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Milt Kahl Centennial: The Animation Michelangelo + Joan Harrison & Alfred Hitchcock

6 minutes read

Alice in Wonderland

Milt Kahl: The Animation Michelangelo, A Centennial Celebration

Ramon Novarro Beyond Paradise

Milt Kahl“Milt Kahl: The Animation Michelangelo, A Centennial Celebration,” an homage to Disney animator Milt Kahl (right), will be presented on Monday, April 27, at 7:30 p.m. at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ Samuel Goldwyn Theater in Beverly Hills. Animator Andreas Deja (creator of characters such as Gaston in Beauty and the Beast, Scar in The Lion King, and Lilo in Lilo & Stitch) will host the evening, which will include a panel discussion moderated by animation critic Charles Solomon.

Among the scheduled panelists are Kathryn Beaumont (the voice artist for Alice in Alice in Wonderland and Wendy in Peter Pan), Academy Award-winner Brad Bird (for The Incredibles and Ratatouille), Ron Clements and John Musker (writers and co-directors of The Great Mouse Detective, The Little Mermaid, Aladdin, Hercules and Treasure Planet), and Floyd Norman (Kahl’s apprentice on Sleeping Beauty, The Sword in the Stone and The Jungle Book).

In addition to the panel discussion, the evening will feature an analysis of Kahl’s animation drawings, rare filmed interviews with Kahl himself, and clips of his work, including Mickey’s Circus, Pinocchio, Bambi, Peter Pan, Sleeping Beauty, The Jungle Book and The Rescuers.

Milt Kahl, Marc Davis, Frank Thomas, Eric Larson, Ollie Johnston

Milt Kahl (1909–1987) was one of Walt Disney’s “nine old men,” those who actually created the Disney magic we see on screen. According to the Academy’s press release, he was also the animator “to whom the other eight turned when they had trouble with a character or scene. “

“Throughout the ’50s and ’60s, when Kahl was responsible for the final design of many characters, he complained of being ‘saddled’ with the animation of challenging, non-comic human characters such as Alice, Peter Pan, Wendy, and Sleeping Beauty‘s Prince. But Kahl secretly relished the fact that it was his talent and drive that made these characters come alive. “

“Milt Kahl: The Animation Michelangelo, A Centennial Celebration” is the 2009 installment of the Academy’s Marc Davis Celebration of Animation.

Peter PanTickets for the “Milt Kahl: The Animation Michelangelo, A Centennial Celebration” are $5 for the general public and $3 for Academy members and students with a valid ID. They may be purchased online at, in person at the Academy box office or by mail. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. All seating is unreserved. The Academy is located at 8949 Wilshire Boulevard in Beverly Hills. For more information, call (310) 247-3600.

Photos: Courtesy of Disney. The “nine old men” in the photo are (front row) Woolie Reitherman, Les Clark, Ward Kimball, John Lounsbery, (back row) Milt Kahl, Marc Davis, Frank Thomas, Eric Larson, and Ollie Johnston.

‘The Rape of Europa,’ ‘Ochberg’s Orphans’ Academy Screening

Ochberg’s Orphans and The Rape of Europa will be screened as part of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ 27th annual “Contemporary Documentaries” series on Wednesday, April 1, at 7 p.m. at the Linwood Dunn Theater in Hollywood. Admission is free.

Directed by Jon Blair and produced by Blair, Paul Goldin and Georgina Townsley, Ochberg’s Orphans tells the story of a South African businessman’s efforts to save 300,000 Jewish Russian children who had been orphaned in anti-Semitic attacks during the Russian Revolution and ensuing civil war.

Directed and produced by Richard Berge, Nicole Newnham and Bonni Cohen, The Rape of Europa depicts the theft and destruction – and in many instances the survival – of Europe’s art treasures during the Third Reich and World War II. Berge and Cohen will be present to take questions from the audience following the screening.

The 27th Contemporary Documentaries series continues until June 3, “showcasing feature-length and short documentaries drawn from the 2007 Academy Award nominations, including the winners, as well as other important and innovative films considered by the Academy that year.”

All films will screen at the Linwood Dunn Theater at the Academy’s Pickford Center for Motion Picture Study on Wednesdays at 7 p.m. The Linwood Dunn Theater is located at 1313 Vine Street in Hollywood. Free parking is available through the entrance on Homewood Avenue (one block north of Fountain Avenue). For additional information, visit or call (310) 247-3600.

Boston Underground Film Festival Awards

Boston Underground Film Festival: March 19–26.

In Zach Clarks Modern Love Is Automatic, a bored nurse (Melodie Sisk) discovers her inner dominatrix after ditching her boyfriend and finding a new roommate, a naive young woman (Maggie Ross) who is just beginning to realize that the world out there isnt quite like the Disney Hour.

Jury Awards

Best of Fest (Feature)

Modern Love Is Automatic (Zach Clark)

Honorable Mention: Morris County (Matthew Garrett)

Best of Fest (Short)

Treevenge (Jason Eisener)

Honorable Mention: The Scavengers (Corey Bowles)

Most Effectively Offensive

Mavela (My Love Lives in the Sewers) (Manuel Arija de la Cuerda)

Honorable Mention: The Gingerbread House (Claudio Centimeri)

Special Jury Prize

Excision (Richard Bates, Jr.)

Honorable Mention: Far Out (Phil Mucci)

Directors Choice Awards

Best Feature

Anywhere, USA (Chusy Haney-Jardine)

Honorable Mention: The Rock-afire Explosion (Brett Whitcomb)

Best Short

thumbnail. (William Hoffman)

Honorable Mention: Electric Fence (Matt OMahoney)

Most Promising New England Filmmaker

O Scorpio (Noah Blumenson Cook)

At the Turner Classic Movies blog Movie Morlocks, Moira Finnie discusses screenwriter-producer Joan Harrison:

“’Women,’ writer-producer Joan Harrison (1907-1994) told the New York Times in 1943, ‘must have something to pull for, you know, whether it’s a dog, a horse, an old beggar – or even another woman!’

“If pioneering writer and producer Harrison is remembered today at all, it is often likely for her contributions, along with those of the key figure of Alfred Hitchcock’s wife, Alma Reville, to helping to shape and present to the world the talent and the image of the great director of suspense and anxiety. An educated Englishwoman, becoming his secretary while in her 20s, Harrison, who claimed that she was pretty hopeless when it came to normal secretarial duties such as typing and shorthand, helped to shaped [sic] six of Hitchcock’s films in the 1930s and 1940s.”


The five movies Joan Harrison wrote or co-wrote for Alfred Hitchcock are Jamaica Inn (1939), Rebecca (1940, above, with Joan Fontaine and Laurence Olivier), Foreign Correspondent (1940), Suspicion (1941), and Saboteur (1942).

In the 1950s, Harrison was involved as a producer in the Alfred Hitchcock Presents series.

Harrison was nominated for two Academy Awards, both for 1940 releases: in the best original screenplay category for Foreign Correspondent (with Charles Bennett) and in the best screenplay category for Rebecca. (In those days there were three writing categories. The third one was for best original story. Curiously, there was no specific category for “best adapted screenplay.”)

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