‘Mouse in Transition’: Detour Into Disney History (Chapter 6)

Before I got hired at Disney Features, I sold a few magazine articles and developed a love of writing for print, where there was nothing between writer and reader but words on a page. When I became a Disney employee, I realized I was surrounded by animation veterans with vivid memories of the rambunctious days at the old Hyperion studio, and the creative struggles that went into making “Snow White,” “Pinocchio,” and the other early features. Talking to older Mouse House staffers, it dawned on me they could provide great source material for articles.

‘Mouse in Transition’: The Disney Animation Story Crew (Chapter 3)

Larry had me writing sequence scripts for “The Fox and the Hound,” which turned out to be my assignment for the next six months. Part of the package was attending Woolie Reitherman’s marathon story sessions, which often left me drained and dazed. There were also Woolie’s marathon take-selection meetings, which left me drained and bewildered.

Disney’s ‘Frozen’: The Acting and Performance Analysis

Disney’s Frozen will soon merit its own chapter in the entertainment industry Big Book. The 2014 Oscar winner for best animated feature has earned over US$1 billion at the box office, currently the second highest-grossing animated feature in history, behind “Toy Story 3.” The movie’s phenomenal financial success has obscured under-the-hood examination of its performance engine. As an acting teacher, I am an artistic purist; grosses and popularity awards don’t mean much to me. My standard of measurement is the emotional impact a movie has on its audience and its elegance as a work of art. “Frozen” is beautiful to see, fun to sing along with and is a modern day marketing marvel, but the script has structural and performance issues that are worth examining because they impact directly on acting.

New Books of Note

Three new books popped into my mailbox this week. What were they? Funny you should ask… I’m a big fan of Chronicle’s Art-Of …