Under storm-threatening skies, the greatest winter athletes in the world gather in
Squaw Valley, California, to begin the VIII Olympic Winter Games. The opening (and closing)
ceremonies are orchestrated by Walt Disney (the Head of Pageantry for the Games), and involve 5,000 participants,
1,285 instruments and 2,645 voices from 52 California and Nevada high school bands. The opening ceremony (delayed by an hour because of a heavy early morning snowfall) includes daytime fireworks - a first for the Olympics.
The TV sitcom The Golden Girls airs "Two Rode Together" on NBC. Dorothy (Bea Arthur) takes Sophia to Walt Disney World for "quality time," but Sophia (Estelle Getty) wants to ride Space Mountain instead. (No segments of the episode were actually shot at WDW.)
"Let's Get Together," the 9th episode of the teen sitcom Good Morning, Miss Bliss, airs for the first time on the Disney Channel. Starring Hayley Mills as Carrie Bliss, a teacher at John F. Kennedy Junior High School in Indianapolis, Indiana, it features Mark-Paul Gosselaar as Zachary "Zack" Morris, Max Battimo as Michael "Mikey" Gonzalez, Dustin Diamond as Samuel "Screech" Powers, Heather Hopper as Nicole "Nikki" Coleman, and Joan Ryan as Miss Tina Paladrino. Zack and Nikki are arguing and then are partnered for a class project, while Tina moves in with Miss Bliss after her boyfriend dumps her and subsequently drives her crazy. (The series will run through March 1989 before being retooled as the NBC sitcom Saved by the Bell - minus Mills.)
Disney's The Lion King is released on videocassette in the U.S. (Some 20 million copies will be
sold in the first week.)
Disney's made-for-TV movie The Computer Wore Tennis Shoes (a remake of Disney's
1969 film The Computer Wore Tennis Shoes) first airs. The content of a computer encyclopedia is
accidentally transferred into the brain of Dexter Riley (played by Kirk Cameron), a less than average college boy. The
all-star cast includes Larry Miller, Charles Lane, Dan Castellaneta, Dean Jones, Jeff Garlin and Eddie Deezen.
A new fireworks show entitled "Believe ... There's Magic in the Stars," officially debuts at Disneyland. It has been created especially for the park's 45th anniversary.
The Walt Disney Company and The Jim Henson Company announces that they have entered into an agreement under which Disney will acquire the Muppets and Bear in the Big Blue House properties from Henson.
George Givot, the voice of Tony (owner of Tony's Restaurant)
in Disney's 1955 classic Lady and the Tramp, is born in Omaha, Nebraska.
(Givot's career included radio, feature films, television and the Broadway stage from the 1930s through 1959.)
Actor-comic Billy De Wolfe, who appeared in the 1973 live-action Disney feature
The World's Greatest Athlete, is born in Wollaston, Massachusetts. (With a career that lasted
5 decades, he was active in films from the mid-1940s until his death in 1974. You may recognize him as the voice of
Professor Hinckle in the classic animated holiday TV special Frosty the Snowman.)
Disney's Mickey Mouse cartoon Mickey's Pal Pluto, directed by Burt Gillett, is released.
Pluto rescues several tiny kittens from drowning but then becomes jealous of the way they are welcomed into
Mickey's home. It is the first appearance of Pluto's shoulder angel and devil (who'll pop up again in future shorts).
Animation credits include Johnny Cannon, Les Clark, Frenchy de Tremauden and Norm Ferguson.
Disney's animated Mickey's Surprise Party is released to Nabisco. Minnie's biscuits are
spoiled when she accidentally gets unpopped popcorn into the dough, and the whole batch explodes! The
commercial short is made for the National Biscuit Company and will be shown at the 1939 New York World's Fair
(which will open in April). It is also the last short to feature Marcellite Garner as the voice of Minnie.
Actor Pat Fraley, whose voice can be heard in such animated features as Tangled,
Chicken Little, Monsters, Inc. and Toy Story 2, is born in Seattle, Washington. He also
substituted for Tim Allen for the voice of Buzz Lightyear in various video games, merchandise, attractions, and the 2005
Disney On Ice: Disneyland Adventure. (Fraley is best known for voicing many of the characters in the animated Teenage
Mutant Ninja Turtles.)
Disney's first People and Places film - The Alaskan Eskimo - a short documentary
shot by the team of Alfred and Elma Milotte, is released. (It will win an Academy Award for
Best Documentary, Short Subject.)
