Monday, August 13, 2007

Oh, THAT'S why...

"We are talking about tools and carpentry, about words and style...but as we move along,you'd do well to remember that we are also talking about magic." Stephen King, On Writing

"All you need is a little faith, trust, and pixie dust!" Peter Pan

I always knew my fascination with all things Disney was related to my passion for writing. Every great Disney animated film is a little romance novel. Well, maybe not 101 Dalmatians. But think about it...Cinderella, Snow White, Beauty and the Beast, Sleeping Beauty. They all have that age-old plot: Prince meets Princess, Prince falls in love with Princess, Prince loses Princess but finds her shoe, Prince and Princess live happily ever after. The only thing that changes, boys and girls, is the shoe. It may be a poisoned apple, a dying rose, a sleeping spell, but one thing is certain. These romantic couples always meet their conflict head on, overcome it and find their happy ending.

Usually with an Oscar-winning soundtrack in the background.

A few nights ago, I ran across a documentary titled, UB IWERKS, The Hand Behind the Mouse. I've been to the Magic Kingdom enough times to recognize a Main Street window name when I see one. I knew Ub to be one of the "nine old men," the original Disney animators. But this "old man" holds the place of highest esteem in the Disney Archives. Ub created Mickey.

"I just hope we never lose sight of one thing. It all started with a mouse." Walt Disney.

Although Walt and Ub had been together since their Kansas City days, they did split for a while over "creative differences." About ten years later, Walt was able to lure Ub back, and the pair went on to create some truly wonderful animation for decades after. (Ub also worked with Hitchcock on "The Birds," which I find fascinating. That's kind of like a Disney film on steroids.)

Even Ub eventually realized Walt's contributions to the marketing side of the empire could direct the success of the project. "It's not what you create that matters," Ub said later in life. "It's what you do with it."

Old Uncle Walt sure knew what to do with things, didn't he? And he never lost the magic.

Have a magical day,

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