Saturday, September 18, 2021

Guest Speakers

Mindy Johnson

Award-winning author, historian, filmmaker and preeminent expert on women in early animation, Mindy Johnson’s groundbreaking book Ink & Paint – The Women of Walt Disney’s Animation, (Disney Editions) redefines our collective history. This essential volume casts a light on the thousands of unsung female artists behind the creative and technical advances within the animation art forms of the Twentieth Century.

Recipient of the 2019 AMPAS/ Film Scholar Award, and the 2020 ASIFA Animation Educators Forum Grant, Mindy’s work continues with her latest work exploring the earliest women of animation. Her highly-anticipated Young-Readers volume entitled: Pencils, Pens & Brushes – A Great Girls’ Guide to Disney Animation, (Disney Press) celebrates the contributions of 20 remarkable women within early Disney animation and is a treasure for all ages. Mindy’s critically acclaimed debut, Tinker Bell – An Evolution (Disney Editions) was honored with rare consecutive Family Choice Awards, and she is a contributing writer for the epic volume, The Walt Disney Film Archives – The Animated Movies 1921-1968, (Taschen); as well as the celebrated collection, Marc Davis: Walt Disney’s Renaissance Man, (Disney Editions).

In addition to a background in network television and film production, Mindy is also an award-winning playwright, Grammy-nominated songwriter, musician, and a contributing artist on several internationally acclaimed recordings. When she isn’t speaking, researching or writing on a myriad of subjects, Mindy also teaches film/animation studies, women’s animation history, screenwriting & intercultural film at CalArts in Southern CA, and Drexel University in Philadelphia, PA.

Joseph Yakovetic

As a frequent illustrator for Disney’s Golden Books, Joe’s first coloring book assignment was “The Lion King.” Still in production, he successfully created the coloring book pages with only a few rough storyboards and some model sheets to work from. These drawings have recently been re-released in the new Lion King coloring books!

Joe was brought in to design various venues for Innoventions at both Disneyland Resort and Walt Disney World: the video game kiosks for “Finding Nemo” and the Haunted Mansion and redesign the Tivo set. During Disneyland’s 50th Anniversary, Joe was the sole designer of the theater and set for Innoventions’ new show, “Say ‘Hello’ to Honda’s ASIMO!” This job included designing the graphics that wrap the theatre, dressing the set and art directing all the video clips used in the show. The show has had over 1,000 performances and ran for ten years.

In 2006, Joe became a featured artist at the Disneyland Gallery. His paintings depicting still life reflections of Disney films and attractions are highly prized Disney collectibles. In honor of Snow White’s 70th Anniversary, John Lassiter requested that Yakovetic create a commemorative painting for the special event. His latest paintings are soon to be released at the Art of Disney at Disney Springs later this spring.

Joe represents the Walt Disney Company as a sketch artist, performing “live” sketches of Disney Characters for groups all over the world. As a sketch artist for Disney Interactive, guests have waited up to five hours to receive a custom Disney sketch created by Yakovetic. His art continues to be in demand around the globe.

Terri Hardin

Terri Hardin is an American Muppet puppeteer, artist, and former Imagineer.

Hardin’s skill as a puppeteer that opened doors for her in Hollywood. Her first 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 Shawn 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 contacted by the Disney Studios in 1987 during her stint with Universal Studios Hollywood as a sculptor creating “walk-around” character costumes. After eight interviews, she was hired and given the assignment of helping design the Big Thunder Mountain Railroad and DragonsLair attractions at Paris Disneyland. Her passion did not go unnoticed and she was given the opportunity to design the entire DragonsLair attraction with the blessing of her supervisor, Tony Baxter.

Despite her success, Hardin still dreamed of a job with Disney’s sculpting team. Her audition consisted of creating both an animation maquette and full-sized head of Song of the South’s Br’er Fox. She got the position and was assigned the same cubicle her personal hero Blane Gibson worked at years prior. She even had the opportunity to review Gibson’s own documentation.

Visitors to Paris Disneyland, Tokyo Disneyland, and Walt Disney World can see Hardin’s work both in Disneyland’s Splash Mountain (her sculpture is that of Br’er Rabbit lounging on a boat) as well as in Muppet*Vision 3D at Disney’s California Adventure.

Event Details

Toonfest cordially invites you to join us at our 22nd annual ‘creativity festival’ inside Walt Disney’s inspirational boyhood hometown of Marceline, Missouri.

Over the last two decades Toonfest focused on the art of ‘cartooning’, but this year’s Toonfest is getting a makeover and we’re looking to celebrate creativity in all its many forms. From film and television to music and animation, we are excited to shine a spotlight on all things that bring joy and let imaginations soar.

The Walt Disney Hometown Museum is the newly appointed caretaker of this decades old festival, and with that change will come a more ‘Disney-centric’ focus to our weekend. Education, conversation, history and community will seamlessly blend together into a fun filled weekend bound to fuel new and lasting memories for all involved.

This season we’re thrilled to be joined by Disney historian and author Mindy Johnson, Disney artist Joseph Yakovetic and Disney Imagineer Terri Hardin. Each of our guests will be holding a one hour talk over the course of the day, culminating in a dinner on the historic Disney Family Farm.

A single speaker ticket is $20 per guest. In addition to the one hour presentation your ticket includes a limited edition 2021 Toonfest Poster and a post talk meet and greet with the speaker.

A single dinner ticket is $30 per guest. Each dinner ticket includes an evening BBQ on the historic Disney Family Farm with a live auction plus a special Toonfest 2021 gift.

* Every ticket includes one adult admission to the Walt Disney Hometown Museum on the date of the event.

* Guests who purchase tickets to all three speakers and dinner will receive a free Toonfest T-Shirt when they arrive to pick up their credentials.

It’s sure to be a fun filled day in Walt’s beloved Marceline, MO. Hope to see you there.