DON BLUTH PRODUCTIONS
Don Bluth Productions has created a magical two-minute animated sequence for XANADU, utilizing the
character Kira and Sonny, portrayed in the film by Olivia Newton-John and Michael Beck. The animated
segment illustrates the song “Don’t Walk Away” written by Jeff Lynne and Electric Light Orchestra.
The XANADU animated sequence will be the first feature theatrical release for Don Bluth productions, a
newly formed animation studio whose members were formerly associated with Walt Disney Studios. Don
Bluth Studios is currently in full production on the animated theatrical feature “Mrs. Frisby And The Rats Of N.
I. M. H.”
Born in Ambridge, England and raised in Melbourne, Australia, Olivia Newton-John won her first talent
contest at 15. She received first prize which was a trip to England. For the next two years she stayed there,
performing as part of a duo with another Australian girl, Pat Carroll, appearing in cabarets and on numerous
shows on BBC Television. Olivia’s very first single recorded in England, Bob Dylan’s tune, “If Not For You”,
was extremely successful.
Her next single, “Banks Of The Ohio,” won her an English Silver Disc and an Australian Gold Disc at the
same time she was charming audiences throughout Europe while touring with Cliff Richard show. She then
became a regular guest on the BBC-TV series, “It’s Cliff Richard.” It was with Richard she sings the duet,
“Suddenly,” in XANADU. In 1971 and 1972, she was voted as the Best British Girl Singer by the readers of
pop weekly newspaper Record Mirror.
Olivia’s world-wide prominence continued to grow in 1973 with her first Grammy as Best Country Vocalist
for the gong, “Let Me Be There.” Since then, her list of awards has multiplied each year, with two more
Grammys in 1974, a total of eight American Music Awards since 1974, and multiple honors from Record
World, Billboard, Cashbox, the Academy of Country Music, The Country Music Association, AGVA, ASCAP
(the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers), and the People’s Choice, just to name a few.
Immediately after completing an SRO tour of the United States, which was highlighted by Olivia’s concert at
the prestigious New York City Metropolitan Opera House, she began filming her first major film, “Grease,”
co-starring John Travolta. The most successful musical film ever made, “Grease,” has broken box office
records around the world, grossing over 150 million dollars in international rentals alone.
However, “Grease’s” successes were not limited to the film world – the soundtrack album was at the top of
the charts for months, and awarded multi-platinum honors. Olivia’s three release (“You’re The One That I
Want,” Summer Nights,” “Hopelessly Devoted To You”) were certified gold and remained in the pop charts
throughout 1978. They were just as phenomenally successful all around the world, topping all the
international music charts. Olivia’s most recent album is “Totally Hot” for MCA Records.
“….I get a feeling when I’m with you, none of the
Gene Kelly is a living legend, famed as an actor, singer, dancer and choreographer. He also has earned
greats distinction as a producer and director for motion pictures, television and the Broadway stage.
A native of Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, Gene got up and act with his brother, Fred, playing amateur nights and
small nightclubs in order to put himself through collage during the Depression. Later he began staging
local shows and teaching dancing classes.
Kelly decided to try his luck on Broadway in the summer of 1938. The first job he landed was in the Cole
Porter show “Leave It To Me.” This was followed by “One For the Money” and “The Time Of Your Life” and
choreography assignments for Billy Rose’s Diamond Horseshoe and the show “Best Foot Forward.”
Rodger and Hart’s “Pal Joey,” made Kelly a real Broadway star and the offers from Hollywood stared
Although initially contracted by David O. Selznick, Kelly’s first film was “For Me And My Gal” at MGM with Judy
Garland, the first of 28 films he would make for that studio. MGM loaned him to Columbia for “Cover Girl”
with Rita Hayworth and to Universal for “Christmas Holiday” with Deanna Durbin, but after that he was
considered too valuable to be loaned out again, and his dream of filming “Pal Joey” at Columbia was never
Kelly’s collaboration with the superb talent working at MGM produced some of the greatest musical films
ever made including “On The Town,” “An American In Paris,” It’s Always Fair Weather,” Anchors Aweigh,”
“Summer Stock,” “Words & Music,” “Brigadoon,” and “Singing In The Rain” which has been termed by critic
Pauline Kael as “just about the best Hollywood musical of all time.”
In 1952 the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Science awarded Kelly an Oscar: “In appreciation of his
versatility as an actor, singer, director and dancer; and specially for his brilliant achievements in the art of
choreography on film.”
Through the years the versatile Kelly has starred in numerous dramatic or comedic roles in such films as
“The Three Musketeers,” “The Black Hand,” Marjorie Morningstar,” “Inherit The Wind,” “What A Way To Go,”
and “Forty Carats.”
“The Happy Road” and “The Tunnel Of Love” established him as a director of non-musical films. He also
directed “Gigot,” “A Guide For The Married Man,” and “The Cheyenne Social Club,” as well as “Hello, Dolly!”
Gene was co-narrator for “That’s Entertainment,” Part II, for which he also directed new sequences.
On Broadway, he directed “Flower Drum Song.”
Kelly has also worked frequently on television. His first appearance was on Playhouse 90 in 1956. Since
that time he has starred in several of his own series, Going My Way and The Funny Side, and has been
host, star, guest star or narrator of countless specials. He also has appeared in Las Vegas at the
International Hotel with his own, “Gene Kelly and his Wonderful World of Girls,” and at Resorts International
in Atlantic City.
“….she walks in, and I’m suddenly a hero,
I’m taken in, my hope begin to rise….”
Michael Beck, one of America’s most gifted young actors, was born in Memphis, Tennessee. He grew up on
a farm across the Mississippi at Horseshoe lake, Arkansas, one of nine children.
Michael entered Millsap College in Jackson, Mississippi on a football scholarship, where he was a
In his junior year a friend dared him to try out for a play. He did, and was cast as Tybalt in “Romeo And
Juliet.” During his last two years at Millsap he became very active in theatre. Lance Goss, the head of the
drama department at the college, recognized his potential and encouraged him to pursue a professional
career. He suggested that Michael go to England and train there following his graduation.
Back went to London in the summer of 1971. He was accepted at the Central School of Speech and Drama
where he spent three years learning his craft, along the way losing his Southern accent. Michael then spent
another two years in England performing with various repertory companies.
Five weeks after arriving back in Manhattan, after five years in England, Michael not only had an agent, but
found himself cast as a lead in an independent film entitled “Madman,” which was shot in Israel for two-and-
a-half months during the spring of 1977. Upon completion of the film, Michael went back to New York where
he was cast in Holocaust, which necessitated his return to Europe and spending thirteen weeks in Austria.
Writer-director Walter Hill screened “adman” to see footage on Sigourney Weaver, whom he was
considering for “Alien,” which he co-produced. He was so impressed with Michael’s work that he suggested
to producer Larry Gordon that Michael be cast as the lead in “The Warriors,” a Lawrence Gordon Production
which Hill both wrote and directed.
Following “The Warriors” Back was by George Schaefer in Mayflower: The Pilgrim Adventure, a CBS-TV
Movie of the Week which aired in the fall of 1979, and also starred Anthony Hopkins.
In the fall of 1980, Beck will be seen in Alcatraz: The Rock And Clarence Carnes, a two-part, four-hour Movie
of the Week for NBC.
“….a place, where nobody dared to go, the love that
we came to know, they call it Xanadu….”