Category Archives: Uncategorized

Art of the Disney Parks

One of my favorite things to see at Disney Parks is the attraction posters! Back when Disneyland opened, Walt had some of his artist create these amazing posters to give guests a little preview of the adventures they will see and live in his park. They are a lot like the movie posters you see at your local movie theater showing what is playing or coming soon.


Attraction posters in the park (Picture is from the book)

Poster Art of the Disney Parks by Danny Handke and Venessa Hunt was a book I HAD TO HAVE! I started my collection of (what I call) Vintage Disney Attraction Posters when I was younger (don’t remember the exact year), and when this book was announced I knew I had to get it. I mean, it’s a book about Disney Parks, Disney History… and it’s mostly pictures! Haha!

Pirates of the Caribbean was my very first poster. I got it (ordered it) from the Disney Gallery when it was located in what is now the Disney Dream Suite, above the Pirates of the Caribbean in Disneyland.

Pirates of the Caribbean (1967), Disneyland by Collin Campbell (Picture from my collection)

Pirates of the Caribbean (1967), Disneyland by Collin Campbell (Picture from my collection)

In the book, they not only show you posters that you can see in the parks today. But also some concept artwork.

Pirates of the Caribbean concepts, Disneyland by Collin Campbell

Pirates of the Caribbean concepts, Disneyland by Collin Campbell

Who¬†doesn’t love the Jungle Cruise!?

Jungle Cruise (River) (1955), Disneyland and WDW by Bjorn Aronson (Picture from my collection)

Jungle Cruise (River) (1955), Disneyland and WDW by Bjorn Aronson (Picture from my collection)

And here are some concepts that were drawn up for Walt Disney World.

Jungle Cruise concept, WDW by Sam McKim

Jungle Cruise concept, WDW by Sam McKim

Jungle Cruise concept, WDW by Sam McKim

Jungle Cruise concept, WDW by Sam McKim

Jungle Cruise concept, WDW by Sam McKim

Jungle Cruise concept, WDW by Sam McKim

The book gives you a quick example of the Screen Printing Steps.

Screen Printing Steps Example

Above I showed my Jungle “River” poster. It was there to help promote the Jungle Cruise at Disneyland in 1955. But the same print is also use in Walt Disney World. Sometimes they use the prints in more the one park. And other times they will just change a couple of details (adapt) to make them park specific. This first picture is of Disneyland’s Monorail, the second is of WDW’s Monorail.

Disneyland Monorail (1961), Disneyland by Paul Hartley (Picture from my collection, signed my Bob Gurr)

Disneyland Monorail (1961), Disneyland by Paul Hartley (Picture from my collection, signed my Bob Gurr)

Walt Disney World Monorail System (1971), WDW by Colin Cambell

Walt Disney World Monorail System (1971), WDW by Colin Cambell

(Side note on the Disneyland Monorail poster. This one is my favorite out of my collection. My wife got it for me for Christmas. And that ‘scribble’ under the Monorail is actually Bob Gurr’s autograph. No really, I have the letter of authenticity to prove it! ) ūüôā

Kind of cool to see them side-by-side and see the little differences. Another couple of posters I like to see side-by-side is the Haunted Mansion posters.

Haunted Mansion (1969), Disneyland by Ken Chapman and Marc Davis (Picture from my collection)

Haunted Mansion (1969), Disneyland by Ken Chapman and Marc Davis (Picture from my collection)

Haunted Mansion (1971), WDW by George Jenson (Picture from my collection)

Haunted Mansion (1971), WDW by George Jenson (Picture from my collection)

Same poster design, the mansion is different in the background to match the park. This next poster is cool too!¬†Still has that “haunted” feel, as the other ones, but a different style with more detail.

