Each month, Disney fans and D23 Members send us dozens of questions for Disney Legend and Chief Archivist Emeritus, Dave Smith. To get your answers, check back every couple weeks—we’ll be publishing more of our beloved Disney Legend’s answers to your questions about Disney history!
Q: What is Sebastian’s full name from The Little Mermaid?
Kobe, Delaware, Ohio
A: It is Horatio Felonious Ignacious Crustaceous Sebastian.
Q: Where can I find the 1960s version of Carousel of Progress? Are there any soundtracks or DVDs available anymore?
Ethan, Agawam, Massachusetts
A: There was a souvenir record released in 1968 as Disneyland record DL-599: General Electric Carousel of Progress: Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow, including a medley of Disney tunes, but no soundtrack album. There are also CD sets Walt Disney and the 1964 World’s Fair and A Musical History of Disneyland, which include material from the show.
Q: What is Walt Disney’s highest grossing film?
Ethan, Agawam, Massachusetts
A: The Disney film that is currently highest on the list of movies from all studios, in third place, is Marvel’s The Avengers. Next comes Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest, in eighth place. If you adjust for inflation, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs joins the top ten.
Q: My all-time favorite Goofy cartoon has to be Hockey Homicide. IMDb lists the legendary Doodles Weaver, who did his fake sportscasting for Spike Jones’ recordings of “William Tell Overture” and “Dance of the Hours,” as having provided the narration of this hilarious cartoon. Can you confirm his involvement?
Jason, South Salem, New York
A: Yes, that was indeed Doodles Weaver in Hockey Homicide. He also narrated Cured Duck and Tennis Racquet, and did “radio voices” in Duck Pimples.
Q: There have been many rides that are no longer in some of the Disney parks, such as 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride, the cable cars, etc. Are there any plans one day to display them in a museum somewhere in one of the parks? I think it’s important for people to see them close up and the evolution of the rides that started the Disney parks long ago.
Michael, New Milford, New Jersey
A: The Walt Disney Archives has a collection of ride vehicles and show elements from various removed park attractions. Some have already been shown at D23 Expos and at the current Treasures of the Walt Disney Archives exhibit at the Ronald Reagan Library and Museum.
Q: There has been an ongoing conversation (argument, really) with friends and family, in regard to what “lands” the Matterhorn and “it’s a small world” belong to in Disneyland. Is the Matterhorn a part of Fantasyland? Or Tomorrowland? Or is it on the borderline between both lands as a stand-alone attraction?
Leo, Santa Maria, California
A: The Matterhorn Bobsleds are officially a part of Fantasyland, as is “it’s a small world.”
Q: Will Jiminy Cricket’s Christmas and/or A Walt Disney Christmas ever be released on DVD? Our VHS tapes are starting to fade.
William-Stuart, Bellingham, Washington
A: There are no current plans. A laserdisc of A Walt Disney Christmas was released in 1984 and one on Jiminy Cricket’s Christmas in 1990, but neither title has been released on DVD.
Q: I was wondering if you knew where the video of Walt Disney’s plan for EPCOT was? I originally saw this video, Walt Disney’s Plan for EPCOT Part 2, on YouTube, but I am searching for the original source, which I hoped to find in the Disney Archives.
Christy, Sunnyvale, Texas
A: Walt Disney’s Epcot film, produced in 1966, was released on the Walt Disney Treasures: Tomorrowland DVD, in 2004.
Q: In 1963 during the color TV airing of From All of Us to All of You on The Wonderful World of Color, did it have a new Walt Disney introduction? Or did it have the old Walt Disney introduction from 1958?
Matthew, North Hollywood, California
A: Walt’s lead-in for the 1963 airing contains some elements from the 1958 one, such as Tinker Bell reducing Walt to “cricket size,” but in 1963 he talks about The Sword in the Stone and the upcoming Mary Poppins.
Q: What are the names of the following Disney characters? The Prince from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs; Prince Charming from Cinderella; The Featherduster and Wardrobe from Beauty and the Beast; Maleficent’s raven from Sleeping Beauty; Cinderella‘s horse; and Alice’s sister from Alice in Wonderland?
