Hello Dear Readers! Are you all recovered from last Saturday’s Pirates IV Premiere? Sunday afternoon when I went back to Disneyland, it amazed me to see that if you hadn’t heard about it you’d never know that the night before there had been black carpet and bleachers all the way down Main Street. On Tuesday there was barely any evidence left that a screening had taken place on the Rivers of America and by Wednesday, it looked like it was all gone. That’s fast work, if you ask me, and believe me it was a lot of stuff to dismantle and remove. The Disneyland crews who take care of that are pretty amazing.

Enough about Pirates, let’s get to our topics. Today we’ll discuss:

An eBay Auction of Note • A Gallery Opening • Knott’s Through the Eyes of Charles Phoenix • Acme Animation • Car Masters • A Geek’s Eye View

When work on Toy Story 3 was completed, director Lee Unkrich gifted the cast and crew with specially made tiki mugs. Only 500 of the mugs were made and what makes those mugs unique is that they were modeled after the visages of Buzz and Woody. Three of those rare mugs are up for auction. They are from only a handful of un-numbered samples that were produced as Lee was trying to determine the final glaze.

No, this isn’t some cynical employee unloading a collectible for big bucks. The auctions are to raise money for the Japan Earthquake and Tsunami Relief Fund to aid the people of Japan as they recover from the recent earthquake and tsunami, and 100% of the proceeds from the auctions will go to the relief fund:

Up for auction is a one-of-a-kind Tiki Mug from the Disney/Pixar film Toy Story 3. On one side is a tiki-fied version of Buzz Lightyear, and on the opposite side is a Easter Island Moai rendition of Woody. The mug was designed by Toy Story 3 Production Designer Bob Pauley, sculpted by Pixar sculptor Jerome Ranft, and produced by Munktiki. All three auctions end on May 18th.

You’ll find Auction #1 at this link: Auction #2 at this link and Auction #3 at this link.

Our next topic is about a gallery opening you may be interested in. You might not have heard of the artist, Lorelay Bové, but if you’re a Disney fan, and I’m assuming you are because you’re reading this, you’ve probably seen her work. Bové received her Batchelor of Fine Arts in Character Animation from the California Institute of the Arts, has interned at Pixar Animation Studios, and now works in Visual Development at Disney Animation Studios.

She’s worked on several Disney animated films, such as Tangled, Winnie the Pooh, The Princess and the Frog (shown above), and animated TV shows and shorts such as Prep and Landing and The Ballad of Nessie. (Her art also graces our article banner today.)

Bové’s work, along with artist Becky Dreistadt will be featured in Gallery Nucleus’ newest exhibit, East to West Flash Trip:

This is a story about a boy and his dog. They've embarked on a spontaneous journey to new places spanning the globe. Uncertain of what their adventures may bring, they would like for you to join them in the fun. This two-person exhibit finds artists Lorelay Bové and Becky Dreistadt contributing wonderful and lighthearted paintings that capture the adventures of these two close comrades encountering new friends and unexpected excitement!

Gallery Nucleus is located at 210 E Main St., in Alhambra, CA and the Opening Reception will be held on Saturday, May 14th, from 7:00 PM to 11:00 PM. The artists will be in attendance and there will be a raffle giveaway and complimentary refreshments. Admission is free. If you can’t make it to opening night, East to West Flash Trip runs through June 6th, 2011

For more information visit this link.

Our next topic deals with kitsch, specifically with that master of kitsch himself, Charles Phoenix. Charles has an upcoming show sure to entertain, and the price of admission includes a Knott’s Berry Farm day ticket:

Charles shows and tells the story of Knott’s from the humble berry farm in the 20’s, to world-class theme park in the 40s, 50s and 60s. You’ll learn how Walter Knott discovered the boysenberry, why Mrs. Knott began serving her famous fried chicken dinners and what inspired the creation of America’s first permanent theme park, Ghost Town. Knott’s fans will enjoy the amazing vintage images of Ghost Town’s historic buildings, unique displays, curio shops, colorful characters and favorite attractions including the haunted shack, the mine train, log ride and much more! It all takes place this Sunday, May 15th, 2011 at 5 pm in the Bird Cage Theater at Knott's Berry Farm at 8039 Beach Boulevard, Buena Park, CA.

Tickets run $65 which includes that all-day Knott's pass so head to the park at opening (10:00 AM – 7:00 PM), enjoy your day, and then top it off with Charles Phoenix’s slide show. The 2:00 PM show is sold out, but a second performance has been added at 5:00 PM — Charles will be joined onstage by Knott's Preserved co-author, Eric Lynxwiler.

For more information visit this link.

Now ... some Downtown Disney event news for both coasts ...

We’ll discuss Anaheim first: Acme Animation has a show at D Street this coming Saturday:

Be the first to see the newest releases from ACME Animation during our spring art show, including over ten new Star Wars™ inspired pieces and much more. Artist Steven Daily will be on hand for a special art demonstration beginning at 3:00 PM.  The Art Show will take place from 3:00 PM to 6:00, Saturday, May 14th, 2011 at D Street, Downtown Disney District, Disneyland Resort.

For more information visit this link.

And at Downtown Disney Orlando presents Car Masters Weekend:

This special event, which will take place from 10:30 AM to 6:00 PM daily, May 13th — 15th, celebrates the upcoming release of Disney/Pixar’s “Cars 2.” This weekend, families can hang out with Lightning, Mater and Finn McMissile, and take part in all sorts of fun “Cars” activities, including a video kiosk, e-photo opportunities and games.

For more information visit this link.

We’ll wind up this week’s edition of Pressing Matters with a Disney Geek’s-eye-view of the world, in which Jeffrey recaps last Saturday’s Pirates Premiere at Disneyland that includes the obligatory star shots but also some cool overhead photos of the black carpet running down Disneyland’s Main Street and the temporary theatre built over the rivers of America. He also previews some of the Mary Blair artwork that will be included in the Disney Gallery’s new showcase, The Art of Mary Blair, opening on May 13th at Disneyland, and shows a time-lapse video of the Little Mermaid construction. We’ve all slowly watched the show building go up every week here on Dateline Disneyland and In The Parks, now it’s kind of cool to see it build itself in seconds.

Want to know what I’m up to? Then you need to follow Pressing Matters on Twitter. You never know what you’ll find there — food, museums, shopping, Disneyland!

Follow me along as I search for the all the latest Pressing Matters & tweet about what I find:

I’ll leave you and say goodbye until next week when we meet again to discuss more...

If you'd like to submit something to be considered for the column, please send it to both Sue and Al at the following email addresses: [email protected] and [email protected] with the words "Pressing Matters" in the subject line. Due to our already extensive email loads we won't be able to acknowledge each submission, but those under consideration may get a note from us asking for more details. Representatives from the items chosen are invited to answer questions from readers at the forum linked at the end of each column.

FTC-Mandated Disclosure: As of December 2009, bloggers are required by the Federal Trade Commission to disclose payments and freebies. Sue Kruse and Al Lutz did not receive any payments, free items, or free services from any of the parties discussed in this article. They pay for their own admission to theme parks and their associated events, unless otherwise explicitly noted.

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2011 Sue Kruse