What initially brought us into a friendship was a mutual obsession with the life and films of Walt Disney. Later we both went on to write about Disney and Robin earned his Phd for his superbly researched and argued 1993 thesis, The European Influences on the Animated Feature Films of Walt Disney.
Five years later, this ground-breaking study was published as Walt Disney and Europe: one of the most significant books on Disney art to be written and to which I was honoured to contribute a preface.
Robin and I lectured together on one or two occasions and whenever I got the opportunity, I would involve him in my broadcasts. He appeared in programmes I wrote about Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (which he he had seen as a young boy on its first release and which remained one of his favourite films), a documentary marking Mickey Mouse's 60th birthday and a feature on Disney's 1940 masterwork, Fantasia, and its sequel, Fantasia 2000.
Today, I am posting a broadcast I made for the BBC World Service in 1992 to mark the release of Walt Disney Productions' Beauty and the Beast and which explores the way in which fairy-tales have been retold in the cinema. Robin Allan is joined by fellow commentators Christopher Frayling and Marina Warner and I hope you will enjoy the programme and the observations of my oldest and dearest friend...