Friday, August 9, 2019

Mickey Mouse D23 90th Tribute

Mark Henn and his official 90th piece
During lunch at the Disney Studio commissary not long ago I was asked by a well known and important member of the Disney company if I would be interested in doing Mickey Mouse’s 90th portrait. I couldn’t answer quick enough, “YES!!” Who wouldn’t be excited for such an honor. I went home and against Patty’s advice, did research, thumbnail sketches, color studies and created an original oil painting over 3 feet tall! Patty scolded me to wait until I had a contract but I ignored her (that can get a husband in trouble!).

3 weeks later I met the same wonderful person and was about to show them the image on my phone of the finished painting when they shared that they had hired “a well known animator” to do the piece. I was shocked and beyond disappointed.
The animator who got the honor, Mark Henn, is an extremely talented fellow and a long time friend so as sorry as I was for me, I was truly thrilled for him. His wonderful and inventive painting was unveiled last year during Mickey's birthday celebration. I went home and wrapped my painting in a ventilated box and stored it into my studio closet.

My tribute to a special little fellow
Fast forward to earlier this year. While attending a group of Disney historians, I was sharing a few photos of what I had been up to. One of the top D23 people (and a very nice guy!) saw the photo. To make a long story short, my Mickey Mouse painting is now out of the bag and will be into D23 EXPO this month!

My painting featured Mickey sitting on one of the old Hyperion era director's chairs on a mockup set from the old Mickey Mouse Club. He's holding an iphone as a nod to his bridging decades of innovation right up to the current class of electronics. It may not be the official 90th portrait of the mouse but it at least will be seen in public. The original painting and limited edition prints will be available for purchase! I’m beyond thrilled, Mickey has been and continues to be a large part of my life! Thank you Mickey and D23!

Thursday, June 13, 2019

Mickey's All Stars! A 90th Tribute

Just published, a marvelous birthday gift, to celebrate an exceptional mouse!

A few top panels for the new collection by Mike Peraza
On November 18, 1928, the movie going public first got the opportunity while viewing a new cartoon from Walt Disney titled, "Steamboat Willie" to enjoy a new character who suddenly squeaked his way into hearts across the country and eventually around the world. He was a spunky little fellow dressed in a buttoned shorts that would revolutionize popular culture for decades to come: Mickey Mouse! Ninety years later, that superstar mouse is being celebrated with great fanfare by bringing together exceptional guest artists!

Front cover of the book
To honor this special event, the premiere Disney Art publisher Glénat Editions extended an invitation to 50 leading artists of contemporary comics and animation from around the world to create 50 original unpublished stories in one page each. The same simple instructions were given to each participant to follow when creating their comic book page. "First box: Mickey enters through a door; in the last box: he goes out". Between the two: anything and everything is possible! From this imposed postulate, each author/artist has been allowed to express his creativity and deliver his artistic vision of the character in a tribute to his life.

Mike Peraza chose to tell his story from the golden age of Disney animation of the 1930s. He drew his Mickey as he looked in those early years as well as other characters including a couple of famous animators who were well known for their stellar work with the mouse. A lot of research went into his backgrounds as he wanted to include a tribute to the Hyperion studio of that time period both interior and exterior detail where under Walt's guidance, so much of the magic took place.

Mike Peraza in front of a vintage Disney Animation Studio storyboard with some of his concepts for the Mickey All Stars

50 international talents including Bertollucci, Brüno, Camboni, Cestac, Clarke, Dab's, De Poortere, Domecq, Keramidas, Lapone, LeDessineux, Munuera, Nesme, Parma, Peraza, Pirus, Supiot, Tebo and Zanzim and many others have been assembled in an exceptional tome for their collective tribute to the one and only ... Mickey Mouse!

Saturday, May 18, 2019

Darkwing Duck joins the new DuckTales!

Last year I was sitting down at a clandestine meeting with the new DuckTales crew. They quietly closed the door, and after making sure no one was listening at the keyhole, told me they were planning to have Darkwing Duck officially join the cartoon cast. I was ecstatic after all I was a key member on his development team back in the day. So after being sworn to secrecy (following the initiation ceremony of the ancient Order of the Junior Woodchucks), they showed me the boards. The story they had come up with did a fine job of connecting loose ends and creating a thrilling back story. When the torches were relit, one of the hooded figures told me they wanted me to create a Darkwing Duckcomic book” for that special episode. He explained that a young Darkwing fan who admired the winged scourge would be reading the comic on the show. As the quack chants grew louder I was then blindfolded and led back to my car.

