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16th Philadelphia Film Festival (Roy Disney in person, Oswald and more!!)


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  • 16th Philadelphia Film Festival (Roy Disney in person, Oswald and more!!)

    There are a some Disney shorts showing at the Philadelphia Film Festival this WEEKEND!! clicky

    Also, Roy Disney and Leonard Maltin will be there in person!

    Plus all three Disney events and the Leonard Maltin "Our Gang" screenings are "buy one get one free!"

    A Conversation with Roy Disney and Leonard Maltin
    April 7, 2007 at 7:15 p.m. at the Prince Music Theater
    Please join us to honor movie legend Roy Disney with an on-stage interview by legendary critic Leonard Maltin.
    In a town and an industry that are so status-conscious, the expression "Hollywood royalty" is often misused. But Roy Edward Disney is the real thing -- a rare example of a kid from a true Hollywood dynasty who actually learned the intricacies of the filmmaking process, quietly and with a refreshing modesty. The son of Roy Oliver Disney (1893-1971) and a nephew of Walter Elias Disney (1901-1966), the founders of a little eponymous family-owned business, the younger Roy has worked within the ranks of the movie industry for more than 50 years, though rarely in the spotlight. He started in 1951 as an assistant film editor on episodes of the vintage TV series, "Dragnet," two years before he started his 50-year association with that little family business-turned-empire -- The Walt Disney Company. Even then, Disney proved himself as a hard worker and something of a jack-of-all-trades, working at his uncle's studio in various capacities and trying his hand at just about all the filmic crafts: he edited entries in Disney's True-Life Adventure featurettes, among them, the Oscar-winning The Living Desert (1953) and The Vanishing Prairie (1954); worked as camera operator on the popular Disney short about a little squirrel, Perri (1957) and served as production coordinator on the "Disneyland" TV series (alternately known as "The Wonderful World of Disney" and "Walt Disney Presents"). He received an Academy-Award nomination in 1959 for his work as writer and production associate on the short subject Mysteries of the Deep and again this year, for Roger Allers' take on the Hans Christen Anderson story, The Little Matchgirl" which Disney executive-produced. Of special pertinence, he was also nominated as producer of 2003's DestinoDisney Cartoon Rarities
    April 8, 2007 at 2:15 p.m. at the Prince Music Theater
    Join us for a hand-picked selection of rarities from Disney's earliest period that feature Mickey Mouse and the company's other first cartoon stars, displaying the creativity and craftsmanship that kick-started an empire.
    "If you want to know the real secret of Walt's success, it's that he never tried to make money. He was always trying to make something that he could have fun with or be proud of." -Ward Kimball, famed Disney animator We've had the good fortune to be allowed to root though the fabled Disney archives, from which we've selected some of their rarest and best. Mickey Mouse is of course on hand in such raucous classics as 1932's The Whoopee Party, and 1937's Hawaiian Holiday. But we also have a career highlight for the little mouse, his 1935 The Band Concert, which was his first appearance in glorious Technicolor. Disney's first successful series, Alice in Cartoonland, is also represented in several fun shorts, including its initial offering, Alice's Wonderland, which finds the little girl exhausted after a visit to the studio and dreaming of a magical pen-and-ink world. In three rare Silly Symphonies shorts, Hell's Bells (1929), Egyptian Melodies (1931) and Music Land (1935), we can see the Disney animators exploring their art and expanding their talents. And we are especially proud to screen for the first time in decades several cartoons starring Mickey Mouse's predecessor, Oswald the Lucky Rabbit.

    The Disney Cartoon: Nine Decades of Magic
    April 7, 2007 at 2:30 p.m. at the Prince Music Theater
    Experience the breadth and genius of Disney animation with a remarkable collection of shorts that spans nine decades of the company's history.
    Walt Disney was always pushing the envelope. Even in the 1920s, when special effects were hard to do and limited in their effectiveness, his first series succeeded at putting a real girl in a pen-and-ink world. Quickly his staff grew in size and ability and so did Walt's ambitions. No longer was he content with creating rubbery anthropomorphized animals bouncing to the beat of an unseen metronome (the house-style over at the Max Fleischer Studios), Walt wanted a sense of weight -- both in his characters' physicality and their psychology. These ten cartoons that span nine decades are a fun way to discover how Walt Disney dragged the animated short kicking and screaming into the realm of art. Even today his influence is apparent, as you will discover for yourself in such recent examples as Pixar's Red's Dream, Roger Rabbit's Roller Coaster Rabbit and the Salvador Dali-designed Destino, which was begun in 1946, but not completed until 2003 at the behest of Roy E. Disney.

