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August 25

August 25, 1923 – Walt Disney Writes Letter About Establishing a New Cartoon Studio

WDC

“…I am establishing a studio in Los Angeles for the purpose of producing the new and novel series of cartoons I have previously written about.”

On August 25, 1923, Walt Disney sent a letter to distributor Margaret Winkler stating his intentions of establishing a new cartoon studio, particularly for the development of the series that would go on to be the Alice Comedies. Walt’s other studio, Laugh-O-gram Films, was floundering after not even being open for a year, and in serious danger of going belly-up. During this time, he was inspired by the Out of the Inkwell series of cartoons of an animated character in the world, and started developing the idea of the Alice Comedies. He had written Winkler once he had established the idea and, while she showed interest in distribution, Walt’s funds dried up after the film was only half completed. Eventually, he had no choice but to declare bankruptcy and went out West to Los Angeles. After looking around Los Angeles for directing gigs, he concluded that he would have to break into the industry with his cartoons; he then printed special stationary bearing the title of “Walt Disney, Cartoonist,” and declared his intentions in a letter to Winkler about establishing a new cartoon studio to work on the Alice Comedy “Alice’s Wonderland.” The gamble paid off, and on October 15, 1923, Winkler sent him a telegram with the offer of a contract. The Disney Studio was officially created the next day, October 16, 1923.

August 24

August 24, 2014 – Newsies Has its Final Performance on Broadway

Newsies

“From our first performance, we have been humbled by the spontaneous and genuine outpouring of affection from fans and the theatre community alike.” – President and Producer for Disney Theatrical Productions Thomas Schumacher

On August 24, 2014, the Broadway musical Newsies had its final performance, capping a successful two and a half year run with  1,004 performances. The show was profitable for Disney, recouping its $5 million investment in the first seven months of the show’s run; Disney had a strong need to recover after the disappointments of Tarzan and The Little Mermaid, and went on to win two Tony Awards: Best Score and Best Choreography. Although the Broadway show came to an end, the national tour would launch later that year in October. At the production’s end, the show featured Corey Cott as Jack Kelly, John Dossett as Joseph Pulitzer, Liana Hunt as Katherine Plumber, Ben Fankhauser as Davey, Chapathia Jenkins as Medda, Andy Richardson as Crutchie, and Luca Padovan and Zachary Unger as alternating actors for Les.

August 23

August 23, 2004 – The Post Office in Marceline, Missouri, is Renamed the Walt Disney Post Office

WDPO

On August 23, 2004, the post office in Marceline, Missouri (known officially as Walt’s hometown) was officially renamed the Walt Disney Post Office. The proposal for the renaming had been introduced in front of the House Committee on Government Reform on April 3, 2003, and after passing through several committees, it was approved by unanimous consent by the United States Senate on October 29, 2003. This is the only federal building to bear Walt’s name. The post office also has the distinction of being the spot where, in 1968, the Walt Disney commemorative stamp was released along with a ceremony featuring many of Walt’s family and admirers.

August 22

August 22, 1927 – The Final Alice Comedy Alice in the Big League Premieres in Theaters

AliceInTheBigLeague

On August 22, 1927, the 57th and final Alice Comedy, Alice in the Big League, was released to theaters. It starred Lois Hardwick as the fourth and final actress to play Alice. By the time this short film was released, it had become apparent to Walt, as well as his distributor Charles Mintz, that the Alice Comedies had run their course, with Alice not serving well as a comedic figure and Julius the cat providing most of the comedic intrigue; Walt was also working with Ub Iwerks on the first cartoon of what would become Oswald the Lucky Rabbit. While Alice in the Big League is not a lost cartoon, it has not been released on home video.

August 21

August 21, 2007 – The Muppet Mobile Labs Interactive Audio-Animatronic Premieres at Epcot

MML

“Now, before we continue this conversation, let me just activate the Hob Knob.”

On August 21, 2007, almost six months after its California debut, the interactive audio-animatronic Muppet Mobile Lab made its debut in Walt Disney World’s Epcot park. Featuring the characters Dr. Bunsen Honeydew and assistant Beaker, the audio-animatronic went around the park freely, interacting with guests as they entertained the crowd with their best Muppet jokes and puns. The new feature was part of a test-run by the Disney Imagineers to create more characters that could interact with the guests as they mill about the various parks.

August 20

August 20, 1928 – The Last Disney Oswald the Lucky Rabbit Short Film Hot Dog Premiered in Theaters

Oswald Hot Dog

On August 20, 1928, the final Disney created Oswald the Lucky Rabbit short film, Hot Dog, was released to theaters. The short film marked the end of the working relationship between Charles Mintz and Walt Disney, with Disney losing the character to Mintz after refusing to resign with a 20% cut in profits; this would ultimately lead to the creation of Mickey Mouse. The film has since become a lost cartoon, with only the title card and a storyboard page surviving.

August 19

August 19, 2001 – The Timekeeper Attraction Reopens Seasonally

The Timekeeper

“For your safety, I’ve invented rails for you to lean on. I call them, ‘lean rails.’ Please do not sit on the lean rails because…they’re there to lean on.”

On August 19, 2001, the Tomorrowland attraction The Timekeeper was reopened, this time on a seasonal basis. The attraction, originally closed on April 29, 2001, was reopened while many other Tomorrowland attractions were undergoing refurbishments. The attraction opened during the late summer and stayed open through most of September, operating on this seasonal basis before it closed for good on February 26, 2006, after its final show on December 31, 2005.

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