Trumpeter, bandleader, singer and composer Louis Prima, known
for his memorable contribution to Disney's The Jungle Book, passes
away in a New Orleans nursing home at age 67. Born in Louisiana in 1910,
Prima was best known for his 1956 recording of "Just a Gigolo" and his 1959 Grammy
Award-winning version of "That Old Black Magic." In 1965, Prima recorded the album
"Let's Fly With Mary Poppins" for Disney's Buena Vista label. Two years
later he provided the voice of the orangutan King Louie for the Disney
animated feature The Jungle Book, and sang the film's hit song, "I Wanna
Be Like You." In 1974, shortly after the release of Disney's animated
Robin Hood, Prima was asked to record the Disneyland Records release
Let's "Hear It" for Robin Hood. Prima narrated as well as sang two covers
and six new songs. That same year Disney conceived an early version of
The Rescuers, which would star Prima as the voice of Louis the Bear.
About a bear who escapes from a zoo with the help of two mice, it was
to feature six songs sung by Prima as well. Unfortunately in 1975,
following headaches and episodes of memory loss, Prima discovered he
had a stem brain tumor and the Disney project was scrapped. Prima's
tombstone reads: "When the end comes I know they'll say just a
gigolo and life goes on without me" (a nod to his 1956 hit song).
Aly & AJ, Hollywood Records recording artists, begin a 5-day run at Disneyland. The sister pop duo will perform at the Club Buzz Stage in Tomorrowland 4 times a day.
Lieutenant Harry Colebourn (a Veterinary Officer) stops at White River
Ontario, Canada, on his way to fight the ongoing war in Europe. There he purchases a
small black female Canadian bear cub (for $20) and names her Winnie, after his home town of Winnipeg (the
capital and largest city of Manitoba, Canada). In October, his regiment will be sent to England (and ultimately
France) and Colebourn will leave Winnie in the care of the London Zoo. Mascots and pets are not uncommon
among the Canadian soldiers. (Writer A.A. Milne and his son Christopher will later visit the zoo ... and become
fond of the bear - later known as Winnie-the-Pooh.)
Voice artist, writer, and actor Hal Smith, the second voice of Goofy, is born in Petoskey, Michigan. His vast Disney voice credits include Philippe the horse in Beauty and the Beast, Owl in many Winnie the Pooh shorts and feature films, Goofy in countless TV cartoons and Saint Peter in the series Darkwing Duck. (TV fans will recognize him from his
role as Otis Campbell on the classic series The Andy Griffith Show. One of the most sought after voice actors in the 1960s, Smith was the original voice of Barney Rubble on The Flintstones!)
Disney's 6th animated feature film Saludos Amigos has its world premiere in Rio De
Janeiro, Brazil. Set in Latin America, the film is made up of four different segments featuring Donald Duck,
Goofy, and José Carioca. It also includes live-action segments showing members of the Disney staff touring South
America and recording their impressions in sketches. The four animated segments are titled Lake Titicaca, Pedro,
El Gaucho Goofy and Aquarela do Brasil. (The film's U.S. release the following February will make it
the first Disney animated feature to be shown in South America before it is screened in the USA.)
Actor Steve Guttenberg, star of the 1997 TV movie Tower of Terror (based on the Disney World attraction) is born in New York. In 1987 he co-starred in the Touchstone Pictures comedy release Three Men and a Baby and the 1990 follow-up Three Men and a Little Lady. (Film fans will know Guttenberg best from such classics as Diner, Cocoon, and the 4 Police Academy movies.)
Actress Jennifer Lien, the voice of Adult Vitani in Disney's 1998 The Lion King II: Simba's Pride, is born in Illinois. (She is best known for playing the alien Kes on the television series Star Trek: Voyager.)
Tokyo Disneyland welcomes its 120-millionth guest!
The Lizzie McGuire episode "Educating Ethan" debuts on Disney Channel.
Touchstone Pictures releases the feature Bubble Boy (a comedic remake of the 1976 drama The Boy in the Plastic Bubble). Jake Gyllenhaal plays a young man born without an immune system who must live his life within a plastic bubble in his bedroom.
