Special Guest 2017: Patty Peraza


Patty_profile_03_03_2016Patty Peraza realized a love of creating artwork at an early age and took multiple art classes in high school, including signing up as the first female allowed in the drafting class. The instructor refused her entry to the all male class. Fortunately the principle knew her from the honor society and realized her goal of going on to art school, overriding the instructors denial. Made the Deans List while attending the University of Delaware as a graphic design major. It was there that the Dean informed her about the Disney Animation program at California Institute of the Arts. She applied was accepted and made the move to California. Patty was fortunate to receive a scholarship from the Disney family to attend the college. While there she was taught by Disney Legends Jack Hannah, Ken O’Connor, Elmer Plummer, T Hee and design expert Bill Moore.

Patty has the distinction of being the first female hired by the Walt Disney Studio from Cal Arts.  Her first assignment was working on the motorcycles for the original motion picture Tron. From there she inbetweened on features along with various Epcot projects which resulted with being promoted to breakdown, then assistant animator.  One of her early opportunities to animate came on Mickey’s Christmas Carol. She was still classified as an assistant animator but enjoyed animating cigar puffs from Pete, whispy snow gusts, candle flame lighting by Jimminy and much more. Along with many of the top animators at the studio she was asked to help with the big push to get EPCOT ready for its opening. She was also assigned to animate all effects single handedly for Meet The World for Tokyo Disneyland. These were animated on 3 Cinemascope fields! When Ron Miller viewed her animation of the earthquakes, volcanic eruption and storms forming the island of Japan, he immediately promoted Patty to full animator. She became the first female effects animator at the Walt Disney Studios and at that time the only female animator in both the character and effects animation department.

She also was able to animate on other full length animated features including The Black Cauldron and The Great Mouse Detective. Patty was then asked  by Disney management to serve as project lead for a newly proposed film based on the traditional story Beauty and the Beast working closely with Don Hahn and Mel Shaw. In addition to features she animated effects for television commercials for Disney with Glenn Keane doing the character. She also animated effects for live action features including Bill and Teds Excellent Adventure and Warlock. Patty animated effects for Dale Baer Studio, Film Roman and Warner Brothers. While raising a family, Patty somehow found time to work on numerous television and direct to video projects including Ducktales, Talespin, Garfield, Tom and Jerry, Rover Dangerfield, and Proud Family. She currently creates “Art for the Park” with original creations sold at Disneyland Art Gallery and throughout the Disney company.

Special Guest 2017: Mike Peraza

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Mike Peraza is an award winning designer with over 35 years of experience creating magic for the Walt Disney Studios, Walt Disney Television, Walt Disney Comics, and Walt Disney Imagineering. He has worked with legendary film makers Tim Burton (classmates at CalArts), Steven Spielberg, George Lucas, Don Bluth and 8 of the 9 “Old Men” at Disney. He has also served Warner Brothers, SONY, Bluth Studios, Universal, MGM. From working as Art Director. for Disney’s “The Little Mermaid” on the big screen, designing“DuckTales” for the small screen, or drawing pages for Disney comics and children’s books, Mr. Peraza’s talents have helped shape the animation world, and usher in the fabled Disney Renaissance.

Born and raised in New Orleans, Mike knew he wanted to be an artist from a very early age. His animation work for a local TV station solidified this dream and he set out west to attend the prestigious California Institute for the Arts, a university that Walt Disney himself established. Tuition fees proved too costly and he planned to leave. Disney Legend Jack Hannah, Dean of the Disney Program intervened, offering him a full scholarship along with a job as Teacher’s Assistant enabling him to stay and study the craft he loved in addition to getting to know each Disney Instructor on a close one-on-one relationship. At the end of each year, students showed their films to an amazing audience including Ron Miller, Lillian Disney, Diane Disney, Frank Thomas, Ollie Johnson, Ward Kimball, Woolie Reitherman, Chuck Jones and other animation notables. Afterwards Mike found a note inviting him to come and work for The Walt Disney Studios, his dream job.