Phantom Manor (1992), Disneyland Paris by Dan Goozee

Phantom Manor (1992), Disneyland Paris by Dan Goozee

I can talk about EVERY poster in this book, but I’m not going to. Instead I’m going to just show posters from my collection and some in the book. So please enjoy this old school slideshow method… (you just keep scrolling down to see the next picture. I don’t have to a budget to get all fancy. Haha!)

Matterhorn Bobsleds (1959), Disneyland by Paul Hartley

Matterhorn Bobsleds (1959), Disneyland by Paul Hartley

Matterhorn Bobsleds concept by Paul Hartley

Matterhorn Bobsleds concept by Paul Hartley

Space Mountain (1977), Disneyland by Jime Michaelson, Ernie Prinzhorn, and Ruby Lord (Pictured from my collection)

Space Mountain (1977), Disneyland by Jime Michaelson, Ernie Prinzhorn, and Ruby Lord (Pictured from my collection)

Space Mountain (2010), WDW by Josh Holtsclaw

Space Mountain (2010), WDW by Josh Holtsclaw

Big Thunder Mountain Railroad (1979), Disneyland and WDW by Jim Michaelson, Rudy Load, and Greg Paul (Picture from my collection)

Big Thunder Mountain Railroad (1979), Disneyland and WDW by Jim Michaelson, Rudy Load, and Greg Paul (Picture from my collection)

Big Thunder Mountain Railroad concept, Disneyland and WDW by Jim Michaelson

Big Thunder Mountain Railroad concept, Disneyland and WDW by Jim Michaelson

Okay, stop scrolling of a sec. This next¬†two posters I think are really cool. This first one is for the Flying Saucers. Cool design by Rolly Crump. The next one is for Luigi’s Flying Tires. (Yes, I know both of those attractions weren’t the best and aren’t around anymore. But here is why I think these two are cool.) Flying Tires came around about 50 years after Flying Saucers. Flying Tires was the same as Flying Saucers, just updated a little(ish). I think same can be said about the posters. The man sitting in the Flying “Tire” looks pretty similar to the man sitting in the Flying “Saucer”. And both posters have kind of the same “look” to them. I looked at these two posters and think of it as a nod to the original attraction!

Flying Saucers (1961), Disneyland by Rolly Crump

Flying Saucers (1961), Disneyland by Rolly Crump

Luigi's Flying Tires (2010), DCA by Greg Maletic

Luigi’s Flying Tires (2010), DCA by Greg Maletic

This book has it all! They show posters that can be found in the parks today, concept artwork, and even posters for attractions that are now gone and missed. I find it really fun to just thumb thru the book and look at the different posters up close. It kind of takes me back to the parks… you know? But I also like to use the book as a kind-of catalog to help narrow down which posters I would like to get the next time I’m at the parks. Haha! Here are some that are on my list for my next trip. ūüôā

Casa de Fritos (1955), Disneyland by Bjorn Aronson (The birthplace of Doritos!)

Casa de Fritos (1955), Disneyland by Bjorn Aronson (The birthplace of Doritos!)

Mr. Toad's Wild Ride (2008), Disneyland by Danny Handke

Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride (2008), Disneyland by Danny Handke

“it’s a small world” 1964-65 New York World’s Fair by Paul Hartley (1963)

PeopleMover (1967), Disneyland by Ken Chapman

PeopleMover (1967), Disneyland by Ken Chapman

(All the pictures in this post were taken from my personal collection or from the book.)

If you have a chance, I highly suggest getting this book if you’re a Disney Parks fan. Totally worth it! Thanks for reading!


MY Favorite Attraction at Disneyland

If you’re a big Disneyland/Walt Disney World fan like I am, you probably get asked this a lot “What is your favorite attraction (ride)?” And is it just me, or it is really hard to give that ONE answer? To be honest I could list every attraction and say its my favorite… Yes even Stitch at the Magic Kingdom! Haha!

Before I continue on… Yes, I’m that guy that will call Disney “rides” attractions. :o) And in my book, not all attractions are rides. ;o)

In this post I’m going to tell you my favorite attraction at Disneyland… for each land! (That’s one of loopholes I use to give more then just one answer. I’m sure you’ll see a few of those in this post. Haha!)


