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Monthly Archives: November 2014

November 30

November 30, 1988 – The Live-Action Series Good Morning Miss Bliss Premieres on the Disney Channel

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“There’s nothing quite like the first day of school: fresh faces, new clothes, and summer memories.”

On November 30, 1988, the live-action sitcom Good Morning Miss Bliss premiered on the Disney Channel. The series was cancelled after five episodes, with thirteen episodes having been completed; the series then moved to NBC and was retooled as Saved by the Bell, which became a huge hit for the channel. Good Morning Miss Bliss featured stories about teachers and students, while the latter focused on just the students. The episodes of Good Morning Miss Bliss were added to Saved by the Bell’s syndication later on. The series was created by Sam Bobrick, and featured Hayley Mills as Carrie Bliss, Dennis Haskins as Principal Belding, Mark-Paul Gosselaar as Zack Morris, Lark Voorhies as Lisa Turtle, Dustin Diamond as Screech Powers, Max Battimo as Mikey Gonzales, and Heather Hopper as Nikki Coleman.

The first episode, “Summer Love,” begins at John F. Kennedy Junior High School in Indianapolis, Indiana, with the new school year having just started. Zack Morris greets his friends Mikey and Screech, and brags about hanging out with a ninth grader all summer long, as he pretended he was in the ninth grade as well. His other friend Nikki is rather critical of Zack’s lies, but her friend Lisa argues that everyone lies in the matters of summer love. Carrie Bliss, their teacher, is talking with her fellow teachers about their schedules, and she talks with Principal Belding, who asks her to cover for him at the PTA meeting, but she declines, as she has a date. As Miss Bliss helps a new student to their classroom, they run into Zack in the hallway, and he is shocked to see that the new girl is Karen, the girl he met at camp. The two nervously chat, and Zack comes up with more lies to tell her to cover for the fact that he isn’t a ninth grader. Things get worse when Miss Bliss tells him that he’ll be announced as the eighth grade representative at the assembly that afternoon, but he shockingly announces that he resigns.

Zack sits with Karen, trying to keep up the charade that he's in the ninth grade

Zack sits with Karen, trying to keep up the charade that he’s in the ninth grade

During lunch, Zack eats with Karen, while Belding joins Miss Bliss at her table. He again tries to guilt her into taking his place at the PTA, but with no avail. Zack and Karen run into Lisa and Nikki, with Nikki trying to ruin Zack’s lie surreptitiously. As the bell rings, everyone heads to class, but Miss Bliss asks to talk with Zack for a moment. She asks him why he turned down being the student council representative, and he comes clean. Zack’s worried that Karen will dump him if he tells the truth, but Miss Bliss tells him that she’ll find out sooner or later. He tries to tell Karen the truth, but chickens out when she invites him over while her parents are away that weekend. Unfortunately, Karen finds out the truth on her own, and she walks away angrily. As Miss Bliss sits in her classroom, Belding once again tries to convince her to take his place at the PTA meeting, but she turns him down again.

That night, Miss Bliss is getting ready for her date when her friend Tina arrives. Miss Bliss tries to get Tina to leave, but her date arrives before Tina can leave. Fortunately, she sees herself out, and Miss Bliss and her date enjoy their evening. As she goes to get dessert, Zack arrives at her backyard. He confides in her that Karen dumped him. Miss Bliss takes time from her date to help Zack, and she helps him understand that this kind of pain is a part of life. Her date walks in on them talking, and when he says that he has to go, she tries to convince him to stay, thinking that her life as a teacher scared him away. Fortunately for her, he just had an emergency at work, but would love to see her again, and thinks she’s a wonderful teacher.

November 29

November 29, 2006 – High School Musical: The Concert Begins in San Diego

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“We’re all in this together.”

On November 29, 2006, the touring production of High School Musical: The Concert began its run in San Diego, California. Based on the highly popular Disney Channel Original Movie, the tour featured most of the original cast, save for Zac Efron, who was off filming the movie Hairspray. Efron’s character Troy was played by Drew Seeley. The international tour reached forty cities in the United States, Europe, and South America. A special recording of the tour premiered as a one-hour special on Disney Channel on May 4, 2007; a DVD and CD of this recording was made available on May 1. The concert also featured recording artist Jordan Pruitt as the opening act.