The NBC-TV series Walt Disney's Wonderful World of Color airs episode 200 - part 1 of "Comancho."
Canadian inventor Joseph-Armand Bombardier (designer of the modern snowmobile) passes away at the age of 56. He leaves behind a thriving business - Bombardier; a manufacturer of innovative transportation solutions. Bombardier will later build Walt Disney World's Mark VI Monorails (first put into service in 1989).
Actor Matt Dillon - Trip Murphy in the 2005 Herbie: Fully Loaded - is born in New Rochelle, New York. His credits include Walt Disney Pictures' Old Dogs, and the Miramax Films Beautiful Girls and Albino Alligator. (Dillon first gained fame as a teenage idol during the 1980s in films like The Outsiders and The Flamingo Kid.)
and the Beast, is born in Seal Beach, California. She played Belle for a year
on Broadway, earning a Tony nomination for Best Actress (Musical). Egan later reprised the role for
the Los Angeles Production. Her Disney voice credits include Lady and the Tramp II, House of
Mouse, Spirited Away, and Hercules (both the feature and TV series). In 2002, she appeared in the
Disney Channel movie Gotta Kick It Up! In June 2016, Egan appeared alongside Brad Kane at the
Hollywood Bowl as opening acts for Disney's "The Little Mermaid Live" show. She performed a medley of songs from
Beauty and the Beast. From July 20–29, 2018, Egan reprised the role of Belle in the 5-Star Theatre's production of Beauty and the Beast at the Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza. As a concert performer, she has taken her solo concert from
coast to coast in over 300 appearances and even on the high seas with the Disney Cruise Line on several occasions.
The Wonderful World of Disney airs part 2 of "Ride a Wild Pony." A Walt Disney Productions film
originally released in 1975, the film follows the battle between two children, Scott, a poor farm boy, and Josie, the
handicapped daughter of a wealthy ranch owner, for ownership of a horse they both love.
The Disney Channel presents Eye On LA: First Look at Disney's Newest Theme Park.
This special introduces viewers to Disney's California Adventure Park, which opened February 8.
Disney World celebrates Presidents' Day with the official dedication of the
updated Hall of Presidents attraction (which now includes an Audio-Animatronics
figure of President George W. Bush). Fifty students from Lost Lake Elementary School (in Lake
County) lead cast members and park guests in the Pledge of Allegiance. The Disney World Philharmonic
Orchestra and Voices of Liberty choral group perform patriotic music.
The China Pavilion at Epcot celebrates the Chinese New Year.
The Daily News reports: "Award-winning theater producer Joseph Papp is negotiating
with the Walt Disney organization to acquire the legitimate theater rights to the 1937
film version of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. The stage version would include the film's
original songs and would feature Linda Ronstadt in the leading role. The Papp-Ronstadt Snow White will be
presented free of charge during the summer of 1983 in the Delacourt Theater in Central Park."
(Unfortunately this show will never be produced.)
Terri Perrotta, an 11-year-old tap dancer from Hyde Park, Massachusetts, and Kevin Brando, a 6-year-old trombone player from Santa Monica, California, are featured Showtime Day guests on episode 25 of The New Mickey Mouse Club.
Little Toot, a carefree tiny tugboat, stars in the cartoon for the day.
Disney artist John Hench has designed the massive Tower of
Nations, located at the entrance of the valley, and the Olympic torch. The huge
ceremonial Tower of Nations measures 79 feet high and 20 feet wide. Hench's
unique Olympic torch design will be the basis for all future torches! The valley
also features 30 flagpoles for the flags of the participating nations. Each flagpole
has a plaque signed by Walt Disney. After the Games the flagpoles will find homes
in such places as the Walt Disney Elementary School in Marceline, Missouri, and
the Disney Studio Commissary in Burbank, California. Nationally televised for the
first time, the ceremonies are the most elaborate ever staged and will set new
standards for future Games.
(The Olympics will run through February 28.)
Walt Disney World kicks off a weeklong Presidents Day celebration,
featuring special, presidential performances by the a cappella group Voices
of Liberty at the America Gardens Theatre in Epcot.
FEBRUARY IS DCA MONTH
The teen science fiction action thriller film I am Number Four is released through DreamWorks Pictures. Distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures, the film tells the story of a seemingly ordinary teenager who is one of several aliens on the run from intergalactic bounty hunters. They can only be killed in numerical order, and Number Four is unfortunately next on the list. The film stars Alex Pettyfer
as John Smith/Number Four.
