Thursday, May 29, 2008

I've Been Slimed!

Well, not really. More to the point would be to say, "I've been scooped!" I will take my solace in knowing that "great" minds think alike. Okay, what is Doc going on about?

Our friend George over at Imaginerding posted an article this morning highlighting the Tin Toy exhibit at the Japan Pavilion in Epcot's World Showcase. I have been working on a post about the same thing, but was holding off. I have been searching for information about the collector. Only to find that there is not a great deal of information out there about Teruhisa Kitahara.

So, in the spirit of cooperation and to support the wonderful work of a brother blogger, I offer you a litle information about the collector. Along with a few supporting photographs featurering our favorite Mouse.

Teruhisa Kitahara was born in Tokyo and attended Aoyama Gakuin University in Shibuya, Toyko where he received his degree in economics. He has written numerous books on tin toys including Yesterday's Toys: 750 Tin & Celluloid Amusements from Days Gone By and Robots: Spaceships & Other Tin Toys. His vast collection, in addition to being displayed in Walt Disney World, is exhibited in seven museums in Japan. Kitahara also served as a consultant on the 1992 Robin Williams film, Toys.

The next time you're in the Japan Pavilion, be sure to walk to the back of the pavilion and enjoy the Tin Toy Collection.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

This I Believe

I believe that "While we have to grow old, we do not have to grow up!" And just as important, "Every room needs a little Disney!

Mrs. Doc has been suggesting that perhaps I should share with you how my Disney Obsession manifests itself throughout the house. Honestly, it isn't throughout the house, but there is a little bit of Disney in each room. The Obsession is only given full expression in my upstairs office.

But for now, here is the "little Disney" in Mr. & Mrs. Doc's Living Room. Viola! A Doc original!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Look For Those...

...Bear Necessities.

Um, no, that's not right.

"Look for those Bare Necessities, those simple Bare Necessities."

Last week I posted a photograph of one of the several Hidden Mickeys that have somehow escaped my attention. And, as I have come to learn, there are more than just Hidden Mickeys scattered throughout the parks and resorts. There are also Hidden "Other Characters". On my recent trip to Walt Disney World for Disney's Animal Kingdom 10th Anniversary Celebration, I had the pleasure and good fortune to spend the day with Glenn, Ryan, Marissa, Amy and Bryan. Bryan is Bryan Ripper of the All About The Mouse podcast.

As we were making our way from Asia to Africa, Bryan took us on short detour through the courtyard of Tamu Tamu Refreshments. There, hidden on the wall, is the silhouette of perhaps one of my favorite Disney characters, Baloo the Bear from The Jungle Book.

Bryan shared him with me, and now, I share him with you.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Where In The World

Craig from Earning My Ears and Well Behaved Krissy from Tips from the Disney Diva both ventured a guess in this weeks Disney Recognition entry and both were correct in saying this particular Coca-Cola sign can be found in Disney's Animal Kingdom. But where? Well, it is found just over bridge as you're walking into Asia. It points to a small refreshment establishment to your right.

So now, on to this weeks installation. All I will say is this; it is not at a small refreshment establishment just to your right as you cross the bridge from Discovery Island into Asia.

Oh, and if you're first name isn't Craig or Well, but sure to jump over to their blogs and take a look. I think you'll like what you find and they'll enjoy the company.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Am I Really This Old?

No, this is not a birthday post. That event has already passed for this year. But this post does have something to do with age.

Many years ago someone asked me if I were a pre- or post- Shea Stadium baby. Meaning, was I born before or after August 15, 1965; the date The Beatles played Shea Stadium. For the record, I am a pre-Shea Stadium baby. In fact, I remember seeing the concert rebroadcast on television and the Fab Four running out onto the field to the stage set behind second base. You couldn't hear the music for all the screaming but it was opening night of the 1965 U.S. Tour and no one seemed to care. No one, except The Beatles.

Why is this important? I really don't know. I suppose it can seen in the same way that we look at events such as, say, the Kennedy Assassination, the first moon walk, the night Lennon was killed and September 11th. It is a way of taking an event that occurs at a specific moment in time and using it to distinguish a generation. Granted, a concert in the middle of a baseball field pales considerably when held against more monumental and catastrophic events. But still, it helped to define the generation of that era.

What does this have to do with a few Electric Mayhem road cases? It is the memory evoked by the stenciling on the case. Pausing for a moment, I remembered Beatle Boots and Nehru Jackets. I still burn the occasional stick or cone of incense. I still have a pair of tailor made bell bottoms that I bought on Regents Street in London in 1975 and my Indian Bedspreads were bought by Mrs. Doc in Visakhapatnam, India. And yes, there are a few tie-dyed items tucked away for when i need to listen to the "classics."

The point of all this is to highlight how the magic of the Imagineers impacts us. That magic not only effects us at the moment we are in, but also helps us to recall our past and hopefully inspire our future. The things that we see, hear, taste and touch work to create a new memory but also helps us to relive past ones. That, to me, is magic! And on that day, for a moment, there in the pre-show of Muppet Vision 3-D, I went back to a slower and simpler time, in our families den with my mom and dad and my sister and we watched four lads from Liverpool conquer America.

