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April 19

April 19, 1998 – The Television Movie My Date with the President’s Daughter Premieres on ABC

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“’Daddy?’ You mean, the President? Of our country?”

On April 19, 1998, the made-for-television movie My Date with the President’s Daughter premiered on ABC’s The Wonderful World of Disney programming block. The movie received mixed reviews from critics and audiences alike. The film was written by William Robertson and Alex Zamm, and was directed by Zamm. It starred Dabney Coleman as President Richmond, Will Friedle as Duncan Fletcher, Elisabeth Harnois as Hallie Richmond, Mimi Kuzyk as Caroline Richmond, Wanda Cannon as Rita Fletcher, and Jay Thomas as Charles Fletcher.

The film begins with teenager Hallie Richmond being woken up early on a Saturday morning to attend another event for her parents, as her father is the President of the United States. She heads into the dining room for breakfast, where her dad is working on a speech about the future of America. Her father is working with his campaign manager, while her mother is working on her schedule as the First Lady. Hallie begs to stay home, but her family needs her there to show that they are a happy family for publicity’s sake. Hallie works up the courage to ask her father to go to the dance at her school, but as it is an election year and he’s about to go campaigning, she will be unable to go. While at an event at a new daycare center, the Vice-President’s son Reid tries to hit on Hallie, but she is rather hostile to his advances. Hallie spots a mall nearby, and decides to slip away to go shopping like a normal teenager for once.

Duncan (center) takes grief from his friends about his magic, as they think no girl would be impressed by it

Duncan (center) takes grief from his friends about his magic, as they think no girl would be impressed by it

In a CD store, Duncan Fletcher starts working on his magic act in front of his friends, who are embarrassed that he would do something like that in public. They think that he could never find a girl for the dance, but Duncan says that he doesn’t even want to go to the dance. When they bet him $50 to find a date, he takes the bet and decides to ask out the next girl he sees. He spots Hallie in a store trying on hats, and is instantly smitten. As he attempts to approach her, but is really shy in talking with her. When she spots some Secret Service agents, she starts to flee. He stops her by asking her to the dance at his school, and as she is unable to go to her own school’s dance, she readily accepts, and tells him to pick her up at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. However, when she asks her father to go, he refuses to let her. She finally lets loose her feelings about her father being president and ruining her life, but her mother asks her step outside for a moment. Her mother fights for her, and her father finally relents, letting her go on her date, although they want to meet him.

Duncan gets ready for his date, while his parents get ready for a party that night. His father won’t let him borrow the company car, but he decides to take it anyway, instead of the family’s station wagon. When he pulls up to the White House, he thinks that Hallie played a practical joke on him, but still goes in, thinking that maybe he got the address wrong somehow. When he goes to security, he’s surprised that he’s allowed in, and even more shocked that she’s the President’s daughter. He’s taken to meet the President, and sits there nervously. The Secret Service gives Duncan a list of places they’re approved to go, with his school not on the list. Duncan is even more shocked when Hallie tells him that they’ll talk about the dance later. The drive on their date is rather uncomfortable, as two Secret Service agents are crammed into the backseat. They head to the movies, and Hallie tells them they need to ditch the agents to get to the dance, and they’re able to make a break for it. As they head to the dance, she asks to stop at a store to get new clothes. The agents soon notice that the couple is missing, and scramble to find them.

The President and the First Lady are alerted to their daughter's disappearance after she slips past the Secret Service

The President and the First Lady are alerted to their daughter’s disappearance after she slips past the Secret Service

The head of the Secret Service soon alerts the President and the First Lady that Hallie and Duncan have slipped past the agents, and the First Lady keeps the President from panicking, although the President asks that Duncan’s parents be brought to the fundraiser. At the clothing store, Duncan waits for Hallie to pick on outfit, and after she picks something, she starts picking out an outfit for him. He uses his father’s credit card to pay for both outfits, and Hallie decides that they should go to Club Alien instead, a new club that just opened. She then asks Duncan to drive his car, and while he is nervous about doing so, she convinces him to let her. Meanwhile, at the Fletcher residence, Duncan’s father notices that the company car is gone just as the Secret Service arrives. While Hallie and Duncan drive, they are harassed by some rednecks. She runs over one of the redneck’s shoes as she drives away, and they park in a parking lot near Club Alien, with Hallie dying to go inside. At the fundraiser, the Fletchers are brought inside, although Mr. Fletcher is not a fan of the President in the slightest. The President asks where they could have gone, and Mr. Fletcher says that Duncan was going to the dance at his high school.

