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Monthly Archives: June 2012

June 20

June 20, 1936 – The Mickey Mouse Short Film Mickey’s Rival Premieres in Theaters

“Mickey, I want you to meet Mortimer. He’s a perfect dream!”

On June 20, 1936, the Mickey Mouse short film Mickey’s Rival was released to theaters. The short was directed by Wilfred Jackson, and starred Walt Disney as the voice of Mickey and Marcellite Garner as the voice of Minnie. Oddly enough, Mortimer was the first name suggested for the character of Mickey Mouse, before Walt’s wife Lillian suggested the change to Mickey.

Mickey and Minnie are setting up a picnic, when something zooms down the country road, blowing away everything in its path, including Mickey and the picnic. As the blur slows down, we see that it’s a mouse in a car, and the mouse calls out to Minnie, calling her his “old sweetie.” He quickly reverses, crushing Mickey’s car into a tree, climbs out, and jauntily makes his way over to Minnie.

Minnie, charmed by her former flame, introduces him to Mickey

Minnie smiles and gives a fond hello to her old flame, Mortimer Mouse, who seems to be charming her once again. Minnie introduces him to Mickey, who is not charmed in the slightest, and is rather annoyed at this visitor. When Mortimer gives Mickey his hand to shake, Mickey is not amused to see that he’s fallen victim to a practical joke, as the arm he was shaking was a fake one Mortimer stuffed up his sleeve. Mortimer continues to play pranks on Mickey, with Mickey getting more and more frustrated. Mickey’s car is also experiencing some bullying by Mortimer’s car, and leaps away in fright when Mortimer’s car honks angrily.

Minnie and Mickey continue their picnic, with Mortimer as the guest, although Mickey isn’t too pleased with the situation, especially as Minnie begins to feed Mortimer. Mortimer makes a quick meal of Mickey’s food, then spots a bull in a nearby pen. He declares that he will fight the bull in Minnie’s honor, grabbing the red picnic blanket and shoving Mickey nose-first into his cup of coffee. Mortimer stands outside the pen and waves the blanket, with the bull charging head-first into the fence.

Mickey is not amused by Mortimer’s antics, nor is he pleased by Minnie’s swooning

As Mortimer continues to taunt the bull, Minnie turns to Mickey and asks if Mortimer isn’t just swell, to which Mickey sarcastically retorts that the mouse is a scream before breaking his mug and walking away. Minnie replies that he’s just jealous, and continues to cheer Mortimer on while Mickey walks off and pouts. Mortimer, however, doesn’t realize that the bullpen’s gate has been left open; when he goes to taunt the bull again, the bull rushes straight after him, and Mortimer makes a run for it into his car and speeds away as fast as he can, leaving Minnie draped in the red blanket as the bull charges for her.

When Mickey sees Minnie in danger, he runs after the bull as fast as possible and stops him, while Minnie scrambles up a tree. As the bull charges again, he knocks Minnie from her perch, but Mickey distracts the creature while Minnie escapes again. Mickey taunts the bull, and his car eventually comes to the rescue, driving the bull away. The couple are finally able to escape in the car, but Mickey is still fuming about Mortimer. He asks Minnie if she still thinks Mortimer is funny, to which she replies with a firm “No.” The two are happy together once again as they drive back home.

June 19

June 19, 1998 – The 36th Animated Feature, Mulan, is Released to Theaters

“A single grain of rice can tip the scale. One man may mean the difference between victory and defeat.”

On June 19, 1998, the animated feature Mulan was released to theaters. The story was based on a 2,000-year-old Chinese folktale, and a select group of Disney artistic supervisors spent a three-week trip in China to study the culture and landscape. It was the first feature film to be predominantly produced at the Disney Feature Animation Studio in Walt Disney World, Florida. The film was directed by Barry Cook and Tony Bancroft, and stars Ming-Na Wen as Mulan, with Lea Salonga providing Mulan’s singing voice, B.D. Wong as Shang, Donny Osmond as Shang’s singing voice, Eddie Murphy as Mushu, Miguel Ferrer as Shan-Yu, and Harvey Fierstein as Yao. The film is also notable for its casting choices overseas, namely Jackie Chan playing the role of Shang in the Chinese version.