November 28

November 28, 1974 – The Tomorrowland Attraction Star Jets Opens in Walt Disney World

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“Scaled-down Apollo-Saturn replica rockets propelled guests up to 60 feet above Magic Kingdom park.”

On November 28, 1974, the Tomorrowland attraction Star Jets opened in Walt Disney World. The attraction was based on the Disneyland Rocket Jets, which opened in 1967. The attraction was similar to the Dumbo the Flying Elephant attraction; guests board their vehicles and while revolving around a central hub, and have the ability to maneuver the vehicle up and down while continuing the rotation of the ride. For Star Jets, guests boarded jets around a centralized rocket hub, and the height of the attraction allowed guests the ability to look out over the sights of the Magic Kingdom. When tickets were in use in the parks, this attraction was considered a D Ticket ride. In 1994, the attraction was closed along with many others due to a significant change in the look of Tomorrowland, and was replaced with the Astro Orbiter.

November 27

November 27, 2013 – The Mickey Mouse Short Film Get a Horse! is Released to Theatres

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“Where are we? Poughkeepsie?

On November 27, 2013, the Mickey Mouse short film Get a Horse! was released to theaters. This was the first theatrical short film featuring Mickey since 1995’s Runaway Brain, and the first short to use Walt Disney as the voice of Mickey since the 1947’s Mickey’s Delayed Date, thanks to archival recording. It also features archival audio of Marcellite Garner as Minnie (along with additional lines by current Minnie voice Russi Taylor), and Billy Bletcher as Peg Leg Pete (with additional dialogue by Will Ryan). It was also the first short to feature the character of Oswald the Lucky Rabbit since Disney’s reacquisition of the character. It was directed by Lauren MacMullan, with story developed by MacMullan, Paul Briggs, Nancy Kruse, and Raymond S. Persi.

The short begins with Mickey greeting his friends as they arrive on a hay wagon. As he rushes after them, he jumps out of his shorts and shoes due to his excitement. He tries to get them back, but they refuse to listen. He is finally able to retrieve them, and hops on the wagon as it passes by which also picks up Minnie and Clarabelle Cow. The merriment on the wagon is cut short, however, when Peg Leg Pete comes up behind the group in his car, and honks angrily to let him pass. When he spots Minnie, he decides he would rather have her, and takes her hostage before jostling the wagon with his car. Mickey and Horace Horsecollar are thrown into the movie screen, which puzzles Pete, but gives him an idea to throw Mickey and Horace into the real world.

Mickey is thrown into the real world, and finds himself unable to save Minnie from her predicament, much to Pete's delight

Mickey is thrown into the real world, and finds himself unable to save Minnie from her predicament, much to Pete’s delight

Mickey is shocked about how he looks in the real world, including the red of his shorts, but soon forgets that when he realizes Minnie is in trouble. Try as he might, he has no way of saving her from his position. Suddenly, Horace appears, thoroughly assimilated into the real world (and wearing a Captain America shirt to boot). Mickey calls Horace to attention, and turns him into a makeshift plane, using Milk Duds as bullets to shoot at Pete. The plan, doesn’t work, however, so they try another approach: calling Pete’s phone and spraying him with the contents of a fire extinguisher, turning the animated scene into a winter wonderland. Pete then falls through the ice and lands in a lake, which threatens to flood the theater. Mickey pokes holes in the screen, freeing Minnie and pulling everyone out of the film with them. A chance ensues in and out of the animated and real world, and Mickey is knocked unconscious while Minnie is captured again. After reviving Mickey, the gang then realizes they can manipulate the situation by flipping the screen up and down and back and forth, and Pete is soon injured to the point of unconsciousness. Minnie is saved, and the screen is broken, sending Pete into the real world. The gang then closes the screen, leaving Pete trapped in-between worlds as he tries to get back.

November 26

November 26, 1943 – The Donald Duck Short Film Home Defense is Released to Theaters

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“Hey, you! Attention! Display your chevrons! Surrender your weapons, gentlemen! You’re a disgrace to the service!”

On November 26, 1943, the Donald Duck short film Home Defense was released to theaters. It was directed by Jack King.

