6 items from 2008
(from left) Paul Newman, Bernie Mac, George Carlin, Estelle Getty, Roy Scheider and Heath Ledger For the past two years I have started doing a recap of a select group of notable names we lost from the entertainment world (and a few others) over the past year. This is by no means an all-encompassing list, but I think it's a pretty good representation of the cream of the crop when it comes to the people that left us in 2008, and I must say, we lost A Lot of big names this year... A Lot! Brad Renfro (Died January 15, 2008) - Former child star who began his career aged 12, playing the boy at the centre of 1994 mafia drama The Client. He died of a reported accidental heroin overdose. Bobby Fischer (Died January 17, 2008) - Reclusive chess champion who died of kidney failure who became as well known for his chess as he was »
- Brad Brevet
Sleeping Beauty has always had a special place in my heart. This timeless tale of daring-do and courtly romance has always made me swoon from the time I was a small little child. I imagine it will continue to do the same throughout the rest of my life. As stories of princes and princesses go, this one is my absolute favorite, and I doubt I could ever tire of watching it. It plays so well no matter what your gender or age. Disney goes out of their way to sell all their fairy tale titles with princesses to little girls but that does the actual films themselves a huge disservice, this one maybe most of all. There is high adventure to be found here, pretty dresses and cute fairy magic are only one part of the equation bringing this story to life. Much was made, at the time, over Walt's »
- Sara Michelle Fetters
Maleficent (Sleeping Beauty) Most of us probably saw this movie when were fairly young (or might have seen it recently, considering Disney just rolled out the red carpet for its DVD release), so it’s probably fairly faint in most of our memories. But there’s no denying the one thing that we do remember for those of us who have seen it: Maleficent (voiced by Eleanor Audley), the scheming witch who also turns into a dragon. While Disney villain props tend to go to the Wicked Queen from Snow White and the Seven Dwarves or Scar from The Lion King, there’s really no denying that Maleficent is probably the single most evil character in cartoon history.
- Anders Nelson
Walt Disney Studios’ Sleeping Beauty holds up as a spectacular work of animation and it looks even better now that the studio has cleaned it up. The classic fairy tale has stood the test of time quite nicely and the Platinum Edition 50th Anniversary 2-disc set, released today, is a worthwhile addition to your home video library. It's a great artifafct, and the end of an era of amazing animated fare from Disney Studios. Every anuimated feature that has followed, through today, somehow pales in comparison to this effort.
The first disc of course is the film itself. Disney’s technicians have painstakingly cleaned the animation so the colors are brighter, allowing us to appreciate the work of animator Eyvind Earle. The story holds up with relatable characters from the adorable Aurora to the three fairies who sacrifice their magic ways to shield the child for 16 years. The humor remains »
- Robert Greenberger
Despite the studio.s reputation, Disney never really made all that many fairytales. Of course, they launched their line of animated features with one via 1937.s Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, but since then, they.ve only produced a few. Of that group, Beauty probably remains the most obscure. Beauty seems to have fallen between the cracks to a certain degree. Of course, its stature as a Disney movie means it.ll always be remembered, but it.s not one that shares the prominence of the others.
Frankly, I can.t argue that it really deserves a greater audience. While the movie certainly displays some excellent elements, it seems somewhat lackluster and unimpressive as a whole.
After a long wait, King Stefan (voiced by Taylor Holmes) and Queen No-name finally bear a child whom they name Princess Aurora. We see a massive celebration in her honor and meet a young Prince Phillip, »
Harriet Burns, the first woman hired by Walt Disney Imagineering in a creative capacity, died Friday at USC University Hospital in Los Angeles of complications from heart surgery. She was 79.
Burns, who became an Imagineer in the mid 1950s, helped design and build prototypes for theme park attractions as well as products featured at the New York World's Fair of 1964. She worked for Disney for 31 years and in 2000 was honored as a Disney Legend, which "acknowledges and honors the many individuals whose imagination, talents and dreams have created the Disney magic."
In 1955, the San Antonio native began at Walt Disney Prods. on the TV series "The Mickey Mouse Club," where she was a prop and set designer. She shared space with Fred Joerger, a model builder for Wed Enterprises (now Walt Disney Imagineering), who was working on models for Disneyland, and she became an Imagineer soon afterward.
Burns worked with men in the model shop, wielding saws, lathes and sanders. "It was the 1950s," she said. "I wore color-coordinated dresses, high heels and gloves to work. Girls didn't wear slacks back then, although I carried a pair in a little sack, just in case I had to climb into high places."
Before Disneyland opened in 1955, Burns helped create the original model for Sleeping Beauty Castle. For the first major expansion of the Anaheim park in 1959, she created models of the Matterhorn as a one-one hundredth scale replica of the Swiss mountain and painted underwater figures and set pieces for the Submarine Voyage. She worked as a figure finisher for Walt Disney's Enchanted Tiki Room, applying individual feathers to the birds.
For the 1964 World's Fair, she helped on the attractions Great Moments With Mr. Lincoln and the Carousel of Progress.
On occasion, when Walt Disney would introduce new theme park attractions to TV audiences, Burns would appear on segments of "Walt Disney's Wonderful World of Color."
An active member of the arts and music community in Santa Barbara, Burns is survived by daughter Pam Clair and her family of Sonoma, Calif., goddaughter Joanne Campbell and her family of Austin, Texas; and two sisters, Wilma Draves of Sedona, Ariz., and Suzie Mostoller of Dewey, Ariz.
A memorial service is planned for Aug. 20, which would have been her 80th birthday, at All Saints Episcopal Church in Montecito, Calif., followed by a reception at the Biltmore in Santa Barbara. »
- By Mike Barnes
6 items from 2008
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