A Look at D23's Spring Issue
A Look at D23's Spring Issue
Posted Tuesday, February 12, 2013 at 5:32p Pacific Time
Here is a rundown of the Spring 2013 issue of D23’s magazine; Disney Twenty-Three. James Franco and Oz: The Great and Powerful appear on the wrap-around cover while the issue also features stories on Disney’s Animal Kingdom, The Disney Channel, and Walt himself. Gold D23 members’ magazine will also include reproductions of Disneyland Valentine’s Day cards. Here are my thoughts on select articles that appear inside the issue.
The Magic’s in the Details by Michael Crawford: This is a neat article about the hidden details in New Fantasyland. What I like about this article is that it gives you those fun facts about the park that Disney fans love to share with others. Since this is a new area of the park, be the first Disney fan on your block to be one of those know-it-all Disney fans.
Channeling Disney by Ty Ervin: This might be my favorite article due to my unusual sensibilities. It discusses the creation and evolution of The Disney Channel. This Walker-era initiative is a subject that very little has been written about though many have given their commentary on the channel’s evolution to its current tween focus. Perhaps the most interesting story is about Mickey and the Playboy Bunny making a rare appearance together to launch the network.
A Great and Powerful Odyssey by Janelle Tipton: This cover story is all about the upcoming release of “Oz: The Great and Powerful”. The article tells the story of the film’s development and close association with Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland. Lots of attention is given to the visual development that gives the film its unique look.
Returning to Oz by Max Lark: The always-great Max Lark looks back at Disney’s long history with Oz with a focus on the 1985 Return to Oz. While the article focuses on this unique film, it goes back to Walt’s time from Walt starting to look at Oz in 1937 to purchasing the rights to 11 Oz books in 1954. The article continues to go through history such as the airing of the Rainbow Road to Oz as part of the Disneyland show in 1957 and Disneyland Records releasing Storyteller albums including 1965’s The Scarecrow of Oz with Ray Bolger. Max then looks at the development and filming of Return to Oz including an interview with Brian Henson, son of Jim Henson. All in all, this story is a great look at the long history Disney has with L. Frank Baum’s classic books. The story ends with the announcement that Oz artifacts will be a part of the Treasures of the Walt Disney Archives at the D23 Expo.
The World on a String by Billy Stanek: This interview with puppeteer Bob Baker discusses his Disney work, which began before he was in high school when he put on a show for Diane Disney’s birthday party. His association with Disney continued as he worked on the window displays on Main Street, Pinocchio’s Daring Journey, and film projects such as Bedknobs and Broomsticks. Bob also reveals that he will be donating a part of his collection to the Walt Disney Family Museum in San Francisco, tying his story back to Diane Disney; where it all began.
Natural Wonders by Billy Stanek: As Disney’s Animal Kingdom approaches its fifteenth anniversary this April; Billy Stanek talks to Joe Rohde about the development of the unique theme park that stemmed from an idea by Michael Eisner. The most interesting part of the article is how Joe articulates the different style of storytelling the park utilizes. The non-linear ambient story that the park tells is one of the things that makes the park unique. Joe also tells some charming stories about the learning curve of building a theme park that included real animals as well as the design of the park’s icon; The Tree of Life.
A Glass Act by Tim O’Day: As a Disney fan, we are all familiar with the Arribas Brothers stores that appear at all Disney Destinations around the globe. While we are familiar with these unique glass boutiques, we know very little of the Arribas brothers themselves. These Spanish brothers met the Disney brothers at the 1964 World’s Fair and began the discussions of being featured at Disneyland. Their first store opened on June 15, 1967 and the rest is history. This article is another highlight and I urge you not to pass it by.
80 Big Bad Years by David Gerstein: This article looks at the Three Little Pigs and the Big Bad Wolf on the anniversary of the successful Silly Symphony. While Walt is famed for saying, “You Can’t Follow Pigs with Pigs,” I was impressed on the continued use of the pigs and the wolf in various Disney projects up to the current day. The author discusses the sequels, the comics, the books, and the music that stemmed from the Oscar winning short which highlights its ongoing success and cultural relevance.
This is another nice issue of Disney Twenty-Three. My highlights were the stories that are seldom told such as the Arribas brothers and Return to Oz. While these are not considered essential knowledge to the average Disney fan, they are great stories nonetheless and can hardly be considered retreads of often told stories. I am looking forward to the summer issue, what do you think the cover story will be?