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Monthly Archives: November 2013

November 20

November 20, 1942 – The Pluto Short Film Pluto at the Zoo is Released to Theaters

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On November 20, 1942, the Pluto short film Pluto at the Zoo was released to theaters. It was directed by Clyde Geronimi.

Pluto is walking happily down the street, holding a small bone in his mouth, when he passes by the zoo. He sees a massive bone sitting idle next to a sleeping lion, and his mouth starts to water. Throwing his tiny bone into the trash, he sneaks into the zoo in the hopes of stealing the bone from the lion. As he grabs it, the lion sleepily moves his paw on top of the bone and Pluto, and Pluto struggles to get free with the bone. As he makes a break for it with the bone, he nearly wakes up the lion. Although he avoids waking the lion, he struggles with how to take it out of the cage, until he decides to dig his way out under the wall. Unfortunately, he ends up waking the lion after tunneling out, and escapes into the kangaroo pen.

After the joey steals Pluto's bone, he uses it to attack the dog

After the joey steals Pluto’s bone, he uses it to attack the dog

In the kangaroo pen, Pluto is about to chew on the bone when it suddenly disappears. He suspects the sleeping kangaroo, unaware that it was the joey in her pouch that stole it from him. The joey keeps hitting Pluto with the bone, and he tries to retrieve it while the joey laughs. Pluto accidentally wakes up the kangaroo, and is kicked over the fence – with the bone – into the gorilla cage. Pluto faints at the sight of the gorilla, and the gorilla tries to revive him, but ends up having more fun playing with Pluto, treating him like a toy. Pluto is then sent into the pond nearby, and comes face to face with an alligator. He narrowly escapes being eaten, and runs back inside the zoo so fast that he removes the feathers from a peacock and the stripes from a tiger. In the end, he ends up back in the lion’s cage, and uses the bone to stop the lion from eating him, retrieving his tiny bone from the trash on his way home.

November 19

November 19, 1971 – Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort and Campground Officially Opens

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“Teeming with such wildlife as deer, ducks, armadillos, and rabbits, the [Fort Wilderness] Resort welcomes you to delight in scenic woodland trails, a white-sand beach, exciting pool areas, rootin’ tootin’ entertainment, and hearty country eats.”

On November 19, 1971, Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort and Campground officially opened at the Walt Disney World resort in Orlando, Florida. The resort was designed with a rustic theme with cabins built to look like log cabins, and has grown since its opening to 800 campsites with 409 cabins. There are two dinner shows at the resort: the Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue and Mickey’s Backyard BBQ. At night, guests are entertained with the Campfire Sing-Along with Chip ‘n’ Dale, which includes a special appearance by Chip ‘n’ Dale, who poses for photos and signs autographs with guests. This campfire event includes s’mores and an outdoor movie for children, as well as the Electrical Water Parade. Recreational activities at the resort also include jogging, fishing, biking, swimming, and horseback riding.

November 18

November 18, 1932 – The Short Film Parade of the Award Nominees Premieres at the Academy Awards

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On November 18, 1932, the special short film Parade of the Award Nominees premiered at the 5th Academy Awards, held at the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles, California. This ceremony also introduced short films within the Oscar categories, with Disney’s Flowers and Trees winning the first Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film and being the first color winner. Parade of the Award Nominees was created specifically for the banquet, and the first short that showed Mickey Mouse in color. Pluto is also shown in color, but is a grey-ish brown rather than his standard yellow. Disney Legend Joe Grant was hired by the studio to create the caricatures of the actors for the short, and would remain at Disney for over 70 years.

Mickey is seen in a bandleader’s uniform, leading a parade which begins with Minnie holding a sing that says “Parade of the Award Nominees.” After three trumpeting pigs and a percussion set march by, a carpet is rolled out, with Clarabelle Cow throwing flowers on the ground for the actors to walk on. The first actor is Wallace Beery, for his role in The Champ, with costar Jackie Cooper. Following the two is Lynn Fontanne and Alfred Lunt for their roles in The Guardsman, and Helen Hayes for The Sin of Madelon Claudet. Next is Fredric March, who transforms to a hideous monster, as he represents his role as the titular Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. Last but not least is Marie Dressler for her role in Emma, who is followed by Pluto, who has “The End” on a flag tied to his tail.

