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Monthly Archives: May 2015

May 17

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May 17, 2002 – The Pixar Short Film Mike’s New Car is Released at the El Capitan Theater

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“Three little words, Sulley: six wheel drive!”

On May 17, 2002, the Pixar short film Mike’s New Car was released exclusively at the El Capitan Theater in Los Angeles, California, in order to qualify for Academy Award consideration. The short, featuring characters Mike and Sulley from the hit animated feature Monsters, Inc., would go on to be nominated for the Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film, but would lose out to Eric Armstrong’s The ChubbChubbs! It was written by Pete Docter, Jeff Pidgeon, Roger L. Gould, and Rob Gibbs, and was directed by Docter and Gould. Billy Crystal and John Goodman reprised their roles as Mike and Sulley.

The short begins with Mike taking Sulley to see his new car. Sulley is unimpressed, though Mike is super excited. When they enter the car, Sulley appears to have a hard time fitting inside, but Mike tells him that his seat is adjustable, and Sulley spends a good moment having fun adjusting his seat, much to Mike’s annoyance. As Mike starts the car, something starts beeping, and Mike realizes that they need to fasten their seatbelts. Unfortunately, Mike’s seat belt doesn’t seem to cooperate, and he ends up throwing himself outside the car. Mike tells Sulley to push the button, but as the dashboard is made up almost entirely of buttons, Sulley hits one at random, which opens the hood. As Mike goes to shut it, he ends up inside the working gears within the hood. Sulley manages to help him get out, and Mike gets back in the car, but more problems arise when Mike starts hitting buttons at random while trying to turn off the wipers. Mike finally turns off the car, and when Sulley adjusts the mirror, he accidentally pulls it off. Mike then pushes Sulley out of the car, and Mike crashes the car as he tries to go in reverse. In the end, Mike laments the loss of his old car.

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May 16

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May 16, 2008 – The Reality Series Jonas Brothers: Living the Dream Premieres on Disney Channel

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“The Jonas Brothers are about to hit the road for a sold-out tour, but before we take off, we have a monster to-do list.”

On May 16, 2008, the reality television series Jonas Brothers: Living the Dream premiered on the Disney Channel. The series took a behind-the-scenes look of the popular band The Jonas Brothers, and how they cope with being famous. The episodes were four to six minute vignettes about the boys’ lives. The show had two seasons, with a total of 27 episodes released.

The first episode, “To-Do List,” focuses on brother Nick, who notes that the band has quite a bit to do before they can head out on tour. The first task is a photo shoot for their new Disney Channel Original Movie Camp Rock alongside Demi Lovato. Afterwards, they have to meet their stylist for the tour, with Nick admitting that he’s nervous, but excited about their first headlining show. This is followed by shopping for a new pair of sneakers. They only have two hours to pack before heading out on tour, and quickly rush to get everything together. Unfortunately, right before they go, they have to help their parents move things around the house. Nick notes that they’re just like regular kids in terms of having to listen to their parents and do their chores. Right before they go, Nick has to watch his little brother, as he seems to have problems packing. Finally, they get ready to go on tour, and set off in their plane.

May 15

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May 15, 1995 – The California Grill Opens in Walt Disney World’s Contemporary Resort

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“Savor the finest in Californian cooking, as you take in the sights of Seven Seas Lagoon and Magic Kingdom Park.”

On May 15, 1995, the California Grill restaurant opened on the top floor of Walt Disney World’s Contemporary Resort, replacing Top of the World. The restaurant features Californian cuisine, featuring specialty sushi, several seafood dishes, and unique desserts, including Peanut Butter & Peach Jam on Cinnamon Toast. Guests take a private elevator to reach the restaurant, and are able to have breathtaking panoramic views of the park, including Cinderella’s Castle and the Floridian woodlands. This view also offers guests one of the best views of the fireworks in the Magic Kingdom; when the fireworks show begins, the lights dim in the restaurant and the music for the show plays, giving guests a unique dining experience.

