Epcot's Test Track Preview Center opens. (The attraction won't be ready for a soft
opening until December 1998.)
Toy Story receives 3 Academy Award nominations for Achievement in Music (Original Musical or Comedy Score), Achievement in Writing, and Achievement in Music (Original Song). Pocahontas is also nominated for Achievement in Music (Original Musical or Comedy Score) and Achievement in Music (Original Song). Winners will be announced March 25.
Animator Jules Engel, who worked on Disney's Fantasia, is awarded the "Friz" lifetime achievement award for animation at the 1998 Santa Clarita International
Film Festival. Founder of the experimental-animation program at CalArts in 1970 (where he taught for
over thirty years) Engel helped develop the cartoon character Mr. Magoo.
The New York Daily News runs the article
"Elton & Tim Meet Aida, Disney Preps 'Elaborate' Stage Version."
Disneyland hosts a Friday the 13th ceremony to light up the marque
of the new Tower of Terror. The event, which includes a screaming contest (won by Jill Drake of Kent, England), is hosted by comedian Gallagher. (The new attraction will open in Disney's California Adventure May 5.)
The Disneyland television series airs "Tricks of Our Trade," written by animator
Dick Huemer and hosted by Walt Disney. Viewers are taken on an hour-long discussion
and demonstration on how artists study real life in order to recreate and embellish it on the screen.
The TV series Walt Disney Presents airs "Duck Flies Coop."
Feeling that Walt Disney is working him too hard, temperamental Donald Duck decides to take
a vaction - right in the middle of his shooting schedule! Just before hitting the road, Donald imperiously
tells Walt to soldier on alone as best he can. As Donald experiences all manners of misadventures while
trying to relax, Walt decides to teach the duck a lesson by pretending to "groom a replacement."
Disney's combination live-action and animated Freeway Phobia, featuring Goofy and directed by Les Clark, is released. Goofy demonstrates how not to drive on the freeway: first as an overly timid driver, then as an overly aggressive driver, and finally as an inattentive driver. Created as an update to the 1950 short Motor Mania, to teach young people about the dos and don'ts of driving, Freeway Phobia is narrated by Paul Frees and features the voice of Pinto Colvig.
is still a studio employee and currently working on The Rescuers,
passes away at St. Joseph's Hospital in California (across from the
Disney Studio). First hired in 1935, his large body of work included Pinocchio, Dumbo,
Song of the South, Alice in Wonderland, Peter Pan, Melody Time, The Jungle Book and
Robin Hood. Lounsbery will be named a Disney Legend in 1989.
On The Mike Douglas Show, Douglas and guest co-host Anita Bryant
conclude their week of shows from Walt Disney World. Their guests include actor Dean Jones (best
known for his leading roles in many Walt Disney movies), and 5 former Mouseketeers - Annette Funicello, Tommy Cole,
Bobby Burgess, Cubby O'Brien and Darlene Gillespie Gammon. Also featured is a visit to the Polynesian Village for a
luau and fireworks display.
Mickey Mouse, accompanied by Disneyland's Ambassador, Melissa Taylor, begin a
30-day flight around the world, celebrating Disneyland's 30th anniversary.
Expo Robotics (located in CommuniCore West) debuts at EPCOT's
Future World. The show stars a top-spinning industrial robot arm named Pixel.
(The attraction will run through October 3, 1993 and CommuniCore will close by early 1994.)
Winnie the Pooh, a Valentine for You airs on ABC-TV.
Michael Weiss wins the men's national title at the U.S. Figure
Skating Championships, skating to music from Mulan.
As part of the 45th anniversary celebration, The Disneyland Resort introduces
a new Pin Trading Program.
Also, the "45 Years of Magic Parade" has its first public preview at Disneyland. Two shows, one during the day and one at night, are performed. (The parade will make its official debut on February 18.)
It is announced at the Chandler Mansion set from "All My Children: in ABC Soap
Opera Bistro" at Disney's California Adventure, that ABC Super Soap Weekends will
take place in April 2002. There will be 3 weekends (much like the ones that for several years have taken
place at the Disney-MGM Studios in Florida) devoted to popular daytime dramas aired on ABC-TV. Actor Walt Willey
(who plays Jackson McGomery on "All My Children"), actresses Linda Dano (who portrays Ray Cummings on "One
Life To Live") and Nancy Lee Grahn (who plays Alexis Davis on "General Hospital") all take part in the morning
Lumière’s Kitchen restaurant opens in Fantasyland at Disney World's Magic Kingdom. (In 2006 it will become The Village Fry Shoppe, and in 2009 The Friar’s Nook.)
