The 2005 National Medal of Arts are presented by President and Mrs. Laura
Bush in an Oval Office ceremony at the White House in Washington, D.C.
Among the 10 recipients is legendary Disney animator and artist Ollie Johnston!
Carl W. Stalling, "the most famous unknown composer of
the 20th century," is born in Missouri. While working as the house organist at the Isis Movie Theatre in Kansas City, Stalling came to the attention of Walt Disney. Stalling was hired as musical director for Walt's fledgling animation company; scoring two of the first three Mickey Mouse cartoons - Plane Crazy and The Gallopin' Gaucho - and later many of the Silly Symphony shorts. Discussions with Disney about whether the animation or the musical score should come first, actually led to the creation of the Silly Symphonies! (Starting in 1936, Stalling will work for Warner Bros. - writing music for Looney Tunes shorts for over 21 years!)
Marie Worthey, wife of Disney animator Ollie Johnston, is born in Bridgeport,
Connecticut. From 1940-1941 she worked in the ink and paint departments at both Warner Brothers and
Disney. Her first big date with Ollie was attending the premiere of Fantasia in November 1940!
Lyricist & Disney Legend Tim Rice is born in Amersham, Buckinghamshire, England. His contributions include Aida, Aladdin, Beauty and the Beast, and The Lion King. (Rice has also written lyrics for such classic musicals as Jesus Christ Superstar and Evita.)
Character actor Vincent Schiavelli, who appeared in Disney's 1995 television
remake of Escape to Witch Mountain and the 1998 TV movie Bride of Boogedy, is
born in Brooklyn, New York. Often described as "the man with the sad eyes," film fans will know from
such features as Fast Times at Ridgemont High, Night Shift, and One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest.
Walt Disney's True-Life adventure feature The Living Desert is released to theaters.
It is because of RKO's refusal to distribute this film that Disney sets up the Buena Vista Distribution Company. (The film, made for only about half a million dollars, will make $5 million during its original release and later win the Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature!) Directed by James Algar, The Living Desert features the work of cinematographer Paul Kenworthy (who will later lend his skills to the 1954 The Vanishing Prairie.)
Also released by Buena Vista is the animated Toot, Whistle, Plunk and Boom, an
educational "Adventures in Music" short. A sequel to Melody, the first "Adventures in Music" cartoon,
Toot, Whistle, Plunk and Boom is a stylized presentation of the evolution of 4 musical instruments over the ages:
the horn ("toot"), the flute ("whistle"), the guitar ("plunk"), and the drum ("boom"). Directed by Ward Kimball and
Charles A. Nichols, it is the first animated cartoon to be filmed and released in widescreen CinemaScope.
The Disneyland television series airs its 3rd episode. The program features James Algar, the
producer-director of Disney's "True-Life Adventures" shorts. A behind-the-scenes look at how the feature-length
Vanishing Prairie was filmed is shown. The Oscar-winning Seal Island (with Winston Hibler) is also featured.
Mickey Mouse Club airs on ABC-TV. Today is Circus Day.
Disney's live-action/adventure feature Third Man on the Mountain, co-starring James
MacArthur, is released. The film, about a young Swiss boy named Rudi Matt (MacArthur) who's anxious to prove himself by climbing an unconquered peak, was shot on location in the Swiss Alps. Featuring spectacular scenery of the Matterhorn, the film has inspired the Disneyland attraction; Matterhorn Bobsleds (already thrilling park guests since June 1959). The cast includes Michael Rennie as Captain John Winter, James Donald as Franz Lerner, and Janet Munro as Lizbeth Hempel.
Disney also releases the 21-minute animated short Noah's Ark (which will be nominated for an Academy Award.)
Disney Legend Jimmie Dodd, best known as the MC of the popular 1950s Disney TV series, the Mickey Mouse Club, as well as the writer of its well-known theme song,
"The Mickey Mouse Club March," passes away at age 54 in Honolulu, Hawaii. The heart
and soul of the Mickey Mouse Club, Dodd often played his famous Mouse-guitar and sang self-composed songs
containing positive messages for kids.
The Annie Awards ceremony, hosted by Leonard Maltin, is held at the Pasadena Center in Pasadena, California. Toy Story takes home 8 awards including one for director John Lasseter and one for songwriter Randy Newman. Among the 3 winners of
the Winsor McCay Award is the late Mary Blair (whose color stylings graced such Disney classics as Peter Pan, Cinderella, and Song of the South).
