At the D23 Expo 2015 – 2 years ago, Richard Sherman first introduced us to “A Kiss Goodnight”. It is the story of a young Walt Disney, a poor farm boy from Marceline, Missouri who was fascinated by the annual Fourth of July fireworks. It was those fireworks that led to the initial spark that leads to Walt’s great imagination…the imagination that would ultimately bring us Disneyland. Remembering the Fourth of July fireworks from home, Walt wanted to leave every Disneyland guest with a special “Kiss Goodnight”, a Fourth of July fireworks celebration every night. We first heard Ashley Brown sing that song at the Expo in 2015. The song “A Kiss Goodnight” was featured during the Disneyland 60thAnniversary fireworks.
It’s fitting two years later, at the D23 Expo 2017: “A Kiss Goodnight” a special book co-created by Disney Legends Richard M. Sherman and Floyd Norman, made its debut. What I would consider an adult picture book, starts with “Long ago, there was a farm in Missouri…” and concludes with “There was always a kiss goodnight” and includes a CD of the Ashley Brown recording of the original Richard Sherman song, “A Kiss Goodnight”. The book is illustrated by Disney Legend and animator Floyd Norman, following Walt’s journey.
The book tells the story of a young Walt in Marceline and his inspiration from the free fireworks show, following the story Richard introduced us to at the D23 Expo 2015.
At the D23 Expo 2017, “A Kiss Goodnight with Disney Legends Richard Sherman and Floyd Norman” arena panel was our first introduction to the book. It was hosted by Wendy Lefkon, Editorial Director Disney Editions. Richard tells a slightly different story of how the book came to be than the 2015 Expo, providing additional details behind the scenes.
According to Richard, A Kiss Goodnight was actually a Disney Channel Television series that was never produced. Richard had written the theme song for the never produced TV series. The song was recorded by the London Symphony Orchestra and performed at the D23 Expo 2015. Wendy Lefkon was inspired by the song and the story Richard told at the D23 Expo 2015 – that inspiration led to the book and D23 2017 panel that is SamsDisneyDiary Episode 95. You can watch the full panel here and listen to the audio on SamsDisneyDiary the podcast.