Archives for : Disney

Disney Heiress Speaks About Family Mental Health Problems

Dr. Abigail Disney is one cool woman.

Dr. Abigail Disney bears a name everyone will recognizes.  Dr. Disney is Roy O. Disney’s granddaughter and the daughter of Roy E. Disney.  Roy O. Disney was Walt’s older brother and ran the business end of the Walt Disney Company.  Without Roy, the company would have sunk deeper than Black Hole and The Lone Ranger (Walt didn’t have a head for business).  Roy E. Disney saved the company’s animation department from being thrown into the legendary Disney vault (By the way, I have it on good authority that there is more than one vault).  While both Roys are praised in Disney history, apparently there were problems in Roy E.’s household.

Dr. Abigail Disney spoke candidly on the Through Her Eyes Podcast about her family’s troubles and wage disparities at the her family’s namesake company.  Listen, read, and watch the story on Yahoo: “‘We Didn’t Feel Safe’: Disney Heiress Describes Violent Childhood.”

When I watched the video, I enjoyed seeing how Dr. Disney resembled her father and grandfather (the shape of her face, nose, and the nice smile). She is an intelligent woman, who spoke tenaciously about wage disparity.  What I focused on in the interview was her family’s mental health.  Her description of her home life is sad, but it didn’t surprise me from what I known about the Disney family history.

Roy O. Disney was abused as a child.

 

What few people want to acknowledge, but is a very true fact is that many mental illnesses and disabilities are hereditary.  If you have any type of abusive household, more than likely your parents learned it/inherited it from their parents and so on and so forth.  Generational abuse when paired with or without mental illness is a vicious cycle that can only be broken with individuals mentally and actively decide to stop it.

 

Roy E. Disney was an alcoholic.

Walt and Roy O. Disney were child abuse victims.  Their father, Elias Disney, physically abused his kids.  Elias had a hard go at making a living and never was successful in any of his business ventures.  There were five Disney children in total and it was hard for Elias to feed them along with his wife and himself.  He managed, but he took his frustrations out on his children.  I read one story (I need to double check where) about how Elias raised his hand to smack Walt for some remark.  Elias hadn’t taken into fact that Walt had grown up and was physically capable of defending himself.  Walt saw his father’s hand come towards him, then he caught it, looked Elias straight in the eye, and said, “No more.”  Elias stopped beating his kids then, but it’s horrible he did it in the first place.

It doesn’t surprise me that Roy E. Disney was an alcoholic.  Judging by what Walt and Roy O. Disney suffered, then what Dr. Disney dealt with in her childhood there’s probably a mental illness gene in the Disney DNA.  Roy senior passed that along to Roy junior, which exhibited itself through alcoholism, rage, and violence.  Dr. Disney did state her father sought help to change, so kudos to Roy E. for being strong enough to make that decision.

Dr. Disney makes intriguing, dramatic documentary films.

According to Walt’s eldest daughter Diane Disney-Miller, who was a huge supporter of Disney scholarship, she and her sister Sharon had a great childhood.  Walt was a loving father and was “simply” dad to them.  Walt had his own demons, including a nervous breakdown when his company started to take off and had a few other episodes later in life.  He was also controlling in the work environment.

Dr. Disney is also a film producer and director.  Her films focus on strong woman, stated as the opposite of the usual Disney Princess trope in the interview.  These films include The Armor of Light and Pray the Devil Back to Hell. 

Considering what appears to be generational mental health issues in the Disney family and Dr. Disney’s focus on telling powerful, real life stories, I’d love for her to make a documentary about mental health.   Somebody contact her and tell her to get on it!

Google And Disney Read Books To Kids

Before I learned to read, I used to listen to recorded read-along books.  I had a stack of them about twelves inches high and each book came with a cassette tape.  The majority of these books were Disney read alongs, particularly of Disney movies released in the 1980s and earlier.  All of the Disney read-along books had red cassette tapes, unlike the others which were white and there was the odd yellow one for a My Little Pony book.  I would sit for hours going through the pile and although I didn’t know how to read, I loved listening to the narrator and hearing the cue to turn the page.  The cue was either a fairy chime, bells, or some sound effect that coordinated with the story.  Remember?  “Turn the page at the sound of the fairy godmother’s magic wand.”

I must say Disney paid attention to littlest detail even back under the Miller and Eisner epochs.

Google is one of those companies people have a love-hate relationship with, sort of like Disney.  People love to hate Disney as much as they adore certain aspects of the Mouse House.  Other than some technology, Google and Disney have yet to combine their resources for world domination, but I must say that their recent teammate is wholesome and nostalgic.   Also Kristen Bell is amazing!

 

I’m sold!

Google Nest providing sound effects for Disney books is a sensational new reading tool, especially for kids who have difficulty reading or for parents trying to get their kids off the screen and onto the page.  The old read-along books were exactly like this, except not as intelligent.  I had to rewind and fast forward to get to my favorite parts.  Other than Kristen Bell, I find the NLP AI amazing at recognizing speech to cue the proper sound effects.

Disney is using its popular Disney Golden Books series to tell stories with the Google Nest.  Only certain Disney Golden Books are compatible with the Google Nest Disney mini read alongs.  It’s hard to believe a book has to be compatible, but c’est la vie.  Disney is also genius in this deal, because it will promote their book sales and no one can argue with the educational value.  A book is a book, even if it is a book inspired by a movie.