Phantom of the Megaplex, a Disney Channel Original Movie, first airs. Pete Riley,
a 17-year-old assistant theater manager, has to cope with strange happenings at his megaplex on the night
of a major movie premiere, Midnight Mayhem.
Actress Mackenzie Christine Foy is born in Los Angeles, California. She played the
role of Clara in Disney’s 2018 The Nutcracker and the Four Realms.
The winners of the 29th Annual Annie Awards are announced. Dale Baer wins Outstanding Individual Achievement For Character Animation for Disney's The Emperor's New Groove. David Hartley and Sting
win Outstanding Individual Achievement For A Song In An Animation Production for "Perfect World" from The Emperor's New Groove. Eartha Kitt wins Outstanding Individual Achievement For Voice Acting By A Female
Performer In An Animated Feature Production for her role as Yzma in The Emperor's New Groove.
The Travel Channel airs Great Hotels - Disney's Grand Californian Hotel,
Disneyland Resort hosted by Samantha Brown for the first time.
The first issue of The Incredibles comic book is published by Dark Horse Comics.
The full color 32-page comic is adapted from the Disney-Pixar animated feature. (There will be 4 issues in all.)
Disney Legend Neil Beckett is born in New Zealand. In 1964, he became Disney's sole merchandising representative in his home country.
The drama club at Severna Park High School becomes the
first school in Maryland to perform Disney's High School Musical.
Festival of the Masters - an exhibit of 200 award-winning national and local fine
artists - kicks off at Downtown Disney West Side in Florida. Festival of the Masters is a
nationally recognized art show which is ranked among the country's best outdoor art festivals!
Walt Disney becomes the first honoree of Anaheim's Walk of Fame (which honors
well-known celebrities, athletes and humanitarians who have shaped Anaheim and
Orange County). The ceremony, honoring Walt, takes place under the Disneyland Resort marquee on
Soap opera stars Genie Francis and Anthony Geary appear at the Disney-MGM
Studios in commemoration of the 25th anniversary of the wedding of Luke and Laura
on General Hospital, the most watched television event in daytime history!
After two previous reschedulings, the behind-the-scenes look at the new Disney-
Cameron Mackintosh musical Mary Poppins is broadcast on this evening's edition of
20/20. Bob Brown, a 20/20 correspondent, discusses the journey Mary Poppins has made from book to screen
to stage. (Mary Poppins has been in previews at the New Amsterdam Theatre in New York City since October 14.)
The soundtrack to Disney's animated Aladdin is released on Walt Disney Records.
The album, which will win the Academy Award and Golden Globe Award for Best Original Score, features the
music of Alan Menken (who also produced the collection) and lyrics by Tim Rice. Tracks include
"A Whole New World."
Walt Disney Records releases the soundtrack to Tim Burton's The
Nightmare Before Christmas, featuring 10 songs by Danny Elfman.
Carl Stalling, Walt's first musical
director, was the first music
director to extensively use the
metronome to time film scores.
Stalling is also one of three
composers, along with Max Steiner
and Scott Bradley, credited with
inventing the click track!
ABC's Super Soap Weekend takes place at the Disney-MGM Studios.
This marks the 12th anniversary of the popular 2-day event.
"Where There's Smoke" the 100th episode of That's So Raven debuts on
The Fox Film Corporation releases the musical My Lips Betray (featuring actor
Herman Bing - who will later voice the Ringmaster in Disney's 1941 Dumbo) to
theaters. The first scene shows a portion of the Mickey Mouse short Ye Olden Days on a TV! Disney has
provided the clip for free.
Actor/comedian Josh Peck is born in New York City. Best known for his starring role in the
successful teen sitcom Drake & Josh, Disney fans know him as Robe from the 2001 live-action feature Max Keeble's Big Move. Peck also lent his voice to a 2002 episode of the animated series Fillmore!.
First film distributed by Buena Vista
Actor-comedian Tim Allen (the voice of Buzz Lightyear) and Disney publicist
Charlie Ridgway are among the 9 inducted as Disney Legends. The ceremony is held
in Burbank at the Disney Legends Plaza at the Disney Studio Lot.
As of this day, the Skyway at Disney World's Magic Kingdom is officially closed. A gondola lift attraction, first made popular at Disneyland, it took riders back and forth between Fantasyland and Tomorrowland,
"Why? Because we like you!" -Jimmie Dodd (1910-1964)
Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party is held at the Magic Kingdom
in Florida for the very first time this season. Also debuting is "Totally
Tomorrowland Christmas," a new stage show featuring Pixar characters (which replaces the
annual "Mickey's 'Twas the Night Before Christmas" show which ran at the Galaxy Palace Theater).
Also kicking off at WDW is the Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights over
at Disney's Hollywood Studios.
Disney-Pixar's 2001 Monster, Inc. and 2009 Up are released on DVD and Blu-ray discs. Dug's Special Mission, is included as a bonus on the UP release.
"They (the other movie producers) were all screaming you had to have huge screens, spectaculars…I went out
and shot a little nature film (The Living Desert)…small screen…It was a hit." -Walt Disney
"The thought struck me that if each member
of the orchestra had a steady beat in his ear,
from a telephone receiver, this would solve
the problem. I had exposure sheets for the
films, with the picture broken down frame
by frame, sort of like a script, and twelve of
the film frames went through the projector in a
half second. That gave us a beat." -Stalling
Songwriter Alan Menken receives a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in
a ceremony that takes place near Disney's El Capitan Theatre on
Hollywood Boulevard. He is being honored for his large body of work, which includes the
scores to the animated movies The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin and Pocahontas.
The Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights on the Streets of America at
Disney's Hollywood Studios debuts for the 2011 holiday season.
Anton Van Zyl of Fort Lauderdale and Carrie Majeranowski of Satellite Beach
win their respective divisions on this evening at the Disney Wine & Dine Half
Marathon. Van Zyl completes the 13.1-mile run in 1 hour, 14 minutes, 19 seconds, eight seconds in
front of Rolando Cruz Castro of Hatillo, Puerto Rico. Chad Kreiley of Orlando is the top Central Florida
finisher, placing fifth in 1:18:50. Majeranowski crosses the finish line in 1:27:16, about a minute-and-a-half
in front of Meaghan Munroe of Brookline, Massachusetts.
Pixar's The Good Dinosaur has its premiere in Paris, France.
About an alternate timeline in which Earth was never hit by an asteroid and dinosaurs never
became extinct, the film will be generally released in the U.S. on November 25.
Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party kicks off for the first time this season at Disney
World. The after-hours/extra-ticket event includes a special parade, fireworks and shows with the Magic
Kingdom decked out in holiday finery. New this year is "Mickey's Most Merriest Celebration," a show in which
Mickey Mouse plays host to other characters amid holiday songs and seasonal projections upon Cinderella Castle.
Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party will be held on select evenings through December 22.
Frozen: A Musical Spectacular, a musical stage show inspired by Disney's 2013 animated film Frozen, debuts aboard the Disney Cruise Line ship Disney Wonder.
A version of Frozen: Live at the Hyperion (which first premiered at Disney California Adventure last May), the production is directed by Tony-nominated Liesl Tommy.
Film director Stephen Herek is born in San Antonio, Texas. He became a regular director for
The Walt Disney Company throughout the 1990s, helming The Three Musketeers, the highly successful live-action
remake of 101 Dalmatians starring Glenn Close, and the Eddie Murphy comedy Holy Man, as well as the critically
acclaimed drama Mr. Holland's Opus starring Richard Dreyfuss.
Coco: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack is released on Walt Disney Records.
Actress Heather Matarazzo is born in Oyster Bay, New York. She played Lilly in The Princess Diaries (2001) and The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement (2004).
Actress Ellen Pompeo, best known for her portrayal of the title character Dr. Meredith Grey on ABC-TV's medical drama Grey's Anatomy, is born in Everett, Massachusetts. Gaining worldwide recognition, the role of Doctor Grey earned her a Golden Globe nomination and a Screen Actors Guild Award. She also appeared in Touchstone's 2002 romantic drama Moonlight Mile and supplied the voice for Willow in an episode of the animated Doc McStuffins.
