|Two Acrylic paintings done by me, which are self-explanatory.; characters recognisable..I hope! (Both of which I have posted previously somewhere along the line).|
While recalling certain memories as I was in my previous post I’d better remain on subject in case I forget what it is I intend to write.
Reading a post on River’s blog last week I was reminded of a couple of things.
During December, 2015 on SBS-1 TV a four-part documentary on the life of Walt Disney was shown. It was a fascinating insight into the man. My attention was grabbed and held from go to whoa....
No doubt the timing of the documentary was because 5th December was the unforgettable Walt Disney’s birth date. On 5th December, 2015 Walter Elias Disney would’ve celebrated his 114th birthday. Walt, as he preferred to be called by everyone he met, passed away 15th December, 1966. What a wonderful, magical, marvellous, on-going legacy Walt left us.
The documentary told the story of a clever, determined, inspiring, loving family man.
Walt, in reality, was not unlike the boy he immortalised on screen in his 1953 animated film “Peter Pan”. “Peter Pan” or “The Boy Who Wouldn’t Grow Up” – the play, written by J.M. Barrie, was one of Walt’s favourite stories. Disney had wanted to turn “Peter Pan” into an animated film way back in 1935; for it to be his second film after “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs”.
His plan was thwarted. Other factors came into play, along with other projects he had on his plate, and then, the bombing of Pearl Harbour on 7th December, 1941 intervened. The United States joined the Second World War after the attack by the Japanese. Many undertakings and dreams were put on the back-burner until after the war was over, and, also, until the studio’s financial situation began to improve.
Walt Disney’s four-part documentary is filled with priceless, archival footage. From beginning to end and all in between I was enthralled; as captivated as if watching any of Disney’s animated features. It is a brilliant documentary. It’s one I would recommend to everyone.
Walt had dreams...millions of dreams. To the best of his abilities and time spent on earth he fulfilled many of those dreams, more than one normal person could ever hope to do; but then, Walt wasn’t a “normal” person. Walt was determined to not let anything deter him from his path; his dreams. He succeeded so often, with the help of his older brother, Roy, who stuck with him through thick and thin; through the good times and the bad. Roy Disney was the “financial” man of the two. Roy passed away 20th December, 1971, almost five years to the day of his younger sibling.
Walt allowed himself to be free – to be who he truly was – the boy, the dreamer within. He allowed his dreams to come true. He gave every one of us, young and old much to enjoy. He gave willingly and happily. We should, one and all remember the lessons he taught us - of how to open our eyes, our minds and our hearts and to believe - to not be afraid to do so. In honour of Walt Disney’s brilliance and in gratitude for the gifts he bestowed, the least one can do is try...
Throughout his life Walt had a youthful love of steam trains. An avid railroad enthusiast, he built a miniature railroad in his own backyard; and then later, he built the Disneyland Railroads, which feature in Disney entertainment parks throughout the world.
I was four years old the first time I watched the picture (as we called “movies” or “films” when I was a little girl), “Bambi”.
Like millions of other I fell in love with Bambi and his friends, Thumper, Flower and Faline. And like millions of others, I shed a torrent of tears when Bambi’s wise, loving mother was killed by a heartless hunter. If I watched the movie again at the age I am now, I would still shed tears; and not be ashamed or embarrassed by doing so.
One Saturday morning about four or five years ago, by accident, when flicking through TV channels I stumbled across “The Fox and the Hound”. The movie had just begun and I immediately got sucked in. Dropping everything else, I watched the wonderful movie through to the very end, a smile permanently on my face. I’d not seen the film before that particular morning. I’m glad I took the time to watch it. It wasn’t wasted time, in my opinion. Housework or whatever else needed doing that morning wasn’t as important, to me, as experiencing the feeling of light-hearted warmth and love. Life should always be that way.
In 1965 shortly before I left Gympie to live and work in Brisbane I was asked to help choreograph and produce a segment for a combined stage production to be put on by the local Musical Union and Drama Group. At the time I was a member of the Drama Group (I’ve mentioned this minor fact previously); but why I was asked to choreograph a musical segment had me baffled at the time...it still does. However, being one who doesn’t like to back off from a challenge...in most instances...I grabbed hold of the offer and ran with it.
The first of the two acts I planned and worked on was based around “When You Wish Upon a Star”.
My idea was to have a half moon hanging centre stage surrounded by flickering, silver stars. Swinging on the half moon the “star” of the show (not me, I was the director and producer, not the singer or dancer) would sing and dance to “Jiminy Cricket’s” Academy Award winning song from Walt Disney’s wonderful 1940 animated production of “Pinocchio”. I planned for a spotlight to be focussed upon the sole performer. The stars and the moon would subtly glow against a dark blue almost black backdrop.
The other musical segment was to be based around a gypsy campfire...a fiery song and dance around a fire. I had everything planned out down to the finest details, and rehearsals for both performances were well underway. For the life of me at this present moment in time I can’t remember the song I’d chosen for the second act!
But life outside the fantasy world had to carry on. My debut into musical stage productions was rudely interrupted. I was unable to escape its clutches. I never completed my stint as choreographer, producer and director because just as I’d started swinging from a star, I left Gympie behind to live in the big city of Brisbane! The city lights were impossible for me to ignore.
Bob Fosse, Martha Graham, Busby Berkley, Debbie Allen, Gene Kelly et al; and Walt Disney had nothing to fear.
Our dreams, like our memories should be cherished....they're ours to keep....ours to dream and wish upon....