Leslie Casamento


John Ramirez to be a Guest of Honor at the June 24, 2018 Dinner!

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John Ramirez is a professional animator, storyboard and visual development artist, designer, illustrator and art director. His work can be seen in many feature films, including Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, The Lion King, Hercules, Toy Story II and Tom and Jerry, The Fast and the Furriest, Elena of Avalor and Duck Tales. A versatile artist, he has applied his creative skills in many fields, including being on the design team of theme parks around the world including numerous museum exhibits, parades, mascots and award-winning floats all over Asia and for the Pasadena Tournament of Roses Parade. Highlights include design work for Lotte World, Everland Theme park, and The Taejon Expo. Also The Yokohama Expo, Kurashiki Tivoli Park, Park Espana in Ise-shima Japan, Dubai World and Singapore Universal Studios. His latest project was designing the Magical Memories Art Gallery Featuring Disney Fine Art at theForum Shops, Caesars Palace, Las Vegas


Corey Burton will be a Guest of Honor at the Be Our Guest Dinner on June 24, 2018!

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Corey Burton began his voice career at age 17, in an imitation performance of voice actor Hans Conreid for Disney. He studied radio acting with the legendary Daws Butler for four years, and went on to work with nearly all of the original Hollywood radio actors in classic-style radio dramas. He has also done numerous cartoon series for other networks, such as Cartoon Network.
Burton is an incredibly talented mimic and has voiced sound-alikes and original characters for over 50 Disney Storyteller records or games. He has done extensive voice work for Disney including feature animations, theme parks, interactive sections of the company, and attractions at the Disneyland Resort, Walt Disney World Resort, and Tokyo Disney Resort.

His roles include:
Ludwig Von Drake
Dale and Zipper in Chip ‘n Dale Rescue Rangers
Gruffi Gummi and Toadwart in Adventures of the Gummi Bears (following the death of Bill Scott).
Sigmund Brock in American Dragon: Jake Long.
Ranger Woodlore, Captain Hook, Grumpy, Chernabog, the Horned King, Zeus, and several other characters from House of Mouse.
Mole in Atlantis: The Lost Empire and Atlantis: Milo’s Return.
Onus in Treasure Planet
Captain Hook in Return to Never Land and Jake And The Neverland Pirates
Dale, Yen Sid, Captain Hook, Sark, MCP, Shan Yu, Frollo, Flotsam and Jetsam, and the White Rabbit in the Kingdom Hearts series
DiZ/Ansem The Wise in Kingdom Hearts Re: Chain of Memories, Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep and Kingdom Hearts Dream Drop Distance
Reprises Yen Sid in the Epic Mickey franchise and for Disney Theme Parks attractions and shows.
Narrator in Goofy appearances (1992-present)
Mr. Werks in How Things Werk (one of the mini-segments from One Saturday Morning)
V.V. Argost and Leonidas Van Rook in The Secret Saturdays
Zeus in Hercules, God of War, and Playstation All Stars Battle Royale
Old Queeks in Mike, Lu & Og
Hugo Strange in Batman: Arkham City.
Jaga in ThunderCats (2011).
King Mumbo Jumbo in ChalkZone.
Quarrie and Eesh Fahm in Star Wars Rebels.
Ziro the Hutt, Count Dooku, and General Lothsome in Star Wars: The Clone Wars
Malware in Ben 10: Omniverse.
Wilbur The Wombeast on Sofia the First
Various characters in Treasure Planet: Battle at Procyon, including: Optoc, Cragorian and Macriki crew members.


Ruben Aquino Joins the June 24th, 2018 Be Our Guest Dinner event as a returning Guest of Honor!