Hallie asks Duncan to dance, but he nervously heads off to the restroom instead. As she waits, she runs into a guy she spotted earlier on a motorcycle, and goes off to dance with him. Duncan calls his friends to let him know that he’s with the President’s daughter, and ups the bet. When he heads back to find Hallie, he sees her dancing with someone else, and drops his keys. He runs across the redneck again, and tells Hallie they need to run. She bumps into Reid, and tries to blow him off. When the rednecks catch up with her, she convinces them that Reid is the guy from the car, and they take him away to beat him up. As they drive away, the couple has a fight, and the car gets a flat tire. Reid, having been beaten to a pulp, is taken back to the fundraiser to talk to the President, giving them Hallie’s location. Duncan’s father storms away to go search for the two, and the President goes with him, giving his own Secret Service detail the slip.

After Duncan fixes the flat tire, he is surprised to find that Hallie has disappeared

After Duncan fixes the flat tire, he is surprised to find that Hallie has disappeared

Duncan manages to fix his flat tire, but Hallie has gone missing. When he asks a nearby homeless man where she’s gone, he finds she’s gone into a nearby pool hall. As he demands Hallie that they go, the men of the pool hall refuse to let her go, and start to beat him up. To get out of his precarious situation, he impresses the group with his magic tricks, and impresses Hallie. They manage to slip out unscathed, and he is flattered that Hallie finds his magic so cool. They then find that the car has been stolen, and she tries to stop him from going to the police to report it. The two people that stole Duncan’s car go on a crime spree, and they pass by Mr. Fletcher and the President. Thinking it’s the two kids, the two men quickly follow them, and are soon pulled over by the police. The President and Mr. Fletcher are arrested and locked up, as the officer doesn’t believe that the President is who he says he is. The two men, however, start to talk and bond over their busy lives and being a parent.

Hallie and Duncan take the bus, and Hallie asks if there’s anything else they could do before they turn themselves in to the police, as she wants to do something normal. He tells her that having a normal life is boring, and she says that she can’t even have a boring moment. The bus passes by the protest at her father’s fundraiser, and Hallie decides she wants to check it out. When one woman is interviewed about why she’s protesting and starts trashing President Richmond, calling him a crook, Hallie defends her father on the news. The agents spot the teenagers and rush out to get them, although Hallie and Duncan make a break for it. The First Lady and Mrs. Fletcher go to the police station to pick up their husbands, and the President decides to go back to the White House to wait for his daughter rather than the fundraiser. Duncan and Hallie end up climbing up to the roof of a building, and Duncan finally admits that he’s not everything he says he is. She admits that she was impressed with how much he wanted to impress her, and apologizes for not being upfront about who she was. The two share a moment together, and dance together when they hear a slow jazz melody play. He still tries to get her to go to the dance, and when he finally reveals the bet, she gets angry and storms off. He follows her, but she is stopped once again by Steve, the guy on the bike from earlier. He offers to take her to a party, and when she sees Duncan, she agrees. Although Duncan warns her not to go with him, she takes off anyway.

After Duncan saves Hallie, the two go to the Lincoln Memorial before parting ways

After Duncan saves Hallie, the two go to the Lincoln Memorial before parting ways

The two people that stole the car are apprehended, and are mistaken as Duncan and Hallie, much to the surprise of the Fletchers and the Richmonds. Hallie arrives at the party at Steve’s place, and is immediately unimpressed. Duncan continues to track down Steve, although he doesn’t have much luck. Steve starts to make the moves on Hallie, but she shuts him down. She asks him to take her home, but he refuses. At the right moment, Duncan arrives to rescue her and take her home. Steve starts a fight with Duncan, and while it looks like Steve will really hurt Duncan, when Steve hurts Hallie, Duncan has a new reserve to fight back, and knocks out Steve with one punch. She takes Steve’s bike and crashes it before they leave and head back to the White House. The pair watches the sunrise from the Lincoln Memorial, and realize that the two actually like each other as they share a kiss. Hallie heads home on her own, and the President dismisses his men to deal with Hallie on his own terms. He gives her a hug and accepts her apology, although she is still going to be punished for her actions.