    The Silent Films of Our Gang Presented by Leonard Maltin
    April 7, 2007 at 4:30 p.m. at the International House
    Famed critic Leonard Maltin presents a program of rarely-screened Our Gang shorts.
    Few film series have had the cultural influence on the baby boomers as Our Gang did when, in 1955, these charming shorts first began appearing on local TV kid's shows. Spanky, Stymie, Alfalfa, Wheezer and the gang entertained us as they romped through their fanciful stories set in a world reeling from the depression. Join noted film critic and historian Leonard Maltin for an afternoon of some of the earliest Our Gang films. Mr. Maltin's 1977 book, "The Little Rascals, the Life and Times of Our Gang," written in collaboration with Richard W. Bann, is the definitive critical history of the series, and Mr. Maltin will be on hand to introduce the films and take questions from the audience. Some will seem familiar as the best were remade as talkies, and the series always had its representative archetypes when it came to casting. You'll get a glimpse of Hal Roach studios and a surprise appearance by Harold Lloyd in 1923's Dogs Of War. Derby Day finds the gang holding their own horse race. When Mickey Daniels can't take his over-protective mother any longer he decides to Ask Grandma (1925). 1927's Baby Brother features the gang's first Rube Goldberg machine when they automat the childcare business. And, ending the program, Wheezer and Mary Ann have a hard time with their new stepmother during 1928's "The Spanking Age" (1928). Music accompaniment (and comedic sound effects) will once again be supplied by film musicologist Don Kinnier.

    Sorry this news is so last minute! I just found out myself!
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  • #2
    Re: 16th Philadelphia Film Festival (Roy Disney in person, Oswald and more!!)

    I guess I am the only Micechatter who is near Philadelphia and interested in attending IN PERSON.

    I am heading to the event soon and I will try and take pictures of the Q&A (if they allow them) and post 'em Monday.

    Hopefully I can get a photo with Roy Disney. Wish me luck!
    Check out my podcast:


    • #3
      Re: 16th Philadelphia Film Festival (Roy Disney in person, Oswald and more!!)

      I went to the PrinceEdwardTheater for the Roy Disney Event. I took a few pictures (much of the event was just two guys sitting on a stage so the photos look rather similar.)

      I also took notes. Lots of notes. If something below is in quotes, it's an exact quote.

      Here we go:

      Upon my arrival I saw Alex the Madagascar lion in front of the theater. I was perplexed.

      Turns out he was doing a meet and greet at the FYE music store close by.

      The first event I was attending was called "Nine Decades of Disney Magic" and was being held at the Prince Music Theater, a 450 seat theater on Chestnut Street in Philadelphia.

      There was a showing of Fantasia the night before, apparently with a live orchestra, but I missed that.

      The tickets were $8 for the "Nine Decades" but they were selling them 2 for 1! The theater was at least half empty.

      Thom Cardwell, the Festival's executive director came on stage first and introduced Leonard Maltin. Maltin then introduced Roy Disney.

      Maltin asked Roy a few questions and Roy told a little bit about his role in the animation boom in the 1980s and 1990s.

      As he described the time period Roy said "...they had made a movie none of you have heard of called The Black Cauldron."

      The audience applauded.

      With a look of mock awe Roy quipped "Then why didn't you all go when it came out?"

      After speaking for a few minutes they gave a brief disclaimer for one of the cartoons we would be seeing, Der Fueher's Face.

      They walked off the stage and the lights went down and the shorts played on a rather large screen and on film!

      The compilation of shorts featured:

      1. Alice in Wonderful (1923): This was the famous Alice comedy where a live action girl was in an animated setting.
      The print they showed did not have the last few seconds, which as I understand are lost (a new ending was manufactured a few years back.)

