You’ve wandered into the topsy-turvy world of Tulgey Wood, the blog of writer and historian Jim Fanning. Tulgey Wood celebrates artistry and creativity (and sometimes just plain madness): movies, animation, TV, books, comics—and of course Disney, lots and lots of true-blue, through-and-through Disney, including D23 and Disney twenty-three Magazine, and Sketches Magazine and the Walt Disney Collectors Society. Tulgey Wood is so fun, fascinating and full of frolicsome photos and facts, it’s scary. So wander through the wonder of it all, and enjoy.

Friday, December 31, 2010

Santa(s) Love Winnie the Pooh And Tulgey Wood Too

It's a New Year Eve's surprise— Santas Working Overtime, that tireless collector of all things Christmas all over the Internet today recommended the special Sears art of Winnie the Pooh and his whirlwind tour of worldwide Christmas customs. Check out all the other Christmas goodness at Santas Working Overtime, and if you haven't already done so, feast your eyes on Winnie the Pooh's International Christmas starting here.

Happy New Year (Almost)

To ring in 2011 what else would we possibly do but look back to 1942 (or 3)? The classically cute cover (attributed to Carl Buettner) of Walt Disney's Comics and Stories # 28 (January 1943) bid farewell to 1942 and welcomed 1943 as only Unca Donald and his nephews could. Stay tuned for more about Walt Disney's Comics and Stories in the New Year.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Christmas In Jellystone And Bedrock

Back here I posted a Yogi Bear comic book cover but Yowp—home to all kinds of classic Hanna-Barbera animation treasures—has given us some truly rare gifts: Yuletide themed Sunday comic pages from the Yogi Bear and Flintstones newspaper comic strips from the 1960s and 1970s. These fun and finely drawn comics (click on the above example from December 24, 1967 for a larger view) are rearely reprinted so these are a real Christmas present. Check out these Christmasy comic strips and while you're there, delve into Yowp's pic-a-nic basketful of Hanna-Barbera treats.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Christmas in New York

Christmas and New York City just seem to go together—witness the festive department store windows, the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree and of course New Year's Eve in Times Square. No wonder then that The New Yorker has run many Decembers' worth of holiday covers since it was first published in 1925. This year's double issue dated December 20 and 27 2010 brought a double cover One Small Step at a Time by Christoph Niemann designed around Rockefeller Center's famed Atlas sculpture, a New York landmark almost as well known as The New Yorker itself.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

A Merry Christmas in Walt Disney's Wonderland

60 years ago today, Christmas Day, the world was introduced to Walt Disney's first television production, a Christmas special on NBC (not ABC, as is sometimes reported) entitled One Hour in Wonderland, co-starring the wonderfully gifted Edger Bergen and his ventriloquist dummies Charlie McCarthy and Mortimer Snerd. Much has been made of the fact that Walt was friends with Edger Bergen and that friendship being the reason Bergen and his characters appeared on the special (Disney producer/writer Bill Walsh who produced this special had at one time written for Edger Bergen as well) but it was more likely Bergen & McCarthy's association with Coca-Cola that led to their guesting on the show; The Charlie McCarthy Show radio program broadcast on Sunday evenings over CBS starting in October 1949 was sponsored by Coca-Cola, and earlier in 1950, Bergen and his dummies had headlined at least one TV special for Coke. (By the way, the guests on the December 24, 1950 broadcast of The Charlie McCarthy Show were Disney stars Bobby Driscoll and Kathryn Beaumont, who were to appear with Edgar and Charlie the next day on the Disney TV special.) The Coke influence is seen not only in the Coca-Cola announcements at the beginning and end of the special and the commercial break halfway through (Walt insisted there only be one commercial) but in One Hour in Wonderland's main title music, which incorporates Coke's theme song. Although it really didn't have a title (it was usually called The Coca-Cola Theme Song although was sometimes known as "Coca-Cola Signature"), this tune would have been quite familiar to 1950 audiences as Coke had been using the theme since 1930 when it was composed by orchestra leader Leonard Joy. (The song continued on as the theme for the soda's very popular TV program Coke Time starring Eddie Fisher). The colorful detail shown above is from a grand poster, given to Coca-Cola distributors and bottlers. The full poster overflows with Disney art (I agree with those who think it looks like the style of Disney artist Al Dempster who illustrated the Alice in Wonderland Golden Books around this time) and is from the collection of Matt who just published the poster in all its glory on his awesome blog all about Walt Disney's Alice in Wonderland. Hurry on over and you'll also see a lot more about that amazing Disney first, Walt's original TV production One Hour in Wonderland, broadcast on Christmas Day 1950.

