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Monthly Archives: June 2015

June 20

June 20, 1941 – The Mickey Mouse Short Film The Nifty Nineties is Released to Theaters

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“A day in the nineties when grandma was a girl, the horseless carriage was quite the show, grandpa cussed when the thing wouldn’t go…”

On June 20, 1941, the Mickey Mouse short film The Nifty Nineties was released to theaters. This is one of the few shorts that features the appearances of all the “Fab Five,” as well as a special cameo of animators Ward Kimball and Fred Moore. The short was directed by Riley Thomson.

A photo album opens to reveal a picture of Mickey next to his car, and the scene is set in the nineties, where he decides to go for a stroll in the park. There, he meets Minnie, and the two fall in love at first sight. He offers Minnie some candy, and the two head off together for a stroll. They head to a vaudeville show, where they are first entertained by a melodrama called “Father, Dear Father.” The melodrama drives Minnie to tears, and Mickey tries to comfort her. Afterwards, they are delighted by the antics of Fred and Ward: Two Clever Boys from Illinois. Afterwards, the two go on a drive, passing by Goofy riding a penny-farthing, along with Donald, Daisy, and the nephews on their tandem bike. Mickey’s car races at 15 miles per hour through the farmland, and barely makes it up a hill, but spooks a cow on the other side. They crash into the cow, but everyone is able to laugh at the situation.

June 19

June 19, 1957 – The Special Short Film The Story of Anyburg, U.S.A. is Released to Theaters

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“This is the story of a certain city, and what it did about this common curse that plagued the land.”

On June 19, 1957, the special short film The Story of Anyburg, U.S.A was released to theaters. It was directed by Clyde Geronimi, with story by Dick Heumer.

The story begins in Anyburg (population 500), with a horrible traffic problem, with dissatisfaction feedng into the problem. The town was so frustrated, that they placed the automobile on trial for its life. The prosecutor starts laying into the automobile, but the defense tries to calm it down. The prosecutor claims that the car flew through a 20 mph zone and crashed into a restaurant, with the defense having no questions. The sports car is then on trial for guzzling gasoline and burning rubber. Once again, the defense has no questions. Next is a worn out antique car, with the crime of being outdated and broken. Those that build the car and the safety features testify that though they invented several features, he number of automobile accidents continue to rise. Highways were then built, with helpful signs and lines, but the highways were ruined by too many automobiles and their actions. The jury agrees that the automobile must go – until the defense gives his closing remarks. He makes everyone realize that the problem isn’t the automobile, but the man within. The defense makes clear that whatever the automobile is accused of, it’s actually the fault of the driver, not the vehicle. When he finishes, everyone is gone, and the case has been dismissed, with the people admitting guilt and vowing to drive with safety and sanity…which quickly ends.

June 18

June 18, 1954 – The Special Short Film The Martins and the Coys is Released to Theaters

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“Gather round me children and I’ll tell a story of the mountains in the days when guns was law, when two families got disputin’, it was bound to end in shootin’, so just listen and I’ll tell you what I saw.”

On June 18, 1954, the special short film The Martins and the Coys was released to theaters. The short is a segment from the animated feature package film Make Mine Music, and features music by the King’s Men. The segment has not been featured with the film on home release since its initial theatrical run, as it was panned by critics for its overuse of gun violence.

Back in the old days in the mountains, two families were feuding: the Martins, and the Coys. These families tended to solve their disputes through gunfights, being much too trigger happy. One day, a massive fight occurred with many members of both families dying, leaving one member on either side left. The sole Martin, Grace, and the sole Coy, Henry, meet face to face one day, and fall madly in love. The souls of their relatives are furious at this development, especially when Grace and Henry marry, effectively destroying the feud – so they think. However, Henry and Grace still have their feuding ways ingrained in them, and fight day after day, carrying on the feud just like before.

 

June 17

June 17, 1938 – The Donald and Goofy Short Film Polar Trappers is Released to Theaters

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“On polar caps, we set our traps for walrus, bear, and seal. We fill a zoo with caribou – depends on how we feel.

On June 17, 1938, the Donald and Goofy short film Polar Trappers was released to theaters. It is the first of a handful of short films that feature the two characters together. The short was directed by Ben Sharpsteen.

