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Monthly Archives: June 2014

June 20

June 20, 1947 – The Donald Duck Short Film Clown of the Jungle is Released to Theaters

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“Here in a jungle paradise, nature’s little songsters blend in unforgettable harmonies.”

On June 20, 1947, the Donald Duck short film Clown of the Jungle was released to theaters. It features the Aracuan bird, a crazy bird that was first featured in the film The Three Caballeros, tormenting Donald much as he does in this short. The Aracuan makes another appearance in the film Melody Time. Clown of the Jungle was directed by Jack Hannah, with story by Ray Patin.

The audience is introduced to the jungle paradise of the South Americas, where the bliss is interrupted by the hyperactive Aracuan bird, known as the “slap-happy clown of the jungle.” The narrator then notices a strange sight in the jungle, and introduces Donald as a member of the Bird Lovers Photographic Expedition. Donald steps out of his tent to take pictures of birds, but the birds seem determined not to be photographed. Donald finally spies a sleeping stork and attempts to take a good picture, only to have the Aracuan step into the shot. Donald tries to send the Aracuan away, but the bird responds in a melodramatic fashion, acting as though it will commit suicide. The Aracuan is amused by Donald’s reassuring handshake, and starts “shaking hands” with everything he can get his hands on.

The Aracuan interrupts the hummingbirds song with a Russian-style dance

The Aracuan interrupts the hummingbirds song with a Russian-style dance

Donald, annoyed at the behavior, regains his enthusiasm for his expedition when he spots some hummingbirds. When he goes to take the shot, however, the Aracuan interrupts with a Russian dance. When Donald tries to attack the Aracuan, the Aracuan fights back, and Donald chases after the bird in a rage. Donald continues to be tricked by the comical Aracuan, including the Aracuan setting up a fake bird only to have Donald smacked with a hammer and blasted by a cigar. In the end, Donald sets up a machine gun and shoots the Aracuan, but is dismayed to find that he just destroyed his own tent, leaving the Aracuan unharmed. Donald then goes completely crazy, acting just like the Aracuan.

June 19

June 19, 1998 – DisneyQuest Opens in Downtown Disney

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“Discover 5 floors of fun including virtual worlds, 3D encounters, and classic video games.”

On June 19, 1998, the interactive indoor attraction DisneyQuest opened in Walt Disney World’s Downtown Disney West Side. The area features five floors of activities, randing from virtual reality games, to animation instruction, to classic video games. Many of the games feature popular Disney characters, including Aladdin (Aladdin’s Magic Carpet Ride virtual game) and Buzz Lightyear (Buzz Lightyear’s Astroblasters). A second DisneyQuest opened in Chicago on June 16, 1999, but closed in 2001 due to low attendance. Although other attempts to take DisneyQuest outside the park were planned, the projects were shelved indefinitely due to the closing of the Chicago location.

June 18

June 18, 2010 – The Pixar Short Film Day & Night Premieres in Theaters

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“They are afraid of new ideas…they are loaded with prejudices not based upon anything in reality, but based on ‘if something is new, I reject it immediately because it’s frightening to me.’”

On June 18, 2010, the Pixar short film Day & Night premiered in theaters before the full-length feature film Toy Story 3. It was written and directed by Teddy Newton, and was nominated for an Academy Award, but lost to Andrew Ruhemann and Shaun Tan’s The Lost Thing.

The film begins on a farm scene, displayed in the form of a man, representing Day. He comes across Night, who is sound asleep, and is astounded to discover that when he steps in front of Night, he shows the same area, but how it looks in the daytime. Day pokes night awake, and the two study each other suspiciously. Day then continues on his way happily, but Night follows him to show off his night scene. The two get in an argument, which has an affect on the nature inside them. Finally, the two realize that they both have create beauty in their own respective times of day, and the two start dancing together. Night hears a radio station play in Day, and the two listen to the host talk about prejudice. The two realize that they both misjudged each other based on fear, and the two decide to become friends before they realize that they’ve switched roles. Eagerly awaiting what’s in store, the two link arms and go off together.

June 17

June 17, 1933 – The Mickey Mouse Short Film Mickey’s Mechanical Man is Released to Theaters

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“One, two, come on there, step in! Three, four, with a spot on his chin! Five, six, lead with your right, seven, eight, get in there and fight!”

On June 17, 1933, the Mickey Mouse short film Mickey’s Mechanical Man was released to theaters. It was directed by Wilfred Jackson. The gorilla in the short was a character from the 1930 Mickey Mouse short film, The Gorilla Mystery.