The movie begins with an attack on the Great Wall of China by the Hun Army. One brave solider lights the signal, then tells Shan-Yu, head of the Hun Army, “Now all of China knows you’re here.” Shan-Yu smiles evilly, takes the flag of the Emperor, burns it, and says simply, “Perfect.” The Emperor declares that troops are needed to protect his people, and sends out a message for new recruits. Mulan, the main character, is then seen writing words on her arm while eating her breakfast before realizing she’s late for her morning chores. Her father is seen praying to the ancestors to help Mulan impress the matchmaker.

Mulan steps forward, begging the Imperial Army to spare her injured father

Mulan hurries into town, with her mother watching anxiously for her arrival. When Mulan arrives, there’s a great many things that need to be done to get her ready to see the matchmaker. She’s rather nervous, and worried about bringing her family honor. Unfortunately, Mulan starts off on the wrong foot with the matchmaker, and she only stumbles into more problems, concluding with her setting the matchmaker on fire. The matchmaker declares, in front of the entire village, that Mulan will never bring her family honor. At home, her father cheers her up by letting her know that the late-blooming blossom will be the most beautiful of them all. Soon after, the Emperor’s declaration that one man from every family must serve in the Imperial Army is announced, and Mulan’s father, who was injured the last time the Emperor needed soldiers, decides to go to battle. Mulan shames her father by asking for her father to be spared. Knowing her father will never survive if he goes, Mulan steals his armor and takes his place, riding off to the Imperial Army’s camp, even though she knows if she is discovered, she will certainly be killed.

The Fa family’s ancestors awaken, deciding which guardian should go to protect her. Mushu, a dragon that used to be a guardian but was demoted for his bad service, has to go awaken the Great Stone Dragon, but accidentally destroys it. Fooling the family into thinking it’s awakened, Mushu meets up with a cricket (one that the grandmother declared lucky), who tells him that they should go and rescue Mulan. Thinking it’s a good way to get back in the ancestors’ good graces, Mushu decides to make Mulan a war hero. Mulan isn’t so convinced that “a little lizard” can protect her, but Mushu convinces her that he can do the job. When they enter the camp, however, Mushu proves himself to be more of a problem than a help; Mulan ends up getting the entire camp in trouble.

Shang’s troops make a grim discovery as they go through the pass

Shang trains his troops diligently, although the men are rather green to begin, and he reaches the conclusion at one point that Mulan (going under the name Ping) should go home. Determined to stay, Mulan proves her worth, and soon, the whole team is battle-ready. Mulan makes friends with Yao, Ling, and Chien-Po, who become her closest comrades. Mushu pretends to be an officer and gets the team sent out to meet the other Imperial Army troops. When they get to the pass, they find that the village there has been obliterated, including the Imperial Army section led by Shang’s father, the general. They then are caught in a surprise attack by the Huns, but Mulan saves the day by crushing the Hun Army with an avalanche. After she saves Shang from the fast-approaching snow, he realizes she’s been injured in her dealings with Shan-Yu, and a medical tent is set up for her. Unfortunately, her secret is discovered, and Shang is forced to kill her. He decides to spare her life, as she had saved his, and his debt has been repaid. Mulan is then deserted in the pass as the Army moves to the Imperial City.

