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Monthly Archives: January 2015

January 11

January 11, 1942 – The Wartime Donald Duck Short Film Donald’s Decision is Delivered


“Enlist in our army of regular war savers today!”

On January 11, 1942, the Donald Duck and educational wartime short film Donald’s Decision was delivered to the National Film Board of Canada. The short reuses animation from two previous Donald shorts: 1938’s Donald’s Better Self, and 1938’s Self Control.

Donald is listening to a radio program urging him to buy war savings certificates, and Donald readily agrees – to do it tomorrow. Donald’s angelic side appears and demands that Donald do it now, as there is no time to waste, and Donald reluctantly follows him. The flag on his mailbox swings around to symbolize the Nazi swastika, announcing the arrival of his devilish side, who tries to convince Donald that the money would be better spent on himself, which would help the Axis powers. Donald is soon caught in a tug of war between the angelic and devilish side. The devilish side traps the angelic side and throws him in the nearby lake, but the angelic side fires back, defeating the devilish side. Donald finally agrees to take his money to the post office to buy war bonds. This is then followed by an animated plea to the citizens of Canada to buy war savings certificates.


January 10

January 10, 1988 – The Animated Series The New Adventures of Winnie the Pooh Premieres on Disney Channel


“He’s round and he’s fuzzy, I love him because he’s just Pooh Bear, Winnie the Pooh Bear, looking for fun, chasing some honey bees.”

On January 10, 1988, the animated series The New Adventures of Winnie the Pooh premiered on the Disney Channel. It ran for four seasons, with 50 episodes in total. It would go on to win the Emmy Award for Best Daytime Animated Program twice, once in 1989 and once in 1990. The series starred Jim Cummings as Winnie the Pooh, Paul Winchell as Tigger, John Fiedler as Piglet, Ken Sansom as Rabbit, Hal Smith as Owl, Peter Cullen as Eyeore, Michael Hough as Gopher, Tim Hoskins as Christopher Robin, Nicholas Melody as Roo, and Patty Parris as Kanga.

The first episode, “Pooh Oughta Be in Pictures,” begins on a dark and stormy night in a gloomy castle, with the characters of the Hundred Acre Wood being chased through the dark halls. It turns out that Christopher Robin has just been imagining things while avoiding eating his carrots. After eating the carrots, he’s allowed to go see a scary movie called Birdzilla, scaring Piglet before they even go in. Piglet gets so terrified that he knocks over almost everything in sight as he tries to flee, including Christopher Robin, who is laden down with snacks. Piglet jumps into Pooh’s lap after seeing a scary spider in the film, causing Pooh’s candy to drop to the floor. As Pooh and Piglet search for the candy, Piglet gets caught in a web of gum, believing it to be from the spider. Unfortunately, as Pooh tries to free Piglet, the two get caught in the gum until Christopher Robin frees them. Piglet continues to be terrified by everything in the movie theater. Tigger and everyone try to cheer Piglet up with a song about how the monsters aren’t real.

The movie's parts are assigned, with Pooh playing the hero, and Tigger playing the monster

The movie’s parts are assigned, with Pooh playing the hero, and Tigger playing the monster

The next day, everyone talks about the film, and Christopher Robin proposes that they all make their own monster movie. Pooh will be playing the hero thanks to a hero scarf, while Tigger will play the monster. Piglet would rather sit out, but the gang convinces him that his role is very, very important: he will be the one chased by the monster. Tigger heads off to get his costume – a giant carrot – and heads back to the group. Rabbit is in his garden, pulling out his carrots, when Tigger stops by. Rabbit is terrified of the “giant carrot,” and thinks that the carrot is going to attack him and has eaten Tigger. Unfortunately, Tigger can’t undo the costume’s zipper and prove that he’s just Tigger, but when he asks for help, Rabbit has already fled. Rabbit then enters the movie set and screams that he’s seen a monster, and when Tigger arrives, everyone else runs away, thinking the monster is real. Tigger chases them through the woods, but the group stops running after a while, thinking they should try and save Tigger from the giant carrot.