Duncan and his father pick up the car from the impound lot, with Duncan being grounded indefinitely. Mr. Fletcher tells him that he wants to spend more time with him, but crashes the car when he finds out about Duncan using his credit card. The next school day, Duncan pays his friends for the bet, and while they don’t believe what he actually did that Saturday night, he tells them he doesn’t care. While in class, he gets a visit from the Secret Service, and everyone watches as he is taken to see the President. Duncan tries to take the blame for the date, but the President tells him that Hallie told him everything, and thanks him sincerely for saving Hallie from Steve. He then gives Duncan permission to date Hallie, and then asks for a favor: Mr. Fletcher’s dad’s boss is going to play golf with the President, effectively giving Mr. Fletcher a promotion. Duncan later goes to pick up Hallie for a date, and they’re followed by a Secret Service detail that includes four SUVs and a helicopter.

April 18

April 18, 2002 – The Attraction Primeval Whirl Opens in Walt Disney World’s Animal Kingdom

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“Spin and slide on a time-machine coaster back to the dinosaur age through a madcap maze of curves and drops.”

On April 18. 2002, the thrill-ride attraction Primeval Whirl opened in Walt Disney World’s Animal Kingdom, in the Chester & Hester’s Dino-Rama amusement park area. The ride is a rollercoaster with a time-machine feel, taking guests back to the time of dinosaurs. The ride has many twists and turns, but is safe for younger children.

April 17

April 17, 1937 – The Mickey Mouse Short Film Mickey’s Amateurs is Released to Theaters

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“It busted!”

On April 17, 1937, the Mickey Mouse short film Mickey’s Amateurs was released to theaters. The film had several directors, as Walt wanted to bring in some new talents; it was directed by storymen Pinto Colvig, Walt Pfeiffer, and Ed Penner.

The short opens with Pete singing loudly (and rather badly) into a microphone before being yanked off the stage. Mickey, as the emcee, thanks Pete, and gets set to announce the next guest when Donald steps on the stage and offers Mickey an apple. Donald then starts reciting the poem “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star,” but Mickey soon pushes him near the microphone. As Donald starts reciting the poem, he forgets the words, making the audience laugh. When he tries again, and forgets once more, Mickey bangs the gong, and Donald is dragged off stage. As Mickey gets ready to announce the next guest, Donald runs back on stage and takes back his apple.

The Two Claras walk daintily on to the stage when announced by Mickey

The Two Claras walk daintily on to the stage when announced by Mickey

Mickey then announces the next act of The Two Claras: Cluck and Belle. Clarabelle Cow sits at the piano while Clara Cluck readies herself at the microphone. Clara waits for her rather long intro to end, and start clucking operatically into the mic. The mic starts moving around thanks to Clara’s clucking, and she does her best to follow it. They finish their piece, and are met with applause. Mickey then moves to the next guest, when a mysterious portly figure enters holding a violin case. The mysterious person removes his disguise, revealing Donald Duck, who pulls a gun from his violin case, and tries to recite the poem again while pointing the gun at the audience. When he, once again, forgets the words, the audience laughs, and Donald sets off the gun, with bullets flying everywhere, until he is thrown into the violin case and pulled off stage. After this, Mickey announces Grandmaster Goofy, who has brought a motorized one-man-band. He plays a sentimental sort of piece, but when he tries to play something more upbeat, the machine starts going out of control before breaking apart. Goofy laughs sheepishly as he sits among the ruins of his contraption, when Donald bursts out of his hat and recites his entire poem at a breakneck speed.