November 17

November 17, 2008 – The Sherman Brothers are Awarded the National Medal of Arts

“[The Sherman Brothers’] music has helped bring joy to millions.”

On November 17, 2008, the Sherman Brothers were awarded the National Medal of Arts by President George W. Bush, which is the highest honor the United States has for artists. The brothers were awarded thanks to their long-spanning career, which includes two Academy Awards. They began their association with Disney in 1960, after being noticed for the songs they wrote for Disney star Annette Funicello, writing over 200 songs for Disney films, television shows, and attractions in the park. Outside of their Disney work, the brothers have composed scores for films and Broadway musicals, including Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and Over Here!. The brothers were honored along with creator of comic-book franchises Stan Lee, actress Olivia de Havilland, jazz pianist Hank Jones, and sculptor Jesus Moroles.

November 16

November 16, 2010 – The Soundtrack for the Film Tangled is Released Through Walt Disney Records

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“All at once, everything looks different, now that I see you.”

On November 16, 2010, the soundtrack for the 50th Disney animated feature film Tangled was released through Walt Disney Records. The soundtrack was released two days after the premiere at the El Capitan Theatre, and a week before the film’s general release nationwide. The soundtrack includes the original score by Alan Menken, songs from the film written by Alan Menken and Glenn Slater, and an original song by recording artist Grace Potter. One song included in the soundtrack was eventually cut from the film, which was the first reprise of “When Will My Life Begin?” sung by Mandy Moore, the voice of Rapunzel. The album peaked at number 44 on the Billboard 200, as well as number 7 on the Soundtrack chart, and number 3 on the Kid Albums chart.  The song “I See the Light” was nominated for an Academy Award, a Golden Globe, and a Broadcast Film Critics Association Award, and won a Grammy.

November 15

November 15, 1993 – The Garden Grille Restaurant Opens in Epcot

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“Visit with Disney Friends as you enjoy family-style fare and rotating views of the Living with the Land attraction.”

On November 15, 1993, the Garden Grille opened in The Land at Epcot in Walt Disney World. The Garden Grille replaced the Land Grille Room, which operated from 1986 to 1993, which had replaced the Good Turn Restaurant that operated from 1982 to 1986. The restaurant slowly rotates, providing guests a view of nature scenes, including a rainforest and a prairie. Also available at this restaurant is a character dining experience called Chip ’n Dale’s Harvest Feast, where guests can meet Chip and Dale and a few other characters; guests can also book dinner packages for the Candlelight Processional during the Christmas season.

November 14

November 14, 1927 – The Oswald the Lucky Rabbit Short Film The Ocean Hop is Released to Theaters

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$25,000 prize for first ocean hop – New York to Paris”

On November 14, 1927, the Oswald the Lucky Rabbit short film The Ocean Hop was released to theaters. It was the sixth Oswald short produced by the Disney Studio. There are several similarities to this short and the Mickey Mouse short film,

A prize is being offered for the first flight from New York to Paris, known as an “ocean hop.” Oswald is considered the dark horse entry, and shows up with a simple mechanical plane that makes lots of clanging and banging noises when turned on. Although mocked by another contestant, Oswald believes that his plan will succeed. The contestant comes up with a diabolical plan of placing gun near the wheels, keeping Oswald grounded. The race begins, and Oswald is unable to move thanks to the gum. The plane struggles, and the evil contestant is able to take the lead.

Oswald's friends help create a new plane to help him win the contest

Oswald’s friends help create a new plane to help him win the contest

Oswald’s wings and propeller take off, leaving him behind. Luckily, some friends decide to stop by and help, and set up a new plane, with a dachshund as the plane’s base. Finally, Oswald is ready to win the contest. The evil contestant passes by a sign that directs people to either Paris or the North Pole, and directs everyone else to the North Pole. In the morning, the evil contestant thinks he has nothing to worry about, when he spies Oswald flying by. He takes a gun and shoots the balloons propping the plane up, and Oswald falls to the ground, saved by a parachute. When he arrives on the ground, he’s actually landed in Paris amongst a cheering crowd.