From his listening post, Donald is falling asleep while his nephews sleep soundly in their tent. Donald tries desperately to stay awake, but fails, dropping his trumpet while he falls to the ground. He ends up snoring into the trumpet, making it sound and waking his nephews, who are shocked to see Donald shirking his duties. They decide to play a prank on their uncle, and send a model airplane flying around the listening post. The sound wakes Donald up, and he believes that there’s a bomber right above them. The nephews then set up their guns, although Donald takes over and shoots the model plane down while the nephews laugh. Donald then sees some parachuters from the plane (another part of the nephews’ prank), and hides in a flowerbed while the nephews make sounds or battle.

Finding that his nephews tricked him, Donald takes away their chevrons and weapons, dismissing them from his service

Finding that his nephews tricked him, Donald takes away their chevrons and weapons, dismissing them from his service

After one of the dummies lands on Donald’s nose, he realizes the ruse and decides to get back at his nephews by dismissing them from his gun crew. He ignores the tears of his nephews as they march away sadly, and is left alone at his post. Later, he hears a bug buzzing around the post and believes that it’s his nephews playing another prank. When he realizes this isn’t the case, he believes that they are under attack, and quickly calls the boys to help. He restores them to the service, and they set up the cannon to be pointed at the listening post’s speaker, much to the surprise of the bug, who barely manages to escape. The nephews try to warn Donald before setting off the cannon, but Donald refuses to listen, and his ears are blown out from the cannon fire into the speaker. The nephews laugh as Donald throws a tantrum at his misfortune.

November 25

November 25, 1997 – The Pixar Short Film Geri’s Game was Released

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On November 25, 1997, the Pixar short film Geri’s Game was released. The short was released a year before its film pairing with a bug’s life, as it was sent forward for Academy Award consideration. It was also submitted independently from Pixar’s association with Disney. It won the Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film at the 70th Academy Awards. It was written and directed by Jan Pinkava, with Bob Peterson as the voice of Geri.

The short begins at a park on a fall day, where Geri is setting up his chess game. He puts on his glasses and moves a white pawn, then waits, while it is revealed to the audience that he is not playing against anyone, and the park is empty. He then takes off his glasses and slowly makes his way over to the other side of the table and makes a vicious move with a black pawn. He carefully gets up again and moves back to the other side, putting on his glasses and playing against himself. This continues, with Geri playing a game against himself with two personalities: the aggressive player on black, and the gentler, less-confident player on white. The aggressive Geri is taking out the gentler Geri’s pieces one by one, leaving gentler Geri rather protective of his Queen. Aggressive Geri teases gentler Geri, as he has nowhere to go. Suddenly, gentler Geri has a heart attack, and falls to the ground. As aggressive Geri checks himself, he realizes that he is fine, and checks on the other Geri. While aggressive Geri isn’t looking, gentler Geri switches the board, so it looks as though he’s been playing black the whole time. Aggressive Geri checks on gentler Geri as he gets back in his seat, then resumes his boastful laughter. Gentler Geri then makes his winning move, shocking aggressive Geri, as he hasn’t realized the ruse. Angered about the loss, aggressive Geri gives up the game, and reluctantly hands over the prize: a set of false teeth. Geri sits back and laughs, alone in the park.

November 24

November 24, 2013 – The Animated Series Sheriff Callie’s Wild West Premieres on the Disney Junior App

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“In this, the first Western made just for preschoolers, our audience will not only have a chance to get to know our characters and our stories more quickly…but we are confident they will be delighted with how those stories embrace what has enthralled us for generations in western tales – strong and important role models, high stakes stories, and distinctive music.” – Nancy Katner, Executive VP for Original Programming and General Manager for Disney Junior Worldwide

On November 24, 2013, the first nine episodes of the animated series Sheriff Callie’s Wild West premiered exclusively on the Disney Junior smartphone app, with a television premiere on January 20, 2014. This animated series was the first series in the Disney ABC Television group to premiere on the mobile device platform with multiple episodes. The episodes’ availability also helped place the WATCH Disney Junior app at number one in the iTunes store ranking. The series has since gone on to receive positive reviews. The show was developed by George Evelyn, Holly Huckins, and Denis Morella. It stars Mandy Moore as Sheriff Callie, Lucas Grabeel as Deputy Peck, and Jessica DiCicco as Toby.