Donald and Goofy have set up their own trapping company with the tagline “We bring ‘em back alive.” Goofy is setting up traps while Donald is cooking up some beans within their igloo. Donald is annoyed with eating only beans when he spies a penguin outside. He thinks he can capture the penguin and roast it like a chicken, so he dresses up like a penguin to capture her. Goofy continues to set up a walrus trap, not noticing when a walrus takes his bucket of fish. Goofy then dresses like a walrus to try and capture it, but ends up lost inside a cave full of icicles. Goofy ends up getting trapped in a hole in the cave, and ending up stuck in some ice. He then sneezes, sending all the icicles falling to the ground, dressing him up like the Statue of Liberty. Meanwhile, Donald continues his hunt for the penguin, and wanders into a penguin colony. He uses his flute to herd the penguins, having them march behind him as if he were a pied piper of penguins. A baby penguin continues to get in his way, and Donald continually tricks it to wander another direction, only to have it end up in front of him again. The baby penfuin finds himself alone and lets out a tear, which freezes and rolls down a snowy hill, turning into a giant snowball that chases Donald and Goofy down the slopes and crashes them into their igloo.

June 16

June 16, 1956 – The Storybook Land Canal Boats Attraction Opens in Disneyland

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“Cast off on a colorful canal boat for a ‘mini’ tour of fairytale destinations seen in classic Disney animated movies.”

On June 16, 1956, the Storybook Land Canal Boats attraction opened in Disneyland’s Fantasyland. It was a revamped version of the Canal Boats of the World, which opened and closed in 1955. Guests board a 12-person boat and slowly pass by miniature scenes from classic Disney films, ranging from Snow White and the dwarves’ cottage, to the houses of the Three Little Pigs. The attraction was revamped in 1994 to include scenes from Aladdin and The Little Mermaid while removing Toad Hall. Scenes from the animated feature film Frozen have been added recently to the attraction, making it the first change since the 1994 addition. A version of this attraction is available in Disneyland Paris, known as Le Pays de Contes de Fées.

June 15

June 15, 1961 – The First Grad Nite is Held in Disneyland

“You only graduate once. So get your friends together, party with other high school seniors from all over the country and don’t miss this celebration of a lifetime!”

On June 15, 1961, the first Grad Nite celebration is held in Disneyland. Celebrating the graduation of high school seniors, the first event had 8,500 students congregating at the happiest place on earth. This number grew extensively in the decade, with 100,000 students soon going to celebrate all night at Disneyland. In 2009, over 5 million grads had come to celebrate at the park. Any school is able to participate, and students must adhere to a dress code. Walt Disney World had their own version of Grad Nite that began in 1972, but ended in 2011.

June 14

June 14, 1959 – The Matterhorn Bobsleds Attraction Opens in Disneyland

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“Embark on a thrilling, high-speed run down the icy slopes of Switzerland’s most famous peak.”

On June 14, 1959, the Matterhorn Bobsleds attraction opened in Disneyland as the park’s first thrill attraction. Part of the first Disneyland expansion, the attraction was based on the Disney live-action film Third Man on the Mountain as well as the Swiss mountain of the same name. It is also the first tubular steel roller coaster in the world, with its design becoming the standard for roller coasters around the world. Although it is 1/100th of the actual size of its namesake, the use of forced perspective makes it appear much larger than it is. The attraction is also known for having a basketball court hidden inside, with popular lore stating that it was added to get past height restrictions within the city of Anaheim, although this myth has been disproved. Guests enter a six-person sled and slide through the icy caves of the mountain while trying to avoid the wrath of the Abominable Snowman. Guests can also pick one of two tracks for different views of Disneyland: the Fantasyland track, and the Tomorrowland track. Guests also have an opportunity to see mountain climbers on the side of the mountain, including very special appearances by Goofy and Mickey. Disneyland is the only Disney Park to have this attraction.

June 13

June 13, 1990 – The Television Special Dick Tracy: Behind the Badge…Behind the Scenes Airs

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“Dick Tracy on one hand is about good versus evil, and on the other hand it’s a story about people wanting to form a family.”

On June 13, 1990, the television special Dick Tracy: Behind the Badge…Behind the Scenes aired. The special took viewers behind the scenes of the comic turned film, with a look at how Warren Beatty acted as both lead actor, producer, and director, how actors like Al Pacino were transformed from actors to comical mobsters, and how Madonna was able to become character Breathless Mahoney. Beginning from its origins as Chester Gould’s comic, this featurette explores the work it took to turn this to a big screen action film, from the art of make-up magic to the explosive experts for the elaborate scenes. The featurette was written by Rick Sublett, and directed by Gayle Hollenbaugh.

June 12

June 12, 1922 – Performer and Disney Legend Fulton Burley is Born

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“Whenever I mention Fulton to anybody who knew him, they immediately smile every time.” – D23 Writer Scott Wolf

On June 12, 1922, Fulton Burley was born. Raised in Canada, