RSS Feed

Monthly Archives: September 2014

September 20

September 20, 1946 – The Donald Duck Short Film Lighthouse Keeping is Released to Theaters

vlcsnap-2014-09-20-20h16m31s169

“Hahaha, ain’t I a devil?”

On September 20, 1946, the Donald Duck short film Lighthouse Keeping was released to theaters. It was directed by Jack Hannah, with story by Harry Reeves and Jesse Marsh.

Donald is trying to read his book by the light of the lighthouse, but is having difficulty as the light only passes by so often. After being annoyed by the inability to read properly, he decides to play a prank on a sleeping pelican on a nearby rock, holding the light so it shines directly on the pelican’s face. The pelican grabs his nest and tries to move, but Donald moves the light again, angering the pelican. As Donald laughs, he hears the door knock, and he goes to answer it. The pelican rushes inside and blows out the candle in the lighthouse. The pelican continues to fight Donald over the light, until Donald grabs the pelican to throw him over the railing at the top. The pelican is able to use his beak to swing him back onto the balcony, sending Donald flying over the railing. Fortunately for the duck, a wave brings him right back to the top, and the two resume their fight over the light.

vlcsnap-2014-09-20-20h22m13s250

As the pelican has Donald trapped in his bill, he takes Donald to the balcony to drop him off the edge

Donald thinks he gains the advantage hiding in a trunk, not realizing that he’s hiding in the pelican’s beak. The pelican carefully walks to the balcony and sends Donald over the edge, but Donald only pretends to fall, and the fight once again resumes. The pelican then tricks Donadl into running into a glass door, knocking the duck out and giving the pelican a chance to extinguish the flame. The pelican traps Donald in his beak again, and Donald starts hitting the pelican with a mallet. The mallet breaks apart, with the head landing on the top of the pelican’s beak, and he uses this to beat Donald senseless. He soon loses the mallet head, and Donald uses it to light it on fire, making the pelican release him. The fight over the light continues once more, until the sun comes up. Eager to win, Donald closes the blinds, and the two continue their fight over the lighting of the lighthouse candle.

September 19

September 19, 2000 – The Fastball Album The Harsh Light of Day is Released Through Hollywood Records

The-Harsh-Light-of-the-Day-by-Fastball

“I’m an island, but you’re an ocean, it’s a stormy sea of love and emotion.”

On September 19, 2000, the alternative band Fastball released their third album and final album for Hollywood Records, The Harsh Light of Day. They’d signed with the label in 1996, but soon left after this album due to poor sales, barely matching their previous album that grossed over 1 million copies. Though the album had poor sales, it gained generally favorable reviews from critics. The main single from the album was the song “You’re an Ocean,” which was featured in an episode of the television show Charmed. The album sold 85,000 copies.

September 18

September 18, 1986 – The Film Attraction Captain EO Premieres in Disneyland’s Tomorrowland

Captain-Eo-michael-jacksons-short-films-11018407-754-766

“We are here to change the world.”

On September 18, 1986, the film attraction Captain EO premiered in Disneyland’s Tomorrowland. This was the second opening of the film, as it originally opened in Walt Disney World’s Epcot on September 12 of the same year. This film, a musical science-fiction adventure, replaced the Magic Journeys 3D film, and had a budget of almost $24 million. The film is considered one of the first 4D films, meaning that it not only uses the 3D film technique, but adds another dimension with in-theater effects, including lasers and smoke. The plot involves Captain EO and his crew of space creatures who battle the Supreme Leader and her army of darkness using the power of music and dance. Lead actor Michael Jackson wrote two songs for the film: “Another Part of Me” (which would later appear on the album Bad), and “We Are Here to Change the World.” The movie closed on September 1, 1996; it reopened on July 1, 2010, to honor the legacy of Michael Jackson after his death, and closed again on June 30, 2014. It was directed by Francis Ford Coppola, written by Rusty Lemorande, and executively produced by George Lucas. The film starred Michael Jackson, Anjelica Huston, and Dick Shawn.

September 17

September 17, 2002 – The Video Game Kingdom Hearts is Released in the United States through Square Enix and Disney Interactive

kingdom-hearts-ps2-cover-front-50395

“You never know who you’ll run into next.”

On September 17, 2002, the action video game Kingdom Hearts was released in the United States, after a release in Japan on March 28th. Created through a collaboration between Square Enix and Disney Interactive Studios, the game features the characters from the famous Final Fantasy series of games and The World Ends with You Square Enix game in an elaborate crossover. The game is set in a special Disney universe, where Sora must travel to different character worlds, accompanied by Donald and Goofy, to fight against Ansem and his army of evil beings known as the Heartless. Upon release, the game received positive reviews in the United States and Japan, with over 20 million copies sold. The theme song for the game was “Hikari” by Japanese recording artist Hikaru Utada, with an English version of the song, “Simple and Clean” released for Western Audiences. Other pieces of media, including comic books and a soundtrack album, were also released thanks to the game’s popularity. The game has since spawned a number of sequels, with more titles forthcoming.

