Chef Mickey Preps for October 25 Appearance of His Sous Chef, Food Network’s Robert Irvine

Food Network Star Robert Irvine with Mickey Mouse © DisneyChef Robert Irvine from Food Network’s “Dinner Impossible,” gets tips from Chef Mickey for his Oct. 25 appearance at the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival. Epcot kitchens turn up the heat for a global tasting experience worthy of every palate Sept. 25-Nov. 8 at the 14th annual Epcot International Food & Wine Festival at Walt Disney World Resort. During the six-week, entertainment-packed event, park guests can taste fine cuisine and wines from the top “foodie” cities of the world. Some 250 chefs including Disney chefs and guest chefs from across the country conducting culinary demonstrations and hosting elegant dinners and tasting events. Guest chefs who have graced the festival include Irvine, Tory McPhail of Commander’s Palace, Rock Harper of “Hell’s Kitchen,” plus Jeff Henderson, Todd English, Warren Brown, Mary Meyers, Jamie Deen, Iron Chef Cat Cora and many other culinary stars. (Kent Phillips, photographer)

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Must Have: The Mickey Mouse Treasures Now Available at Barnes & Noble for $15

Mickey Mouse TreasuresThe Mickey Mouse Treasures by Robert Tieman, manager of the Walt Disney Archives, is the third in a series of collectibles. This third volume focuses on Mickey Mouse himself, from his (and Walt’s) humble beginnings (and even a bit before that) to his worldwide popularity today. From films to merchandising, this book literally has it all — and that’s an understatement.

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A Sneak Peek Inside the Walt Disney Family Museum Opening October 1; Timed Tickets on Sale August 1

The Walt Disney Family Museum at The Presidio in San Francisco

The Walt Disney Family Museum at The Presidio in San Francisco

San Francisco, CA, July 16, 2009—The fascinating and inspiring story of Walt Disney, whose artistry, creations, and vision helped define 20th-century American culture, will be brought to life at The Walt Disney Family Museum, which opens in San Francisco in October 2009. The Museum will illuminate Walt Disney’s tremendous successes, disappointments, and unyielding optimism as he pursued innovation and excellence while entertaining and enchanting generations worldwide through his pioneering ventures.

The earliest known drawings of Mickey MouseThe creator of Mickey Mouse, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Disneyland, and the global yet distinctly American company that bears his name, Disney was an independent risk-taker who started his first business at the age of 19 and worked tirelessly to elevate animation to an art form. He invented timeless characters and stories that brought the fantastical to life and continue to inspire a sense of wonder. Through animated and live action films, television programs, and theme parks, Disney created global symbols, icons, and characters that, more than 40 years after his death, are an indelible part of popular culture in America and around the world.

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Vinylmation Mickey: The New $40 Autograph ‘Book’

Vinylmation Mickey Blank Turned Autograph Book

Vinylmation Mickey Blank Turned Autograph Book

While I make it a hobby to track down and photograph characters, I am no autograph hound. In fact, I don’t recall ever obtaining a single Disney character autograph on purpose — until now that is. After several days on site, I needed a new way to occupy my time and when something caught my eye at The Animation of Disney shop in Disney’s Hollywood Studios, it was love at first sight. Or a new hobby anyway. There on the counter was a 9″ Vinylmation blank decked out with several character signatures. I fought the urge for a while but there was just no walking away from it, I had to try it.

So for $39.95, I walked away with a Vinylmation blank and a fine-point sharpie given to me by the cast member at the store (they really ought to sell sharpies there too). And over the next two-and-a-half days, as time allowed, I tracked down every single character I could find and got them to sign my Mickey. Even Mr. Incredible, who normally uses a rubber stamp, signed him.

The idea itself really is novel, if not awkward, and I think it should provide a really good springboard for new )and hopefully less-expensive) autograph-related products. Let’s face it, we all (well, not me) do the autograph books and for most who manage to keep them around, they sit on the shelf for most of the time. Here we have a three-dimensional, tangible object that does its best work when it does the exact same thing and sits on a shelf.

