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The Ryman Centennial: An Intermission With Herb

As we take a brief intermission before we start looking at Disney artist Herbert Ryman’s contributions to Imagineering – contributions that would occupy the last thirty-some years of his life – perhaps it would be nice to hear, for the first time, from the man himself. Author John Donaldson has uploaded this video, which originally aired on the Disney Channel in 1988.

The piece was filmed in Disneyland on February 4th, 1988, barely a year before Ryman would pass away on February 10th, 1989. It’s great to see him walking the park with a spring in his step, obviously enjoying himself.

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6 comments to The Ryman Centennial: An Intermission With Herb

  • RO93461

    That is a great video. Thanks to JD for uploading it. Now everyone can experience Herb firsthand. He uses a soft pause in his stories for maximum impact. I still marvel at his porcelain skin, it never wrinkled. His eyes would sparkle just when he hits the punchline too. That video reminds me of how good he was at telling stories and how none of us ever wanted him to stop telling them. Ryman as an “Imagineer” carried himself with such class and dignity. Here’s this manicured gentleman in a coat and tie, a true artist, explaining firsthand how the park originated and in a humble manner. He dressed that way when he came to the office as well every day. He respected the work by how he presented himself. A bygone generation.

  • Two weeks after this video was made, it was confirmed that Herbert had cancer. At his request, important, but tiring, radiation treatments were not to commence, until he had finished his work at Imagineering…a costly matter of time.

  • Tim O'Day

    I was the production manager on the taping of this interstitial for The Disney Channel. Herbie and I had become friends just prior to this production. Of all the Disney Legends I have worked with I would say (and I don’t mean this in a trite fashion) that Herbie was the most magical. My favorite shot in the whole piece is the pan with the Cherry trees with the Castle in the background (It was Herbie’s idea).

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  • Eddie – You’re so right! One of the impressions I’ve always had about Herb – well before I started researching these articles – was “dapper!” And you’re right about his storytelling… maybe that was part of what made him and Walt such good friends? They could both spin a good yarn?

    Tim – Thank you so much for dropping by! The video is indeed a great piece, and I’d love to see a collection some day of all these bits (and the “Disney Family Album” pieces) that were made for the Disney Channel in the 80s. They were the first introduction to a lot of these artists for my generation.

  • Zach Harward

    This video really made an impact on me when I was younger. Awesome piece.

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