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Monthly Archives: September 2013

September 30

September 30, 2003 – The Magic Kingdom Attraction Mickey’s PhilharMagic Opens in Walt Disney World

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“Disney magic meets Disney music in this spectacular 12-minute 3D fantasy adventure starring Donald Duck.”

On September 30, 2003, the Magic Kingdom attraction Mickey’s PhilharMagic opened in Walt Disney World. The attraction is located in Fantasyland, right next to Peter Pan’s Flight, and replaced The Legend of the Lion King. The attraction itself is a 12-minute 3D film, with guests given special 3D glasses in the lobby before entering the theater. There are also special in-house effects that draw the viewer into the film’s adventure. The plot of the film is that Mickey is getting ready to conduct a magic orchestra, but Donald takes Mickey’s Sorcerer’s Hat and decides to take over. Things spin wildly out of control, and Donald is plunged into scenes from beloved Disney films, from Beauty and the Beast to Aladdin. Mickey’s PhilharMagic had a grand opening ceremony on October 8 2003. Similar versions of the attraction were opened in Hong Kong Disneyland on September 12, 2005, and Tokyo Disneyland on January 24, 2011.

September 29

September 29, 1958 – The LP Firehouse Five Plus Two – Dixieland Favorites is Released

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“…the Firehouse Five Plus Two made up in spirit for what they generally lacked in originality.”

On September 29, 1958 the LP album Firehouse Five Plus Two – Dixieland Favorites was released on the Good Time Jazz label. The band was comprised of members of the Walt Disney Studios animation department, including Nine Old Men members Ward Kimball (trombone) and Frank Thomas (piano). The group also included Danny Alguire (cornet), Harper Goff (banjo), Clarke Mallery (clarinet), Monte Mountjoy (drums), and Ed Penner (bass saxophone); it would later include Jimmy MacDonald, George Probert, Dick Roberts, Ralph Ball, and George Bruns. The album contains several Dixieland standards recorded by the band at their peak.

September 28

September 28, 1935 – The Mickey Mouse Short Film On Ice is Released to Theaters

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“It’s a cinch! Watch me!”

On September 28, 1935, the Mickey Mouse short film On Ice was released to theaters. Clarabelle Cow and Horace Horsecollar make a brief appearance at the beginning of this short; Goofy also sings a snippet of his theme song, “The World Owes Me a Living.” It was directed by Ben Sharpsteen.

Everyone is skating at the nearby frozen river, and as Minnie and Mickey skate together, Mickey keeps a pillow ready for Minnie, as she keeps falling. Mickey then shows off for Minnie, although she warns him to be careful as he trips on a barrel and falls through the ice, but he is able to laugh off the incident. Goofy finds a spot on the river to go ice fishing, using chewing tobacco as bait. The fish chew the tobacco, and as they jump to spit in the spittoon, he attempts to club them. Unfortuantely, one of the fish takes his club and clubs Goofy.

Donald takes skates and ties them to the sleeping Pluto's feet

Donald takes skates and ties them to the sleeping Pluto’s feet

Donald, meanwhile is skating along, when he spies Pluto sleeping on the bank. He decides to play a prank on the dog by placing ice skates on his feet. He then hides and makes cat noises, waking Pluto and sending him flying out on the ice, only to slip and fall thanks to the skates. Donald laughs at Pluto’s misfortune, but Pluto endeavors to master the skates. At one point, Pluto sneezes hard enough to send himself flying into the campfire on the bank, and puts his end into a hole in the ice to cool down. When he removes his tail, he finds that it is completely frozen, and starts chasing it.

Donald attaches himself to a kite and skates around Pluto, mocking him, when a strong wind picks up and sends Donald flying down the pond, and he cries out for help. Mickey spots Donald heading towards a waterfall, and races to save the duck. Mickey is pulled off the ice and scrambles to return to shore, but loses Donald, who sails back into the river and straight into the hole where Goofy is waiting to club fish. Goofy apologizes, stating that he thought Donald was a fish, and Donald angrily yells at Goofy and Pluto, who barks at the duck’s misfortune.

September 27

September 27, 2008 – The Inaugural Expedition Everest Challenge Takes Place

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“Race through Disney’s Animal Kingdom park on a unique course filled with obstacles, clues and wild scenery!”

On September 27, 2008, the inaugural Expedition Everest Challenge took place at Walt Disney World’s Animal Kingdom park. The challenge is a 5K, an obstacle course, and scavenger hunt through the park near the Forbidden Mountain; finishers were awarded a special compass medal. Participants could take the challenge in teams, or try out for the solo challenge. More than 3,000 competitors participated in this inaugural challenge, which took place at night. The winner of the challenge was Thomas Kish from Woodstock, Georgia, finishing the course in 45 minutes, 22 seconds, beating the nearest competitor by at least three minutes.

