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  1. #1

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    'Walt & El Grupo' documentary in limited release 9/11


    'Walt & El Grupo' documentary
    in theatres for limited release
    Los Angeles and New York beginning September 11
    Additional cities coming soon

    Press Release from Walt Disney Family Foundation Films

    Acclaimed documentary WALT & EL GRUPO, a festival favorite in Rome, Rio, San Francisco, Palm Springs and Seattle, is set to begin its theatrical run with limited releases in Los Angeles and New York on September 11, 2009. The film, from writer/director Theodore Thomas ("Frank and Ollie") and producer Kuniko Okubo, is also scheduled to run for a week in Seattle starting September 25th and will debut in additional markets soon after.

    In New York, the film will open at the Quad Cinema. In Los Angeles, the film will release on two screens, at the Landmark's Regent Theater in Westwood and the AMC Downtown Disney 12 in Anaheim. For more information on the film, check out the official website at WALTANDELGRUPO.COM, become a fan on Facebook, or follow the film on Twitter.

    WALT & EL GRUPO chronicles the amazing ten-week trip that Walt Disney and his hand-picked group of artists and filmmaking talent (later known as "El Grupo") took to South America in 1941 at the behest of the U.S. Government as part of the Good Neighbor Policy. Within just three short years after the phenomenal success of "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs," the Walt Disney Studios experienced a chain of financial challenges that ultimately led to the infamous animators strike. Also during this time, the Roosevelt administration had growing concerns about Nazi and Fascist influence in Latin America, and the rest of the world was slipping further into war. In stark contrast to these trying times, Disney and his colorful group of artists found themselves on a lively trip full of hope and discovery as they explored various South American cities, spending the majority of their time in the countries of Argentina, Brazil and Chile. The group was saddled with an unusual assignment – while gathering story material, immersing themselves in the culture, befriending local artists, meeting political leaders and attending countless functions, their journey was also a de facto diplomatic mission, and as a result, the studio produced the classic films "Saludos Amigos" and "The Three Caballeros."

    Shot on film in five countries, WALT & EL GRUPO is a tale that still resonates on both sides of the equator. The film time travels in Walt Disney's footsteps through the use of personal letters and stunning artwork from the trip, remembrances by descendants and 2 survivors, and extraordinary never-before-seen footage. WALT & EL GRUPO brings together an intertwined story of art and politics, the poignancy of a bygone age, and a legendary artist during one of his most trying times.

    A Walt Disney Pictures release presented by Walt Disney Family Foundation Films, in association with Theodore Thomas Productions, WALT & EL GRUPO was written and directed by Theodore Thomas, produced by Kuniko Okubo and executive produced by Walter E.D. Miller.

    Walt Disney Family Foundation Films
    is the theatrical arm of The Walt Disney Family Foundation.
    The Walt Disney Family Foundation promotes scholarly research, education and publication of information on subjects relating to Walt Disney and the time during which he lived. The Foundation was established in 1997 by Walt Disney’s daughter, Diane Disney Miller, and members of her immediate family. Walter E. D. Miller, grandson of Walt Disney, is the Foundation's President.

    Last edited by ALIASd; 07-29-2009 at 10:59 AM.

  2. #2

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    Re: 'Walt & El Grupo' documentary in limited release 9/11

    Perfect timing, since it'll be playing at the AMC Downtown Disney during the D23 Expo. Could a D23 members-only showing be in the works?

    Last year, "Saludos Amigos" and "The Three Caballeros" were packaged together on the same DVD. I thought at the time, Disney could've easily padded out the material to something "Treasures" worthy, especially since this was such a critical time in Disney history (post-strike, pre-US entry into WWII). The 30-minute doc, "South of the Border with Disney," included on the DVD, is a great look at what Walt and his staff experienced on their trip. I especially enjoyed spotting a young Mary Blair (and her husband, fellow Disney artist Lee Blair) in the footage.

    This is a very exciting release for Disney history buffs. Bravo WDFF!!

  3. #3

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    Re: 'Walt & El Grupo' documentary in limited release 9/11

    Can't wait to see it!

