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One of the things I am loving about writing this new column is that I'm learning about all sorts of events I've never heard of; events that sound kind of cool and would be fun to go to.

Sure, sure, we all know that the D23 Expo is coming (I'm looking forward to seeing what Disney does with this, how about you?) and that the Haunted Mansion turns 40 this weekend (yes, despite the fact that on Monday-last a cast member outside the Mansion swore up and down that the Mansion's anniversary is September 9th - I know better than that. Really they should be better informed, don't you think?).

But did you know there's a short film festival in the LA area, or a Tiki extravaganza in San Diego? Yeah, me neither, so let's talk about that first before we get to this week's news from the Walt Disney Family Museum (Can't wait to see this either, how about you?) and, of course, the Haunted Mansion stuff.

it's a short world

Got a short attention span? Then this is the event for you -

A short film is defined as anything that is 30 minutes or less; and the 5th Annual Holly Shorts Film Festival is packed full of what sounds like great little films. The festival officially opened Thursday night but it runs through Sunday the 13th of August and as the press release said, it features the best and brightest short films from around the world.

Here's a sample of what's in store:

Heather and Goliath, a short film about the controversy that ensued when the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers decided that the LA River was not worthy of environmental protection, will screen at the 5th Annual Hollyshorts Film Festival, on August 8th, at 6:00PM, at the Laemmle Sunset 5: 8000 Sunset Blvd. West Hollywood, 90046. Notes director Thea Mercouffer: 'We are thrilled that Heather and Goliath will be screened in the hometown of the neglected LA River. We hope members of the audience will be inspired to become involved in forging thoughtful solutions to these urgent national and global water challenges.'

Sounds interesting, doesn't it?

For trailers, more info on times, places, tickets, etc., go to: www.hollyshorts.com

it's a tiki world

Now normally I would have zero interest in beachy kind of stuff -- tikis? Blech! (From this you may infer that the Enchanted Tiki Room is not my favorite Disneyland attraction). I am more of a dusty-old-crystal-chandelier-filled-mansion kind of gal.

Yep you guessed it; the Haunted Mansion is where you will find me hanging out at Disneyland. But -- this intrigues me: The Tiki Oasis

What the heck is that? Well, it sounds like a tiki-lovers version of heaven, that what! Four days of everything surf & tiki, in the great southern California city of San Diego.

The Tiki Oasis takes place from August 13th - 16th and if you go, you'll be able to:

  • See a Gidget-worthy vintage car show filled with old beach wagons, woodies, & hot rods
  • Take a Tahitian dance class (so you can -- you know, be prepared if Disneyland ever brings back the Tahitian Terrace)
  • Shop for all things tiki at the Tiki Marketplace (Shag is one of the sponsors of the event so you can bet there will be a lot of great Shag merch for sale).

For all the latest Tiki Oasis information (where, when, why, how much) hop on over to: www.tikioasis.com or become a tiki follower: http://twitter.com/tikioasis

it's a shag world

Now -- speaking of Shag, he's going to show up at Disneyland this weekend, so if you're a Shag fan or a fan of the Haunted Mansion -- then you want to drag your body to the dead center of -- oh, sorry, getting carried away with anticipatory celebrating --

Head over to the Disneyana shop on Main Street, Sunday morning, August 9th where Shag will make an appearance between 10 AM & 1 PM for the release of his Haunted Mansion artwork commemorating the 40th anniversary of Disneyland's Haunted Mansion.

For more information go to: www.ArtofDisneyParks.com

it's a Walt world

Lastly, for this week's Pressing Matters is the weekly communiqué from the Walt Disney Family Museum.

As each week's press release arrives I get more and more excited about seeing this museum, and this week just adds to that feeling as we get a glimpse into Gallery 4, the room that covers the period in time when Walt decided to make animated features.

Up till that time there had never been a full-length animated movie, it was just unheard of. But Walt decided to plunge ahead, ignoring slurs from skeptics who referred to the project as 'Walt's Folly.' In the end, we all know Walt proved those naysayers wrong as Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs went on to become a huge success and is still, all these years later, a much beloved film.

In this gallery you'll find:

An Inter-office Communication from Walt Disney to Bill Cottrell (who directed the wicked witch and evil queen sequences in Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs):

Another piece of paper that, yes -- I am excited about seeing. Say what you will about me and my paper-excitement, but sometimes, those bits and pieces are endlessly fascinating scraps of history. And who was it that said pieces of paper have changed the world? Yep, you're so right. And I really like seeing that history.

Aside from that, I have to say that I also love Walt's signature on this inter-office memo -- scrawled all big and in red, and -- it just made me a little giddy seeing that in the to and from form on the communication, the from simply says, Walt. No need for a last name. There was only one, unmistakable, Walt.

For some reason that just makes me smile and I look forward to seeing the real deal and not just some jpeg sent to my computer.

Pieces of paper, ya gotta love 'em.

A character model of Dopey that was used in the making of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs:

This little character model is so completely charming that I can't wait to see it either. I'm not really a Dopey fan but I swear this thing could turn me into one.

Gallery 4 is also loaded with original art from Snow White, more three-dimensional model figures, magazines of the period, audio clips, and a wide array of related 1930s merchandise to aid in recreating the story of Disney's pioneering effort to produce Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.

If you're planning a trip up to San Francisco to see the museum, The Walt Disney Family Museum's website is up so you can take a look for all the pertinent information including ticketing info, prices, how to get there, etc. and -- you can now order your tickets for a visit: http://www.waltdisney.org

Follow the Walt Disney Family Museum on Facebook and Twitter for the latest scoop:

http://www.facebook.com/TheWaltDisneyFamilyMuseum | http://twitter.com/WDFMuseum

And of course discuss it all to your heart's content at MiceChat's forum for it:


Okay, that should keep you busy till next week, when I show up with a few 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.

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© 2009 Sue Kruse