A Detailed Look Inside D23′s Destination D: 75 Years of Feature Animation, Pt. 3

Day 1 of D23’s Destination D focused on the past and present of Walt Disney Studios animation.  Part 1 of our coverage focused on Walt Disney’s original animators, and Part 2 featured the state of Disney animation today.  Day 2 of Destination D was like the bonus features on our DVD set, in depth, behind-the-scenes, and maybe a little offbeat and irreverent thrown in to boot.  Continue reading for more details on the second day of the Destination D event held at the Disneyland Hotel.

Animator Andreas Deja taught at the crowd how to draw some of their favorite characters on August 12, 2012. Photo © Disney, Courtesy D23: The Official Disney Fan Club

“Wacky and Wild Disney Animation” led the day, featuring Disney animator and director Eric Goldberg, and animation historian Jerry Beck.  They showed bits from Thru the Mirror, The Barn Dance, a clip from the hilarious Mother Goose Goes Hollywood, among several others.  They also showcased some of the characters that Eric was responsible for animating, such as Genie from Aladdin and the flamingo sequence from Fantasia 2000.

When animating the Genie character from Aladdin, Eric Goldberg recalls that it was one of the highlights of his life to make Robin Williams laugh.

A sketch design of the flamingo from Eric's scene in Fantasia 2000.


Eric shared that idea for the flamingo actually came from Michael Eisner.  It was his answer to the Ostriches in the original 1940 Fantasia.  Eric noted his wife is the “art director in the family,” and she did the art direction for the piece.  Eric pointed out that when the hero of the story (the flamingo with the yo-yo) is in control, the background color is a very cool green.  However, in contrast, when control flips to the flamingo flock, the background color switches to a yellow – an aggressive color to Eric’s wife.  This is something I probably never would’ve noticed on my own, but it was fun to look for when watching the clip!

They also discussed Hiawatha, one of Walt’s favorite childhood stories.  Eric was co-director on Pocahontas, and noted there will be a  featured bonus on the new Blu-ray release going in depth on this piece of Disney history.  The Pocahontas home release will also include the 1937 cartoon, “Little Hiawatha.”

Jerry Beck and Eric Goldberg Backstage at Destination D


Next up was something I fully expected to be a bit of a snoozer presentation; “Drawing with Personality” with animator Andreas Deja.  Boy was I wrong!  This ended up being the sleeper hit of the event!  Andreas was incredibly charming, and personable, plus he talked to the audience as he was drawing – a feat unto itself!  He first demonstrated how to draw Mickey Mouse, and pointed out that you have to make anatomic adjustments to draw him from different angles.  Then he showed sketches drawn by legendary Disney animators from films like Sleeping Beauty and Lady & the Tramp.  Afterward, he demonstrated how to draw the characters he was lead animator for, including Scar from the Lion King, and Jafar from Aladdin.  Andreas suggested the studios may have typecast him as the “villain guy,” and he was perfectly happy with that.

Andreas Deja demonstrates techniques for drawing Mickey Mouse

Andreas pointed out that Marc Davis fought for Maleficent to be red & black. Clearly, he lost that battle since we know her today as being purple & black.

Drawing Jafar for the audience


While drawing Scar, Andreas Deja reminisced about being called into meetings where they spent hours determining the exact placement and shape for Scar’s scar.  As he drew Jafar, he challenged the audience to draw their own interpretation of Jafar as a baby.  Something tells me the 3 they chose to share were ringers.  I’ll let you be the judge….

It looks like Jafar and Baby Herman some how had a kid of their own.


Later in the day, Andreas signed his drawings and they were taped to random chairs in the audience.  If you happened to be sitting in one of those chairs, then you were the lucky winner!  Sadly, we were not one of the lucky few.

© Disney. All Rights Reserved.


The morning rounded out with a tribute to everyone’s favorite pixie in a panel titled, “Tinkerbell: An Evolution of a Disney Character.”  Because the presentation was giving the audience an inside look at a new book scheduled to be released next year, no photos were allowed during the presentation.  Mindy Johnson, a historian and the book’s author, shared photos and stories from how Tinker Bell evolved into what she has become today.  Starting at the very beginning with how J.M. Barrie was inspired to bring her into the story of Neverland, and continuing on from there.  It was noted that the Disney animators had a difficult time deciding just how Tinker Bell would look.  While it’s always been common knowledge among Disney fans that Margaret Kerry was the model used as the body reference for Tinker Bell, her face model had always remained a mystery.  Until just a few weeks ago that is.  It was recently discovered that Ginni Mack, who worked in Ink & Paint, and was often chosen for publicity shots with Walt and the animators, was the face used for Tinker Bell!

Ginni Mack, the face of Tinker Bell, and Margaret Kerry, the body of Tinker Bell


Backstage, Disney Legend Alice Davis, Marc Davis’ widow, shared that when her husband animated Tinker Bell, he liked Ginni’s hair and incorporated that into the character.  I have to say, it was a real treat to be sitting at a table with these incredible, lovely ladies.

Clockwise from top left: Mindy Johnson, historian and author, Margaret Kerry, Ginni Mack, Disney Legend Alice Davis (wife of Tinker Bell animator Marc Davis)


After the look back, it was time to look toward the future of Tink.  Director Peggy Holmes and Mae Whitman, the voice of Tinker Bell, came out onto the stage.  They shared a clip of the upcoming movie, Tinker Bell and the Secret of the Wings, being released on Blu-ray/DVD October 23.  In talking to Mae and Peggy backstage, they are incredibly passionate about the character of Tinker Bell, and bringing her to life in this film.

Actress and voice of Tinker Bell, Mae Whitman with film director Peggy Holmes.


At the end of the panel, audience members were gifted a copy of Marc Davis’s beautiful sketch drawings of Tinker Bell (which just might be in our Adventures by Daddy prize package giveaway….be sure to stay tuned!)

Stay tuned for the next & final installment where we review the end of Day 2 of Destination D, including Disney voice artists, a tribute to Snow White, and a special performance by Alan Menken!

GIVEAWAY: Remember, Adventures by Daddy will be giving away a goodie bag from Destination D, so be sure to follow along to find out how you can win!  For more family travel news, reviews, and trip reports, be sure to follow Adventures by Daddy on twitter and “like” our facebook page too.

To catch up with all the fun from Day One of Destination D:

A Detailed Look Inside D23′s Destination D: 75 Years of Feature Animation, Pt. 1

A Detailed Look Inside D23′s Destination D: 75 Years of Feature Animation, Pt. 2 

About Chrysty Summers

Growing up in southern California, Disneyland has always been a staple for my family. Today, my husband and I spend most of our free time at the parks, where you can usually find us soaking up the atmosphere of Buena Vista Street in California Adventure. We also love traveling to Walt Disney World as often as we can, especially during the Epcot Food & Wine Festival in the Fall! Find me on Twitter @PenelopePeach for live updates from around the parks.