Yearly Archives: 2014


Mindy Johnson Joins “Be Our Guest” Dinner for 2014!

Categories: A Look Back

Mindy_JohnsonAuthor, historian, publicist, educator, musician, songwriter, playwright and the list goes on, Mindy’s diverse background continues to keep life interesting.

Her critically acclaimed book, Tinker Bell – An Evolution (produced in conjunction with Disney’s Animation Research Library and Disney Editions) was recently honored with a 2014 Family Choice Award. In addition to writing and presenting for various events and publications including the D23 Expo, magazine and website, Mindy is also a contributing writer for the forthcoming book Marc Davis: Walt Disney’s Renaissance Man which releases selectively this summer and widely, October 7th, 2014. She is beginning work on her next book which celebrates a never before explored segment of Disney animation history!

A long-time Disney employee and consultant, Mindy has worked in various divisions including Television Animation, Theatrical Publicity and Home Entertainment where she created content and produced record-breaking global publicity events and campaigns for Walt Disney’s classic animated titles. Mindy also contributed to the catalog and education content for the ARL’s global exhibition Dreams Come True – Art of the Classic Fairy Tales from the Walt Disney Studios.

Mindy’s written and creative work continues to support a wide range of projects for a growing list of clients including: WNET/American Masters, AMPAS/, Dick Cavett, The Bing Crosby Archives, The Danny Kaye Estate, Rosemary Clooney’s ClooneyTunes, SiriusXM Radio and more.

A professional musician, Mindy is the writer/arranger/publisher of two successful series of books for beginning and advanced harpists. Her various award-winning recordings are widely available on the Ellipsis Arts and Fixed-Wing labels and she continues to occasionally ‘pluck’ around town. In addition to her instrumental abilities, Mindy is also an accomplished singer/songwriter within a variety of styles. She is a semi-finalist within the Sundance Theatre Competition and a Grammy nominated songwriter with the Grammy Award-winning group, Sounds of Blackness. Her musical work with the Dayton Contemporary Dance Company has also been featured in performances around the world, and most recently, Mindy wrote the narrative foundation for a preschool book series for Horipro Entertainment Group of Japan. This innovative musical pedagogy is currently utilized in seven countries.

Mindy also teaches film/animation studies, history, screenwriting & intercultural film at College of the Canyons in Valencia, CA and yes, occasionally, she sleeps!



Dale Baer Joins “Be Our Guest” Dinner for 2014!

Categories: A Look Back

dale_baerDale is an Animator, Director, and Producer with over 40 years of experience in full feature, TV, and commercial animation. Supervising animator for Owl in Disney’s Winnie the Pooh. Owner of Dale Baer Animation, a studio specializing in traditional and digital animation used in commercials and feature animation. Positions Held Layout artist at Filmation. Assistant and Animator at Disney Character Layout and Animator at Ralph Bakshi. Animator at Richard Williams. Animator at Quartet Films. Animator at Bill Melendez Productions. Storyboards for Hanna-Barbera Director and Animator on a project for WED Enterprises. Owner/ Producer/ Animation Director at Baer Animation. Directing Animator for Disney on Roger Rabbit Co-Owner /Producer/Animation Director at High Horse Animation. Character Designer at DreamWorks Animation. Animator and Supervising Animator and Character Design at Disney Film Credits Frozen 2013 Wreck-It Ralph 2012. The Journey Back to Oz 1970 Filmation Robin Hood 1973 Disney The Rescuers 1977 Disney Winnie the Pooh and Tigger Too 1977 Disney The Lord of the Rings 1979 Ralph Bakshi Mickey’s Christmas Carol 1983 Disney The Black Cauldron 1985 Disney The Great Mouse Detective 1986 Disney The Prince and the Pauper 1990 Disney The Lion King 1994 Disney Shrek 1998 Dreamworks Tarzan 1999 Disney The Emperors New Groove 2000 Disney Home on the Range 2004 Disney Chicken Little 2005 Disney Meet the Robinsons 2007 Disney How to Hook Up Your Home Theater 2009 Disney The Princess and the Frog 2009 Disney Winnie the Pooh 2011 Disney The Ballad of Nessie

Clients Filmation Studios Walt Disney Animation Ralph Bakshi Richard Williams Quartet Films Bill Melendez Productions Hanna-Barbera WED Enterprises Baer Animation clients: Kellogg’s Jolly Green Giant Chevrolet Michelin Tires Choco Milk for Mexico Snapper Lawn Mowers Walt Disney Theme Parks and Resorts Disney Animation Starkist Illinois Lottery Esso Mattel Disney and the Academy Awards General Mills. Skills Layout Character Design Storyboards Animator in 2D and 3D Supervising Animator Directing Animator Computer Software Maya Harmony/Toonboom Meander

TV/Video Credits The Jerry Lewis Show The Fat Albert Show Charlie Brown Specials Smurf Christmas Special The Fonzie Show commercials. Affiliations The Animation Guild The Academy of Motion Pictures, Arts and Sciences

Special Achievements The Annie Award for animation of Yzma, through ASIFA


Peter Renaday Joins “Be Our Guest” Dinner for 2014!