As Mulan is left behind with her horse, Mushu, and the cricket, the four make the startling discovery that members of the Hun Army are still alive, including Shan-Yu, and are on their way to kill the Emperor. Mulan goes after them to warn Shang, but no one will listen to a woman. When the Huns surprise everyone with a sneak attack and kidnap the Emperor, Shang and his men are at a loss at what to do, but Mulan comes up with a plan: Ling, Chien-Po, and Yao dress up as concubines to infiltrate the palace. Shang joins their plan to help Mulan, and a fight ensues, with Mulan battling one-on-one with Shan-Yu. She manages to defeat and kill him with Mushu’s help, using the fireworks for the ceremony. The Emperor emerges, declaring, “I’ve heard a great deal about you, Fa Mulan. You stole your father’s armor, ran away from home, impersonated a soldier, deceived your commanding officer, dishonored the Chinese army, destroyed my palace, and…you have saved us all.” He gives her the sword of Shan-Yu and the crest of the Emperor in honor of her brave deeds, and everyone in attendance bows in respect. As Mulan leaves, Shang tries to say something profound, but can only say, “You fight good.” Disappointed, but relieved to go home, Mulan decides to return to her family. The Emperor tells Shang off for letting her go, telling him that “you don’t meet a girl like that every dynasty.”

The ancestors watch as all is well with the Fa family

Mulan arrives home with trepidation, unsure at what her father’s reaction will be. He embraces her, just glad to see her home alive. Her grandmother isn’t so happy, wondering why her granddaughter couldn’t bring home a man, when Shang appears, looking for Mulan, under the guise of trying to return her helmet. Mulan asks if he would like to stay for dinner, and a romance appears to bloom between the two. Mushu is reinstated as a guardian, and all the ancestors wake up for a celebration.

June 18

June 18, 1988 – Mickey’s Birthdayland Opens in Walt Disney World

Image Credit: lostepcot.com

“All aboard for Birthdayland!”

On June 18, 1988, the Mickey’s Birthdayland area opened in the Magic Kingdom area of Walt Disney World. The area was created to celebrate the 60th birthday of Mickey Mouse, and closed on April 22, 1990. Thinking that there should be something to celebrate the birthday of everyone’s favorite mouse, Disney executives decided on short notice to create the town. After Birthdayland closed, the area was redesigned as Mickey’s Starland (opening on May 26, 1990), and then evolved into Mickey’s Toontown Fair in 1996, which eventually closed on February 11, 2011, as expansions to Fantasyland were taking place.

Mickey’s Birthdayland Area had many interesting facets, one being the inclusion of the town of Duckburg, and a statue of Duckburg’s founder, Cornelius Coot. There was a train station along the route of the area to help bring in guests from Main Street Station, a petting farm called Grandma Duck’s Farm, a live show with Disney characters, and even Mickey Mouse’s house. One of the major attractions was in Grandma Duck’s farm: a cow named Minnie Moo, who had a Mickey Mouse head mark on one side of her body.

June 17

June 17, 2008 – Toy Story Midway Mania Opens at Disney’s California Adventure

Image credit: Official Disneyland Website

 “Andy’s got some new games and the toys are taking over!”

 On June 17, 2008, the Toy Story Midway Mania attraction opened in Disneyland’s California Adventure Park in the Paradise Pier area. This was the first time that an attraction was designed and built at both American parks simultaneously. It is one of the most technologically sophisticated attractions built by Disney Imagineers: guests never have the same ride twice due to the nature of the attraction.

Guests wear 3-D glasses and travel through environments based on carnival midway games. There are five games in total in this attraction. After a practice game, where guests practice how to shoot with Woody and Rex, guests participate in “Hamm & Eggs” hosted by Hamm, followed by “Rex and Trixie’s Dino Darts,” “Green Army Men Shooting Camp,” “Buzz Lightyear’s Flying Tossers,” and “Woody’s Rootin’ Tootin’ Shootin’ Gallery.” There are also chances for guests to unlock “Easter eggs,” which reveal new targets for more points. The attraction is also notable for the Audio-Animatronic Mr. Potato Head, voiced by Don Rickles; the character is one of the most sophisticated in terms of technology, as it is able to identify people in the audience, sing, and tell jokes.

June 16

June 16, 1934 – The Mickey Mouse Short Film Mickey’s Steam Roller is Released to Theaters

“Oh, lookee! There’s Uncle Mickey! Yoo-hoo!”

On June 16, 1934, the Mickey Mouse short film Mickey’s Steam Roller was released to theaters. The short was directed by David Hand, and stars Walt Disney as the voice of Mickey Mouse and Marcellite Garner as the voice of Minnie Mouse.

