The Walt Disney Family Museum Starts Its Own Holiday Tradition of ‘Christmas with Walt Disney’

In the spring of 2009, The Walt Disney Family Museum approached veteran filmmaker Don Hahn with a proposal to create a film that would celebrate the holidays through the eyes of Walt Disney.  Under the direction of Diane Disney Miller, her husband Ron, and executive director Richard Benefield, the genesis of this idea became Christmas with Walt Disney, an enchanting fifty-one minute film filled with the joy and merriment of the holidays.

Mr. Hahn, whose credits include The Lion King and Beauty and the Beast, was tapped to produce this film that will now become an annual event for The Walt Disney Family Museum to stage and entertain their guests each year during the holidays.

Christmas with Walt Disney is full of surprises including scenes from the television specials and vintage commercials from early Disney sponsors such as Kodak and Coca Cola.  The studio Dixieland band, Firehouse Five plus Two makes a spirited appearance, as do clips from dozens of Disney’s films including Swiss Family Robinson, Lady and the Tramp, Fantasia and a clip from The Happiest Millionaire featuring Fred McMurray and Greer Garson singing “It Won’t be Long ‘til Christmas”— a very rare clip since this song was cut out of the picture.

“During our first screening of some selected clips to Ron and Diane, we showed clips of Walt skiing and ice skating with Lillian intercut with clips of Mickey and Goofy on ice,” said executive producer Craig Murray. “The quick cuts from Walt to Goofy did the trick and showed how much this man’s life became his art.”

The film will be shown several times a day (except Tuesdays and December 25 and January 1) from November 27 – January 4. For more information and to purchase tickets in advance, visit the museum’s website.

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