Pooh comes up with a plan, and when Tigger arrives, the plan goes awry due to fear, but Tigger is able to break free after he falls in the hole. Rabbit is beyond relieved to find that it’s just a costume. Piglet walks away, dejected, sad that he was too scared to help the others, especially Pooh, and claims that no one needs a friend who’s always afraid. That night, Piglet is still upset, but is surprised when Pooh stops by to visit with a present: the hero scarf. Piglet refuses, as he still thinks Pooh shouldn’t be friends with a fraidy-cat. Pooh leaves the scarf behind, and heads off to get advice from Christopher Robin, when he gets caught up in the costume and calls out for help. Seeing the hero scarf, Piglet decides to go and save Pooh. Piglet crashes down a hill, but manages to save Pooh. The next day, when making the film, Piglet now gets to play the hero, while Pooh plays the one getting chased.

January 9

January 9, 1976 – The Disneyana Shop Opens on Disneyland’s Main Street


“For collectors and the curious alike.”

On January 9, 1976, the Disneyana Shop opened on Main Street of Disneyland. The store featured rare and valuable pieces of Disneyana; after a few years, however, it became increasingly difficult to find pieces to sell. With this and other problems, the shop decided to change tactics and sell only limited edition pieces and collectables. The store has moved several times since its opening: once on May 30, 1986 to across the street to where the former jewelry shop resided, also on April 14, 2013, to replace the Disney Gallery location. Disneyana shops have been opened in other Disney Parks, with Walt Disney World’s opening in 1983 (and closing in 1996), and Disneyland Paris’ opening in 1992.

January 8

January 8, 2002 – The Live-Action Comedy Series Imagine That Premieres on NBC


On January 8, 2002, the live-action comedy series Imagine That premiered on NBC, with production by Columbia TriStar Television, Seth Kurland Productions, and Touchstone Television. The plot comprised of comedy sketch writer Josh Miller’s life, intertwined with a rich imagination. The series was cancelled only after two episodes. It was created by Seth Kurland, and starred Hank Azaria as Josh Miller, Jayne Brook as Wendy Miller, Joshua Malina as Kenny Fleck, and Katey Sagal as Barb Thompson.

January 7

January 7, 1944 – The Special Wartime Short Film The Pelican and the Snipe is Released to Theaters


“Whenever Monte dreams he’s a dive bomber, it’s little Vidi’s job to pull him out of dives.”

On January 7, 1944, the special short film The Pelican and the Snipe was released to theaters. The short was meant to be included as a segment in The Three Caballeros, but was released as a short film instead. It was directed by Hamilton Luske, and narrated by Sterling Holloway.

The short takes place in Montevideo, Uruguay, at a small lighthouse. Monte the Pelican and Vidi the Snipe have a job watching from the top of the lighthouse, but Monte has a major problem – he flies in his sleep. Vidi is tasked to watch over Monte while he sleeps. Poor tired Vidi falls asleep at one point, and that’s when Monte, dreaming that he’s a dive bomber, dives off the side of the lighthouse. Vidi quickly chases after him, preventing Monte from crashing into several large jagged rocks, flying into a shark’s mouth, and other spectacular scrapes. Night after night, Vidi watches over Monte, with Monte never knowing a thing. In the morning, Monte is annoyed when he finds Vidi so exhausted and sleeping. Poor Vidi can’t sleep during the day, however, thanks to the planes performing maneuvers around the lighthouse.

