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Monthly Archives: March 2013

March 24

March 24, 2006 – The Disney Channel Original Series Hannah Montana Debuts

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“You get the best of both worlds; chill it out, take it slow, then you rock out the show.”

On March 24, 2006, the Disney Channel Original Series Hannah Montana made its television debut with the first episode, “Lilly, Do You Want to Know a Secret?” The series tells the story of a girl named Miley Stewart, who lives an alternate life as teen music sensation Hannah Montana, and how she tries to juggle both lives without the public knowing her real identity. The series became wildly popular, launching lead actress Miley Cyrus into a household name. It ran for four seasons, and spawned two films and several soundtracks; the series was also nominated for several awards during its run, including a Primetime Emmy nomination for Outstanding Children’s Program. The series was created by Michael Poryes, Rich Correll, and Barry O’Brien, and stars Miley Cyrus as Miley Stewart, Emily Osment as Lilly Truscott, Mitchell Musson as Oliver Oken, Jason Earles as Jackson Stewart, and Billy Ray Cyrus as Robby Stewart.

The first episode begins with a clip of Hannah’s live show, singing her new song “This is the Life.” Miley, as Hannah, is then seen at home with her father, Robby, celebrating the success of her sold-out tour. Miley’s friend Lilly calls, and Miley must change quickly out of her “Hannah Montana” disguise (sporting a blonde wig) before Lilly arrives. Miley’s older brother, Jackson, warns her that Lilly, as her best friend, should know the truth, but Miley refuses to tell her. When Lilly arrives, she brags that she got two tickets to the Hannah Montana concert, and when she invites Miley, Miley can only look at Lilly in horror.

Lilly is trying to convince Miley to go to the Hannah Montana concert with her, but Miley continues to refuse

Lilly is trying to convince Miley to go to the Hannah Montana concert with her, but Miley continues to refuse

At school, Lilly asks why Miley won’t attend the concert with her, Miley keeps making excuses. The subject is soon changed when Miley’s crush, Johnny Collins, stops by. Lilly tells Miley that this is her chance to talk to him, but Miley is rather nervous, until Lilly gives Miley her “lucky bracelet.” Just as Miley and Lilly are about to sit by Johnny in the cafeteria, the seats are intercepted by two other girls. The two go off to their own table, and Lilly returns to the Hannah Montana concert, with Miley telling Lilly that she doesn’t like Hannah Montana. Their friend Oliver arrives, and along with Lilly, berates Miley for not liking the pop star. Lilly once again pleads for Miley to go, and Oliver accidentally blurts out loudly that Lilly has an extra ticket, creating a mob scene in the school cafeteria. When Miley gets home, she complains to her father that if the kids were to find out she were Hannah Montana, she wouldn’t be able to be Miley anymore, and she’s worried that Lilly wouldn’t treat her the same anymore. Her father advises her to tell her best friend, but Miley refuses.

At her concert, her crush Johnny shows up backstage, and she gives him an autograph. Her father congratulates her on a good job, and after he goes to check on the limo, the dressing room window opens, and Lilly sneaks into the room. Lilly freaks out when Miley enters the room, still as Hannah Montana. In a desperate attempt to keep her identity hidden, Miley sticks her face into a cream pie and tries to keep hidden. When Lilly attempts to call Miley, Miley discourages her, but to no avail, and her cell phone goes off. Fortunately, Lilly just thinks it’s a coincidence. Oliver then appears at the window, but quickly falls from the window. When Miley tries to send Lilly away, Lilly spots the bracelet she gave Miley, and the truth comes out.

Miley explains to Lilly that she wanted to tell her, but Lilly is still mad that Miley kept it a secret in the first place

Miley explains to Lilly that she wanted to tell her, but Lilly is still mad that Miley kept it a secret in the first place

Initially, Lilly is mad at Miley for not telling her, and Miley tries to make up for it. She tells her that she wanted to tell her, but was worried that Lilly wouldn’t like Miley anymore. She promises to not keep secrets from Lilly anymore, and shows Lilly her secret “Hannah Montana” closet. Lilly then wants to show off Miley’s success to the people at school, but Miley tells her that no one can know. Lilly claims that Miley is being selfish for not saying anything, and Miley is furious, thinking that she couldn’t trust Lilly after all. When she talks to her father, he tries to reassure her that things will be okay with time, but Miley is unsure. The next day, Lilly shows up again at Miley’s, and tries to apologize for her reaction to Miley’s secret. She says that she wouldn’t tell Miley’s secret because Miley is her best friend. Miley forgives her, and the two are best friends again.