A poster is seen on the side of a barn, advertising the “Battle of the Century” between the Kongo Killer and Mickey’s Mechanical Man. Mickey is inside his own training center, having the robot named Sam punch a safe with the gorilla’s face on it while Mickey plays the piano and sings his commands. Minnie drives up to the training grounds and watches from the window. She honks her car horn, which gives Sam a strange reaction to violently punch any picture of the gorilla he sees. At one point, Sam punches a lamppost so hard that it falls on him and knocks him out. Mickey goes to check on Sam, when he hears Minnie laughing and mocking him. Mickey asks her to never honk the horn again, as it makes his robot go wild and crazy. However, she honks it again, and Sam gets up and runs wildly down the street with Mickey following him.

The town gathers for the fight of the century, although most are banking on Kongo winning

The town gathers for the fight of the century, although most are banking on Kongo winning

The crowds gather for the fight, but run inside when Sam makes his way to the arena, and proceeds to punch a poster of Kongo the Killer on a brick wall, knocking himself out in the process. Mickey drags Sam inside, with Minnie following him as the crowd laughs. Finally, the fight begins, although the crowd isn’t so sure Sam can win. In the beginning, Sam has a strong lead, but Kongo soon gets his punches in, sending Sam’s parts flying all over the place. Sam is soon knocked out, with mechanical birdies flying above his head, and Mickey begs Sam to get up. Minnie soon gets the idea to grab her horn and make it sound. When she does, Sam springs into action, fighting Kongo with all he’s got. Sam wins the fight, sending Kongo flying into the rafters, and Sam blows apart from the excitement.

June 16

June 16, 1957 – The Short-Lived Disneyland Area Holidayland Opens

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“I had the honor, or dishonor, of being the only manager of a land at Disneyland that failed.” – Disney Legend and Disneyland Opening Day Manager Milt Albright

On June 16, 1957, the short-lived area of Disneyland known as Holidayland opened. Walt wanted to make use of the tent that once housed the Mickey Mouse Circus, and decided to create an area for corporate events, including picnics. Guests could then enter the main park through a special entrance. The area had very little appeal, as it lacked any Disney “flavor,” and had several other problems. The area closed in 1961, and is now occupied by New Orleans Square.

June 15

June 15, 2012 – Cars Land Opens in Disney’s California Adventure

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“Zoom through the desert landscape of Cars Land, inspired by the Disney-Pixar movie Cars.”

On June 15, 2012, the themed expansion area of Disney’s California Adventure, Cars Land, opened. Designed to resemble Radiator Springs from the hit Disney-Pixar Movie, the 12-acre area features several attractions and dining options. One attraction, Radiator Springs Racers, takes guests through the area, letting them view all parts of Radiator Springs while racing against each other. Highlights include Luigi’s Flying Tires (similar to the Flying Saucers attraction from the early days of Disneyland), Mater’s Junkyard Jamboree, and Flo’s V8 Café.

June 14

June 14, 1958 – The Fantasyland Attraction Alice in Wonderland Opens in Disneyland

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“Can you escape in time for a very ‘unbirthday party’ where you’re the guest of honor?”

On June 14, 1958, the Fantasyland attraction Alice in Wonderland opened in Disneyland. Based on the 1951 animated feature, the attraction is a dark ride, with parts of the ride illuminated using ultraviolet light and special paint. Guests board caterpillar-shaped boats and head into “Wonderland,” viewing several iconic scenes from the film, and meeting the beloved characters. The attraction was closed on September 6, 1982, for a major remodel, which included a re-recording of the voice of Alice by original actress Kathryn Beaumont. As of the date of this entry, the ride has been closed again for another remodel. This is one of the few attractions that exists only in Disneyland.

June 13

June 13, 2011 – The Disney X D Original Series Kickin’ It Premieres

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“That was the most incredible thing I’ve seen in my entire life – and I’ve been to the Ice Capades!”

On June 13, 2011, the Disney X D Original Series Kickin’ It premiered. It was based on creator Jim O’Doherty’s childhood experiences with karate, as well as his daughters’ interest in the martial arts. The show, originally called Wasabi Warriors, was the highest rated series premiere in the channel’s history, and is the first Disney X D series to run past three seasons. As of this date, the show has 73 episodes. It stars Leo Howard as Jack Brewer, Dylan Riley Snyder as Milton Krupnick, Mateo Arias as Jerry Martinez, Olivia Holt as Kim Crawford, Alex Christian Jones as Eddie Jones, and Jason Earles as Rudy Gillespie.

