Comedic star Ed Wynn, the voice of the Mad Hatter in Disney's 1951
Alice in Wonderland, is born Isaiah Edwin Leopold in Philadelphia,
Pennsylvania. Known for his distinct giggly wavering voice, Wynn portrayed Uncle Albert
in Disney's 1964 live-action musical Mary Poppins and Mr. Hofstedder, the watch jeweler in the 1965
That Darn Cat! His Disney film credits also include Babes in Toyland (as The Toymaker), Those
Calloways, Son of Flubber, The AbsentMinded Professor and The Gnome-Mobile (as Rufus - his final
film appearance; released a year after his death in 1966). Wynn was even caricaturized in the 1933 animated short Mickey's Gala Premiere. He was posthumously named a Disney Legend on August 10, 2013. (His son Keenan Wynn, a successful character actor, also appeared in Disney films.)
Diane Disney Miller (the daughter of Walt Disney) helps dedicate a $250,000
animation lab that her family helped fund at Walt Disney Magnet School in Chicago,
On The Record, Disney's newest musical production, launches
a national tour in Cleveland, Ohio. The show features more than 60 songs
spanning about 75 years of Disney films, productions and attractions.
The Winsor McCay Award recipients for 2004 are announced. This year's honors go to
animator Don Bluth (who began his career at Disney), Virginia Davis (who as a youngster appeared in Disney's
early Alice Comedies), and comic character & voice actor Arnold Stang. (The Winsor McCay Award stands as one
of the highest honors given to an individual in the animation industry. The award is named for legendary cartoonist
and creator of Little Nemo Winsor McCay.)
Mickey's Twice Upon a Christmas is released on DVD/video. This holiday movie (co-created
with Blur Studio) marks the debut of Mickey and his friends in the world of computer-generated animation.
Mickey Mouse Club airs on ABC-TV. Today is Anything Can Happen Day.
The Disneyland television series airs part 2 of the
live-action movie "The Story of Robin Hood."
Actress Karen Dotrice, who portrayed Jane Banks in Disney's 1964 Mary Poppins, is
born in the United Kingdom. Her Disney credits also include The Gnome-Mobile (1967) and The
Three Lives of Thomasina (1964).
The Wonderful World of Disney airs episode 673
"Walt Disney World's 15th Anniversary Celebration" on ABC.
The Fountain View Espresso and Bakery opens at Disney
Disneyland closes the turnstiles at the end of this day on one of
its oldest and most popular attractions, the Skyway - a gondola
lift attraction. The Skyway, opened since June 1956, is closed due to stress
cracks and the enormous impending cost to retrofit it for earthquake safety. Built by
Von Roll, Ltd. based in Bern, Switzerland, it was the first Von Roll Type 101 aerial
ropeway in the USA. (Disney World's Skyway will close 5 years later.)
Exactly five years after the grounding of the Skyway at Disneyland, the Skyway
at Florida's Magic Kingdom carries its last guest. It had been a popular attraction ever since Walt
Disney World first opened in 1971. Technically two attractions—Skyway to Fantasyland and Skyway to
Tomorrowland, the Skyway was built by Von Roll of Bern, Switzerland, which built similar sky rides for over 100
amusement parks, theme parks, and exposition grounds (including Disneyland).
The soundtrack for Disney's Toy Story 2, featuring the music
of Randy Newman, is released. Songs include "When She Loved Me"
performed by Sarah McLachlan and "Woody's Roundup" performed by Riders in the Sky.
At Disney's California Adventure, Disney's Luminaria, a holiday show made up
of dazzling lights, low level pyrotechnics and music performed on the waters of Paradise Pier Lagoon, debuts. Guests can also make Disney's Luminaria Art Cards at Disney's Luminaria Holiday Art Card Center located in the park. (The show will run through January 6, 2002.)
Festival of the Masters (one of the Southeast's most acclaimed art and culture showcase) returns to Downtown Disney for the weekend.
The Lizzie McGuire episode "Scarlett Larry" debuts on Disney Channel.
