A Press Democrat Blog


Dan Taylor on the fine arts scene.

John Lasseter gets star on Hollywood Walk of Fame

John Lasseter has been a star since he made his directorial debut with “Toy Story,” the first feature-length, computer-animated film, in 1995. But now the Hollywood Walk of Fame is going to make it official at 11:30 a.m. Tuesday with a ceremony awarding Lasseter his own star on Hollywood Boulevard in front of the El Capitan Theatre. Expected guests include Don Rickles and Owen Wilson. Lasseter, 54, who lives in Glen Ellen and helps run Lasseter Family Winery, has been… Read More »

Disney documentary producer at Rialto

From 1985 to 2001, Los Angeles film executive Peter Schneider worked at the Walt Disney studios. When he arrived there, the company had been struggling creatively since founder Walt Disney’s death in 1966. “I got there just as they were releasing ‘The Black Cauldron,’ arguably the worst movie in the Disney canon,” Schneider said by phone from L.A. recently. But soon, things improved drastically at Disney, with a new string of animated hits: “The Little Mermaid,” “Beauty and the Beast,”… Read More »

Rocky and Bullwinkle turn 50

When Jay Ward launched the “Rocky & Bullwinkle” cartoon TV show in 1959, he didn’t have a huge budget for fancy animation. So he compensated for that with a daring new innovation — great writing. (How’s that for a concept?) Thursday, Nov. 19, marks the 50th anniversary of the squirrel and the moose, one of the oddest (and funniest) couples in show biz. The original cartoons survive on disc, and the franchise has weathered the years well, despite a fairly… Read More »