Vidi's plan to keep Monte in place backfires, and Vidi is taken on a ride

Vidi’s plan to keep Monte in place backfires, and Vidi is taken on an exhausting ride

The next night, Vidi thinks he’s found a solution by tying one of Monte’s legs to one of his. However, all this does is pull Vidi along for the ride when Monte takes off for his sleep-flight adventure. Vidi manages to use the rope to keep Monte out of trouble, but poor Vidi is still exhausted. He comes up with one idea after another, but none of them seem to work, save for connecting Monte to an anchor. Unfortunately, Monte pulls the anchor off when he take flight, and lands in the ocean. Thinking that Vidi has just been playing pranks on him, Monte plans on getting even. Vidi tries to explain, but Monte doesn’t give him a chance to talk, and banishes a heartbroken Vidi from the lighthouse. That night, Monte’s problem resurfaces, and he starts soaring around with the air force, and gets his tail hit by one of the propellers. This jolts him awake, and then it finally dawns on him that he’d been flying in his sleep, and Vidi was only trying to protect him from harm. He then notices Vidi fast asleep on the target for bombing practice, and rushes to save the poor snipe from getting blown to smithereens. In the end, the two find a good solution – they tie Monte’s leg to the lighthouse, letting him circle around the lighthouse in his sleep to his heart’s content.

January 6

January 6, 1963 – The Walt Disney’s Wonderful World of Color Episode “Three Tall Tales” Premieres


“And here is your host, Walt Disney.”

On January 6, 1963, the Disney anthology series Walt Disney’s Wonderful World of Color premiered the episode “Three Tall Tales.” The episode, hosted by Walt Disney and Ludwig von Drake, begins with an introductory monologue about Baron von Munchausen, a character from German folklore about a man who was famous for telling tall tales. The series then presents three tall tales told through Disney animation: Casey at the Bat (released August 15, 1946, as part of the animated feature Make Mine Music), The Saga of Windwagon Smith (released on March 16, 1961), and Paul Bunyan (released August 1, 1958).

January 5

January 5, 1997 – The Television Sitcom Flash Forward Premieres on Disney Channel


“Are you gonna play? Or are you gonna hide out the rest of your life?”

On January 5, 1997, the teen sitcom Flash Forward premiered on the Disney Channel. It was the first series to be branded as a Disney Channel Original Series, and centers around best friends Tucker James and Becca Fisher as they navigate through the eighth grade. The series lasted for one season with 26 episodes in total. It was created by Bernice Vanderlaan, Alyson Feltes, and Daphne Ballon; it starred Ben Foster as Tucker, Jewel Staite as Becca, Theodore Borders as Miles, and Asia Vieira as Chris.

The first episode, “Fresh Start All Over Again,” begins with Becca looks at her horoscope in the paper before going to meet with Tucker s they can walk to the bus stop. Tucker helps a new, pretty girl onto the bus, but is afraid to go on after her as he’s afraid of the bus driver. When Becca arrives at school, she greets her friend Chris, and the two are thrilled that they are now eighth graders, which means they rule the school. Tucker’s friend Miles reserves his friend’s seat, and Tucker arrives, mimicking many of the faculty members before heading to his seat, which is then occupied by a new student, Jack, who doesn’t like Tucker and his antics.

Chris and Becca talk by Becca's locker, dejected that they have no classes together

Chris and Becca talk by Becca’s locker, dejected that they have no classes together

Becca and Chris talk by Becca’s locker later, and are upset that they don’t have any classes together, except for P.E. Becca decides to go to the vice principal’s office to complain with Chris, only Chris doesn’t show. Becca presents her case alone, but the vice principal refuses to grant her request; not only that, she misses her chance to sign up for the newspaper. Meanwhile in the boys locker room, Jack locks Tucker out in only his towel, where he is spotted by the entire student body. It gets even worse when his towel falls off, and Tucker embarrasses himself in front of Kerry, the pretty new girl. Later Tucker heads to his audition as the DJ for the school announcements, and keeps the students laughing until Jack shows up with Tucker’s stolen underwear. Jack decides to audition, much to Tucker’s dismay.

Later, Tucker and Becca commiserate over their eighth grade woes. Later, Chris shows up to apologize, and convinces Becca to go talk to the actual head of the school newspaper, Mr. Hargreaves. She gives him an impassioned speech and presents an article she’d written over the summer, but as it doesn’t seem to get her anywhere she leaves, forgetting her article. Fortunately, Becca receives good news when she gets home – Mr. Hargreaves called her house, asking her to meet him after study period to discuss her article. Tucker is still upset about being embarrassed, and begrudgingly gets up when he hears Becca calling for him to play hockey, and she convinces him that everything will be okay, especially when she tells him that Kerry thought he was cute.