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Ruben’s first job in animation was as trainee in Farmhouse Films (Honolulu, Hi), 1979-80.
He then moved to Los Angeles in 1980 and worked for Hanna-Barbera Studios in models and layout department (1980-81). Ruben then went to Walt Disney Feature Animation in 1982.
Ruben has worked on:
“Mickey’s Christmas Carol” 1982 (clean-up inbetweener)
“Black Cauldron” 1985 (animator)
“Great Mouse Detective” 1986 (animator)
“Oilspot & Lipstick” 1987 (CG short, animator)
“Oliver & Company” 1988 (supervising animator, worked mostly on Francis the Bulldog)
“The Little Mermaid” (1989; supervising animator, Ursula the Seawitch)
“Rescuers Down Under” (1990; supervising animator, Jake the Kangaroo Mouse)
“Beauty & the Beast” (1991; supervising animator, Maurice,Belle’s dad
“Lion King” (1994; supervising animator, adult Simba)
“Pocahontas” (1995; supervising animator, Chief Powhatan)
“Mulan” (1998; supervising animator, Captain Li Shang; won 1998 Annie Award for character animation– Captain Shang)
“Lilo & Stitch” (2002; supervising animator, Pleakley & David)
“Brother Bear” (2003; supervising animator, Denahi)
“Meet the Robinsons” (2007; supervising animator, Mildred and Mr. Willerstein; his first CG feature credit)
“The Princess & the Frog” (2009; supervising animator, Eudora & James)
“Winnie the Pooh” (2011; animator, Winnie the Pooh & Eeyore)


Paula Sigman Lowery joins the Be Our Guest Dinner as a Guest of Honor on June 24, 2018!

Categories: Event Information

paula-lowery-portraitPaula Sigman-Lowery is an internationally recognized expert on Walt Disney and the history of The Walt Disney Company. A former archivist for the Walt Disney Archives, she was one of the lead creative consultants in the design and development of the critically acclaimed Walt Disney Family Museum, which opened in San Francisco’s famed Presidio in late 2009.

For the past several years Paula has served as a lead story consultant for several traveling Disney exhibitions traveling in Japan, including the current “Inside the Walt Disney Archives” exhibit that premiered in February 2018 at Japan’s D23 Expo. She also supports the Archives D23 Expo exhibitions and programs, and provides archival research for bonus features for Disney documentaries and home video enhanced content.

Due to her expertise Paula is also a popular panel guest and has been a featured speaker at the D23 Expo, the Walt Disney Family Museum, fan groups, and has appeared on numerous Disney DVD and Blu-ray film documentaries, including Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Lady and the Tramp, Destino, 101 Dalmatians, Peter Pan, Dr. Syn: The Scarecrow of Romney Marsh, Dumbo, Alice in Wonderland, Fantasia, Beauty and the Beast, and Cinderella, and along with Andreas Deja and Pete Docter served as one of the on-camera Cine-Explore hosts for the high-definition release of Dumbo. She also was featured on The Age of Believing: The Disney Live Action Classics, a 2008 Turner Classic Movies special documentary showcasing Disney’s live-action film library.

A noted Robin Hood historian on the legendary figure of Robin Hood, Paula appears on the DVD and Blu-ray release of the classic film, The Adventures of Robin Hood, starring Errol Flynn

She also is a respected writer and editor. As founding manager of The Walt Disney Collectors Society, she edited and wrote for its quarterly publications, Sketches and NewsFlash. Her articles have also appeared in Disney Magazine, and she has written scripts for Disney’s Winnie the Pooh television series, interactive computer adventures for Disney films, Disney storytelling records and books, Disney On Ice shows. and several radio programs featuring First Lady Barbara Bush reading stories to Disney characters. She has researched and written extensive Disney trivia questions and fun facts for books, games, and DVD releases, and has been a regular contributor to the Walt Disney Family Museum’s member newsletter and blog. She has authored liner notes for the Disney Legacy Soundtrack CD series releases of Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, and Robin Hood, and chapters in Marc Davis: Walt Disney’s Renaissance Man (2014), How to Be a Disney Historian (2016), and Disney Editions’ forthcoming Practically Poppins in Every Way (Fall, 2018).

A trained librarian and archivist with special expertise in the field of fantasy literature, she has also developed projects include historical tours of Walt Disney’s home in Los Feliz, California, and presentations about P.L. Travers, Walt Disney, and the making of Mary Poppins.