A construction crew is working on a main street, and all the workers wave at the steam roller as it passes by. As it turns a corner, Mickey is seen driving the steam roller, waving back at the crew as he chugs along. Coming the other direction is Minnie Mouse, pushing a stroller that contains Mickey’s two nephews playing patty cake. The two begin punching each other, but when Minnie chastises them, they kiss each other on the cheek and make up, but attempt to fight again when Minnie’s back is turned. She then spots their Uncle Mickey, and all three give a little wave.

Mickey and Minnie flirt with a game involving the phrases written on candy hearts

Mickey pulls up beside them, and the kids cry out that they want “to ride choo-choo,” so Mickey attaches a hook to their stroller, pulls Minnie into the steam roller cab, and takes the kids for a ride, pretending they’ve become part of a train. After a short ride, he pulls the train to a stop and asks Minnie if she would like some candy. When she says yes, he pulls out a candy heart that has “I love you” written on it. He then pulls out another one that says “Kiss me” and asks her to read it out loud. When she does, he moves in on her, but she escapes his clutches, and their flirting continues, with Mickey chasing her down the street.

The nephews, seeing an opportunity, decide to climb into the steam roller and take it for a joyride. The steam roller runs faster than they thought, however, and they cling to the inside, while Mickey and Minnie run after them. The two nephews begin to have fun with it, with one bouncing on clouds from the stovepipe. Mickey attempts to rescue them by tying a rope to the steam roller, with the other end attached to a lamppost. Unfortunately, the lamppost isn’t strong enough, and Mickey is taken with it while it starts to drag the string of lamps down the street.

Mickey runs for his life as he is suddenly pursued by the steamroller

One of the nephews cuts the rope with a heated rod, and Mickey scrambles to stop them, ending up being chased by the steam roller down a steep hill. He finally takes refuge in a hotel, and the steam roller ends up crashing into it, knocking the building into oblivion. In the end, Mickey is just relieved to see that his nephews are all right, as they begin to see-saw on a plank of wood that landed on Mickey’s head.

June 15

June 15, 2001 – The 41st Animated Feature, Atlantis: The Lost Empire, is Released in Theaters Nationwide

“I will find Atlantis on my own, even if I have to rent a rowboat!”

On June 15, 2001, the animated feature film Atlantis: The Lost Empire was released in theaters nationwide after a premiere at the El Capitan Theater in Hollywood, California. The film was directed by Gary Trousdale and Kirk Wise, with story by Tab Murphy, Gary Trousdale, Kirk Wise, Bryce Zabel, and Jackie Zabel, with treatment by Joss Whedon. It starred the vocal talents of Michael J. Fox as Milo Thatch, Cree Summer as Kida, James Garner as Commander Rourke, Corey Burton as Mole, Claudia Christian as Lieutenant Sinclair, John Mahoney as Preston B. Whitmore, Phil Morris as Professor Sweet, Leonard Nimoy as the King of Atlantis, Jacqueline Obradors as Audrey, Florence Stanley as Wilhelmina Packard, and Jim Varney as Cookie (this was Varney’s last role before his death in 2000). The film did moderately well at the box office, grossing over $186 million worldwide; however, due to the less-than-expected box office, Disney canceled plans for a spin-off television show and a remake of the Submarine Voyage attraction based on the film. It has since become a cult classic among fans for its comic-like animation style.

The film begins with an introduction on how the city of Atlantis was destroyed. The scene then fast-forwards to 1914, at the Smithsonian Museum, where Milo Thatch, cartographer and linguist, is presenting his proposal on finding the lost city and its fabled power source, and bringing it back to the surface. He declares that the team must go to Iceland to find what’s known as the “Shepherd’s Journal,” a book that details a first-hand account of the fabled city. As it turns out, Milo has not been presenting to anyone, but has been practicing his proposal. When he finally tries to present his proposal, the board refuses to believe him, and warns him not to give up a promising career to chase a fairy tale.

