Dreamfinders

Dreamfinders

Nathan Hartman sits down with Imagineers, authors, actors, dancers, photographers, YouTube creators and other artists to discuss how Disney has inspired them and why they’ve used their talents to create or celebrate the parks.

Episodes

November 17, 2020 143 min
Welcome to the final bi-weekly episode of "Dreamfinders." With this episode, the podcast has interviewed 50 guests. It's been quiet a ride and the fun is not over just yet! Rick Harper’s work for Disney has certainly left an…Impression. Starting in the model shop at WED, Rick soon moved his way up into the design department and then later was asked to helm the now classic EPCOT French Pavilion film “Impressions de Fran...
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Hayden Evans loves to illustrate the soul of people and places. Through his use of bold lines and colors he attempts to capture the essence of what things are. In that way, it’s no surprise that Hayden loves a place that does the same thing for genres and stories - Disneyland. As a Cast Member, Hayden worked on such legendary attractions as the Jungle Cruise, the Tiki Room, and the Disneyland Railroad. Hayden sits down with Natha...
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October 20, 2020 47 min
For almost 30 years, Kevin Brassard beat up Nazis, stole ancient artifacts, and ran from explosions. Quite the day job. As the very first Indiana Jones at Hollywood Studios “Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular” Kevin was trained by film stunt legends and now teaches the next generation of actors who take up the fedora and whip. Kevin chats with Nathan Hartman about how his love of Indy started well before he played the role, what...
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October 6, 2020 58 min
You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to understand why people love Disney, but, if you are one, it certainly can give you a unique perspective. Aerospace engineer Mary Kate Smith has worked for the likes of NASA and Lockheed Martin, but in her spare time you’ll find her flying through the stars over on Space Mountain. In fact, Mission Space even played a key role in her graduate dissertation. But if you think that’s nerdy, you ...
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September 22, 2020 57 min
Brandon Kleyla, better know as Trader Brandon to fellow tiki lovers and friends, has always been obsessed with the intricacies of pop-culture and, over time, he’s become a part of it himself. From acting on Nickelodeon shows at Universal Studios Florida as a kid to creating a feature documentary on Indiana Jones fan culture, Brandon’s career has more twists and turns than a pulp adventure novel. Eventually, it all lead him to Disn...
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September 8, 2020 41 min
Attraction preshows are an interesting aspect of theme park storytelling. They’re the first act of a ride’s story, giving us the background and mood we need to know as we fill in all the available space and wait for our chance at adventure. And some of these become quotable favorites for generations. Today’s guest is uhhhh…one of these. Actor David Danipour portrays Dr. Stevens in Pandora: Flight of Passage at Animal Kingdom and h...
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August 25, 2020 80 min
Ray Spencer found out early on that his talent as a conceptual designer could be put to use, not for creating office buildings and shopping malls, but experiences. Since then he’s never looked back. With a career that spans decades of work, fleshing out ideas for places like the Field Museum in Chicago to Kennedy Space Center, Ray finally found himself an Imagineer at Disney where he helped implement some of the biggest changes in...
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August 11, 2020 69 min
To love Disney parks is to also love good design. The immersive nature of the parks depend on it. But while many may just take it in without giving it much thought, others look at every detail. Today’s guests on Dreamfinders, Rob Yeo and Andy Sinclair Harris, are those kind of people. Both amazing designers and Disney nerds, Rob and Andy have found their place inside of Disney fan culture. Rob is known for his amazing Disney inspi...
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July 28, 2020 41 min
Randal Kleiser grew up with a poster of Disneyland above his bed. He knew every square inch and when he finally got to go, he knew exactly where everything was like he’d been there a thousands times. That passion for Disney eventually helped foster a love of filmmaking and, years later, Randal would have his own attraction at Disneyland that kids would be seeking out - Honey I Shrunk the Audience. The director of such hits as Grea...
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July 14, 2020 62 min
A staple of the classic “Disneyland” experience, steam trains can take you anywhere from New Orleans to Toontown and its bell and whistle are a constant presence throughout the park.For many, their fascination with trains and theme parks are intricately linked, thanks in no small part to Walt Disney’s own love of both. Today’s guest, Michael Campbell is one of those people, but in ways far beyond a normal hobbyist. The foremost sc...
