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Entries in Mr. Lincoln (3)

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
Apr142010

I Love it When They Get Things Right

On this blog, we tend to focus on the things we wish we could change with the Walt Disney Company. This is because we are so passionate about preserving the energy of the company that inspired us so much as children and we want the memories that have ignited our own creativity to exist forever. However, I would like to take just a moment to acknowledge a few things Disney has recently done really right in my eyes.
 

The cleansing of Pleasure Island.  Thank you. Good bye seedy and unimaginative nightclubs, no one will miss you but the sleazy and disreputable.

 
 

The Return of Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln to Disneyland.  Welcome back Mr. Lincoln. You look great. Your moments were greatly missed.


 

The normalizing of Kermit and Piggy.  
It’s a small thing, but it means a lot to me. I am so happy they discontinued use of these ugly, overgrown costumes. Jim Hensen hated them and so do I. I am wishing on a star tonight that they will never be used again.
 

 



And don’t forget....THE RETURN OF CAPTAIN EO.
  I am so happy this is back. The over 500 fans that lined up outside for its opening are happy it’s back, too.
 


Sunday
Nov222009

New Lincoln Animatronic Lookin' Good

Can't wait to see more of this figure.  The facial movements look pretty good.  According to this YouTube post, "The old Lincoln figure had 6 functions in the face, but this new one includes 10. Lincoln's mouth is now able to form vowels such as "O"."

I remember learning about the "F" lip movement when I first started to work on animatronic heads and always thought that was cool.

 

 


While we are on the topic of this historic and iconic AA figure, I'll share one of my personal experiences with ol' Abe.  Back in high school I occasionally worked at the Mad Hatter shop on Main Street.  There was a stock closet to the right of the stage.  For some reason we thought it was funny to put silly hats on the former president and take pictures.  Hilarious, I know.  We'd sit on his lap and stuff.  Aside from goofing around, I'd stand next to the thing in awe.

Sometimes I'd sneak in and sit in the back of the dark theater as Imagineers worked on Mr. Lincoln.  One time I watched them program the figure with an electric piano keyboard.  I felt like I was watching some Disney Channel behind-the-scenes special where they show animatronics without headskins or clothes.