Disney Legend, artist and writer Joe Grant passes away days before his 97th birthday at his home in Glendale, California. Born in May 1908, his work ranged from the early
classics like Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (for which he created the Queen), Alice in Wonderland, and
Dumbo to modern animated features such as The Lion King, Pocahontas, Mulan, and The Incredibles. The very
last film he worked on was Chicken Little (which will be dedicated to him).
"I think there was always a gentle
sweetness to Joe and his work. There's a gentility in
everything he touched. But there's also a great sophistication. He was one of the truly great craftsmen of our art, but he always saw his craft as a way to communicate ideas."
- Roy E. Disney on artist Joe Grant
Legendary film director, actor, and writer Orson Welles is born in Kenosha,
Wisconsin. He was the voice of Eastern Airlines commercials (the official airline of Walt Disney World in
the 1970s) and was heard in the queue area of the now-extinct If You Had Wings, a Tomorrowland attraction originally sponsored by Eastern. Noted for his innovative dramatic productions as well as his distinctive voice
and personality, Welles is widely acknowledged as one of the most accomplished dramatic artists of the
Actress & Disney Legend Adriana Caselotti is born to musical parents in
Bridgeport, Connecticut. Her father, Guido, teaches music in New York,
while her mother, Maria, had performed at the Royal Opera in London. While still a teen, Adriania will
supply the voice and personality to Walt Disney's very first feature-length cartoon heroine, Snow White.
Disney's Mickey Mouse cartoon Mickey's Trailer, directed by Ben Sharpsteen, is
released. Mickey (voiced by Walt Disney), Goofy (Pinto Colvig), and Donald Duck (Clarence Nash) travel
cross-country by trailer ... and sorely live to regret it!
The Disney Studio completes a move into new quarters in Burbank, California.
Designed with help from Kem Weber (a furniture and industrial designer, architect, art director & teacher), the
complex consists of 25 buildings on 51 acres.
Dumbo's Circus premieres on the Disney Channel. A live action/puppet television series, it features the voice work of Katie Leigh, Jim Cummings, Hal Smith, and Will Ryan.
The second new World Showcase pavilion to be added to the original roster, Norway,
has a soft opening at EPCOT. The 11th overall to be built, the pavilion includes the Flording shop,
Puffin's Roost shop, Kringla Bakeri og Kafe restaurant, and the Restaurant Akershus. The pavilion,
a replica of a medieval wooden church, will be officially dedicated in July. (Norway’s boat attraction,
"The Muppets at Walt Disney World" airs on NBC-TV as an episode of The Magical World of Disney. While visiting Kermit's family in a Florida swamp, the Muppets discover they are right
next door to Disney World and sneak in! The cast includes Charles Grodin (as a security guard) and Raven-Symoné. It will turn out to be the last Muppets special that creator Jim Henson will work on, as he will
suddenly pass away 10 days later.
The Walt Disney Company becomes part of the Dow Jones Industrial Average.
The El Capitan Theatre, launches a special 10-day salute to Walt Disney Pictures' 1982 landmark computer animated feature, Tron.
The Oakland Museum of California helps celebrate the first
half-century of Disney’s magical kingdom with the premiere
of a new exhibit: Behind the Magic - 50 Years of Disneyland. The 3-part exhibition features
Disney’s early life as a cartoonist and filmmaker; renderings and plans for his amusement park; and a section on
Fullerton Railroad Days kicks off for a weekend of festivities at the Fullerton Train
Station in Fullerton, California. On display is the E.P. Ripley Steam Engine from Disneyland - the
original steam engine engineered by Walt Disney! (This is the first time any Disney locomotive has been
displayed at a public event off-site.)
Hollywood's El Capitan Theatre (operated by Disney since 1989) kicks off its 80th
Anniversary. The California theatre debuted on May 3, 1926, as "Hollywood's First Home of Spoken Drama."
Voice artist & actress Dana Hill is born in Los Angeles, California. Her Disney credits include The Hunchback of Notre Dame, A Goof Troop Christmas, Adventures of the Gummi Bears, and Disney's Wonderful World
TV episode "The Kids Who Knew Too Much." (National Lampoon movie fans remember her as Audrey Griswold in
the 1985 comedy feature European Vacation.)
Imagineers Roger Broggie and Earl Vilmer (a railroad superintendent with over 20
years experience) arrange for the purchase of 5 railroad engines (and miscellaneous
spare parts) from the United Railways of Yucatan, Mexico. These will be shipped to the Tampa
Ship Repair and Dry Dock Company, rebuilt (with the exception of one locomotive - found to be in poor shape), and
later used for Disney's new Florida theme park. (The Mexican government originally opposed the idea of Disney
buying its "railroad technology." A law on the books forbade the export of the equipment, but since the engines
were originally built in Pennsylvania and later imported to Mexico - the law did not apply and permission was
granted to buy and move the equipment to Florida.)