      2. The Ocean Hop (1927): This was the first Disney directed Oswald the Lucky Rabbit cartoon I have ever seen.
      The plot involved a plane race and featured a few gags that were re-used in Plane Crazy.
      The villain of the cartoon was a bully with a peg leg... very Peg Leg Pete-esque.
      In the cartoon Oswald used a dog as a plane, and used a "thought bubble" as a balloon.
      It was very funny.

      3. The Brave Little Tailor (1938): It's Mickey as Giant Killer in this color short. The addition of color and sound was really impressive when you figure this was only 11 years removed from the previous Oswald cartoon!

      4. Der Fuehrer's Face (1942) Donald Duck in full Nazi regalia seemed to make the crowd a bit uncomfortable (I think I heard a couple gasps.) The patriotic ending elicited some of the loudest applause of the program.

      5. Toot Whistle Plunk and Boom (1953): A beautiful CinemaScope film that traces the history of musical instruments.

      6. It's Tough to be a Bird (1969): Interesting film, and at 21 minutes, it was one of the longest "shorts" of the program. This featured an animated bird who tells us how to take better care of birds. There were a few live action segments, one that briefly featured Ward Kimball as a birdwatcher and another that took us to Hinkley, Ohio where we see the annual Buzzard Day.
      I wonder if "It's Tough to be a Bug" is a titled as a tribute to this film.

      7. Winnie the Pooh and Tigger Too! (1974): Here we got a look at the short that later became part of the Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh.

      8. Red's Dream (1987): A rather dreary Pixar short about the sad life of a unicycle who wants to be a clown. This was fun to see again since I don't think this one has been attached to any of the Pixar theatrical films. I think I saw this a few years ago on a VHS collection of Pixar shorts, however.

      9. Roller Coaster Rabbit (1990): A funny Roger Rabbit short that was once shown in theaters before Dick Tracy.

      10. Destino (2003): A surreal short that was 58 years in the making and was the combined effort of Salvador Dali and Walt Disney. Very fun to watch.

      The program ended at 4:33pm, I think it was later than expected because of the lengthy intro.

      20 blocks away there was a Leonard Maltin hosted showcase of Silent Our Gang films. It started at 4:30pm and I had tickets. The executive director of the festival had even encouraged the audience to attend it when he introduced the "Nine Decades of Disney Magic."

      So, a few minutes late we ventured into the subway system hoping to get there in time to catch a few shorts.

      After waiting over 20 minutes for the train we decided to bail on the Little Rascals and headed up to Applebees to wait (and watch the snow!!!) for the Roy Disney event.

      At a few minutes after the scheduled 7:15 start Thom Cardwell came back on stage to introduce a clips package for Roy Disney who was being given the first ever "Inspiration Award" by the festival.

      The clips package, titled "A Salute to Roy E. Disney" and was a rather lengthy showcase consisting of just about every animated film that Disney film ever made: Pinocchio, Peter Pan, Little Mermaid, Tarzan, Dumbo, Atlantis, Cinderella, Mulan, Black Cauldron, Emperor’s New Groove, etc, etc. After the clips, there were some interview clips that seemed to be off the DVDs for True Life Adventures and Fantasia 2000.

      Then Roy walked onto the stage to accept the award and also said that he hoped we didn't think that he MADE all of those films, but he was "proud to be part of the family that did."

      After the award was accepted, Roy sat down and was joined by Leonard Maltin.

      For the next hour Roy fielded questions from Maltin and from the audience. Some of the highlights were:

      -Roy O. Disney used to share a bed with Walt (who was 8 years younger) and Walt would wet the bed. Roy E. said that this was one of his father's favorite stories. He would tell people that "Walt used to pee all over me," then after the laughter let up he would add "and he still does."

      -Roy E. Disney wasn't interested in the entertainment industry as a child. He wanted to design airplanes. He later failed calculus and decided he wanted to become a pilot figuring "..if you flunk calculus you have to give up on designing airplanes."