Milo looks at the photo of his grandfather and the crew that helped bring back the Shepherd’s Journal from Iceland

Disheartened, Milo arrives home to find waiting in his apartment Helga Sinclair, who gives him an offer he can’t possibly refuse from her employer, Preston B. Whitmore: a chance to find the lost city of Atlantis. Whitmore was a friend of Milo’s grandfather, who gave Whitmore the Shepherd’s Journal before he died, so Whitmore could pass it to Milo when he was ready. He provides Milo a crew and everything necessary for the journey. Soon, they’re loading the ship and are on their way, with Milo meeting the team that helped bring the journal back in the first place. After a series of tunnels and encounters with terrifying mechanical creatures who destroy the ship, the crew uses an escape pod to reach the ancient city.

Milo, injured in the last mishap, is found by a mysterious young woman who heals his injury. After determining that they speak English, the young woman, Kida, insists that Milo be taken to meet her father, the King. The King is not happy to see visitors, as the law states that they cannot see the city and live. Commander Rourke, the leader of the expedition, asks for at least one night in the city so they can resupply, and the King agrees with apprehension. Milo is then asked to get close to Kida, as she wishes to use the visitors to help her people. She then shows Milo all around the city, while asking questions about the world above. When she discovers he can read Atlantian, she asks him for help to translate a mural she found, which would explain the star she saw when her mother was killed in the flood that seemingly destroyed the city.

Kida is chosen by the power source to help protect the city

Unbeknownst to Milo, Captain Rourke and his crew have plans of his own that are unsavory: they wish to capture the Heart of Atlantis, which is the power source of the city, and the star Kida saw as a girl. They capture Kida and threaten to kill her unless Milo helps them get what they want. Discovering its hiding place, Rourke, Sinclair, Kida, and Milo enter the cavern. The crystal around Kida’s neck reacts to the power source, and she ends up possessed, floating in the air to meet the light. As the two meet, the source begins to glow brighter, and Kida has become the power source herself. Rourke locks her up, taking her away to be sold to the highest bidder on the surface. As they prepare to leave, members of the crew begin to take Milo’s side, as they believe that what Rourke plans to do is wrong, and they all remain in Atlantis; the whole city begins to die now that the power source is gone. The King, right before he dies, begs Milo to save Kida, who will be lost to the power source forever if Milo doesn’t get to her in time.

Milo and a group of Atlantian soldiers go after Rourke, and after a fierce battle inside the volcano, the mercenaries are defeated, and Rourke is killed by Milo when struck with a crystal shard that has been in contact with the power source. Due to the destruction, the volcano erupts, and Milo and his team scramble to escape. When the lava threatens to destroy the city, Kida emerges, still part of the crystal, and protects the city with a force field. Kida is then released from her bond with the power source, returning to Milo.

The crew, Milo, and Kida take one last picture together before the crew heads for the surface

The crew returns to the surface, sans Milo, loaded down with lots of ancient treasures. As they meet with Whitmore, all of the crew now very wealthy, he makes them promise to never reveal that they found Atlantis. Milo, who has fallen in love with Kida, decides to remain, and the pair try to rebuild the ancient glory of Atlantis.

June 14

June 14, 1959 –Vice-President Richard M. Nixon and Family Dedicate the Monorail at Disneyland

“On the gala celebration of the completion of the project, the Richard Nixon family were on hand to snip the ribbon. Here we were with our monorail, the forerunner of rapid transit of the future, all checked out and ready to go, but somebody forgot to check out the scissors.” – Walt Disney, Disneyland 10th Anniversary Special.

On June 14, 1959, the Monorail was dedicated at Disneyland by Vice-President Richard M. Nixon and his family, with his daughters Tricia and Julie using oversized scissors to cut the ribbon. The scissors, unfortunately, would not cut the ribbon, but with a quick tear, the ride was dedicated and ready to set off. This was Nixon’s second visit to Disneyland; his first visit was shortly after the park was first opened.