J, Los Angeles, California
A: Maleficent’s raven is known as Diablo. In the stage version of Beauty and the Beast, the Wardrobe is “Madame de la Grande Bouche” and the Featherduster is Babette. Cinderella’s horse is Major. The remainder were not given other names in their original films.
Q: I had a Mickey Mouse Montgomery Ward birthday collectors’ coin from the ’70s, and my house was robbed and it got stolen. Anyway, I loved that coin and want to know where I could get another. It won’t be the same, but I loved that coin! I have the picture my mom took when I got it!
Stacy, Butler, Pennsylvania
A: As I write this, there is one up for sale on eBay with a starting bid of $5.00.
Q: I am a big fan of Clarabelle Cow. I just wanted to know: was she ever intended as a leading character or nothing more than an ensemble player? Also, what happened to old characters like Giddy Goat and the dog on trombone from The Band Concert?
Jeremy, Los Angeles, California
A: Sometimes a supporting player is noticed and becomes popular on his or her own. It did not happen to the characters you listed, though Clarabelle did appear in supporting roles in a number of cartoons and was a regular on the House of Mouse television show. Clarabelle even has a singing/speaking role in Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmastime Parade in the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World. And Clarabelle’s Hand-Scooped Ice Cream on Buena Vista Street at Disney California Adventure is a nod to her.
Q: I am a high school International Baccalaureate (IB) student hoping to go into archiving and have a passion for Disney history. Recently, I was asked to write a 4,000-word essay on a topic of my choice and chose film propaganda in World War II. While researching, I found a rumor that Winston Churchill arranged a private screening of Victory Through Air Power for President Roosevelt at the Quebec Conference. Is this rumor true? This question has really been bothering me as I cannot find any solid data about it.
Kaitlyn, Phoenix, Arizona
A: This story is supposedly true, as reported by Albert Lasker who was an advertising executive and big supporter and colleague of Major Alexander de Seversky, who wrote the book Victory Through Air Power.
Q: What is the difference between the Disney Archives and libraries? How many libraries and archives does Disney have?
Patrick, Savannah, Georgia
A: Archives and libraries have some similarities, but the collections of libraries are primarily books and magazines, while archival collections are much broader in scope. Archives are usually related to a single entity, be it a company, church, school, or local, state, or national government. Disney probably has more than a dozen departmental and divisional libraries and archives.
Q: I’m looking for a short movie that was produced about a guy who was pin-striping a car and was interrupted by a phone call. While he is talking on the phone, the two pinstripes take off racing.
Neil, Calgary, Alberta, Canada
A: You may be recalling the title sequence for Dad, Can I Borrow the Car? (1970). It was last released on videocassette in the 1990s; it has not been released on DVD.
Q: Is there any truth to the rumor that Disney had once considered adapting The Lord of the Rings as an animated feature?
Jeremiah, Fairfax, Virginia
A: There were preliminary discussions, but Disney never bought the film rights.
Q: It has been passed down through my family that Uncle Orville in Carousel of Progress was named after a family member who worked at GE. He would be my great, great uncle. Do you have any information if the character was indeed named after a person who worked with GE?
Jason, Edmond, Oklahoma
A: There is no evidence that the character was named for a real person.
Q: Do you know if the Walt Disney Archives, or perhaps some backstage area at Disneyland or Walt Disney World, has any recognizable parts of former Monorail generations? I read somewhere that Bob Gurr has a Mark I Monorail red door.
Robert, Kissimmee, Florida
A: I went to former Imagineer Bob Gurr with your question. He responds that Walt Disney World had a display case with a front left door from a yellow Disneyland Mark I Monorail. Bob has a red panel from a Mark I; it is currently on display in Walt’s barn at the Los Angeles Live Steamers area in Griffith Park, and previously had been shown at the Richard Nixon Presidential Library. Bob also has two panels from the Mark I blue Monorail.