Randy Newman's "Our Town" (from the Disney/Pixar Cars) wins
Best Song Written For Motion Picture, Television Or Other Visual
Media at the 49th Grammy Awards. (Newman also wins an Annie on this
same evening - read below!)
Over at the Alex Theater in Glendale, California, the 34th annual
Annie Awards are handed out. Winners include Cars for Best Animated
Feature and Bambi II for Best Home Entertainment Production. Actress Eartha Kitt is
awarded for Voice Acting in an Animated Television Production for her role of Yzma in
The Emperor's New School. The Annie for Music in an Animated Feature Production
goes to songwriter Randy Newman for his music in Cars. This year's Winsor McCay
Award (for recognition of lifetime or career contributions to the art of animation) goes
to Andreas Deja. He has been the supervising animator for numerous Disney characters
including Gaston, Jafar, Scar, and Lilo.
The 60th British Academy Film Awards, given by the British Academy of Film and Television Arts, take place. Nominated in 5 categories, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest wins Best Special Visual Effects (John Knoll, Hal Hickel, Charles Gibson and Allen Hall).
Actor Leslie Nielsen is born in Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada.
His Disney credits include the 1950s TV mini-series Swamp Fox (portraying Colonel Francis Marion), narrating
the TV episode The Boy Who Flew with Condors and the Hollywood Pictures 1996 comedy Spy Hard
(as Dick Steele, Agent WD-40). Nielsen, who appeared in over 100 films and 1,500 television programs,
is perhaps best remembered for his comedic roles of Frank Drebin in The Naked Gun, Dr. Rumack in Airplane!
and President Harris in the Scary Movie series.
The Walt Disney Annual Shareholder Meeting takes place at
the Minneapolis Convention Center.
Disney's animated Pooh's Heffalump Movie opens in theaters. Heffalumps (fictional elephants) were first mentioned in the Winnie-the-Pooh stories by A. A. Milne, and later first appeared in the 1968 featurette Winnie the
Pooh and the Blustery Day. In Pooh's Heffalump Movie, Roo (voiced by Nikita Hopkins) discovers a playful young four-footed creature named Heffridge Trumpler Brompet Heffalump IV ... or "Lumpy" (voiced by Kyle Stanger) for short.
in Rocky Ford, Colorado. He created hundreds of sculptures from which
Audio-Animatronics figures and bronzes were produced for exhibits in the 1964-65 New York
World's Fair and Disney theme parks around the world. Among his contributions: Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln, Pirates of the Caribbean, the Haunted Mansion, and the Enchanted Tiki Room. Gibson also sculpted nearly all the presidents for the Hall of Presidents at WDW and the Partners Statue (found in the "hub" of the Magic Kingdom at Disneyland, Disney World and Tokyo Disneyland, and at Walt Disney Studio in Burbank, California).
The Mickey Mouse short The Grocery Boy, featuring the voices of Walt Disney (as
Mickey) and Marcellite Garner (as Minnie), is released. Mickey goes shopping for Minnie, but is
late bringing her groceries back.
Disney's Donald Duck cartoon Self Control is released. Directed by Jack King, Donald (voiced
by Clarence Nash) tries to learn to control his temper by following the advice of a radio program.
The Disney Donald Duck short Donald's Happy Birthday, directed by Jack Hannah, is released. Huey, Dewey, and Louie earn enough money to buy their Uncle Donald a birthday present. Donald, not knowing what the money is for, would prefer they save their money for a rainy day. But when the boys buy their uncle a
box of cigars ... Donald thinks they have taken up smoking and forces them to smoke the cigars!
Disney's Alice in Wonderland is nominated for an Academy Award for
Best Scoring of a Musical Picture. Also nominated - Lambert the Sheepish Lion for Short
Subjects, Cartoons and Nature's Half Acre for Short Subjects, Two Reels. Winners will be announced March 20.
Variety reports that Walt Disney secretly took its movie, Song of the South out of
circulation back in 1958. The publication claims the movie was pulled because of racist attitudes in the film.
Buena Vista releases the live-action feature film King of the Grizzlies to theaters.
Moki (played by John Yesno), a Cree Indian, rescues a bear cub named Wahb, and develops a mystical
connection between himself and the magnificent grizzly.
The Wonderful World of Disney airs part 1 of "Ride a Wild Pony," a Walt Disney Productions film first released in 1975.
Disney's live-action feature film My Favorite Martian premieres at the Famous Players
Colossus Center in Toronto, Canada. This science fiction comedy stars Christopher Lloyd, Jeff Daniels,
Daryl Hannah, Elizabeth Hurley, Wallace Shawn and Ray Walston, and is based on the 1960s television series of the
same name. My Favorite Martian will be generally released the following day.
Disney's The Tigger Movie, narrated by John Hurt and featuring five new
songs by the Sherman Brothers, is released. Tigger (voiced by Jim Cummings) goes looking
through the hundred-acre-wood to find his family. It is the first time Pooh and his friends appear in an original,
theatrically-released feature film (previous Pooh features were either compilations of shorts, or made for video
productions). The songs for The Tigger Movie have been written by Robert and Richard Sherman, who have
not written for a Disney feature in over 28 years! The film will open at #4 at the North American box office
making $9.4 million in its opening weekend.
Twelve "Outstanding Airmen of the Year" are honored as grand marshals in a
parade at Disney's Animal Kingdom. The airmen, men and women representing airbases from
all over the world, spend the afternoon high atop the parade floats while hundreds of park guests cheer them
on. (Every year the Air Force selects 12 individuals to represent the more than 400,000 enlisted men and
women from the active duty, guard, and reserve forces. These people start the competition at their home
stations, and finally win the title as "Outstanding Airmen of the Year." They hold the title for one year.)
The Walt Disney Company agrees to let Travelocity.com sell hotel reservations
and theme-park tickets online. By allowing the discount-travel giant to do this, Disney hopes to
expand its marketing efforts on the Internet.
Disney premieres the film Return to Never Land in Hollywood. An animated film produced
by DisneyToon Studios in Sydney, Australia and released by Walt Disney Pictures, it will generally open
February 15. Featuring the voices of Blayne Weaver and Corey Burton, Return to Never Land is a sequel to the
1953 film Peter Pan.
The Walt Disney Company receives an industry- leading 44 Oscar nominations from
the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, including 13 nominations for
Miramax's Chicago, 10 for Gangs of New York and 9 for The Hours, a co-production
with Paramount Pictures. Buena Vista Motion Pictures Group receives three nominations for Best Animated
Feature Film for Walt Disney Pictures Lilo & Stitch, Treasure Planet and Spirited Away. March 23 is Oscar night! Sarah Litzsinger returns to the cast of Broadway's Beauty and the Beast.
Litzsinger, Broadway's longest-running Belle, takes over the role from "Sopranos" star Jamie-Lynn Sigler, who
departed the production February 9.
Walt Disney Records releases Best of Power Rangers; favorite hits from all the
Power Rangers shows.
Al Weiss (the president of Disney World) speaks to the Institutional Investors at Walt
Disney World during a 2-day conference.
Comcast announces its hostile bid for Disney as stock prices jump nearly 15%.
Celebrated voice actor Tony Pope passes away at the age of 56 in California.
A native of Cleveland, Ohio, Pope moved to the Los Angeles area in 1973 to begin what would be a successful
career. He voiced both Goofy & Zeke "Big Bad" Wolf in the 1988 hit Who Framed Roger Rabbit, Geppetto in the
television series Disney's House of Mouse, and narrated Disney's Storyteller Series - The Emperor's New Groove.
(Pope is probably best known for providing the voice of Furby, a popular electronic robotic toy first released in 1998, in English and five other languages. Over 40 million Furbies were sold during the three years of its original production!)
It is announced in Miami, Florida that a 3-year project agreement has been
signed between Allen Contracting Co., as general contractor, and the presidents
of the 17 individual international unions, which will be involved in constructing
the first phase of Walt Disney World. The contract assures continuity of construction by making
strikes and other work stoppages unnecessary.
Young Walt Disney's first pet was a Maltese terrier, on his
family's farm in
(located about 120 miles northeast of Kansas City).
Today is also Don't Cry Over Spilled Milk Day
Today is National Inventors'
"It is my opinion that there is no surer way to bring about better understanding between nations than travel. Our own country, with its wealth of scenic beauty, should be the mecca of travelers from all over the world. All of us should do our best to encourage their visits here." -Walt Disney (1937)
The animated feature Gnomeo and Juliet (based on William Shakespeare's
play Romeo and Juliet) is released by Touchstone Pictures. Featuring the voices of James
McAvoy, Emily Blunt, and Michael Caine, it is Touchstone's first animated film since 1993's The Nightmare Before Christmas. Separated by a garden fence and a feud, are blue gnomes on one side and red gnomes on the other. This doesn't stop blue Gnomeo and red Juliet from falling in love with each other.
Mickey's Toontown Fair at Walt Disney World, a section of the Magic Kingdom that
started as Mickey's Birthday Land in 1988, shuts its gates for good at the end of
this day. The area is needed for the ongoing Fantasyland expansion project. The Barnstormer attraction is
scheduled to remain (but with a new name and theming), but the rest of Toontown will fade into Disney history.
Main Street in Motion, a traveling experience offered by General Motors, makes a
3-day stop at Epcot. The event allows guests to test drive up to 70 different vehicles (and not have the
pressure of being followed around by a sales person).
The Disney Fantasy marks a milestone in its construction when it celebrates the
keel laying during a special ceremony at the Meyer Werft shipyard in Germany.
Debbie Douglas, an 11-year-old acrobat from San Diego, and Christopher
Gregory, a 13-year old singer form Las Vegas, are featured as Showtime Day
guest talent on episode 20 of The New Mickey Mouse Club.
Touchstone Pictures' The Color of Money is nominated for 4 Academy Awards:
Paul Newman - Actor in a Leading Role
Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio - Actress in a Supporting Role
Richard Price - Screenplay Based on Another Medium
Boris Leven & Karen A. O'Hara - Art Direction
"You can draw as well as any of these guys, Blaine. Send in your drawings to
Disney," Gibson said, quoting his mother. "So I did."
