Disney's black & white live-action comedy The Absent-Minded
released. The film is produced in black & white to facilitate a number of unique
special effects. The film's "Medfield Fight Song" is written by Richard M. and Robert B.
Sherman, their first song for a Disney feature. Disneyland peformer Wally Boag is
MacMurray's stunt-double ... particularly in the airborne scenes! The film is based on
the short story A Situation of Gravity, by Samuel W. Taylor. (A colorized version of The
Absent-Minded Professor will be released in 1986.)
Also released is the animated short The Saga of Windwagon
Smith, featuring the vocals of Rex Allen and the Sons of the
It is reported that the Disney-Pixar animated feature
The Incredibles has sold about 5 million combined DVD and VHS units yesterday (March 15), its first day in release.
Motion-picture designer, artist & Disney Legend Harper Goff, who collaborated with Walt Disney on Disneyland's design, is born in Fort Collins, Colorado. His family later moved to Santa Ana,
California where he attended the Chouinard Art Institute. He began in the
business at Warner Brothers as a set designer on such films as Casablanca and
The Adventures of Don Juan. Harper met Walt Disney in 1951, and was asked
to sketch out a possible True-Life Adventure short called 20,000 Leagues Under
the Sea. A huge Jules Verne fan, Harper designed what became the film's
famous Nautilus. Harper later worked on Disneyland where his concepts for Main
Street established the fact that a story could be told with architecture (he
designed the park's City Hall). He also led the design effort for Epcot's World
Showcase pavilions and played banjo as a member of the Firehouse Five Plus Two (a Dixieland jazz band made up of Disney studio employees). His non-Disney credits include Fantastic Voyage (1966) and Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory (1971).
Animator, desginer, Imagineer and Disney Legend Joyce Carlson is born in Racine, Wisconsin. Her 56 years at Disney include creating the original It's a Small World for the New York World's Fair of 1964. Carlson first worked as an ink artist on such films as Cinderella, Peter Pan and Sleeping Beauty and
later as the lead ink artist for the 1955 Disney classic Lady and the Tramp. Carlson moved to Central Florida
in 1982 to work at Disney World as a senior show production designer. She retired from her full-time position at
WDW in 2000, but remained working for Disney through 2007. Carlson's Disney World window, which is on
the second floor of a structure along Main Street U.S.A, reads, "Dolls by Miss Joyce, Dollmaker for the World."
An Oscar is won for Disney's short subject cartoon,
The Three Little Pigs at the 6th annual Academy Awards (held in
the Fiesta Room of the Ambassador Hotel, Los Angeles, California).
Actress Lauren Graham, who appears in Disney's 2005 comedy feature
The Pacifier, is born in Honolulu, Hawaii.
Louis Armstrong and his 7-piece band (augmented with a studio orchestra and choir) record 4 songs for the upcoming LP Disney Songs the Satchmo Way in a Hollywood studio. This day's session includes "The Ballad of Davy Crockett," "When You Wish Upon A Star," "Bibbidy-Bobbidy-Boo," and "Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah."
At Walt Disney World, Magic Carpet 'Round the World replaces America the
Beautiful in Tomorrowland's Circle-Vision Theater. (A revised America the
Beautiful will later return in March 1975.)
The Dapper Dans film one of the opening segments of The Magic of Christmas
At Disneyland (a souvenir video which is available during the holidays only at
the Anaheim park).
Walt Disney Records & American Gramaphone release
Mannheim Steamroller Meets The Mouse.
The Atlanta Braves take on the New York Yankees at
Disney's Wide World of Sports in Florida.
Another Rock 'n' Roller Coaster debuts ... this time at the grand
opening of Walt Disney Studios Park (located at Disneyland Resort Paris in France). It is Disney's 10th theme park in the world.
Other attractions making their debut on this day include:
-Animagique, a black light show featuring puppets
-Armageddon: Les Effetcs Speciaux; a voyage through the history of special effects
(and based on the 1998 Touchstone film Armageddon)
-Flying Carpets Over Agrabah; based on the 1992 film Aladdin
-Studio Tram Tour: Behind the Magic
-Moteurs... Action! Stunt Show Spectacular; a stunt show
The Studios is the smallest of all the Disney theme parks.
Walt Disney Home Video releases Lizzie McGuire - Star Struck (Volume 3) and Lizzie McGuire - Totally Crushed (Volume 4) to DVD. These two volumes include episodes from the popular Disney Channel series.
"To all who enter the studio of dreams, welcome. The Walt Disney Studios is dedicated to our timeless fascination and affection for cinema and for television. Here we celebrate the art and the artistry of storytelling from Europe and around the world to create the magic in a special place through our own memories of the past and our dreams of the future."
-Michael D. Eisner's dedication This Day in Disney History 2002
The capacity per elevator on Walt Disney World's
"The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror" is 22.