The Monorail had been part of an expansion project for the park, which included such attractions as the Matterhorn. Originally known as the Disneyland-Alweg Monorail system (Alweg was the name of the German transportation company that aided in its creation), the Monorail has the distinction of being the first daily operating monorail in the United States. At first, it only traveled around Tomorrowland, but the track was expanded to the Disneyland Hotel in 1961. The ride has been expanded many times over the years, with the Mark III trains added to the ride in 1968, and Mark V trains added between the years 1986 to 1988 (the Mark IV trains were added to the Walt Disney World Resort). The most recent updates to the ride were the refurbishments of the trains beginning in 2007 and ending in 2009. Disney had envisioned the Monorail as a form of public transport in the future, but as his idea came around the time America was becoming more enamored with the automobile, the ride remained in Disney Parks.

June 13

June 13, 1931 – The Mickey Mouse Short The Delivery Boy is Released to Theaters

“In the shade of the old apple tree…”

On June 13, 1931, the Mickey Mouse short film The Delivery Boy was released to theaters. The short was directed by Burt Gillett, and starred the vocals of Walt Disney as Mickey Mouse and Marcellite Garner as Minnie Mouse.

Mickey is seen sitting uncomfortably on an express wagon filled with various musical instruments, with Pluto running alongside excitedly. Mickey is sitting on the keys of a piano, playing a song as he bounces down the path. He stops the wagon as he spies Minnie Mouse, who is doing a load of laundry and singing to herself. Mickey jumps into her yard, with Minnie unaware that he’s been watching her. Unfortunately for her, a goat has been eating her clothes as she wrings them out, and she ends up fighting the goat for her girdle.

Mickey breaks the washtub after Minnie catches on to his jape, and the two begin to dance

Mickey comes up with a plan to greet Minnie: he ties one end of her bloomers on the laundry line closed, then leaps in and pushes himself as if he were in a boat. He begins to sing behind her, and hides in the bloomers when she turns around. He then pulls on her tail and plays it like a guitar string, but she catches on this time that he’s in the bloomers. She pulls him over on top of the tub and opens the closed end, making Mickey fall and break the washtub. The two then begin to dance to an upbeat song, and although Mickey ends up crashing into a tree, they continue to dance happily.

Pluto, meanwhile, has wandered into a puddle of tar, immediately getting stuck. He tries to pull himself out, but only seems to make his situation worse. While they dance, Minnie gives Mickey a kiss, and he leaps around giddily, ending up punching a beehive as if it were a punching bag before returning her kiss, then leaping away giddily again. He kicks the beehive in the end, which lands on his donkey’s tail, and the bees sting the beast, making it kick the wagon fill of instruments.

The pair has a very flirtatious conversation as Minnie coaxes him to play the piano

Most of the instruments land in a nearby farm, on the animals’ heads, and the piano lands near Mickey and Minnie. Minnie responds with glee, and asks Mickey if he can play. He responds modestly, and she eggs him on to play something. The two continue flirting, with Mickey saying he has to be coaxed to play the piano. Minnie responds with a smile that she’s coaxing him. He begins to play “Stars and Stripes Forever,” with Minnie joining him, and the two make it a jazzy duet where there share a kiss at the end.

All the farm animals join in on their rendition with the instruments that landed in their barnyard, and Mickey begins to join the barnyard animals in their playing while Minnie carries on with the piano. Pluto, on the other hand, has gotten himself out of the tar, and passes signs that say “Danger! Blasting!” “Achtung! Dynamite!” “Peligro! T.N.T!” and various other languages. But Pluto pays them no mind, and stumbles upon two men lighting a stick of dynamite and throwing it away. Thinking they want to play fetch, Pluto runs after the stick and brings it back. The men dive into a barrel of tar as they try to avoid the blast.

Mickey is oblivious to the surprise his dog has brought him as he continues to play and sing with Minnie and his donkey

As everyone continues dancing merrily, Pluto brings the stick of dynamite to Mickey, who doesn’t notice what Pluto’s brought him. Pluto begins to chew on the stick, but gets distracted by a pack of fleas that have fled from the scene. Suddenly, the dynamite goes off, sending Mickey, Minnie, and the donkey flying sky high. Fortunately, they all land safely and continue dancing.

