Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Interview with Kathryn Beaumont

My favorite childhood birthday party was my 6th -- we watched Alice in Wonderland. And yesterday I got to talk to Alice herself, Kathryn Beaumont, who provided the voice for both Alice and "Peter Pan's" Wendy. She was in Washington to talk about the new DVD edition of "Peter Pan" with all kinds of extras, including a 1952 featurette about the making of the film, a never-before-seen alternate opening, and a sneak peek of the new Tinker Bell movie. And, of course, a cover of one of the "Peter Pan" songs by a Disney-label pop group that just happens to have a new CD coming out.

It was a treat to talk with Ms. Beaumont, who still has that lovely, clear voice, and who remembers what it was like to sit with Disney's legendary "nine old men" and see them sketch out their ideas for the movie. I'm glad to be able to make it possible for viewers of this blog to hear our conversation here.
We chatted about how she got the job and how she provided not just the voice but the movement for her animated characters, how it felt to meet Walt Disney and Hans Conried (who played Captain Hook), what happened after she became a schoolteacher when her students asked her if she was really Alice and Wendy, and how it felt to get a call from Disney decades later when they wanted her to reprise her Alice voice for the Alice in Wonderland rides and parades at Disneyland and Disney World.

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