Main Street, U.S.A

Main Street¬†itself! I love walking thru the turnstile of the park, going thru the tunnel (usually the right one), and walking on to Main Street. The music playing, the smells, the colors… It just feel like home to me!

Main Street USA


Growing up and taking our trips to Disneyland (almost) every summer, we’d head down Main Street and take a left to head over to Splash Mountain first… Until Indiana Jones Adventure opened! That was (is) the first attraction we hit in the morning. BUT, not my favorite in Adventureland. Don’t get me wrong, great attraction and I love it. Even have a lot of fun memories on that attraction. But my favorite attraction in Adventureland is¬†Jungle Cruise! This classic is an opening day attraction. It was based on Disney’s award winning True-Life Adventure films. When it opened, in 1955, ¬†the landscape was pretty, but from pictures I’ve seen… not much of a jungle. It also had more of a serious and education tone to it. But in the early 1960’s, with the help from Marc Davis, we have a more lighthearted and funny Jungle Cruise. And after 60 years… it really looks like a jungle now!


And why is the Jungle Cruise one move my favorites? Well… I took my wife on Magic Kingdom’s Jungle Cruise in Walt Disney World for the first time. And about the 2nd joke into the cruise, she turned to me and said “I know why you like this ride so much.” :o)


My favorite attraction in Frontierland is¬†Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. From the “Imagination” of Disney Legend Tony Baxter. This attraction took over the area where Rainbow Caverns Mine Train, Rainbow Mountain Stagecoach, Conestoga Wagon’s, and the Living Desert use to be. Construction started (at Disneyland) in 1979 and opened on Sep. 2nd 1979. (A little over a year before I was born… hmm…) One thing I found interesting about Big Thunder is that it was one of the first Disney attractions to utilize CAD (Computer-Aided Design).


The detail of the whole attraction really helps make it my favorite attraction in Frontierland… And the fact that it’s “The Wildest Ride in the Wilderness”!

New Orleans Square

This is the one of the hardest lands to pick a favorite attraction for me. New Orleans Square is probably my favorite “land”. And it houses both¬†Haunted Mansion and¬†Pirates of the Caribbean.

It is okay to have a tie?! Wait, this is my list, so yes! It’s a tie! :o)

I don’t know if its because of detail that’s on these attractions, the story telling, or the history of these attractions. I’m going to have to go with a 3-way tie on this one.

The¬†Pirates of the Caribbean is a classic. The theming is spot on! When you are on this attraction, you do not feel like you’re in Southern California. And the history of it… kind of makes me sad. Pirates was the last attraction Walt Disney himself participated in designing. It opened on March 18th, 1967, 3 months after his death. Pirates is a must do for me every day I’m at the park. And every time I ride it I think “Man, Walt never got to ride this”. Then I duck to miss the canon balls! :o) I’ll have to do a post on Pirates sometime.


The¬†Haunted Mansion¬†has a LONG history to it. And I also can do a post at some point about the Haunted Mansion. When Walt first dreamed up Disneyland and started some of the early sketches for the park, there was always a creepy house (mansion) in the distance. It wasn’t until 1969 that this creepy mansion showed up in Disneyland. Like I said, I could do a whole post on the Haunted Mansion. And it’s usually my go-to when I HAVE to give that one “ride” answer. Heck, I have the wallpaper tattooed on my arm! And this is the Hatbox Mouse blog. :o)


Critter Country

Everybody has a laughing place! And for me, that just so happens to be The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh! Just kidding it’s¬†Splash Mountain! (Winnie the Pooh is a great attraction, just not my favorite in Critter Country.)

