Disney's very first True-Life nature documentary featurette Seal Island previews at
the Crown Theatre in Pasadena, California. It will play for 2 weeks in front of MGM's
The Three Musketeers. Seal Island studies the saga of life on Seal Island, one of the tiny
specks of land in the Bering Sea. The film is shot by travelogue filmmakers Al and Elma Milotte. (It
will officially be relased the following May and later win an Academy Award.)
Actor Samuel L. Jackson, the voice of Lucius Best/Frozone in the 2004
Disney-Pixar animated feature The Incredibles, is born in Washington, D.C.
The Disney-MGM parade Aladdin's Royal Caravan debuts.
Based on the hit Disney animated feature Aladdin, released last November 25, 1992,
the parade features the spitting camel floats. (These camels would eventually be a part
of the Magic Carpets of Aladdin attraction in Adventureland at the Magic Kingdom.)
Disney releases Where The Red Fern Grows to DVD & VHS. The all-new family
film is based on the novel by Wilson Rawls. Also released to DVD & VHS is
The Young Black Stallion (a prequel to “The Black Stallion”).
At the Florida Film Critics Circle Awards, The Incredibles win for Best Animation.
Art director, Imagineer and Disney Legend Marvin Davis is born in
Clovis, New Mexico. His early Disney credits include Victory Through Air Power and
The Three Caballeros as an art director. Davis (not to be confused with animator Marc
Davis) was invited by his friend, Dick Irvine to join WED (Walter Elias Disney) Enterprises
in 1953. As an early "Imagineer," Davis developed the first diagrammatic plan for
Disneyland. After the theme park's successful opening in July 1955, Davis returned to
art directing motion pictures, including Disney's Moon Pilot, Babes in Toyland and Big
Red, as well as such television series as Zorro and The Mickey Mouse Club. In 1962, he received an Emmy Award
for art direction and scenic design for Walt Disney's Wonderful World of Color. In 1965, he returned to WED as a
project designer for Walt Disney World in Florida. After 22 years with Disney, Davis retired in 1975.
Imagineer, master model maker and Disney Legend Fred Joerger
is born in Pekin, Illinois. Walt Disney handpicked Joerger in 1953 to become one
of his first three model makers. He helped realize Walt's visions by crafting
three-dimensional miniature models of Disney theme park attractions, as well as motion
picture sets and props - before they were brought to full-scale life. Joerger also designed
and constructed most all rockwork at Disney World for its 1971 opening, including the
atrium waterfall featured in the Polynesian Resort. The Haunted Mansion tombstone that
reads: HERE LIES GOOD OLD FRED A GREAT BIG ROCK FELL ON HIS HEAD R.I.P., is a tribute to Joerger! After retiring in 1979, Joerger returned a few years later to oversee the look of Disney's Epcot Center and also supervised
the rock work for Tokyo Disneyland.
A baby girl named Sharon Mae is born. Less than two weeks
later she will be adopted by Walt Disney and his wife Lillian.
Disney's first feature-length animated film, Snow White
and the Seven Dwarfs premieres at the Carthay Circle
Theater, located at 6316 San Vicente Boulevard in Los Angeles,
California. The film features the voices of Adriana Caselotti (as Snow White) and Harry Stockwell (as the
Prince). Workers at the studio present Walt with a backyard playhouse for his two daughters, a child size copy
of the dwarfs' cottage from the film. In attendance at the opening of the first American feature-length animated
film are such stars as Charlie Chaplin, Douglas Fairbanks, Judy Garland, Carole Lombard, John Barrymore,
Marlene Dietrich, and future Disney Legend Fred McMurray. Also attending the premiere is Adriana Caselotti,
Snow White director David Hand, and a teenager named Marjorie Belcher (later known as Marge Champion) - the
animator's live-action model for Snow White! (The Carthay will later be razed and replaced by an office building.)
Disney's 7th animated feature The Three Caballeros world premieres
in Mexico City. It will be released in the U.S. the following February.
Lux Radio Theater in cooperation with Walt Disney Pictures presents an
adaptation of Peter Pan with Bobby Driscoll.
Disney's animated Peter Pan is released in Sweden.
Today is Anything Can Happen Day on ABC-TV's Mickey Mouse Club.
Disney releases the fourth People and Places short documentary Men Against the Arctic to theaters. Directed and written by Winston Hibler, the film follows the CGC icebreaker Westwind's Arctic, shot during the summer of 1954 by cinematographers William Fortin and Elmo G. Jones.
Men Against the Arctic will an Academy Award® for Best Documentary (Short Subjects).