November 23

November 23, 1988 – Critter Country Opens in Disneyland

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“…a cast of backwoods critters, including geese, frogs, raccoons, possums, bees, and alligators offer up their own slice of southern hospitality during your adventure.”

On November 23, 1988, the area Critter Country opened in Disneyland. The area is one of eight lands within the park, and was originally known as Bear Country (opening in 1972), named for the area’s most popular attraction Country Bear Jamboree. When Splash Mountain was being built in 1988, the name of the land was changed to reflect the overall number of critters inhabiting in the new attraction and the several existing ones. The land also includes The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh and Davy Crockett’s Explorer Canoes; it also lends itself as a great viewing area for Fantasmic!, which is held in the neighboring land Frontierland. The Hungry Bear Restaurant in Critter Country provides a special dessert package, giving guests a dessert sampler and a Fastpass ticket for Fantasmic! in a specialty viewing area.

November 22

November 22, 2012 – The Animated Movie Sofia the First: Once Upon a Princess Premieres on Disney Junior

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“I’m not ready to be a princess, I don’t have what it takes. I’m too short for gowns, I look bad in crowns, and I’m gonna make a bajillion mistakes.”

On November 22, 2012, the animated movie Sofia the First: Once Upon a Princess premiered on Disney Junior after a premiere on Disney Channel on November 18th. It was created as the lead-in to the animated series Sofia the First, which premiered on January 11, 2013. The movie was directed by Jamie Mitchell, and was written by Craig Gerber. It stars Ariel Winter as Sofia, Darcy Rose Byrnes as Amber, Sara Ramirez as Queen Miranda, Wayne Brady as Clover, Travis Willingham as King Roland, Tim Gunn as Baileywick, Russi Taylor as Fauna, Barbara Dirickson as Flora, Tress MacNeille as Merryweather, and Jennifer Hale as Cinderella.

The movie begins in with Flora, Fauna, and Merriweather introducing the story of Sofia, who lives in a kingdom of Enchancia. She lived a simple life with her mother Miranda, a shoemaker, and one day they are summoned to the castle to make shoes for King Roland the Second. The moment Miranda and Roland’s eyes meet, they fell in love, and are soon married. Sofia and her mother are soon taken to live at the castle, and are joined by several woodland creatures, unbeknownst to Sofia. Roland’s children Amber and James are asked to make Sofia feel welcome, but Amber is not quite warm to the idea of a new stepsister. As the crowd cheers for the new additions to the royal family, the Royal Sorcerer Cedric makes a large storm appear, although Roland informs him that he wanted “flowers,” not “showers.”

After the welcoming ceremony, Sofia runs into Cedric, who is less than thrilled with his position in the castle

After the welcoming ceremony, Sofia runs into Cedric, who is less than thrilled with his position in the castle

After the family heads inside, Sofia bumps into Cedric, and she is excited to meet him, although he gets angry about the “parlor tricks” he’s performing for the king before he makes himself disappear. Sofia then meets Baileywick, the Steward of the Castle, and directs her to the banquet hall. During their meal, Roland lets Sofia know that they will be throwing a ball in her honor as a way of welcoming her into the family. She and Roland will be dancing the first waltz, and Sofia is nervous about this. She is then taken to her own room, and she is shocked at how large it is. Although she is grateful for her new life, she’s still nervous about everything and thinks she’s not ready to be a princess. She goes to talk to Miranda, who reassures her that she’ll be fine. Roland then gives Sofia a present of a special amulet, and she must promise to never take it off. Amber sees Sofia receive the gift and storms off in a huff of jealousy. Sofia is once again reassured that everything will be okay, and heads back to her room. She runs into Cedric again, and he is very interested in her amulet. Cedric heads back to his room and reads up on the amulet, known as the Amulet of Avalor, and vows to take it from Sofia so he can take over the kingdom.

The next morning, Sofia is woken up by the woodland creatures that had followed her, but they are soon driven out of the room by Baileywick. Soon after, Sofia heads off to school with Amber and James in a carriage pulled by flying horses. When they arrive at the school, she meets the headmistresses Flora, Fauna, and Merriweather. They give her the tour of the school, and take her to her first class. She is greeted by her classmates, including Amber, but drops all of her books when she reciprocates. Amber smirks, but soon her jealousy grows when other students rush over to help Sofia. Amber gets James to take a ride on the enchanted swing set, and everyone watches as the swing throws Sofia into the fountain. Sofia tries to take it in stride, but one of the other students gives James a hard time for tricking his sister in such a mean way. As Sofia walks away, she hears a strange sound, and finds a baby bird that has fallen from its nest. She returns the baby to its mother, and her amulet glows. As she heads back to the school, she hears the mother bird say her thanks, but she thinks she imagined it.