Categories: A Look Back


Pete Renaday is an American actor and voice actor who has done many voice-over and acting roles for Disney films, TV shows, attractions and record albums.

His most well-known voice roles in the parks are those of Henry and Max in Country Bear Jamboree.

Other attractions that he has lent his voice to over the years include Walt Disney World’s 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea (as Captain Nemo), The Hall of Presidents (as Abraham Lincoln from 1994-2008), the Disneyland version of The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh (as the narrator), The Walt Disney Story (as the narrator), the Tomorrowland Transit Authority, Adventure Thru Inner Space and Disneyland’s Mark Twain Riverboat.

His Disney film credits include The Aristocats (as the Milkman and Le Petit Cafe Chef) and The Rescuers (as the American delegate). He also portrayed Eddie Valiant in early screen tests for Who Framed Roger Rabbit.

Renaday is also famous for providing the voice of the Ghost Host on the Disneyland Records album Story and Song from The Haunted Mansion (Renaday was also an early choice for that role in the attraction, which eventually went to Paul Frees). He also voiced Mickey Mouse on several albums in the 1980s, such as Splashdance and Yankee Doodle Mickey.

Peter has also appeared in many leading roles on stage in the Southern California area for the past 45 years. He has been seen in the roles of King Henry II in The Lion in Winter, CS Lewis in Shadowlands, Abraham Lincoln in The Rivalry, Sherlock Holmes in The Hound of the Baskervilles, Jay Follet in All the Way Home, James Tyrone Jr in Long Day’s Journey into Night, and in musical theater as Henry Higgins in My Fair Lady, Harold Hill in The Music Man, King Arthur in Camelot, Fagin in Oliver, Michael in I Do, I Do and Don Quixote in Man of La Mancha.

Peter is well-known in the field of cartoon voices, having voiced the roles of Splinter in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Mandrake the Magician in Defenders of the Earth, among many others.

He appeared for several years in the recurring role of John Jacks on General Hospital.


Rick Farmiloe Joins “Be Our Guest” Dinner for 2014!

Categories: A Look Back


Rick Farmiloe is an American animator and sequence director who has worked for various studios, including Walt Disney Animation Studios and DreamWorks.

Rick was born in Berkeley, California and raised in Santa Rosa. In 1978, he moved to Southern California to attend the California Institute of the Arts, but was offered a job at Filmation, which he accepted. Some of his first projects were Fat Albert, Mighty Mouse, Quacula, Tom & Jerry, Zorro, Sport Billy and Flash Gordon. In 1981, he was offered a job as an Assistant Animator at Walt Disney on The Fox and the Hound (1981) and The Black Cauldron (1985). After this, he was promoted to Animator and worked on such movies as The Great Mouse Detective (1986) and Oliver & Company (1988). He has been part of some of Disney’s most profitable animated features, such as The Little Mermaid, in which he animated the character of Scuttle the seagull, and on Aladdin, in which he animated the monkey Abu. In 1994, Rick was hired by Jeffrey Katzenberg, one of the founders of DreamWorks, as the company’s first animator. As a Directing Animator on The Prince of Egypt (1998), Rick was responsible for bringing Moses’ camel to life. He then tried his hand as a storyboard artist on Shrek (2001), which received an Academy Award for Best Animated Feature. As a Sequence Director for Klasky Csupo, he worked on The Wild Thornberrys Movie (2002).


Alice Davis Joins “Be Our Guest” Dinner for 2014!

Categories: A Look Back

alice-davis-final-portraitAs Alice recalls with a gleam in her eye, “I went from sweet little children to dirty old men over night.”Born in Escalon, California, in 1929, she received a scholarship to attend Chouinard Art Institute in 1947, the renowned training ground for Disney artists, from the Long Beach Art Association. There, she met future husband, Marc, who served as an instructor at Chouinard for more than 17 years.

Alice launched her career designing women´s lingerie and undergarments for the Beverly Vogue & Lingerie House in Los Angeles and was quickly promoted to head designer. As her career progressed, she designed two lines of fashion lingerie and earned a reputation as an expert pattern-maker and authority on uses of fabrics.

One day, she received a call from her former art instructor and future husband, Marc. He needed a costume designed and created for Helene Stanley to wear for some live-action reference footage being filmed to inspire his animation of the lead character Briar Rose in “Sleeping Beauty” (1959).

