Disney's Silly Symphony cartoon The Night Before Christmas is released. Loosely based on Clement C. Moore's classic poem, St. Nick is seen delivering the toys he made in the 1932 Santa's Workshop.
Walt Disney Pictures releases The Chronicles of
Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.
Based on C.S. Lewis' popular children’s book "The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe,"
a group of siblings playing hide-and-seek discover that a wardrobe is actually the entry
point to a fantasy world called Narnia. Starring Georgie Henley, Skandar Keynes, Anna Popplewell,
and William Moseley, the film will be nominated for three Academy Awards, and win for Best Makeup.
Composer of dance music Emile Waldteufel is born Strasbourg, France. His work
"Estudiantina" (also known as "Band of Students Waltz") was featured in The Timekeeper attraction - once located at Walt Disney World.
Actor Dick Van Patten is born in New York City.
Known for his roles on TV and feature films, he appeared in a
string of live-action Disney comedies during the 1970s. TV fans
know him best for his role of Tom Bradford, the father on the
popular comedy-drama Eight Is Enough (which ran from 1977-1981).
Disney's Christmas-theme Mickey Mouse cartoon Mickey's Orphans, directed by
Burt Gillett, is released. When a bunch of orphan kittens are left on Mickey's doorstep in a basket, they
make life chaotic. But Mickey, Minnie, and Pluto try to give them a Christmas party nevertheless. Mickey's
Orphans will be nominated for an Academy Award - Short Subjects/Cartoons - the first Mickey short ever to be
nominated. Ironically it will lose to Disney's Flowers and Trees.
Actress Paddi Edwards, the voice of Atropos for the 1997 Hercules and Flotsam &
Jetsam for the 1989 The Little Mermaid, is born in England. Her Disney voice credits also
include the feature An Extremely Goofy Movie, and TV episodes of Timon and Pumbaa and The
Little Mermaid series.
Christmas Parade, appears in this day's New York Herald Tribune.
Film, stage and television actress Judi Dench, the voice of Mrs.
Calloway in Disney's 2004 animated feature Home on the
Range, is born in York, North Yorkshire, England. As of 2008, she is
also the new narrator of Epcot's revised Spaceship Earth.
Disney's Silly Symphony cartoon Merbabies, directed by Rudolph Ising, is released.
As the Disney Studios are too busy, this short is produced by Harman-Ising Studios (Walt's former colleagues).
Mickey Mouse Club airs on ABC-TV. Today is Talent Round-Up Day.
Singer, actor, TV talk show & game host, and former teen idol
Donny Osmond is born in Ogden, Utah. As a member of the Osmond
Brothers, Donny performed many times at Disneyland (the singing siblings were actually
discovered at the Anaheim park before Donny was a member). He also supplied the
singing voice for Captain Li Shang in Disney's Mulan, and between September 2006
and July 2007 played the role of the villainous Gaston in the Broadway musical Beauty
and the Beast. Donny also supplied the voice of a farmer for Disney's animated 2009
short Handy Manny's Motorcycle Adventure and appeared in the 2008 comedy feature
College Road Trip. He and Kym Johnston, winners of ABC-TV's 2009 Dancing With the
Stars, made an appearance at the very first D23 Expo in 2009.
The NBC-TV series Walt Disney's Wonderful World of Color airs
part 2 of "The Mooncussers."
Actress Felicity Huffman is born in Bedford, New York. She is best known for her role
as Lynette Scavo in the ABC comedy-drama Desperate Housewives (2004–2012), for which she earned
the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series for the debut season of the series, three Screen Actors Guild Awards, and three consecutive Golden Globe nominations.
The National Hockey League awards Disney a hockey franchise
(the team will become known as The Mighty Ducks of Anaheim).
Disney animators move into their Riverside Drive building in Burbank. The
building becomes known as "The Hat Building" because it features the large conical "sorcerer's hat" at the
front entrance. The beautiful new building, at 2100 Riverside Drive, helps soothe a decade of bad
feelings by animators who have been working in industrial buildings miles away from the Disney Studio
The Tomorrowland Terrace, a restaurant in Disney World's
Tomorrowland, reopens as Cosmic Ray's Starlight Cafe.
The Disneyana Fun Fair takes place at the Westcoast Anaheim Hotel. In addition
to the show and sale, Disney personalities like the Academy Award wining songwriting team of Robert and
Richard Sherman and veteran animator Floyd Norman are on hand.
Disney's Aladdin - Live On Stage begins performances at the Hyperion Theatre
in Disney's California Adventure park.
The soft opening of Tower of Terror 4 (featuring new random drop sequences) goes into operation at Disney-MGM Studios.
Walt Disney Home Video releases the first two volumes of the Disney Channel
Lizzie McGuire series to DVD. Fashionably Lizzie and Growing Up Lizzie feature
individual episodes from the popular series.
The direct-to-video films Recess: Taking the Fifth Grade and Recess: All Growed
Down are released. Both films mark the first time Myles Jeffrey voices the characters of T.J.
Also re-released to DVD - Recess Christmas: Miracle on Third Street.