Disney's live-action Swiss Family Robinson (based on the book by Johann
Wyss) is released along with The Horse with the Flying Tail. Filmed on the Caribbean island
of Tobago (the smaller of the two main islands that make up the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago), Swiss
Family's lavish pre-production planning and on-location shooting resulted in a budget that exceeded $4 million!
The plot centers on Mother and Father Robinson (Dorothy McGuire and John Mills) and their three sons Fritz
(James MacArthur), Ernst (Tommy Kirk) and Francis (Kevin Corcoran) who find themselves stranded on a
deserted island with no rescue in sight.
The Horse with the Flying Tail is a documentary film about the palomino horse, Nautical, who won the team gold
medal at the 1959 Pan American Games. (It will win the Best Documentary award at the 33rd Academy Awards.)
Disney's live-action feature film In Search of the Castaways (based on the 1868
Jules Verne adventure novel Captain Grant's Children) is generally released in U.S.
theaters. Starring Hayley Mills and Maurice Chevalier, the film tells the tale of a worldwide search for a
shipwrecked sea captain.
The Wonderful World of Disney premieres part 1 of "Babes in Toyland," a musical first released to theaters in 1961.
Disney's Fantasia 2000 has its London premiere at the Royal Albert Hall.
Produced by Roy E. Disney and Donald W. Ernst, it is the 38th feature in the Walt Disney Animated Classics series and sequel to the 1940 Fantasia. Like its predecessor, Fantasia 2000 consists of
animated segments set to pieces of classical music. A group of celebrities introduce each segment in
live-action scenes directed by Don Hahn, including Steve Martin, Itzhak Perlman, Quincy Jones,
Bette Midler, James Earl Jones, Penn & Teller, and Angela Lansbury.
Disney World's Caribbean Beach Resort, which was been closed since September 8, 2002 for the rehab of the food area, reopens.
Eustace Lycett, designer of special effects for Disney movies, is born in
Straffordshire, England. His 43-year career with Disney began in 1937 as a protégé of Ub Iwerks (a
pioneer of animation and special effects) helping to design and modify camera equipment. Lycett worked on more
than 30 films, including Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Babes in Toyland, and Mary Poppins
(for which he won an Academy Award). For Disneyland, Lycett helped develop Circle-Vision, a process of
film projection on a 360-degree screen; and was involved in the theme park's "Rocket to the Moon" attraction.
He also worked on the engineering for "Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln" for the 1964-65 New York World's Fair
and later the "Mr. Lincoln" attraction at Disneyland.
The Walt Disney Productions live-action science fiction
feature, The Black Hole is generally released in theaters
in the U.S. It is directed by Gary Nelson and stars Maximilian Schell,
Robert Forster, Joseph Bottoms, Yvette Mimieux, Anthony Perkins, and
Ernest Borgnine. The voices of the main robot characters in the film are
provided by Roddy McDowall and Slim Pickens. A bold experiment for Disney, the film's budget climbed
to $20 million and is the first PG-rated release in Disney history! It will be nominated for Academy Awards
for Cinematographyy and Visual Effects - Peter Ellenshaw, the acclaimed matte artist and Disney effects
veteran was lured out of retirement to oversee the production. James Macdonald (the second voice of
Mickey Mouse) has helped create the amazing sound effects.
The action spy film The London Connection is released in the United Kingdom by
Walt Disney Productions. Secret agent Luther Starling (played by Jeffrey Byron) hopes to have a
vacation in England to visit his friend Roger (Larry Cedar). However, a noted European scientist is kidnapped
by Omega and Luther is soon on the case taking Roger with him. (The film was originally titled The Omega
Connection when it debuted on American television last March 1979.)
When principal photography
wrapped on Disney's Swiss Family
Robinson, it was discovered that
there was a problem with the
sound ... almost every word of
recorded dialogue was unusable!
The entire cast had to be brought
back to England for 28 days where
they re-recorded every word in
Disney's weekly television series debuts part 1 of The Ghosts of Buxley Hall.
On Snow White's 70th anniversary, Epcot's iconic Spaceship Earth (closed for nearly six months) reopens to the public with a new story line and digital enhancements. (The attraction will formally reopen in February 2008.)
Ratatouille wins Best Animated Film at the Florida Film Critics Circle Awards.
The Goofy short How To Hook Up Your Home Theater is released with the
Walt Disney Pictures feature National Treasure 2: Book of Secrets. First premiering
in New York City on December 13, National Treasure 2 stars Nicolas Cage as treasure hunter Ben Gates, who must prove his ancestor's innocence in the assassination of Abraham Lincoln.