November 13

November 13, 1999 – Disney/Pixar’s Toy Story 2 Premieres at the El Capitan Theater

Kirstie Alley at the premiere of Toy Story 2

Kirstie Alley at the premiere of Toy Story 2

“Kids need smart movies to inspire them. Look out, Pokémon!” – Tom Hanks, Voice of Woody

On November 13, 1999, Disney/Pixar’s third computer animated feature Toy Story 2 had its official premiere at the Disney owned El Capitan Theater in Los Angeles, California. It was a star studded event, with the cast of the film in attendance with director Jon Lasseter, co-directors Ash Brannon and Lee Unkrich, and producers Helene Plotkin and Karen Robert Jackson. Also in attendance were the likes of Nicholas Cage, Jerry Seinfeld, and Haley Joel Osment. The event began at noon, with the actual screening of the film beginning at 2 p.m. The film would be released in an exclusive engagement at the El Capitan on November 19, with a general release nationwide on November 24.

November 12

November 12, 2010 – The Disney Channel Original Movie Avalon High Premieres

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“Arthur will return when he is truly needed to bring the world out of the dark and into a new age of enlightenment.”

On November 12, 2010, the Disney Channel Original Movie Avalon High premiered. The movie was based on the book by Meg Cabot, although there are many deviations from the original story, as the main character of Ellie (Allie in the film) was actually the alter ego of the Lady in the Lake, while Will was the alter ego of King Arthur. The film has 3.9 million viewers on its premiere. It was directed by Stuart Gillard, and written by Julie Sherman Wolfe and Amy Talkington. It stars Britt Robertson as Allie, Gregg Sulkin as Will, Joey Pollari as Miles, Devon Graye as Marco, and Steve Valentine as Mr. Moore.

The film begins with an epic battle between two knights, which turns out to be the dream of Allie Pennington. She and her family have just moved, and she is enrolled at a new school called Avalon High, although she seems less than thrilled about it. Her parents are professors of medieval literature, and Allie is frustrated that all they talk about is King Arthur and medieval times. Her parents drop the bombshell that they will be staying in the area for three years, and she is excited that she will be finally able to make friends and try out for the track team, as she has moved around so many times in the past few years. As she goes out for a training run, she runs into a cute guy at the water fountain. When she does, she suddenly sees a strange vision of him in armor, and runs off.

On Allie's first day of school, she sees a bully being stopped by the quarterback

On Allie’s first day of school, she sees a bully being stopped by the quarterback

On her first day of school, she spots a kid being bullied, and watches as the guy she ran into stops the bully. The guy goes after her, calling her “water-fountain girl.” He introduces himself as Will, the quarterback of the football team. She soon meets Will’s girlfriend Jen, and is a bit disappointed that Will is taken. She follows them to medieval history class, and sits next to Miles, who warns her that she shouldn’t talk to him if she wants to be popular. She dismisses his warning, saying she’ll be friends with whomever she wants. In their class, they pick their paper assignments, and Allie gets the topic of the Order of the Bear, which she surprisingly has never heard of before. Miles then has a psychic vision of Allie on the track, and tells her to tie her shoes.

At track tryouts, she gets distracted by another vision, but soon is able to prove that she is the fastest girl on the track, and makes the varsity team. Later that day, Miles shows up at her house to work on their paper. Although they look around in all the books, they can’t find anything about the Order of the Bear. He has another vision that she will need some ice, and as she follows him to the kitchen, she hits her foot and needs ice, just as he saw. Miles finally convinces her to ask her parents about the Order of the Bear, and when she does, they reveal a very special book. The Order was an ancient organization that believes King Arthur will one day be reincarnated to bring the world out of darkness. That night, Allie finds she can’t sleep, and decides to read more about the Order.

After reading more about the Order, it's revealed that Avalon High School looks just like Camelot

After reading more about the Order, it’s revealed that Avalon High School looks just like Camelot

In class, her teacher Mr. Moore asks her if she was able to learn more about the order and the prophecy. Allie doesn’t really believe in the prophecy, and offers to bring in the book for Mr. Moore to see. Allie spies Will’s girlfriend Jen and his best friend Lance secretly together in a stairwell, and the two quickly separate after seeing her observing them. After Allie goes on another training run, she ends up in a strange part of the woods, where she runs across Will. He asks her to stay with him, and the two sit and talk. He admits that people only talk to him about football, and he wants to talk about other things, and admits to her that, while he loves the game, there’s so much pressure now, and he’s losing his love for it. She gives him a speech about victory, and it inspires him. She then invites him over for dinner, just as friends, as she is quick to point out. Will then invites her to a party after the game on Friday, and she accepts.