September 16

September 16, 1991 – The Live Show Muppets on Location: Days of Swine and Roses Begins in Disney-MGM Studios

SWINEROSES

“We can watch it all develop, starring everybody and me!”

On September 16, 1991, the live show Muppets on Location: Days of Swine and Roses began its run in Walt Disney World’s Disney-MGM Studios. The show ran behind the area of the Muppet*Vision 3D attraction, and ran until January 23, 1994. Featuring a plot about the Muppets filming a movie, the characters included favorites Kermit, Miss Piggy, Fozzie Bear, Gonzo the Great, Bean Bunny, and the Electric Mayhem. The characters would interact with the audience during the show, signing autographs and helping amp up audience participation.

September 15

September 15, 1944 – The Goofy Short Film How to Play Football is Released to Theaters

vlcsnap-2014-09-15-19h59m32s196

“To the spectator, football may appear rather rough at times, but in reality, it’s a character-building game.”

On September 15, 1944, the Goofy short film How to Play Football was released to theaters. It was seventh of the popular “How To” series that Goofy became known for. The short was directed by Jack Kinney.

The short opens with the narrator listing everything one needs for football: “a college covered with ivy; a coliseum or stadium filled to overflowing with a 100,000 rabid, wildly cheering fans; great armies of vendors; managers; mascots; photographers; sportswriters; doctors; elaborate brass bands; assorted coaches; old grads; scores of Annie Oakleys; and two teams resplendent in brilliant uniforms.” After these elements are put together, the narrator tries to explain the object of the game, but is drowned out by the crowd. The game starts, and the camera tries to follow the players, but can only show the backs of the spectators. The first touchdown is scored by Taxidermy Tech against Anthropology A&M, and the star quarterback is taken out to be saved, as he is Taxidermy’s star player. The next play begins, with many well-placed puns and wordplay. The injured players are soon carted off the field, though their injuries are chalked up to “character-building.” For the next play, a foul is called for unnecessary roughness, but after Taxidermy kicks the ball, everyone seems to fumble about before Anthropology A&M is able to accidentally score a touchdown.

The game gets rather rough after Taxidermy Tech scores the first touchdown

The game gets rather rough after Taxidermy Tech scores the first touchdown

The score is 7 to 6, but A&M is able to score another touchdown, although their final kick doesn’t exactly go over the goalpost, giving A&M a score of 12.5 at the half. In the locker room, the coach for Tech surveys his weary and wounded players, and changes his moods every split second to supposedly rally their spirits. He sends in his star quarterback, who is able to make a touchdown before he is viciously sacked. The coach tries to revive his star, and they send him back in for one final play, although he makes his way around the field in a dazed stupor. By sheer luck, he manages to make the final touchdown, giving Tech the win with 13 to 12.5. The coach is seen driven mad by the game, and is tied in a straight jacket after the game is over.

September 14

September 14, 2012 – The Pixar Short Film Partysaurus Rex Premieres in Theaters

PSR_1

“Yeah, you’re in the right place baby! Cause when the water’s high, the party’s fly!”

On September 14, 2012, the Pixar short film Partysaurus Rex premiered in theaters as the opening short for Finding Nemo 3D. It was the third short in the Toy Story Toons series, which show the characters from the Toy Story series of films in new adventures after the events of the third film, Toy Story 3. It was written and directed by Mark Walsh, and starred Wallace Shawn as Rex, Tim Allen as Buzz Lightyear, Corey Burton as Capn Suds, Tony Cox and Don Fullilove as Chuck E. Duck, Emily Hahn as Bonnie, and Lori Alan as Bonnie’s Mom.

The shot begins at Bonnie’s house, where the toys are trying to break the record for largest bubble, when Rex walks in and bursts it without noticing, much to their annoyance. He continues to clumsily knock everyone over, with the toys calling him a buzzkill and a party pooper. The toys then hear Bonnie’s mother call out for bath time, and Bonnie asks to bring a toy; hearing this, all the toys but Rex scatter, and Rex is taken to the bathtub. Bonnie makes Rex the new villain in her bathtime saga, and after she gets out of the tub, the toys rejoice Rex’s appearance. When they ask him his name, Rex, still embarrassed about being called a “party pooper,” creates a new nickname for himself: Partysaurus Rex.

