Walt Disney Pictures' computer-animated film The Wild - featuring the voices of
Kiefer Sutherland, Jim Belushi, Eddie Izzard, Janeane Garofalo, William Shatner,
and Richard Kind - opens in theaters. An adolescent lion named Ryan (voiced by Greg Cipes) is
accidentally shipped from the New York Zoo to Africa. Now running free, his zoo pals must put aside their
differences to help bring him back.
"I Can't Make You Love Hannah If You Don't" - the fourth
Hanna Montana episode debuts on Disney Channel.
Disney's Silly Symphony cartoon The Big Bad Wolf is released. The Three Little Pigs team up with Red Riding Hood and her Grandmother in defeating the Big Bad Wolf.
Kenneth Mars, the voice of King Triton in both the 1989 classic The Little Mermaid and
the 2000 follow-up The Little Mermaid II: Return to the Sea, is born in Chicago, Illinois.
His Disney credits also include the 1979 live-action film The Apple Dumpling Gang Rides Again as Marshal Woolly
Bill Hitchcock and a 2007 episode of Hannah Montana in which he plays Gunther the Innkeeper. Mars also supplied
voices for both animated series Darkwing Duck and Tale Spin. (Often playing characters with exaggerated accents,
you may recognize Mars from his appearances in Mel Brooks' The Producers and Young Frankenstein and on the TV
sitcom Malcolm in the Middle.)
Comedian & actor Brad Garrett - the voices of Auguste Gusteau in the 2007 Ratatouille,
Bloat in the 2003 Finding Nemo, and Fred in the 2002 The Country Bears - is born in
Woodland Hills, California. His voice credits also include A Bug's Life, 101 Dalmatians: The Series, Tarzan II,
Kim Possible, An Extremely Goofy Movie and Tangled. (TV fans know him for his Emmy Award-winning role of Robert
Barone on the sitcom Everybody Loves Raymond.)
Disneyland's annual Easter Parade takes place with 1950s Mouseketeer Annette Funicello as the Grand Marshall. The parade also features a new Dapper Dans quartet riding on a 4-seater bicycle.
At the 41st Academy Awards, Disney's animated Winnie the Pooh
and the Blustery Day wins an Oscar (Short Subjects, Cartoon).
Walt Disney holds the records for number of Academy Award nominations during his
lifetime (with fifty-nine) and number of awarded Oscars (twenty-six). This evening's win
is his 26th and last (granted posthumously) as the film was in production prior to Walt's
death in December 1966.
The newly updated Alice in Wonderland dark ride (running since June 1958) re-opens in
Disneyland's Fantasyland. Residing next door to the other Alice in Wonderland ride, Mad Tea Party, this
attraction follows the same path as the movie, with guests traveling down the rabbit hole guided by the Cheshire Cat.
The Orlando Rays, the Class AA affiliate of Major League Baseball's Tampa Bay
Devil Rays, open their first season of play at Disney World's Wide World of Sports complex against the Jacksonville Suns. (The defending Southern League champions will play a
total of 70 home games at the Florida complex throughout the summer, culminating August 31.)
Disneyland's 45th Parade music changes from "Pomp in Circumstance"
to a mixture of classic Disney music.
The comedy-drama Keeping the Faith, released by Touchstone Pictures and
Spyglass Entertainment, in association with Triple Threat Talent, is released. A story
about two friends, a priest and a rabbi, who fall in love with the same woman, it stars Ben Stiller, Edward Norton
(also making his directorial debut) and Jenna Elfman.
Disney's House of Mouse debuts the episode "Pluto Saves the Day."
A press preview of a special musical titled "Mickey's Gift of Dreams" takes place in
front of the Cinderella Castle to mark the 20th anniversary of Tokyo Disneyland.
(The park will officially celebrate its 20 year anniversary the following day.)
Animator and designer Harry Holt passes away at the age of 93 in Florida. For
twenty years starting in 1936, he worked for Disney on many of their classic
features and shorts (before going on to Hanna-Barbera and Filmation). He returned to
Disney Imagineering in 1962, and helped design Audio-Animatronic figures for Disney theme park attractions.
Although officially retired since 1982, Holt worked as a character sketch artist at Disney-MGM, Walt Disney
Heritage Auctions holds a 2-day music and entertainment signature auction at its
headquarters in Dallas, Texas. Among the highlights are Walt Disney's passport from
1965 (which has already been gathering bids on e-bay) and a Walt Disney signed
contract from 1953.
Disney designers crafted a
climate-controlled rock for
Animal Kingdom - that is heated
in winter & cooled in the
summer. It is used to entice the
lions to sit in an area of their
enclosure which is easily
viewable by safari guests.
Although nominated for Best Visual Effects, Peter Ellenshaw, Art Cruickshank,
Eustace Lycett, Danny Lee, Harrison Ellenshaw and Joe Hale (the team that
worked on Disney's The Black Hole) - are edged out by the team who worked on
Alien, at the 52nd Annual Academy Awards.
"Ollie was part of an amazing generation of artists, one of the real pioneers of our art, one of the major participants in the blossoming of animation into the art form we know today." -Roy E. Disney
The Circle Of Life, meets the big apple.
Sequim, Washington. The last surviving member of Walt's "Nine Old Men," Johnston's 43-year
career at Disney included such classic features as Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Pinocchio, Fantasia, Bambi,
The Three Caballeros, Song of the South, Cinderella, Alice in Wonderland, Peter Pan, The Rescuers, and The Fox
and the Hound. Besides animation, he and Walt Disney also shared another passion - trains. Johnston built a 1″ scale
backyard railroad, with three 1/12th scale locomotives! His books with fellow Disney animator Frank Thomas (such
as The Illusion of Life) have inspired a generation of animators.
Gopher: If I was you, I'd think about skedaddlin' out of here.
In memory of Ollie Johnston (1912-2008)
Touchstone Pictures releases the comedy Disorganized Crime. The all-star cast
includes Fred Gwynne, Lou Diamond Phillips, Ruben Blades, William Russ, Corbin Bernsen, Ed O'Neill,
Daniel Roebuck and Hoyt Axton.
Up: My Name is Dug a picture book based on the movie Up is published.
The 48 page, hardcover book is illustrated by Pixar storyboard artist Ronnie del Carmen.
Special Agent Oso, a new animated series about a stuffed panda bear,
premieres on Disney Channel.
Imagineer Bill Evans (a third-generation horticulturist) was first called in 1952
to landscape the grounds of Walt Disney's Holmby Hills home.
Within a year, Evans helped transform 80 acres of Anaheim orange groves into lush
theme park attractions ... including the Jungle Cruise.
"Calling Doctor Herbie," the 5th and final episode of the television
sitcom Herbie, The Love Bug airs.
It is announced that Disney Music Group will close the Nashville-based Lyric Street Records (a country music label first found in 1997 by Disney).
It is hoped Rascal Flatts will be one of the few artist transferred to another Disney-owned label.
Spring Fling at Disneyland takes place at the Anaheim Park from 8 p.m. to 1 a.m.
A special ticketed event, the Saturday night party kicks off the beginning of Spring Vacation with dancing throughout
the Park and hundreds of special prizes topped by a brand new MG Midget sport car.
April is 1964/65 New York World's Fair Month
Disney's California and Florida theme parks break ground on their highly
anticipated attraction: Star Wars Land.