July 30th reflects several colorful events within animation...
On a grand scale, songwriting giants The Sherman Brothers, were honored today in a celebration of their legendary contributions to the animated and entertainment legacy of The Walt Disney Studios. Stage A, where many of their legendary songs were recorded, is now fittingly the Sherman Brothers Stage! From the magic of Mary Poppins to everyone's favorite global experience It's A Small World, Richard and Robert Sherman literally wrote the songbook of our lives. Following Robert's passing in 2012, Richard continues to write—most recently with three original songs featured in the latest Disney film Christopher Robin—a contemporary take celebrating the classic A.A. Milne tales, for which the Sherman Brothers wrote the music, beginning with the original 1966 featurette Winnie The Pooh and the Honey Tree! What a joy to share this remarkable day!
Christopher Robin lead Ewan McGregor, Mickey Mouse, Richard Sherman, Minnie Mouse, and the film's director, Marc Forster, and his daughter.
On an historic level, this date marks the 86th anniversary of the premier of Walt Disney's latest Silly Symphony in 1932. The debut of Flowers and Trees launched the first piece of animation to win an Academy Award, thanks to the remarkable teams of Inkers & Painters under the guidance of Hazel Sewell, head of the Ink & Paint Department at The Walt Disney Studios. Hazel Sewell is perhaps one of the most unsung women within Film History. It was Hazel who oversaw the transition from "blackening" of the early "Alices" and "Oswalds" to the fine artistry of Inking & Painting. Under Hazel's supervision animation advanced to full color via the three strip Technicolor process utilized within Flowers and Trees, and she oversaw the art direction for the transformative feature-length animated film, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, becoming the first woman credited for her AD work within feature-length animation.
Ink & Paint Department Head Hazel Sewell holds a cel from The Pet Store (1933).
On a more personal level, July 30th also marks the one-year anniversary to the start of this blogging adventure! Over a year ago, I couldn't imagine that I'd have anything to share beyond my book via blogging, or that I'd want to commit to maintaining this on a regular basis, but happily, these previous notions are now dispelled! I find this forum to be a welcomed platform to offer unique insights, details, updates and discoveries that hold direct bearing on our collective animated past and I'm thrilled so many readers are eager to come along for this fascinating journey! As ever, I'm grateful for the remarkable stories and experiences that have unfolded within this past year and I look forward to the next chapters ahead!
Fasten your seatbelts and enjoy the ride!