Tuesday, 20 January 2009

"I'M WISHING..."

My bags are packed and, in a couple of hours, I'll be off to the airport. It's certainly an historic day on which to be flying to America!

As everyone knows, today's the day that the 44th US President, Barack Obama, will be inaugurated and will take office with more hopes and expectations riding on his shoulders than is, I think, altogether reasonable.

In his Presidential acceptance speech - a tour de force of oratory that was all the more powerful for having followed the ineptitudes of the last incumbent of the White House - Obama said: "Tonight, because of what we did on this day, in this election, at this moment, change has come to America..."

It was, of course, what America - and the world - wanted to hear; and, inevitably, it will be tempting to remember that quote divorced from the caveat that immediately followed: "The road ahead will be long, our climb will be steep. We may not get there in one year, or even in one term - but America, I have never been more hopeful than I am tonight that we will get there."

Wherever "there" is (if, indeed, it is anywhere), one cannot cavil with the sentiment - merely trust that it will be a good long time before disappointment and disillusionment set in; long enough, perhaps, for the beginnings of that promised change...

Meanwhile, as everyone will be focusing on Washington, I'll be in New York, filming an interview for the 'extras' on the forthcoming BluRay DVD of Walt Disney's first full length feature film, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.

Released in 1937, it was a film that emerged from a depression era even more desperate and devastating than the one that now besets America and the world...

On the wall above my desk, as I write, is a Snow White clock, the face of which is inscribed by the late Adriana Caselotti who was the voice of Disney's heroine.



Miss Caselotti gave me this unique souvenir, twenty years ago, on one of several visits to her Hollywood home which, I am happy to inform you, had a wishing well in the front yard!

"I wish you," she wrote, "a continued beautiful and successful life."

Which seems like something we all ought to be wishing one another on this day of hopes and dreams...

Images: Caricature of Barack Obama by Bob Staake.

8 comments:

Andy J. Latham said...

You lucky sod!! I'm insanely envious of your Disney connections! I can't wait for Snow White to be released on Blu-Ray, or Pinocchio in March for that matter. Are you on that too?

I love that Obama caricature too. So simple, yet spot on.

Brian Sibley said...

Yes, I think am on the Pinocchio DVD... Sorry, Andy!!

David Weeks said...

Bon voyage, and to Buttons too!

prempl: The preliminaries to packing when everything is laid out before being fitted into a suitcase.

Boll Weavil said...

I'm sure you'll get some more interesting memories for the autobiography ! Have a safe trip !
Talingor: A large quantity of clothing that make up the difference between items needed and the cubic capacity of a suitcase.

alex milway said...

That original Snow White poster is beautiful. I haven't seen that before!

Have a good flight

Brian Sibley said...

ALEX - The poster art is by the Swedish illustrator Gustav Tenggren who did much of the conceptual art for SW&7D, a brilliantly evocative artist, much influenced by John Bauer and Arthur Rackham...

Muir Hewitt said...

Hello Brian, Congratulations on your inclusion in the Snow White and The Seven Dwarfs DVD. I'm very glad to see that Disney has recognised your expertise , and has continued to use you in interviews on Disney DVD's of Jungle Book , 101 Dalmatians , Sleeping Beauty , Pinocchio , and now the first and Faiest Of Them All Snow White herself!

I am really looking forward to see what improvements 2009 remastering techniques will have managed to make on the first full length technicolor animated sound motion picture. I will be excited to see what extras Disney has discovered to add to the previous Platinum Edition DVD back in 2001!

Gustav Tenggren fans will be very pleased to note , that in August 2009 Disney's publishing arm is bringing out an edition of Snow White and The Seven Dwarfs , using Gustav Tenggren's splendidly atmospheric watercolor illustrations for Snow White.

Brian Sibley said...

Thanks, Muir. The Tenggren-illustrated book should be wonderful.