Blog Archives

Art and “That’s it?”

Weekend before last, I was informed that I was watching a genius create three masterpieces, LIVE!

As I watched the artist…perform, doing his best Criss Angel impersonation while throwing paint at a pre-printed canvas to techno music mixes, I gave some thought to some of the people in the audience, and supposed that the person who wrote this artist’s introduction and I had very different dictionaries.

Alice Davis was in that crowd.  Larry Nikolai was there.  Heck, Noah was there.  I totally get “American Pie” now.  Completely.  And I’m dead sober.  To compare Marc Davis’ Cruella to this…without even the slightest mention of Cruella’s creator – it just seemed wrong.

Now, I am not one of those Disney “fans” who lives to complain about how awful Disney is and how it was so much better when they were a child and mommy and daddy were together.  The Motor Boat Cruise was actually not very interesting, the costumed characters looked like something out of a nightmare, and they played top 40 music on Main Street, U.S.A.  There was good and bad then, there’s good and bad now.  Also, there’s personal preference.  I love SpectroMagic and consider a viewing of the Main Street Electrical Parade tantamount to psychological torture.  I liked The World According to Goofy better than The Lion King Celebration.  My husband thinks the corn dogs on Main Street are just so-so.

Nobody I know doesn’t like Trader Sam’s.  There IS a reasonable limit, you know.

I learned a long time ago from John Krikfalusi’s blog, forgot, and relearned, that even the most stylistic artists – the good ones – first learn how to draw, how to look at things, how humans, animals and other things move, all of the nuts and bolts first, then they go on to find their style.  There are people out there who can look at a childlike work of art and they can see by the staging, scale and use of color and light whether or not this person went to school to learn how to draw.

So the next time I look at a stylized piece of art and think “I could do that”, I’ll be sure to add: “…after years of study and hard work”.


Aloha, Aulani!

…and happy birthday to Bae Yong Joon today.

My hanai uncle Terry ran a couple hotels in Waikiki; he’s on the Big Island now (no, Noe, not Australia).  A few years back, he sent me a message through my dad: Disney is getting the paperwork to build at Ko Olina.  I immediately called Jim Hill, because I was still on my self-imposed five-year hiatus from Disney so I wasn’t going to break it myself.  Jim politely blew me off; he’d heard so many rumors about so many places he’d gotten Disney expansion rumor fatigue.

When the news broke, he did write about THAT, so that’s actually pretty cool.

You will never, in a million years, know how badly I wanted to be there for opening day.  Joel and I were the biggest Disney fans in the state – at least one of us got there (and took terrific pictures all through construction- thanks, Joel! )  so that’s good.  I was surprised that Jim wasn’t invited out for the opening; he wouldn’t have been able to fly through the hurricane to get there, but I would have been more than willing to take that bullet for him.  Ah well.

I used to take Alice down to the lagoons at Ko Olina after church on some Sundays; we’d sit under the shades of the palm trees and have some snacks, read, watch the clouds go by, and admire the tiny crabs Alice would catch, before setting them back onto their rocky shelter.  All you had to do was flash your Hawaii state ID and the security guard would wave you right in.  There are no private beaches in Hawaii.

This is the view from our pareau (those cloths I’m always carrying around; they’re dead useful!) looking Westward.  Lovely place.

So now there’s another reason to go back.  First is my ‘Ohana.  Second, the food.  I wonder if Jimbo’s went out of business without me going there to get handmade udon?  Third, Aulani.  Congratulations to everyone involved.  It really looks lovely!

Lazy Thursday – but worth it!

I’m just posting two links today, but they’re worth a read.

Noe Valladolid on D23, Part 1

If you want to kill some time, he’s got a bunch of other good stories on there, too.  Yes, I’m biased, but I’m also telling the truth!

A Few of Donald Duck’s Theme Songs

In 1947, a new Donald Duck Song made its debut:

Who’s got the sweetest disposition?

One guess, guess who

Who never, ever starts an argument?

Who never shows a bit of temperament?

Who’s never wrong, but always right?

Who’d never dream of starting a fight?

Who gets stuck with all the bad luck?

No one but Donald Duck!

This theme first appeared at the beginning of the Jack Hannah cartoon Bootle Beetle and was used until 1956, on the Jack Kinney short Chips Ahoy.  It was, as far as I can tell, sung by a group called Judd Conlon’s Rhythmaires, who worked on Ichabod and Mr. Toad, but are probably most famous for singing the theme song to The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis.  Oliver Wallace is given lone credit for the song; he also worked on Disney films like Fun and Fancy Free, Peter Pan and Alice in Wonderland.

Tony Anselmo has been quoted as saying that he prefers a nicer Donald in artwork, because Donald is actually a really nice character – he just loses his temper when things go wrong.  The 1947 song seems to mock this, asking sarcastically, for the sake of humor, about what a nice, easy-going guy Donald is.  It’s done fondly, though.  The only place you could find snark in those post-war patriotic days was in George Sanders’ salon.

My preference has always been for the version I learned as a child:

Quack, quack, quack, Donald Duck
He’s my little pal
Quack, quack, quack, Donald Duck
Daisy is his gal
Quack, quack, quack, Donald Duck
In his sailor suit
Quack, quack, quack, Donald Duck
Gee, I think he’s cute

I like the way he waddles
And I like to hear him talk
And when somebody makes him mad
Quack, quack, quack, how he can squawk

Quack, quack, quack, Donald Duck
Cocky as can be
Quack, quack, quack, Donald Duck
Here’s what he taught me
When someone knocks you down
Get right up again
Show some pluck like Donald Duck
Quack, quack, quack, quack, quack

It just seems, to me, to capture Donald’s character better.  He’ll lose his temper, but he’ll never give up and walk away from a challenge. This upbeat theme was introduced in an episode of Disneyland (the TV show) in 1956 called A Day in the Life of Donald Duck.  Jimmie Dodd sings the song both in this Disneyland episode and in the Sing-a-Long-Songs: Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious video.  He wrote this song as well as The Mickey Mouse March and others for Disney.  There’s also a third version, used early in Don’s career, with no lyrics.

Both Clarence “Ducky” Nash and Tony Anselmo are more than deserving of the well-earned laurels heaped upon them for their work as the world’s most beloved waterfowl, Leslie Denison is often overlooked.  He appeared as Donald’s lookalike in the eponymous short, and as Donald’s inner voice in THAT eponymous short.  Uncredited, he was often mistaken for Ronald Coleman when playing the part, and many Disney historians still list Donald’s dulcet tones as being voiced by Coleman.  Denison also appeared in The Million Dollar Mermaid and The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad as well as Peter Gunn and went on to direct television shows like Father Knows Best.  He died in 1992.  I wonder if Mr. Anselmo can do a good Ronald Coleman.  I bet he can.  His Carol Channing is magnificent.

A raise of the martini glass to:

Jimmie Dodd

Oliver G. Wallace

Clarence Nash

Tony Anselmo

Leslie Denison

Jack Hannah

Jack Kinney