Paisley, Bell Bottoms, Nehru Jackets, Beatle Boots, Love Beads,
Incense, Indian Bedspreads, Tie-Dye Scarves, Groovy Shades

Note: The Beatles concert at Shea Stadium was performed in front of an audience of 55,600 people. It has been hailed as one of the most significant events in music history, being the first concert held in a major stadium. It held attendance records for the next 7 years.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Disney World After Dark: Mad Tea Party

Alright, it is time for another true confession. I have never been on this ride. There, I said it. I just don't see the attraction. Now. Yes, it is cute. But I am not the type of person who will knowingly (in most cases) go on a ride that could possibly make me sick. Now. And, there has never been enough pressure, peer or otherwise, placed on me to ride it.

Once upon a time, when I was younger and somewhat more bold than I am now, I would ride something that would spin me both clockwise and counter-clockwise concurrently. There was once a music themed park where I live that was called Opryland U.S.A. and in it was a Mad Tea Party type ride called the Little Deuce Coupe. Like I said, it was a music themed park. Many times my friends and I would stumble off that ride dizzy, disoriented and on some occasions rather sick. It was the time.

But now is not then. Thankfully, I have lived to grow older and hopefully a little wiser. Now I am content to watch others try to out-do each other in this ritualistic test of intestinal fortitude, knowing that one day, they too will be where I am at; on the outside looking in, with the same slight knowing smile on their face.

And now, you can look in too.

The Mad Tea Party, spinning since October 1, 1971.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Mickey in Space

I will be the first to admit that I sometimes show up late to the party. Meaning, that something that is new to me, may be old news to someone else. Maybe you're like that, maybe you're not. But, here is the up shot.

During my recent "research" trip to Disney World I met up with my friend Ryan of Main Street Gazette fame. We were walking around Epcot taking pictures, talking, discussing memories of past trips and plans for future trips; you know, your standard geek stuff. I mentioned that I have not taken the time to really explore Mission: Space (darn FastPass), and would like to walk around, see the training center, and so forth. Well, while we were in the gift shop he says, did you see the Hidden Mickey? No, I had not. I mean, I am no Steve Barrett, but I read his book. This one, however, escaped my memory.

And since it may have escaped others, here you are.

Yeah, I thought it was pretty cool too! By the way, the reference can be found on page 49 of Dr. Barrett's Field Guide. Oh, and be sure to check out Ryan's Meet Our Neighbor interview over at Imaginerding. Oh, and one last thing, The Disney Obsession is one of the "you know you who are" blogs. I am so proud.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Here's to Old Men

Many of you may recall that when Disney's Hollywood Studios opened in May of 1989, there was a working animation department on the property. Some of you may recall the film Back to Neverland. In it, Robin Williams and Walter Cronkite provided an overview to the art of animation before guest would tour the studio. Photography was not allowed in those days because you were witnessing the creative process that gave us Mulan, Lilo & Stitch and Brother Bear. There was a once a time when you could track the progress of Roller Coaster Rabbit, a Roger Rabbit short, on a larger that life Roger Rabbit on the wall of the Ink and Paint Department.

But that was some time ago. Sadly, Walt Disney Feature Animation Florida was closed in 2003.

It has been years since I visited this part of the park. So this past April I decided to see what became of the production complex. It was sad not to see the animators at work on what would be a new classic Disney film, but I couldn't help but smile as I remembered the (what seemed like) hours I would spend watching them work and wishing I was one of them.

In the courtyard of the studio is a tribute some of the great men that made the tradition of Disney animation something that we all respect and appreciate. There, on three cement tablets, are the names of four of Walt's Nine Old Men. They are Ollie Johnson (1912-2008), Frank Thomas (1912-2004), Ward Kimball (1914-2002), and Marc Davis (1913-2000). Sharing the tablet with Marc Davis are Ken Anderson and Ken O'Connor.

The next time you find yourself in Disney's Hollywood Studio and the lines at Toy Story Mania or the Great Movie Ride are too long, wander over to the animation studio and visit the legends gave us so much magic.

Ollie Johnson, Frank Thomas

Ward Kimball

Marc Davis, with Ken Anderson and Ken O'Connor

Monday, May 12, 2008

Follow Up: Mama Melrose's

Last month I ran a Disney World After Dark photo looking back at Mama Melrose's Ristorante Italiano. In it I wrote, "The street is empty and you have time to take it in. And then you see it. is that a grill in the upstairs window?" Honestly, it looked like a Weber style grill but I couldn't be quite sure. So, during my recent trip I decided to look during the daytime and see if what I thought was there, was there. And it was.

There, on the fire escape, sets a bicycle and a grill. I wonder if the landlord receives any complaints from the good people at Geiger's about the upstairs neighbors?

Remember what Doc (and Ryan, and George, and Lou) says, "Don't forget to look up!"
P.S. In addition to it being Imaginerding's 1st Birthday, it is my daughters birthday. It isn't her first birthday however. Happy Birthday Ali! Love you sweetheart!

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Where In The World

That phrase took on a whole new meaning over these past few weeks. A few of you may have asked the question, "Where in the world is Doc?" I do extend my apologies. I have spent these past few weeks attending to recent family matters I have been unable to post. I have tried to keep up with the musings of fellow bloggers, making a few comments now and then, and I take quite seriously our need to Save Passamaquoddy! But time has not been on my side lately when it came to The Disney Obsession.

So, where to begin? Let's start with a new installment of Where In The World shall we? You may recall that way back on April 10th I posted a picture of a gargoyle along side some books. The title of one book, King Arthur, may have led some people astray as it led them to the UK pavilion in Epcot. Sadly, that is not the location of our little statue. No, it can be found just next door in France. Specifically it rests on the top shelf of a bookcase in the Plume Et Palette.

Now, for a new photo. Where In The World would you find this sign?