A Valentine Dance (sponosred by the WDW Recreation Club) is held for Disney World Cast Members at the Contemporary Hotel's Ballroom of the Americas.
Danielle Day and her family from Prince Albert, Saskatchewan spend the
night inside Cinderella Castle in the Magic Kingdom. The first time Disney
World visitors are the first Canadian family to ever win a night's stay as
part of the unique Disney Dreams Giveaway.
Covering 47 square miles,
Walt Disney World
is about the same size
as the city of
San Francisco or two
Disney releases Discs of Tron on Xbox Live Arcade. The game, based on the 1982 film Tron, allows players to face off against the evil Sark.
Good Morning America broadcasts live on ABC from Castaway Cay (Disney's
private island in the Bahamas) to feature the Acoba family from Port Orchard, Washington. They are the winners of the Castaway Cay for a day Year of a Million Dreams prize!
(More than 3,500 families wrote to Good Morning America for a chance to win the one-of-a-kind vacation.)
Disneyland announces that it will soon open a new dwelling in Tomorrowland - this time in partnership with 21st century technology giants Microsoft Corp., Hewlett-Packard Co., software maker LifeWare and homebuilder Taylor Morrison. The 5,000-square-foot 'House of the Future' (scheduled to open in May) will look like a suburban tract home outside. But inside the $15 million Innoventions Dream Home will feature hardware, software and touch-screen systems that could simplify everyday living.
Disney debuts its new Disney XD with the launch of the Disney XD network
and DisneyXD.com. The new brand is aimed at boys ages 6-14 and features content focusing on the themes
of adventure, accomplishment, gaming, music and sports. Among the action-adventure series premiering on this day
is Aaron Stone starring Kelly Blatz as a teenage boy who masters an online game.
California resident Frances Taylor celebrates her 100th birthday at Disneyland! She is
greeted at the main gate by the Disneyland Marching Band, a confetti burst, mouse-
ear balloons and a cavalcade of well-wishers, including Mickey and Minnie Mouse!
(As a 3-year-old child from Scotland, Taylor was to ride aboard the Titanic with her mother, brothers and sisters on
its 1912 maiden voyage to the U.S. ... but the crossing was over-booked and they were bumped!)
Disney's Touchstone Pictures releases Confessions of a Shopaholic starring Isla Fisher, John Goodman, Joan Cusack, Hugh Dancy, and John Lithgow. Rebecca Bloomwood is a sweet
and charming New York City girl who has a tiny problem that is rapidly turning into a big problem: she is hopelessly addicting to shopping and is drowning in a sea of debt.
"He was harder on himself than anyone else. When he first got picked to direct Winnie the Pooh and Tigger Too, he was packing up his stuff, and I stopped by his room and I said, 'So what does it feel like to become a director?' And he said, 'I don't know I just want to be a good animator someday.' Which is just crazy, because here's this guy who was so good. His work was loose, but you felt the bone structure under every character. He put so much pliability in his characters, so many expressions." -animator Dale Baer on John Lounsbery
"It was the first day of our first family trip to Disney. We were on the first attraction and it was within the
first hour that we were selected to stay the night in the Cinderella Castle Suite!" -Danielle Day
During the 10th Annual Toy of the Year Awards in New York City, John Lasseter (chief
creative officer, Walt Disney Company and Pixar Animation Studios, and principal creative
advisor of Walt Disney Imagineering) is inducted into the toy industry Hall of Fame. Lasseter
shares this honor with many including Walt Disney (inducted in 1987) and Jim Henson (in 1992).
Kick Buttowski: Suburban Daredevil premieres on Disney XD.
A recording session takes place at Walt Disney Productions for the much-anticipated
Haunted Mansion attraction (to open at Disneyland in August). An improvisation of the Grim
Grinning Ghost theme is recorded with soprano Louie Jean Norman and tenor Bill Reeves performing as
"hokey opera singers."
The Grammy for Best Score Soundtrack Album For Motion Picture, Television Or Other Visual Media is awarded to composer Randy Newman for Toy Story 3.
Toy Story 3 picks up a British Academy Film Award for Animated Film at the 64th British Academy Film Awards in London, England. Director Lee Unkrich is in attendance to accept. Disney's live-action Alice in Wonderland wins Best Costume Design and Best Makeup and Hair.
DTV 'Doggone' Valentine, a Valentine's Day special featuring rock and roll music set to scenes from Disney animation, airs on television. It is the first time Russi Taylor supplies the voice
for Minnie Mouse.
