Peter Pan Anniversary Edition on Digital May 29th and Blu-ray June 5th!
Thank you Disney for inviting me to Peter Pan Anniversary Edition celebration, an afternoon that I will never forget. It was such an emotional day for me, we were invited to tour Walt Disney office, walk thru the Disney Archives, and we met Kathryn Beaumont (Voice and live-action reference model of “Wendy”) paired with Mindy Johnson (Author and Historian.)
When we toured Walt Disney office I was moved to tears, his office is exactly as he left it, right down to the thumbtacks. Looking at all the knick-knacks, the beautiful pictures he had posted of his daughters, the piano where some of the most magical themes were composed, awards that had received and most importantly the Walt Disney World map. This map was absolutely mind-blowing, to see his vision, and to know what it is now, I just stood there. At that moment I realized no matter what your dream, it’s possible for it to come alive. Could you imagine when Walt was telling his investors that he wants to create a theme park for the young and old. They probably looked at him like he was crazy, especially a theme park that would be lead by a mouse. Imagine for a moment, it was early 1950’s, there was nothing like it and he created a place where everyone is equal, happy and childlike no matter what the age. His office was simple, beautiful and full of hope. You could feel the energy in the room, it was electrifying. To see his vision board (WDW Map) come alive was everything I needed to see. Dream big, hold on to your beliefs and don’t let anyone talk you out of it.
After Walts office we were given a tour of the Disney Archives, now this room is everything you could imagine and more. The Disney Archives holds everything from the very beginning. What caught my eye, Walts cast member pin, it was number 1. He had the very first pin distributed, it reminded me that it only takes 1 person to have a vision and you can create something so amazing that you can make a difference in the world. Since we were there to celebrate Peter Pan there was a letter Cecil B Demille had written to Walt regarding Peter Pan, acknowledging what a wonderful movie it was.
Eric Goldberg a Disney animator was kind enough to speak to us and gives us the inside scoop of Peter Pan and Walts Nine Old Men. Disney's Nine Old Men were The Walt Disney Company's core animator, some of whom later became directors, who created some of Disney's most famous animated cartoons.
Disney's Nine Old Men
Les Clark (November 17, 1907 – September 12, 1979), Les joined Disney in 1927. His specialty was animating Mickey Mouse as he was the only one of the Nine Old Men to work on that character from its origins. He moved into directing and made many animated featurettes and shorts. Marc Davis (March 30, 1913 – January 12, 2000) started in 1935 on Snow White, and later he went on to develop/animate the characters of Bambi and Thumper (in Bambi), Maleficent, Aurora and the raven (in Sleeping Beauty), and Cruella de Vil (in One Hundred and One Dalmatians). Davis was responsible for character design for both the Pirates of the Caribbean and Haunted Mansion attractions at Disneyland. Ollie Johnston (October 31, 1912 – April 14, 2008), who joined Disney in 1935, first worked on Snow White. Milt Kahl (March 22, 1909 – April 19, 1987) started in 1934 working on Snow White. Ward Kimball (March 4, 1914 – July 8, 2002) joined Disney in 1934. His work was often more 'wild' than the other Disney animators and was unique. In 1968 he created and released a non-Disney anti-Vietnam War animated short, Escalation. Eric Larson (September 3, 1905 – October 25, 1988) joined in 1933. One of the top animators at Disney. He created Peter Pan's flight from London to Neverland (in Peter Pan); Wolfgang Reitherman (June 26, 1909 – May 22, 1985) joined Disney in 1935 as an animator and director. Frank Thomas (September 5, 1912 – September 8, 2004) joined Disney in 1934. He went on to author the animator's bible The Illusion of Life with Ollie Johnston. John Lounsbery (March 9, 1911 – February 13, 1976) started in 1935 and, working under Norm 'Fergy' Ferguson, quickly became a star animator. Lounsbery, affectionately known as 'Louns' by his fellow animators, was an incredibly strong draftsman who inspired many animators over the years. His animation was noted for its squashy, stretchy feel.
Our day topped off meeting Kathryn Beaumont and Mindy Johnson who were the salt of the earth. I showed Kathryn pictures of herself when she voiced Wendy and she smiled, said she knew exactly where she was when she took the promo pic for Peter Pan. As a young girl, she was chosen to voice Wendy and Alice in Alice in Wonderland. Kathryn was a second-grade teacher and shared a delightful story with us. One of her students had watched Alice in Wonderland and the next day approached her, asked if that her voice? When Kathryn said yes, the little boy brought a tiny rabbit as a present the next day. When Kathryn was sharing this story she was glowing, a true gem. I’m so blessed to have been able to meet her, Kathryn is a legend. When Kathryn was speaking the entire time I wanted her to say, “I’ll think of a mermaid lagoon, underneath a magic moon.” Alas, I didn’t ask and I just sat mesmerized by her. Peter Pan was a staple in my childhood and now with the Anniversary Edition, it’ll be the same for my little one.
“All it takes is faith and trust, oh! and something I forgot: dust.”
Peter Pan Anniversary Edition | On Digital 5/29 & Blu-ray 6/5
Let your imagination soar past “the second star to the right and straight on till morning” as this anniversary edition of Peter Pan debuts in the Walt Disney Signature Collection. All it takes is faith, trust and a dash of pixie dust, and this timeless classic will launch you on epic adventures in Never Land as it sparkles with legendary animation, extraordinary songs and captivating characters.