Lists of all things Disney


This blog is an extension of my upcoming book "The Top 100 Top Ten of Disney" (available in the spring. Contact if you'd like to be notified when it is published) which is a collection of one hundred "top ten" lists of all things Disney, from the man to the mouse and beyond.

The problem is that I have more than one hundred lists, and others wanted to share theirs, so that's why I created this blog.

When I can, I will post relevant Top Ten lists here, based on the events of the day, special occasions, Disney history or just because an idea came to me or someone suggested it.

These lists are not rankings, as I do not presume to say which fims, stars or characters are better than others. They are just lists of the ten that stand out in their particular category.

I'd love to hear your thoughts and suggestions on the lists as well.


- Chris Lucas

Monday, March 28, 2011

Ten Live Action Disney Villains (Classic Era)

At the request of my friend Matt Baker, one of the best tour guides in New York City (If you are planning a trip to NYC, or even live there  and want to know more about your great city, visit Matt's website: Beautiful New York Tours) I've taken one of the lists from my book for the blog.

It's a list of ten of Disney's best Live Action Villains from the classic era

For purposes of my book and blog, I define Disney's classic era as 1923 - 1983, roughly the time period that Walt and his closest associates ran the company. The modern era starts with Michael Eisner and his crew, just after Walt's son-in-law left his leadership position at Disney.

Disney has a rogues gallery of great villains, not all of them animated.

The cartoon bad guys got a three decade jump on their live action counterparts, but the tally was quickly matched.

Here now are ten of the most fearsome and conniving live action Disney Villains of the classic era (the odd part is that they are all male - I tried to include a female, but there were only two worth mentioning and just missed the cut - 8 are British, and 6 of the ten are pictured wearing hats of some sort):

Friday, March 25, 2011

Ten Little Known Disney Facts

There's so much information about Disney out there on the world wide web that it's hard for even the most dedicated fans to be surprised or to find trivia nuggets they haven't seen before. 

I thought I'd start today with a quick top ten list filled with interesting bits from different areas of the company's history that I've found while wearing my detectives hat (with Mickey ears, natch.)

Here now are Ten Little Known Disney Facts:

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Disney's Irish Connections (The People)

First, to my faithful readers, apologies for the one month gap between posts. My "day job" is as an actor and days on the set can be long (a lot of "hurry up and wait" involved) and laptops are often not permitted. I wrote lots of posts in my head, but as for getting them to the keyboard, well..... I hope to keep current in the future.

Now some might say, "aren't you a bit late for a St. Patrick's Day themed post?" Well, I live in the North Eastern United States and with the big Irish-American population centers around here (I'm a proud member of  that group) there seems to be a parade every weekend from March 1st to April Fool's Day. It's more like St. Patrick's Month.

In that spirit, I have compiled a list of Disney's Irish connections. The list was so big, I had to break it into two parts. This is the list of Disney notable people that have an Irish background. the other list (to follow shortly) is of some of Walt's films and locations that also have a link to the Emerald Isle.

Most people don't realize that Disney himself was of Irish ancestry. His forebears came from County Kilkenny. Walt's Great Grandfather, Arundel Disney, moved to Canada in the 1830's.  Walt's Grandfather, Kepple, was actually born in Ireland just before the move.  Later, the Disney clan would move to the Midwestern U.S. to seek their fortune. It was there that Walt was raised with a keen appreciation for his Irish background, which would continue throughout his life. (Take a good look at any photos of Walt, you'll notice that he only wore two pieces of jewlery, his wedding ring on one hand and an Irish Claddagh ring on the other. The "Partners" statue in the Disney parks also feature Walt wearing this tribute to his heritage.)

In addition to a few trips to Ireland in his lifetime (including for the Dublin premiere of "Darby O'Gill and the Little People" in 1959) Walt's career got a boost from some Irishmen.

In 1922, when his animation career was just beginning and he was struggling to make ends meet, Walt got a break (and a much needed infusion of cash) from a Kansas City based Irish dentist named Tom McCrum, who commissioned Disney to make an educational live action/cartoon film called "Tommy Tucker's Tooth." The $500 from that film set Walt on his way. There was even a sequel (1926's "Clara Cleans Her Teeth") made after Walt moved to California.

When Disney wanted to make his groundbreaking move to add sound to his Mickey cartoons in 1928, he needed to find a partner with a sound system that could deliver quality, but with affordable prices. He wound up with Pat Powers, a charming Irish immigrant who was also a con man. At first Powers was an asset to Walt (with pirated technology, no less) but the relationship soured as Powers tried to take more and more control and profit from Disney. Walt learned a lesson from that relationship, that a brogue and a twinkle from business partner don't always make up for bad business practices.

Here now, in no particular order, are ten other Irishmen (and women) who made an impact on the Disney company: