Disney Collection Keeps ‘World's Oldest Kid' Young

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Payson resident John Moody retired in 1999, but his love for Disney memorabilia keeps him young.

At age 60, going on 10, the former full-time piano teacher owns a treasure trove of more than 10,000 Disney collectibles and he's stockpiling more every day.

"I'm the world's oldest kid," Moody said. "I just love it."

And just when he thought he had just about everything, he found a rare piece at a garage sale or bought a new toy off the popular internet auction site, www.ebay.com.

While most of his collection clutters his bedroom, this holiday season the rest is covering his Christmas tree -- on it and under it.

He's an easy person to shop for.

Moody has countless shelves and glass cases full of Lilo and Stitch, Pinocchio, Minnie Mouse, Finding Nemo and others.

He owns all 101 Dalmatians figurines from McDonald's. And if that's not enough, he owns all 102 Dalmatians from the sequel.

Once he blew out the speakers of his stereo listening to a Disney movie soundtrack.

And when his roommate's grandchildren tried to play with his hard-to-find collectibles, he bought duplicate sets for them to play with.

His former neighbor in Los Angeles was the late Clarence "Ducky" Nash who voiced Donald Duck for 50 years.

In fact, Moody has so many collectibles, he's storing boxes of them in his roommate's closet.

"It all started with a simple piece of Disney sheet music," Moody said. "I was just fascinated by the artwork and the music."

Moody, whose love for the piano rivals his Disney obsession, began playing the piano at age 4.

He moved on to teach piano lessons in high school and received a scholarship from Whitman College, where he thrived on his talent before moving to Los Angeles to teach piano lessons and own a sheet-music shop, all the while collecting Disney figurines, movies, posters, books and more.

Now semi-retired, Moody teaches piano lessons to 14 students, some of whom have bought him gifts to add to his collection -- collection that spans more than 60 years.

He owns rare memorabilia from France, Australia and countries from all over the world.

He owns a rare copy of sheet music published during World War II that has a picture of Donald Duck throwing a tomato in Hitler's face.

His oldest piece is a set of glasses from 1937.

But Moody doesn't plan to cash in.

"It's in my living will and trust and I'll never sell," he said.

And he never tires of his obsession.

"Sometimes I'll just turn on some music, lay on my bed and just look at everything in my room," said Moody, donning a Finding Nemo T-shirt.

After careful thought, he narrowed his favorite Disney characters down to three: Dori from Finding Nemo, Jiminy Cricket from Pinocchio and Dopey from Snow White. He said he goes to see every Disney movie as soon as it comes out.

"Every time a Disney movie comes into town, I'm there," he said.

His all-time favorite movie was easy: Fantasia.

"I love the music in it," said Moody, who owns more than 15,000 pieces of sheet music.

Moody and his roommate are in the middle of an 8-month cataloging project that will compile every piece of Moody's memorabilia into a database.

"I also happen to be a big Disney fan," said roommate and friend, Allen Fisher, 68. "His obsession doesn't bother me at all."

How does he find his collectibles?

Moody, who continues to search for Disney paraphernalia, said he shops at garage sales, on eBay and simply receives them as gifts.

"Part of the enjoyment is the hunt," he said and smiled.

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