Category Archives: Interview

Interview: Kathryn Beaumont (How the Disney staff involved her in the film process; working with other voice actors)

 

Kathryn Beaumont interview
Kathryn Beaumont, with Alice in Wonderland co-stars Jerry Colonna and Ed Wynn 

Kathryn Beaumont was a child actress at MGM and went on to voice Alice and Wendy in Walt Disney’s animated versions of “Alice in Wonderland” and “Peter Pan” respectively

AUDIO INDEX

:56 Working for MGM and then Disney

1:39 Already familiar with Alice in Wonderland

2:34 The audition for Alice, getting a contract with Disney

3:25 Remembering Walt Disney, the atmosphere at the Walt Disney Studios

6:05 Storyboard conferences with artists, writers and Winston Hibler; Ink and Paint and other departments sharing the progress of the film

9:05 Involvement in Peter Pan vs. Alice in Wonderland

11:55 Working with other actors such as Hans Conreid

Interview: Stan Freese (Career overview)

Stan Freese - Disneyland

Stan is the talent booking director for Disneyland and tuba soloist extraordinaire. He was the longtime conductor of the Disneyland band and the first full-time conductor of the Walt Disney World band.

AUDIO INDEX
1:43 Performing tuba solos on the TV series Hee Haw

4:40 His start with music and choosing the tuba

7:01 Entertaining for Lawrence Welk and performing on his show

Stan Freese meets President Nixon8:30 Tuba soloist for the government cultural exchange program including Soviet Union and Siberia; Command performance at the White House for President Nixon

9:25 Starting with Disney; the first leader of the Walt Disney World band; problems with the first band

12:45 Moving to Disneyland

14:11 Involvement with Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo DisneySea

15:40 Auditions and benefits of entertaining at Disneyland; Disney entertainment; the Trash Can Trio and the Mariachi Divas

20:28 Big bands at Disneyland

Interview: Carole Tully (Miss Disneyland 1964; Tivoli Gardens tour guide exchange; Walt Disney)

Carole Tully with Hanne Plath, Walt and Lillian Disney Carole Tully in Lappland as Miss Disneyland 1964

Carole was a ticket seller and tour guide at Disneyland, beginning in 1962, and was Miss Disneyland 1964, representing Disneyland and Walt Disney himself

AUDIO INDEX

:52 Her start with Disneyland; Donald Novis in Guest Relations; Becoming a Disney tour guide; Becoming Miss Disneyland, 1964

4:54 Miss Disneyland and the Tivoli Gardens tour guide exchange; Tivoli Gardens tour guide Hanne Plath; touring internationally as a goodwill ambassador

11:23 Visiting Lappland as Miss Disneyland

15:47 Walt Disney

Interview: Bill Farmer (The recording process for Goofy; other voices)

INTERVIEW-bill-farmer

Bill is a voice actor, whose most popular character is Goofy, for which he has provided the voice for countless movies, toys Disney theme park stage shows and more.

AUDIO INDEX
:44 Bill’s version of Goofy compared to the original, voiced by Pinto Colvig

1:25 Work besides just the animated films, including Disneyland and Disney World live shows, games, toys, etc.

2:00 When Bill began doing the voice of Pluto

2:15 The soundtrack recording process and sessions done solo vs. group ensembles, and the job of the voice director

4:45 Disney’s Character Voices department

6:15 Recording thousands of names for personalized CDs

8:01 The loop group, looping, background voices and other work, including Disney-Pixar Toy Story, Cars, Monster’s, Inc. Hunchback of Notre Dame and Beauty and the Beast as well as other characters such as Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck.

9:44 Bill’s work on the English-dubbed Japanese TV series Astro Boy, as well as redoing lines for Goofy

11:25 Bill as the original voice of Horace Horsecollar and his inspiration for that character

12:30 How Bill describes Goofy

 

Interview: Gina Rock (Disneyland’s Tinker Bell)

Gina Rock, Disneyland's Tinker Bell

Gina Rock flew across the skies at Disneyland as Tinker Bell for more than two decades.

AUDIO INDEX
1:08 How Gina got her start as Tinker Bell

4:00 Being pregnant and working

6:10 Gina’s sub, Patty

6:38 The end of Gina’s flights

7:40 A normal performance day, and what it was like to fly, crashing into a mattress

12:05 The brakes on the trolley that was on the wire

12:43 Getting stuck on the wire and crashing into the mattress

 

Interview: Ray Templin (Performing with the Disneyland Band and other Disney music groups)

Ray Templin - Disneyland 25th Anniversary Character Show

AUDIO INDEX
:49 How Ray went from playing piano at Shakey’s Pizza Parlor to becoming a Main Street pianist at Disneyland, the position ends

6:13 Returning to Disneyland for the Happy 25 Anniversary Disneyland character show at Carnation Plaza Gardens

9:00 Becoming a bass drummer for the Disneyland Band, coaxed to play a practical joke on one of the band members, the band performing as other groups

Interview: Harriet Burns (Chinatown in Disneyland; Mister Lincoln)

 

 INTERVIEW-harriet-burns-chinatown

Harriet was a scenic designer/model maker working on projects such as the Mickey Mouse Club television show, Disneyland and Walt Disney World.

