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                    "All Disney news fitted to print"

Volume 1 Number  6                                    September 93 Edition

In this issue...

A Prehistory of DIS' 'n' DAT

[Editor's note: There seem to be a lot of people who read DIS' 'n' DAT and want to know a) where it came from, b) what it is, and mostly c) why is it here. We actually have a proud and colorful history, and for the first time in print, we are revealing it to the world...]

In the mid-1930's, Walt Disney had a vision. He and his animation staff created the first successful animated feature with Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. At approximately the same time, another genius had a different vision. He created the first USENET newsletter devoted to poking fun at the Disney organization. It presented its first issue electronically on January 1, 1938; a landmark achievement because the newsletter preceded USENET by forty years or so.

Even though an audience has been lacking for most of its lifetime, this genius persevered, at times risking the wrath of the Disney organization. The editor was sure that they were listening; he personally emailed copies of the newsletter to wed@disney.com, but it seemed to be studio policy to simply ignore DIS' 'n' DAT's existence.

In the late forties, it was DIS' 'n' DAT that brought up the fact that Disney had not really created any full-length animated features since Bambi, most "features" released being compilations of shorter subjects. The studio quickly brought out Cinderella in 1950. During the fifties, DIS' 'n' DAT was snubbed and not given press passes to the opening of Disneyland. We attended anyway, and our suggestion in our opening day special issue ("Really neat, but it needs a Matterhorn Mountain") was actually taken to heart by Disney.

In the late fifties, the editor thought that the Sherman brothers songwriting team, famous for the pop standard "You're Sixteen," would be great for scoring Disney features. Disney shortly picked them up for "Mary Poppins" and many other films. We mourned the passing of Walt Disney in 1966, but had pressed the company to continue Walt's work down in Florida, which became the very successful Walt Disney World (DIS' 'n' DAT was also denied press passes to opening day ceremonies).

In the late seventies, we lamented the long delays between releases of new animated features, and in the early 80's we suggested that they hire a new CEO, with the qualifications of a man like Michael Eisner. They did, and the Disney organization is thriving under his leadership, opening new Disney parks in Tokyo and France (and again, never once saying thank you by giving press passes to DIS' 'n' DAT). We persevered, and we made mention of a couple of promising composers on Broadway named Howard Ashman and Alan Menken. Afterwards, they were picked by the Disney organization to write the songs and score for Academy Award winning The Little Mermaid and Beauty and the Beast. The animation department is also ramping up to provide one or more animated features to be released every year.

Note that in April 1993, due to a bug in the issue numbering software, the counters all reset to one. At that time, the DIS' 'n' DAT newsletter found a permanent home in rec.arts.disney, and the newsletter continues to live up to its credo... "All Disney news fitted to print."

And, we know that somewhere, somehow, someone at the Disney organization is keeping a close eye on it...

FDC Time Capsule: Movies and Television

In a not so surprising move, FDC CEO Sean Squier has formally announced plans for making the lukewarmly anticipated installment of "The Mighty Ducks" would be abandoned. This move, announced at a past Disney Shareholders meeting, puts to rest one of the industry's longest running numbered series (only the James Bond 007 series has more entries). Michael Eisner, the former Disney CEO, had been a rabid hockey fan and had been personally responsible for the long running series of films, which received lukewarm reception at the box office.

In the mid-90's, the Walt Disney Company had sponsored an NHL expansion team in southern California. Given the direction to "play hockey without all the violence," the team finished dead last in their first season, causing the season ticket holders to spill out onto the ice after the final game and take out their frustration on the players. In the ensuing melee, no players survived, and the team was disbanded soon afterwards.

The Tony-award winning Amberle Ferrian teamed up with Steven Spielburg to create one of the highest grossing movies in history. Mr. Spielburg, having come out of retirement as a special favor to Sean, worked with Ms. Ferrian to put together a film that combined Spielburg's homesy quality and Ferrian's mystical accomplishments on Broadway. The resulting musical, entitled "The Jaws of Used Cars in 1941 when E.T. and Indiana Jones Had a Close Encounter at Jurassic Park," has taken the world by storm and the industry by surprise, and has grossed over $500 million in the past three months.

