Friday, March 16, 2012

March 16: Wonka Designer

On this day in 1911, this artist, set designer and musician (pictured left) was born in Fort Collins, Colorado.
Studying art at Chouinard Art Institute in California, he later moved to New York City to work as a magazine illustrator. During World War II, he was assigned to a camouflage research center due to his amazing painting skills. He actually developed a set of paint colors that were used as standard issue hues for the U.S. Army's camouflage needs.
After the war he moved back to California and worked for Warner Brothers for a short time as a set designer. A lifelong model train enthusiast, by chance he met Walt Disney at a model-making shop and began a relationship that changed his professional career.
His most famous work on a Disney feature was the 1954 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, in which he art directed (and had a small acting role in). He also played a huge part in the design of the original Disneyland.
His non-Disney credits included set designer on the 1971 Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.
When he wasn't designing, he was strumming his banjo as part of Ward Kimball's Firehouse Five Plus Two Dixieland ensemble.
Who was this talented Disney Legend?

Click HERE to find out.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

March 14: Cartoonist of the Day

Born on this day in 1920 in Seattle, Washington, as a young man this cartoonist began his career at the Walter Lantz Studio in 1938. After 14 months he took a job at Disney, where he learned to draw characters in action situations from every angle. He worked on Pinocchio, Bambi and Fantasia. In awe of his famous boss, he stated: "Once when Walt and I rode alone in the elevator, I remember that by the time I thought of a clever opening line ... we had reached the top floor!"
During World War II he left Disney to join the U.S. Naval Reserve as a photographer's mate third class. After the war he worked as a freelance cartoonist. By 1951 he had created his own character/comic strip which appeared in newspapers all across the country. The successful character later starred in his own live-action television series and ultimately a string of feature films.
Who was this cartoonist?

Just click HERE.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

March 4: Blast From The Past

Fotomat was once a wide-spread retail chain of photo development drive-thru kiosks (yes, in the old days, film from your camera had to be processed). The first parking lot kiosk opened in 1965 and by 1980 there were over 4,000 Fotomats throughout the U.S. Fotomat was also one of the first to offer movies for rent on videocassette.
What was Fotomat's connection to Disney on this day in 1980?
Click HERE to find out.

Friday, March 2, 2012

March 02: Born This Day

On this day in 1948 guitarist Larry Carlton was born in Torrance, California. What does this "master of smooth jazz" have to do with Disney? Play the video and see if his song sounds familiar.

Then click HERE to learn more.