The history of paper engineering in books, or the making of "pop-up books" didn't start as a way to entertain children, but in the search for more tools to educate adults, including some proto-computers from as early as the 13th century. Let Ellen G. K. Rubin, known also as The Popup Lady, regale and inform you at length, in either the form of a 50 minute presentation for the Smithsonian Libraries, or read through her website, where she has a timeline of movable books and see the glossary for definitions of the different movements as starting points. Or you can browse the Smithsonian's digital exhibition (the physical exhibition ended a few years ago). And of course, there's plenty more online. [more inside]
Mickey Mouse in Ghoul Friend is a new Disney short, featuring the reanimated corpse of Goofy. With this information, you might get the idea that this is not what you might expect from modern Disney cartoons, and you'd be right. It's one of 19 new shorts that are part of the new Mickey Mouse series of shorts that are inspired by the 1930s era Disney shorts. If you'd like to see more, 11 of the shorts are currently available to view on YouTube (in a playlist with two bonus behind the scenes clips), from the DisneyShorts YouTube acccount. [more inside]
A new set of Mickey Mouse shorts have debuted this summer. Mickey heads around the world, getting into slapstick situations on his own and with Donald, Goofy, Daisy, and Minnie.
Thousands of movie posters from the Mouse, from Alice's Day at Sea (March 1, 1924) to Wreck-It-Ralph (November 2, 2012). Includes US and foreign posters, historical and modern versions (the changes in poster design are particularly interesting), trailers and advertising material. The site (in French) covers movies produced under the Disney umbrella (including Touchstone, Hollywood Pictures and Pixar but not Miramax): shorts and feature films, animated and live action movies, classic and less classic works.
"Over the years in animation, there have been a lot of great animators. Ub Iwerks was one of those people. We know his work, but we don't necessarily know the man." The Hand Behind the Mouse: The Ub Iwerks Story (in 5 parts on DailyMotion: 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5) tells of the life of Ubbe Eert Iwerks, from the formation of the friendship with Walt Disney when they met at advertisement studio in Kansas City, their artistic collaborations and Ub's 20 years of animation, to Iwerk's technical creations that kept Disney animated pictures ahead of other studios. [more inside]
An unfinished Donald Duck comic story, designed and roughed out with story complete, by Don Rosa! Written to promote the grand opening of Disney's MGM theme park, for one reason or another they dropped it before it could be completed. It's interesting because, in the comic book universe, Donald Duck isn't a movie star, but Mickey Mouse is -- so the duck seeks out his autograph. It even makes an explicit reference to a certain other duck....
Always wished you could listen to a scene from Full Metal Jacket [imdb] with the voices provided by Disney(tm)-sounding characters? Well, then you'd like Full Metal Disney. (SLYT - nsfw - swearing).
Mickey Mouse's early road to fame (yt playlist with ~160 videos) has some odd twists and turns. One of Walt Disney's early cartoon creations was Oswald the Lucky Rabbit, the star of Trolley Troubles (5:45, 1927) and other early shorts. Disney had big plans for the popular little rabbit, and wanted to increase his budget from Universal Pictures. Unfortunately, Charles B. Mintz wanted to scale back the budget, and in the end Universal kept control of Oswald Rabbit. Without Oswald, Disney needed something new. Jack Dunham, one of Disney's Nine Old Men recalled animating Oswald and "the one without the ears." Initially, this one was called Mortimer, but Lillian Disney, Walt Disney's wife, believed the name "Mortimer" sounded too pompous and suggested the name Mickey, though Mickey Rooney claims he was the inspiration. Either way, the mouse was renamed Mickey in short order, and he starred in Plane Crazy (video, 6:00, 1928, previously). By 1929, he was wearing his iconic gloves (and talking), in The Karnival Kid (video, 7:41). But Mortimer returned, as Mickey's Rival (8:16, 1936), eventually getting his own themesong (1:56, modern recording off of TV; better quality song with a still image, 1:35) and again in a modern short (1:30, 2000), amongst other appearances. Then there's Uncle Mortimer, who first traveled with Mickey Mouse in Death Valley, though it's not always clear whose uncle he is. And in the alternate universe that is Bloom County, Mickey's fraternal twin is Mortimer (technically, he resides in Outland).
His is the most vigorously defended copyright in history, the reason behind the Sonny Bono Copyright Term Extension Act. But Mickey Mouse may already be in the public domain. (Via)
He had an awesome name for an animator. He created Mickey Mouse. He won two Academy Awards. He invented rotoscoping. Now he is mostly forgotten, except among cartoon aficionados. Also forgotten: Flip the Frog. He was Ub Iwerks.
InspEARations - As part of their 75th anniversary celebration of Mickey Mouse in 2003, Disney collaborated with celebrities and designers to create new takes on the classic pose. The statues include work by Dick Vitale, Jerry Bruckheimer, and James Gandolfini, among others. In case you missed it the first time, they're bringing these statues on tour to parks around the country this spring and summer.
Disney's War Against the Counterculture. Parody Mickey Mouse and see your life turn to madness, even if things are more or set straight in the end. “The main point,” O’Neill says, “was to buck corporate thinking. We just didn’t like bullshit.” [via]
Mickey Mouse attempts suicide and fights the Nazis. Minnie Mouse goes wild at National Lampoon, while Donald Duck has a drug problem. Read about a 1970s porn film, a series of underground comics, the missing black centaur in Fantasia, and all the other cultural history that Disney doesn't want you to see.
Hidden Mickeys: In designing, constructing or adding the final touches to a Disney park attraction, Imagineers subtly "hide" Mickey Mouse silhouettes in plain sight.
Talk About Your Graven Images! Look out, Golden Calf - you've got competition! Now up for sale on eBay, a two-foot-tall, 100+ pound solid gold statue of Mickey Mouse. "The manufacturer of 'Celebration Mickey', The Great Western Mint, adds 'Never in the history of art has a work of such enormous size been cast in pure gold. We are proud to be able to present this piece with expectations that art lovers and cultural historians yet unborn will look back upon this 1,500 troy ounce casting of pure gold and marvel at the technical prowess that it exhibits.'" Wow. I thought I heard all the theories, but it never dawned on me that Mickey Mouse was the Antichrist.
Did you know that Mickey Mouse was kept out of the public domain by the Sonny Bono Copyright Term Extension Act? [via librarian.net]