With $1.2 billion in sales, the film beat out “Toy Story 3” to become the highest-grossing animated film ever. Consumers have gone bonkers for merchandise based on the movie, prompting Disney to impose some sales limits at its stores. Carlson said he expects the artwork to sell just as briskly. He recently treated 40 art collectors to a singular shopping experience at the headquarters of Disney Fine Art, on the Burbank campus of Walt Disney Animation Studios and at Disneyland Resort.
“I heard about the shortage of dolls and how people are going crazy,” Carlson said. “I thought, ‘This is going to be a big deal if we can showcase “Frozen” art.’ Then I started hearing from our collectors who were saying, ‘We are looking for “Frozen” art.’ ”
Of the 10 originals unveiled to collectors, seven sold. Carlson wasn’t sure for a while, though, whether any “Frozen” art would be available. Disney is carefully weighing every artist’s concept, and a number of them have not been approved. Disney Fine Art equated the approval process to squeezing toothpaste out of a syringe, Carlson said.
Stage Nine will have limited-edition giclées of 10 different artworks ranging from $295 to $695 in price, Carlson said.
Carlson introduced his shopping extravaganzas nine years ago to his best customers in the Sacramento region. He has led six trips since then, and collectors from Florida to California now join him. On the last trip, the group sailed on one of the late Roy Disney’s boats. They toured the sound stage where “Mary Poppins” and “20,000 Leagues Under the Sea” were filmed. A lead conceptual artist for “Frozen” met them at Disney Animation, sharing slides to show how the characters had evolved and explaining the challenges of simulating real snow.
Empowering black women
The Anthem Blue Cross Foundation is challenging Susan G. Komen’s seven California affiliates to help African American women navigate the costly business of beating breast cancer.
Of all racial and ethnic groups in the United States, African American women have the lowest survival rate for breast cancer. In Los Angeles, a black woman is about 70 percent more likely to die if she is diagnosed with breast cancer than a white woman. These are epidemic numbers, said Kelly Plag, executive director of the Sacramento Valley affiliate, and they’re unacceptable in light of the dramatic overall improvement in mortality rates since the 1990s.
Anthem Blue Cross will invest $390,000 in Komen California over the next two years in an attempt to improve survival rates among African American women. African American women are more likely to skip cancer treatments that they cannot afford, Plag said, so a key component of Komen’s strategy will be steering them to free or low-cost services available to all women.
“African American women go into debt,” Plag said. “They lose their jobs. There’s a loss of productivity. Their utilities are turned off.”
Komen also will stress education. Did you know, for instance, that African American women have a higher incidence of breast cancer before age 45 than white women do? Do you know how normal looks and feels for your body? What should you do if a medical professional dismisses your concerns without a mammogram?
Funding and work began April 1, though Komen is still on the hunt for a statewide manager. Until now, Komen has been a grant donor, not a recipient, Plag said, so the Anthem Blue Cross grant represents a sea change. Komen typically raises money through events such as this Saturday’s Race For The Cure and then distributes the funds to researchers or service organizations. But Anthem Blue Cross Foundation saw Komen had the expertise, experience and connections to lead and catalyze this effort, Plag said.
He’s on the up-and-up
Wakefield operates Sacramento-based Cheers Over California, a company that uses hot-air balloons to assist companies with their marketing and branding efforts. He began by piloting a balloon for RE/MAX back in 2005. That original balloon was worn out, and RE/MAX authorized Wakefield to buy a new one. He’ll unveil it at 11 a.m. Saturday at Mather Sports Complex, 3755 Schriever Ave., in Rancho Cordova. Attendees will be able to get free tethered rides, weather permitting.
“I took my first ride in a balloon … in April of 1999,” Wakefield said, “and I bought my first balloon in August the same year, so it was instant addiction.”
Cheers Over California has two balloons of its own, and Wakefield uses them to promote other companies. Every year, for instance, he pilots a balloon on behalf of Harrah’s Reno at the Great Reno Balloon Race. A 32-foot-wide banner markets the Harrah’s brand. How does he get that banner to stick fast? Velcro, he answered, thanking the aliens who brought it to Earth.