So after two-and-a-half days and gathering a total of 61 autographs, I learned a few things that might help the next poor unfortunate soul who follows suit.

First, the fine-point sharpie (or even a ball-point pen) is a must. Especially when dealing with face characters who can be very nimble, particularly with signing in dwindling spaces and have intricate autographs. Characters with bigger hands didn’t seem to have as much an issue with the fine-point itself, but were challenged when it turns out the first sharpie I had was about to die. Which leads to the next tip:

Make sure the sharpie (or whatever) is in amazing shape. If it is, writing on the vinyl figure will be smooth and dark. You can use the bottom of the feet to test the autograph pen (unless you have other plans for his normally not-visible bottom).

There seemed to be an issue with touching him, particularly when signatures were fresh. They wouldn’t be immediately affected, but over time, areas that got touched a lot seemed to fade really fast and would sometimes smudge. For this reason (and the next), I recommend physically handling him as little as possible. When toting him around, don’t flaunt him, put him in a bag (or at least flaunt him in a clear bag).

People (and characters) will love him. Kids will become downright obsessed with him and won’t think twice about picking him up if he’s left vulnerable and checking him out.

A semi-tip: The eyes pictured on my Mickey were courtesy of Pluto. It seems you can get away with decorating the face a little bit as characters seemed hesitant to ‘tattoo’ it anyway (although the eyes made that situation even more clear) and still have room for autographs.

Bottom line, despite the imperfections that accumulated during the process, I’m proud of my Autograph Mickey and the slightly smudged memories that come with it.

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A Look at Some of the Disney San Diego Comic-Con Exclusives

From Acme Archives Direct (Booth #: 5429)

Princess and the Frog LE PrintWhat is it: The Princess and the Frog Fine Art Print on Museum Quality Watercolor Paper
Edition Size: 50, hand-numbered and signed by talent from the film
Cost: $79

 

TRON Concept Art LE PrintWhat is it: TRON Concept Art Print
Edition Size: 82 (as in 1982, the year the film was released)
Cost: $79

 

From BOOM! Studios (Booth #: 2543)

Hardcover Editions of Disney/Pixar and Muppets ComicsWhat is it: Hardcover editions of The Incredibles: Family Matters, Cars: The Rookie and The Muppet Show
Edition Size: 250 each, individually numbered
Cost: $50

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Disney Consumer Products Unleashes All New Intiatives, from Mickey Mouse to Rapunzel and Everyone Inbetween

Disney unveils a line of fashion inspired by Mickey Mouse at the Licensing International ExpoLas Vegas, NV – June 2, 2009 – Disney Consumer Products(DCP) today announced new content and product line extensions behind its renowned portfolio of character franchises starting with the return of the classic Toy Story franchise, the addition of two Disney Princess characters, new Mickey Mouse initiatives, a new Winnie the Pooh theatrical movie and the expansion of the Disney Fairies film series. Disney Channel also announced major milestones for the global sensational hit Hannah Montana as the series is renewed for a fourth season and the award-winning Handy Manny preschool series adds two primetime specials and a new 20 episode short-form series.

“Everything we do is inspired by the magic and creativity that only Disney can deliver,” said Andy Mooney, chairman of Disney Consumer Products Consumer Products. “Each product tells a story and this year sets off an unprecedented slate of entertainment offering many storylines that will translate into global merchandise programs uniquely positioning DCP for breakout growth.”

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Mickey Brings the Magic to Terminally Ill Children

Daily human interest story: Whilst in town for the touring production of Mickey’s Magic Show, Mickey visited Claire House, a hospice for terminally ill children and  young adults, near Liverpool in England yesterday morning. Brief article here.

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New Look at ‘Optimouse Prime’ Disney Label Mickey Mouse

Here’s a newly available photo showing the scale of the Disney Label Mickey Mouse transformer figure from Japan’s TakaraTomy.

At a cost around $42 US, the color version is expected to be released later this month while the black & white version is expected to be released in March.

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