell about their past and recent work for Disney. Eric shared what it was like to take an already animated Robin Williams and turn him into the Genie, and how caricaturist Al Hirschfeld was moved by the tribute Eric paid to him in creating the Rhapsody in Blue segment. Eric also told us about his work animating Rabbit for Winnie The Pooh.
Kevin told us about having the opportunity to work with Jim Henson on MuppetVision*3D, the challenges of bringing popular attractions like Twilight Zone Tower of Terror, Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage, and Toy Story Midway Mania, and hinted a little about what we had to look forward to when Cars Land opens next year.
We also paid tribute to the friends in our Legends family that we lost since last July, such as Bill Justice, and showed highlights of our tributes to the Disney family and Ron Miller at last April's Heritage Award event.
Sadly, Friday ended our official Convention events, but that didn't mean the fun had to end! On Saturday, the club held the All Disneyana Show and Sale, which featured a wonderful variety of great stuff from many vendors, including Walt Disney Imagineering's store Mickey's of Glendale. (Sorry, I was too busy shopping to get any photos!)
On Sunday, our members celebrated Disneyland's 56th anniversary by playing in the Park. Disneyland put together a birthday moment featuring many Disney characters that we really enjoyed; many members also joined the club in front of Sleeping Beauty Castle for a group photo and took on the challenge of a photo-based Road Rally.
It all ended way too soon, but at least we can look forward to next time! Be sure to join us on January 15th, 2012, for the next All Disneyana Show and Sale, and we hope to see you at the Crowne next July for DisneyanaMania Convention & Show and Sale 2012!