Singabration (a song & dance event that includes 750 students performing on the Forecourt of Cinderella's Castle) kicks off at Walt Disney World.
Star Wars filmmaker Geroge Lucas visits the Disney-MGM Studios in Florida.
It is reported that the Florida Board of Governors has appointed Walt Disney World Resort President Al Weiss to the University of Central Florida board of trustees.
Writer and linguist Wilhelm Carl Grimm is born in Hanau, Germany. He and his
older brother Jacob were the first to collect, write down and publish such classic folktales as Rapunzel,
Snow White, Cinderella, and Sleeping Beauty.
Disney's Silly Symphony cartoon The Practical Pig, featuring the
Three Little Pigs and directed by Dick Rickard, is released. After
teasing Practical Pig for working on yet another wolf machine (a lie detector device)
and being warned not to go swimming because the wolf is near, Fiddler and Fifer Pig
are captured by the Big Bad Wolf, in the disguise of a mermaid!
Florida-born Frances Langford records the song "When You Wish Upon a
Star" for Decca Records. The release of Disney's Pinocchio prompts the successful singer-
actress to record her own version of the tune on this day at a session in Los Angeles, California. Eight
years later Langford's singing voice will be used in the Disney animated feature Melody Time. ("The
Sweetheart of the Fighting Fronts," Langford was a World War II heartthrob beloved by troops for her
performances as part of Bob Hope's USO tours.)
Disney's first full-length animated feature Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
(originally released in the U.S. in 1937) is released in West Germany.
Steve Jobs, one of the leading figures in the computer industry, is born
in San Francisco, California. A co-founder & CEO of Apple Computer, Jobs bought Lucasfilm's
computer graphics division in the mid-1980s and helped turn it into Pixar Animation Studios. He is credited
as executive producer of the 1995 Disney/Pixar film Toy Story. As of 2009 Jobs was the Walt Disney
Company's largest individual shareholder and a member of its Board of Directors. When Walt
Disney Co. looked to revamp its troubled retail stores in 2008, Chief Executive Robert A. Iger
sought advice from the company's largest shareholder. A great visionary, Jobs pioneered the
personal-computer industry and changed the way people think about technology.
The Disney short Chips Ahoy, featuring Donald Duck and Chip 'n' Dale, is released. Chip 'n'
Dale discover an acorn heaven on an island in the middle of a pond. But unfortunately for Donald Duck, they need his
ship in a bottle to get there. Directed by Jack Kinney, it is Disney's first short release of 1956.
The LP record Firehouse Five Plus Two - Firehouse Five Plus Two Goes to Sea
is released on the Good Time Jazz label. The Dixieland group features animators Ward Kimball
(on trombone) & Frank Thomas (on piano), and Disney songwriter George Bruns (on tuba). The 12 tracks include
such tunes as "By The Beautiful Sea," "When My Dreamboat Comes Home," and "Red Sails In The Sunset."
Disney's live-action adventure feature Kidnapped, starring Peter Finch,
Peter O'Toole, and James MacArthur is released. Kidnapped and cheated out of his inheritance,
young David Balfour (MacArthur) falls in with a Jacobite adventurer, Alan Breck Stewart (Finch). The film is based
on the Robert Louis Stevenson classic historical novel Kidnapped - first published in 1886. (This is Disney's second
production based on a novel by Stevenson; Treasure Island being the first.) Coincidentally Robert Stevenson the film's director is a descendant of author Robert Louis Stevenson!
The TV series Walt Disney's Wonderful World of Color airs part 2 of "Banner in the Sky" (a re-edited version of the 1959 feature film Third Man on the Mountain).
Disney's Winnie the Pooh and the Blustery Day is nominated for an Academy Award. The 41st Academy Awards will be presented April 14.
Disney's Winnie the Pooh and Tigger Too and The Island at the Top of the World
are both nominated for Academy Awards. Winners will be announced April 8.
Disney's The Lion King wins Best Musical Show Album at the 41st Annual Grammy
Awards, which are announced at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles, California.
The animated series Disney's House of Mouse airs episode 6 "Timon & Pumbaa."
Chuck Keehne, who founded the wardrobe department at the Walt Disney Studios
in 1955 and ran it for nearly 25 years, dies at the Motion Picture and Television
Fund Home in Woodland Hills, California, at the age of 86. Born in 1914, Keehne worked in
the film business for 15 years before he was hired by Walt Disney to work on Mickey Mouse Club. His Disney
film credits include Johnny Tremain, Old Yeller, The Shaggy Dog, Pollyanna, The Parent Trap, The Absent-
Minded Professor, The Love Bug, Bedknobs and Broomsticks, Freaky Friday and Mary Poppins.
