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Monthly Archives: June 2013

June 30

June 30, 1931 – The Silly Symphony The Busy Beavers is Released to Theaters


On June 30, 1931, the Silly Symphony The Busy Beavers was released to theaters. It was directed by Wilfred Jackson.

A group of beavers are diligently working together to build their dam, dancing while they work. As one gathers twigs, he accidentally disturbs a moose, thinking the antlers are twigs to use. Others mix up mud for use, while others use whatever they have on hand to create this dam. Two beavers go around chopping down trees marked for use, and when a pair of caterpillars find that their home has been marked, they quickly remove the “X,” leaving their home unscathed.

A storm quickly approaches, and the beavers scramble for cover in their dam. One little beaver, on his way home, finds a leak in the dam. He goes to plug the leak, when another one appears, followed by more. He is unable to cover them all with his own hands, and starts crying out for more help. A raincloud appears over the dam and dumps its contents into the mountains, with the water taking out everything in its path, including the recent work done by the beavers. As the animals try to scramble to safety, the young beaver quickly cuts down a large tree to stop the flow of the water. He achieves the feat, but is seemingly killed in the process. However, he appears from the top of the tree, unscathed, and is regarded as a hero for saving the day.


June 29

June 29, 1945 – The Donald Duck Short Film Donald’s Crime is Released to Theaters


“Gotta date with Daisy, Daisy, Daisy…she’s my sweetie gal!”

On June 29, 1945, the Donald Duck short film Donald’s Crime was released to theaters. The film was nominated for an Academy Award, but lost to the Tom and Jerry short film Quiet Please! It was directed by Jack King, with story by Ralph Wright.

Donald is excitedly preparing for his date with Daisy, when he realizes at the last minute that he’s broke. He spies his nephews’ piggy bank sitting on the table, and hears a voice telling him that it’s the answer to his problem. He tries to resist, knowing it would be wrong, but the voice keeps telling him that no one will know, and he should take it. He gives in to temptation, just as his nephews start playing around his feet. They ask him what he’s doing, and he demands that they go to bed as he tries to hide the piggy bank. They quickly run upstairs, saying their prayers for Daisy and Uncle Donald before they fall asleep.

Donald breaks out his tools to try and get the money while leaving the bank in one piece

Donald breaks out his tools to try and get the money while leaving the bank in one piece

Donald uses every tool he can to get the money out of the bank, but the bank breaks, leaving him with all of the money. He suddenly hears the nephews calling for him, and he runs upstairs, sweating with guilt. He thinks they are on to him, until he hears them ask for a kiss goodnight. He feels like a skunk for stealing their money, but soon forgets it as he takes Daisy out for a night on the town. After he brings Daisy home, he floats away on a cloud after she give him a kiss goodnight and calls him a big shot. The voice he heard before boosts his ego, before bringing back all of the guilt from before. The guilt gets the best of him as he starts to act like he’s a gangster, with the police after him wherever he goes.

He runs around town before spotting his own face on a wanted poster, with a reward of $100, dead or alive. As he pulls the poster from the post, another one is posted behind it, with the reward increasing to $500. The more he pulls the posters, the higher the reward, until the zeros start to circle around. He flees again and ends up in a blind alley, and thinks he’s in jail, pulling on the bars of the door in front of him, when a sign falls on his head. He looks up to see that he’s at the service entrance of a café, and there is help wanted inside. He decides to take up the job and pay back the money for the nephews. However, when he finds he’s paid them one nickel too many, the nephews spot him trying to get the money out, and they throw a tantrum while he fidgets nervously.

June 28

June 28, 1957 – The First Date Nite in Disneyland Event is Held

Date Nite

“Let’s dance at Disneyland! Date Nites are late nights at Disneyland!”

On June 28, 1957, the first Date Nite in Disneyland event was held in the Carnation Plaza Gardens. The park’s hours were extended until 1 AM on Fridays and Saturdays during the summer season, and couples would come in to dance the night away with some of the best names in entertainment. Several bands were invited to play in sections of the park, including The Elliott Brothers, who headlined at the Plaza Gardens. The Golden Horseshoe Saloon was also featured as a venue for dancing, as was the Space Bar in Tomorrowland. In 1958, an album by the Elliot Brothers called “Date Night at Disneyland,” which featured recordings of the band playing popular songs of the time that would have been played during the event, including a track called “Let’s Dance at Disneyland.”

June 27

June 27, 2006 – Tarzan – The Broadway Musical Original Broadway Cast Recording is Released Through Walt Disney Records


“Who better than me to teach you? Who better than me to set you on your way?”