March 23

March 23, 1951 – The Goofy Short Film Home Made Home is Released to Theaters

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“Since the beginning of time, man has been possessed with the desire to have a roof over his head.”

On March 23, 1951, the Goofy short film Home Made Home was released to theaters. It was directed by Jack Kinney, with story by Milt Schaffer and Dick Kinney.

On the top of a hill, Goofy is seen building the frame of a house, sawing one side of a board. He realizes that if he keeps sitting on the side he’s cutting off, he’ll fall, so he quickly changes, only to fall anyway. He then pulls out his blueprints, only to be completely rolled up inside and tangled in them. He tries to nail the blueprints down, but the sheets just tear up the boards and trap him again. He then uses a level on a board, and has a hard time keeping it straight, although he does find a trio of goldfish residing inside.

Goofy carefully carries a sheet of plate glass, with humorous results

Goofy carefully carries a sheet of plate glass, with humorous results

Goofy pulls out a sheet of plate glass, and slips on a banana, on a pipe, and on a board, but the glass miraculously stays intact and places itself in the window frame. It moves around when he accidentally touches it, and it finally breaks when he walks right through it after he thinks he’s cleaned it. Goofy then tries to paint the house, with paint buckets open everywhere. He gets in a battle with the spray painter, which attacks him like a snake, spraying him with as much paint as possible, sending Goofy running all over the house. Once the house is completely covered in yellow paint, Goofy looks up to see that his house is complete, but as he lays down the welcome mat, with his neighbors arriving to welcome him, the house completely falls apart.

March 22

March 22, 1909 – Animator, Member of Disney’s Nine Old Men, and Disney Legend Milt Kahl is Born

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“I don’t think it’s possible to be a top notch animator without being a very excellent draftsman. You have to be able to draw these characters in order to move them around and articulate them. There’s no way of doing it unless you draw very well.”

On March 22, 1909, animator Milton Erwin Kahl was born in San Francisco, California. At the age of 16, Kahl dropped out of high school to help provide for his family, and was hired by the Oakland Post Enquirer in the art department. After three years there, Kahl then got a job at the San Francisco bulletin, but was laid off when the Great Depression hit. He was able to find some work as a commercial artist and began to take art classes to improve his work. In late 1933, as he was struggling once again to find work in commercial art, a friend from the Oakland Post Enquirer, future Disney Legend Ham Luske, recommended that he apply to work at the Disney studios. Kahl was hired on June 25, 1934. with his first important animation assignment being the 1936 Mickey Mouse short film Mickey’s Circus. He was then assigned to animate the animals in the full-length animated feature Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, along with Eric Larson among others.

Kahl’s talents shone in the next film, Pinocchio, when the staff of the studio were having problems trying to create the title character in terms of personality and overall design. “They were thinking in terms of a puppet all the time, naturally, because he was a puppet,” Kahl said. “And I was very critical of what they had. So I did a test scene where Pinocchio had donkey ears and a tail and was down on the sea bottom…and I handled it not thinking of so much as a puppet, as just a little boy. Walt liked it, so that became the model.” This way of thinking helped reshape the character and restart production, and Kahl was given the plumb role of directing animator on Pinocchio once he comes to life. This role also established Kahl as one of the top animators at the studio.

