Mickey Mouse's Masterpieces: A Celebration of Walt Disney and the 80th Birthday of Mickey Mouse
|by Heidi Bamford, PassPorter Guest Contributor|
Last modified 04/29/2009
PassPorter.com > Articles > Walt Disney World > Planning
Lovers of Disney animation history (which you must be too if you are reading this!), hit the mother lode recently with an event that took place in Buffalo, New York. The Shea’s Performing Arts Center, the Buffalo International Film Festival and the Walt Disney Company sponsored “Mickey Mouse’s Masterpieces: A Celebration of Walt Disney and the 80th Birthday of Mickey Mouse” on April 4th. Originally set for November 2008 (the actual “birth date” of our beloved Mouse), the event had been delayed until now, but was worth the wait!
The program included the documentary feature, "The Man Behind the Mouse: The Ub Iwerks Story," ten original format Disney cartoons from the earliest days of Walt's creative genius (including "Alice's Wild West Show," "Oswald the Rabbit," "Steamboat Willie," and "The Brave Little Tailor"), and the original 1940 release of Fantasia, with detailed background notes and beautiful illustrations in the program booklet. Original cartoon hand drawings of Iwerks from "Plane Crazy" were displayed in the opulent Shea's lobby. Master of Ceremonies was John Culhane, author of Walt Disney's Fantasia. A detailed description of the event can be found on the festival's web site.
I was mesmerized with "The Man Behind the Mouse" documentary. Produced by Leslie Iwerks, it is an award-winning production that looks intimately into the life of her grandfather, Ub Iwerks, who was Walt's friend, business partner, inspiration, and creative source for many of the Disney achievements in animation and film. It is a magnificent and moving story of the lifetime friendship and passion for imagination shared between Ub and Walt. Apparently the documentary has not been widely shown, but there is an accompanying book of the same title available at all Disney Theme Parks and major bookstores - I am off to but my copy after finishing my story here.
This truly wonderful event was a perfect way for me to show my children just why it is I so admire Walt Disney. The poignant story in the documentary, punctuated by the classic cartoons, all taking place in a movie palace that was from this bygone era, beautifully conveyed to us who and what were the people, events, and places that influenced Walt Disney, and how he in turn, with his philosophy and ingenuity influences the world and our family today. I am a 49-year old Mom, who grew up watching Disney go from black and white to color on TV and who experienced the opening of Walt Disney World in Florida. My two daughters, ages 11 and 12, are growing up in the world of Disney DVDs and iPod movies, music and games. Yet, we all sat in that grand old theater and shared a look at the way Disney animation first appeared - to my parents and grandparents who all enjoyed events like this at Shea's over the years.
Na Pali Coast
Na Pali Coast (Kauai) from a helicopter - photo by PixieMichele
Shea's Performing Arts Center was the perfect place to view these cinematic gems. If you are ever traveling to Buffalo, you should take the time to visit. It is a National Landmark site and once you've been inside, it's easy to see why! The building was constructed in 1925, just when movies were becoming the new fad in entertainment. This magnificent movie palace stands virtually as it was back then, and a description of the physical interior sounds like an ultra rich dessert: marble staircases, ornate plaster and woodwork, gilded decor, massive bronze doors, opulent crystal chandeliers, heavy leaded and paneled glass, and so on! In addition, Shea's is home to one of a handful of surviving Wurlitzer theater organs - still played for many productions and performances!
That day, we were all transported back to the beginnings of Walt Disney, Ub Iwerks, and the many others who struggled through Depression, war, corporate villains and other obstacles to bring millions of families endless opportunities to make and create memories for generation after generation. And, as was mentioned during the event as well as on the front of the program, "I only hope that we never lose sight of one thing - that it was all started by a mouse." (Walter Elias Disney)
"The Grand Canyon of the Pacific" - photo by PixieMichele
|About the Author: Heidi Bamford is a first time contributor to PassPorter News. She lives with her family in upstate New York.
Recent Walt Disney World Articles:Read additional articles from PassPorter.com
D23 Expo Recap, Part 2: Announcements Galore - A Disney Parks Planning Article last updated 08-27-2015
Avoiding Exhaustion at Walt Disney World, Part 2: Do Less, Enjoy More - A Walt Disney World Special Needs Article last updated 08-27-2015
Avoiding Exhaustion at Walt Disney World, Part 1: Plan for Success - A Walt Disney World Special Needs Article last updated 08-20-2015
D23 Expo Recap, Part 1: Announcements Galore - A Disney Parks Planning Article last updated 08-20-2015
Olivia's Cafe at Disney's Old Key West - A Walt Disney World Dining Review last updated 08-13-2015
More Related Links:
Disney + Disabilities = Magic! - Enjoying Disney World with Disabilities last updated 11/07/2008
Saving Money for Disney - Tips and Tricks last updated 2/25/2011
Baby Steps - Six Sanity Savers For Baby's First Trip to Walt Disney World last updated 3/7/2011
Disney Dreaming - Book Excerpt from PassPorter's Walt Disney World last updated 1/16/2009
Walt Disney World for Veteran Visitors - Finding New Things To Do last updated 1/16/2009
So what do you think? Click here to share your comments, feedback, and experiences on this article and topic!
(Note: You must be a member of our PassPorter Message Board Community to leave comments. Join today for free!)
Updated 04/29/2009 - Article #80
Subscribe to our free e-mail newsletter, PassPorter News, published for more than 58,000 opt-in subscribers worldwide.
As an added bonus for subscribing, you will receive a 20% discount coupon for the PassPorter Store -- no catch!|
We respect your privacy and never sell or rent our subscriber list. Subscribing will not result
in more spam! We guarantee it.
by PassPorter Travel Press, an imprint of MediaMarx, Inc.
| LEARN MORE|
Learn More With Our Award-Winning Guidebooks|
PassPorter Community - Boards & Forums on Walt Disney World, Disneyland, Disn...
Discussion forums about Walt Disney World, Disneyland, Disney Cruise Line, and General Travel provided by PassPorter Travel Press, the ultimate Disney travel guide and book series.
Disney for 5 Days
27 Aug 2015 at 10:21pm
Hi all. My wife and I are looking for a quick getaway in January and we are thinking about the world. We are only going to do a 3 day pass and if you...
(click title above to view replies)
Disney's Premier Passport
27 Aug 2015 at 10:15pm
Has anyone ever used these? (Good at WDW and DLR) are there any draw backs? We live in Southern Californa so DL is something we can do til we can...
(click title above to view replies)
Disney college program
25 Aug 2015 at 1:07pm
Hi everyone, I haven't been here in a long time I've had so much going in in my life, but I would like to ask a question about the Disney college...
(click title above to view replies)
Total Visits: 7034