November 6, 2009 — Didier Ghez talks about the opening of the Walt Disney Family Museum, Muppets’ Letters To Santa reviewed, plus the final four Up poster giveaways!

I very much support Disney historian – and editor of the Walt’s People series of interview books – Didier Ghez’s call for a “grouping” of historical Disney artefacts, important documents and interviews to be collated and preserved, so that the authentic legacy of Walt Disney and the company that bears his name is available to future generations. All too often, on Disney’s current re-issues of its classics on DVD and Blu-ray, we’re failing to hear the real stories behind production from those that were there, or even those that were told by those that were there. Instead the current crop of documentary retrospectives rest all too lazily on third party researchers; people that have read others’ books and can simply relay that information to camera well. But, somewhere along the line, vital accuracies slip through the cracks, which makes the work of people like Didier and the new Walt Disney Family Museum even more important.

Didier’s remark comes in a new interview with Jeremie Noyer, which marks the opening of the Walt Disney Family Museum at San Francisco’s Presidio complex. A long-cherished project spearheaded by Walt’s daughter Diane Disney Miller, the Disney Family Museum has, of course, been a long-term mainstay of the Disney Company’s website, with many items reflecting Walt the man instead of the company figurehead being most prominently displayed. With the launch of the D23 community, it looks as if the online Museum will leave D23 to cover the Company’s historical aspects and has taken its personal material on Walt to this new physical location. And from this interview, it sounds as if there could not be a more appropriate tribute to the old Mousetro.

muppsmas-115Not such cheerful news to report is the results of the Muppets returning to the Christmas genre for the DVD release of their 2008 special A Muppet Christmas: Letters To Santa. Young folk coming to these characters for the first time may well end up becoming the kind of fan I am now, but I couldn’t help but keep picking out the not-quite-right new voices for many of the characters, which didn’t help my responding to a rather bland plot and, it has to be said, not extravagant production value. That the one or two laughs to be had comes in a montage of bloopers highlights the lowlights of this attempt, and we can only hope for more when the characters return to the big screen, rumored for 2012.

Finally today, and a treat for the weekend, are the last of the eight Up poster giveaways, sent over by the Studio in anticipation of next week’s release of Disney•Pixar’s latest on Blu-ray and DVD. We offered the first set of four high resolution images on November 4, and as promised, here are the final four, making a complete set of terrific retro poster art made for the film for you to download and print!

To download, simply choose an image, click on it for a pop-up at its original size, and save to your hard drive using your usual process. It couldn’t be simpler, but be aware of the large files (an average of around 17mb) if you’re on a slower connection.

Enjoy, have a great weekend, and stay tooned! — Ben.