Like I said before, Splash use to be our first “ride” of the day, until Indiana Jones and the Temple of the 4 Hour Wait opened. (Heard that joke on the Jungle Cruise one time.) Based on the 1946 Disney classic (that is band in the U.S.) “Song of the South”, we follow Br’er Rabbit on his quest for adventure and his “laughing place”. All while trying to outwit old Br’er Bear and Br’er Fox. Again, from the mind of Disney Legend Tony Baxter. Construction started in 1988 and opened in 1989.


I just really like everything about this attraction. The details, the history, the songs… And that 50 foot drop is pretty fun too! Another Disneyland attraction I’ll have to do a post on!


Fantasyland is full of opening day attractions. And they are based off of some great movies. This is another land that is hard to pick just one attraction. No, I’m not going to do a 13-way tie. My favorite attraction in Fantasyland is¬†Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride! I always loved watching Disney’s¬†“The Wind in the Willows”. Heck, I still like watching it! (You can find it on NetFlix.)


It’s just a good old ride that takes you on Mr. Toad’s adventure. And the only Disney attraction that take you to HELL! (All thought, Indy gets you pretty close I think. Haha!) Anyway, opening day attraction that still holds up! And one little secret I think is pretty cool, is Mr. Toad is on the “first floor” of Toad Hall. And right upstairs, on the second floor of Toad all, is Alice in Wonderland. Once you think about it, it make total since. But the way Disney does it’s magic, it actually took me reading it somewhere before I really noticed it.


Tomorrowland… Man, talk about history there! Tomorrowland has been changed more then any other land in Disneyland. If you want to know more about Tomorrowland’s history, check out the¬†Sweep Spot Podcast. Hosts¬†Lynn Barron and Ken Pellman¬†do a great job covering Tomorrowland’s History in a 4 part series. Check it out!

Anyway, my favorite attraction in Tomorrowland is¬†Space Mountain! It opened in 1977. Coaster number 2 to come to Disneyland. Another ride that was dreamed up by the man (Walt Disney) that he wouldn’t get to ride. He had the idea of a space-themed coaster after the success of the Matterhorn. But do to a number of factors, the idea was put on a shelf. Until 1975 when the¬†Magic Kingdom got it.


It’s a roller coaster in the dark! What’s not to love…? (Other then the fact you get slammed around cause you have no idea which way the coaster is going to go.) Haha! Love the way it looks from the outside. And no, I have never been on it when it has stopped and the light had to come on. But I would love it if that happened!

Mickey’s Toontown

Mickey’s Toontown… when I heard it was opening in 1993, I could not wait to see it. I really liked the movie “Who Framed Roger Rabbit”¬†and who doesn’t love cartoon. Here was a land that put YOU in a cartoon.

But my favorite attraction is¬†Roger Rabbit’s Car Toon Spin! It’s a lot like Mr. Toad, with a different¬†spin. (See what I did there… “spin” Roger Rabbit’s Car Toon SPIN…)


Anyway, I had heard about this as a kid and forgot about it till I read it on¬†Wikipedia. There were plans to have a “Hollywoodland” at Disneyland. But (I guess) with the success of Magic Kingdom’s Mickey’s Birthdayland, Disney decided to do Mickey’s Toontown in Disneyland instead. Think the Roger Rabbit attraction work better in Toontown instead of Hollywoodland.

Honorable Mentions…land?

Yes, yes… one last loophole. I had a hard time placing these two attractions. First is the¬†Disneyland Railroad. The Disneyland Railroad is a classic, hands down. It circles the park and stops at 4 stations, Main Street U.S.A., New Orleans Square, Mickey’s Toontown, and Tomorrowland. I had a hard time picking which “land” to put it with… so I just did it this way.


Nothing better then jumping on the train and going around the park when you’re nice a tires. And just for the record… yes, my favorite station for the Disneyland Railroad is New Orleans Square.

The other attraction that I had to mention, but I don’t know where to put it, is the¬†Matterhorn. First tubular steel coaster in the world, built in 1959. It is always fun to spot when you’re getting close to Disneyland. And another attraction with a lot of cool history.