June 12

June 12, 1928 – Disney Legend and Songwriter Richard M. Sherman is Born

“I was all of seventeen in a terrible, terrible depression, and I decided to take a walk. And as I walked, I was hearing music, and I was wondering, ‘Where is this music coming from?’ And I realized it was coming from my own head. So I darted back to the apartment where we had a little piano, and started picking it out on the piano. There was this feeling I had. I’d never done that before…and my father said, ‘What are you doing here? What is this?’ and I said, ‘This is something I felt, I had to say it. This is what I feel.’” – Richard M. Sherman

Born on June 12, 1928, Richard M. Sherman was the youngest son of Rosa and Al Sherman, the latter a songwriter in what was known as “Tin Pan Alley,” an area in New York City that published popular music that dominated the market from the late 19th century to the early 20th century. The Shermans moved to Beverly Hills, California, in 1937. Richard’s interest in music developed in school, where he studied several instruments, including the flute, the clarinet, the piccolo, and the piano.

In 1958, Richard teamed up with his brother Robert, writing the song “Tall Paul” for Disney star Annette Funicello. It was a top-ten hit, eventually peaking at #7 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, which caught the attention of Walt Disney. He contacted the Sherman Brothers and hired them to write for the Disney Studios as staff songwriters. The brothers wrote several songs for Disneyland, including their most well-known song “it’s a small world (after all).” They reached their greatest success with the film Mary Poppins, writing the hits “Feed the Birds,” “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious,” and the Oscar winning “Chim Chim Cher-ee.” The brothers worked for Walt Disney until his death in 1966, and left the company in 1982 after writing songs for Epcot.

Richard playing one of his compositions in the documentary The Boys: The Sherman Brothers Story

The brothers worked on many projects outside of Disney, including the songs for the film Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and Charlotte’s Web, as well as the hit song “You’re Sixteen,” notable for being a Top Ten hit twice, first by Johnny Burnette in 1960 and Ringo Starr in 1973. Although the brothers had their greatest successes as a team, individually they have contributed greatly to the fields of music and literature. Richard released a CD in 2010 called “Forgotten Dreams,” a compilation of his piano compositions. One of his compositions, titled, “Make Way for Tomorrow Today,” was used in the movie Iron Man 2. The brothers were honored in 1990 as Disney Legends, and were awarded the National Medal of Arts in 2008. As Richard once put it, “We both really didn’t necessarily want to be songwriters. What I wanted to be was a great symphonic composer.” The brothers’ life story was chronicled in the 2009 documentary The Boys: The Sherman Brothers’ Story, which told the tale of how they ended up bound together and delighted the children of the world with their fantastical songs.

June 11

June 11, 2007 – The Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage Attraction Opens

Image Credit: Official Disneyland Website

“Immerse yourself in the world of Disney-Pixar’s Finding Nemo on this fascinating submarine voyage!”

On June 11, 2007, the Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage attraction opened at Tomorrowland in Disneyland. It is a redesign of the Submarine Voyage attraction, which closed in 1998. Guests board the Nautical Exploration and Marine Observation Institute’s research submarine (known as N.E.M.O.), and are able to look out portholes to see a newly erupting volcano and a stunning underwater environment. One of the first views that will delight fans of the movie Finding Nemo is the dentist’s niece Darla swimming around in the coral, holding a baggie containing a fish.

In 1998, after the original Submarine Voyage was closed, it was reported by Paul Pressler, Disneyland’s president at the time, that the ride would be redone with a new theme by 2003. After the box-office failure of Atlantis: The Lost Empire, plans to use that film as the theme were shelved. The success of the Pixar film allowed the attraction to be rebuilt with the Finding Nemo theme.

There’s something for guests above and below the water. Under, guests can put on “sonar headphones,” giving them the ability to hear the fish chatter among themselves, especially as the guests follow Marlin on his search to find Nemo. Onshore, the seagulls from the movie perch on a nearby buoy, shouting their familiar call of “Mine! Mine! Mine!” Guests can also watch the voyage on the “SubCam,” manned by a member of the N.E.M.O. Institute.