Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas! Cinémonde Magazine Christmas Special Edition

Merry Christmas to all my faithful readers out there. Here's hoping your holidays are happy and safe.

This is the cover to the Christmas special edition of a French film magazine called Cinémonde. I love this cover, Santa Mickey is delivering his Christmas present to France, the theatrical release of Alice in Wonderland. Inside is a six-page article on the making of the film (stay tuned for those pages) as well as a two-page article on the True Life Adventures.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

TV Magazine - Detroit News Supplement December 20, 1959

From Christmas week 1959 comes this newspaper supplement TV guide-like magazine called TV Magazine (how original).

Inside we get a nice piece of winter-themed Alice art accompanying the blurb on the Christmas night episode of Walt Disney Presents which aired Alice in Wonderland. This was the fourth time the film was on the Walt Disney show, and the second time a Christmas night Disney show featured Alice - the first being One Hour in Wonderland. Notice that the Walrus in this piece of art was later rendered as a pin in a Disney Store advent set somewhere around 2005 or so.

Interesting to see who's in the picture above the Alice blurb. Besides the obvious Lucille Ball is a young up and coming actress name Majel Barrett in the red outfit with white polka dots. She would of course later become famous as Nurse Chapel on the original Star Trek series, and Lwaxana Troi on Star Trek: Next Generation.

Friday, December 18, 2009

MCP March Hare

Courtesy of my friend Christopher over at Disney MCP Figurines comes this photo of the elusive March Hare from MCP. This leaves only the Walrus and Dormouse figures unseen, although rumor has it that the Disney Archive has a full set of eight.

Monday, December 14, 2009

French Multi-Color Sheet Music

Yesterday you may recall I showed what I think is the original release sheet music from France. Today we see another piece of sheet music from France that I don't really know anything about - not that I really know anything about yesterday's either.

This is one of a set of monotone sheets, where each title is a different color. So far I've seen three colors: green (All in the Golden Afternoon, Very Good Advice),

blue (Alice in Wonderland, In a World of My Own),

and red (I'm Late)

I do not own copies of The Unbirthday Song, Twas Brillig or March of the Cards. Presumably one of them is red, and perhaps there is a fourth color I've not seen yet for the remaining two (which would be nicely symmetrical), perhaps black, brown, yellow or orange.

The thing about these sheets that is so odd is that except for their size (roughly 2/3 the size of the sheet from yesterday) and the fact that these are printed on the world's cheapest paper, they are the same as yesterday's sheet. Same publisher, same address, same set of songs listed, same advert on the back for Cinderella music. So I really have no idea what these are. It is possible that these are from a later period, but seems unlikely since re-releases produced far fewer song sheets, usually only I'm Late. I suppose these could be an inexpensive variant, perhaps for schools or something. I'll probably never know for sure.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Original Release Sheet Music - France

More sheet music from the original release (I think), this time from France. Notice again the same artwork - or nearly. It is slightly more primitive looking, especially the Cheshire Cat.

Notice also the similar weird color scheme as in the American and Australian sheets - combinations of blue, yellow and green, although not exactly the same.

This is the only piece I've found that looks like this and is about the same size as the American and Australian. I have however found some other French sheet music that is more different still. Stay tuned tomorrow.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Original Release Sheet Music - England

Continuing in my lazy posting mode, we have more sheet music, this time from England. As with the American and Australian sheet music, all titles have the same art, although this time it is this bizarre two-tone orange and black (yuck).

The same eight songs are listed on the front as on the American and Australian editions, I do not know if there is the ninth title (How D'You Do and Shake Hands) as I have not seen one. I am missing only a single (known) title - Twas Brillig - to complete my set.

Notice also that there are two other items listed here - Piano Selection and Children's Album. Stay tuned for future posts!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Original Release Sheet Music - Australia

So I'm feeling lazy, and this seemed like an easy way to get out of a lot of scanning. The Australian version of the sheet music is identical to the US version - even has the same additional song not listed. Art is the same, size is the same, everything is the same except the price and the printer - D Davis & Co Pty Ltd rather than Walt Disney Music Company.

Also I don't have the full set of Australian sheet music, I'm missing the title song so that's a convenient excuse to not scan the full set too!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Original Release Sheet Music

Alice in Wonderland has more songs than any other Disney film. As such, it has a LOT of sheet music, although not every song in the film.

Sheet music from the original release has a fully illustrated cover - oddly in a three color process - and the same art is used for each title.

