Tag Archives: Walt Disney

An Oscar Winner in the Family

Barbara Vey -- February 28th, 2014

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Maggie Mae Gallagher, is the author of Anointed: The Cantati Chronicles, a dark, urban fantasy series.  A native of St. Louis, Missouri, Maggie is a also an Event Manager for RomCon , and CEO of Gallagher Author Services.  She’s also related to an Academy Award winner.  This is her story.

This weekend will be the eighty-sixth Academy Awards. While most of the population considers it nothing more than a bunch of Hollywood Pomp and Circumstance, it is a quite a bit more significant for me. You see, last year my baby brother, Robert Huth, won an Oscar or at least, he worked as one of the animators on the film, Disney’s Paperman, which won the Oscar for Best Animated Short. This year, his latest film, a little movie by Disney you might have heard of, Frozen, has garnered two Academy Award nominations for Best Animated Feature and Best Original Song. What is it like having a little brother who has worked on a film that has won an Oscar and might win more?

My brother, Robert, holding the Oscar and the director of Paperman

My brother, Robert, holding the Oscar, and the director of Paperman

Besides being utterly amazing, it means he has also set the bar for success in my family pretty high. Creativity certainly runs in the family as I am releasing my debut novel Anointed today!

I think in many ways having my little brother do what he does, has inspired me to work tirelessly on my dreams of writing and being an author. His path to working at Disney wasn’t necessarily an easy one nor did he start out at Disney. Prior to Disney, he worked at Blue Sky Studios in Connecticut, and worked on films like Rio and Ice Age 3. In 2011, Disney knocked on his door, and it was the type of opportunity he could not pass up.

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I asked him once, “What is it like, once you get your dream?” And his response was one that pushed me to change my approach in working toward my goal and aspirations, he said, “Well, Mag, it is still a job.”FROZN_014M_G_ENG-GB_70x100.indd

The journey for Frozen, from being a mere story on the page into the wonder they created: both musically and visually is an iconic film in the making. I tear up a bit, in a very proud, big sisterly, type of way when I think about my brother being a part of it.

The moral of this story is: Live your dream. Don’t let anyone or anything hold you back. The chances you take may be big and scary, but in the end, life is too short to do anything that doesn’t make you happy, inspire your passion and make you to want to reach beyond yourself. You might even one day end up with a golden statuette or book with your name on it.

Bottom Line:  As for this weekend, “Go team Frozen!”

Watch the Academy Award winning Paperman here.  Very romantic!!

Remembering Annette

Barbara Vey -- April 9th, 2013
Annette as a Mouseketeer

Annette as a Mouseketeer

 

I couldn’t let today pass without mentioning the passing of the amazing Annette Funicello.  It almost seems appropriate that it’s gloomy, gray and raining outside. I realize that many of you probably don’t know who she is (Google her or look her up on Wikipedia), but those of you who do remember Annette can only smile when you think of her.

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I grew up with Annette.  Yes, she was one of those people who only needed one name.  Everyone knew who she was, one of the original Mouseketeers on The Mickey Mouse Club.  There was a whole group, but Annette stood out.  I’m not sure why, but there was something about her that made you take that second look.  I, along with many others, wanted to be Annette.  Not only was she a Mouseketeer, but she was on the serial Spin and Marty.  It was set on a ranch and, of course, both boys liked her.  Boy, what I would have done to be Annette, ride a horse and have 2 boys like me at the same time!

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Loved reading the Annette mysteries

Loved reading the Annette mysteries

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As a kid, Annette starred in several mystery books.  I read them all and they definitely had a Nancy Drew vibe.  She could do anything. (Check out the price, 49 cents!)

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With Frankie Avalon for a beach movie

With Frankie Avalon for a beach movie

After Disney, Annette went on to make the very popular beach movies with Frankie Avalon (insert sigh here).  Among them were Beach Party, Muscle Beach Party, Bikini Beach and Beach Blanket Bingo.  While not cinematic masterpieces, they were perfect viewing for the teen crowd and I happily went off to the movies with my friends to share the sometimes silly adventures.  it didn’t matter.  There was singing, dancing, romance and a happily ever after.  I had even heard that Frankie had a crush on Annette, but Walt Disney was so overprotective that nothing came of it and that’s why Frankie wrote the heartfelt “Puppy Love.”  (Yes, I know all the words.)

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In 1987 she was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis.  I remember being saddened by this because Annette was “too nice” to get this horrible disease.  She was the ultimate good girl.  In 1993, she opened the Annette Funicello Fund for Neurological Disorders at the California Community Foundation.  Last year I wondered what happened to her, so I looked her up only to come across a video of her bedridden and her husband caring for her.  It certainly shocked me and it wasn’t the way I wanted to remember her.

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CNN did a short tribute to Annette that had me remembering and crying.

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Bottom Line:  “It’s funny, but sometimes when I feel discouraged or have a problem I can’t work out, I find myself thinking, ‘If only Mr. Disney were here, he would know what to do.” ~ Annette Funicello