The Los Angeles chapter of the NFFC (The National Fantasy Fan Club for
Disneyana Enthusiasts) host their annual foot rally and trivia day at Disney's
Actress Susan Lucci (of "All My Children") headlines the
ABC Super Soap Weekend at Disney-MGM Studios in Florida.
A&E airs The Incurable Collector hosted by John Larroquette. The show features a segment
about George Reiger, whose home is filled with over 15,000 Disney collectibles.
"A comedian is not a man who says funny things. A comedian is one who says
things funny." -Ed Wynn (born This Day in Disney History 1886)
Songwriters Robert and Richard Sherman wrote
"It's A Small World (After All)"
Since then, it has
become the most translated
and performed song in the world!
The 32nd Festival of the Masters, Disney's acclaimed 3-day annual showcase of
art, culture and cuisine, begins at Downtown Disney Westside, Florida.
In New York City, Disney's Broadway stage production The Lion King is honored by
the Empire State Building. Tshidi Manye, the current Rafiki, appears in costume to throw the ceremonial
switch at the Empire State Building to light the iconic landmark in "Lion King Yellow." (The Lion King is scheduled
to celebrate its 10th Anniversary 2 days later at the Minskoff Theatre.)
Disney Channel debuts "Disenchanted Evening," the fifth episode of the new series Wizards of Waverly Place.
The Wonderful World of Disney airs "Angels in the Endzone" on ABC-TV.
NY City honors The Lion King
Singer-actress Demi Lovato tapes her appearances at Disneyland for the 2009
After two years of planning, including seven months of construction,
New York City's new Disney Store officially opens at 1540 Broadway.
To celebrate the launch, Disney uses the Times Square pedestrian plaza between West 45th
and West 46th streets for a two-hour parade featuring such characters as Mickey and Minnie
Mouse, Cinderella and Buzz Lightyear. The 20,000-square-foot store will operate from 9 a.m. to midnight daily.
Guido Quaroni, voice actor and Supervising Technical Director at Pixar Animation Studios,
is born in Pavia, Italy. One of the developers of solidThinking, a NURBS based 3D modeling and rendering
software, you might recognize him as the voice of Guido in Cars and Cars 2.
Lincoln, a biographical war drama film directed and produced by Steven
Spielberg, is released. Distributed by DreamWorks Studios through Disney's Touchstone Pictures,
the film stars Daniel Day-Lewis as United States President Abraham Lincoln and Sally Field as Mary Todd
Lincoln. Based on Doris Kearns Goodwin's biography of Lincoln, "Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of
Abraham Lincoln," the film covers the final four months of Lincoln's life.
"What had happened was I had made a film for Disney before, The Three Lives of
Thomasina, and I was cast in that from doing a play in London. In the audience was a casting director who was on the hunt for a
London girl to be in Thomasina. Got that, and then I don’t recall auditioning for Mary Poppins. I don’t believe I did, because I
was on another continent. So I think I just got it, or they may have looked at footage from Thomasina, but I don’t recall meeting
with anybody. But I mean Walt Disney was a jolly good friend so I knew him very well once I got to America. We became firm
friends even though I was eight!" -Karen Dotrice
Filming begins at Disneyland for Disney's annual Christmas morning ABC-TV special.
Musical acts include Train (who take the stage at Sleeping Beauty’s Winter Castle to perform "Shake Up Christmas")
and Trisha Yearwood (singing a beautiful rendition of "Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas").
Today is World Freedom Day
Today is World Freedom Day
Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party takes place for the first time this season
at Walt Disney World. Magic Kingdom will host the celebration twenty more times through December 22.
Over at Disney's Hollywood Studios, the park's Flurry of Fun celebration debuts to include the return of the "Jingle Bell, Jingle BAM!" show and a new Sunset
Seasons Greetings projections on the Hollywood Tower Hotel. The park’s
signature Christmas tree has been moved to Echo Lake - which includes Dino Gertie dressed for the season. Also
on this evening, Santa Claus makes his debut return to the Once Upon a Time shop (through December 24).