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Kahl’s role grew, as he was considered one of the best draftsmen in the studio. Although his skills were being recognized before the outbreak of World War II, some of his best work was during the wartime period, including the film Saludos Amigos and the short films Education for Death and Tiger Trouble. After the war, Kahl was responsible for the final design of characters, and was given the task of animating non-comic characters, including Alice from Alice in Wonderland, Peter Pan and Wendy from Peter Pan, and the princes in Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty, with John Canemaker, author and film historian, noting that Kahl was “always stuck with the princes.” Although Kahl would complain of being “saddled” with these characters, he was secretly proud of his ability to bring these characters to life. Other highlights of Kahl’s career were the animation of character interactions in The Sword in the Stone (which Kahl considered “one hell of a picture”) and the character of Sher Kahn in The Jungle Book. His last work for the studio was animating Medusa and Snoops for the film The Rescuers, and left on April 30, 1970, although he did do a few character designs for The Black Cauldron. On April 19, 1987, Kahl passed away of pancreatic cancer. He was inducted into the Disney Legends in 1989. In 2009, the Academy of Motion Pictures held a panel to celebrate the centennial of Kahl’s life where animators Brad Bird, Andreas Deja, Ron Clements, John Musker, and Floyd Norman, as well as voice actress Kathryn Beaumont, celebrated his style and influence in the shaping of many Disney classics.

March 21

March 21, 1952 – The Chip ‘n’ Dale Short Film Two Chips and a Miss is Released to Theaters

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“Little boy, with your cute little ways I am yours, for the rest of my days.”

On March 21, 1952, the Chip ‘n’ Dale short film Two Chips and a Miss was released to theaters. It was the second of three shorts made for the Chip ‘n’ Dale series. The song that Clarice sings is “My Destiny” by Bill Eckstine, a famous balladeer in the era of swing music. The short was directed by Jack Hannah, with story by Nick George and Bill Berg

In the middle of Central Park, Chip and Dale are preparing for bed, scoffing at the noisy nightlife of the city, claiming it’s not for them. As the two settle down for the night, Chip secretly pulls out a note from under his pillow from a girl named Clarice. Chip waits for Dale to fall asleep and gets ready for his date once Dale sleepwalks out of their home. Unbeknownst to Chip, Dale is also preparing for a date with Clarice. The two make their way to the Acorn Club, and head straight to Clarice’s dressing room to give her a bouquet of flowers. There, the two discover that they are chasing the same girl, and begin to fight over her.

Chip and Dale compete musically for Clarice's attention before settling on serenading her with a duet

Chip and Dale compete musically for Clarice’s attention before settling on serenading her with a duet

Clarice seems to find the fighting over her amusing more than anything, and is soon called to the stage to perform her song. The pair go crazy over her performance, and continue to try and outdo the other for her attention. At one point, Chip falls over the piano while trying to catch a flower Clarice threw to the duo, but brightens when he realizes he can help her performance. She is delighted by his playing, and Dale is jealous until he plays a nearby cello. The two begin to duel musically, much to Clarice’s delight, and she gives them both a kiss. Smitten, the two begin to serenade her with a duet. The short ends with Clarice tricking the two into kissing each other when they try to reach for her.

March 20

March 20, 2012 – The Muppets Receive a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame

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“They call this the street of dreams, and that’s so appropriate for the Muppets. You see, from the very beginning, the Muppets have always been about having big dreams and making them come true, usually in the most unexpected and inspiring manner.” – Lisa Henson

On March 20, 2012, the Muppets were awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in front of the El Capitan Theater in Los Angeles, California. On hand for the ceremony was Rich Ross, then-President of the Walt Disney Studios; Lisa and Brian Henson, the daughter and son of late Muppets creator Jim Henson; several Muppeteers; and Muppets Kermit, Miss Piggy, Fozzie Bear, Gonzo, Pepe, and Walter from the 2011 film The Muppets. The award coincided with the release of The Muppets on DVD and Blu-Ray. This is the fourth star overall awarded to the Muppets and Jim Henson: Henson was awarded posthumously on September 24, 1991; Big Bird from Sesame Street was inducted on April 21, 1994; and Kermit the Frog was inducted on November 14, 2002.

March 19

March 19, 1948 – The Mickey Mouse Short Film Mickey Down Under Premieres in Theaters

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“Well…cheerio!”

On March 19, 1948, the Mickey Mouse short film Mickey Down Under premiered in theaters. It was directed by Charles Nichols, with story by MacDonald MacPherson and Jack Huber.