"Who says there is no Santy Claus? It seems
to me that Walt Disney tonight in giving this feature to the children of the world is indeed the modern Santa Claus." -film pioneer Jesse Lasky
"One thing I do know is that this picture is the best Christmas present the children of Hollywood
could possibly have." -Hollywood columnist Louella Parsons
Paul Winchell, a Grammy Award winning voice actor, ventriloquist
and TV host, is born Pinkus Wilchinski in New York City.
Famously known as the original voice of Disney's Tigger, Winchell's credits also include
The Aristocats and The Fox and the Hound. An in-demand voice actor for Hanna-Barbera
as well, Winchell first became famous as a ventriloquist during the early days of television.
From 1950-1954, he hosted The Paul Winchell Show and from 1965-1968,
hosted the children's television series, Winchell-Mahoney Time.
Not since Edgar Bergen and Charlie McCarthy in the previous two
decades had a ventriloquist and his dummy (Jerry Mahoney)
known equal celebrity! Winchell was also an amateur medical
inventor who patented an artificial human heart (years before
the first successful transplant).
Animator Wolfgang "Woolie" Reitherman
about the night of December 21, 1937:
"The audience was so taken by the magic of what they had seen that they applauded after individual sequences, just as though they were watching a stage play. I've never seen anything quite like it since."
Disney's Donald Duck cartoon Old Sequoia, directed by Jack King, is released.
Park Ranger Donald is in charge of making sure a tree "Old Sequoia" doesn't get gnawed down by pesky beavers.
Disneyland presents its first Candlelight Processional Parade (for the
second evening in a row). Hosted by actor Dennis Morgan, it is performed on Main Street and
in Town Square. The event (conceived by Dr. Charles Hirt of the University of Southern California
School of Music) features Christmas carols and the re-telling of the birth of Jesus through the gospels.
Emmy Award-winning and Golden Globe-nominated actor and stand-up comedian Ray Romano is born in Queens, New York. Best known for his hit TV sitcom Everybody Loves
Raymond, Romano appeared on the Hannah Montana episode, "We're All on This Date Together."
"I am convinced all our fondest hopes will be realized tonight." -Charlie Chaplin
Work continues on Disney World's newest theme park Disney-MGM, which is
still under construction. On this day a 5'3" tall Mickey is positioned onto a 6 foot in diameter
spinning globe. Mickey is then hoisted onto a tower just inside the park's entrance - which will be known as
The Crossroads of the World. Both Mickey and the globe have been created by Disney master sculptor
Selected Disney credits:
Winnie the Pooh: A Valentine for You (1999) - Tigger
Winnie the Pooh & Christmas Too (1991) - Tigger
The New Adventures of Winnie the Pooh (1998-1990) - Tigger
Adventures of the Gummi Bears (1985-1990) - Zummi
The Fox and the Hound (1981) - Boomer
The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh (1977) - Tigger
Winnie the Pooh and Tigger Too (1974) - Tigger
The AristoCats (1970) - Shun Gon
Film producer Jeffrey Katzenberg is born in New York City. Chairman of The Walt Disney Studios during the era of The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, and The Lion King, he later became CEO
of DreamWorks Animation.
Today marks the 75th anniversary of the release of Snow White and the
Seven Dwarfs. A monumental film for the Disney Company, it is arguably one of the single most
important events in the Company’s history. Most historians agree: Snow White built the Burbank Studio.
Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party is held for the 20th and final time this
year at Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom theme park.
The Walt Disney Company announces that it has completed its $4.06 billion
deal to acquire Lucasfilm (creator of "Star Wars" and "Indiana Jones").
Song of the South (1946)
Sleeping Beauty (1959)
One Hundred and One Dalmatians (1961)
The Love Bug (1968)
Bedknobs and Broomsticks (1971)
Pete's Dragon (1977)
The Black Hole (1979)
Today is Ribbon Candy Day
The Tropical Hideaway, an exotic marketplace for discovering extraordinary eats from all corners of the world, opens in Adventureland at Disneyland park.
The nominations for the 52nd Golden Globe Awards are announced. Among the nominees:
-Best Motion Picture Musical or Comedy: The Lion King and Ed Wood
-Best Performance in a Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy Actor: Johnny Depp – Ed Wood
-Best Supporting Actor Performance in a Motion Picture – Drama, Musical or Comedy: Martin Landau – Ed Wood
-Best Original Score: The Lion King – Hans Zimmer
-Best Original Song: "Can You Feel the Love Tonight" by Elton John – The Lion King and
"Circle of Life" by Elton John – The Lion King
-Best Lead Actor in a Television Series Comedy or Musical: Tim Allen – Home Improvement
-Best Lead Actress in a Television Series Comedy or Musical: Ellen DeGeneres – Ellen and
Patricia Richardson – Home Improvement
Winners will be announced January 21, 1995.