Matterhorn was built on the boarder of Fantasyland and Tomorrowland. (And I like to think that with the 2 tracks on the Matterhorn, each land got one. Haha!) It wasn’t until the early 1970’s when the attraction was officially made part of Fantasyland. But because this is my list, I’m going to say it still sits on BOTH lands. And that’s way I have it with the Disneyland Railroad, as an attraction that’s in multiple lands. :o)

So there is it! My favorite attraction at Disneyland… in each land!

I actually like all the attractions! Just thought it would be fun to highlight my favorite ones in each land in Disneyland.

The NEW Disney Comics!

Earlier I did a post about Marvel’s Groot #1. In that, I kind of explained how I never really got into comics as a kid, but after the whole Disney/Marvel thing I am starting to get into it. Later on I’ll do a post about the Disney Kingdom series that Marvel is putting out. But this post is about Disney Comics that is being done by¬†IDW Publishing.

Earlier this year (2015), IDW announced that they will be debuting a new collection of Disney Comics. So far, as of today (July 1st), they have put out 6 new issues; with more schedules later in the year.

First issue to come out (in April) was Uncle Scrooge #1 (48 pages):

At the time, I onlyUncle Scrooge #1¬†knew that IDW was putting out new Disney Comics. So I went to the comic book shop looking for Uncle Scrooge #1. I was shocked to find this variant cover. It’s part of what they are calling “Disney Comics Legacy Covers”, and as you can see, it’s the adventurous Uncle Scrooge on Disneyland’s Jungle Cruise. I had to have it! There are 3 stories in the book, all done with a retro feel, but yet modern… Anyway, in the back of the issue, I saw a “schedule” of the next Disney Comics that will be coming out. (Have the schedule down below.)

In May, IDW released Uncle Scrooge #2 and Donald Duct #1:

Uncle Scrooge #2  Donald #1

May’s “theme” was Tomorrowland. So both Scrooge #2 and Donald #1’s “Legacy Covers” were themed with Tomorrowland! (Sorry, I thought it would be funny to add Donald’s Disney Infinity piece to the picture to show his dislike of ride-photos.)

When you see the schedule below, you will see that both June and December are “Top Secret”… But, June is actually really cool! The theme is Disneyland’s 60th Diamond Anniversary! I was able to find and pick-up Uncle Scrooge #3 and Donald Duck #2:

Scrooge #3 Donald #2

But I have been unable to find Mickey Mouse #1: Disney Comics Legacy Cover:

(From IDW website)

(From IDW website)

But I was able to get this variant cover of Mickey Mouse #1:

Mickey #1

He is a Legend. He is an Icon. And yes, he’s a Mouse! Haha!

Here are the up coming comics to be coming out, and their theme for the month:


As you can see, July with have 4 issues coming out! Uncle Scrooge #4, Donald Duck #3, Mickey Mouse #2 and Walt Disney’s Comics and Stories #721… #721!?!? I’ll explain that in a sec. To me it sounds like Walt Disney’s Comics and Stories will be issues with different stories with some of our favorite characters (Goofy, Minnie, Pluto, and many more)!

And what I think is really cool about these issues, is the new IDW titles of Scrooge, Donald, and Mickey start as #1’s, but continues their classic legacy number inside the issues. (Example: Mickey Mouse #1, the legacy number is 310)¬†IDW isn’t renumbering everything, they are maintaining the original number. And that is why the IDW’s Walt Disney’s Comics and Stories issue is starting with #721. Pretty cool!

If you have a chance, check out these new Disney Comics put out by IDW Publishing!

Let The Countdown Begin!

Really excited today! Last night my wife and I book our Disney Cruise!

