JoBlo Tours Walt Disney Animation Studios for Wish

In the latest from Disney Animation, Wish, we witness history. The film tells the story of a girl who wishes on a star and opens up a heap of trouble for the villainous ruler Magnifico. While the reviews have been mixed, I immensely enjoyed the story, the music, and the heart of this magical animated tale. Perhaps I needed some magic in my life, but this one was a treat. Directed by Chris Buck and Fawn Veersaunthorn and starring Chris Pine, Ariana DeBose, Alan Tudyk, and Victor Garber, Wish put a smile on my face, and it was a terrific way to escape into a flick.

I attended the film’s premiere the same night the SAG strike reached an agreement. Initially, I planned on participating in the interviews without the cast (due to the strike). Happily, with that news, we had a couple of new interviews to cover, including Chris Pine and Ariana DeBose. However, the junket was a treat, with or without the discussions. Not only did we have a chance to do a little ADR work, attend an animation class, and chat with the Wish crew. We also were given a tour of Disney Animation Studios—the highlight was the original office of Walt Disney himself.

First, we made our way past photographs representing the 100-year history of Disney. From Mary Poppins to Tangled, the beautifully framed pictures lining the walls stirred a few cinematic memories. Then we made our way into the first room, the reception for Walt Disney. Inside was a mantle with many accolades and awards – Disney has far more than you could place in one bookshelf. Yet, it was the next stop that stirred my movie memories.

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Walt Disney’s office – untouched since the 60s!
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Walt Disney’s personal library

As a fan, I had long heard talk of the piano in Walt’s office, which he had Richard and Robert Sherman play for him. Mr. Disney’s favorite? “Feed the Birds.” It was delightful seeing this and his impressive collection of figurines. And yes, you can find numerous representations from his films on display. The office, not fancy by today’s standards, but the two rooms Walt Disney used for himself are impressive. The man undoubtedly enjoyed conveniences, including a lovely kitchen area I’d be thrilled to take over. Although his choice of loving Spam would not be mine.

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Walt Disney’s desk. His ghost might have been sitting in the chair.

It was invigorating to be that close to history. And the journalists and influencers on the tour with us may have had another guest. As we were walking into his office initially, one of the attendants wondered aloud if Walt would be joining us (with a laugh). As we all gathered together in one of the main rooms, a thin object leaning up against the door frame fell moments after. Untouched by any of us. Somebody possibly brushed up against the thing setting it up for a fall, but it certainly made the event all the more entertaining. After all, it’s not every day Walt Disney’s ghost pays you a visit.

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Walt Disney’s personal kitchen. His favorite food was spam!

Wish is currently playing in theatres this Thanksgiving weekend. Check out our interviews at the top of this article with the cast and read our very positive review!