James Madison, the fourth United States President, is born in
Port Conway, King George, Virginia. Considered one of the Founding
Fathers of the United States, Madison was also the "Father of the Constitution" - the
principal author of the document. Visit him and all the U.S. Chief Executives at Disney
World's The Hall of Presidents.
Walt Disney Studios Park debuts
"I liked the idea of working with
Walt Disney, and when I called him he began to explain his idea for a kiddie-land near the Studio — perhaps with a steam train connected to Traveland across the L.A. River. He wanted to build something adults could enjoy along with their children." -Harper Goff
A college professor invents an anti-
gravity substance which a corrupt
businessman wants for himself!
The Absent-Minded Professor cast:
Fred MacMurray - Prof. Ned Brainard
Nancy Olson - Betsy Carlisle
Keenan Wynn - Alonzo P. Hawk
Tommy Kirk - Biff Hawk
Leon Ames - President Rufus Daggett
Elliott Reid - Prof. Shelby Ashton
Ed Wynn - Fire Chief
Raymond Bailey - Admirial Olmstead
Disney's Pluto short Dog Watch, directed by Charles Nichols, is released.
While guarding a ship, Pluto has a conflict with a wharf rat who is determined to steal the galley's food!
Disney releases the nature film Islands of the Sea to theaters. The short, written and
narrated by Dwight Hauser, covers some of the wildlife on four different islands - the Galapagos, Guadelupe,
Falklands and an island in the Midway chain.
"I did most of the tricks, especially dancing around with the leading lady. I did a rumba with her, and they would trap me up with a wire. I was wearing his mask so I was Fred MacMurray for all those big leaps." -Wally Boag
Director Lee Unkrich, producer Darla K. Anderson and executive producer John Lasseter are on hand for the Toy Story 3 screening at the ShoWest convention in Las Vegas. Pixar's newest feature is scheduled for a June release. (ShoWest is the most prestigious and longest running event exclusively for the cinema exhibition and distribution community.)
Due to the ongoing problems and concerns in Japan (since the March 11
earthquake), Tokyo Disneyland and DisneySea remain closed indefinitely.
In recognition of his outstanding achievements in data security and
protection, Glen Taylor, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts’ vice president of
Global Business Technology Strategy, receives the People’s Choice Award
at the Tech Exec Networks’ Information Security Executive (ISE) Southeast
Awards gala at the Westin Buckhead Hotel in Atlanta, Georgia. Executives nominated for the ISE® Southeast Award in the Executive category are defined as leaders who improve their
organization’s risk management, data asset protection, privacy and network security efforts while proactively
implementing security technology and processes.
Director and writer Gregor "Gore" Verbinski is born in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. He directed
the Pirates of the Caribbean trilogy: The Curse of the Black Pearl, Dead Man's Chest, and At World's End.
Walt Disney Studios Park's 10th anniversary celebration begins.
This Day in Disney History - THE FIRST - THE ORIGINAL
Traveling in time since 1999!
Songwriter Jack Lawrence passes away at age 96 in Redding, Connecticut.
Along with Frank Churchill, Lawrence wrote "Never Smile at a Crocodile" - used in the Walt Disney animated
film Peter Pan. Inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1975, he was best known for his work on Broadway.
Actor Alan Tudyk is born in El Paso, Texas. His long list of Disney voice credits include Wreck-It Ralph (as King Candy), Frozen (as Duke of Weselton), Big Hero 6 (as Alistair Krei), Zootopia (as Duke Weaselton),
Ralph Breaks the Internet (as KnowsMore) and Moana (as Heihei). Tudyk also voiced Iago for the 2019 live-action version of Aladdin (replacing Gilbert Gottfried) and lent his voice to the animated series Star vs. the Forces of Evil. His live-action credits include the 2016 Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.
Actor & singer Victor Garber is born in London, Ontario, Canada. Best known to fans of the ABC-TV series Alias as Jack Bristow, his TV credits include episodes of Ugly Betty and Modern Family. Garber's Disney/Touchstone film credits include Life with Mikey (1993), Tuck Everlasting (2002), and You Again (2010).
Mickey's Service Station, an animated Mickey Mouse short film produced by Walt Disney Productions, is released by United Artists. Mechanics Mickey, Goofy and Donald Duck have
ten minutes to fix Peg-Leg Pete's car... or else! Directed by Ben Sharpsteen, this will be the final black-and-white appearance of Donald, Goofy, and Pete. The voice cast includes Walt Disney as Mickey, Clarence Nash as Donald,
Pinto Colvig as Goofy, and Billy Bletcher as Pete.
"In an abundance of caution and in the best interest of our Guests and Cast Members, we are proceeding with the closure of our theme parks at Walt Disney World® Resort, beginning March 16, through the end of the month. The Walt Disney Company will pay its Cast Members during that closure period. We will continue to stay in close contact with appropriate officials and health experts."
Film and television actor Stuart Whitman, known for his lengthy career, passes away at
age 92 in California. In 1972 he starred in Disney's live-action Run, Cougar, Run.