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                    "All Disney news fitted to print"

Volume 2 Number  6                                         June 94 Edition

In this issue...

FDC Column

The FDC is a growing group of people on rec.arts.disney that have dreams of working for the Disney company in some capacity or another. The FDC was founded to allow such people an opportunity to pretend that they do work for the company that gave us Mickey Mouse, Disneyland, and _The Little Mermaid_. Recently, most FDC applicants are character walk-arounds, who assume the role of their character quite literally in correspondence on rec.arts.disney.

In this column, DIS' 'n' DAT gives some more members of the FDC the opportunity to tell the readership of this newsletter just who they are and how they came rec.arts.disney in the first place. Their responses, slightly edited, follow:

Roberta Brubaker roberta@yensid.ness.com
There are many kinds of people that like to pretend that they work for the Disney company in the FDC, but there is a small but growing contingent of people that not only pretend, but actually DO work for the company that was built by a mouse. These include Disney Store employees and people that work at the Disney Theme parks. Roberta Brubaker started working at Disneyland, California as a Sound Maintenance Technician in 1980, and has worked on the electronic repair of most every attraction at Walt Disney's Original Theme Park in Anaheim. She is currently a Sound Supervisor in the Fantasyland/\%Toontown/\%Roundhouse Facility Maintenance Team. As the "FDC MalEficent (sic), Protector and Defender of the Castle," she occasionally pops up and tosses green sparkles at those who mess with the Castle, but basically hides in the throne room and keeps out of the way of the water wars. As can be expected, Roberta's interests include computers, Disney-ana collecting and Disneyland history. In addition, she enjoys science fiction & space exploration, jewelry-making and rock-collecting. She tries to make it clear that the opinions she expresses are her own, and not the official voice or policies of the Walt Disney Company. Nonetheless, she enjoys answering questions about Disneyland. Roberta offers to all readers that are going to visit Disneyland to email her at the Internet mailing address (given above), or they can reach her via FidoNET address @1:207/229.
Charles Buchanan cpbuchanan@delphi.com
Charles Buchanan is a twenty-one year old copywriter for an advertising agency and lives in Birmingham, Alabama. He writes and produces television, radio, and print advertising. He first heard about rec.arts.disney. from a friend at the University of Alabama (main campus in Tuscaloosa), where he studied advertising. "Actually I heard about rec.arts.disney long before I joined in [but] I didn't know how to get to it on the mainframe computer there," he explains. The lure of a purely Disney group of people discussing everything Disney kept him experimenting until he finally started lurking on rec.arts.disney in Spring 1993. He continues, "By graduation in December 1993 I had become the FDC Official Duck because I felt the tons of Disney Ducks had absolutely no representation in the FDC... and they were losing their temper over it." "[Forwhich His addiction to rec.arts.disney caused him to join Delphi in February so that he could enjoy the newsgroup permanently. The FDC Official Duck enjoys reading and travelling, and has collected over forty-five of the Oz books (he's also a member of the International Wizard of Oz Club). He has a creative side also. "I've been drawing a cartoon character since 1982, and he's been copyrighted and published in comic serials in my college newspaper. Today he (an anthropomorphic dog) appears in unpublished comic book-type stories I draw from time to time. The most current story is an adaptation of Shakespeare's play _Much Ado About Nothing_ (he's not an ordinary talking dog)." Charles discovered Disney through the classic cartoons, and at the time (when he was 11 or 12), he thought he had discovered his destiny. "I wanted to do all that Walt had done... I was going to start with that cartoon dog, become an animator, and create a world-famous animation studio." He also designed entire theme parks that he would build one day. Alas, he liked Disney too much to compete... today his Disney obsession extends to film and TV animation, posters, comics, books, CDs, the parks, and "plenty of those overpriced plastic figurines that are available at the Disney Stores." Charles is working on writing and coordinating a snail-mail newsletter for rec.arts.disney and FDC members who can't access the group online. "[Intruderalert! His newsletter will be called "The Red Letter," named after the controversial line in "A Whole New World." He explains that on rec.arts.disney, "every turn [is] a surprise... every moment red letter... or something like that."
Jeff Wilson jdwilson@msc.cornell.edu
Jeff Wilson has a number of FDC positions, including "Head Writer," and is a bodyguard for the FDC Walk-Around Belle. He has his own walk-around character, as well... he's the Walk-Around Beast (on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays). The Tuesday-Thursday Walk-Around Beast (who keeps his true Toon name anonymous), is a 27 year-old grad in his last throes of a tenure at Cornell University in Ithaca, NY. He received a BS in Chemistry from SUNY Fredonia "[wasn'tthat in 1989, and on May 11 of this year, attained his Ph. D. in Chemistry (Theory) from Cornell. His future plans involve a complete change of field to experimental Molecular Biology. On the home front, the part-time Beast is an avid hiker and rock climber, and is a registered Adirondack 46er (#3151) who is also thinking longingly about the Northeast 111ers. Although it wasn't shown too clearly in the movie, the Beast's musical tastes encompass almost everything, with the predominant favorites being classical/romantic and modern alternative/metal. He also aspires to publish sf/fantasy fiction sometime in the near future, noting with great interest that he originally viewed authorship as an honor to be sought for its own sake, but now the financial reward seems the most attractive aspect of the process. One of Beast's earliest memories is seeing the battle between Prince Philip and the Maleficent/Dragon at a drive-in when he was very young, and to this day two stuffed Mickey Mouses sleep by his pillow every night, one of which has done so for more than 20 years now. He has been to EPCOT (in 1990), but never to any of the other parks. Jeff assumed the role of Walk-Around Beast (Tues-Thurs) primarily due to a sense of empathy generated by the similarities between the Beast's on-screen travails and psychological development and his own in the mundane real world. He still has yet to find his "true" Belle, though. For now, he's making do with the toon Belle, who currently resides with him in Ithaca as any faithful reader of rec.arts.disney will no doubt recall from last year. "[Toto,we're

