Hope some of you made it to the Ollie Johnston Life Celebration, at the El Capitan on Hollywood Boulevard earlier this week. Little did I know when I announced Mark Kirkland’s slide show, that it would be just one part of a four-hour program, which included about two dozen fascinating participants. Leonard Maltin did a terrific job as moderator, one of many who knew and loved Ollie personally. There’s a terrific chapter in his Movie Crazy book about the Ink & Paint process in the early Disney days, via an interview with Betty Kimball (Ward’s wife) and Marie Johnston (Ollie’s wife). Marie was remembered often that evening, along with Ollie.
Ollie was a many facetted fellow, as evidenced by the array of experts who came out on stage. There were those who worked with him at Disney’s, or were quietly, but thoughtfully, mentored by him, or shared his interest in backyard trains, or were part of family and close friends. Plus, there were some wonderful film clips that were even more interesting now, with the added comments by these experts. Of course, I’m kinda new to this stuff so I was glued to every word. But, I talked to others who knew it all before, and they were equally charmed. The photo is of Ollie (on the left), with his longtime best friend, Frank Thomas, the last two Nine Old Men.
The second part of today’s post is not nearly as momentous, but may interest a number of you, nonetheless. Next Tuesday, August 26th, from 9:30 to 10:30am (PST), there’s a one-hour radio program about UPA, with former UPA animator Jack Heiter, and yours truly. They bill me as a historian, which is quite a stretch. I’m just a documentary filmmaker, who’s ended up here out of a series of strange events, but here’s how the radio station bills it …
Tune in for a special hour-long Words & Pictures
show celebrating 65 years of the anti-establishment
UPA animation studio. Guests include Jack Heiter,
who helped animate Mister Magoo, Roger Ramjet,
and the forgotten 1960 UPA classic Gay Purr-ee;
and animation historian Tee Bosustow, whose
father Stephen helped found UPA following the
labor actions at Disney during World War II.
“Words & Pictures” airs on KBOO community radio,
90.7fm. Not near a radio? You can listen to the real-time
webcast at http://www.kboo.fm/listen … or visit the
webcast on KBOO’s home page after the show airs.
So, that’s it for now. We’re back to interviewing animation folks for CTN, and Toon In, and have some other surprises up our sleeves, so visit us again soon, and we’ll let you know what’s next.