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Monthly Archives: October 2013

October 24

October 24, 1994 – The Animated Series Gargoyles Premieres in Disney Afternoon

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“One thousand years ago, superstition and the sword rules. It was a time of darkness. It was a world of fear. It was the age of gargoyles.”

On October 24, 1994, the animated series Gargoyles premiered on television in the Disney Afternoon programming block. The series was about a clan of nocturnal creatures known as gargoyles, who turn to stone during the day. After being betrayed, members of the clan are cursed to stay in stone until the castle “rises above the clouds.” In present day, the gargoyles are reawakened when the castle they live is taken to New York and reconstructed atop a billionaire’s skyscraper. The six remaining gargoyles try to adjust to life in modern New York, aided by NYPD detective Elisa Maza, and come into conflict with David Xanatos. 3 seasons, with 78 episodes, aired overall, with the first two seasons airing in the Disney Afternoon, and the third and final season airing on ABC’s One Saturday Morning. The cast included Keith David as Goliath, Edward Asner as Hudson, Salli Richardson as Elisa Maza, Jonathan Frakes as David Xanatos, Marina Sirtis as Demona, and Bill Fagerbakke as Broadway.

October 23

October 23, 1953 – The Donald Duck Short Film Rugged Bear is Released to Theaters

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“This is Bear Country: a quiet, peaceful part of the forest reserved exclusively for Mr. Bear.”

On October 23, 1953, the Donald Duck short film Rugged Bear was released to theaters. This marked the second appearance of Humphrey the Bear overall, and the second of five appearances in Donald Duck short films. The short was directed by Jack Hannah, with story by Al Bertino and Dave Detiege.

The short begins at a section of the forest for Bear Country, with dozens of bears sleeping soundly. The bears are alerted by the narrator that hunting season has begun, and while they all flee to their cave, Humphrey the Bear continues to sleep. He is soon woken up by flying bullets, and is locked out of the cave when all the other bears seal themselves inside. Humphrey runs crazily around the woods, dodging hunters, and comes across a house in the woods. Once inside, he realizes he’s in a hunting cabin, with guns and stuffed bear heads on the walls. As he tries to escape, he sees Donald walking to the house, holding a shot gun. He frantically tries to hide, and disguises himself as a bearskin rug.

Donald pretends to shoot his bearskin rug, making his "rug" rather nervous

Donald pretends to shoot his bearskin rug, making his “rug” rather nervous

Donald wipes his feet on the nervous bear’s back, and as he sits to clean his shotgun, he pretends to shoot the rug, which causes Humphrey to nearly panic. As Donald decides to light a fire in the fireplace, he uses Humphrey’s nose to light his match. Humphrey barely suppresses a yelp, and when he looks behind him to see where Donald (and, more importantly, the gun) is, he gets his nose stuck in the barrel and has to quietly follow Donald through the house. He manages to free himself when the kitchen door is slammed in his face, and when he tries to sneak away, he finds that hunting season is still occurring, and has to stay inside to stay safe.

Donald returns from getting his snack, and sits on Humphrey’s back in front of the fire. After swallowing a stray bit of Donald’s popcorn, Humphrey gets the hiccups; fortunately, Donald thinks he has the hiccups instead of his rug. After getting a drink of water, Donald returns and decides to take a nap on his rug. A stray spark from the fire jumps out and lands on Humphrey’s back, and he catches on fire, but he masks his scream by turning up the radio, waking Donald, who quickly puts the fire out. Seeing the mess this caused, Donald throws Humphrey into the washing machine. Poor Humphrey emerges after the dry cycle as a giant fur ball, which Donald remedies by cutting off his hair with a yard trimmer. Donald then curls himself up in the rug to fall asleep, much to Humphrey’s dismay.

Humphrey is relieved that Donald has left for the season

Humphrey is relieved that Donald has left for the season

Hunting season soon ends, and the bears clean up the mess the hunters left behind. Donald leaves his hunting cabin, and Humphrey, looking more than a little worse for wear, is relieved that he can finally escape. He hears a strange knocking from the wood box near the fireplace, and is surprised to find that the bear rug he’d rolled up and replaced at the beginning of the season was, in fact, another live bear, who thanks Humphrey for hiding him and taking his place. Humphrey looks at the camera with bloodshot eyes, a look of disbelief on his face.

October 22

October 22, 1908 – Imagineer and Disney Legend Roger Broggie is Born

Roger Broggie

“He epitomized the essence of Disney Imagineering – the blending of creative imagination and technical know-how.”

On October 22, 1908, Roger E. Broggie was born in Pittsfield, Massachusetts. After graduating from high school in 1927, he moved to Los Angeles, California, working for several technical companies that included Technicolor and General Services Studios. In 1939, he was hired by the Disney Studios as a precision machinist after receiving an invitation to join the studio by a friend. One of Broggie’s first assignments was work with the multiplane camera on the Burbank lot. Broggie would work closely with Ub Iwerks on many technical innovations, including rear-screen special effects and camera cranes. In 1950, Broggie became the head of the Studio Machine Shop, and helped create a variety of technical effects for screen and for Disneyland; one new technique developed under his direction was the Circle-Vision 360, a motion picture viewing experience where the screens completely surround the guests. In 1951, Broggie was assigned to work with Imagineer Wathel Rogers, and together they created the first prototype of the Audio-Animatronic figure, which only stood about nine inches tall. This prototype led the way to the creation of the life-sized figure of Abraham Lincoln, which was first on display at the 1964-1965 World’s Fair in New York. In 1973, Broggie worked on plans for the EPCOT Center in Walt Disney World, Florida. In 1975, he retired from the company after working at Disney for over 35 years. A lover of miniature trains, having assisted Walt with creating his backyard miniature train set in 1949 and vocal in the creation of the Disneyland and Santa Fe Railroad in Anaheim, the Walt Disney World engine No. 3 was named after him in his honor for all his years of service. He was awarded as a Disney Legend in 1990. On November 4, 1991, Broggie passed away at the age of 83.