Thumper Tells All

[Editor's Note: This is essentially a re-creation of one of the "lost" installments of Martin Delaney's Toon Town series of articles that were published in this newsletter last year. The format of the article has been changed from Martin's first person account.]

A little rabbit with a big mouth warmed the hearts of many theatre goers in the early forties. Known simply as Thumper, he stole the show in Walt Disney's _Bambi_. Now, after fifty years, the bunny has decided to tell his life story in a new autobiography published by DnD Books entitled "If You Can't Say Somethin' Nice..."

Despite having been paid "scale" (Hollywood union term for "minimum wage"), it was clear from the outset that his role in _Bambi_ would lead the rabbit to bigger and better things. Right after the film was released, Thumper got married to Angora, a former receptionist at the Toon Town Hill Ton hotel. They started a family quite quickly, and Thumper realized that he was going to have to work on another film again.

The opportunity came in 1947. The Disney studios were working on a series of shorts that were to be released as the collection _Melody Time_. Thumper auditioned and was offered a role in the sequence _Once Upon a Wintertime_, having proven his ice-skating abilities in _Bambi_. However, due to an apparent mixup in directions given to Thumper by his agent, Thumper showed up at the wrong studio on the day of filming, and he was replaced at the last minute by a bit-player who worked on the Disney back lot. Thumper angrily fired his agent over the mishap.

Discouraged, and having over 120 mouths to feed, Thumper looked for work during the late forties and early fifties in Toon Town. He appeared in a couple of Warner Brothers' shorts and in a Tom and Jerry cartoon during this time. Thumper was just another struggling actor looking for work.

One day, Thumper got an unexpected call from Walt Disney himself. It seems that a clip from _Bambi_ where Thumper was teaching the young prince how to ice skate was a real hit on the _Disneyland_ television show and drew thousands of letters requesting more from Thumper. Walt discussed with the rabbit his plans for a new television show to combine live action and animation tentatively called "The Thumper Show." The show would focus on Thumper and members of his family (which numbered over two hundred by this time), and would also feature some talented human children which would be called "The Rabbit-Ears." Thumper was actually responsible for hiring a cute little Italian girl named Annette to appear on this show.

The Disney empire had grown by this time to include theme parks, television shows, live action and animated films, and the time that Walt could spend on any project was limited. After he was busy working on a new theme park ride that would eventually become The Matterhorn, another Toon was able to assert his influence in the studio, and the focus of the television show was changed from that of Thumper to Mickey Mouse. Thumper tried to keep control of his show, but it became obvious that he was too inexperienced in studio politics. Mickey, on the other hand, started passing rumors of Thumper's appearance in other studios' works, and possible affiliation with the Communist party, and the rabbit found himself quickly black-balled from the all the cartoon studios, including Disney's.

