Sep 6, 2006

Barrier's Back (and he's got some choice material)

A dedication from the Boss: courtesy and property of Michael Barrier's collection

I'd guess most visitors to this blog make the same daily stops I do--Cartoon Brew, the Union's "TAG" updates, Animation Podcast, Mark Mayerson, Michael Sporn and Mark Kennedy--among an always increasing roster of great information and never-before-seen graphics.

One in particular that I've been anxiously awaiting an update from is the venerable Michael Barrier's. His is a voice that is as informed as it is opinionated. He's been at the game of animation history and appreciation as long--well, likely longer--than anyone else now writing, including Leonard Maltin and John Canemaker, both heavyweights in the field. You certainly don't have to agree with all his views to appreciate the wealth of information he provides on his website.

The latest, from which the above scan is a sample, is a look at the program to the infamous party where all the hard-working boys and girls of Walt Disney Productions cut loose(I mean really loose)for a bacchanal to celebrate the spectacular success of "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs". Legend has it that Fred Moore fell backwards out of a second-story window--returning unharmed to the dance floor afterwards. There's also home movie footage I've seen of Art Babbitt playing a "Punk'd" gag on Walt himself, bribing a security guard to tell Walt and his table to keep it down or else. The silent footage with Art narrating shows Walt telling the "officer"(looking much more good-natured than the stories would have it--no doubt he'd had a few like everyone else)"I'll have your badge!"

Michael's posted all of the pages of the program for the day. The cover is especially charming: drawn by Ward Kimball, it shows a golfing Mickey in what Ward contends is the first time the Mouse was drawn with pupils. Check it out, and keep up with Mr. Barrier's news, reviews and history.
He's pondering whether to post some further, rather esoteric(by broad fandom standards)Disney material; I say he should. It's all to the good, especially when, as he mentions, the traditional brick and mortar avenues of research and information seem to be harder to access these days.


David Germain said...

A good historian, like a good journalist, just presents the information and let's the recipients form their own opinions one way or another. If Michael Barrier has opinions, fine. I simply appreciate the vast amount of information he has and leave it at that.

Stephen Worth said...

the traditional brick and mortar avenues of research and information seem to be harder to access these days

Believe it or not, there's a brick and mortar research facility in Burbank with no access problems. In fact, it's open to the public two days a week!

See ya