Nov. 16, 2013 | 8:30 a.m.
The scattered nature of L.A.’s expansive urban grid is never more noticeable than during the winter holidays. While certain centers festoon the streets with lights and artistically ambitious homeowners create front lawn tableaux, Los Angeles simply lacks the central pedestrian thoroughfares that make Christmas so enchanting in cities like New York and Chicago, London and Paris. But if we don’t have Oxford Street, we do have the Disneyland resorts, where Walt Disney’s initial nostalgic imagining of Americana has become more festive with each passing holiday season. What began in 1956 with a Christmas tree on Main Street and a Santa hat on Mickey has become an increasingly dramatic, and dramatically marketable, Christmas-fication of Just About Everything. The Christmas fantasy parade, the holiday version of “It’s a Small World,” the sudsy snow falling in “Believe,” the Haunted Mansion gone all “Nightmare Before […]
May 28, 2013 | 6:00 a.m.
Eastern philosophy is not the first thing one associates with the Disneyland Resort, but the message of the Fantasyland Theatre’s new and quite splendid stage show “Mickey and the Magical Map” is decidedly, and surprisingly, Zen. Or as Zen as a show can be in which young men and women in rustic fantasy-wear sing and dance their way through some of the studio’s greatest hits in front of a gorgeous three-tiered screen awash in animated wonder. Like many characters of his demo, Mickey Mouse is, above all, a seeker of enlightenment. In “Mickey and the Magical Map,” he’s back in Sorcerer’s Apprentice mode, trying to prove himself by filling in the final empty space on his master’s map. The black spot, which does not want to be painted, comes to life and takes Mickey on a magical, musical, multimedia tour. […]
Aug. 26, 2011 | 4:37 p.m.
BOOK REVIEW “Steamboat Willie” made Mickey Mouse an overnight sensation in 1928, and less than two years later, the King Features syndicate contacted Walt Disney about adapting the character to a daily comic strip. The Mickey Mouse strip debuted on Jan. 13, 1930, in the New York Daily Mirror. For the first few weeks, it was written by Disney and drawn by his head animator, Ub Iwerks. But Disney and Iwerks were busy working on films and passed the strip to studio artist Floyd Gottfredson, who worked on it for 45 years — right up until his retirement in 1975. The hardcover “Walt Disney’s Mickey Mouse: Race to Death Valley” (Fantagraphics Books: $29.95; 288 pp.), edited by David Gerstein and Gary Groth and published this summer, is the first installment in a complete reprint of the strip. At the urging […]