On June 27, 2006, the original Broadway cast recording of Tarzan – The Broadway Musical was released through Walt Disney Records. The musical was based on the hit 1999 animated feature film of the same name, with the songs for the film and the show written by singer-songwriter Phil Collins. Collins wrote nine new songs for Broadway:  “Who Better Than Me?,” “No Other Way,” “I Need to Know,” “Sure As Sun Turns To Moon,” “Waiting For This Moment,” “Different,” “Like No Man I’ve Ever Seen,” “For The First Time,” and “Everything That I Am.” The album was sung by the member of the original Broadway cast, which include Josh Strickland as Tarzan, Jennifer Gambatese as Jane, Shuler Hensley s Kerchak, Merle Dandridge as Kala, Chester Gregory II as Terk, Tim Jerome as Professor Porter, Donnie Keshawarz as Clayton, and Alex Rutherford as Young Tarzan. The album peaked at 170 on the Billboard 200 charts.


June 26

June 26, 2007 – Two Albums for Pixar’s Animated Feature Film Ratatouille are Released Through Walt Disney Records

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“Dreams are to lovers as wine is to friends…”

On June 26, 2007, two soundtrack albums for Pixar’s with animated feature film Ratatouille were released through Walt Disney Records: the official score composed by Michael Giacchino, and a compilation album entitled Ratatouille: What’s Cooking? This was Giacchino’s second time working with Pixar, having worked with director Brad Bird on The Incredibles. French artist Camille was hired to perform the ending song “Le Festin” (translation: the feast), with the song remaining in French in each translated version of the film. The score garnered Giacchino his first Academy Award nomination for Best Original Score and his first Grammy Award for Best Score Soundtrack Album. The second album is a compilation of songs that are inspired, rather than taken from, the film. The album includes tracks titled “Saturday Night Fish Fry” and “Banana Split for My Baby,” and are performed by Fred Mollin and the Blue Sea Band, Johnny Neel, and Troy Johnson.

June 25

June 25, 1930 – The Mickey Mouse Short Film The Fire Fighters is Released to Theaters


“Fire! Fire! Fire!”

On June 25, 1930, the Mickey Mouse short film The Fire Fighters was released to theaters. The short was directed by Burt Gillett.

It’s a quiet night at the firehouse, with all the fireman asleep in their beds, including Fire Chief Mickey. Suddenly, someone comes running down the road, shouting out that there’s a fire, with a building seen burning in the distance. The bell sounds the alarm, and the firemen quickly rouse themselves and head out, except for Horace Horsecollar, who finally wakes up and rushes to follow the rest of the team. Using a cat to sound the fire engine alarm, the firemen speed out into the night, with Mickey leading the charge. Unfortunately, most of the fire engine and team get left behind as they travel over some rocky terrain.

Mickey arrives triumphantly on the scene to put out the fire

Mickey arrives triumphantly on the scene to put out the fire

The burning building begins to sway side to side, with people jumping out in all directions before scrambling to safety. The citizens of the city cheer as they see the firemen approaching, although when Mickey turns around, he is rather annoyed at finding he is the only one there. He grabs his fire hose and attaches it to the closest hydrant, and sets off to take out fire. The hydrant doesn’t seem to work, so Mickey milks all the water out that he can into a bucket and runs to the building, not realizing that he’s spilled all of the water most of the way there. He tries again, a bit more carefully, although he spills the water before it can hit the flames. Meanwhile, Horace has been taking water from a nearby pond and using it to put out the flames on the first floor.

Up at the top of the building, Minnie Mouse, who seems to have been asleep, opens her eyes and screams for help before she is consumed by smoke. Mickey, alarmed, bravely runs into the building, but is soon chased out by flames. He uses the ladder of the apartment building next door to jump into a pair of pants left on the clothing line, then pulls himself close to the burning building to catch Minnie as she falls out of the window from exhaustion. The flames break the clothing line apart, but the pants act as a parachute to send them safely to the ground. The two kiss and embrace.

June 24

June 24, 2008 – The Soundtrack to the Pixar Animated Film Wall-E is Released Through Walt Disney Records


“We’re coming down to the ground, we hear the birds sing in the trees, and the land will be looked after, we send the seeds out in the breeze.”

On June 24, 2008, the soundtrack to Pixar’s ninth animated feature film Wall-E was released through Walt Disney Records. Composed by Thomas Newman, this is Newman’s second collaboration with Pixar, his first being Finding Nemo. Included in the soundtrack is the original song for the film “Down to Earth,” written and performed by Peter Gabriel, “La vie en Rose” performed by Louis Armstrong, and two excerpts from the musical film Hello, Dolly!: “Put On Your Sunday Clothes” and “It Only Takes a Moment,” both sung by Michael Crawford. The soundtrack won two Grammy Awards for Best Original Song (“Down to Earth”) and Best Instrumental Arrangement for the piece “Define Dancing,” and was nominated for Best Motion Picture Score, but lost to The Dark Knight by James Newton Howard and Hans Zimmer. The soundtrack was also nominated for two Academy Awards for Best Original Music Score and Best Original Song, both losing to Slumdog Millionaire.