Ye who now will bless the poor Shall yourselves find blessing 

One of the "Party Planner" items Hallmark has issued over the years has been a variety of centerpieces, some of which have featured Disney or Peanuts or other characters. Though I don't know if this is still happening, for many Christmases Hallmark also published a cardboard Nativity scene, such as the one pictured on the left, circa 1980. Though these cardboard creches were undoubtedly used for parties and as decorations, they were also used by poor households who were unable to afford even the most inexpensive figural Nativity. Though I have seen some elaborate and exquisite Nativity scenes in churches, homes and museums, this humble Hallmark somehow seems most appropriate to celebrate the birth of the Child born into poverty. This post is dedicated to my mother and father who, often at sacrifice for themselves, never failed to help someone in need, whether it was Christmas or not. Merry Christmas, Mom and Dad...and Merry Christmas to all.

Friday, December 24, 2010

The Wonder(Land) Of Christmas

Here's a wondrous way to kick off Christmas Eve—a rare and glorious Disney artwork by Russell Schroeder that was published in two cast member newsletters: Disney Newsreel (Walt Disney Studios) and Eyes and Ears (Walt Disney World). I love how it incorporates so many Wonderland characters (and the King). And if you have ever wanted to celebrate Christmas in Wonderland, check out this charming non-Disney comic-book story from 1943.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

From @Disney To All Of You On Twitter

Starting today @Disney on Twitter is spotlighting Walt Disney's Christmas TV perennial "From All Of Us To All Of You" which originally was broadcast in 1958. @Disney is bringing to you a transcript of and photos (black-and-white, as was the show as originally aired) from Walt's rarely-seen introduction to the TV show. Pictured at right is one of the images you will see on Twitter as well as a color image from the show as found on the Animation Background blog. Be sure and sign up for @ Disney on Twitter so you can follow each day's Disney festivities. In the meantime, don't forget to read my online article all about "From All Of Us To All Of You" over at TV Party.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Yogi's Jolly Christmas

Yogi Bear's back in the minds of at least a few folks this holiday season as he appears in a new computer-generated movie but many moons ago that smarter-than-the-average bear made Christmas a little merrier by appearing in a holiday-themed comic book. The Christmas-centric Yogi Bear Jellystone Jollies # 11 was cover-dated January 1963 so was on the stands for Christmas 1962. Featuring a festive cover (I like the way the art tells a sequential story rather than just a single gag), this Jellystone jam-packed holiday extravaganza was a incredible 80 pages long (and cost a then pricey 25 cents)! You can read at least one of the interior comic stories at the Magic Carpet Burn blog, so get that Thermos bottle of hot cocoa out from your pic-a-nic basket and have a few sips as you enjoy some more Hanna-BarBEARa Christmas goodness.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Christmas Fun With Snagglepuss And Others

Christmas 1965 brought a holiday treat in Merry Christmas with The Hanna-Barbera Organ and Chimes—not so much with the record itself which features Christmas music that doesn't include the characters singing nor even narrating, but in the artwork, which is a Hanna-Barbera Christmas delight. Put on some favorite Yuletide tunes (if you would like to hear the album itself, which is actually very nice if pretty generic, you can visit the Check The Cool Wax blog, where you'll find many other Christmas music goodies) and gaze at its glories. How many of the H-B characters pictured in this album art can you name (the Flintstones don't count)?

Monday, December 13, 2010

Christmas 'Round The World With Winnie The Pooh, Part 6

For this final installment of the grand Winnie the Pooh artwork for the 1972 Sears Christmas Catalog, we follow Pooh to Mexico for more "BEARin' of the Gifts"—and I hope you agree that this rare Disney art is a true Christmas gift, simple but festive. This is the concluding installment but please go back and enjoy the first five as you celebrate the holidays according to your own Christmas customs and traditions.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Christmas 'Round The World With Winnie The Pooh, Part 5

Here's Gopher again and the rest of Pooh's true blue friends too to celebrate Christmas in Germany. I seem to remember hearing the art is by Disney Legend Burny Mattinson, who worked on Walt Disney's original Pooh featurettes as well as the all-new Pooh due in 2011. Come back tomorrow for conclusion of this special Pooh art from the Sears Catalog for the 1972 Christmas Season.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Christmas 'Round The World With Winnie The Pooh, Part 4

Time for a small smackeral of something sweet for Christmas, and that must mean Winnie the Pooh. Feast your eyes on this sweet treat that takes us to Christmas in Sweden. (Click on the image for a larger image.) I like how the artist incorporated some of the smaller characters, such as Piglet ( A Very Small and Timid Animal, indeed) to let the catalog reader know there's more. In Part 1, back here, we even had Gopher, that Disney-created critter who was included in the catalog even though he's not in the book, you know. Stop back tomorrow for another Yuletide sweet treat from Winnie the Pooh.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Christmas 'Round The World With Winnie The Pooh, Part 3

Today we follow Winnie the Pooh and his friends to Italy for more Christmas celebrations. In the introduction to this sweet-as-hunny artwork, the Sears Christmas Catalog for 1972 stated that the childlike Pooh characters are a perfect match for the wonder of Christmas, and I think you'll agree. Come back for Part 4 tomorrow, and in the meantime click on the image for a larger view.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Christmas 'Round The World With Winnie The Pooh, Part 2

Here's Part 2 of that splendid Winnie the Pooh art created especially for the 1972 Christmas catalog. Sears was the first Disney licensee to create Pooh merchandise, and their agreement with Disney was exclusive for many years. Sears occasionally ran Pooh art but it was usually just a spot illustration here and there. To my knowledge, Sears never before or after published anything as spectacular as this Pooh Christmas art. Part 2 covers Christmas in Spain, so enjoy, and remember to click on the image for a larger view.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Christmas 'Round The World With Winnie The Pooh

Back in July I promised more about that very special Christmas art featuring Winnie the Pooh, and starting today, I will post it all for Christmas. This rarely-seen Disney artwork was created for the Sears catalog for "the 1972 Christmas Season," and is a holiday delight as I'm sure you will agree. Here's part 1, all about Christmas in Holland. Be sure and click on the image for a larger view... and be sure and check back for the next five days so you can feast your eyes on all six Pooh views of Christmas customs and traditions 'round the world.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Sweet Tweets From Disney

Disney has officially started tweeting from its Twitter account, @Disney, yesterday, December 5, 2010, in celebration of Walt Disney's birthday. And that's appropriate because the tweets are to be very Walt-centric. Disney's tweets are planned to include links to, art, video clips and photos. Disney started its tweets with a look at Walt and his Tomorrowland (ready for a rare color image of Walt playfully interacting with GARCO the robot?), and soon will segue to Christmas. If you hook up with only one Twitter account, make sure you sign up with Disney's. To celebrate @Disney on Twitter, here (above) is a detail from a piece of Retta Scott Worcester's exquisite art for the 1950 Cinderella Big Golden Book, immortalizing the second Disney princess's bluebird friends. After all, a bluebird is the symbol of Twitter, promising tweets that offer the sweet treat that only Disney can deliver.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Happy Birthday, Walt: A View On Art

To honor Walt Disney on this, the 109th anniversary of his birth, here's a rarely-seen 1964 photo from the Los Angeles Times of Walt visiting an early version of the California Institute of Arts (CalArts), the famed arts school founded by Walt. 1964 was also the year Walt threw the Hollywood premiere of Mary Poppins on August 27, 1964, as a benefit for the burgeoning school, at which Walt screened a short film entitled The CalArts Story. In 1966, Walt had this to say on the subject of the Disney Studio producing "art": "An artist who consciously goes about producing art can become inhibited. It's always easier to talk about art, or to strike a beatnik pose, then it is to create. My artists are asked to 'let go'. We encourage a free-flow of ideas. It is always interesting to me how many people can vividly recall a sequence from a favorite Disney film—they can even tell you the colors! This may be nostalgia, or it could be that these films and their creative ideas are becoming a part of art history."

Friday, December 3, 2010

Fascinating Fantasia

Christmastime is "Nutcracker" time so here's some unique Disney art from a 1963 release of "The Nutcracker Suite" as conducted by Stokowski and performed by his 100 Men, the Philadelphia Orchestra from Fantasia (1940). Back here I said I'd announce some Fantasia writing I'd been working and now, in honor of both the 70th anniversary of Fantasia (it debuted on November 13, 1940) and also its release on Disney Blu-ray, "15 Fascinating Facts about Fantasia" is now live on the D23 website. Be sure and visit D23 (it's free) and read all about Walt Disney's Fantasia in this article written by Jim Fanning.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Archie Gets Wrapped Up In Christmas

As always, we can turn to America's Favorite Teenager for some good old fashioned Christmas fun...and by that, we mean slapstick. Entangled in wrapping and ribbon (maybe he tripped over the ubiquitous and ugly UPC code), Archie effortlessly steals the scene even when he's on the cover of Betty and Veronica's title. (Actually, Jughead is really the one who's the scene stealer by underplaying it.) At least Veronica gets the punchline, which proves you can always rely on Archie and his Pals and Gals for some timeless Yuletide yocks. This cover is from Betty and Veronica Christmas Spectacular (Archie Giant Series # 489) December 1979, and was penciled by Dan DeCarlo and inled by Jim DeCarlo. There will be more Archie fun later this month so check back and see if you agree with Veronica as she says (and Betty obviously concurs),that nobody gets as wrapped up in Christmas as Archie.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Christmas Comic Covers: Dennis vs. Donald's Nephews, Halos For Hoops

Let's kick the month of Christmas off with a holiday-themed comic-book cover showdown between some master mischief-makers. Both Dennis the Menace and Donald Duck (and his nephews) regularly celebrated Christmas in their comic books, so perhaps it was just a matter of time before they ended up sharing a seasonal situation, as in Dennis the Menace Bonus Magazine Christmas Special #87 1970 (drawn perhaps by Ron Ferdinand) Walt Disney's Comics and Stories # 207 October 1957 (drawn by Paul Murry). Rather than call this a swipe, let's assume that it's a case of great minds thinking alike.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

More Colorful

Both last season and this, NBC has returned to its "living color" roots from the 1950s and 1960s (the phrase was first used for NBC's then-few color broadcasts in 1953) with a campaign promoting its shows and their characters as "More Colorful." This naturally makes me think of Walt Disney's Wonderful World of Color, which at the start of the 1966-1967 TV season (when NBC finally became the "The All Color Network," as 100% of NBC's programming—from Today in early morning through Tonight at late night— were colorcasts) was promoted with this artwork, along with the rest of the Sunday prime time lineup. Featured are Bryan Russell and Roger Mobley starring in not "Gallegher" but instead the 1964 theatrical release Emil and the Detectives, which was the World of Color season premiere. (By the way, thsi art comes to us from Rankin-Bass historian Rick Goldschmidt's must-see blog, a fun visit anytime but especially during the holidays.)

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Reflections On Goofy

As I'm sure any regular visitor to Tulgey Wood already knows, the ever-prolific Mark Evanier has posted on his always-updated blog about the classic "mirror scene" scene in which a look-alike character tries to convince that character he is looking at a reflection of himself and not another person. Among others, Mark lists Groucho and Harpo in Duck Soup (1933) and Harpo and Lucille Ball in the famed 1955 "Lucy and Harpo Marx" episode of I Love Lucy. Not mentioned, however, is Goofy and a mischievous spook playing out their own version of the mirror scene in Walt Disney's Lonesome Ghosts (1937). It's truly one of the best versions of the mirror routine—all the more so because it's animated, brilliantly, by veteran Dick Huemer. You can see a glimpse of it above (click on the image for a larger view) thanks to an animator identification mosiac created by Mark Mayerson for his excellent blog. PS Patty Duke did a version of the mirror bit too on her 1960s TV series The Patty Duke Show in which the Oscar-winning actress famously portrayed identical cousins.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Happy Birthday, Sparky

To celebrate the birthday of Charles M. Schulz, here's a cover he drew for Liberty magazine, in its "nostalgia" reincarnation (hence the "Then & Now" appendage). Schulz must have been pleased to draw the cover of this issue celebrating the comics, as he had always been an avid reader and appreciator of the comic-strip art form. (Even his nickname was inspired by the racehorse Sparkplug in the Barney Google strip—that's right, "Google" once referred to something other than a search engine) In addition to including Schulz among the "Great Cartoonists of the Century," this issue also included an article about Sparky and Peanuts, which during this time—the cover date of this magazine is Winter 1973 —was an ever-expanding, unbelievably popular phenomenon. The article features the following observation: "There is no doubt in my mind that drawing a comic strip simply has to be the best job in the world. People send you wonderful letters. the syndicate for which you work sends you enough money to live on, and you are allowed to draw all of the pictures that you have been wanting to draw ever since you were a little kid." Typical Schulzian understatement, with none of the bitterness ascribed to him by recent biographers. What better way to celebrate Sparky's birthday than reveling in this specially drawn art (click on the image for a larger view.)

The Buzz About The 2010 Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade

Did you watch the 2010 edition of the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade yesterday on NBC... and if so, did you see John Lasseter as one of the volunteer handlers at the end of one of the Buzz Lightyear balloon's tethers? I wasn't even sure it was actually John but I rewound the DVR to double-check and sure enough, it was Pixar (and Disney's) own chief creative officer. I had no idea he was to be part of the parade in any capacity, but Reuters was, as they published the Disney press release here. Here's a photo of the Buzz balloon from Also, about my post regarding the new Virginia balloon being the only Macy's parade balloon to be based on a real person: further research reveals that there was an Eddie Cantor balloon in 1940, in honor of the then-famous, now almost-forgotten Broadway-radio-movie star Eddie Cantor (whose public-awareness may be on the rise, however, as he's a character in the HBO mini-series Boardwalk Empire.)

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Thanksgiving In Wonderland

Here's a rare Thanksgiving treat—a piece of seldom-seen Disney art that graced the November 27, 1981 issue of Disney Newsreel, the Disney Studios' in-house newsletter. I couldn't find a credit but I'm quite sure this whimsical bit of Wonderland insanity was created by Disney artist and author Russell Schroeder. It's a feast for the eyes, so be sure and click on the art for a bigger helping. Happy Thanksgiving! (PS I see that Matt over at his Wonderland blog already ran this art in 2008. Be sure and check out Matt's blog, it too is a feast of madness any day of the year.)

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Super Fun!

It's time for the annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, and also time for the equally fun and colorful annual poster. I love the cut-out style art—it also has a sort of felt-board feel—and as always this annual artwork conveys the excitement of the world's most famous parade. (Click on the poster for a larger view.) Greg, the title character of the bestselling Diary of a Wimpy Kid books, makes his debut as a giant balloon, and I say anytime a character from a book joins the lineup of Macy's balloon characters it's a good thing. A writer also joins the pageant's inflatable array this year, believe it or not —it's Virginia, the star of the animated Yes, Virginia Macy's-sponsored CBS special. Virginia is of course the author of the famed 1897 "Is there a Santa Claus?" letter-to-the-editor. So is Virginia the first Macy's balloon to be based on a real person? She may well be... not that I don't think that Spider-Man and Snoopy aren't real—or at least they seem be. (Update: See this post for the only other "real" person to be represented as a Macy's balloon. No, it's not Buzz Lightyear.) Tomorrow, Thanksgiving Day, tune into NBC for the parade, featuring as it did last year Jimmy Fallon and the Roots. It will be, as Jimmy said a couple of nights ago on his show, "Super fun!"