The Disney Magic crew wouldn’t be complete without Captain Mickey, who greet guests onboard the ship. Special visits from favorite Disney characters are guaranteed to delight the entire family every day on the Disney Magic. (Matt Stroshane, photographer)

Captain Mickey (Matt Stroshane, photographer)

We got married back in May, of this year, and we are doing the cruise as our honeymoon. My wife didn’t want deal with a chance of a hurricane, and I didn’t think that was a bad idea! Haha! So we decided to do our cruise at the end of November, beginning of December… And living in Colorado, that time is perfect to go down to the¬†Caribbean! So we sat down last night, and booked our cruise for the Caribbean in December. Can not wait!!!

DisneyFantasyDumbo disney-fantasy-cruise-ship-pool-night

We will be cruising on the Disney Fantasy. And as soon as we can, we will be making reservations to Palo! (Really looking forward to eating there.) It’s going to be a LONG 6 months (169 days… but who’s counting), but just looking at the ship, it’s going to be totally worth it!

This will be my wife’s 2nd cruise and my 1st, but 1st time for the both of us on a Disney Cruise.

This is another short post. I was just excited to have just booked our honeymoon/newest Disney trip! ūüôā

Please leave any tips or suggestions in the comments below. And thanks for following!


A little more about me… As I said before, I’m a big Disney nut! But I’m also into technology/gadgets. (I have my dad to thank for that.) My dad always had a new toy (gadget) that he would be playing with. A lot of them were cool! And well, like I said, I got that bug from him! But now’a days it’s more smartphones and apps… Last year my wife (girlfriend at the time) gave me an early (2 months early) birthday gift, money to go out and get a smartwatch. (I don’t know if she did it cause she knew how much I wanted one, or if she did it just to shut me up about them! ¬†Haha!) Anyway, I went out and got one. I didn’t get the one that JUST came out (Moto 360), but instead I got the older model (G Watch by LG). I wanted to make sure that I would actually start wearing a watch again before I bought the more expensive watch. Well, now I feel weird NOT wearing a watch again! I’ve had this watch now sense September 2014.

So what does “getting a smartwatch” have to do with Disney!? Well, when you take a smartwatch (example: my G Watch) and add a Disney nut (me). Then add a very cool watch face making app (Facer), you can come up with some really cool watch faces! (Now yes, you can do WAY more with a smartwatch then just change the face and tell time. But this isn’t a smartwatch blog… It’s a Disney blog! ūüôā )

Facer is an app that I found that allows you to make your own watch face, and it really easy to use. Just a couple of mathematical equations and code (all explained in the app and very easy to use) and you have your own custom watch face. You can download faces that someone has already made at Some Disney some not! But a lot of great stuff!

My 4 year old niece loves to see who I have on my watch each time she see’s me. Some days I will have Mickey Mouse:

Mickey Mouse¬†(I didn’t make this one… I got it from a developer off the XDA app)

Sometimes it’s Donald Duck:

Donald¬†(This one is my own, made using Facer. Both of his hands swing around. I can have them go with hours/minutes, seconds… whatever code I put in there.)

Sometimes is Goofy:

Goofy¬†(I didn’t make this one. Got it off the Facer share site. His hand run backwards… Cause he’s Goofy!)

Or Olaf:

Olaf (I made this one. There is a bee that flies by, just not pictured.)

Sometimes its Lumiere and Cogsworth:

Cogsworth¬†(Made this one also. Cogworth’s face tell the actual time and his pendulum swings.)

Sometimes it’s Ralph:

Ralph¬†(One of the newest ones I’ve made. His hand move up and down cause he’s “Gonna Wreck It!”)

And when it’s Halloween season, it’s the Haunted Mansion:

Haunted Mansion (I made this one (one of my firsts), but there is some like it on the share site. Just like the attraction, a shadowy hand moves across the face.)

And sometime… it just my logo:

HatboxMouse¬†(Made this one. Thought it would look cool on my watch as I was making up my logo. The “mouse hand” swings the hatbox back and forth.)