Alice recalled, “Marc wanted to see how the skirt worked in live dance steps, and that was my first job at Disney.” That job led Alice to design costumes for Disney´s live-action motion picture “Toby Tyler” (1960).

In 1963, Walt Disney recruited Alice to contribute her skill to the attraction “It´s a Small World” for the 1964-65 New York World´s Fair. Collaborating with art designer and fellow Legend Mary Blair, Alice researched, designed and supervised the creation of more than 150 highly-detailed costumes for the Audio-Animatronics Children of the World.

During this time, Alice also formulated costuming procedures, set up a manufacturing base and developed quality control refurbishing techniques, which established the standards for three-dimensional characters in rides and shows created by WDI.

In 1965, she translated the pirates´ attire from Marc´s original drawings of the shiver-me-timbers cast and crew into clothing designs and patterns for all of the costumes featured in “Pirates of the Caribbean”. Two years later, when the attraction opened at Disneyland, guests were dazzled by the animated figures and their colorful, textured pirate-wear. Later, Alice contributed to General Electric´s “Carousel of Progress” and the “Flight to the Moon” attractions.

Her first assignments at Disney included designing the costumes for the live-action reference footage shot for Sleeping Beauty and for the feature, Toby Tyler. Her first project for what became Imagineering was to create all the costumes for It’s A Small World, which was followed by creating costumes for the Carousel of Progress and Pirates of the Caribbean. Alice also created the costuming and refurbishing procedures for Audio Animatronic figures that are still used today. At Walt Disney Imagineering (WDI), Alice Estes Davis was the original “designing woman.” Married to Disney Legend Marc Davis, she enjoyed a fashionable Disney career of her own.


Willie Ito Joins “Be Our Guest” Dinner for 2014!

Categories: A Look Back

willie-ito-final-portraitWillie Ito says he started at Walt Disney Productions in 1954 on the feature Lady and the Tramp. I worked on the iconic spaghetti kissing scene as my indoctrination into the business. Later, I worked at Warner Bros. Cartoon’s infamous Termite Terrace. I worked with Chuck Jones on such classics as “One Froggy Evening” and “What’s Opera Doc?” I also worked with Friz Freleng doing layouts, receiving my first screen credits on “Prince Violent,” later retitled “Prince Varmint,” featuring Bugs Bunny and Yosemite Sam. After 6 years at Warner’s, Bob Clampett was starting production on The Beany and Cecil Show, and I was invited to join the new studio. I was in layouts and character designs. I also did many of the merchandise such as comic books, coloring books, and promo artwork. I was also doing many comic books such as CARtoons and CRAZY Magazine as well as spot magazine cartoons on a freelance basis. I joined Hanna-Barbera Productions during the development of The Jetsons and remained for the next 14 years. Flintstones and The Yogi Bear Show were part of my credits. Disney’s Comic-strip Dept. and later Disney Consumer Products beaconed and I returned to Disney. After 23 years of developing collectibles, mentoring Disney artist worldwide, I retired as Director of International Creative after a 45-year career. I received the “Golden Awards” from the Motion Picture Cartoonist Guild, The Pacific Citizen’s APA award, and the NJAHS Legacy award. In my retirement, I am currently writing, illustrating and publishing a series of children’s picture books recounting some of my personal accounts. “Hello, Maggie!” by Shigeru Yabu, with illustrations by Willie Ito.

Hong Kong Phooey (1978) Unit Manager Yogi’s Gang (1975) Layout Artist Inch High, Private Eye (1974) Layout Artist Josie and the Pussycats in Outer Space (1974) Layout Artist, Story By Roman Holidays (1973) Josie and the Pussycats (1972) Story By Perils of Penelope Pitstop (1971) Layout Artist Banana Splits Adventure Hour (1970) Layout Artist Wacky Races (1970) Layout Artist Moby Dick and the Mighty Mightor (1969) Layout Artist Atom Ant/Secret Squirrel Show (1968) Layout Artist


Rick Law Joins “Be Our Guest” Dinner for 2014!

Categories: A Look Back

rick-law-final-portraitRICK LAW is an illustrator and producer, having worked for The Walt Disney Company for over 20 years. For over a decade Rick created art that graced a great number of Disney videos & DVDs. Rick’s personal interpretations of the Disney characters have been highly regarded by fans. Rick was the featured toy designer to support the release of Toy Story 3 across Asia. Rick was a featured live-drawing artist at 2011 D23 Expo to support the Winnie The Pooh 100 Acre Artists campaign. Currently Rick works as creative manager for Disney Publishing/Disney Consumer Products and has been one of the creative leads in the design and launch of the successful Disney English program in China. Adding to his credits, Rick has collaborated on numerous other non-Disney entertainment projects, most recently as associate producer on the acclaimed documentary: Drew: The Man Behind The Poster.