Mike went on to have a hand in the concepts of animated features for film, TV and games including projects such as: “Fox and the Hound, Mickey’s Christmas Carol, The Black Cauldron, Dragon’s Lair, Space Ace, The Great Mouse Detective, TRON, The Little Mermaid, Return to OZ, Ducktales, Chip and Dale, Rescue Rangers, Talespin, Goof Troop, Darkwing Duck, Who Framed Roger Rabbit, Aladdin, Beauty and the Beast, Thumbelina, Stuart Little, Anastasia, Ice Age and others. Mr Peraza’s recent assignments for Walt Disney Imagineering include CARSLAND, New Fantasyland and Shanghai Disney Resort where he teamed up with Tim Burton to design Wonderland. Along with his wife, Patty, and daughter, Kimberly, Mike Peraza donates much of his time raising awareness for Epilepsy, and hopes that one day his contributions will help facilitate a cure for this debilitating illness so those children as well as adults suffering can enjoy a better life.

Tom Nabbe

Tom & WaltTom Nabbe is a native of Santa Barbara, California; Tom’s family moved to Anaheim from Los Angeles a year before Disneyland opened. He started as a newspaper boy at Disneyland on July 19, 1955.

In June of 1956, Walt Disney hired him to portray the character of Tom Sawyer on Tom Sawyer’s Island at Disneyland. After being Tom Sawyer (’56-’61) he worked all of the rides & attractions at Disneyland. He was promoted into management and relocated to Florida in January of 1971.

After the Walt Disney World opening in 1971, Tom worked most of the attractions areas in the Magic Kingdom. In 1979, he was assigned to the EPCOT project P.I.C.O. team and in 1984, the Company restructured and he was promoted to the manager of WDW Warehousing and Distribution Services where he remained until his retirement in 2003.

In 2005 the Walt Disney Company inducted Tom as a Disney Legend and the Disneyana Fan Club inducted Tom as a Disney Legend in October 2006 at the first East Coast Convention at Walt Disney World.

Tom is a publish author as of September 2015 and copies of his book “ From Disneyland’s Tom Sawyer to Disney Legend” are available on his website TomNabbe.com or at Amazon.com.

Jim Hill

Jim Hill is an award-winning entertainment writer who lives in New Boston, NH.
Over the past 30 years, he has interviewed hundreds of veterans of the animation & themed entertainment industry and written extensively about The Walt Disney Company.

Jim is currently working on a behind-the-scene history of the development & construction of Disneyland. For his more immediate musings on movies, TV shows, books and theme parks, please check out his blog, jimhillmedia.com and in-depth theme park history podcasts at DisneyDish.Bandcamp.com.

Margaret Kerry

Margaret Kerry is an American actress, motivational speaker and radio host best known for her 1953 work as the model for Tinker Bell in the Walt Disney Pictures animated feature, Peter Pan.

While working under her given name as a dancer and actor in the Our Gang comedy shorts, she came to the attention of Eddie Cantor who cast her in the role of his teenaged daughter in the film If You Knew Susie as well as bestowing her stage name on her. She graduated high school with honors while working on the film and later graduated cum laude from Los Angeles City College.

While still a teen, Margaret Kerry gained a role as “Sharon” in one of the very first network sitcoms, The Charlie Ruggles Show on ABC-TV. The show’s farewell episode after its five-year run featured Sharon’s wedding and honeymoon, a major media event.

Since 1992, Margaret Kerry has worked as producer, writer and host of What’s Up Weekly on KKLA-FM Los Angeles, the world’s most listened-to Christian radio station. As the station’s community services director, she heads an outreach program that connects to more than 200 non-profit service agencies.

Terri Hardin

Terri Hardin is a puppeteer, artist, and Disney imagineer.

Her first Hollywood job came during her college years in which she built the stillsuits for the film version of Dune and acted as a stunt double for Sean Young. A job on the Columbia Pictures blockbuster Ghostbusters followed in which she played both of the demon dogs at the “Temple of Zuul” and served as a puppeteer for both the Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man and the ghost librarian seen at the opening of the film.

Hardin was hired by Disney Studios in 1987 during her stint with Universal Studios Hollywood as a sculptor creating “walk-around” character costumes. She helped design the Big Thunder Mountain Railroad and La Tanière du Dragon (The Dragon’s Lair) attractions at Disneyland Paris.

Hardin later worked for Disney’s sculpting team, where she contributed to the Splash Mountain attractions and to Jim Henson’s Muppet*Vision 3D. She has also created sculptures Disney collectables and for Mattel, Nickelodeon and Applause.

Hardin worked for The Jim Henson Company for over 30 years, performing in Dinosaurs, The Flintstones, The Indian in the Cupboard and The Country Bears.