AUDIO INDEX
:53 Creating skin for Abraham Lincoln for Great Moment’s with Mr. Lincoln at the 1964-65 New York World’s Fair. Using her home fryer to create it.

1:30 Disneyland’s Chinatown and the Chinese philosopher Audio Animatronics figure. The head had been created with latex skin.

3:17 More about Chinatown, the Chinese restaurant and the Chinese philosopher ideas for Disneyland and why Walt Disney decided not to do the Chinatown.

Interview: Bill Farmer (The start of Goofy; doing voice impressions; stand up comedy)

INTERVIEW-bill-farmer-goofy

Bill is a voice actor, whose most popular character is Goofy, for which he has provided the voice for countless movies, toys Disney theme park stage shows and more.

AUDIO INDEX
:39 Discovering he could do various character voices, such as John Wayne and Walter Brennan, and getting into radio broadcasting in Kansas and stand up comedy.

2:45 Getting the role of Goofy’s voice

4:33 Studying under voice legend Daws Butler, the importance of acting in voice work

6:08 Stand up comedy as training for acting

8:10 Doing vocal impressions such as Johnny Carson, Edith Bunker and Jim Ignatowski

Interview: Ray Templin (Providing voices for Fantasyland attractions in Disneyland)

Ray Templin

AUDIO INDEX

:56 How Ray became the voices for Disneyland’s Fantasyland attractions including Stromboli and the Coachman in Pinocchio, the Circus Ringmaster in the Casey Jr. Circus Train

3:00 Working with actor Candy Candido for the Fantasyland rides

5:53 Voices for Pinocchio’s Daring Journey in Disneyland and the preparation for it, voices in Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride

7:41 Preparing to record the Circus Ringmaster on the Casey Jr. Circus Train, including the Spanish safety information

Interview: Valerie Watson, Miss Disneyland 1962

Valerie Watson, Miss Disneyland, 1962, "Disneyland News" clipping
Valerie Watson, Miss Disneyland, 1962, “Disneyland News” clipping

Valerie Watson was a Disneyland hostess, who had escorted numerous noted personalities, including  three presidents, a prime minister, three kings, two queens, three princes and four princesses. To begin this conversation from 2010, I asked Valerie about her reign as the first “Miss Disneyland,” in 1962.

Valerie Watson: How that happened is I joined Disney in 1959, because I took a break from college to rethink my major. I took guided tours and then I had the good fortune to be selected to greet King Hussein of Jordan on his visit, April, 1959, for no special talent other than my height. I was 5’3 ½” and it was protocol that somebody should greet him that could look him in the eye – not overpower him. So that began a real wonderful career for me that lasted thirteen years.

Valerie Watson with King Hussein of Jordan
Valerie Watson with King Hussein of Jordan

After greeting King Hussein, I was made a VIP hostess along with a very good friend of mine, Donna Clark. She and I were in Guest Relations together. We were assigned to take the king and queen of Thailand through Disneyland, we were the hostesses, but always the U.S. State Department representatives were with us, and we were given protocol instructions before royalty arrived. And the crown prince and princess of Japan, and Thailand, and the three heirs to the throne of Scandinavian countries.

Valerie Watson, with the characters of Walt Disney's "Disneyland, USA" stage show at Radio City Music Hall
Valerie Watson, with the characters of Walt Disney’s “Disneyland, USA” stage show at Radio City Music Hall

Among the VIPs that I took on tour was a man named Russell Downing and his wife Sally, and I spent two days with them, showing them every part of Disneyland. I had no idea why they were there, but he was president of Radio City Music Hall in New York and he was on a confidential visit to meet with Walt Disney on how best to market a new film that was going to be released, called “Moon Pilot.” They wanted to release it at Radio City Music Hall, and in the east coast there was no real familiarity with Pluto and Mickey and Donald Duck and so forth, the “live” characters, so a stage production was in the works to launch Disney in the east, this was long before Walt Disney World.

Valerie Watson as Miss Disneyland, 1962
Valerie Watson as Miss Disneyland, 1962

They decided, “How can we get the interest of the press in New York?” who was considered very jaded, having seen everything, so they came up with a tag of “Miss Disneyland.” They weren’t looking for a beauty queen. They were looking for someone who had knowledge of the organization and enthusiasm, and Russell Downing proposed by name, so he gave that idea to Walt Disney. It was quite a Cinderella story.

Valerie Watson with John F. Kennedy at the New York World's Fair
Valerie Watson with John F. Kennedy at the New York World’s Fair

I worked for Disney in three different states. First of all California, then the New York World’s Fair, and then of all my jobs with Disney, my very favorite was working with WED Enterprises (now known as Walt Disney Imagineering.) The best was at WED, I worked for the master planners of Walt Disney World and it was all secret. It was called Project X. At that time, at WED, under one roof were animators, sculptors, painters, model makers, the most incredible assembly of creative people you can imagine, and I worked there for three years.

Valerie Watson with the first tour guides of Walt Disney World
Valerie Watson with the first tour guides
of Walt Disney World

It broke my heart to be promoted and sent to Florida. I didn’t even want to go. It was a great opportunity to start the Guest Relations department at Walt Disney World, but my heart was really always at WED.

 

To learn more about “Miss Disneyland,” be sure to hear my interview with 1964 Miss Disneyland, Carole Tully!