Voice actor and animator Tony Anselmo is born in Salt Lake City, Utah. Since 1985, he
has been the official character voice of Donald Duck, following the death of Clarence Nash. Studying under Nash for 3 years, Anselmo can be heard as Donald in such films as Who Framed Roger Rabbit, The Prince and the Pauper, and Fantasia 2000. His television voice credits include such shows as DuckTales, Quack Pack, and Mickey Mouse. He has also supplied the voice of Donald for many video games and theme park attractions. As an animator Anselmo has contributed to such Disney animated features as The Black Cauldron, The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, The Lion King, Tarzan, The Emperor's New Groove, and Treasure Planet. Anselmo began collecting Disney objects and ephemera at an early age, and is known for his comprehensive collection of Disney posters relating to the works of Walt Disney. This expertise resulted in the 2002 art book, The Disney Poster Book featuring the Collection of Tony Anselmo. In September 2009, he was named a Disney Legend.
Novelist, essayist, editor, teacher and professor emeritus at Princeton University,
Toni Morrison is born Chloe Ardelia Wofford in Lorain, Ohio. Her 1987 novel Beloved (which won the Pulitzer Prize and the American Book Award in 1988) was adapted into a feature film by Touchstone
Pictures and Harpo Films. Distributed by Buena Vista Pictures, the 1998 film starred Oprah Winfrey, Danny Glover, and Thandie Newton.
Actor John Travolta is born in Englewood, New Jersey. First rising to fame during the 1970s, appearing on the ABC television series Welcome Back, Kotter (1975–79) and starring in the box office successes
Saturday Night Fever (1977) and Grease (1978), his Touchstone/Disney credits include
Phenomenon (1996), Face/Off (1997), Ladder 49 (2003), Wild Hogs (2007), the animated Bolt (2008), and
Old Dogs (2009).
Stars attend the world premiere of Disney Pixar's Onward at the El Capitan Theatre
in Hollywood, Caifornia. The film's voice cast; Tracey Ullman, Kyle Bornheimer, George Psarras, Dave Foley, John Ratzenberger, Wilmer Valderrama, Ali Wong, Tom Holland, Chris Pratt, Mel Rodriguez, Octavia Spencer, and Julia Louis-Dreyfus, join producer Kori Rae, and director/screenwriter Dan Scanlon for the grand debut. Onward will open in U.S. theaters March 6.
Norwegian painter and illustrator Alf Gabriel Næsheim is born. Mostly known for his architectural drawings, he was also known for being the first Norwegian artist that illustrated Disney comic book stories featuring Donald Duck.
At the 71st British Academy Film Awards (more commonly known as the BAFTAs), Coco is awarded Best Animated Film.
Actor Adolphe Menjou is born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. With a career spanning both silent films and talkies, his film credits include Disney's 1960 Pollyana. Menjou played the role of Mr. Pendergast, a recluse who eventually opens his heart and adopts an orphan named Jimmy.
Character actress and singer Queenie Leonard is born Pearl Walker in Manchester, Lancashire, England. She lent her voice to Disney's Alice in Wonderland (1951) and One Hundred and One Dalmatians (1961), and appeared in Mary Poppins (1964).
Actress & singer Maiara Walsh is born in Seattle Washington. She may be best known to Disney fans for her role as Meena Paroom in the Disney Channel Original Series Cory in the House (2007-2008). Her ABC-TV credits include an episode of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., 2 episodes of the legal drama Notorious, and the role of Ana Solis in 12 episodes of Desperate Housewives. Between 2012-2017, Walsh portrayed Simone Sinclair on the ABC Family teen drama Switched at Birth.
Actress Molly Ringwald is born Molly Kathleen Ringwald in Roseville, California.
Beginning her career as a child actress on the sitcoms Diff'rent Strokes and The Facts of Life (both 1979–1980), she went on to become a teen idol from the films Sixteen Candles (1984), The Breakfast Club (1985), and Pretty in Pink (1986). For Disney, she voiced Darla in 4 episodes of the animated Doc McStuffins, appeared as a guest on the sci-fi comedy series Earth to Ned (which premiered on Disney+), and appeared in the romantic comedy Betsy's Wedding (a Touchstone Pictures film).