Being 4, my niece like them, but wants more!!! So far her requests are:¬†Daisy,¬†Minnie, and¬†Spiderman! I am currently working on those. But, because I can be a kid myself sometimes, I thought I would also try out: The White Rabbit, Willie the Giant, Oswald… The list goes on! ūüôā

So there we go! Started with smartwatches, but brought it right back to Disney! Haha! Making these (and finding them) is just another little hobby/collection of mine. I do it just for the fun and love of Disney… And its a really fun gadget!

I am Groot

I4551039-groot_1_cover¬†recently picked up a copy of Marvel’s Groot #1. (I wasn’t the biggest comic book fan as a kid. But yes, I’m that guy who got into it later in life, and yes its because of the whole Disney/Marvel thing.) ūüôā

I¬†heard that Groot was going to have his own comic. I saw¬†Guardians of the Galaxy and really enjoyed it! But how can Groot have his own comic… In his language all we hear and understand is “I Am Groot”. I have a few of Rocket Raccoon’s comics, and in issue #5, Groot tells some campers a story. The whole thing is “I Am Groot”. (I found that to be VERY funny!)

Because of Rocket Raccoon #5, it got me very curious on how Marvel will do it. I looked it up and saw that it is written by Jeff Loveness, cover artist is Declan Shalvey, and the artist is Brian Kesingler.

No disrespect to Jeff Loveness and Declan Shalvey. I just don’t know them because I am just now getting into comics. But Brian Kesingler I’ve heard of! He was a Disney Animator! He worked on Atlantis: The Lost Empire, Treasure Planet, Winnie the Pooh, Tarzan, Tangled, Chicken Little, Home on the Range, Bolt, Meet the Robinsons,¬†and one of my favorites¬†Wreck-It Ralph. (His voice is used for the Cyborg.)¬† Kesinger also has a book that he wrote and illustrated called¬†Walking You Octopus: A Guidebook to the Domesticated Cephalopod”.¬†(I haven’t read this book, but it’s on my list.) Walking Your Octopus

If you would like to know more about Brian Kesingler, here is his Wikipedia page.

Now, back to Groot!


In this first issue, we follow¬†Groot with Rocket Raccoon as they try to make their¬†way to earth. They run into some troubles, and the issue ends in a cliffhanger. (I don’t want to give too much away.)

With Groot teamed up with Rocket Raccoon, it actually is easy to understand. All Groot says is “I Am Groot” and Rocket answers back (in a language we can understand), and the cool part is, we know exactly what Groot said!

The artwork is great, along with the story. So if you’re a fan of Guardians of the Galaxy, or are a fan of Disney animation go ahead and check out Groot #1.Groot-Rocket 2

This is a short post… so I guess all that is left to say is “I Am Groot!”

The Reluctant Dragon (1941)

I don’t know about you, but I have always heard (and kind of knew) of The Reluctant Dragon… But never watched the movie. So, a couple of months ago I went ahead and bought it thru Google Play Movies & TV… and I actually really like it! Totally not what I thought it would be. And why do I like it… because of the Disney history that it shows!

The Reluctant Dragon is a children’s story, from 1898, by Kenneth Grahame. In the story, a young boy discovers a¬†poetry-loving dragon¬†living near¬†his home. TThe_Reluctant_Dragon_Bookhe two become friends, but soon afterwards the dragon is discovered by the townsfolk, who then send for St. George¬†to rid them of it. The boy introduces St George to the dragon, and the two decide that it would be better for them not to fight. Eventually, they decide to stage a fake¬†joust. As the two have planned, St George harmlessly spears the dragon through a shallow fold of skin suggested by the dragon. The townsfolk rejoice (though not all of them, as some had placed bets on the dragon winning). St George then proclaims that the dragon is reformed in character, and he assures the townsfolk that the dragon is not dangerous. So the dragon is then accepted by the people.

Now I haven’t read the book… Most of that above I got from¬†Wikipedia. This post isn’t about the book, it’s about Walt Disney’s The Reluctant Dragon!


