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    Walt Disney historical archive of (8) letters relating to the making of Fantasia and other Disney projects. (Walt Disney, 1938-1959) A rare and historical collection of correspondence between Walt Disney, Roy Disney, Stuart Buchanan (Disney casting director and voice actor) and music critic and composer Joseph Deems Taylor regarding "Deems" participation as the narrator in the groundbreaking Disney animated feature Fantasia. Joseph Deems Taylor was a famous figure in popularizing classical music for the masses. He became an entertainment personality himself appearing on many radio and TV shows. His knowledge of classical music and culture earned the admiration of Walt Disney and his associates, which lead to Disney coming to depend on Deems as a consultant and ultimately a musical collaborator on Fantasia as well as other projects. This collection of letters of correspondence between Walt and company and Deems highlights the warm relationship and mutual respect between these colleagues and also gives an insight into Walt's visionary plans for future innovations in animation and filmmaking. Collection includes: 1. 3-page typed letter dated December 16, 1938 from Stuart Buchanan to Deems on 1- 8.5 x 11 in. "Walt Disney's Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs" letterhead, 1-Silly Symphony stationery page, and 1- blank page. Highlighting concepts and methods to incorporate Deems' narration into the theatrical presentation of Fantasia, Stuart writes, in part: We have hit upon a rather novel idea in presenting you. We are going to make a few experiments as to the practicability of the idea, but we believe it will work. We propose to have a separate projector which will cast a spotlight on the side of the proscenium opening of the screen and from projector will appear the shadow of Deem Taylor. The shadows can take various forms. For instance: in one spot we might have a spotlight appear perfectly white and suddenly the shadow runs in from the wings as if you were a little late for your cue with a small apology as to why you were late such as the service was a little bad around the corner, then you proceed with your narration.... Signed Stuart Buchanan 2. 3-page typed letter dated January 28, 1939 from Stuart Buchanan to Deems on 1- 8.5 x 11 in. "Walt Disney's Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs" letterhead, and 2-blank pages. Buchanan outlines a treatment for the segment of Fantasia set to Beethoven's "Pastorale". Buchanan writes, in part: Most of us at the studio are quite enthusiastic about this treatment; a few people, however, have demurred, and Stokowski particularly has had misgivings...Walt maintains that it is our function to put new wine in old bottles and that we are perfectly within our rights in interpreting this symphony in our own way - that once the public is confronted with a "fait accompli," they will accept it. Signed Stuart Buchanan 3. 1-page typed letter dated April 2, 1940 from Walt Disney to Deems on 7.25 x 10.5 in. "Walt Disney" stationery. Disney informs Deems that he'll be in New York and requests a meeting to discuss the completion of Deems part in Fantasia. Signed Walt 4. 1-page typed letter dated July 7, 1941 from Roy Disney to Deems on 8.5 x 11 in. "Fantasia" letterhead. Here Roy Disney discusses a lawsuit lodged against Disney Studios claiming "Someday My Prince Will Come" in which the plaintiff (Thorton Allen) claimed was an infringement on a property of his. In this letter, Roy Disney thanks Deems for his expert testimony. Roy Disney writes, in part: It is quite interesting. I wonder if the judge knew all he was talking about when he threw around those musical phrases of "harmonic structure," "melodic contour," "passing notes" and "appogiaturi." The judge seemed to be quite impressed with your testimony and quotes you in his opinion...Signed Roy 5. 1-page typed letter dated April 7, 1942 from Walt Disney to Deems on 7.25 x 10.5 in. "Walt Disney" stationery. Disney writes to Deems requesting that Deems sign a copy of his Treasury of Gilbert and Sullivan for Disney's daughter Diane. Signed Walt 6. 1-page typed letter dated July 23, 1942 from Walt Disney to Deems on 7.25 x 10.5 in. "Walt Disney" stationery. Walt Disney discusses the possibility of a feature length adaptation of Alice in Wonderland. Walt Disney writes, in part: Regarding ALICE: I was hoping that we'd have a chance to sit down and discuss the situation personally. I haven't progressed far enough to feel sure of what sequences should be included in the picture. It's going to require a lot of work. What we have done so far should be discounted entirely. The one thing I feel certain should be done is that the music and story approach should have a wide and popular appeal. By this, I don't mean the tin-pan alley type of thing and neither am I thinking of night-club stuff, but instead the semi-classical or light opera treatment. I believe the thing that has kept the people from going for ALICE IN WONDERLAND has been the fact that it has always been put on a pedestal. It hasn't yet been treated in a way that lets the ordinary people get something out of it. Its potentialities are great but I definitely feel it should be made for the masses. It's up to you whether you want to have anything to do with it if we decide to produce it along these lines. Signed Walt 7. 2-page typed letter dated May 19, 1943 from Walt Disney to Deems on 1- 7.25 x 10.5 in. "Walt Disney" stationery and 1- blank page. Disney discusses the possibility of making Alice in Wonderland after the war and box office returns for Fantasia. Walt Disney writes, in part: Things are going on here at a great rate. ALICE, of necessity, is still on the shelf but I'm doing some things right now that will be incorporated into it when we finally do it. At present time, we are experimenting with a combination of live action and cartoon...all of us have been working very hard on our training films. They demand so much time and attention that we haven't been able to get our minds into fantasy...Reports from the field are that FANTASIA is very slow in returning its costs but that it holds up under repeat bookings. Who can tell- it might still turn out to be one of those pictures that will go on for years...My brother Roy, who is quite a pessimist, lately seems to be quite optimistic about its eventually coming out on top. Perhaps there is a place in the movies for the classics after all. Signed Walt 8. 1-page typed letter dated August 6, 1959 from Walt Disney to Deems on 7.25 x 10.5 in. "Walt Disney" stationery. Walt Disney responds to a previous letter from Deems with an invitation for Deem's grandson Michael to visit the Disney studio and Disneyland and extends the same offer to Deems himself. Signed Walt Some pages exhibiting staple holes, original transmittal folds, light soiling and general handling. All remain in vintage very good to fine condition.

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    Auction Dates
    June, 2016
    29th Wednesday
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