April 16

April 16, 1931 – The Silly Symphony Mother Goose Melodies is Released to Theaters

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“Oh, I’m King Cole, I’m a merry old soul, and a merry old soul am I, ha ha ha!”

On April 16, 1931, the Silly Symphony Mother Goose Melodies was released to theaters. The short is based on the Mother Goose nursery rhymes, which dates all the way back to the 16th century. The short also features a cameo by Clarabelle Cow. It was directed by Burt Gillett.

The short opens with a parade dedicated to Old King Cole, with a turtle rolling out a carpet for the very portly king. He sits in his throne and, in a variation of the nursery rhyme, he calls for his pipe, his book, and his fiddlers three, who happen to be the Three Blind Mice. Mother Goose pops out of her book and starts dancing with her goose before they go into the story of Little Miss Muffett. Little Miss Muffett is scared off by the spider, who finishes the contents of her bowl, but crashes into it when he tries to haul it up a tree. This is followed by Jack and Jill, who run up a hill and meet Simple Simon, who scares them when he reveals bats flying out from under his hat and pulls an octopus out of his fishing bucket. The children are scared so much that they end up rolling down the hill, their bucket landing on Mother Goose’s pet goose’s head.

Humpty Dumpty laughs at the goose, unaware of his own pending misfortune

Humpty Dumpty laughs at the goose, unaware of his own pending misfortune

The page in the book then turns to Humpty Dumpty, who laughs at the misfortune of the goose, who takes the bucket and knocks Humpty Dumpty off the wall. Little Jack Horner sings his poem about pulling out his plum from his pie, his voice changing when he announces what a big boy he is. The plum, however, is a blackbird, who flies about and lets all the other birds out of the pie. Suddenly, Little Bo Peep is seen weeping, as she has lost her sheep. Little Boy Blue is seen snoring in the fields, and wakes up to blow his horn, bringing Bo Peep’s sheep back to her. One lamb falls into the mud and turns black, and “Baa Baa Black Sheep” is heard in the background. The lamb starts skipping about, and slips out of the grasp of the goose, who tries to put it back in the book. Lastly, the King is entertained by Hey Diddle Diddle, with all the animals in the rhyme playing a merry tune. All the characters escape the book and begin to dance, including King Cole.

April 15

April 15, 1962 – The Disneyland Anthology Episode “Disneyland After Dark” Premieres on Television

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“You are all cordially invited to stay and join the fun in Disneyland, after dark.”

On April 15, 1962, the episode of Disneyland anthology series entitled “Disneyland After Dark” premiered on NBC. The show hadn’t been set in Disneyland for a few years at this point, and to generate interest, Walt and his creative team tried to show viewers what the park was like at nighttime, bringing a few special guests along the way. The episode was popular enough that it was shown as a short subject in theaters overseas. Guest stars include the Osmond Brothers (in their first television appearance), teen idol Bobby Rydell, Mouseketeers Bobby Burgess and Annette Funicello, and jazz legends Louis Armstrong, Kid Ory, and Johnny St. Cyr. The episode was written by Larry Clemmons, and was directed by Hamilton S. Luske and William Beaudine.

It’s the end of the day at Disneyland, and the monorail heads back to the Disneyland Hotel, where guests are invited to experience Disneyland, after dark. The guests step out at Tomorrowland station, where Walt is waiting at the Magic Kingdom. He explains how sundown is his favorite time of day at the park, as a new type of magic takes over once it gets dark. He explains a few of the events that will be shown that night, when a girl comes by and asks him for an autograph. He obliges, and a few other people come by for his autograph, until he’s bombarded. He tells the audience to head off without him, and he’ll catch up later. The sky darkens, and the park comes alive with lights and excitement. The Dapper Dans sing on Main Street, surrounded by guests. After the Dapper Dans, the audience meets with Walt again, who introduces Annette, Bobby Burgess, and Bobby Rydell, who are in Tomorrowland, dancing, with Annette and Rydell announced to sing for the audience.