January 4

January 4, 1952 – The Goofy Short Film Father’s Lion is Released to Theaters


“Here is the home of Mr. G. G. Geef, daring adventurer, famous explorer, great athlete, pioneer woodsman, Indian fighter, trapper, and soldier of fortune!…in the eyes of his son, that is.”

On January 4, 1952, the Goofy short film Father’s Lion was released to theaters. This is one of Goofy’s “everyday man” shorts, where he is playing character George Geef. It was directed by Jack Kinney, with story by Dick Kinney and Milt Schaffer.

The sun rises over the quiet suburban house of George Geef and his family, with George taking his kid on a camping trip. Junior is really excited to hear the tall tales George tells, believing them to be reality. When their back tire goes flat, George decides to park the car and climb the trail to the campsite. A mountain lion is trying to rest in the woods, but is disturbed by the gunshots from George’s shotgun as George is shooting at some empty cans. Junior notices a mountain lion in the nearby tree, and George grabs the lion by the tail and beats him up, unaware that he has actually attacked a real mountain lion. The lion is angered by George’s attack and tries to bite George, although Junior saves his father with his pop gun. The lion continues to try and attack George, but is unwittingly beaten by smoke and flapjacks. As they go to sleep, the lion sees this as his chance, but is interrupted by Junior’s requests. Having had enough, the lion attacks the group, and narrowly misses getting shot by George’s shotgun. The lion chases George around the campsite, but once again is thwarted by Junior’s popgun. George decides to get out of dodge, although he starts telling another tall tale as they head back to suburbia.

January 3

January 3, 2012 – The Television Series Jane By Design Premieres on ABC Family


“And this is me, Jane Quimby. Career girl in high fashion, or dateless high school zero: you be the judge.”

On January 3, 2012, the live-action comedy-drama series Jane By Design premiered on ABC Family. The plot follows the life of Jane Quimby, who scores her dream job of being a personal assistant to famous designer Gray Chandler Murray, but Jane must hide the fact that she is still in high school. The series was panned by critics, and only lasted for one season, ending on July 31, 2012 after eighteen episodes. It was created by April Blair, and stars Erica Dasher as Jane Quimby, Andie MacDowell as Gray Chandler Murray, India de Beaufort as India Jourdain, Rowly Dennis as Jeremy Jones, David Clayton Rogers as Ben Quimby, and Nick Roux as Billy Nutter.

The pilot episode begins with Jane heading to school in her beat up car with her best friend Billy, although Jane doesn’t want to get out of the car. They finally head to school, with Jane revealing a crush on one of the popular boys. Popular girl Lulu wastes no time in mocking Jane’s fashion sense. Later, Jane asks Billy if he ever wonders what it would be like to be popular. Later that night, Jane arrives home to her brother and legal guardian, Ben, who is having a hard time finding a job. Ben had to drop out of college to take care of the two of them after their father died. Worried about the job search, Jane decides to apply for a job at Donovan Decker as a fashion intern. When Jane arrives, she sits at a table full of other intern hopefuls, and soon is taken to Gray Chandler Murray’s office, where she waits for a while before Gray appears on the screen. Gray is rather flippant and careless, and automatically gives Jane the job, although she doesn’t think Jane will last longer than two days. Jane realizes that she’s accidentally applied for the position of Gray’s executive assistant, but accepts the job when she is given a nice salary with an expense account.