The first episode, “Wasabi Warriors,” begins at Seaford High School, where new student Jack meets student Kim in the cafeteria, and is then invited to sit with a bunch of kids that do karate together after school, and are bullied by kids from another karate dojo. Jack stands up for them with some hidden karate skills of his own, leaving everyone in the cafeteria impressed. He quickly flees the scene after the fight. After school, the kids gather at the Bobby Wasabi martial arts dojo, where owner Rudy is given the bad news that he is in danger of being closed down, unless his students win two belts at the next meet. The kids recommend that Rudy bring Jack in as a member, but Rudy is unconvinced. Meanwhile, Jack heads through the mall on his skateboard, and is chased by mall police, where he ends up crashing into the dojo. As he tries to leave, he is arrested by mall police, but Rudy, who is impressed by Jack’s skills as he tried to escape, makes a deal with the kid: help Bobby Wasabi Dojo win two belts, and he’ll makes sure Jack doesn’t go to juvie. Jack agrees.

After facing trouble with the mall cops, Jack decides to join the Bobby Wasabi dojo

After facing trouble with the mall cops, Jack decides to join the Bobby Wasabi dojo

Later, when Jack is hanging out with the guys from the dojo, Kim stops by and asks to speak with Jack alone. Kim tells him that he should be at the best dojo in town: the Black Dragon dojo. She takes him there and shows off her black belt. The owner of the Black Dragons tries to get Jack to join them, but Jack refuses, as he gave his word already to Bobby Wasabi. When Rudy finds out that Jack even went to the Black Dragons, he gets angry and lets it slip that Jack was never going to go to juvie, but be banned from the mall for two weeks. Jack is furious, and decides to join the Black Dragons. He stops by the next day to pick up his things, and discovers that the dojo is closing. As the students say their farewells, Jack has a change of heart and decides to show the kids that they really can do karate, and will help them keep the gym open.

At the next advancement tournament, the Wasabi Warriors are ready to get their belts, with Eddie going first against a giant of a guy. Jack gives him a pep talk, telling Eddie to use his anger that has built up since Marge the Lunch Lady started kicking him around. Eddie is able to earn his first belt for the gym. Jerry is up next using nun-chucks, but accidentally hits himself in the groin and loses. Milton is up next, and needs to break more boards than his opponent. Milton is able to break two boards at once, and wins the dojo’s second belt, but the belt is taken away from him when he starts beating up a member of the Black Dragons, one of his bullies. It’s then Jack versus Kim, but one of the Black Dragons hurts Jack’s leg to cause him to lose. When Kim finds out that the Black Dragons cheated, she quits. Jack tries to win the belt for the dojo, as he wants to help his friends. Jack is able to win the belt, and Bobby Wasabi Dojo is saved. Later, Kim decides to join the Bobby Wasabi Dojo, telling them they need all the help they can get.

June 12

June 12, 1957 – The Monsanto House of the Future Attraction Opens in Disneyland’s Tomorrowland

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“The Home of the Future was always a great one. You’d go in and see all the things that you wondered why you didn’t have them in your home.” – Dick Cook, Former Chairman of the Walt Disney Studios

On June 12, 1957, the Monsanto House of the Future attraction opened in Disneyland’s Tomorrowland. Like many attractions at this time, it was meant to be a view of the future; it was built with plastic, and featured many appliances and furniture pieces that were uncommon in homes at the time. In 1967, like many pieces of Tomorrowland, the house began to look dated thanks to advances in technology at the time, and was scheduled to be torn down. However, the house was so well built that it wasn’t able to be destroyed in the regular fashion, as the wrecking ball just bounced off the house; crews had to take the place apart piece by piece. The home was completely demolished by December of 1967.

June 11

June 11, 2010 – The Nighttime Show World of Color Premieres in Disneyland’s California Adventure

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“Watch images of characters come to life on a veil of mist, while water forms fanciful shapes in time to memorable music.”

On June 11, 2010, the nighttime show World of Color premiered at Disneyland’s California Adventure park. The show takes place at Paradise Bay in the Paradise Pier area, and is an outdoor light and music extravaganza, with over 1,000 fountains shooting enough water to create a 19,000 square-foot screen, where 28 projectors display clips from classic Disney movies. Music plays in time with the projected clips, ranging from all across Disney film history. The show has become immensely popular, and is frequently updated for special events or holidays. Special “Glow with the Show” ear hats are also available for guests to purchase, and the ears glow to match the rhythm of the show.