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Disney

Growing up in New York City, film director and animator Peter Sohn remembers visiting the American Museum of Natural History as a kid and being awed by the dinosaurs on display there.

"There was a barosaurus in the atrium," Sohn tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross. "It was kind of standing on two legs, and it blew me away, that thing. ... It ignites the imagination to think that something that large could've roamed around New York."

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In April 1964, the New York World’s Fair opened in Flushing Meadow, Queens, and promised “Peace Through Understanding.” Despite that noble slogan, it was a time of social upheaval, the dawning of what would be known as “The Sixties.” 

The airspace around Disneyland is restricted. That's the lesson learned by a company that was set to spray for mosquitoes in Orange County, Calif., Wednesday night — but had to call off the mission because it didn't have a waiver to fly near the theme park.

"A complication arose in the operation regarding permissions to fly over restricted airspace around Disneyland," the Orange County Mosquito and Vector Control District says. "The contractor was unable to secure the permission in time to conduct a full operation."

Actor Dean Jones, who starred in The Love Bug, That Darn Cat! and other classic Walt Disney movies, has died at age 84. In addition to his film work, Jones played the role of Bobby in the original Broadway cast of Stephen Sondheim's Company in 1970.

Jones died in Los Angeles on Tuesday, according to his publicist, Richard Hoffman. The cause of death is reportedly related to Parkinson's disease.

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On my DVD shelf at home I have two volumes of Tom & Jerry cartoons, three sets of Looney Tunes, four packs of Donald Duck shorts, Mickey Mouse, Goofy, and Woody Woodpecker, not to mention various rarities from the Disney archives that have been released over the years. Most of the short films on those DVDs span the Golden Age of Animation, ushered in by Mickey Mouse in 1928 and lasting until roughly the 1960s, when television became a more lucrative option for producing animated shorts than theatrical distribution.

Donnie Dunagan is a hard-nosed Marine, a highly decorated veteran of the Vietnam War who served for a quarter-century before retiring as a major. First drafted in the '50s and subsequently promoted 13 times in 21 years — a Corps record at the time, he recalls — Dunagan found the Marines a perfect fit. That is, so long as he could keep a secret.

A dark reminder of the past Dunagan left behind still lurked unspoken: He was Bambi.

Ever since the Silly Symphony cartoons of the 1930s, music has played a big part in the creation of the Disney magic. Snow White sang about her prince, Pinocchio wished upon a star, and Mickey conducted “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice” in Fantasia. Films and television programs developed by the Disney studio used music to help tell the story.

The new Pixar animation Inside Out, directed by Pete Docter (Monster's Inc., Up), is the playful and ambitious story of the emotional life of a young girl, Riley, who is uprooted when her parents move to a new city so that her father can take up a job. Like a lot of science fiction, however, the fiction drags because the science never really makes any sense.

A new animated feature from Pixar aims to do the near-impossible, as any parent would tell you: get inside the mind of a preteen girl. Inside Out is about an 11-year-old girl named Riley, but the real stars are her emotions — five colorful characters representing joy, sadness, anger, fear and disgust.

Pete Docter, the creative force behind Up and Monsters, Inc., wrote and directed the film, and actress Amy Poehler plays Joy. Both of them laugh about one of the biggest challenges of the movie: deciding how many emotions to include.

Pixar's Inside Out is the perfect tool for coming to grips with what has happened to Pixar itself. The film's most valuable insight is that it's natural to feel sad about growing up, which is true even when the thing growing up is a movie studio that has shepherded countless childhoods.

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