Saturday, November 27, 2021

Of Party Crashers, Crickets, and Martians

 Ok, that was a weird title, but it sums up this week's post pretty well. First, let me give you a very brief rundown of our players.

Ward Kimball was one of Walt Disney's "Nine Old Men." He designed Jiminy Cricket, and won two academy awards for animated shorts. He was a true Renaissance man. He was a railroad enthusiast who refurbished his own full sized steam locomotive. He was the founder and trombone player for the Dixieland Jazz group "The Firehouse Five Plus Two." He was also very interested in space exploration and U.F.O.s. He was responsible for the Disneyland TV show episodes "Man in Space," "Man and the Moon," and "Mars and Beyond." I mention this because it ties in with our next player...

George Pal started his career as an animator. Later he got into directing and producing. He is known for producing "When Worlds Collide," "Destination Moon," "War of the Worlds," and "The Time Machine." His movies were known for being grand in scope, even if the budgets might not have always been. He won numerous science fiction awards and was nominated for scores of Academy Awards (finally getting on honorary one).

How do these gentlemen come together? This:

Yep, apparently Ward Kimball gave George Pal a signed copy of this album. 

I bought this album online from a guy that got it from George Pal's estate. I have no COA, but the signature is genuine. What I don't have is the story behind it. I can guess parts of it.

In about 1960 (when the album came out) Ward Kimball probably gifted the album to George Pal and signed it for him. They probably knew each other because of their overlapping careers and interests. 

But I can't be sure. I can't even find anything that says that they knew each other.

But they must have.

This is a treasure that needs more research. I would like to know the real story. Maybe someday I will. For the mean time, I have it framed on my wall. 

Until next time, keep searching for (and researching) treasure!


  1. Their worlds really DID collide!

  2. Stu, you once sent me a photo of your "Firehouse Five" album, what an incredible artifact! Ward Kimball AND George Pal, wow. I wish we could find some evidence that they were buddies (even though we know that George was a pal, har-de-har har). But I have no doubt that they were admirers of each others work.

    I met Ward Kimball at an animation gallery around 1980 (in Woodland Hills), along with Frank and Ollie, June Foray, and Grimm Natwick. I was too shy to ask him anything intelligent!

  3. Well, I'm having issues leaving comments again. Argh.

    Anyway, your album signed by Ward Kimball to George Pal is amazing. Two legends. It's not surprising that they admired each other, though it would be nice to find a photo of them together. Eating nachos or something like that. "Watch out George, these nachos are spicy". That way we could prove that they were buddies, though it is obvious that George was a pal (yuck yuck).

    I met Ward Kimball, maybe around 1980, at an animation gallery. June Foray was there, as well as Frank and Ollie and Grim Natwick. I was still a teenager, and was too shy to say anything intelligent to any of them.

    1. Sorry,Major, I think the issue is now I have to approve the comments. I did it that way because now it will email me when someone comments...even on old posts! I always felt bad when I missed folks.

      I like you're sharing nachos idea! Man, if we could get that photo, we'd be thousandaires!

      It's very cool about meeting those guys. In my mind I would be all cool, but I'd probably just stare like Ralphie at Santa. (Seasonal reference)


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