Along with her husband, Howard Lowery, Paula produced numerous art exhibits and auctions of fine animation art based out of their art gallery in Burbank, California. Among the treasures they discovered was the “Schultheis Notebook,” an astonishing record by Disney special effects engineer Herman Schultheis documenting many of the techniques used to create the innovative camera and animation techniques used in the production of Fantasia, Pinocchio, and Bambi. The Schultheis Notebook, considered the Rosetta Stone of special effects animation, is now on display at The Walt Disney Family Museum.

After 20 years at The Walt Disney Company, Paula left to raise her family, but continues to serve as a creative consultant, writer, and consulting historian for The Walt Disney Family Museum as well as for several divisions of The Walt Disney Company.


Julie Svendsen Joins Be Our Guest Dinner on June 24,2018!

Categories: Event Information

julie-svendsen-portraitJulie Svendsen’s father, a young animator at the Walt Disney Studio, and her mother, a young tour guide at the Walt Disney Studio, were introduced to each other on the WDS lot, fell in love and were married. Julie, following in her father’s footsteps discovered pencils and drew a lot of pictures. Julie pursued that passion for drawing and, in 1980 graduated from the Art Center College of Design with a BFA in Illustration. She was soon hired by WED Enterprises to work as an illustrator/designer in their creative division. During her employment at WED, Julie contributed her skills to many theme park projects, including: Epcot Center; Typhoon Lagoon; Blizzard Beach; Disneyland Paris; Tokyo DisneySeas and Shanghai Disneyland. She also had the distinct pleasure of working with some of the most talented and creative people at Disney: John Hench, Walt Peregoy, Collin Campbell and many, many others. For many years, her work as a WED/WDI theme park illustrator/designer was rich with a variety of tasks, mostly involving sketching and painting ideas for murals, rides, store interiors, show elements, graphics, architectural details, sculptures and character situations. In 2005, Julie became a full-time toy designer for The Disney Stores. For three years, she designed plush toys and small toys which were based on the Disney and Pixar characters. Her work is featured in ‘Maps of the Disney Parks: Charting 60 Years from California to Shanghai.’
In 2008, Julie became a freelance artist and worked for Disney Publishing; Walt Disney Imagineering; Ocean Futures; NBC/Universal and any and all clients who could use her amazing talents!
Read a bit more about Julie here:
Ravenswood Manor Interview with Julie Svendsen


WIllie Ito Joins Be Our Guest Dinner on June 24, 2018!

Categories: Event Information

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


Bob Gurr Event Update – New Date and New Location!!

Categories: Event Information

Exciting News about our Glimpse Behind the Curtain with Bob Gurr Event!

The date has been changed to April 8, 2018 from 1 to 3:30 pm and we will now be holding the event in a natural habitat for Bob – the Hwy 39 Event Center which showcases an incredible collection of classic American cars, vintage neon signs, and original 1950’s gas pumps!

The Hwy 39 Event Center is located in Beautiful Anaheim at 1563 S State College Blvd, only a few blocks from Disneyland.

And don’t forget EVERYBODY will receive an autographed copy of Bob Gurr: Turning Dreams into Reality.


There will also be a raffle for Bob’s famous Bus Tour where you’ll join Bob for a half-day tour of some of the most significant Walt Disney landmarks!




Be Our Guest as we pull back the curtain on some of Bob Gurr’s great stories’
Talk to Bob about what it was like to design some of the iconic attractions that we all love
and hear some behind the scene stories. For example, did you know Bob never had any engineering training, he trained at Art Center College of Design as a car stylist ?
Enjoy a sampling of the unique and delicious foods, savory & sweet, from the ever-popular Porto’s Bakery. Ice Tea & water.
We will be featuring 2 Speciality Cocktails for purchase.
After our social time we will proceed downstairs to watch some highlights of Disney Legend Bob Gurr being roasted by fellow Disney Imagineers, Marty Sklar & friends, followed by a trailer of Bob’s documentary Bob Gurr: Turning Dreams into Reality.
If time permits we will have some Q & A .

Ham Croquette, Potato Balls
Tarts & Pudding “en flambé”
We’ll prepare and serve with flair
A culinary cabaret
No one’s gloomy or complaining
While the Bob Gurr is entertaining
And it’s all in perfect taste
that you can bet
So Be Our Guest, Be Our Guest, Be Our Guest
* Tickets $50~ Seating limited.*

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