Floyd Norman Joins “Be Our Guest” Dinner for 2014!

Categories: A Look Back


floyd-norman-final-portraitFloyd E. Norman (born June 22, 1935) is an American animator who worked on the Walt Disney animated features Sleeping Beauty, The Sword in the Stone, and The Jungle Book, along with various animated short projects at Disney in the late ’50s and early ’60s.

Norman had his start as an assistant to comic book artist Bill Woggon, who lived in the Santa Barbara, California, area that Norman grew up in.

After Walt Disney’s death in 1966 Floyd Norman left Disney Studios to co-found the AfroKids animation studio with business partner animator/director Leo Sullivan. Norman and Sullivan worked together on various projects such as the original Hey! Hey! Hey! It’s Fat Albert television special which aired in 1969 on NBC (not to be confused with the later Fat Albert series made by Filmation Associates).

Norman returned to Disney at one point in the early 1970s to work on the Disney animated feature Robin Hood, and worked on several animated television programs at Hanna-Barbera and Ruby-Spears. In the 1980s he worked as a writer in the comic strip department at Disney and was the last scripter for the Mickey Mouse comic strip before it was discontinued.

More recently he has worked on motion pictures for Walt Disney Animation Studios and Pixar Animation Studios, having contributed creatively as a story artist on films such as Toy Story 2 and Monsters, Inc. for Pixar and Mulan, Dinosaur and The Hunchback of Notre Dame for Walt Disney Animation, among others. He continues to work for the Walt Disney Co. as a freelance consultant on various projects.

Norman has also published several books of cartoons inspired by his lifetime of experiences in the animation industry, Faster! Cheaper!, Son of Faster, Cheaper!, and How the Grinch Stole Disney.

He is currently a columnist for the websites and

Norman was named a Disney Legend in 2007. In 2008, he appeared as Guest of Honor at Anthrocon 2008 and at Comic-Con International, where he was given an Inkpot Award.


Dave Bossert Joins “Be Our Guest” Dinner for 2014!

Categories: A Look Back

dave-bossert-final-portraitDavid A. Bossert is the Producer, Creative Director and Head of Special Projects at Walt Disney Animation Studios. He studied at the Character Animation program at CalArts. He received a B.F.A. in Animation from the CalArts School of Film/Video in Valencia, CA. Among his classmates were Joe Ranft, Butch Hartman, Ralph Eggleston, and Ann Telnaes, among others.

Mr. Bossert has contributed his talents as a visual effects animator to such films as The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, Lion King, Pocahontas, Who Framed Roger Rabbit, Tim Burton’s Nightmare Before Christmas, Hercules, and many others. On the Academy Award-nominated shorts Runaway Brain & Lorenzo, as well as the feature film Fantasia 2000 he served as the Artistic Coordinator and Visual Effects Supervisor. Dave served as Associate Producer on the award winning & Academy Award-nominated Disney/Dali short film Destino.

Dave is an award winning Producer and Director. He has received a Special Achievement Award from ASIFA-Hollywood for Producing the DVD compilation Disney on the Front Lines. He also produced the 4 volume/8 Disc DVD collection of the award winning True Life Adventure films. David co-directed the short film One by One. He has directed numerous projects including The Cat That Looked at a King; 4- Winnie the Pooh Learning Adventure educational projects for Disney Home Entertainment and has produced and directed the multible award winning Pumbaa and Timon Safety Smart DVD series for Disney Educational Productions and the Underwriters Laboratories.

Bossert also serves as the Artistic Supervisor for the Disney Restoration Team and has overseen restoration on many of the Disney animated shorts and the recently restored features Bambi, Cinderella, Lady and the Tramp, The Little Mermaid, Sleeping Beauty, Fantasia, Snow White, Pinocchio, and many others.

In his role as Producer, Creative Director and Head of Special Projects at Walt Disney Animation Studios he is currently overseeing numerous other projects for various divisions across The Walt Disney Company globally.

Dave works in a variety of animation techniques including 2D, CG, & Live Action combinations; 3D & specialty projection formats. He was creative director & producer of the Disney animation Media used in the World of Color attraction at the Disneyland resort and was recently creative director & producer of the animation media for the Disney Dreams show at Paris Disneyland. Dave is currently working on several projects that combine animation & new technologies to create unique guest experiences.

Dave has co-authored the Disney Animated iPad App which is available at the Apple iTunes store. His first book, “Remembering Roy E. Disney: Memories and Photos of a Storied Life”, is being published by Disney Press on September 17, 2013 and is available for pre-order at

He is a past president of the Alumni Association at CalArts, but remains active on the CalArts Board of Trustees. He also serves on the Board of Directors of the Santa Clarita Ballet Company and is an active community volunteer.