If readers so choose, they can also purchase a Disney shaped Google Nest smart speaker.  It is utterly adorable with the trademark Mickey Mouse ears and the red pants with buttons, but I don’t like smart speakers.  They vibrate too much of an Orwellian Big Brother atmosphere and with the mouse ears, it makes me think Disney is listening so they can make the perfect plan to wipe out my life savings with merchandise and themed vacations.

For the naysayers, who will say that the Google Nest Disney story time is taking away kids’ imaginations I call a solid BS.  I read the Disney read-alongs and look at me, I’m making references to George Orwell-one led to the other.  There are vast metaphors I could also make between Orwell and Disney, but that’s completely another story.  See!  I’m smart!

Toon-In-Talk Episode 07: Interview with Ronald M. Banks

Hello and welcome to seventh episode of Fanboy Nation’s Toon-In-Talk, your rendezvous for animation interviews.  Mortal Kombat X is the latest game in the legendary fighting series and Whitney scored a interview with the voice of the villainous Quan Chi.  Ronald M. Banks is the extreme opposite of the villain roles (meaning he’s a swell  guy) he tends to get cast for in his extensive musical and theater career.  In this interview, he discusses his journey into voice over and how he plans to grow his career.

Episode 7

Show Notes

  • Ron’s famous voice over role as Quan Chi in the Mortal Kombat series: Mortal Kombat X, Mortal  Kombat, and Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe.
  • He also played Jafar in the Aladdin Musical Spectacular at Disney California Adventure.  On stage, he is most famous for playing the king in the King and I as well as Sweeny Todd in Sweeny Todd.
  • Ron loves playing the bad guy and finds it very cathartic.
  • Ron describes Quan Chi as a sorcerer, who is evil but is not an epic villain.
  • He used to be a gamer and his game of choice was World of Warcraft, but he found that he needed to devout more time to real life.
  • When he voiced the role of Quan Chi, Ron is still learning what the character’s role in the game is.  As Jafar, Ron understands the menacing sorcerer’s mind quite well.
  • Whitney got the reference right (though it’s sweat, not silver blood).
  • The game has over the top violence and he thinks players will find it more humorous than gory.
  • Ron thinks that when CGI gets too real it won’t appeal to people.
  • He’s also been in some movies: No Connection and Sentimental Over You.  For Ron, when he acts on TV or in movies, he has to back off with his voice.  He’s used to projecting his voice.
  • Some of the challenges Ron faces is the newness of being a voice actor and keeping a show fresh when he’s on stage.
  • It’s important for actors on stage to be in the moment to keep their role fresh for the audience.
  • Ron is a vocal coach and he shares some advice on keeping your voice strong and healthy.
  • Whitney wants to know some funny theater stories and Ron reveals a whopper.
  • Both share their thoughts on Andrew Lloyd Webber.
  • SPOILER ALERT!  Ron explains Quan Chi’s fate.
  • They discuss the wonders of technology and the trouble of finding silence in a house.  (Whitney recorded this episode in her closet.)
  • Voice acting is a very competitive market.
  • During the day, Ron works as a Disney guest relations host, he teaches voice, and also works with kids.

 

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Toon-In-Talk Episode 03: Interview with Britni Brault

Episode 3

Hello and welcome to third episode of Fanboy Nation’s Toon-In-Talk, your rendezvouz for animation interviews.  Whitney decides to interview a special part of the animation industry with her special guest Britni Brault, a talented and prominent paper artist.  Britni has created paper sculptures for the Walt Disney Company and it’s possible you have seen some of her work at the parks.  She also makes pieces for other studios and clients.  Britni and Whitney discuss everything from what a paper sculpture is to copyright laws.

Show Notes

  • Britni details her background as a wife, mom, and a professional, freelance paper artist.
  • Britni explains there are different kinds of paper artists and what type she is.
  • While in art school, Britni discovered that paper was the only medium that made her feel satisfied as an artist.
  • People contract her to make a piece. Sometimes clients know exactly what they want and other times they ask Britni to use her imagination to create a piece.
  • She discusses her creative process when designing a client’s project.
  • A maquette is a simplified version of the larger piece Britni will sculpt.
  • Whitney and Britni talk about different paper artists, their careers, and how they work with clients.
  • Disney is one of Britni’s biggest clients, but she can’t discuss any of the projects she currently has them.
  • She got her job with Disney by entering a D23 contest and winning with a Mary Poppins sculpture. People started contacting her and since then she has been networking and working.
  • All of her Disney projects have been very inspiring and she has to work a bit harder to please her other clients.
  • Britni uses many copyrighted characters in her pieces. According to copyright law she is allowed to use the characters in “one-off” pieces. Translated that means she can’t make more than one copy.
  • They both share their views and experiences with copyright law and fans respecting intellectual rights.
  • Artists usually incorporate their influences in their own unique style.
  • Whitney can’t help but mention her favorite paper artist Lotte Reiniger.
  • Britni has considered making her own stop-motion short, however, she considers storytelling to be her weak point.  She is a work horse, however.
  • Both agree that paper is a versatile medium and would love to see a movie using entirely paper.
  • Britni shares some views on the Disney Renaissance and how a lot of creative ideas come out times of desperation.
  • She’s not a very big fan of 3D movies and she has a neat idea for something that can replace.
  • They discuss how creepy Coraline is and how much they love Jim Henson.
  • In November she worked on a Disney villains project for Van Eaton Galleries.
  • Britni is an inspiration for not only paper artists, but other artists as well.

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