Actress/dancer Jennifer Cody is born in Greece, New York. Her stage career on Broadway included Beauty and the Beast. Cody voiced Charlotte La Bouff in the Disney animated film The Princess and the Frog
(2009), for which she won an Annie Award.
Stand-up comedian and actor Sinbad is born David Adkins in Bent Harbor, Michigan.
His Disney film credits include the comedy Houseguest, the adventure comedy Homeward Bound II: Lost in San Francisco, the slapstick comedy First Kid, and the animated Planes.
The 45th People's Choice Awards are held. Among the winners:
-The Movie of 2019: Avengers Endgame
-The Action Movie of 2019: Avengers Endgame
-The Family Movie of 2019: Aladdin
-The Male Movie Star of 2019: Robert Downey Jr. – Avengers: Endgame
-The Animated Movie Star of 2019: Beyoncé – The Lion King
Activist, libertarian political activist, actor, writer and musician Russell Means is born in Porcupine, Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, South Dakota. He provided the voice of Chief Powhatan in Disney's Pocahontas (1995) and Pocahontas II: Journey to a New World (1998).
Queen Forever, a compilation album by the British rock band Queen is released on Disney's Hollywood Records. The collection features tracks the band had "forgotten about" with vocals from original lead singer Freddie Mercury (who passed away in November 1991).
Film producer and screenwriter Debra Hill is born in Haddonfield, New Jersey.
Her Touchstone/Disney credits include Gross Anatomy (1989) and The Magic World of Disney (1990).
Best known for producing various works of John Carpenter (such as Halloween and Escape from New York),
Hill passed away in 2005 at only age 54.
Film executive, film producer and theatrical producer Peter Schneider is born in Wisconsin. From 1985 to 1999, he served a the president of Disney's feature animation department (which became known as Walt Disney Feature Animation in 1986). Scneider was responsible for helping to turn the feature animation department around and creating some of the most critically acclaimed and highest grossing animated features that Disney released in a period that became known as the "Disney Renaissance." Promoted to studio chief in 1999, Schneider left Disney in 2001 to form his own theater production company. Along with producer Don Hahn, Schneider produced the documentary "Waking Sleeping Beauty" in 2009, which focused on the revival of Disney animation during
the 1980s and early 1990s.
Composer and musical arranger Jeanine Tesori is born in New York. The most prolific and honored female theatrical composer in history, with five Broadway musicals and five Tony Award nominations, her film credits include Disney's Mulan II, Lilo and Stitch II, and The Little Mermaid: Ariel’s Beginning. She also wrote three songs for the 2016 Tokyo DisneySea stage show Out of Shadowland.
Songwriter, multi-media artist, collector, and art director Allee Willis is born in Detroit, Michigan. Her song "Stir It Up" was used in both the 2019 Disneynature film Penguins and Disney's 2005 Chicken Little. Her "Any Fool Can See" can be heard in Disney's 1981 The Devil and Max Devlin. Willis co-wrote such hit songs as "September" and "Boogie Wonderland" (by Earth, Wind & Fire) and "I'll Be There For You" (the theme song to Friends). She was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2018 (the only woman to be inducted that year).
Glenn D. Puder is born in Ottumwa, Iowa. Married to Walt Disney's niece Dorothy Disney (in 1937), Puder was a Presbyterian minister. He appeared in the 1955 television special Dateline: Disney (as he had attended a dedication ceremony at the park). He also received a grateful acknowledgement in the 2001 Walt: The Man Behind the Myth. Both he and his wife were faithful and active supporters of church and humanitarian projects around the world, especially the founding of new Presbyterian churches, notably in Celebration, Florida, near Disney World.
Actress Joanna Moore is born in Parrott, Georgia. Playing in more than eighty television and film roles, she portrayed Desiree de la Roche in Disney's 1963 Son of Flubber. (From 1963 to 1967, she was married to actor Ryan O'Neal.)
Voice actor Trevor Devall is born in Alberta, Canada. Among his best known voice roles is Rocket Raccoon in the animated TV series Guardians of the Galaxy. His Disney credits also include episodes of Sofia the First, Star Wars Rebels, and Avengers Assemble. (Devall is best known for voicing Hot Dog in Krypto the Superdog.)
Both versions of Mulan (the original 1998 animated feature and the 2020 live-action re-make) are released to 4K Blu-ray.