Sofia rushes inside after school, embarrassed and hurt by the prank James pulled

Sofia rushes inside after school, embarrassed and hurt by the prank James pulled

After school, Sofia rushes inside without a word to her siblings, although James wants to apologize. Sofia runs into Cedric again, who offers to give her a private tour of his lair, and she accepts. She discovers the book he has about her amulet, and he explains the powers of the amulet: “with each deed performed for better or worse, a power is granted – a blessing, or a curse.” He tries to take the amulet for her, but she remembers her promise to never take off the amulet, and is quickly shown out. The next morning, the animals wake her up again, and she can hear what the animals are saying. The rabbit, named Clover, explains that the animals always help the princesses, but all they want is a little bit of food for their trouble. Sofia prepares the animals a basket of food, and they set up a picnic outside. Soon, she has to go to school, but Clover reminds her to keep her eye on the ball – the royal ball. She is cheered by his pep talk, and heads to school with renewed enthusiasm. After making several mistakes, she soon masters the skills, and makes several new friends.

Sofia arrives home, exhausted, and is cheered up when she sees her friends Jade and Ruby waiting for her in the garden. While attempting to pour tea, James comes over and assists her as his way of apologizing for the prank. He offers to help train her for the ball, and Sofia accepts. Amber is strolling through the garden and overhears Sofia admitting she can’t dance, and gets a wicked idea in her head on how to embarrass Sofia. The next day at dance class, Sophia is given a special pair of shoes to wear by Amber, and when she dances with the teacher, the shoes start acting up, making Sofia jump around the room like crazy. She realizes that Amber has tricked her, and after she is able to get the shoes off, she heads to the carriage, upset. She goes to see Cedric before the ball, asking for a spell to make her a better dancer. He gives her a spell to say when the waltz starts, but he gives her a spell to put everyone to sleep, and will only reverse the spell if Sofia gives him the amulet. Before the ball begins, James confronts Amber, angry at his sister’s actions, and is hurt when he tells her that everyone likes Sofia more than they like her, especially after her horrible actions.

In the end, Sofia is able to case the counter-spell to save everyone

When Sofia casts the spell, everyone in the palace is put to sleep, leaving Sofia in a panic

Sofia attends the ball and is greeted by Roland, who takes her to the floor for the first dance. Sofia recites the spell, and is shocked when everyone falls asleep. Cedric, excited that his spell worked, didn’t count on the spell working on him as well, and falls to the floor in a sound slumber. Sofia frantically runs around the castle looking for help, and a tear lands on the amulet. She turns around to find Cinderella there waiting to help her. Cinderella can’t undo the spell, but can help her find her way. Cinderella relates her only regret: not making amends with her step-sisters. After her story, she takes her to see Amber, and convinces Sofia to give Amber a second chance. She takes Amber to the ballroom, and explains what happened. Amber apologizes for her prank which caused Sofia to get a spell, and the two make amends, with Amber calling Sofia her sister for the first time. The two head to Cedric’s lair to find a counter-spell, with some assistance from Clover and the other animals. Amber and Sofia find the counter-spell book, and before they wake everyone, Amber helps teach Sofia how to dance. After reciting the counter-spell, Sofia has her first dance with Roland, which goes off successfully, except that Roland admits that he can’t dance very well. During the dance, the whole family dances together, and all is well.

 

November 21

November 21, 1986 – The Souvenir Shop The Star Trader Opens in Disneyland

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On November 21, 1986, the Disneyland souvenir shop The Star Trader opened in Disneyland’s Tomorrowland. Formerly The Character Store, which opened in 1967, it was remodeled to be the shop for the Star Tours attraction, and boasts a large amount of Star Wars merchandise that can only be found in the Disney parks. It was remodeled in 2011, coinciding with the upgrades to the Star Tours attraction, with an addition of an X-Wing fighter, along with other special Star Wars themed surprises.