Mickey is seen throwing a boomerang around in the bush of Australia, whistling a merry tune. When Pluto points to a bunch of bananas, Mickey then uses the boomerang to chop off a banana, but when Mickey reaches for it, Pluto immediately gulps it down. The boomerang flies back and startles Pluto, and Mickey has to calm him down. Mickey then shows his prowess with the tool, but it gets stuck in his shirt. When Mickey gets it free, it flies off as if it has a mind of its own, and Pluto hunts it as if it were dangerous prey. Pluto continues to chase it through the bush, and gets it stuck in his mouth, which twists his lips and cheeks into humorous poses.

Mickey comes face to face with the angry emu when he tries to take the emu's egg

Mickey comes face to face with the angry emu when he tries to take the emu’s egg

As Mickey searches for Pluto and the boomerang, he discovers an emu egg. He doesn’t realize, however, that he is standing underneath the emu, and decides to take the egg. When he looks up, he sees how angry the emu is, and nervously puts the egg back, hoping the emu won’t hurt him. He then tries to polish the egg, and accidentally hits the emu in the head with his handkerchief. The emu tries to claw him with his feet, but Mickey avoids the emu for the time being. He calls out for Pluto, who is still struggling with the boomerang, and the boomerang sends him flying into the emu, tying the bird up in knots. Although Mickey is grateful for Pluto’s help, he has to make a run for it when the boomerang decides to chase Mickey and Pluto through the bush.

March 18

March 18, 2000 – The Disney Channel Original Movie Alley Cats Strike! Premieres

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“Then there’s school. You see Todd McLemore? You know, the one with the winning smile? This is his world, the world of serious athletics, the world I’ll never understand. And you’ve got to figure it’s always going to be that way.”

On March 18, 2000, the Disney Channel Original Movie Alley Cats Strike! premiered. The film was written by Gregory K. Pincus, and was directed by Rod Daniel. It stars Kyle Schmid as Alex Thompson, Robert Ri’chard as Todd McLemore, Kaley Cuoco as Elisa Bowers, Mimi Paley as Delia Graci, Joey Wilcots as Ken Long, Matt McCoy as Kevin Thompson, and Tim Reid as Mayor Jeff McLemore.

The movie begins with teenagers Alex, Ken, Elisa, and Delia heading to Alex’s father’s bowling alley for a few frames before school after eating at Nancy’s Old Fashioned Diner. The four love the style and the music of the ’50s and ’60s, and are considered outcasts at their school, West Appleton High. As Alex narrates the story, he points out the most popular kid in school, Todd McLemore, and how he dislikes the excessive attention paid to serious athletics. There are two schools in the district – West Appleton Jr. High and East Appleton Jr. High – who compete over a trophy known as the Mighty Apple. Since the two high schools will be integrated next year, only one school will be known as the better of the two, and it’s on Todd’s shoulders to bring the Mighty Apple to stay at West Appleton.

Alex and the gang spend another late night at the bowling alley, avoiding the basketball game everyone else is attending

Alex and the gang spend another late night at the bowling alley, avoiding the basketball game everyone else is attending

Alex and his friends spend a late night at the bowling alley, with Alex and his father both concerned that no one wants to come bowl. Meanwhile, West Appleton wins the game, tying up the fight for the Mighty Apple. Todd’s father, Mayor Jeff McLemore, is excited about his son and the chance for West Appleton to be victorious over East, but is soon fretting over the sport that East Appleton has picked for the tiebreaker: bowling. When McLemore goes to see the bowling team, it consists of Alex and his friends, but everyone is soon surprised to find that Todd McLemore is signed up on the team list. Todd himself is shocked, but finds out that his friends signed him up in the beginning of the year as a joke. Although Todd greatly dislikes Alex and bowling, he is more concerned with keeping the Mighty Apple at West Appleton. However, his first attempt at bowling is a disaster, and Alex and his friends are unimpressed with his attitude about it.