The Disney Channel Premiere Film Gone Are the Dayes, featuring Harvey Korman,
Susan Anspach, and Robert J. Hogan debuts. When the Daye family witness a gangland slaying,
federal agent Charlie Mitchell (Korman) persuades the parents to be witness in the trial against the criminals. But
when Mitchell is forced to babysit the parents' chaotic teenage children, he regrets ever getting involved.
Songwriter-singer John Conant Flansburgh, one half of the rock duo They Might Be Giants, is born. The duo's Disney credits include the albums Here Comes the ABCs and Here Comes the
123s, and the soundtracks Disney's Return To Never Land, Disney's Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, and Meet The
"We just did this amazingly huge remake of a song from the 1964 World Fair called "Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow" that is going to be in an animated feature based on the book "A Day for Wilbur Robinson." It's totally orchestral with a soprano singing this Theremin-like line behind my vocal. It's really a nutty piece of arrangement." -John Flansburgh
Today is National Tourist Appreciation Day
Norway soft-opening at EPCOT
At Disney's Muppet*Vision 3-D,
the 3-D glasses are actually
called ... 3-D glasses. But at It's
Tough to be a Bug they are
called Bug Eyes, and at Honey, I
Shrunk the Audience they were
called Safety Goggles.
Park guests also wear 3-D glasses
(or Carnival Games Goggles) for
Toy Story Midway Mania!
Stitch's Supersonic Celebration, a live stage show in the Tomorrowland section of
the Magic Kingdom at WDW, officially debuts. (It will run for only 6 weeks.)
ABC-TV airs Disney's Freaky Friday, a new made-for-TV version of the classic
1976 feature. The remake stars Shelley Long and Gaby Hoffmann as the mother and daughter whose
personalities get switched.
Disneyland announces that the park will allow about 2,400 fans to ride the new
Star Tours attraction during a preview event on May 20. The attendees will be the first people
to experience the new version in Anaheim - which will officially debut June 3. (Coincidentally May 20 is the same
day that Star Tours officially opens at Walt Disney World in Florida.)
Originally reopened as a limited engagement run last year, the Captain EO
attraction at Tokyo Disneyland will now remain a permanent attraction.
Disney Channel premieres A.N.T. Farm as a special preview. The new sitcom will start as a
regular series in June. The show stars China Anne McClain, Sierra McCormick and Jake Short as middle-
schoolers in a gifted program at their local high school called "Advanced Natural Talents" program or A.N.T.
The exteriors of both U.S. Star Tours attractions are different in their respective parks. Star Tours: The Adventures Continue at Disney's Hollywood
Studios is inspired by an Ewok village on the forest moon of Endor, whereas the California version is modeled after a Tomorrowland-esque space port.
Actor George Clooney, the star of Disney's 2015 film Tomorrowland,
is born in Lexington, Kentucky. A Golden Globe and Academy Award winner, he also starred in the Touchstone Pictures 2000 release O Brother, Where Art Thou?
Captain America: Civil War, produced by Marvel Studios and distributed by
Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures, is released in the U.S. Political interference in the Avengers' activities causes a rift between former allies Captain America, played by Chris Evans, and Iron Man,
played by Robert Downey, Jr. The cast also includes Scarlett Johansson (Natasha Romanov/Black Widow),
Elizabeth Olsen (Wanda Maximoff/Scarlet Witch), Sebastian Stan (Bucky Barnes/Winter Soldier), Paul Rudd (Scott Lang/Ant-Man), Jeremy Renner (Clint Barton/Hawkeye), Tom Holland (Peter Parker/Spider-Man), Emily VanCamp (Sharon Carter/Agent 13), and Don Cheadle (James Rhodes/War Machine).
Actress and singer Naomi Scott is born in London, England. She starred as Mohini "Mo"
Banjaree in the Disney Channel original film Lemonade Mouth and as Megan in the TV series Life Bites (a British
adaptation of the Disney Channel Italy Original Series Life Bites - Pillole di vita on Disney Channel Italy).
Scott is also Princess Jasmine in Disney's 2019 live-action Aladdin.
George Bodenheimer, one-time president of ESPN Inc. and of ABC's sports division
(known since 2006 as ESPN on ABC), is born in New York City.
Actress Adrianne Palicki is born in Toldeo, Ohio. She played Barbara "Bobbi" Morse
on the ABC series Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
Writer Lowell S. Hawley passes away at age 94 in Los Angeles, California. Although his first novel, "A Few Buttons Missing: The Case Book of a Psychiatrist" (1951) was a best seller, he became a writer for the Walt Disney Studio starting in 1957. His film and television credits include Zorro (1958), Swiss Family Robinson (1960), Babes in Toyland (1961), In Search of the Castaways (1962), Mooncussers (1962), A Tiger Walks (1964), The Adventures of Bullwhip Griffin (1967), The Young Loner (1968), and The One and Only, Genuine, Original Family Band (1968). Hawley had been retired since 1969.