We still have to finish a volume of Harlequin manga, and we'll likely have UQ Holder! to work on tomorrow, and after both of those, we have a volume of Say I Love You that we really hoped to start on last week. And you never know when something may come along to surprise us.
That being the case, we made sure to finish our first draft of our second Harlequin manga of the month before leaving for Wednesdays with Walt this afternoon. And then we were antsy about the time, which is why we're updating LiveJournal late today,
But Wednesdays with Walt was pretty special this time. They started by introducing Rick Dempsey, the man in charge of Disney Character Voices. He had a little presentation about how Walt Disney was the original voice of Mickey Mouse, and they had a real cool clip of the live-action footage from when Walt was doing the voicework for Mr. Mouse Takes a Trip. After that, Mr. Dempsey did a short presentation on all the subsequent voices of Mickey Mouse, ending with the current voice of Mickey Mouse...who just happened to be with us today. Tadah!
So Mickey #4, Bret Iwan, came out and introduced himself and told his Mickey Story (<--that's my term; if they had used that term, I probably would have wanted to punch them). It's actually not that spectacular. He had a friend who told him they were having auditions, he went to the auditions, and he got the part. Tadah. But the details make it better. He always wanted to be a Disney animator--he learned to draw by drawing Mickey Mouse--so he studied art and stuff, and when he graduated art school, he ended up working for Hallmark in Kansas City, Missouri, of all places. (Kansas City, Missouri is where Walt Disney started his animation career.) Also, the reason his friend told him about the auditions is that in college, he would do a Mickey Mouse impression, for no reason in particular except that he really loved the character. Now that he is Mickey Mouse, it seems like his love of Mickey was inspired.
Then they had an extremely brief question and answer period. Someone asked if Mr. Iwan ever does the voice live, or if every time we hear Mickey it's prerecorded. They (him and Mr. Dempsey) refused to give us details (boo!), but they said it's live more than we know. Someone asked if he ever did the voice for other language versions of Mickey. He said he's very fluent in English, but not so much in any other languages, so no, he lets the international voice actors do those. Mr. Dempsey added that there are currently 55 different language versions of Mickey Mouse. Finally, a little boy in the front row asked if he does the voice for Mickey in Mickey Mouse Club House, and he said yes he does, and Mr. Dempsey suggested he say some lines from Mickey Mouse Club House before they go off and let us watch some Mickey cartoons. It was very sweet, because he said the thing about the magic words, and he looked at the little boy in the front row and asked if he remembered what they were (all in his Mickey voice, of course), and then he said, "Meeska Mooska Mickey Mouse!" (not sure on the spelling) just like in the show.
I hope he made that little boy's day, because the reason the Disney people are so reluctant to tell us stuff like if the dialogue is live or prerecorded is that some people get really disillusioned when they know that stuff, and I guess kids are more susceptible to that. So I hope the boy liked it and was crushed to find out that the animated Mickey Mouse wasn't making sound all on his own. But hey, we've been following voice actors since we were seven, so it's obviously not a problem for all kids.
Then we got to watch some great Mickey Mouse cartoons, all of which we'd seen before but most of which we hadn't seen in years. I think my favorite of the five they showed was The Band Concert. It speaks to the music geek in me. Then they gave us more of those same rice crispy treats from the Halloween party. I guess they didn't get nearly as many annual passholders at the party as they expected. We suspect the separate admission for party tickets had something to do with it. Oh well, more for us.
Today I'm thankful for getting to see Mickey #4 in person, getting to see some great Mickey cartoons, getting on Indiana Jones before it apparently shut down, finishing our work for the day, and having lots of shiny new books to look forward to working on.