There are a total of nine songs issued as individual sheets, which is odd when you look at the list of available titles on the cover of each.

This title, How D'You Do and Shake Hands, is not listed on the cover but was (obviously) issued.

The other songs from the film that did not get a sheet are The Walrus and the Carpenter, A-E-I-O-U, Painting the Roses Red, and The Caucus Race.

The sheet of March of the Cards is particularly tricky, as it has an additional insert page that is often lost.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving! Pictorial Review 11-19-1950

Happy Thanksgiving to all my American readers out there. For those of you outside North America, this is the day we celebrate the joys of the large roasted fowl, as our friends Alice, the Mad Hatter, and the Caterpillar seem to be doing in this image.

This is a newspaper supplement from November 19th, 1950, a full 8 months before Alice in Wonderland was released in theaters. This image is just wrong in so many ways it is hard to count. Either that is one big caterpillar, or one tiny turkey. And the turkey looks like something right out of Regrettable Food.

As was standard with the newspaper supplements, there is no story inside about Alice, just a pretty picture on the cover (well, sort of). But the idea was to get people excited about the upcoming feature. And how could you be anything but excited once you saw this large insect larva serving up turkey.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Me and My DVD Experience

First of all I want to say that the whole crew at EMC West are just fantastic! They were so nice to me and greatly relieved a lot of my fears and anxiety over being on camera. I highly recommend them to anyone who needs this kind of work. Plus donuts!

My experience was not exactly what I was expecting, but I think it turned out ok. I was way more nervous than I thought I'd be, as evidenced by needing re-application of makeup even before we started filming! I caught my self rambling on a couple of occasions; I'm sure I didn't catch myself on others. I'm quite sure that the EMC crew will make me look much more intelligent than I felt with a little judicious editing ;-)

All in all a great experience, one that I hope to repeat when/if there is an Alice Blu-Ray release (hint,hint). I'm sure I'll be much calmer having one under my belt already. Who knows, maybe there'll even be budget to come and visit the collection in situ, that would be ideal.

- Matt Crandall, Alice Authority (thanks Hans!)

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Burbank, Here I Come!

I'll be offline for a couple of days, taking a whirlwind trip to beautiful downtown Burbank. Yours truly is being interviewed for the new Alice in Wonderland DVD supplemental material. How cool is that? Everyone please send good thoughts that I don't make a complete ass of myself on camera.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Christie's Auction - November 24th, 2009

There are some pretty spectacular items in an upcoming Christies's London auction, including 5 lots of Alice in Wonderland concept art (1,2,3,4,5), an original insert movie poster (link), and the original story outline of a lost Alice comedy (link). Save those pennies! And if anyone is looking for Christmas gift ideas for me, I'm particularly partial to lot 356.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Hagen Renaker Caterpillar

Last, and certainly not least, is the Caterpillar. Finally! This is the only vintage caterpillar that I am aware of. What a rare figure indeed. I would argue that this is the rarest of all the Disney Hagen figures, rarer even than Samson. Over the years I've only seen 3 Caterpillars for sale, but I've seen 6-10 Samsons.

There has been a lot of speculation on how this guy was originally sold. If you look at the underside of him, you will see that he is curved in shape, as if he were meant sit on something rounded. The story I heard from a knowledgeable collector who interviewed the sculptor on the Disney line, was that he was originally intended to have a mushroom to sit on, but that it was deemed too expensive and the mushroom was dropped. Some will point to the photo in Tomart's as proof that he was indeed sold with the mushroom, but I have spoken with the owner of that particular figure and he has confirmed that he just put the caterpillar on a random mushroom figure because it looked good. We may never know.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Hagen Renaker March Hare

Third up is the March Hare. I just love the half cup of tea. Again, very fortunate to find him on the original card. And quite the bargain at 75¢ original price compared to his hatter companion.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Hagen Renaker Mad Hatter

Second of the Hagen set is the Mad Hatter. What a fragile little guy, they must have designed him with replacement purchases in mind. Such tiny little feet, and long skinny arms holding a tea pot no less.

I was fortunate enough to find this guy on his original Disney card. Notice the ridiculous original price, souvenirs at Disneyland were outrageous! What I wouldn't give for that ol' time machine and a fist full of quarters.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Hagen Renaker Alice

Most people are familiar with Hagen Renaker, even if they are not familiar with their Disney figures. They produced - and still do produce - a huge range of miniature animal figures. I remember seeing lots of these little animals on paper cards at my local Hallmark store when I was growing up.