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Why? Because We "Like" You On Facebook

Today is the anniversary of Mickey Mouse's debut in Steamboat Willie (1928), Mickey's "birthday," so it seemed like a good opportunity to point out that the birthday boy is on Facebook. Yes, Disney has an official Facebook page for Disney characters, movies and parks, and it's a lot of fun. So many favorite characters are listed as having their own official pages, everyone from Mickey and Minnie (it's her birthday too!) to Edna Mode, from Dopey to Dr. Facilier, from Aurora to Tangled. Celebrate the Mouse who started it all and all that he started (Walter Elias Disney has a Facebook page too) by "Liking" the official Disney Facebook page. (Once there be sure and click on the tab that takes you to the individual Disney Pages.)

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Fantasound: Not Just For Fantasia Only

I've been writing a lot about Walt Disney's Fantasia (1940) lately, and that magnificent film is being released as a Diamond Edition Blu-ray later this what better time than now to take a look at Fantasound. I don't exactly mean the Oscar-winning multichannel sound system created for Walt's animated masterpiece but rather a little-known series of recordings released in the late 1960s by Disney's prestige label, Buena Vista Records. Promoted as a sophisticated adult listening experience for the serious audiophile, and recorded mostly in Europe, these specialized LPs were first issued in 1967. The Fantasound albums featured classical selections and the scores of Broadway shows (and The Happiest Millionaire, the Disney musical in release at the time). Billboard magazine reported that Vista launched a major promotional campaign for this internationally-distributed adult-oriented series, elements of which included posters, counter displays and special discount rates to retailers. Another promotion was included on the inner sleeve included in all Vista albums, the Fantasound detail of which is pictured above (click on the image for a larger view). Plus watch this blog for news of some of my upcoming writing about Fantasia.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Conan Takes To The Skies Over Burbank

Living in the center of Hollywood (well, it's really Burbank) one gets to see a lot of things some people living in some other parts of the country might not. For example, I have seen overhead on numerous occasions the Goodyear blimp and the Fuji blimp. (Sadly, I have never seen the MetLife blimp, featuring the famous World War I Flying Ace.) Today I saw the new Conan blimp. It seemed to be basically flying over the Warner Bros. lot, which would make sense as Conan does his freshly-minted late-night show from that lot, which is right here in Burbank. I imagine Conan will make reference to his blimp being directly overhead. I'll soon know as his show starts in less than a half-hour as of this writing. (I'm not surprised Conan has a blimp as he has always seemed to like them... if memory serves, I think he had Andy Richter spend an entire episode of his first NBC series aboard the MetLife blimp. Some people have all the luck.) You can find out more about the Conan blimp and even track its travels (so you will know when its over your city) here. (Even though the graphic above says the Conan blimp will be in flight through October 31, its flight has been extended trough November.)

Saturday, October 2, 2010

60 Years Of Crashed Kites And Disrespectful Dogs

Today, October 2, 2010 marks the 60th anniversary of the comic strip that surely needs no introduction, Peanuts, for it was on this date in 1950 that the initial entry in what would become a worldwide phenomenon was first published in a mere seven newspapers, a marked contrast to the 2,000-plus papers in which the comic would eventually appear. To mark the occasion, here's a rare bit of art—a 1967 letter sent out by comic-strip artist/writer par excellence Charles M. Schulz in response to a fan apparently requesting original art. It would be interesting to know if Mrs. Jones of Parsons, Kansas ever received an original strip from United Features Syndicate. Anyhow, I hope you enjoy this example (click on the image for a larger view) of special art created by Schulz outside the strip itself as we celebrate sixty years of happiness with Peanuts.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Who Is Wade Sampson And Why Are They Saying All Those Wonderful Things About Him?