May 14

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May 14, 1928 – The Oswald the Lucky Rabbit Short Film Hungry Hobos is Released to Theaters

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“This cartoon as far as we know hasn’t been seen in over half a century.” – Dave Bossert, producer, creative director and head of special projects at Walt Disney Animation Studios

On May 14, 1928, the Oswald the Lucky Rabbit short film Hungry Hobos was released to theaters. The short was considered one of the “lost” Oswald shorts, but was discovered in the Huntley Film Archives in England. The company, a stock footage company, found the 16 mm film in a vault, surprising many who assumed that the short had been destroyed as many films of the time had been. The film was then bought back by Disney for $31,250, and digitally restored. It was then screened at UCLA’s Silent Film Event in 2013, with a new score for the film written by Emmy-award winning composer Mark Watters, best known for his work with the Have a Laugh series for the Disney Channel. The short itself has Oswald, along with the early version of Peg-Leg Pete riding the trains as hobos and playing checkers, with comical results.

May 13

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May 13, 1955 – The Special Short Film Pedro is Released to Theaters

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“Once upon a time in a little airport near Santiago, Chile, there lived three airplanes…”

On May 13, 1955, the segment Pedro from the animated feature film Saludos Amigos was released as a special short film in theaters. The segment was narrated by Fred Shields.

The segment begins in a small airport in Chile, home to three airplanes: a Papa, a Mama, and a Baby. As the planes are introduced, the baby plane Pedro seems to have gone missing. Pedro wants to be a big mail plane like his father, and goes to ground school to learn important lessons, including the mail route between Santiago and Mendoza. One day, Papa comes down with a horrible cold, and Mama has high oil pressure, so it’s up to Pedro to deliver the mail. His father warns him to avoid the mountains, and Pedro sets off on his journey with a less than masterly take-off. He gets hit with a down draft and goes down, but manages to get his bearings and head back up. Soon, he comes across the menacing mountain Aconcagua, and he nervously makes his way past. Pedro is able to grab the mail from Mendoza, and starts flying through the clouds in a show-off manner until he comes across a vulture. Unfortunately, as he chases it, he comes across Aconcagua, and gets caught in a sudden storm. Pedro nearly loses the mail, but manages to retrieve it, though at his own peril. He works to climb against the storm, and is finally able to make it past the storm, but runs out of gas, falling back into the mountain. Pedro’s parents watch late at night, thinking that their son has perished. Fortunately, Pedro appears, a little worse for wear, and managed to bring home the mail.

May 12

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May 12, 2007 – The Computer Animated Series My Friends Tigger and Pooh Premieres on Disney Channel

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“My friends Tigger and Pooh, we’re always there for each other.”

On May 12, 2007, the computer animated series My Friends Tigger and Pooh premiered on the Disney Channel’s Playhouse Disney programming block. Based on the hit Winnie the Pooh series by A.A. Milne and popularized in film by Disney, the show features 6-year-old Darby and her dog Buster spending time with Winnie the Pooh and Tigger in the Hundred Acre Wood. The series ran for three seasons with 87 episodes, along with three direct-to-video films. The series was created by Bobs Gannaway, and starred Chloe Grace Moretz as Darby, Dee Bradley Baker as Buster, Jim Cummings as Winnie the Pooh and Tigger, Travis Oates as Piglet, Peter Cullen as Eeyore, Ken Sansom as Rabbit, Kath Soucie as Kanga, Max Burkholder as Roo, and Oliver Dillon as Lumpy.

May 11

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May 11, 2010 – The Gipsy Kings Perform “You’ve Got a Friend in Me” on Dancing With the Stars

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“Hay un amigo en mi!”

On May 11, 2010, as part of the promotions for the new Pixar film Toy Story 3, the band Gipsy Kings sang the “Spanish Buzz” version of the song “You’ve Got a Friend in Me” on the hit ABC reality competition Dancing with the Stars. Choreographers Cheryl Burke and Tony Dovolani traveled to Pixar Studios to dance for the animators, which was eventually used in the film for Jessie and Buzz’s paso doble. They, along with Kym Johnson and Dmitry Chaplin, performed the dance alongside the Gipsy King performance.