Jake and the Never Land Pirates: Peter Pan Returns (a special one-hour episode)
premieres on Disney Channel.
Mila Kunis and James Franco walk the yellow brick road carpet at the premiere of
Disney's new film Oz The Great and Powerful at the El Capitan Theatre in
Hollywood. To promote the film (which will be generally released March 8), Disney launches the "Journey to Oz
Balloon Tour." The hot-air balloon, sponsored by leading multichannel retailer HSN and IMAX Corporation, will later
visit Disneyland (on February 17), Daytona International Speedway, Florida (on February 20), and finally New York
City (for the film's pre-screening and general release in March). Oz The Great and Powerful is directed by Sam Raimi and imagines the origins of L. Frank Baum's beloved wizard character.
Cinderella, a British-American romantic fantasy film directed by Kenneth Branagh,
and produced by David Barron, Simon Kinberg and Allison Shearmur for Walt
Disney Pictures, has its world premiere at the 65th Berlin International Film Festival.
Starring Lily James as Ella ("Cinderella"), the live-action film largely follows the plot
of Disney's 1950 animated adaptation. (Cinderella will be released a month later.)
The Disney Channel Original Movie Bad Hair Day debuts in the U.S.
Zootopia, a 3D computer-animated comedy-adventure film produced by Walt Disney
Animation Studios and released by Walt Disney Pictures, premieres at the Brussels
Animation Film Festival in Belgium. It will be released to U.S. theaters on March 4.
Nominations for the 73rd Academy Awards are announced. Among the nominations-
-Best Screenplay Based on Material Previously Produced or Published: O Brother, Where Art Thou?
-Best Original Song: "My Funny Friend and Me" (The Emperor's New Groove – Music by Sting & David Hartley;
Lyrics by Sting)
-Best Costume Design: 102 Dalmatians
Winners will be announced March 25, 2001. (Unfortunately Disney will not win in any of the categories.)
Radio Disney: Jams vol 3 is released on Walt Disney Records.
Actor Albert Sharpe passes away at age 84 in Ireland. His most famous role was that of Darby O'Gill in Disney's Darby O'Gill and the Little People (1959). (He also portrayed Finian McLonergan in the Original Broadway production of the musical Finian's Rainbow.)
Actress Kelly Hu is born in Honolulu, Hawaii. Her Disney voice credits include Stacy Hirano in the series Phineas and Ferb and Adira in Rapunzel's Tangled Adventure.
Actor David Naughton is born in West Hartford, Connecticut. First becoming widely known as a result of his four-year stint singing and dancing in television commercials and personal appearances to promote the soft drink Dr Pepper, he played the role of Adam Larson in Disney's 1980 comedy Midnight Madness. He voiced a character in a 2005 episode of Disney Channel's Higglytown Heroes and appeared in a 2013 episode of ABC's Grey's Anatomy. (You may recognize Naughton from his starring role in the 1981 horror film An American Werewolf in London.)
Coco is released for High Definition online streaming and digital download.
Actor Neal McDonough is born in Dorchester, Massachusetts. He portrayed Dave Williams on ABC's Desperate Housewives (2008–2009). His film credits include Angles in the Outfield (1994), Captain America: The First Avenger (2011), and Sonic the Hedgehog (2020).
Actor George Segal is born in New York City. Fans of the ABC sitcom The Goldbergs know him for his role of Albert "Pops" Solomon, the eccentric but lovable grandfather. The long-running series entered its eighth season in 2021, and Segal was part of the regular cast up until his death in March of that year. Playing both dramatic and comedic roles, some of his most acclaimed parts were in films such as Ship of Fools (1965), King Rat (1965), Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (1966), The St. Valentine's Day Massacre (1967), Where's Poppa? (1970), The Hot Rock
(1972), Blume in Love (1973), A Touch of Class (1973), California Split (1974), For the Boys (1991), and Flirting with Disaster (1996). Segal was also an accomplished banjo player who released three albums.
Musician, singer, songwriter, and record producer Peter Gabriel is born in Surrey, England. First rising to fame as the original lead singer of the progressive rock band Genesis, he later started a successful solo career. Gabriel co-wrote "Down to Earth" (with Thomas Dolby) and recorded it for the soundtrack to
WALL-E. They received the Grammy Award for Best Song Written for a Motion Picture, Television or Other Visual Media, and the song was also nominated for a Golden Globe Award for Best Original Song and an Academy Award for Best Original Song.