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The fireworks show is held at Sleeping Beauty’s castle, mesmerizing the guests

Everyone is asked to turn towards Sleeping Beauty’s Castle, where a fireworks show is being performed with several characters showing up, including the Three Little Pigs, Alice and the Mad Hatter, and of course, Mickey and Minnie. Tinkerbell starts flying over the park from the Matterhorn, and sets off the celebration. Walt is then seen again, still surrounded by autograph seekers, and he points out a Tahitian floor show being performed with several energetic Tahitian dancers, including a fire knife dancer. They then have a performer do the Tahitian Fire Walk, an important ritual that surprises many an audience member. Afterwards, Walt is seen again, surrounded by autograph hounds, and he introduces the jazz performers on the Mark Twain. The original girl that started off the chain of autograph seekers (and who stole Walt’s popcorn) returns, bringing him back his popcorn. He promises to catch up with the audience later, as two children stop to ask him to sign their maps.

The Mark Twain Riverboat stops by, with jazz music playing merrily from inside. She sails down the river, with guests and enjoying the entertainment, while the waiters dance. Louis Armstrong then sings a song for the crowd, before being given his horn to play. Armstrong reminisces with Kid Ory and Johnny St. Cyr before launching into another tune, much to the audience’s delight. Meanwhile, Walt is still signing, this time at the Plaza Gardens, where the place is “jumping” as he puts it. The main girl comes back with several hats for him to sign, but brings him a hat just for him to wear as thanks. At the Plaza Gardens, the Osmond Brothers are brought to the stage to sing for the audience. After their performance, the audience gets up to dance once again. After dancing, they bring out vocalist Tony Perez and they have the audience sing along with him. Walt greets the audience one last time, wishing them goodnight before leaving to get ready for the morning – his other favorite time of day at Disneyland.

April 14

April 14, 1936 – The Silly Symphony Three Little Wolves is Released to Theaters

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“Someday, the Wolf will get you, then you’ll be in a fix. You’ll blow that horn and I won’t come – I’ll think it’s one of your tricks!”

On April 14, 1936, the Silly Symphony Three Little Wolves was released to theaters. It was the third short in the Three Little Pigs series, and contained a veiled warning about the threat of Nazi Germany, which was growing in power in Europe at the time. The film was not as successful as the first short in the series, though it had moderate success, and Walt would continuously say “you can’t top pigs with pigs.” The short was directed by Dave Hand.

At the Big Bad Wolf’s house, he teaches his three children about the prime parts of a pig, with the three wolves using their slingshots to throw rocks at him. They mock him when he threatens to blow their ears off, as they don’t think much of him since he lost to the three little pigs. Meanwhile, Fifer and Fiddler are playing and skipping about when they see the wolf alarm their brother has tacked up. Although it says “for emergency use only,” the two decide to play a prank on their brother, who runs up to them with a gun when he hears the horn. He is angered by their prank, and goes back to work, although Fiddler and Fifer fall over in hysterical laughter. As they laugh, they don’t notice the small pack of wolves heading their way.

Fiddler and Fifer look around for "Little Bo Peep's" missing sheep

Fiddler and Fifer look around for “Little Bo Peep’s” missing sheep

The Big Bad Wolf disguises himself as Little Bo Peep, claiming he’s lost his sheep, and Fiddler and Fifer kindly offer to help search for the missing sheep. The little wolves are dressed as little sheep, and when Fiddler and Fifer go to round them up, they are lead straight to the Wolves’ residence. The Big Bad Wolf locks the door and swallows the key, leaving the two little pigs trapped. Still holding the horn, they blow it loudly while being chased by the three little wolves. Hearing the horn, Practical Pig starts to chase after them but, thinking it another prank, decides to ignore it. The two little pigs come up with a plan to have one of the little wolves blow the horn loudly, and the Big Bad Wolf takes it upon himself to blow the horn loudly. Finally convinced, Practical Pig heads to the Wolf’s house with his new invention, the Wolf Pacifier. The Big Bag Wolf gets caught in the contraption, and his kids can only watch as their father gets tarred and feathered before being shot out of a cannon.

