Tuesday, June 21, 2016

The Mouse Castle Lounge 06-21-2016 - Remembering Annette Funicello with Glen Holt and Dave Mason



Annette Funicello's sweater and mouse ears on display
at Van Eaton Galleries.
A few weeks ago, we previewed the Collecting Disney auction with Mike Van Eaton from Van Eaton Galleries. This past weekend, over 700 items of Disney history and memorabilia went under the hammer at this successful auction event. Two of those items were a sweater and a pair of mouse ears that belonged to Disney Legend Annette Funicello. Proceeds from the sale of those items went to benefit the Annette Funicello Research Fund for Neurological Diseases.

Annette founded the Research Fund in 1993 to research the cause, treatment and cure of Multiple Sclerosis and other neurological diseases. In 1987, Annette had been diagnosed with MS, a chronic and often debilitating disease that attacks the central nervous system. Annette had the most severe type of MS, which eventually left her unable to walk or to speak. In 2013, Annette passed away at the age of 70 from the complications of MS.

Mouseketeer Annette.
Her legacy, however, will always be that of an actress, singer and eternal Mouseketeer. At the age of 12, Annette was the last child cast for Walt Disney’s original Mickey Mouse Club TV series in 1955. Fueled by her talent, good looks and girl-next-door charm, Annette’s popularity quickly skyrocketed, and soon she was receiving more than 6,000 fan letters per month—an astounding figure in a pre-Internet age. She appeared in numerous other Disney TV and movie projects, including Zorro, The Shaggy Dog and Babes in Toyland.

In the mid-1960s, her Disney contract behind her, she appeared in a series of popular “Beach” movies with singer Frankie Avalon. In 1965, Annette married talent agent and casting director Jack Gilardi, gradually distancing herself from show business to raise a family. The couple divorced in 1981. In 1986, Annette married her long-time friend, rancher and horse-trainer Glen Holt, who I’m happy to say is with us today in the Lounge. Glen was married to Annette until her death and helped care for her throughout her illness. Theirs is a story of great love, friendship and courage in the face of adversity. Also joining us today is Dave Mason, the director of development with the Annette Funicello Research Fund. Prior to the Van Eaton Galleries Disney auction, the three of us talked about how Annette’s personal items are benefitting the Research Fund, but most importantly, we talked about Annette herself: her life, legacy and place as one of Disney’s most iconic stars. We’re remembering Annette Funicello today in The Mouse Castle Lounge.

Glen Holt and Annette Funicello, c. 1988.
By the way, if you’re keeping score, Annette's red turtleneck sweater sold at auction for $7,000; her personal pair of mouse ears, $14,000.

Enjoy!

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By Tim Callaway




Thursday, June 2, 2016

The Mouse Castle Lounge 06-02-2016 - Collecting Disney with Mike Van Eaton



1933 Mickey Mouse watch.
It’s always a pleasure when Mike Van Eaton from Van Eaton Galleries drops by the Lounge, because that means he’s got some really cool Disney stuff up for auction. Today is no different. Now through June 17, you can visit Van Eaton Galleries in Sherman Oaks, California and see their Collecting Disney collection, over 700 items dating back to the earliest days of Mickey Mouse in the late 1920s. The collection includes over 40 years-worth of Walt Disney Studio-related merchandise and collectibles. The items are priced for all budgets and tastes, so you can bid $50 on a vintage Sword in the Stone book all the way up to $60,000 for a complete set of studio office furniture. And there are plenty of other surprises in the collection, I guarantee. Of course, if you can’t make it to Sherman Oaks, you can still see the entire collection online at www.vegalleries.com. The entire collection goes up for auction on June 18.




Please welcome Mike Van Eaton, my guest today in The Mouse Castle Lounge. Enjoy!

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The Mouse Castle Lounge has been nominated for a People’s Choice Podcast Award. And we are super excited about it, but we really need your support. People’s Choice means podcasting fans choose who wins, so you can show your support of The Mouse Castle Lounge by going to www.podcastawards.com and casting your vote for us the Society-Culture category. You can vote once per day every day now through June 12 and we would really appreciate it if you did. Thank you so much for being part of Team Mouse Castle.


By Tim Callaway

Thursday, May 26, 2016

The Mouse Castle Lounge 05-26-2016 - Theme Park Historian Robert McLaughlin



Long before Walt Disney World opened--and later closed--an elaborately themed entertainment district, there was a Pleasure Island. Before Six Flags operated a hillside full of thrill rides in Southern California, there was a Magic Mountain. These theme parks were nothing like their contemporary namesakes and their lifespans were frustratingly short. But, along with their often-forgotten sister park, Freedomland in New York, they hold a special place in theme park history and provide a direct line connecting the game-changer that was Disneyland with Universal, Six Flags, Disney and other popular theme parks of today.

In March, historian Todd Pierce was my guest in the Lounge and he told us about C.V. Wood, the colorful entrepreneur who was instrumental in the design and development of Disneyland. My guest today, Robert McLaughlin, picks up where Todd left off. Because, after departing Disney, it was C.V. Wood and his company that designed the Disneyland-wannabe parks of Magic Mountain in Colorado, Pleasure Island near Boston and Freedomland in New York. They were ideas that looked great on paper, but fell short dramatically when it came to financing and attendance. They were pretty good for what they were, but they were no Disneyland.

Robert McLaughlin
Bob has written books about all three of these theme parks and his latest, Magic Mountain, was just released by Arcadia Publishing. Please welcome Bob McLaughlin, my guest today in The Mouse Castle Lounge.

Enjoy!

Download: http://traffic.libsyn.com/themousecastle/TheMouseCastleLounge05-26-2016.mp3

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Thank You!

Last month, I asked for your help in earning The Mouse Castle Lounge a People’s Choice Podcast Award nomination and you came through with flying colors. This past weekend we found out that we made the final Podcast Award nomination ballot in the Society and Culture category. We’re going to ask for your help one more time, though. The final voting process relies on your continued support of The Mouse Castle Lounge, so beginning on May 29  and running through June 12, please go to www.podcastawards.com and cast your vote for The Mouse Castle Lounge. You’re allowed to vote once per day every day during the voting period, so if you can find a minute or two in your busy schedule and cast your vote for us fifteen times over fifteen days (it's pretty easy, actually), we would really appreciate it. Thank you so much for being a part of Team Mouse Castle.


By Tim Callaway