Disney's California Adventure hosts the first ever "ABC Primetime Preview Weekend." The 2-day event inaugurates the new ABC-TV fall line-up. Actors John Ritter and Kaley Cuoco (of ABC's new show "8 Simple Rules For Dating My Teenage Daughter") brave a roller coaster ride together.
It is reported that two white rhinos have taken their first steps on African
soil after being flown into the country from Disney's Animal Kingdom to boost
stocks. (The two bring the number of endangered white hinos in the country to just eight.) They were
released in the Ziwa RhinoSanctuary in Nakasongola district, about 110 miles northwest of Uganda's capital
Kampala after a four-day journey from their home in Florida.
In Florida, the Ewok Village opens at the entrance to the Star Tours attraction at the Disney-MGM Studios Theme Park.
Louis Prima (the voice of King
Louie in The Jungle Book) was a
singer, actor, songwriter, and
trumpeter. He actually studied
violin for several years as a child
growing up in New Orleans.
Film director, animator and writer Kirk Wise is born in San Francisco, California. He's
directed such Disney films as Atlantis: The Lost Empire, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, and Beauty and the
Beast (along with Gary Trousdale). He also co-directed Cranium Command, a short film for the Wonders of Life
pavilion at Epcot. Wise's early Disney credits include The Great Mouse Detective (animator), Oliver & Company
(animating assistant / story) and The Prince and the Pauper (storyboard artist).
After months of rumors that Jeffrey Katzenberg will exit as chairman
of Walt Disney Studios, the company announces he will step down
in September, at the end of his contract, and that Caravan Pictures
producer Joe Roth will take over.
"I wasn't making it with the violin because I was playing all of the 'long hair' stuff." -Louis Prima
Actress Brooke Tansley begins rehearsals as the new Belle for Disney's Broadway musical Beauty and the Beast. She will make her debut September 14, taking over the lead role from current Belle Christy Carlson Romano.
Actor and singer Drew Sarich is born in St. Louis, Missouri. In 1999, Sarich moved to Berlin, Germany to star as Quasimodo in Disney's stage musical Der Glöckner von Notre Dame (for over 580 performances).
In memory of Louis Prima (1910-1978)
Saludos Amigos world premiere
The Disney short The Legend of Coyote Rock, directed by Charles Nichols,
is released. Sheepdog Pluto protects his flock from a coyote named Bent-Tail.
The Original King of Swing
Actor William Morgan Sheppard, the voice of The Big Guy (Santa) for Disney's
Prep & Landing television holiday specials, is born in London, England. He also supplied the voice for Erik Hellstrom in the 2003 animated release Atlantis: Milo's Return.
Walt Disney Goes South American!
A male African elephant is born at Disney's Animal Kingdom. The new calf, weighing
311 pounds, is welcomed into the elephant herd by his mother 25-year-old Vasha. This is the sixth elephant
born at DAK and the second calf for Vasha (who gave birth to a female calf, Kianga, in 2004). The baby
elephant will later be named Jabali, which means "strong as a rock" in Swahili.
The Disney Store at Florida Mall reopens after a three-month transformation to
the chain’s new Imagination Park model, which features many interactive areas
for young guests. The concept’s name comes from the store’s decor and organization. It begins with
the Unlock Imagination ceremony when a child fits an oversized key into a lock at the start of each day to
turn on the lights and music and open the store.
Apple CEO Steve Jobs releases the following statement:
At this time Jobs is also the co-founder & chief executive of Pixar Animation Studios and a member of the board
of directors of The Walt Disney Company.
"I have always said if there ever came a day when I could no longer meet my duties and expectations as Apple’s CEO, I
would be the first to let you know. Unfortunately, that day has come. I hereby resign as CEO of Apple. I would like to
serve, if the Board sees fit, as Chairman of the Board, director and Apple employee. As far as my successor goes, I
strongly recommend that we execute our succession plan and name Tim Cook as CEO of Apple. I believe Apple’s
brightest and most innovative days are ahead of it. And I look forward to watching and contributing to its success in a
new role. I have made some of the best friends of my life at Apple, and I thank you all for the many years of being able
to work alongside you."
This Day in Disney History - THE FIRST - THE ORIGINAL
Traveling in time since 1999!