It is reported that baggage searches at Walt Disney World parks (which began
after September 11, 2001) may continue for a long time. Disney has begun building a permanent bag check area at the Magic Kingdom to take the place of the folding tables now being used.
Today is the last day for Walt Disney World guests to
view "75 InspEARations" (a tribute to Mickey Mouse).
The statues will begin a U.S. tour in May.
The ABC-TV sitcom According to Jim airs part 1 of "When You Wish To Be A
Star," an episode filmed aboard the Disney Magic. Dana‘s first task at the ad agency is to cast the
perfect TV family for a Disney cruise commercial. But when Cheryl and the kids get the job, Dana‘s boss replaces Jim
with a handsome actor in the role of "dad!" It is the first time ever an entertainment program has been filmed aboard
either of the premier Disney Cruise Line ships.
Comedic actor Don Knotts passes away at age 81 in Beverly Hills, California. Best known to
fans of TV's The Andy Griffith Show as the loveable but nerdy Deputy Barney Fife, Knotts was a five-time Emmy winner.
His Disney voice credits include Chicken Little (as Mayor Turkey Lurkey) and 101 Dalmations: The Series (as the dog
catcher). Knotts also appeared in the Disney live-action features The Apple Dumpling Gang, The Apple Dumpling Gang
Rides Again, No Deposit, No Return and Herbie Goes to Monte Carlo.
Sadly actor Dennis Weaver passes too in Colorado at age 81. Best known for his TV roles in
Gunsmoke and McCloud, Weaver was the voice of Abner in Disney's 2004 animated feature Home on the Range. He
also appeared in the Walt Disney's Wonderful World of Color "Gallegher Goes West" serial (which aired on TV in 1966).
Master Disney animator Vladimir "Bill" Tytla abruptly resigns from the Disney Studios.
Tytla, a supporter of the Animation Guild Strike of 1941, now feels unwelcome at the Studio and ostracized by the
pro-Walt supporters (as do other artists who urged moderation with the strikers). He senses he has been given less
challenging work and feels Walt no longer trusts him. Tytla's wife's three-year long illness with tuberculosis and a desire to
live on his Connecticut farm have also led him to resign. Considered by many to be the best character animator working
during The Golden Age of Hollywood animation, Tytla's credits include Grumpy in Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs,
Stromboli in Pinocchio, and Chernabog in the "Night on Bald Mountain" sequence from Fantasia. It is a depressing loss for
the studio and one Tytla will regret for the rest of his life.
The Disney Clothiers shop opens in the Magic Kingdom at Disney World.
Actress Debra Jo Rupp is born in Glendale, California. Best known as Kitty from the hit TV series That '70s Show, her Disney credits include Air Buddies as the voice of Belinda and the animated Teacher's Pet (both feature film & television series) as the voice of Mrs. Helperman.
Actors Dennis Weaver and Clint
Howard played father and son on
the 1967 television series Gentle
Ben. Weaver went on to voice
the character of Abner in the
2004 Home on the Range and
Howard went on to supply the
voice of Roo for the 1974 Winnie
the Pooh and Tigger Too.
Brad Bird accepts the awarded for Best Animated Feature
for the Disney/Pixar Ratatouille at the 80th Academy Awards.
Although it doesn't win, Ratatouille is also nominated for Best Original Screenplay, Best Original Score, Best
Sound Editing, and Best Sound Mixing. Disney's live-action Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End is edged
out in two categories - Best Makeup and Best Visual Effects. Composers Alan Menken and Stephen Schwartz
are nominated twice in the Best Original Song category for "Happy Working Song" and "That's How You Know"
(both from Disney's Enchanted).
After spending several weeks at Walt Disney World, nine sea turtles are
released back into the Atlantic Ocean this morning. The turtles originally washed up on the
Brevard County shore in December 2007 during a red tide bloom and needed to be nursed back to health.
It's a big night for Beauty and the Beast at the 35th Grammy Awards, held at the
Shrine Auditorium. Best Pop Performance By a Duo or Group With Vocal goes to "Beauty and the Beast,"
performed by Celine Dion and Peabo Bryson. Best Pop Instrumental Performance is awarded to "Beauty and the
Beast," - Richard Kaufman conducting Nurenberg Symphony Orchestra. Best Instrumental Composition Written
for a Motion Picture or for Television is given to composer Alan Menken for "Beauty and the Beast." Best Song
Written Specifically for a Motion Picture or for Television is awarded to "Beauty and the Beast," written by Howard
Ashman and Menken.
Beauty and the Beast wins Grammys
Disney's Animal Programs team releases a manatee, named Bock, into the warm waters of the St. John’s River. The manatee, rescued as an orphan from the St. John’s River in 2001, arrived at Epcot in 2003 weighing only about 500 pounds. At Epcot, marine mammal experts weaned him from a bottle and began feeding him a diet of romaine lettuce, fruits and other vegetables. Bock now weighs more than 1,000 pounds and is approximately eight years old.
"Steve Jobs is the closest thing to Walt Disney since Walt Disney." -entrepreneur Mark Sigal
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences nominates Disney's The
Sword in the Stone for Best Music, Scoring of Music - Adaptation or Treatment.
Disney CEO Michael Eisner and Steve Jobs (CEO of Pixar Animation Studios)
announce that the Walt Disney Studios and Pixar have agreed to jointly produce
5 movies over the next ten years.
Disney throws a retirement party for film director and producer Ben Sharpsteen. First joining the studios in 1929, he quickly became Walt's right-hand man in animated and live-action film production.
Sharpsteen's vast credits include Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Pinocchio, Dumbo, Seal Island and Water Birds.
The Travel Channel airs Great Hotels - Disney's Yacht & Beach Club Resorts for the first time. The 30th (and final) episode of the show's first season, Great Hotels is hosted by Samantha Brown.
Episode 29 of The New Mickey Mouse Club airs. Mouseketeers Kelly and Todd discover the wonderful world of bicycles when they visit an antique bike show, the Los Angeles Police Bicycle Drill Team and an exciting motocross bike race. In Episode Eight, "Instant Army" of the serial "The Mystery of Rustlers' Cave," Patty, Stewie, and Chris discover that Ted, foreman of the Circle B Ranch, is really the boss of the rustling ring!
The Animated Feature Symposium, hosted by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and
Sciences, takes place in California just 3 days before the 83rd Annual Academy
Awards. Toy Story 3 director Lee Unkrich joins fellow animated feature nominees for an on-stage discussion
about their films.
Guests aboard the departing Disney Dream in Florida get a glimpse of the space
shuttle Discovery as it blasts off from the nearby Kennedy Space Center for its final
launch. The mission marks Discovery’s last liftoff for NASA’s oldest orbiter.
Disney announces the addition of two eatery locations at the Disneyland Resort;
Tangaroa Terrace and Trader Sam's Enchanted Tiki Bar
(both located in the Disneyland Hotel).
Brave, produced by Pixar and distributed by Walt Disney Pictures, wins the Oscar for
Best Animated Feature (beating out Wreck-It Ralph and Frankenweenie). Co-directors and
writers Mark Andrews and Brenda Chapman, both wonderfully dressed in Scottish clothing, accept the award.
Paperman, a black-and-white film produced by Walt Disney Animation Studios and directed by John Kahrs, wins Best
Short Film Animated.
Rachel Booth etches her name in the Disney record books – again – by winning
Disney’s Princess Half Marathon for the second straight time, beating her own race
record from a year ago. Her latest win, a 13.1-mile journey through Epcot and Magic Kingdom, was achieved
in 1:17:38 – 33 seconds faster than her then-record time of 1:18:11 in 2012. Booth (from Mandeville, La.) stands
alone as the only woman to win four Disney races: two Princess Half Marathons (2012 and 2013) and two
Disneyland Half Marathons (2010 and 2011).
The Reedy Creek Improvement District adds $4 million to the $360 million budget
for improving transportation around Disney Springs. (Reedy Creek is a Disney-controlled
taxing district. Disney is its primary taxpayer.)
Bud Luckey, the Oscar-nominated animator whose charming Sesame Street cartoons
taught generations of children how to count and who is credited with coming up with
the cowboy design for Woody of Toy Story, passes away at the age of 83. An early Pixar
employee, he provided the voices of Rick Dicker, the head of the Superhero Relocation Program, in The
Incredibles (2004); of the broken-hearted Chuckles the Clown in Toy Story 3 (2010); and of Eeyore in Winnie the
Pooh (2011). Luckey also served as a character designer on A Bug's Life (1998), Monsters, Inc. (2001)
and Cars (2006).
Film director & animator Chris Buck is born in Wichita, Kansas. Studying character animation for two years at CalArts (where he would later teach from 1988 to 1993), Buck became friends with both John Lasseter and Michael Giaimo, whom he would work with many years later on Frozen. Buck began his career as an animator with Disney in 1978. His early credits include The Fox and the Hound (1981), Mickey's Christmas Carol (1983), and The Little Mermaid (1989). He went on to co-direct Tarzan (1999) and the Oscar-winning Frozen (2013).