As most every Disney fan who peruses the internet now knows, the mysterious online Disney historian Wade Sampson is actually the mysteriously gifted Disney historian Jim Korkis—and Jim has a brand new book that collects the many in-depth articles Wade, uh, I mean Jim has published online. (Go here to read the final "Wade Sampson" column.) One of the best thing about this book, entitled The Vault of Walt, featuring all kinds of overlooked, underrated and mostly unknown Disney behind-the-scenes stories is that Jim has enhanced his original historical reporting with new findings and even more little-known delicacies. Be sure and get your own copy of this fascinating book here and discover the wonderful historical world of "Wade Sampson."

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Blazing A New Frontier At The Walt Disney Family Museum

If you are in the San Francisco area this weekend, you won't want to miss the Fess Parker tribute at the Walt Disney Family Museum. Jeff Kurtti, otherwise known as King of the Wild Disney Historians and one of the guiding imaginations and Disney authorities behind the splendid museum devoted to a man named Walt, will be hosting two very special salutes to the tall Texan who so winningly portrayed the coonskin-capped Congressman in Walt Disney's groundbreaking, blockbusting "Davy Crockett" TV shows. For more information about all the Fess Parker festivities, check out the Museum's website.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Share a Horse Laugh With Horace (and Other Disney Stars)

One of the many informative, intriguing and just plain fun offerings on the D23 website is a series of star bios. Who do we mean when we refer to Disney stars? Well, Mickey Mouse of course and Donald, Goofy, Minnie...but there's also some other members of the gang that don't always get the star treatment. I had the honor of writing these D23 biographies, and I have to admit I'm proudest of the pieces about such immortal but obscure Disney pals as Clarabelle Cow, Clara Cluck and that improbable matinee idol, Horace Horsecollar (seen here in panels from the famed Mickey Mouse newspaper comic strip drawn by Floyd Gottfredson, originally published on December 2, 1931; click on the image for a larger view). Don't miss Biographies of 10 Classic Disney Characters at

Monday, September 13, 2010

Jimmy On Broadway

Or is it Broadway on Jimmy? Either way, all this week on NBC's Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, it's Broadway Week. Each night, starting tonight, Monday September 13, 2010, Jimmy is presenting a number from one of the musicals currently trodding the boards on the Great White Way. Jimmy's show emanates from famed 30 Rock, and its proximity to New York's storied theatre district makes it a natural to showcase productions that only a relative few of us will otherwise experience, so this is a not-to-be-missed celebration of musical theatre. First up is this year's Tony winner as Best Musical, Memphis, followed on Tuesday by a selection from Promises, Promises (which looks, well, promising to me because it seems to have been produced with a very 1960s vibe), and on Wednesday, it's the Green Day musical American Idiot. Assuming you aren't staying up to watch the actual Late Night broadcast (and no one I know is doing that) you can catch all these acts and the rest of Broadway Week on Jimmy Fallon's website.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Special Guest Villain: The Penguin

Batman became a TV superstar with the debut of his smash TV show in 1966, but of course the superhero-with-no-superpowers started in comic books—so of all the awesome Bat-memorabilia issued to tie-in with the Bat craze of 1966, what could be cooler than an actual comic book? This Batman mini-comic was a giveaway in Kellogg's then-new Pop-Tarts and was just one of six you could find "in specially marked boxes." Starring that natty nasty the Penguin ("starring" is an apt term as this "special guest villain" appears in this comic story more than Batman and Robin themselves), this now-rare comic was drawn by prolific DC mainstay Curt Swan, who was more closely associated with an entirely different DC superhero (a super man, in fact) than he was with Batman. Here in all its giveaway glory is "The Penguin's Fowl Play."