There was little work for Thumper for the next few years, and he found it difficult to continue to support his still-growing family. He turned to the bottle, and became a frequent visitor to the lounge of Bugs Bunny's restaurant, "The Brown Doyby." The gossip magazines soon heard of Thumper's plight, and soon headlines reading "Ragged Rabbit Roused in Restaurant Ruckus" appeared around the nation after Thumper was thrown out of the lounge bodily for heckling a Mickey Mouse piano recital. Thumper found his world collapsing.

After a few years of unemployment, Thumper received a knock on the door of the flophouse where he was staying. He was shocked to see that his caller was none other than Walt Disney himself. Disney apologized profusely for the hijacking of the television show by Mickey, and promised to make it up by featuring Thumper in his next animated feature.

Alas, during the filming of _The Jungle Book_, Mr. Disney passed away, and the studio was in shock. Mickey Mouse took this opportunity to have Thumper thrown from the Disney lot, and instructed security to NEVER allow the bunny back in. All of Thumper's scenes in the movie ended up on the cutting room floor, and Thumper's role in the movie was given to a bear who, up until that time, had only appeared in a movie in a bit-part in _Bongo_. The movie became a hit, and once again Thumper saw fame and fortune fly away.

In 1967, Thumper left Toon Town and ended up in the San Francisco during the famous Summer of Love. Thumper does not recall much of what happened during the next few years, except that he had done a lot of LSD, and he remembers waking up in the pouring rain at Woodstock. It is also rumored that Thumper's voice was used during the taping of John Lennon's "Give Peace a Chance."

During the seventies, Thumper attempted to put together a nightclub act. Despite a number of different singing partners, including his wife Angora, his act never sustained enough interest from the general public to be a financial success. Returning to Hollywood, Thumper also attempted to get a part in a television situation comedy, but was ultimately passed over for the part of Mork by Robin Williams. Despite these failures, Thumper never gave up and kept on trying.

Surprisingly, Thumper's next success occurred in a live action film. During a trip to England, Thumper met an animator named Terry Gilliam and ended up playing a small role in the cult hit _Monty Python and the Holy Grail_. Thumper's performance as the Killer Bunny earned him universal praise.

It was after this success that the Disney studio initiated a lawsuit against Thumper, citing a clause in his contract that stated that the rabbit could only work for Disney, and citing _Holy Grail_ and a few of the shorts that Thumper did during the fifties. Thumper eventually prevailed, and got the Disney studios to agree to a more liberal contract, but the legal costs had devoured most of the earnings that the bunny made from his live action hit. He finally announced his retirement in 1984.

Thumper spent the next ten years locating and visiting all of his offspring, which now numbered close to 1,000. He set up the Thumper Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to finding work for unemployed Toon rabbits. One of the Foundation's first successes came, surprisingly enough, to Thumper's son Thaddeus, who landed a role in a commercial for Energizer Batteries which is still running to this day.

Despite all his hardships, Thumper looks back upon his life with fondness. He is still married to Angora, one of the few Hollywood marriages to last more than five years, let alone fifty.

Ironically, his legal fight with Disney turned up unexpected benefits. With the new studio leadership, Thumper was able to perform a small cameo appearance in his brother's film, _Who Framed Roger Rabbit?_ And when the film _Bambi_ was released on video, Thumper was the only character that was entitled to receive residuals due to his renegotiated contract.

With the publication of his book, Thumper plans to start hitting the television talk show circuit. When asked for any comment on the way that he was treated in the past by the Disney studios or by Mickey Mouse in particular, Thumper only smiles and says, "If you can't say somethin' nice..."

WDC Announces RepliDisney

Copyright (c) 1994 Edward J. Rudnicki. Permission is hereby granted to distribute this article freely for nonprofit use, so long as this copyright notice is present and credit is given to the author of this work.

DATELINE ANAHEIM (THE NEAR FUTURE) - As a result of overwhelmingly positive consumer response to the recently-introduced HoloDisney (tm) product line, The Walt Disney Co. today announced a new venture intended to take interaction with Disney characters to the next level. RepliDisney (RD) (tm pending), a new wholly-owned subsidiary of The Walt Disney Co., has been formed to address continuing customer demand for popular Disney animated characters by offering "living" duplicates using the well-known Tyrrell "replicant" process. Dr. Tyrrell's ground-breaking work on replicants of humans was fictionalized in the motion picture _Blade Runner_.

