by Paul F. Anderson

WELCOME to the first post for today’s celebration of Walt Disney’s Birthday. Today you will find a post every hour, starting with this one at 12:05 a.m. (get it 12/5). Each post will celebrate Walt Disney through essays, photos, pictures, anecdotes, and more. I have invited some of the most distinguished Disney historians to offer their tribute, so you should check back at the Institute often–or at least every hour. You see at five minutes past the hour until 11:05 p.m. tonight, you will find a new piece to celebrate Walt Disney’s creative legacy, in honor of his 108th birthday. If you are reading this now at 12:06 a.m., I commend you for being a true Disney History Institute member. And a special gift to the very first to email! Yes, be the first to email me at: [email protected] to wish Walt a Happy Birthday, and I will send you a new DVD of the film I worked on Walt – The Man Behind the Myth (2001). This is only to one person, the lucky first to send me a “Happy Birthday Walt” email (I will look at the time and date stamp of the email to determine the winner). Surprisingly the Institute has a strong foreign following, so if someone outside the United States wins, the DVD will be sent via Economy Mail (20 to 35 days). Good luck.

There was so much material to choose from for the first post. I decided on the cover of the December 27, 1954 Time Magazine. It has always been one of my favorite covers, and one I remember discovering in my youth on my trips to the University of Wyoming Coe Library to copy all the periodicals I could find on Walt Disney. The art is by Boris Chaliapin, the longtime, notable cover artist for Time, who did over 400 covers in his career which covered 1942 to 1970. This was not Walt’s only cover image for Time, but the only time his image appeared in art (Life Imitating Art?). The cover is very whimsical, and the characters are done in the inimitable Chaliapin 3D-ish style. Often overlooked in this in this image are the silhouettes of the two children which gaze up to the stars (literal and figural) in wonderment.

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