In the opening credits, it is noted:

“This picture is made in answer to the many requests to show the backstage life of animated cartoons. –¬†P.S. Any resemblance to a regular motion picture is purely coincidental”

The movie starts off black and white with Mrs. Benchley (played by Nana Bryant) reading the end of the book, The Reluctant Dragon. She then suggests to her husband, Mr. Robert Benchley (played by Robert Benchley) that he pitch the story to Walt Disney. Mr. Benchley isn’t very keen to the idea, but in the next scene he is pulling up to Walt Disney’s (new at the time) Animation Studios. This is what the movie is really about, and why I like it so much. Its a live action/animation tour of Walt Disney’s Animation Studios in Burbank, CA, in 1941!

We follow Robert Benchley as he gives himself a tour of the studios… while he tries to ditch his studio guide, Humphery (played by Buddy Pepper).

Our first stop is the Art Class, where we see “students” learn how to draw people and animals by using the real things as models. This scene is pretty cool cause we see that Disney does whatever it takes… In the room is a full-size elephant!

Mr. Benchley then stumbles upon an orchestra. Here is where we see how they add music to film. And where we meet Florence Gill (voice of Clara Cluck) and Clarence Nash (the voice of Donald Duck). Clarence Nash gives Mr. Benchley a few tips on how to talk like Donald.

Our next stop of the tour is the Foley Department (don’t know if they officially called it that, but that’s what I’m calling it) where they add the sound effects to the film. Mr. Benchley meet Doris (played by Frances Gifford) who shows him how they give Casey Junior (train from Dumbo) a voice. Then we watch the department work on an extended scene of Casey Junior. (The scene is actually shortened in Dumbo.)

Remember Humphey? Well he’s been looking for Mr. Benchley this whole time. And he’s getting closer! Mr. Benchley jumps into room, the Camera Room. Now the movie is in color! Technicolor that is!¬†Here we get a look at the Multiplane camera. (Pretty cool technology for the 1930’s-40’s.) We also meet Donald Duck. He shows us how HE walks.

We are then taken into the “Rainbow Room” (the Ink and Paint Department). Here we see a montage on how the different colors are made and mixed. And how paint is applied to the cells.

Mr. Benchley then finds some really cool statues and learns what they are used for. (These would look AWESOME in my collection… but I don’t have the $$$$$$$ for them). Haha!

We then enter a room that has a team of animators and writers in it. This is the Storyboard Room. They are working on the animated short “Baby Weems”.

The next to last stop on our tour is the Animation Offices. This is where Mr. Benchley meet Ward Kimball, Fred Moore, and Norm Ferguson. We get to see a “preview of a new Goofy cartoon”! (Well, in 1941 is was new. Haha!) Actually the Goofy cartoon that is shown is “How-To Ride a Horse”, the first of the Goofy How-To cartoons.Reluctantdragon-2

Humphey finally catches up to Mr. Benchley and promptly takes him to the Projection¬†Room where we meet the one, the only, Walt Disney! Now Walt is only in this movie for maybe a minute, but it’s pretty cool to see him! Here Mr. Benchley sits down with Walt Disney, and his team, and watches… The Reluctant Dragon.

One thing I notices while watching is movie, is all the references to Dumbo. I thought it was pretty cool because Dumbo was released later the same year (Oct. 23, 1941). I also read on IMDb that this movie was released when half of the animators were out on strike. But the little bit of trivia I found to be pretty cool (but need to do more research on) is the Mickey Avenue/Dopey Drive signpost was built for this movie! It was supposed to be removed afterward, but never was.Mickey_Dopey

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So there you have it! A quick look at Walt Disney’s The Reluctant Dragon! If you’re into Disney history, like I am, I highly suggest this movie! It’s pretty cool so see Walt and his (new) Animation Studios in 1941!

Hope you enjoyed! Leave a comment if you’ve seen this movie and let me know what you thought of it!