April 13

April 13, 2011 – The Television Comedy Happy Endings Premieres on ABC

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“Dave, I’m sorry, I can’t do this.”

On April 13, 2011, the television comedy Happy Endings premiered on ABC. As a mid-season replacement. The show is about six friends trying to navigate their lives after the disastrous breakup of couple Dave and Alex. Although receiving negative reviews from its conception, the reviews quickly started to warm, with the third and final season receiving critical acclaim. However, due to low rating s thanks to irregular scheduling, the show was canceled after 57 episodes. The series was created by David Caspe, and starred Eliza Coupe as Jane, Elisha Cuthbert as Alex, Zachary Knighton as Dave, Adam Pally as Max, Damon Wayans, Jr. as Brad, and Casey Wilson as Penny.

The episode begins at the wedding of Dave and Alex, with the wedding interrupted by a strange man yelling out that he loves Alex before coming in on rollerblades to whisk her away. Alex quickly whispers to Dave that she’s sorry before fleeing the church with the stranger, leaving Dave standing there in confusion. The bridesmaids and groomsmen gather at the local bar afterwards and discuss how terrible this event was, with Dave’s friend Brad and his wife Jane (also Alex’s sister) discussing their pregnancy plans. Dave texts bridesmaid and friend Penny that he’s “good in the hood,” causing the entire group to cringe, and groomsman Max proposes a toast as this will be the last time they will all be together. Jane predicts that a week later, they’ll all be back at the church and laughing about the whole ordeal while Dave and Alex get married. One week later, however, Dave is curled up on the couch, crying. Jane, Penny, Brad, and Max stop by to check on him, and they’re concerned about how he is. Max wants to take him out to meet a new girl, but Dave refuses to go, reassuring them that he’ll be fine. Brad breaks the news that Alex went on the honeymoon with the roller-blade guy, so Alex agrees to go out with his friends.

The group watches in horror as Dave tries to get over Alex by dancing with a girl at the club

The group watches in horror as Dave tries to get over Alex by dancing with a girl at the club

The group watches as Dave dances with a girl in the club, and they are concerned with his behavior. The next morning, Alex shows up at his apartment to talk, but he refuses to talk to her. She tries to apologize, but he won’t hear it. She claims that Beau – the man on the rollerblades – was just someone she flirted with a bit at the office, and she didn’t know why he’s think she’d run away with him, but Dave replies it was because she did run away with Beau. She says she didn’t run away with Beau, she just ran away. When Dave claims that Alex is the only girl he ever even liked, the girl he danced with at the club walks out, naked, asking if he’d seen her tongue ring. Later, Alex goes to the gym with Penny and Jane, asking them why they let Dave go home with a girl from the club. Penny warns Alex that the dating scene has changed massively in the last ten years, and she better be ready. Jane asks Penny to talk to Dave at Penny’s party, but Alex asks if she can skip the party instead.

Max has offered to move in as Dave’s new roommate, and he and Brad ask if Dave will attend Penny’s party. Dave replies that of course he will, and will handle himself like an adult. He shows up at the party with the girl from the club, named Jackie, and uses her to make Alex jealous. Penny shows up to her celebration with her new boyfriend, who Max instantly pegs as gay. Penny scoffs, saying she would know if her boyfriend was gay, to which Max retorts that Penny had no idea he was gay when they dated in college. Brad shows up with balloons celebrating Penny’s 30th (although she claims she’s 26), and Jackie lets slip that she’s still in high school. The dinner is a silent affair, but when the conversation starts, it’s rather strained, until Dave gives a speech about how dating is a lot of work, and everyone’s secrets come out in the open. Jane blames Alex for ruining her life and destroying their friendships, and the party ends in a shambles, which leaves only Dave and Alex at the table. The next morning Max, Penny, Jane, and Brad sit around a table at a diner eating breakfast, and muse on the events of the party. They realize they need to choose between Dave or Alex, until they are surprised with the two of them walking into the diner together. They’ve agreed to be friends, with Alex wanting to keep the group together more than anything. They sit and enjoy Penny’s birthday cake, with Dave and Alex sharing a smile across the table.

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