Touchstone has announced the resurrection of a number of films targeted at residents of the inner cities, that were made during the mid- to late 90's. The titles include "Those Hardy Boyz," "Red's Riding in the 'Hood," "Def Comes Slowly," and "Black II Da Future." These titles will be made available only to inner-cities, in a limited run during the late summer and early autumn. The profitable series was abandoned after a number of complaints were filed by spelling teachers.

The company also released a number of animated features.

The eagerly awaited "Even More Fantasia" was released this year. This third installment of the landmark film included some new musical numbers. Beethoven's "Moonlight Sonata" featured The Little Mermaid's Ariel and Prince Eric skinny dipping in the Pacific. Mozart's "Jupiter Symphony" starred Marvin the Martian from the recently acquired Warner Brothers' animated shorts. This version of "Fantasia" also broke new ground with its first original number. Authored by the FDC Songwriting team of Chris Lemmon and Tim Castro, it is entitled "Je Ne Sais Quois" and replaces the first half of the "Night on Bald Mountain/Ave Maria" medley and features a new tap dance sequence starring Chernobog and Roger Rabbit.

The release of "Hansel and Gretl" in last year was warmly received, bringing Robin Williams out of retirement to play the part of Hansel. The film was very successful, breaking records as it reached $400 million in its U.S. release.

The Chris Lemmon/Tim Castro songwriting team (of Even More Fantasia fame) are slated to bring forth the ambitious Aesop series of animated features. Anticipated titles include "The Fox and The Grapes," "Country Chicken and the City Slicker," and "The Grasshopper and the Ants." FDC chief Sean Squier would like to see the songwriting pair join the ranks of other notable Disney songwriting teams, such as Richard M. Sherman and Robert B. Sherman in the 1960's, and Howard Ashman and Alan Menken in the 1980's.

Top Ten Ways to Get Thrown Out of Walt Disney World

[Editors note: This article was submitted electronically from an author that wishes to remain anonymous, the only changes being spelling corrections and formatting changes to fit the style of DIS' 'n' DAT. Please note that there may be a few spoilers in here for those that have never been to all the parks at WDW]

Although it was the original Disneyland in California that was called the "Happiest Place on Earth," it is the enormous Walt Disney World resort in Florida that is rightfully "America's Vacation Destination."

There are lots of things to do and see, places to stay, and money to spend here. One could get the false sense that this place is actually Utopia (not to be confused with Disneyland's pathetic rides with underpowered cars).

"Come one, come all" seems to be the siren call in Lake Buena Vista. However, the veneer of Utopia can be slowly pulled away and it becomes apparent that 33,000 employees, most of whom belong to the human race, are going to have a limit to the amount of patience that they can supply, even considering Disney's mythical reputation in this area.

So as a public service, we hereby present...

Top Ten Ways To Get Thrown Out Of Walt Disney World
Insist that the passport stampers at the entrance to the Magic Kingdom honor your "Six Flags Over Texas" tickets. If they honor them, insist that your forty relatives be admitted free as your personal guests.
Go to another guest's table at Victoria and Alberts, steal one of their forks, and exclaim loudly that it is a Dinglehopper and comb your hair with it before putting it back in their salad. Have your entire family do the same.
Beat your Jungle Cruise guide to all the punch-lines (make sure you bring your own megaphone). Make rude comments that the JC operators at Disneyland are more professional and better looking. Insist of having a race with the previous boat.
Sit in the back wearing a trenchcoat in Star Tours. Make disgusting moans and chant "Pee Wee is here!" Near end of ride, shoot squirt gun full of milk into the air while yelling "AHHHHHHH!"
Have every one from your dormitory show up for a performance of Captain EO. Have them yell, in unison, at the screen every time Michael Jackson appears, as if you were watching "Rocky Horror Picture Show."
Stand up in the Great Movie Ride when the gunmen take over the ride. Pull out a Colt .45 and shoot the bad guy who tries to commandeer the vehicle.
Demand a doggie bag at the Top of the World Sunday Buffet. Insist there be a Scotch Terrier inside.
Go to the Sci Fi Drive In and attempt to make reservations for the Hard Rock Cafe. Tell them that Michael Eisner himself told you that they would do it for you. Camp out at hostess' desk until they call Mr. Eisner to "clear the whole thing up."
Examine the horses in Cinderella's Carousel. Ask the cast members why there are so many geldings, and what was Disney going to do about the sexual discrimination issue. Start a "Friends of Animals" boycott of the ride. Have placards, megaphones, video cameras, etc.
Jump into the pond at 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. Swear that you saw David Copperfield's body in there. Ask what happened to the mermaids.

Hidden Mickey Contest Results

The contest has been going on for six issues now. All the entries are in, and we have a full mailbag... er... a trickle of entries. OK, there were THREE entries, plus a lot of nasty email from some flamer with the email address "eisner@disney.com."

I'll include extracts from all the entries that I received:

The first entry was received from Rob (R.E.) Parkhill, which said, simply:

Oh that's easy! On his left wrist! He has that cool Mickey Watch!

[Editor's note: he also included a smiley]

A regular rec.arts.disney contributor, Tim "Quetzal" Pickett mused from his location down under the following three possibilities:

- disguised as a tattoo of a Disney fanatic, located somewhere on Mr Eisner's lower torso (I am not going to be more specific);

- engraved upon the underside of his digital watch, to the depth of 15 atoms; or

- a strange-shaped birth-mark on the right upper arm, not normally seen because of strategically placed sycophants waving some of Mr Eisner's net income in his face.

The third entry was posted to rec.arts.disney in violation of the rules (email was supposed to be used to limit bandwidth), but contained a number of random musings. It was apparently submitted by the "Carol" half of the (in)famous "Rich And Carol Koster" two-headed beast that prowls the depths of r.a.d:

Look at the man's neckties! They're fabulous!

Four alternate answers for his Hidden Mickeys might be: any lapel pins or tie pins, and secondly, his wristwatch. Third, he might have "employee ID" (or medical/dental insurance ID) in his wallet, truly a "hidden" Mickey. A fourth answer might be his castmember name badge, has a Mickey on it and Mr. Eisner's first name "Michael".

Lastly, I received a barrage of email from "legal@disney.com" and from "eisner@disney.com" (the first address already gets thrown into /dev/null, so I don't have any citations). These messages seemed to be in the form of threats and accusations, so they do not qualify as entries to the contest. The person "eisner@disney.com" took the time to discount a rumor about a certain tattoo that was mentioned by Tim Pickett's entry. The denial was interesting, since Mr. Pickett's entry was never made public until now. That barrage of email from disney.com has abated recently after I sent a certain GIF file to them.

So, the consensus seems to indicate that the Hidden Mickey on Mikey can be found on his wristwatch.

I am forced to offer the grand prize to all these entrants (a three way tie, so to speak). Each entrant will receive a free subscription to DIS' 'n' DAT for as long as:

The newsletter is continued to be written, and
The entrants have access to rec.arts.disney.
Again, thanks one and all for entering and stay tuned for a new contest...

Ode to a Mighty Duck

The following little ditty is sung to a famous tune from the 1960's classic, "Mary Poppins."
One day I was a-fraid to play
while in the N-H-L
They sent me out to An-a-heim,
my contract they did sell.
But then one day I heard a phrase
from the Disney C-E-O.
The smartest phrase like Eis-ner says,
and now I'm on the go...

(Chorus) It's...........

And when it's used with Dis-ney style,
net income will be ris-ing
It is used effectively
with massive advertising

We travel all around the world
and ev'rywhere we go
We'd use our new technique
and then we put on quite a show
But we should use it carefully
and not be sitting pat:
We'll be looking foolish
on the front of DIS' 'n' DAT!

(Repeat Chorus)

DIS' 'n' DAT is published semi-regularly by Larry Gensch. Nothing may be reprinted in whoe or in part without attribution to DIS' 'n' DAT.

All incidents, situations, and events depicted or described in DIS' 'n' DAT are fictional, and any semblance to real life is really, you know, coincidental.

People wishing to contribute to DIS' 'n' DAT should send email to the publication at the internet address below. Please state explicitly if you wish to retain copyright or anonymity for any material submitted.

DIS' 'n' DAT / September 93 Edition / lar3ry@world.std.com