It is believed by most historians that author and journalist
Joel Chandler Harris is born near Eatonton, Georgia.
(Although some records show he may have been born December 9 and/or in the year 1845.) Harris is
best remembered for his collection of Uncle Remus stories. The tales of Uncle Remus have been
translated into 20 languages and immortalized on film (in 1946) by Walt Disney in Song of the South.
Herbert Arthur Disney (Walt's brother and the oldest child of
Flora and Elias Disney) is born in Daytona Beach, Florida.
Director/producer Richard Fleischer (a 2003 Disney Legend) is born
in Brooklyn, New York. Son of animator/producer Max Fleischer, Richard served as
the director of 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, one of Disney’s most ambitious live-action
films. Legend has it that he asked approval from his famous father Max to work for Disney
(as Fleischer and Disney had been bitter rivals in the early days of motion pictures.) After
the enormous success of 20,000 Leagues, Richard went on to direct such classic features
as Fantastic Voyage, Dr. Dolittle, Tora! Tora! Tora! and Soylent Green.
Actor James MacArthur is born in Los Angeles, California. Adopted as an infant by playwright
Charles MacArthur and actress Helen Hayes, he grew up in Nyack, New York. During summer breaks from
Harvard University, where he studied history, MacArthur made The Light in the Forest and Third Man on the
Mountain for Walt Disney. Deciding to make acting his full-time career, he left Harvard in his sophomore year and
appeared in two more Disney films, Kidnapped and Swiss Family Robinson (which was followed by a 12-year run
on the hit television series Hawaii Five-O portraying Danny "Danno" Williams).
The day after the Pearl Harbor bombing, the U.S. Army has finished setting up
camp at Walt Disney's Burbank studio for the repair of military vehicles and
antiaircraft guns, and use as a primary defense station to guard the nearby
Lockheed plant against possible air attacks. (Soon one-third of Walt's animators will be drafted.)
That evening, Walt receives a call from a navy official offering the studio a contract for twenty films on aircraft
and warship identification.
The Disney short Donald's Off Day is released. It is
the first short directed by animator Jack Hannah.
The Disneyland television series airs episode 7 "Operation Undersea," a behind-
the-scenes look at the film 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, which will hit theaters
December 23. (This episode will win an Emmy for Best Individual Program of the Year.)
Cartoonist Roy Williams (the big "Moose-keteer") is joined by actress Dani
Crayne at the opening of the Christmas Seal booth at the corner of Hollywood
and Vine in Hollywood, California.
Mickey Mouse Club airs on ABC-TV. Today is Circus Day.
Walt Disney's Wonderful World of Color airs part 2 of "Pollyanna."
Disney/ABC Cable Networks announced plans to launch Toon Disney, a new
24-hour basic cable network featuring the company's vast library of animated television programming. It will hit the air in April 1998.
The Orlando Sentinel reports that Disney World is moving ahead with plans to
develop one of its largest-ever resorts. The 5,760-room economy-style resort,
spread across 20 buildings near Disney-MGM Studios, is still unnamed. (It will
eventually be called the Pop Century Resort.)
Robert and Richard Sherman - the songwriting team that have created some of the
most well-recognized Disney music - appear at Disneyland. The brothers take part in a rare
informal presentation at the Team Disney Anaheim Auditorium for Cast Members only.
DISNEY LIVE! WINNIE THE POOH begins a special month-long holiday engagement at New York City's legendary Beacon Theatre.
Disney announces that its next animated release will be a Peter Pan prequel titled Peter and the Starcatchers (based on the 2004 children's
book by Ridley Pearson and Dave Barry).
It is reported that MarketWatch has named Robert Iger of Disney as the CEO of the
Year for 2006, thanks in part to his commitment to innovation within the
Strong winds force a full closure of Walt Disney Studios at Disneyland Paris!
Disney Channel debuts "Dinner Guest," the 25th episode of Life with Derek.
Touchstone Pictures releases Apocalypto, directed by Mel Gibson. Apocalypto depicts the
journey of a Mesoamerican tribesman who must escape human sacrifice and rescue his family after the capture
and destruction of his village.
An evening story meeting takes place at Disney Studio's Projection Room #4 to
once again discuss the personalities and characteristics of Snow White's dwarfs.
The fourth of eight installments titled "My Dad, Walt Disney," by Diane Disney
Miller as told to Pete Martin (a "celebrity friendly" writer) appears in the
Saturday Evening Post.
A whopping 800,000 watts of
electricity are used along
Hollywood Studio's 760-foot-long
Residential Street, Washington
Square backlot and New York
Street for the Osborne Family
Spectacle of Lights!
Disney's first full length animated feature Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs is released in Italy.
Conductor & film composer Carl Edouarde passes away.