Hagen Renaker held the license to produce Disney figurines for 7 years (1955-1961), and they were only available for purchase at Disneyland, at least initially. A set of four figures from Alice in Wonderland were added to the line in 1956.

This Alice figure is different from most Hagen figures in that she never had a paper card. Rather, she was the very first Hagen figure to bear a named character label, the only one of the miniature line to have such a label, although several figures in the larger Designer's Workshop line had similar labels.

As time went on, the named label gave way to the generic WDP label found on lots of Hagens.

And I even have one that has a Disneyland Emporium Label on the underside.
Alice is by far the most common of the Alice in Wonderland set, but she is very difficult to find with the named label still intact.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Halloween and Happy Birthday to Me!

Yes, it's true, I am a Halloween baby. Go ahead, just try to come up with a joke that I haven't heard in 45 years (yikes, I'm 45!?).

Since I was too lazy to dig out vintage Halloween costumes this year, I'm settling for a birthday card for today's post.

I think this is from the 1970s, it is a Hallmark card, stock number 50B 71-4. It has a 'Productions' copyright, so can't be any later than 1986. Cool thing about this card is that it is a popup. The tea party table pops out at you when you open the card. How cool is that?

Sorry for my lack of posts this past week, it has been review time at work, and I hate writing reviews. But I have some posts already planned for next week, and I bought myself a large format scanner (finally!), so stay tuned for some cool items that wouldn't fit on my regular scanner!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Tweedle Metal Pin - Unknown Maker

When I got this pin, I thought it might be from the same series as this Alice pin. But, there are no maker's marks on the back, it is not sterling but some sort of pot metal, and the quality is nowhere near that of the Alice pin. Still, it is a cool pin, and I love the fact that he has his little flag on his hat.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Alice in the Movies - Lewis Carroll Society Fall Meeting Tomorrow

I'll be in Fort Lee, NJ on Saturday October 17th for the annual Fall meeting of the Lewis Carroll Society of North America (LCSNA). Fort Lee has an interesting place in Alice history, the very first sound film adaptation was filmed in Fort Lee, and it will be screened at the meeting. The meeting is free and open to the public, so if you are going to be in the NYC area, drop by. Details of the entire agenda are located here.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Coro White Rabbit with Watch Plastic Pin

At first glance this looks like the regular White Rabbit with watch pin, just with the chain broken off. But it isn't. There is no attachment on this pin for the chain, it is smooth and unblemished. Also, even though it is gold in color, this is very light, and the clasp on the back matches those of the Alice and Tweedle plastic pins. This could be the missing 8063. Who knows?

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Coro Tweedle Plastic Pin

Although not listed in the CMD catalog, I'm quite certain this is also by Coro. The plastic Tweedle pin shares many of the same qualities as the plastic Alice pin. Perhaps this fills the hole in the numbering and is item #8068. The world may never know...

Friday, October 9, 2009

Coro Alice Plastic Pin - Item #8069

In addition to the wide variety of metal costume jewelry, Coro also made pieces in plastic. Of course I didn't know that until I got my copy of the Character Merchandise Catalog.

These plastic pieces are really, really hard to find. Plastic from the 1950s was exceptionally flimsy, hard to believe any of these survived at all. This is the only example of any of the Alice jewelry that I've found on the original card.

And that brings us to the end of the pieces as described in the CMD catalog. But there's more to come...

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Coro Tweedle Pin - Item #8067

The last of the pin pairs features a nameless Tweedle (pick your favorite).

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Coro White Rabbit Pin - Item #8066

Second of the pin pairs features this White Rabbit pin, much smaller than his watch toting cousin. This pin is probably the rarest of the pins, at least in my experience.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Coro King of Hearts Pin - Item #8065

The first of the pin pairs features Alice and this little guy, the King of Hearts. I've always had a special place in my heart for this guy, he was my mascot at my wedding, and I wore this very pin on my lapel.

This pin is very tiny, and the most fragile of the pins, his heart scepter has a tendency to break off.

Ah, so much hair, so few chins (to quote Alton Brown).

Monday, October 5, 2009

Coro Alice Pin - Items #8065, 8066, 8067

This Alice pin was apparently part of several pairs of pins according to the Character Merchandise Catalog.

Alice was paired with the King of Hearts, White Rabbit and a Tweedle. Could she also have been paired with a Mad Hatter?

This also marks my 300th post, go me!

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