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When David Price was a child, he, like many of us, found himself playing about as his father worked elsewhere in the room. But what David didn’t realize at the time was that all those maps and plans hanging around the office were helping his dad, Buzz Price, determine the best place to construct a little theme park called Disneyland. Not only did Buzz help Walt Disney make that determination, but he also acted as a feasibility adv...
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June 16, 2020 79 min
Shawn Rosell isn’t trying to be like every other vlogger who loves Disney and in fact, after moving away from Orlando, he knew his channel couldn’t just be park visits like so many others. These days, it’s a mix of short films, Disney opinions, thoughts on life and his unique perspective of being a black vlogger who began his Youtube journey in a theme park culture that is predominantly white. Shawn sat down with host Nathan Hartm...
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June 2, 2020 54 min
Gijs Van Winkelhof has always had an ear for a good Disney song. Having taught himself how to play piano at 3, Gijs has spent his life at the keyboard, plucking away at any song after listening to it once or twice. Like many of us, he’s found himself humming Disney theme park music long after leaving the ride, but, thanks to his creative talents, he can replay them at any time. That's what he does for hundreds of fans a week on...
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May 19, 2020 40 min
We’ve all taken journeys to visit places that connect us with moments in history we love. For many Disney fans, that can include Walt’s home town of Marceline and, of course, his original theme park - Disneyland. But those places only bookend Walt’s life - leaving many experiences in between. That’s where Christopher Tremblay comes in. A Disney fan with a passion for Walt’s life, Tremblay has authored Walt’s Pilgrimage - a guide b...
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May 5, 2020 57 min
Adam Kreutinger makes magic one stitch at a time. Through his passion of puppet making, he has both created a slew of lovable characters and shared his creative process on his Youtube channel, even in real time, for all who have interest. But when Adam was tasked with creating a certain dragon of royal purple pigment, he connected with Disney nerd culture in a brand new way. Adam sat with me to chat about creating a puppet version...
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April 21, 2020 81 min
Whether for television, film, or theme parks, Kirk Hanson has used a pencil and a little ingenuity to create some of the most beloved stories of our time. As a story artist for Disney Feature animation, Kirk helped bring to life Aladdin, Hunchback of Notre Dame, and Hercules. He’s also found himself over at Imagineering fleshing out ideas for Pirates of the Caribbean and Monster Inc: Ride and Go Seek. Kirk was nice enough to chat ...
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April 7, 2020 31 min
If there is one cultural touchstone that Disney theme parks might have helped bring back from obscurity, it’s Tiki culture. While the Enchanted Tiki Room was in response to the burgeoning craze of the late 50’s early 60’s, when all the bars and rum joints closed down over the years, the Tiki Room kept the culture around for later generations of fans to discover. One of those fans was Tiki Tony. Inspired by island culture and his l...
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March 24, 2020 98 min
From the mountains of China, to the plains of Kenya and even Moscow’s Red Square, filmmaker Jeff Blyth has focused his camera on all sorts of wonders of the world. Well…more like cameras... nine to be exact. Throughout his career, Blythe has directed six circle-vision films for Disney, including Portraits of Canada, Wonders of China, The Timekeeper, and Reflections of China. But that's just scratching the surface as Jeff chats...
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March 10, 2020 60 min
Skipper David John Marley used to sail the rivers of the world for the Jungle Navigation Company at Disneyland. Now a history professor, he's compiled "Skipper Stories" - two volumes of the best jungle cruise stories money can buy. Marley sits down with Nathan to chat about what it takes to be a great skipper, looking at the Jungle Cruise from a historians perspective, and the greatest pranks he ever pulled on the job....
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February 25, 2020 37 min
There are Disney theme park megafans and then there are those that transcend the title to become pillars for what the entire fan culture sits upon. Martin Smith is one of those fans. Known worldwide as the “Ken Burns” of Disney parks history on Youtube and across the internet, Martin's documentaries about attractions, pavilions, and other park elements have become a staple for Disney fans and a way into the culture for many. ...
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