In the mid-1960s, Walt
Disney was constantly
denying rumors that CBS was buying his studio and
theme park. In fact
he once told columnist
"With the business
Mary Poppins is doing,
Disney might make
to buy CBS."
Pixar is incorporated in the state of California.
Today is Christmas Card Day
Singer-songwriter, record producer, and TV personality Kara DioGuardi is born in
Ossining, New York. She's written songs for such Disney acts as Hilary Duff, Raven-Symoné, Diana
DeGarmo, Jesse McCartney, Ashley Tisdale, Miley Cyrus, Vanessa Hudgens, and Demi Lovato. Disney's
A.N.T. Farm Soundtrack features "My Crush," a song co-written by DioGuardi. (Fans of American Idol know
her as one of the judges for its eighth and ninth season.)
"You have to believe in yourself, otherwise you can't do it. If you don't believe in yourself, how do expect
anyone else to? Because ultimately, you're the one who has to do it." -Donny Osmond (born This Day)
Donny Osmond, who plays Gaston in Disney's Broadway musical Beauty and the
Beast, celebrates his birthday on stage in New York City. During the curtain call at the
evening performance, "All My Children" and former Beauty and the Beast star Jacob Young surprises Osmond
with a birthday cake.
Executive Airlines (one of only two airlines with service to STOLport - Walt Disney
World's own airstrip) eliminates their Southern Region which includes service within
Florida. The following day they will file for bankruptcy. (Unfortunately this will be the beginning of the end for
the short-lived STOLport.)
William Lund (representing the Walt Disney Company) flies from California to
Tampa, Florida - rents a car and drives to Orlando. He checks into the Robert Meyer Motor Inn
to begin research for "Project Future" (a year-round theme park resort). His primary objective is to quietly
evaluate the location advantages offered by Ocala versus Orlando. Lund is working for the same California
consultant who had been instrumental in selecting Anaheim as the site for Disneyland.
(In 1968 Lund will marry Walt Disney's daughter, Sharon.)
Actor John Malkovich, co-star of Disney's 2010 release Secretariat, is born in
Christopher, Illinois. His Touchstone Pictures credits include The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy and
Alive. (Malkovich has appeared in more than 70 motion pictures including The Killing Fields, Dangerous
Liaisons, Being John Malkovich and Changeling.)
Elton John and Tim Rice's Aida, Disney's first stage musical not based on an animated film, officially opens at the Cadillac Palace Theatre in Chicago. Based on Giuseppe Verdi's story of a tragic love triangle in which a Nubian princess is captured by an Egyptian warrior,
who falls in love with her instead of his betrothed Egyptian princes, Disney's production features 19 songs by
John and Rice. This is a newly revised version, as Elaborate Lives: The Legend of Aida had its world premiere
at the Alliance Theatre in Atlanta, Georgia back in 1998. (Aida will come to Broadway the following March.)
Under a rainy evening sky, an opening ceremony for Indiana Jones et le Temple du
Péril takes place at Disneyland Park at Disneyland Paris. Attendees include special guest
George Lucas, Philippe Bourguignon (Chairman of Euro Disney SCA at this time) and adventurer Goofy! Based
on the Indiana Jones films, guests are taken on an adventure riding in a mining train through a lost temple.
Although opened since July 30, 1993, the attraction had been temporarily shut down due to technical difficulties.
It is reported that the Disney Dream is headed home! After nearly two years of construction, Meyer Werft, the ship’s builder, officially hands over the massive vessel to Disney in a traditional maritime ceremony aboard the ship in Bremerhaven, Germany. The Meyer Werft flag is lowered, and the Disney and Bahamian flags are raised, signifying the transfer’s completion. Plans have the ship departing Bremerhaven for
its transatlantic voyage to Port Canaveral on December 19 (and arriving in Florida, USA on January 4).
Jeff "Swampy" Marsh, co-creator of Disney Channel's Phineas and Ferb, is born
in Santa Monica, California. A television director, writer, producer, and storyboard artist, he and co-
creator Dan Povenmire conceived the series Phineas and Ferb, based on their similar experiences of childhood
summers spent outdoors.
Van Patten Disney credits:
Snowball Express (1972) … Mr. Carruthers
The Strongest Man in the World (1975) ... Harry Crumply
Gus (1976) … Cal Wilson
Freaky Friday (1976) ... Harold Jennings
The Shaggy D.A. (1976) ... Raymond
The Frozen soundtrack from Walt Disney Records is released. It will spend 33 weeks
in the top 5 on the Billboard 200 chart, including 13 weeks at No. 1.
Duck the Halls: A Mickey Mouse Christmas Special airs for the first time.
Nominees for the 14th Critics' Choice Awards are announced. Among the nominations:
-Best Picture: WALL-E
-Best Animated Feature: WALL-E and Bolt
-Best Song: "Down to Earth" (performed by Peter Gabriel) – WALL-E and "I Thought I Lost You" (performed by
Miley Cyrus and John Travolta) – Bolt
Winners will be announced January 8, 2009.