So here are some of the panels from that imaginary “comic book” I illustrated. Sorry I couldn’t say anything over the last few months to my Darkwing Duck fans, but after all, wasn't it an exciting surprise? Thanks Frank, Matt, Sean, Suzanna, Tanner and the entire new DuckTales team for inviting me once again to be part of the terror that flaps in the night!
Darkwing comic by the original Darkwing Duck concept artist Mike Peraza

Tuesday, May 7, 2019

The 55ers: The Pioneers Who Setteled Disneyland

This is a brand new large-format coffee table book celebrating Disneyland's original employees of 1955 by well known Disney author and historian David Koenig. Walking through Disneyland of today you'll see cast members dressed as cowboys in Frontierland, jungle explorers in Adventureland, and small-town shopkeepers on Main Street. But back when the park first opened in 1955, the employees weren't pretending. They were true-to-life characters, hand picked for their roles because of their amazing backgrounds.

Now for the first time you will get to see these fascinating personalities and hear their stories in the new coffee-table book, "The 55ers: The Pioneers Who Settled Disneyland" by David Koenig. In this collection of never before seen photos and rare interviews you'll meet close to 700 "Year One" cast members from every department in the Disneyland Park. Anecdotes from firemen, ticket sellers, newsboys, ride operators, show performers and many more. The book is nearly 300 pages of glossy magic with a full color jacket of original art designed expressly for this book by Mike Peraza.

The "55ers" is a true labor of love and gratitude, recognizing those trailblazers who were the first to be able to call Disneyland their home. Over the past 30 years, more than 1,000 Disney cast members have shared their stories with me. What I soon realized was that the cast members themselves were the best stories of all. This book will be unveiled in time for this years D23 EXPO. Be sure to get your copy.

Also, check out the kickstarter that will help get this book published and in the fine style it so deserves:

Thursday, February 28, 2019

Dreaming Tree Gala

Posted by the Walt Disney Hometown Museum:

Patty and Mike Peraza Keynote Speakers

We welcome you to the 3rd annual Dreaming Tree Gala, supporting and raising funds for the Walt Disney Hometown Museum.  In 2019 we returned to beautiful Walt Disney World, to celebrate in the American Pavilion located in the heart of the EPCOT World Showcase.  Our keynote speakers were Mike and Patty Peraza. It was a night filled with amazing Disney stories, surprise visits and of course spectacular fireworks.


For many of us, Patty and Mike Peraza’s film and television credits are the very foundation of our childhood. From The Fox and the Hound to TRON, The Little Mermaid and Beauty and the Beast… The Black Cauldron to DuckTales and Goof Troop, their unique talents at an animation desk helped expand our own youthful imaginations and given many of fond memories of our childhood.

On Sunday October 6, 2019, Mike and Patty combined their talents for a nostalgic night of hilarious, magical and warm reminiscences of 80 combined years at Disney, set in the stunning and majestic rotunda of the American Adventure Pavilion in EPCOT. Among the treats they shared was a wonderful documentary they created for the event entitled, "Walking in Walt's Footsteps". It combined many photos of Walt's life we had never seen before with new animated segments they drew that were delightful!
The "Imagineering" documentary by the Peraza's

Mike and Patty on stage at the American Adventure Rotunda
Walt Level Table guests were treated to a private pre-gala cocktail party set on the shores of World Showcase Lagoon. Then we returned to the rotunda to enjoy Mike and Patty's talk. We enjoyed their reminiscences and photos from their films and park work over 40 years.  They also included a peek at the "Imagineering" documentary they have been working on and other exciting projects.

After dinner all of our guests retired to the stunning Italy Isola for a private viewing of IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth. Located in the Italy Pavilion, Italy Isola can be reached by crossing over a grand staircase that matches the beautiful architecture of the piazza. This private, exclusive area allows attendees to overlook the World Showcase Lagoon and enjoy a magical evening under the stars.

We love being spoiled by our friends at Walt Disney World, and we were very excited to return to Florida for the second time in our brief gala history. Disney knows how to do things right!