RepliDisney's first offering is to be a replicant Ariel. As a company spokesperson put it, "Ever since the release of _The Little Mermaid_, young men the world over have fallen head over heels in love with Ariel, which is not hard to understand. Unfortunately, as the song says, `there's only one Ariel', and she's happily married to Prince Eric. We at RepliDisney care about our customers, and have acted accordingly." Price of the replicant Ariel has not yet been announced. The RD spokesperson did confide that a prototype repli-Ariel is currently undergoing thorough evaluation by a former HoloDisney designer, who recently resurfaced in Melbourne, Australia after mysteriously disappearing during testing of the clandestine "In Hot Water With Ariel" HoloDisney module last year.

Should the replicant Ariel prove profitable, company executives have already announced the next item in the product line. "Many female Disney fans, particularly the insightful members of the Future Disney Cabinet," said the spokesperson, "have lamented the fact that while there are plenty of beasts among the men of the world, there are no Beasts. So, should repli-Ariel be a success, a replicant of the Beast from _Beauty and the Beast_ could be expected shortly thereafter." RepliDisney has stated that no examples of the repli-Beast have been made as yet, citing difficulties in adapting the technology to something so large, but company scientists are confident that these are not insurmountable. In the meantime, RD has announced that a young female graduate student from the UMN Department of Bucket Warfare has courageously volunteered to evaluate this new creation free of charge.

Finally, the RepliDisney spokesperson noted that ethical concerns over the "copying" of animated human beings are "neatly sidestepped by these first two product offerings, since repli-Ariel will be offered only as a mermaid, and the Beast is, well, a Beast." Further items in the line may be limited by this factor, but company sources state that the Genie from _Aladdin_ is a strong contender for a possible third replicant product, albeit with only limited "magical powers."

The Walt Disney Co. plans to initially market RepliDisney products through its worldwide chain of over 800,000 The Disney Stores (tm). While prices have not yet been announced, the RepliDisney spokesperson assured that they will be "very reasonable," in line with the other merchandise sold at The Disney Stores.

Top Ten Reasons Beauty and the Beast was Panned on Broadway

The new Disney Broadway musical _Beauty and the Beast_ opened last month to a decidedly chilly reception. While the critics agreed that it would play for a long time and make a lot of money, they felt that all the fancy special effects and costumes drowned out the heart and soul that made the film so special. This reaction is particularly interesting in light of the show receiving 9 Tony nominations, including Best Musical. To get to the bottom of this, we at DIS' 'n' DAT have therefore reviewed the reviewers themselves, and discovered...
Top Ten Reasons Why _Beauty and the Beast - A New Musical_ Was Panned By The Critics
They thought it was being released by Hollywood Pictures
Tom Bosley kept on calling Gaston "Fonzie"
Disney should have bribed them with money instead of offering free trips to Euro Disney
The supposedly-ferocious Beast looked like a wimp compared to the muggers in the New York subways
Letterman didn't want to do a Top 10 list on the show, so how could it be any good?
DIS' 'n' DAT's doing a Top 10 list on the show, so how could it be any good?
Reviewers too busy seeing the movie on the Disney Channel on their Sony Watchmen to pay attention to the stage
Lumiere wouldn't light their cigarettes for them
Siskel and Ebert's arguing on the balcony drowned out the performance
And the number one reason why _Beauty and the Beast - A New Musical_ was panned by the critics:
They claimed the musical wasn't "entertaining" enough after Disney got rid of all the hookers in front of its revamped Palace Theatre on 42nd St.

DIS' 'n' DAT is an on-line newsletter published monthly by Larry Gensch. Copyright (c) 1994 Larry Gensch, except where individual copyright is retained by the authors. All rights reserved. Anything may be reprinted in whole or in part with proper attribution to DIS' 'n' DAT. All incidents, situations, and events depicted or described in DIS' 'n' DAT are fictional, and any similarity, without satiric intent, of characters presented therein to living persons, toons, alleged NHL teams, or Disney executives is purely coincidental. So get a life, OK?


People wishing to contribute to DIS' 'n' DAT should send email to the publication at the internet address "lar3ry@world.std.com." Please state explicitly if you wish to retain copyright or anonymity for any material submitted. The editor assumes no liability for unsolicited material of any kind.



                       EDITOR-IN-CHIEF / PUBLISHER
             lar3ry gensch <lar3ry@world.std.com>
                           CONTRIBUTING EDITOR
          Amberle Ferrian <amberle@epx.cis.umn.edu>
          Roberta Brubaker <roberta@yensid.ness.com>
          Charles Buchanan <cpbuchanan@delphi.com>
       Martin Delaney <dopey@hill-ton.toontown.CA.US>
        Edward J. Rudnicki <erudnick@Pica.Army.Mil>
            Jeff Wilson <jdwilson@msc.cornell.edu>


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