Birdie takes a rather stunned Jane around the office

Birdie takes a rather stunned Jane around the office

Birdie, the director of human resources, shows Jane around Donovan Decker, and Jane looks a little overwhelmed, although she thinks that Jeremy Jones, the new designer, is rather adorable. Jeremy has an argument with co-worker India, who is nothing short of a diva. He then finds Jane wandering around and starts talking with her, and offers to give her advice about working at Donovan Decker. Birdie then finds Jane and hands her a stack of paperwork to fill out, and Jane realizes once again that she may be way over her head, as she’s still only a high school student. Nevertheless, she takes the paperwork home to work on. At home, the financial troubles are much worse than Jane thought, but realizes that this job will help them both. She enlists Billy’s help to work on the paperwork and forge the documents, and wants to keep it a secret from Ben. Billy agrees to help, with one condition: Jane goes with him to a popular student’s party. What Jane doesn’t know is that Billy and Lulu are in a secret relationship. Billy questions why they have to keep it a secret, but it continues nonetheless. When Billy catches up to Jane again, she wonders why there’s lipstick on Billy’s face, but is interrupted when Lulu pushes her into a pool.

The next time Jane is at school, she impatiently waits for the time to change, and she quickly heads to work as Gray’s assistant. Although Jane struggles with some of Gray’s tasks, she manages to do a good job in keeping her eyes on India, as India is after Gray’s job. India comes over and acts sweetly to Jane, except she is only using her to keep an eye on Gray’s calendar in her attempt to take Gray’s job. Meanwhile, Ben heads to Jane’s school to apply for the position of assistant athletic director, and meets former classmate turned guidance counselor Rita Shaw. She reveals to Ben that Jane got an internship, and wants to know if she’s doing it for all the right reasons. What he doesn’t know is that late that night, Jane is out at a bar with co-workers, when Jeremy steals her away to talk. She finally manages to sneak away from the bar, only to be greeted by Ben, who reveals that he knows about the internship. She convinces him that this is something she badly wants, and he lets her continue with the job.

Jane arrives at Gray's house, and is awed by the amazing walk-in closet

Jane arrives at Gray’s house, and is awed by the amazing walk-in closet

Gray sends Jane to her house to check on a very important shipment, and Jane is overwhelmed by the beauty and size of it all. Jane manages to check the shipment, and assures Gray that it is all there. Billy then calls her to let her know that her midterm is that day, at the same time as an important meeting at work. Jane rushes to the school to take the midterm using Gray’s rather nice convertible, then heads straight to the meeting to find India sabotaging Gray’s work. Jane manages to save Gray’s presentation with some pieces from the shipment, making an enemy of India. Jane reports to Gray that she saved the presentation, although Gray is less than thrilled with the results. As Jane leaves the office, she wants to talk to Jeremy, only to find that he’s having an intimate moment with India. Believing she’s been fired, she gets a call from Gray, only to find that Gray wants to keep her on.

January 2

January 2, 1995 – The Animated Television Series The Shnookums & Meat Funny Cartoon Show Premieres


“Watch the fur fly every Monday.”

On January 2, 1995, the animated series The Shnookums & Meat Funny Cartoon Show premiered on The Disney Afternoon programming block. The show was seen as Disney’s way of competing with popular Nickelodeon cartoons Ren & Stimpy and Rocko’s Modern Life in terms of humor and design. The series featured three different segments: “Shnookums and Meat!,” “Pith Possum: Super Dynamic Possum of Tomorrow,” and “Tex Tinstar: The Best in the West.” “Shnookums and Meat” was about a housecat named Shnookums and a dog named Meat who fought constantly; “Pith Possum” was a superhero spoof about the titular character, his sidekick Obediah the Wonder Raccoon, and their battles against mad lumberjack Paul Bunion; “Tex Tinstar” was a parody of Westerns, featuring the titular character, his horse Here Boy, and his crusade against the outlaw band The Wrong Riders. The series lasted for only thirteen episodes, with the initial run ending on March 27, 1995. The series was written and created by Bill Kopp, and directed by Jeff DeGradis. It starred the vocal talents of Jason Marsden, Frank Welker, Tress MacNeille, Steve Mackall, Jeff Bennett, Brad Garrett, Jess Harnell, April Winchell, Patric Zimmerman, Charlie Adler, Corey Burton, and Jim Cummings.