June 23

June 23, 1944 – The Pluto Short Film Springtime for Pluto is Released to Theaters


“Spring! Spring! Sweet, scented spring! Loveliest time of year!”

On June 23, 1944, the Pluto short film Springtime for Pluto was released to theaters. This was the first short directed by Charles Nichols, who would go on to have a long history of directing at the Disney Studios, including many of the Pluto shorts. Pluto’s allergy to goldenrod is seen here, which was used as a major plot point in the 1948 short film Bone Bandit (see April 30th entry for more details). The story for this short was written by Nick George and Eric Gurney.

The Spirit of Spring, appearing in the guise of a faun, skips through the winter surroundings, changing them into spring as he plays his panflute. He tries to wake Pluto, who follows the spirit in a dreamlike state, before realizing that spring is indeed there, and decides to explore the area. He watches as all signs of spring appear, including bluebirds and lambs, and hears the caterpillar sing a song about spring. The caterpillar then uses Pluto’s tail as a perch for his cocoon, and when she emerges as a beautiful butterfly, Pluto blushes at how beautiful she is. Unfortunately, as he tries to imitate her dancing, he disturbs a bee hive, and the entire swarm of bees chase after him, only stopping after Pluto dives into a patch of poison ivy to escape them.

Just as things couldn't get worse for Pluto, it begins to rain heavily

Just as things couldn’t get worse for Pluto, it begins to rain heavily

When Pluto realizes what he’s jumped into, he starts writhing around as he starts to itch, sneezing when he ends up in a patch of goldenrod. It then begins to rain, and as Pluto tries to find shelter, he continues to sneeze so violently that he is thrown back several paces. It then begins to hail just as Pluto makes his way back to his doghouse. Pluto and his house have been ravaged by the time the storm ends, and as the Spirit skips by, Pluto stalks out of the broken shack, chasing after the fleeing Spirit.

June 22

June 22, 2004 – Six Disney Songs are Listed on AFI’s 100 Years…100 Songs List


“When you wish upon a star, your dreams come true.”

On June 22, 2004, the American Film Institute released their list of the top 100 songs in American cinema in a documentary special on CBS, known as 100 Years…100 Songs. Of the 400 nominees, six Disney songs were included in the final list, ranging from Disney’s early years to the Disney Renaissance period. The highest ranking song was “When You Wish Upon a Star” from Pinocchio, ranking at number 7. “Some Day My Prince Will Come” from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs ranked at number 19, “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious” from Mary Poppins ranked at number 36, “Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah” from Song of the South ranked at number 47, “Beauty and the Beast” ranked at number 62, and “Hakuna Matata” from The Lion King ranked at number 99.

June 21

June 21, 1961 – The Donald Duck Short Film The Litterbug is Released to Theaters


“Still, we have no cause to be smug, for we’ve invented no poison, nor drug to settle the score with one pest we abhor and contemptibly call the ‘Litterbug.’”

On June 21, 1961, the Donald Duck short film The Litterbug was released to theaters. This was the last Donald Duck short ever made. Huey, Dewey, and Louie also make a cameo in this short. The short was directed by Hamilton Luske, with story by Bill Berg and Lance Nolley.

The short begins with several live-action shots of litter, before turning to the book Pest Control by Dr. D.D. Tee, who narrates. He runs through a few pests, including mosquitoes and termites, and how we have been able to stop their destruction. There is one pest, the doctor warns, that we have been unable to stop: the litterbug. Donald plays the part of the litterbug, leaving trash wherever he goes. When the season changes to spring, Donald (multiplied enough to fill a neighborhood) is seen cleaning his house, dumping trash on his neighbor’s lawn. The doctor then moves on the types of litterbugs, starting with the “unconscious carrier.” As Donald walks down the street, he leaves his trash everywhere, oblivious to what he is doing. As Donald starts smoking cigarettes and lighting matches, his careless tossing of the lit matches sets fires all over town.

The animals are less than pleased about the condition these litterbugs have left the environment in

The animals are less than pleased about the condition these litterbugs have left the environment in

The next type of litterbug is the “sports bug.” Donald runs out of a stadium game, carrying snacks and several other items, throwing his trash around in excitement, mimicking various sports actions, including bunting and punting. The narrator then moves on to the “sneak bug,” who hides his trash in various places, like mailboxes and potted plants. He then talks about children, who start innocent, but let their true littering nature soon shine through. We observe Donald’s nephews on the playground, leaving their trash from their lunches all over the ground. After this, Donald and his nephews travel for the summer, leaving trash everywhere, from the mountains to the beaches. When all the tourists leave their holiday destinations, they leave mountains of trash in their wake. As Donald trashes the mountains, all of the animals start singing a song about the shame of littering. However, as the short ends and we pull away from the book, we see that Dr. D.D. Tee is no different, with piles of litter surrounding his desk.