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Monthly Archives: July 2013

July 31

July 31, 2007 – The Book The Mickey Mouse Treasures is Published by Disney Editions

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 “Yes, it’s All-Mickey! Don’t we all agree that he deserves a Treasures book of his own?”

On July 31, 2007, the book The Mickey Mouse Treasures was published by Disney Editions. Written by Disney Archives manager Robert Tieman, the book tells the story of Mickey Mouse and his career, beginning with his debut in Steamboat Willie and touching on important milestones, including Fantasia and The Mickey Mouse Club. The book includes interviews with animators and voice actors that have helped create Mickey through the years. The book also includes a set of reproduction documents, including a program from the world premiere of Fantasia, and an album of the official Mickey Mouse birthday portraits. Currently, the book is out of print.

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July 30

July 30, 1907 – “Big Moosketeer,” Animator, and Disney Legend Roy Williams is Born

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“Walt knew I loved kids…that’s why he put me on a kids’ show. I’m a down-to-earth guy, but I never dreamed of the kind of pleasure that working with those kids brought me. “

On July 30, 1907, Roy Williams was born in Colville, Washington. His family moved to Los Angeles, where he attended Freemont High School, and was hired by the Walt Disney Studios. He first animated shorts during the day, attending Chouinard Art Institute at night, and would later develop story ideas. He was also known as a publicity representative, as well as a popular caricaturist at Disneyland. Through his career, he developed a reputation as a talented and funny artist, which caught the attention of Walt Disney, who hired him as one of the hosts of the Mickey Mouse Club. Williams also created the Mickey Mouse Ears that the kids wore, based on a Mickey Mouse short film where Mickey removed his ears to greet Minnie. Although Williams couldn’t sing or dance, he was popular thanks to humor and warmth. Williams stayed with the studio until the 1970s, and passed away on November 7, 1976. He was inducted into the Disney Legends in 1992.

July 29

July 29, 1930 – The Mickey Mouse Short Film The Shindig is Released to Theaters

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“To the party we will go, to the party we will go…”

On July 29, 1930, the Mickey Mouse short film The Shindig was released to theaters. A clip from this short was used in the documentary The Hand Behind The Mouse: The Ub Iwerks Story as an example of the decency codes the films soon had to follow, known as the Hays Code. The songs featured in this short were popular standards of the time, including “Swanee River” and “Pop Goes the Weasel.” The short was directed by Burt Gillett.

A large group of animals are heading over to the barn dance, singing and playing with noisemakers. Horace Horsecollar makes his way to Clarabelle Cow’s house on a dilapidated motorcycle, and she quickly gets dressed to meet him. The two head for an uncomfortable ride to the barn dance. At the dance, everyone is lively while Mickey and Minnie entertain the crowd with music. Mickey uses whatever he can to play music, including a paper bag and, much to her annoyance, Minnie’s tail and bloomers. The crowd forms a dance circle, with Horace and Clarabelle dancing in the middle. Minnie then continues playing the piano while Mickey first dances with Clarabelle, then a dachshund, then a hippo.

July 28

July 28, 1998 – The First Disney Cruise Land Ship, the Disney Magic, is Christened

“The Disney Magic…is a cruise liner that blends classic beauty and grace with all the modern luxuries, technologies, and comforts that make cruising a pleasure.”

On July 28, 1998, the first ship in the Disney Cruise Line fleet, known as the Disney Magic, was christened. The christening with a bottle of champagne was done by Roy E. Disney’s wife Patty, who is known as the ship’s Godmother; also in attendance were actor Sidney Poitier, voice actress Jodi Benson, and then-CEO Michael Eisner. Its maiden voyage would take place two days later as it headed to the Caribbean from Port Canaveral, Florida. The ship was built by the Italian shipbuilder Fincantieri, with a cost of $400 million to build. The ship holds around 2,700 passengers in 875 cabins, and weighs 83,000 tons. The idea behind the Disney Magic was to bring back the days of the “golden age” of ocean travel with luxury liners, with an interior built in an Art Deco design. The statue in the lobby of the ship is of Mickey Mouse as a helmsman.

July 27

July 27, 1945 – The Pluto Short Film Canine Casanova is Released to Theaters

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“Hey you…!”

On July 27, 1945, the Pluto short film Canine Casanova was released to theaters. It was directed by Charles Nichols, with story by Harry Reeves, Jesse Marsh, and Rex Cox.

Pluto is skipping through the park, when he passes by a beautiful dachshund. Immediately smitten, he turns around and follows her, making a fool of himself as he does so. She rebuffs his attention every time, leaving him more determined than ever. He finds a large bone buried in the ground, and uses it to steal a kiss from her, which only makes her angry. She stops to admire her reflection in a window, and finds Pluto has followed her once again, nearly getting the two in trouble when he breaks the window. Pluto slinks away sadly as she tells him off, and as she walks away, she is snatched up by the dog catcher. She calls out for Pluto’s help as she is driven away.

