Warren Spector (200 words for Girlfriend)
Creative Director, Epic Mickey – his 20th game.
What’s your favourite thing about Epic Mickey?
The way Oswald and Mickey really establish a relationship. Making Mickey a video game hero is really cool, and re-introducing Oswald the Lucky Rabbit, Walt’s first cartoon star, is an honour.
Do you think Walt would be happy it?
I think he would have respected our spirit of innovation; the fact we’re doing things in this game no one has ever done in a game, period. Walt was such an innovator, and always just beyond the cutting edge of what people thought was possible.
What’s innovative about this game?
The core game mechanics allow you to draw and erase. There have been games where we destroy buildings and kill enemies, but this is the first game where you can erase a whole floor, ceiling, character, object and then you can bring it back.
What’s your favourite thing about Mickey as a hero?
He has this child-like exuberance, and he gets over enthusiastic. He’s smart and he’s clever and that gets him in trouble. Maybe I relate to that, I don’t know.
Is this a game for girls?
Epic Mickey is aimed at everyone. Teen girls, whether they’re in Australia or Austria, I think there’s something in there for you.
Creative Director and Head of Special Projects at Walt Disney Animation Studios/ one of the producers of Destino.
Discusses the friendship and working relationship between two artistic greats, Disney and Dali. They collaborated together of a short, Destino, which was never finished at the time. Is now available on the Fantasia blu-ray release.
“On the surface people go Dali, Disney – how far apart can you possibly get? But I think they both admired one another. Walt was this populist artist, creating art for the masses. Dali was doing surrealism, who was this fine artist, this oddity. They both aspired to what the other had. Dali was enamoured with the press, he loved getting press attention, he loved doing spectacles, he wanted to be more of a populist artist. Walt was creating all this animation but was always striving to create something that was more higher brow, hence Fantasia. I think they had more similarities than meets the eye.”
Creative Consultant, Walt Disney Family Museum [or just ‘Disney expert’]
Talks about Walt as incredible amazing icon slash person. Talks about the museum and how much there is to see and how it makes his accessible. Talks about Destino. What she’d ask Walt if she had the chance. Walt’s achievement as an artist. Fave film as Mary Poppins.
“Walt never said no, he never said I can’t. Every time he had a failure, he turned himself around and created something new. He had boundless optimism.”
“We wanted people to see Walt as a real person. That was his daughter’s goal in building this museum; not to put her father on a pedestal, but to say ‘He’s a man, and he’s a man whose got failures and flaws like every other man.'”
“I love the film Bambi, because it’s the story of all of us growing up as children. They’re not necessarily the story about a deer in the forest, it’s the story about a child learning how to explore the world around him. That’s the universality of it.”
“Walt also considered himself an ordinary man of the people. Here’s Walt, the head of a studio, and you’d think about him going to nightclubs, living this studio life… You know what he liked to home and eat? He liked to eat chilli and beans. He didn’t like fancy foods! He liked plain ordinary food! It’s really fun for us to see Walt as that person.”
“It’s hard to say one person is the new Walt Disney, but I think that the folks over at Pixar, who have trained under a lot of the Disney artists, they’ve got the storytelling. They’ve got that gift. The way they approach making films today comes straight out of that history of Disney’s philosophy that story and character are king. It doesn’t matter whether you tell it in 2D or 3D, live action or animation; if you’ve got characters that people care about, then you’re going to have a successful film.”
Diane Disney-Millar, Walter E. Disney-Millar
Talk of the museum: difficulties in building it, all the stuff in the museum, why its not in LA. On all the family footage in the museum.
Diane, on the enduring popularity of Disney: “I think it’s a mixture of something well done, that has a timeless appeal because of the subject matter.”
Walter: “One of my only memories of my Grandpa was being in the back of his car with my sister Jenny. When he would go over the speed bumps, he’d make this sound, like bl-lu-lu-lup, [like a big bubble of oxygen in water]. He’d animate the sound, and we loved it. I think that’s what my Grandpa was like, he was an actor. He was curious about everything, and he acted things out. He’d get up at story meetings and become every character. He was very animated himself.”
Diane: “When he was a kid in St Louis, Missouri, he saw vaudeville for the first time and wanted to be an actor. He always very willing to get up in front of people and try to entertain them. He was not afraid to make a fool of himself in public.”
Diane, on the most underrated Disney character. “Clarabelle Cow! She’s long forgotten. She doesn’t exist anymore. I think she had potential.”
Diane, on describing Walt: “Curious, emotional, optimistic, thorough and honest.”
// ends //