The Beatles record the Lennon-McCartney penned song "Do You Want
To Know A Secret" for their upcoming Please Please Me record album.
Mostly written by John Lennon, it is sung by George Harrison. Lennon based the song on
"Wishing Well," from Walt Disney's 1937 animated feature film
Snow White And The Seven Dwarfs.
"My mother was always... she was a comedienne and a singer. Not professional, but, you know, she used to get up in pubs and things like that.
She had a good voice. She could do Kay Starr. She used to do this little tune when I was just a one- or two-year-old... yeah, she was still living
with me then... The tune was from the Disney movie - 'Want to know a secret? Promise not to tell. You are standing by a wishing well. So, I
had this sort of thing in my head and I wrote it and just gave it to George to sing." -John Lennon
Today begins True Love Week, a tapestry of romance woven throughout the Walt
Disney World resort, from limited-time Valentine's Day merchandise and special
entertainment, to romantic dinners for two and new themed photo locations
offering greetings with beloved Disney sweethearts.
The event will run through February 17.
Disney Legend and veteran animator Floyd Norman appears on ABC's "The View"
to discuss being the first black animator hired by Walt Disney in 1955.
The Jungle Book: Diamond Edition (Combo Pack) is released. The 1967 animated film is released in a Blu-Ray/DVD/Digital Copy Combo pack as part of Disney's Diamond Edition line.
Singer, actress, and producer Whitney Houston passes away suddenly at age 48 in Beverly Hills California. Although known as one of the best-selling music artists of all time, she played the
Fairy Godmother in a television adaption of Cinderella, for which she also co-produced (with Debra Martin Chase).
It aired on The Wonderful World of Disney in 1997. Houston's BrownHouse Productions company produced both
The Princess Diaries and The Princess Diaries 2 along with Walt Disney Pictures.
Walt Disney Pictures releases the comedy Blank Check starring Brian Bonsall, Karen
Duffy, Miguel Ferrer, James Rebhorn, Tone Lōc, Jayne Atkinson and Michael Lerner.
After a crook named Carl Quigley (Ferrer) nearly kills 11-year-old Preston Waters (Bonsall) by running over the boy's
bike, he mistakenly gives the boy a blank check. The resourceful Preston makes out the check for a million dollars
and cashes it. As Preston enjoys spending his windfall, Carl realizes his mistake and goes looking for the boy.
Actress, singer, and socialite Eva Gabor is born is Budapest, Hungary. She did voice-over
work for Disney movies; providing the European-accented voices of Duchess in The Aristocats, and Miss Bianca
in The Rescuers and The Rescuers Down Under. (Gabor is probably best known for her role on the 1965–71
television sitcom Green Acres as Lisa Douglas, the wife of Eddie Albert's character, Oliver Wendell Douglas.)
Nominations for the 69th Academy Awards are announced.
-Best Original Musical or Comedy Score: The Hunchback of Notre Dame (Alan Menken & Stephen Schwartz)
-Best Original Song: "You Must Love Me" from Evita (Andrew Lloyd Webber & Tim Rice)
-Best Sound: Evita (Andy Nelson, Anna Behlmer & Ken Weston)
-Best Art Direction: Evita (Art Direction: Brian Morris; Set Decoration: Philippe Turlure)
-Best Cinematography: Evita (Darius Khondji)
-Best Film Editing: Evita (Gerry Hambling)
The Disney live-action comedy No Deposit, No Return, starring David Niven, Darren McGavin and Don Knotts, is released. Two would-be safe-crackers help fake the kidnapping of two bored grandchildren, played by Kim Richards and Brad Savage, to con their grandfather into paying ransom money.
Their ploy backfires with hilarious results as everyone from the police to the kids’ mother try to rescue them from their “kidnappers.” Directed by Norman Tokar, the cast also includes Herschel Bernardi, Barbara Feldon, Vic Tayback, and Bob Hastings.
Radio DJ, voice actor, artist and sports manager Lord Tim Hudson is born in Prestbury, Cheshire, England. His Disney credits include The Jungle Book as Dizzy (the vulture) and The Aristocats as Hit Cat.
Animator, writer and film director Al Eugster is born in New York City. Starting his career in animation in April 1925, he worked at the Pat Sullivan studio where he helped create the series Felix the Cat. In 1935 he began working for Walt Disney Studios (for a short time) where he animated such Donald Duck shorts as Don Donald and Clock Cleaners, and later the studio's first feature Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.
Herman Schultheis, a Walt Disney Studios photographer and technician in the Special Effects Department, is born in Germany. Emigrating to New York City in 1927, he eventually moved to Los Angeles and in February 1939 joined Walt Disney's Special Effects department. He worked on Fantasia, Pinocchio,
Dumbo and Bambi before leaving Disney in 1940. During his tenure with Disney, he documented everything he did at the studio in a notebook he titled "Special Effects." The notebook was lost to history until 1990, when Disney historian Howard Lowery discovered the notebook in a chest of drawers at Schultheis’ former Los Angeles residence.