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    Re: 'Walt & El Grupo' documentary in limited release 9/11

    If they're are any other people who are going to the D23 Expo and would like to see this movie as well, I would be open to meeting up to watch it.

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    Re: 'Walt & El Grupo' documentary in limited release 9/11

    I e-mailed D23 about whether there would be a members screening. This was the reply:

    Hello Tim,

    Thank you for your letter.

    We have not yet announced any events surrounding "Walt & El Grupo."
    Please continue to check back on the D23 Expo site as additions are made
    on a regular basis.

    Regards,

    Sharon
    D23 Guest Services
    So, ummm, yeah, a definite maybe.

    Stay tuned . . .

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    Re: 'Walt & El Grupo' documentary in limited release 9/11

    Man, ever since the WTC attacks, things happening on 9/11 just feel weird to me.

  7. #7

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    Re: 'Walt & El Grupo' documentary in limited release 9/11

    Judging from the release schedule listed on the official website, it appears that the AMC Downtown Disney showing(s) are only going to be for one day (9/11)! Is this correct, or will it be showing more than just the one day? I'd love to see it on the big screen but don't think I'll be able to make it on that particular day...I'll try though.
    Last edited by Crazee4mm; 07-17-2009 at 09:07 PM. Reason: clarity

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    Re: 'Walt & El Grupo' documentary in limited release 9/11

    September 11th is the start date here and in NY, typically a limited engagement lasts at least one week.

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    Re: 'Walt & El Grupo' documentary in limited release 9/11

    'Walt & El Grupo' has been rated PG by the MPAA:

    "for Historical Smoking"

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    Re: 'Walt & El Grupo' documentary in limited release 9/11

    There are bi-coastal events tied in to Ted Thomas’s must-see documentary Walt & El Grupo that Cartoon Brew readers may want to attend.

    In New York, the Museum of Comic and Cartoon Art will present a special advance screening of the film, along with a Q&A with writer/director Ted Thomas and producer Kuniko Okubo, moderated by John Canemaker.

    The screening will be Thursday, August 27th, 7:30 PM at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, BAM Cinema 4, (30 Lafayette Avenue, Brooklyn, NY). Admission is free for Members of MoCCA. To rsvp, call (212) 254-3511, Tuesday through Sunday between 12-5 PM. Seating is limited.

    In L.A., The Egyptian Theatre will be hosting a panel, moderated by Geoff Boucher of the LA Times, with panelists including writer/director Ted Thomas, producer Kuniko Okubo, composer James Stemple and director of photography Shana Hagan, who will discuss Disney’s South American tour. The evening will include a rare theatrical showing of Saludos Amigos in 35mm.

    This event will take place on Tuesday September 8th, 7:30pm at the Egyptian on Hollywood Blvd. It is FREE for Asifa Hollywood members and members of the American Cinetheque. Check the Egyptian’s website for more details later this month.
    Walt and El Grupo events | Cartoon Brew: Leading the Animation Conversation

  11. #11

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    Re: 'Walt & El Grupo' documentary in limited release 9/11

    Quote Originally Posted by ALIASd View Post
    'Walt & El Grupo' has been rated PG by the MPAA:

    "for Historical Smoking"
    *guffaw* As opposed to smoking in the here and now, which garners a hard R.

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    Re: 'Walt & El Grupo' documentary in limited release 9/11

    CLASSIC HOLLYWOOD

    When Walt Disney visited Latin America

    A new documentary and book chronicle the animator's trip as part of a U.S. program to stem Nazi inroads in the region.

    When Walt Disney visited Latin America -- latimes.com

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    Re: 'Walt & El Grupo' documentary in limited release 9/11

    AMC Downtown Disney District 12 9/9 - 16/2009

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    Re: 'Walt & El Grupo' documentary in limited release 9/11

    Last night they were handing out the El Grupo poster pin for everyone seeing the film. Its limited to 1000. I enjoyed the film but the AMC was having major problems with the audio.. it was very loud at the beginning, then went very quiet, then it was turned up a little, then went out completely, then went back to very loud for the last 10 minutes. hopefully they can find a balance somewhere for the showings today.

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