Allie attends to game with Miles, and they watch as the Knights win the football game. Will sees her in the stands, and the two share a glance. Allie and Miles attend the party at Will’s house, and Will’s stepbrother Marco tries to ruin the party with his friends. Allie and Will talk, and it’s obvious that Will and Allie like each other, although Will still has a girlfriend. As Allie tries to find a bathroom, she finds a crown in a room, much like the crown she saw in the book about the Order. She then sees Lance and Jen sharing a tender moment, and Jen chases after her to talk to her. Jen begs Allie not to tell Will, but Allie isn’t sure she shouldn’t tell Will. Jen tells her that it would be just like Camelot if Jen and Lance tell Will now, and Allie reluctantly agrees to let Lance and Jen tell Will when the time is right. Miles confronts Allie about what just happened, and Allie rushes out, with Will confused as to why Allie left. In school, Will asks Allie why she left early, and keeps Jen and Lance’s secret from him, feigning illness. She brings the book to Mr. Moore to read, and reads the book in class while the class watches a movie.

After avoiding Will most of the day, Allie and Will reconnect in the forest

After avoiding Will most of the day, Allie and Will reconnect in the forest

Allie continues to avoid Will, and is confronted by Marco, who knows that Jen and Lance are sneaking around behind Will’s back. He then threatens her to not tell Will, and she says she isn’t going to say anything. As she goes for a training run, she comes across Will again, and she struggles to talk to him, but goes for a run with him. The two start laughing and acting like friends again, and he gives her a flower. The two end up in the woods again, and Will remarks that he feels like the two were friends before they even met. The two discuss future plans, with Allie wanting to go into law, and Will wanting to become President of the United States. At the next game, Lance is distracted by Jen, and fails to guard for Will. The Knights lose the game, and Will is furious. After everyone leaves, Allie approaches Will, who is still upset, thinking Lance missed the block on purpose. Before Allie admits what she knows, Marco interrupts them, and Allie decides not to say anything.

Miles arrives at Allie’s house that night, saying that she needs help. Allie then questions why he knows things before they happen, and he refuses to tell her. She reassures him that they are friends, but he doesn’t want another thing that makes him different. Allie convinces him that it’ll be okay, and he explains that his premonitions are getting stronger and stronger, and that there is a secret page in the book of the Order. The secret page reveals the prophecy of when the King will return when an eclipse and a meteor shower occurs on the same day. Miles looks up the information, which says that that day will occur that Friday, the day of the big game. Allie is excited that King Arthur will return, but Miles reveals that Mordred, Arthur’s half-brother, will be waiting to kill the King before he even knows he is King Arthur. Allie’s parents reveal the Mordred’s plan would be to destroy Arthur’s perfect world, and Allie reveals that Will is the reincarnation of King Arthur.

Allie is convinced that she should tell Will he is Arthur, but Miles is against it

Allie is convinced that she should tell Will he is Arthur, but Miles is against it

While Allie’s parents go off to do more research, Allie and Miles discuss telling Will now to prepare himself. Suddenly, Miles has a vision of Excalibur, and Allie thinks that Miles is the reincarnation of Merlin. In medieval history class, Will is caught cheating by Mr. Moore, but Will protests that the cheat sheet he found was not his. Mr. Moore gives him the benefit of the doubt, and Allie accuses Marco of planting the cheat sheet. Allie keeps an eye on Will during practice, and many of his teammates think that he did cheat, and lose respect for him. After practice, Allie finds him feeling down, and tries to cheer him up, but he chases after Jen, promising to talk to her later that day. She runs into Mr. Moore, who correctly guesses about her crush on Will. She confesses to Mr. Moore about the secret of the Order of the Bear and her suspicions that Will is Arthur; he confesses that he already knows, and will help protect Will from Mordred/Marco. Miles has a vision in science class that Will’s beaker has been tampered with, and it turns out to be Allie’s beaker.

