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Entries in Adventure Thru Inner Space (2)

Saturday
May012010

I Miss Paul Frees

Article by Lilly.

I love voice-overs. I love doing them and I especially love hearing really great voice-over talent. Best part of Disney’s recent Alice in Wonderland? Paul Whitehouse as the March Hare. He was crazy. It was awesome. I listen Keith David perform “Friends on the Other Side” all the time. He did an outstanding job with the character of Dr. Facilier.

But of course you know my favorites go back to the early days of Disney. I love those classic voices like Ed Wynn, Andy Devine, and Eleanor Audley. Phil Harris? No wonder Disney used him a million times, he had a great voice. I love how back then they chose incredibly rich and distinct voices. Adriana Caselotti often gets criticized for her cheesy interpretation of Snow White, but you listen to “With a Smile and a Song” and tell me it doesn’t warm your heart a little. That movie wouldn’t be the same without that voice, I wouldn’t change it a bit.

Of all the voices that I’ve ever heard in my life, one stands out as my absolute favorite. The late Paul Frees. Hands down, Paul Frees is my favorite voice actor of all time. Of course, as a young girl, I always loved Frees’ deep and evocative voice as the Ghost Host in the Haunted Mansion, but I also loved his resounding narration in Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln. Then I found out he did several of the pirate voices, including one of my favorites, the auctioneer. I began to be really impressed, but my mind was blown when I found out he did Ludwig Von Drake, too. Is there no end to this guy’s talent? I propose that there is not. Since then, I have adored the man. I have listened and watched everything he’s ever done and have missed him terribly since he passed away November 2, 1986. Disney isn’t the same without him.

Go ahead and listen to some Paul Frees amazingness. The last 4 minutes are Paul Frees in the sound booth recording for The Haunted Mansion. Pretty cool to hear him at work.


And if you would like to see Frees in a live action role, check out The Shaggy Dog (1959) where he plays Dr. Galvin, a psychiatrist.

On October 9, 2006, Paul Frees was honored as a Disney Legend for his contributions to the Disney legacy. Mr. Frees, you are missed!


BONUS:  Paul Frees narrates Disneyland's Adventure Thru Inner Space ride (Paul begins his narration at 2:29)



 

Wednesday
Mar172010

1967 "New Tomorrowland" Broadcast

Was Disneyland ever better than it was when "New Tomorrowland" opened in 1967?  I suggest that this was Disneyland in it's prime.

See more images at our new Facebook Fan Page: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Imagineering-Disney/410687656424

Stunning Herb Ryman rendering of Tomorrowland 1967. Click for high-res version.

"Tomorrowland was rushed together in less than six months for the July 1955 opening of Disneyland.  Although significant additions were made in 1959 (Submarines, Monorail, Matterhorn), Walt Disney decided to start fro scratch after the New York World's fair in 1964-1965 and create a New Tomorrowland.  Soft yet symmetrical shapes and sculptured reflective surfaces reaching skyward symbolize human aspiration, while constant movement manifests the ceaseless activity envisioned in a city of the future." -The Art of Disneyland by Jeff Kurtti and Bruce Gordon

This broadcast with it's great instrumental music and the 1960's narrator voice and all that amazing footage just takes my breath away.

"Even today’s household word, astronaut, had not been coined."  How great would it have been to be the guy wearing the jetpack. Such great footage of the "Atom-mobiles" in Adventures Thru Inner Space.  The WEDWay People Mover had such great views of the Tomorrowland.  The view of the Character Shop (today's Star Trader) is fantastic.  The Flight to the Moon shots are great.  What an age.  (And nothing was painted gold).