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An evening with Roy Disney at Newport Film Festival


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  • An evening with Roy Disney at Newport Film Festival

    Not sure if anyone is interested, but I was lucky enough to attend "An Evening with Roy Disney" at the Lido Theater in Newport Beach on April 30th. Mr. Disney was there along with Producer/Director Don Hahn and animator David Bossert to showcase a number of rarely seen short films and to talk with guests about working in the field, and more specifically at Disney.

    It was really great to hear from Roy about working with some of Disney Animation's legendary artists like Joe Grant, John Hench and Ward Kimball, as well as Frank Thomas and the late great Ollie Johnston (to which the evening's festivities were dedicated). He tried to drive home the point that Walt's "Nine Old Men" was something of an understatement, considering the vast amount of talent surrounding that small group.

    The evening began with a video tribute to the late, great Ollie Johnston, preceded by a statement from Mr. Hahn about how strongly Ollie's loss was felt around the studio. Some of his drawings were on display in the lobby, so I got some pics... Sorry for the quality of the images... I was having technical difficulties...

    As for the films, I did my best to get the order as close as possible. Here's what they showed along with a few brief observations:

    "How to Hook-Up Your Home Theater" (2007) Directors: Kevin Deters, Steve Wermers. Goofy's triumphant return to the big screen. All in all a fun piece. My favorite quote would have to be "I...Love...You", Goofy's tearful expression to the 50 foot big screen TV at the Electronics Warehouse... well executed, and I think there were a lot of us in the audience who found it all too easy to identify with our hero's plight...

    "One By One" (2004) Directors: Pixote Hunt, David Bossert. Inspired by the opening theme from "The Lion King", this was a rather uplifting piece about kids and their ability to see the light in even the darkest environment. The music was superb and the story (no dialogue) flowed nicely from scene to scene leaving the audience with a smile and a sense of contentment in the final scene. Extremely fine work by some very talented people.

    "Destino" (2003) Director: Dominique Monfrey (Academy Award Nominee: Best Short Film, Animated) The end result of a collaboration between Walt Disney and Salvador Dali that started over a half a century ago, Destino feels like a Dali painting come alive... and in my opinion that wasn't necessarily a good thing. I know, this film has taken on mythic proportions by disney fans, but I just didn't like it all that much. It was interesting to look at on some levels, but it just seemed to target a very specific audience, which seems very undisneylike...

    "Oilspot & Lipstick" (1987) Director: Michael Cedeno - As the Disney Studio's first experiment with 3D computer animation, this was interesting as a historical piece, but not much else... The story was almost nonexistent and the characters left a lot to be desired... "Pixar's "The Adventures of Andre and Wally B" leaves this in the dust, and that's not saying very much...

    "The Little Match Girl" (2006) Director: Roger Allers (Academy Award Nominee: Best Short Film, Animated). This is a short that will stay with me for a long time to come. Beautifully animated, expertly drawn, and powerful in it's impact. if you get a chance, see this film! I believe it's on the Platinum Edition of "The Little Mermaid" DVD... It's also on YouTube. It's really worth a look.

    "Redux Riding Hood" (1998) Director: Steve Moore (Academy Award Nominee: Best Short Film, Animated). This story takes place five years after the Wolf's failed attempt to eat Little Red Riding Hood. He's married now (to a sheep) and has a job as an auto mechanic, but he just can't let it go! Filled with great sight gags and excellent writing, it's no wonder it was an Oscar nominee.

    "Lorenzo" (2005) Director: Mike Gabriel (Academy Award Nominee: Best Short Film, Animated). The story of Lorenzo the cat and his tango with the devil (in the form of his long and luxurious tail). One of my favorite moments involves Lorenzo trying to drown his tail in a fountain only to end up underwater himself... Looking almost like a velvet painting come to life, with flowing brush strokes and strong colors, it kept the audience in awe even as they laughed their butts off...

    "Runaway Brain" (1995) Director: Chris Bailey (Academy Award Nominee: Best Short Film, Animated) This was a bit of a departure from Mickey Mouse films of the past. It had a good deal of adult-type humor, was extremely fast-paced and wide in scope, and was a bit scary to be honest. I'm not sure the little one's would take too kindly to it... That being said, I thought it was great! I loved the video game jokes, the quick pace, and the indiana jones like moments!

    Well, That's about it, hope you all enjoyed....
    When we remember we are all mad, the mysteries disappear and life stands explained. ~Mark Twain

  • #2
    Re: An evening with Roy Disney at Newport Film Festival

    Fantastic. And thank you. Al, Fishbulb, and myself were there as well. We were sitting with Rod, the former piano player from Disneyland. Wish we would have known you were there!.

    It was just wonderful to see all those rare shorts. Loved Destino - but really need to see it again. Redux Riding Hood was really fun as well.

    At the end, Roy said that they should do the festival again next year. I really hope he does. It was a real treat!

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    • #3
      Re: An evening with Roy Disney at Newport Film Festival

      How much influende does the Disney family still have over the compnay or is Roy the last of the clan?


      • #4
        Re: An evening with Roy Disney at Newport Film Festival

        Wow Dusty, I saw Rod there with a couple of folks and was gonna go up and say hello! Had I known, I would have... Aw shucks, my first near miss with Mice-Chatters! I've always enjoyed watching him play that piano, he was amazing at it! Did you get a chance to see the Pixar show with Leslie Iwerks over at the Fashion Island AMC? That was another great show! Extremely informative!

        Big Wave, I think that Roy may be the last REAL influence left in the organization. Ron Miller (Walt's son in law) is retired, if I remember correctly. Don't hold me to it though, Someone else may know differently... Anyone want to clue us in?
        When we remember we are all mad, the mysteries disappear and life stands explained. ~Mark Twain


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