      -Walt refused to join the Board of Directors and wouldn't go to shareholder's meetings because he didn't want to answer to anyone. This caused a lot of fights between Walt and Roy O. Disney.

      -Roy E. Disney is the only male child in his family. Walt and his two other brothers did not have any male children so Roy E. Disney was responsible for keeping the family name. He has a son named Roy Patrick Disney and a grandson named Roy Michael Disney.

      -When asked about Song of the South he said he has been trying to convince the studio to release it to art house theaters in hopes of making it more available. He called it a "wonderful movie" and said it "deserves to be in the public."

      -When asked about hand drawn animation vs. computer animation he said it was like trying to choose weather oil paintings or water color paintings were better.

      -He said that Disney needs to make a superior product. They can't just make a run of the mill film like Over the Hedge or even Shrek. Other studios just crank out the same stuff and can get away with it. Disney needs to set a higher standard.
      "Shrek 3 is still Shrek. Let's not pretend it's a new movie." he added.

      -After mentioning Eisner a few times he said that he "...hate(s) to keep bringing up Eisner, of course he'd be very pleased (to hear his name)"

      -He and John Lassetter really value the concept of playing shorts before a film. There are currently 2 theatrical shorts in production including a Goofy cartoon entitled How to Assemble your Home Theater.

      -His favorite film is Fantasia.

      -He couldn't pick a favorite theme park ride, but really likes Soarin' at DCA. He said he would love to make a new film for that ride and has expressed interest in doing so.

      Overall the questions were good. Of cause, some of the questions sounded like "Hi, I would like to hear my own voice and now I would like to hear you speak to me. I don't really have a question, but could you speak about... whatever."

      It was a really fun day (even with the scheduling conflict with the Our Gang films.)

      The final Disney program was held on Easter Sunday (I did not attend) and was to feature Disney Rarities. Maltin and Disney said they would be there for that as well.

      That's all the notes I have. Feel free to steal any of the info/photos if you are interested.

      Anyone have any questions?
      Last edited by Guy Hutchinson; 04-09-2007, 12:41 PM. Reason: added a couple photos
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      • #4
        Re: 16th Philadelphia Film Festival (Roy Disney in person, Oswald and more!!)

        THANKS!!! for the great report! Wish the event would have
        been much closer, so I would have had a chance to attend!
        Critter Country's a mess ev'r since the Country Bears were kicked out. Ya can't cover pooh with honey and 'spect people ta like it.
        An Adventurers It's Time to Put the Spotlight Back on Bring Back the REAL Disney Gallery
        Life for Me! ~ ~ ~ Melvin, Buff, and Max!!! ~~~~ Dump the Dream Suite!
        Meese-ka Moose-ka Mice-Chatter!


        • #5
          Re: 16th Philadelphia Film Festival (Roy Disney in person, Oswald and more!!)

          Yeah it was strange to see Roy in Philadelphia AGAIN (remember the 2004 stockholders meeting??)

          The festival's exectutive director said they had been trying to get Roy there for about 5 years and finally they were able to schedule it.
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          • #6
            Re: 16th Philadelphia Film Festival (Roy Disney in person, Oswald and more!!)

            Wow ... that was amazing.


            • #7
              Re: 16th Philadelphia Film Festival (Roy Disney in person, Oswald and more!!)

              Great report, if I were closer I would have gone too. Thanks for sharing with us!


              • #8
                Re: 16th Philadelphia Film Festival (Roy Disney in person, Oswald and more!!)

                Thanks! It was pretty cool.

                Jim Hill did a write up on it as well:

                Also in the news Roy is speaking in Hawai'i today!

                I am pretty sure that's not much closer for any of you.
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                • #9
                  Re: 16th Philadelphia Film Festival (Roy Disney in person, Oswald and more!!)

                  Wow, that is amazing Sweetie. I so wished I knew about it sooner. Since I am only from Delaware. I would love to have seen & meet both of them.

                  I'm glad to know that you had a awesome time there.

                  I have only emailed Leonard Maltin a few times. But never Roy E. Disney. I would also love to give some good words to Roy too.
                  Hayley B. - MiceChat's very own Delawarean. :bow:

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