Rex turns on the water to start the party for the bath toys, earning his name "Partysaurus Rex"

Rex turns on the water to start the party for the bath toys, earning his name “Partysaurus Rex”

The excitement soon ends when the water is gone from the tub, as the toys explain that they need water to move, and they can’t turn the water on themselves. Rex realizes that he can turn the water on, and he starts the party once again. Still haunted by the “party pooper” moniker, Rex amps up the party, and the tub party becomes a rave. The water level soon hits the overflow drain, but Rex covers it up, pretending not to be concerned about flooding the house. Unfortunately, his anxieties soon hit him, and when he tries to stop the water, he accidentally pulls off the tap, and loses the drain. He finally pulls the lever on the tap, stopping the water, much to the bath toys’ sadness. Rex doesn’t realize, however, that he’s activated the shower, and the party continues in full force. The water starts to overflow, and the toys excitedly go over the top. Meanwhile, Buzz and the gang have come to check on Rex, when the door bursts open and they are swept away with the water and the ongoing party. The plumber is called soon after, and the toys are drying themselves off, unable to believe Rex’s story about being a “Partysaurus.” One of the lawn toys appears in the window, asking Rex to hook them up like he did with the bath toys. Rex dons his party hat and goes off to start another party.

September 13

September 13, 1997 – The Animated Series Pepper Ann Premieres on Disney’s One Saturday Morning

vlcsnap-2014-09-13-21h26m03s110

“Pepper Ann, Pepper Ann, much too cool for seventh grade, no one’s cooler than Pepper Ann!”

On September 13, 1997, the animated series Pepper Ann premiered on Disney’s One Saturday Morning cartoon programming block on ABC. The show was based on a comic strip for YM magazine designed by the show’s creator, Sue Rose. The series lasted for five seasons, with 65 episodes in total. It starred Kathleen Wilhoite as Pepper Ann, Clea Lewis as Nicky, Danny Cooksey as Milo, April Winchell as Lydia, and Pam Segall as Moose.

The first episode, “Ziterella,” begins at Hazelnut Middle School, where Pepper Ann is struggling to close her overstuffed locker. Nicky and Milo ask if Pepper Ann is ready for the yearbook photo, as every year, Pepper Ann takes a horrible photo. She has no worries this year, as she’s perfected her look for the year. Unfortunately, she realizes that she’s got a zit right in the middle of her forehead, ruining her chances of a good photo. Nicky and Milo tell her that it’s not noticeable, but Pepper Ann continues to let her imagination run away with her, imagining a worst case scenario where she can only get a low wage job in the future. She asks her mom Lydia to buy her the pimple cream, but Lydia doesn’t seem to notice. Lydia asks her to go to Abe’s Mall to buy the cream and some film, but Pepper Ann refuses to go to what she calls the “Abys-mall,” as only geeks and old people shop there. In the end, she decides to go there, although she seems to run into everyone from school on the way there.

Having no other choice, Pepper Ann sneaks into Abe's Mall wearing a disguise

Having no other choice, Pepper Ann sneaks into Abe’s Mall wearing a disguise

Pepper Ann finally makes her way to Abe’s Mall, and sneaks inside wearing a disguise. Unfortunately, the pimple cream refuses to be rung up, and she dives across the cash register thanks to her embarrassment. What she doesn’t realize, however, is that the photographer is taking the last picture of the day of Pinkeye Pete, a student constantly struggling with conjunctivitis. She arrives home to find her friends have been kidnapped by her mother for a photo shoot. The next day, Pepper Ann’s pimple has disappeared, but the photographer has to cancel thanks to a severe case of pinkeye. In class, Pepper Ann’s secret about going to Abe’s Mall is out, as their teacher announces that she saw her there. When she gets home, she finds that Abe’s Mall is on television being promoted by her favorite band as the “coolest shopping place in the colonies,” and there’s a shot of Pepper Ann shopping there. The next day at school, she’s touted by the other students as “fashion forward,” and gets the attention of popular eighth-grader Craig Bean. Unfortunately, her good mood is soon ruined when she finds out who is taking the yearbook photos: her mother.

September 12

September 12, 1941 – The Donald Duck Short Film Old MacDonald Duck is Released to Theaters

vlcsnap-2014-09-12-18h55m44s54

“Let’s see…eenie meenie miney mo, okay, missy, here we go.”

On September 12, 1941, the Donald Duck short film Old MacDonald Duck was released to theaters. It was directed by Jack King.