International recording artist Josh Groban hosts BBC Radio 2 Celebrates the Music
of Disney held live at London's Lyceum Theatre. The concert, which is recorded for a December
26 broadcast, features the 70-piece BBC Concert Orchestra performing Oscar, Grammy and Tony Award-winning music spanning over 65 years of the Disney songbook. Broadway and West End performers include Ashley Brown (Broadway's original Mary Poppins and a take-over Belle in Broadway's Beauty and the Beast), Tituss Burgess (original Broadway casts of The Little Mermaid), Kerry Butler (a Broadway Belle for Beauty and the Beast),
Heather Headley (Broadway's original Aida and Nala in The Lion King), Adam Pascal (original Broadway casts of Aida), and Drew Sarich (original Quasimodo in the stage version of The Hunchback of Notre Dame).
This day's issue of TIME magazine features their annual 'Top 10 Everything' list for 2008. WALL-E is placed at the No. 1 spot in the 'Top 10 Movies' section.
Today is National Brownie Day
Touchstone Pictures releases the comedy Father of the Bride II starring Steve
Martin, Diane Keaton, Martin Short, and Kimberly Williams. A sequel to the 1991 hit
comedy Father of the Bride, it will be nominated for a Golden Globe.
"Well, my greatest reward, I think, is that I've been able to build this wonderful organization. I've been
able to enjoy good health, and the way I feel today, I feel like I can still go on being part of this thing
after forty some odd years of business, and also, to have the public appreciate and accept what I've done
all these years. That, that is a great reward." -Walt Disney
"Yesterday, December 7, 1941 - a date which will live in infamy - the United States of America was
suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan."
-President Franklin D. Roosevelt
Film and television actor Dewey Martin is born in Katemcy, Texas. He portrayed Daniel
Boone in Walt Disney's The Wonderful World of Color's 4-part television miniseries, which first aired in 1960.
Martin was married to singer Peggy Lee (who wrote the music for Lady and the Tramp) for two years.
The computer animated television special Disney Prep & Landing, based on an idea
by Chris Williams at Walt Disney Animation Studios, airs on ABC. Wayne, a Christmas elf
voiced by Dave Foley, is part of an elite organization known as "Prep & Landing", whose job is to ready Santa's
visit to millions of homes. But when his old partner gets the promotion that he wanted, a disappointed Wayne
needs to be reminded the importance of being an elf. The voice cast includes Derek Richardson (as Lanny, an
overly enthusiastic "Prep & Landing" rookie), Sarah Chalke (as Magee, the North Pole Christmas Eve Command
Center Coordinator) and W. Morgan Sheppard (as Santa).
Disney announces it will build a Disney Vacation Club addition to Disney's Grand
World. The project will feature approximately 147 time-share units in a separate structure next to the Grand
Floridian's main building. At this time the new addition is expected to open in late 2013.
Coach Nick Saban and the University of Alabama football team receive the 2011
Disney Spirit Award during The Home Depot College Football Awards held at Walt
Disney World. The Spirit Award, given by Disney Sports to an inspiring player or team annually, is being
presented to this team because of its efforts to aid and rebuild their community after the events of last April (when
devastating tornados struck Alabama). The team is on its way to New Orleans to compete in the BCS National
Disneyland Service Awards Banquet is held in the Embassy Room of the Disneyland Hotel. The special evening (which includes dinner & dancing) honors over 100 Disneyland Cast Members.
Disneyland Paris receives more than four inches of snow, marking their highest
snowfall in 25 years! The heaviest single-day snow in Paris, France since 1987, the weather disrupts
traffic and forces the closure of the Eiffel Tower. Disneyland Paris remains open but all outdoor entertainment
and parades are cancelled with some ride operation disrupted.
Actress Aria Noelle Curzon is born in California. She provided the voice for
Theresa 'Cornchip Girl' LaMaise for Disney's TV series Recess.
The million-light display made
its debut at Disney-MGM
Studios in 1995.
Aviator, engineer, astronaut, and United States Senator, John Glenn passes away at
age 95 in his home state of Ohio. The first American to orbit the earth, he was one of the "Mercury
Seven" group of military test pilots selected in 1959 by NASA to become America's first astronauts. Glenn's
connection with Disney began in 1962 when he appeared on an episode of Meet Me at Disneyland (just a few
months after making his first historic space flight). Glenn, along with the other Mercury astronauts, took part in a
ceremony for Disneyland's Space Mountain in 1977. In 1999, he was awarded The Walt Disney Company's
"Frank G. Wells Award" at Disney's American Teacher Awards in Los Angeles.
The Last True National Hero
The musical fantasy feature film Into the Woods, co-produced by Walt Disney Pictures
and distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures, holds its world premiere at
the Ziegfeld Theatre in New York City. It is adapted from the 1986 Broadway musical of the same name.
As the result of the curse of a once-beautiful witch (Meryl Streep), a baker (James Corden) and his wife (Emily Blunt)
are childless. Three days before the rise of a blue moon, they venture into the forest to find the ingredients that will
reverse the spell and restore the witch's beauty. Into the Woods will be generally released December 25.