Allie is certain that she should tell Will so he can be prepared, but Miles is convinced that this is a bad idea. That night, Allie finds Will before the game, but before she can, he sees Jen kissing Lance in his car and drives away. Allie chases after him while the rest of the team prepares for the game. She finds him in their spot in the woods, as does Marco. Marco pushes Allie down a hill, but when she gets up, she tells Will that he is King Arthur. Will takes her message as a metaphor rather than truth, and gives her a kiss on the cheek before he leaves for the game. Miles and Allie then head for the game to keep an eye on Will, and watch the skies. Suddenly, the lights go out, and the lunar eclipse and meteor shower occur at the same time. Back in the locker room, Lance tries to apologize for what happened. Will accepts, seeing that they are happy together, and then reunites the team, using Allie’s first inspirational speech to inspire them. As the team heads to the field, Will returns to the locker room to get his helmet, but doesn’t come back. Allie and Miles go look for him, with Miles using his power to find him in the school theater, with Marco. When they arrive, they find Marco injured outside.

Mr. Moore reveals to the group that he is Mordred, rather than Marco

Mr. Moore reveals to the group that he is Mordred, rather than Marco

Inside the theater, Mr. Moore reveals himself to be Mordred instead of Marco. Marco protects them by pushing Mordred down a trapdoor, revealing himself to be a member of the Order of the Bear, and was only a bully to protect Will and keep danger away. Mordred reveals himself fully, and attacks Marco before attacking the rest of the group. When Miles and Allie start to throw props at Mordred, Allie pulls out a plastic sword to protect Will. However, when Mordred tries to attack Allie, the sword becomes Excalibur, revealing that Allie is King Arthur. The group is taken to an alternate dimension to fight, mirroring the dream from the beginning. Allie and Mordred fight one-on-one, and Allie is first thrown off her horse. She soon recovers, and the two battle. Miles, as Merlin, reclaims his staff from Mordred, leaving Mordred with nothing but a sword. Allie soon overpowers him, and a security guard shows up. Mr. Moore tries to get Allie arrested, but ends up getting arrested himself. Although Allie wonders if this is all a dream, Miles reveals that it’s all true. They hurry back to the game, and watch as the Knights win the game. As the school celebrates, Will runs over and kisses Allie. At school the next day, everyone is dressed as their respective members of King Arthur and his Round Table, and they place their swords in the center of the round table.

November 11

November 11, 1946 – The Donald & Goofy Short Film Frank Duck Brings ‘em Back Alive is Released to Theaters

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“Wanted – wild men. That ought to get me a wild man.”

On November 11, 1946, the Donald & Goofy short film Frank Duck Brings ‘em Back Alive was released to theaters. This is the fifth short of the series starring Donald and Goofy, with six released overall. The short was directed by Jack Hannah, with story by Dick Kinney.

The short begins in the jungle, where “wild man” Goofy is swinging on the vines gracefully, performing various tricks. He soon spies a boat in the nearby river, and watches as it parks on the river’s edge. Donald, going under the guise of Frank Duck, posts up a sign on a nearby tree, announcing that he’s looking for wild men to join the circus. Goofy then decides to leap from the tree with a knife, ready to attack Frank. Unfortunately, as he falls, the rest of the attachments on his Swiss army knife fall out, and as he fixes it, he face-plants deep into the jungle floor.

Frank tries to retrieve the contract, but is unable to grab it before Goofy devours it

Frank tries to retrieve the contract, but is unable to grab it before Goofy devours it

Frank asks Goofy to sign the contract, but as he doesn’t know how to sign, he just scribbles on the dotted line before emptying the pen’s ink onto the paper and eating it like a sandwich. Frank tries to retrieve the contract, but is pushed back by Goofy’s leg. Frank is unable to chase after Goofy, and instead tries to bribe him with food. Goofy is finally tempted by a strawberry shortcake, and falls into Frank’s trap, catching him in a cage. As Frank carries the wild man away, the cage breaks off from its bottom, and Goofy is free, unbeknownst to Frank. Frank then sails away, realizing a bit too late that he’s lost his wild man, and hurries back to catch him again. Goofy takes to the vines again, but ends up tangling himself on a vine and tree branch. Unfortunately, Frank is still unable to catch him, and the chase continues through the jungle. Frank chases Goofy into a lion’s den, and both are soon pursued by the lion. Goofy escapes in Frank’s boat, and Frank is left to become the wild man of the jungle.