October 21

October 21, 1972 – The Three-Day Winnie the Pooh for President Parade and Campaign Begins

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“Vote for Pooh in ’72!”

On October 21, 1972, a three-day campaign and parade for the election of Winnie the Pooh for President began at both Disneyland and Walt Disney World. Pooh announced his run for the Demo-Pooh-blican party, with over 50 kids under the age of seven in attendance at the announcement in front of Cinderella’s Castle. His platform was said to have been “disclosing the ‘bear facts’ and bottomless honey jars.” This was the second of three runs Pooh took for political office, with the first being in 1968 as part of On Stage U.S.A, and the third in 1976; the second and third times were tie-ins with the national elections occurring in early November. Pooh was given a special ticker-tape parade down Main Street, and a live stage show with Eeyore and Tigger playing his campaign manager and press secretary, respectfully.

October 20

October 20, 1931 – The Silly Symphony The Fox Hunt is Released to Theaters

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“Hooray!”

On October 20, 1931, the Silly Symphony The Fox Hunt was released to theaters. The short was remade in 1938 as a Donald Duck and Goofy short. The Silly Symphony was directed by Wilfred Jackson.

Sunlight streams through the trees of the forest, and several birds chirp with the coming of the dawn while a bell rings in the steeple nearby. Two riders sound their horns, and are followed by a long line of riders, finished with two pages holding a fox in a cage, and one page holding on to several leashes of dogs who are ready to begin the chase. The riders stop in front of a blacksmith, who is working hard at his trade. He sends out a horseshoe to his assistant, who begins to shoe the horses while the riders have tea. The horns sound again, and the riders head out for the hunt.

The riders eagerly chase the fox once the hunt begins

The riders eagerly chase the fox once the hunt begins

The gun sounds, and the fox is set free, followed by the herds of dogs and riders. The riders travel at different rhythmic paces, but are soon stopped when the fox jumps over a wall, with each rider accidentally headbutting the next. One rider flips off of his horse and ends up riding a cow instead, and when he falls off the cow, he ends up riding a pig, a porcupine, and a log that is filled with stuck dogs. The rider finally catches the fox by the tail, and traps him in another log. Unfortunately, when he thinks he can pull it out from the log, he pulls out a skunk instead. The appearance of the skunk causes all the riders and dogs to flee; once the crowd is gone, the fox leaves the log and shakes hands with the skunk.

October 19

October 19, 1999 – The Lion King Musical Opens in the West End’s Lyceum Theater

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The Lion King, Disney’s award-winning Broadway musical has roared into the West End with over 40 actors, singers, and dancers performing a spectacular menagerie of a musical at the beautiful Lyceum Theater.” – Darren Dalglish, reviewer for LondonTheater.co.uk

On October 19, 1999, the musical The Lion King opened in the Lyceum Theater in London, England. This version of the musical was the second version of the show to be opened, and the first to be opened internationally. It was led by original Broadway director Julie Taymor, and was produced by Melissa De Melo. It has become the West End’s best-selling stage production, and has, of this year, reached its 15th year of performances. The original West End cast included Roger Wright as Simba; Luke Youngblood as Young Simba; Rob Edwards as Scar; Cornell John as Mufasa; Paulette Ivory as Nala; Pippa Bennett-Warner, Nathalie Emmanuel, and Dominque Moore sharing the role as Young Nala; Josette-Bushell-Mingo as Rafiki; Simon Gregor as Timon; Martyn Ellis as Pumbaa; Gregory Gudgeon as Zazu; Dawn Michael as Sarabi; Stephanie Charles as Shenzi; Paul J. Medford as Banzai; and Christopher Holt as Ed.

October 18

October 18, 1990 – The 1990 Class of Disney Legends are Inducted

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“Any mechanical things you had to do, what you said was, ‘Call Roger, he’ll know how to fix it.’ Without [Roger Broggie], Disneyland wouldn’t have happened.” – Michael Eisner, then CEO of the Walt Disney Company

On October 18, 1990, the new 1990 class of Disney Legends were inducted at the special ceremony at the Disney Legends Promenade. Among those inducted were Roger Broggie (Imagineering), Joe Fowler (Attractions), John Hench (Animation and Imagineering), Richard Irvine (Imagineering), Herb Ryman (Imagineering), and Richard and Robert Sherman (Music). Irvine and Ryman were the only ones awarded posthumously; since the ceremony, Broggie, Fowler, Hench, and Robert Sherman have passed away. Broggie was known as Disney’s original Imagineer, beginning work in 1939 at the company as a precision machinist. Fowler, a retired ship builder, was invited personally by Walt Disney to lead construction of Disneyland. Hench began at Disney as a sketch artist in 1939, and moved to the Imagineering department in 1954; he was also awarded an Academy Award for his special effects work on the live-action film 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, and was Mickey Mouse’s official portrait artist. Irvine helped create what is now known as Walt Disney Imagineering, creating leading a team of Imagineers to create Disneyland. Ryman created the preliminary sketches of the park, and was able to turn Walt Disney’s ideas into drawings from which the Imagineers could work. The Sherman Brothers were well known for creating some of the most memorable songs for Disney films, and are best known for their work on the classic film Mary Poppins.