It’s a sunny day on Donald’s farm, and he is happily feeding the animals and singing “Old MacDonald,” with the animals accompanying him. He calls out for his cow Clementine, but she seems to be nowhere to be found. He finally spies her up a tree, eating leaves, and she gracefully jumps down to meet him. He sits down to milk her, and all is going well until a fly lands on Clementine’s nose. She accidentally whacks Donald with her tail, and although he is initially irritated, he resumes work until the fly lands on his own beak. After slapping it away, he tries to pull his hat down over his head, but the fly finds its way in and bugs him. He is interrupted to the point where he loses focus, and ends up milking into his hat, sitting on his pail, and wearing his stool as his hat. The fly continues to mock him, so Donald uses Clementine’s udder to shoot milk at the bug. The bug is terrified, but manages to safely get away. The bug seeks the ultimate revenge, and tricks Clementine into wrapping her tail around Donald’s neck before swishing him around to rid herself of the fly, and ends up dumping poor Donald into the milk bucket. The fly then bites the cow to make her kick Donald into the barn, with tools falling all over him. The fly laughs himself silly over his triumph.

September 11

September 11, 1957 – The Disney Anthology Episode “The Fourth Anniversary Show” Premieres

vlcsnap-2014-09-11-18h59m34s10

“I remember how his fingers flew over the keys of our battered, old piano, how his face glistened with perspiration as he concentrated on the music, and all the time I could see pictures; I could see his lovely fantasy coming to life on the screen.”

On September 11, 1957, the Disney Anthology episode “The Fourth Anniversary Show” premiered on ABC. Celebrating four years on the air, the episode shows some upcoming projects for the studios, and a stylized flashback sequence. The show also features proposed scenes for a film called The Rainbow Road to Oz, which would have been an adaptation of one of Frank L. Baum’s Oz stories, which Disney owned the rights to; this film was never made. The episode was directed by Sidney Miller and Hamilton S. Luske. It starred the Mouseketeers, Fess Parker, Jerome Courtland, Guy Williams, and Walt Disney as himself and as the voice of Mickey Mouse.

The episode begins with Walt attempting to play “Peter and the Wolf” on the piano. He reflects on how the piano in front of him played an important part in one of the many adventures at the studio, when Sergei Prokofiev came to the studio to work with the animators on a segment. The audience is then taken back in time to a storyboarding meeting in 1938, when the studio was hard at work on Fantasia and Pinocchio. Walt gets a call from Rudy Polk, VP of a talent agency, who tells him that an important composer wants to talk to Walt, and that Prokofiev had Disney in mind when he wrote Peter and the Wolf. Walt agrees, and they work together in a small little studio, although Prokofiev spoke very little English, and Walt spoke no Russian. Polk explains the piece to Walt while Prokofiev plays, and Walt listens intently. Unfortunately, although Walt wanted to work on the story, WWII put a wrench in any non-military stories and films. After the war, they went back to “Peter and the Wolf,” which was one of the first post-war projects. The short subject film is then presented.

Walt is kidnapped by the Mouseketeers and given a surprise anniversary party

Walt is kidnapped by the Mouseketeers and given a surprise anniversary party

After the short, Walt is about to go into an introduction of more classical music in Disney films, when Mouseketeer Cubby shows up at his office door. Walt introduces him, but tells him that they will talk later. He tries to go back to his introduction, but turns to find Cubby still at the door. Walt explains that he’s talking to the Disneyland audience, but Cubby interprets this as an okay to enter, and tells the other Mouseketeers that Walt’s “just sitting on the desk talking.” The Mouseketeers enter and start jabbering away, when Walt tells them to hold on for a second. He then introduces them: Annette, Bobby, Darlene, Karen, and of course, Cubby. They drag him to the Mouseketeer stage, where they surprise him with a party celebrating the anniversary of the Disneyland show. They put on a special show for him about everything they’d seen on the Disneyland television show, and ask him what’s in store for the next year. He answers that there’s more Donald and Goofy adventures, more global adventures, and a new character – Andy Burnett – explained by Fess Parker, with scenes from the new miniseries starring Jerome Courtland. Courtland then serenades the Mousketeers with a new song from the series called “Ladies in the Sky.”

After this, Walt gives a brief overview of what’s next, although Moochie keeps asking about Zorro. He then explains that Zorro will no longer be on Disneyland, but will be its own series. When Moochie asks if Zorro was real, Walt explains that Zorro was a mythical feature, but it soon interrupted by Zorro himself, and soon has a sword fight with a shadowy figure. Zorro, of course, wins, and makes the sign of the Z before he disappears. Walt then decides to leave, and the kids give him a present: a shooting script of the film The Rainbow Road to Oz. The Mousketeers volunteer to take over all the preparations for the film, and who off the characters in their story. They show a scene where the character of the Patchwork Girl (played by Doreen) meets the Scarecrow (played by Bobby) for the first time. Another segment plays, with Darleen singing a song called the “Oz-Can Hop.” Walt agrees to make the film, and then the Mousketeers present another song with a large anniversary cake. Mickey then makes a surprise appearance at the end, noting that the Mousketeers are a great bunch of kids, with which Walt agrees.