 

September 26

September 26, 1936 – The Silly Symphony Three Blind Mouseketeers is Released to Theaters

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“My traps are set in every room; those mice are marching to their doom. This is the end of the Three Mouseketeers!”

On September 26, 1936, the Silly Symphony Three Blind Mouseketeers was released to theaters. It was directed by Dave Hand

The Three Blind Mouseketeers introduce themselves in song, dancing around and practicing their fencing. They decide to head to the banquet hall to get some cheese, but don’t realize that the evil Captain Katt has set up several traps for them and is hiding in a barrel as he waits for his victory. The three narrowly miss the first trap set in front of the hole in the wall, and separately spring the other traps while retrieving the food, narrowly missing being killed every time. They manage to get away with all off the food, with Captain Katt sleeping in his hiding place, unaware of their victory.

The mice are ready to open champagne, unaware that Captain Katt is sleeping nearby

The mice are ready to open champagne, unaware that Captain Katt is sleeping nearby

As the mice pop open the champagne in victory, they wake Captain Katt, pelting him with the corks from the bottles. He sneaks over to attack the three, and the mice scatter, with one getting trapped under a bowl. Captain Katt then tries to find the mouse under one of the three bowls in front of him, but is unable to. When he finally does, the mouse stabs him in the nose, infuriating him. When he finds that a mouse has been hiding under each one, he goes crazy and chases after them with a hatchet. One of the mice gets his tail stuck in the floor, but is able to use his reflection on a pile of bottles in front of him to make it appear that he has a giant Mouseketeer army at his disposal. Captain Katt is scared away from the banquet hall, and lands in each of his traps as he tries to flee.

September 25

September 25, 1931 – The Mickey Mouse Short Film Fishin’ Around is Released to Theaters

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“I’m fishing! Ha ha ha ha!”

On September 25, 1931, the Mickey Mouse short film Fishin’ Around was released to theaters. It was directed by Burt Gillett.

Mickey and Pluto are out on a lake, with several fish jumping about and dancing on the boat’s oars. They run across a sign that says “No Fishing,” but Mickey weighs the sign down with horseshoes and sends it to the bottom of the lake, and the two enjoy their fishing expedition. One fish steals the worm from Mickey’s line and taunts him, and Mickey ends up hooking himself, sending his shorts flying into the lake. Two other fish trick Pluto by attaching an old corset to his line. Angered, Pluto dives into the water to catch a fish, except that the fish is easily able to slip from Pluto’s grasp.

Mickey chases the fish from his boat, but they have already eaten most of his bait

Mickey chases the fish from his boat, but they have already eaten all of his bait

A group of fish sneak onto the boat and eat all of Mickey’s bait, dancing all the while. Mickey finally scares them all away, but they manage to steal all of the bait before they jump from the boat. Pluto, meanwhile, is underwater still searching for fish, and chases one into a cave, only to be chased out by a monster fish with large teeth. He escapes back tot he boat, and the pair tries once again to catch a fish. The fish hook Pluto’s and Mickey’s hooks together, and Mickey ends up hooking Pluto, who is able to catch a fish, but the fish quickly escapes. Finally, a policeman finds the pair, and is about to arrest them, when Mickey paddles away as fast as he can, tripping the policeman up. The chase continues across the water, but Pluto uses his tail to create a makeshift speedboat, and the two are able to evade the police.

September 24

September 24, 1894 – Voice Actor and Comedian Billy Bletcher is Born

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“So what the hell, I did it, and I recorded this thing for Walt [Disney], as the Big Bad Wolf. That put me in pretty solid with Walt.”

On September 24, 1894, William Bletcher was born in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. His career began with silent comedies, and he moved on to two-reel Hal Roach comedies in the 1930s. During the ’30s and ’40s, Bletcher was well known for voicing villains for cartoons, being blessed with a deep, rich voice despite his appearance, as he only stood a five feet two inches. His friend Pinto Colvig (best known as the voice of Goofy) recommended that Bletcher try out for a new cartoon Disney was making called Three Little Pigs, and Bletcher won the role of the Big Bad Wolf, which was his first work with cartoons. Bletcher would continue to voice the Wolf in the two sequels, and provided the voice of Pegleg Pete in several shorts, as well as any bit parts that they needed. Bletcher also provided voice work for Warner Brothers, and in the 1950s, he voiced the Lone Ranger in the Lone Ranger radio program. Bletcher passed away on January 5, 1979 in Los Angeles at the age of 84.