Pluto sneaks into the dog pound to rescue the cute dachshund

Pluto sneaks into the dog pound to rescue the cute dachshund

Pluto tracks her scent to the dog pound, and quietly peers in, seeing the poor dachshund being courted by scoundrels. He rushes to her rescue, narrowly missing the sleeping guard and his shotgun. He crawls around the back to open her pen, and she is surprised to see Pluto as her rescuer. As the two look for a way out, they realize the only opening is past the sleeping guard and his shotgun. Pluto quickly formulates a plan, and the two almost make it out, except that the guard’s foot drops right as the dachshund is about to crawl underneath his legs. Pluto manages to keep his leg propped up long enough for her to escape, but accidentally hits the butt of the shotgun, slamming it to the ground and setting it off. The two race away as the guard quickly pursues them in his truck. Pluto accidentally sends three barrels of nails flying down the path, which stops the truck in its tracks. The dachshund returns home, giving Pluto a kiss before she does. Pluto follows her, only to find that she has a litter of puppies waiting for her return.

July 26

July 26, 1951 – Alice in Wonderland Premieres at London’s Leicester Square Theater

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“I give myself very good advice, but I very seldom follow it.”

On July 26, 1951, the world premiere of Walt Disney’s 13th animated feature film Alice in Wonderland took place in London’s Leicester Square Theater. Walt Disney attended the premiere, as did Kathryn Beaumont, the voice of Alice. The film was also due to premiere the same day in New York City, but the date was delayed two days, as it coincided with the release of another adaptation of Lewis Carroll’s work: a feature-length puppet version by French filmmaker Lou Bunin (this film would fail at the box office). Unfortunately, the film was criticized for “Americanizing” a British classic, and was a disappointment on its release, earning only $2.4 million at the box office. Walt Disney would later say that the film failed because the character of Alice had no “heart.” It would find its audience in the 1970s, and became a success on home video.

July 25

July 25, 1936 – The Mickey Mouse Short Film Alpine Climbers is Released to Theaters

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“Edelweiss! Oh boy, oh boy, oh boy, edelweiss!”

On July 25, 1936, the Mickey Mouse short film Alpine Climbers was released to theaters. Although a Mickey Mouse short, the short also features Donald Duck and Pluto. It was directed by Dave Hand.

Mickey and Donald are yodeling as they climb up a steep mountain, dragging Pluto behind them on a rope. After they reach the top, Mickey ties Pluto to a rock as he and Donald go exploring. Donald finds patches of edelweiss, and begins to pick a full bouquet. When he reaches the top of the cliff, a baby goat takes one look at Donald and eats the edelweiss bloom the duck is holding. Donald grabs an icicle and starts to chase after the kid around a rock, not realizing that the kid is sitting on the top of the rock, watching Donald run around in circles.

While exploring, Mickey excitedly finds a nest of eagle eggs

While exploring, Mickey excitedly finds a nest of eagle eggs

Mickey, in his own exploration, finds a nest full of eagle eggs, and starts stuffing them into his backpack, unaware that the mother eagle is standing behind him, ready to protect her eggs. Mickey sees her, and quickly puts the eggs back, although the mother still attacks him. He throws her eggs at her, and they hatch upon impact. The flock of hatchlings then assist their mother in attacking the mouse. Mickey drops an egg in the confusion, which lands on Pluto’s head and hatches. The hatchling attacks Pluto, and Pluto chases after it, dragging the heavy rock behind him. As the hatchling flies away, Pluto hangs onto the cliff for dear life, only to have the rock send him hurtling to the snowy ground below.

As Pluto lies in the snow, a St. Bernard comes out of his doghouse and drags the dog to safety, reviving him with some brandy. Unfortunately, Pluto becomes drunk from the amount of brandy he drank, and attempts to hit on the St. Bernard, hiccuping loudly. Meanwhile, after carving out a deep ditch around the rock, Donald realizes that the kid has just been watching him the entire time. The chase resumes, leading into a cave, with Donald accidentally pulling out an older goat instead. Donald tries to walk away nonchalantly, but is soon chased by the older goat, who continuously headbutts the duck, although Donald headbutts the older goat in retaliation, sending it flying into a nearby tree, knocked out. Mickey, having problems of his own, cries out for help. He tries to use his rope to latch on to a nearby rock, but ends up roping the eagle mother’s feet, and she flies away, trying to pull Mickey away from the nest. Donald, hyped up with adrenaline from fighting the goat, goes to save Mickey by attempting to beat up the mother. The mother bests Donald, and the two have no choice but to hold on for dear life as she soars up into the sky. The hatchlings then tear up the rope, and the pair are sent hurtling to the ground. As they hit the snow below, they hear a strange drunken yodeling, and see Pluto and the St. Bernard, having consumed all the brandy, hiccuping and carousing.