Alex and Elisa walk home, with Elisa a bit nervous about the pressure. It is obvious that the two like each other. Todd tells his friends that he is certain he will win the apple for West Appleton, and gives the same speech to his father, acting like it’s no big deal. As he continues to practice, he doesn’t improve, and ends up throwing the ball like a baseball, sending it flying across the lanes. Thanks to his pride, he also rebuffs any help Elisa, Delia, and Alex offer him. Todd claims that they all need an attitude check; Alex says that Todd needs to actually learn how to bowl first. Todd finally agrees to listen to Alex and learn how to bowl properly, and Alex is invited to a party at a popular girl’s house by being associated with Todd. Todd is uncomfortable at the party, and heads to Elisa’s after it ends, where she excitedly shows him her scores for the day. She worries that she may lose Alex to the popular crowd, but he tells her not to worry, as it was only one party.

Alex and Todd spy on the East Appleton team, and are shocked to see how good they are

Alex and Todd spy on the East Appleton team, and are shocked to see how good they are

Todd decides after practice one day to go spy on East Appleton’s team, and surprisingly, Alex decides to join him. The two are shocked to find that the East’s team is surprisingly good, and coached by Whipsaw McGraw, a well-known pro bowler. Although Todd is discouraged, Alex offers to teach Todd in the mornings before school. Todd then comes up with a plan to create a party night to save the struggling alley, making the alley the place to be. While Alex reluctantly helps, he is still upset with the idea of changing the alley. Alex’s father tells him that change isn’t necessarily a bad thing, and if it will save the alley, it’s a good thing. While working toward the championship and saving the alley, Alex and Todd start to develop a strong friendship. However, Todd clashes with Alex’s friends, claiming that they have the wrong attitude when it comes to the championship. Entranced by all that Todd experiences, and getting a bit of that fame himself, Alex begins to abandon his friends.

The bowling alley is set up for a party night, and Todd brings everyone in town to bowl. While Elisa, Ken, and Delia are happy that the alley is getting some customers, they dislike how it’s changed, and are disappointed to see that Alex is trying to become like Todd. At the end of the evening, as Alex takes the trash out, he overhears Todd’s friends talking about how they can’t wait until the whole thing is over, as they dislike Alex and want to stop pretending he’s cool. Alex is hurt by this, as he liked being accepted by the other kids for once. The next day, Alex loses his focus, and doesn’t realize that his friends have begun to dislike him as well. Todd then reveals that Mayor McLemore has upped the ante, with the winning team picking the name for the new school. Angry about everything, Alex quits the team and walks away.

The Alley Cats, fully united, enter the bowling alley for the chance to win the Mighty Apple

The Alley Cats, fully united, enter the bowling alley for the chance to win the Mighty Apple

The match quickly approaches, and the team hasn’t been able to talk to Alex. Elisa and Ken are still annoyed with Todd’s attitude, but Todd apologizes and lets them know that win or lose, they will get their proper credit for a good game. Todd then goes to Alex’s house to talk with him, and admits that bowling is fun, and he wouldn’t want to continue without Alex being there. He then presents Alex with their new bowling uniforms, which Alex accepts. Todd makes Alex promise that whenever he should bowl again, he should just have fun. The day of the match arrives, and the West Appleton team waits anxiously for Alex to show. They are thrilled when Alex decides to compete, and the match gets underway. The teams are closely matched throughout the game, but Alex realizes that they could win the game if he gets three strikes. The player on the East team would need three strikes to keep the lead. When he does, Todd finds that he only needs a spare to give West Appleton the victory. Unfortunately, he gets a seven-ten split, and knows he can’t make the shot. Delia, who didn’t want to bowl, is confident that she can make the shot, and is substituted in for him.

Delia, a math genius, quickly calculates in her head the perfect angle and rotation needed to make the shot, and the ball makes its way slowly down the lane, with everyone watching anxiously. The ball hits one pin, and rotates it enough that it knocks down the other, giving West Appleton the victory. Todd then tells his father that he enjoys the fun of bowling rather than the pressure of winning, and the team should decide what to name the school, which they call “Appleton Central.” The movie ends with everyone enjoying their time at the bowling alley, with swing music playing in the background.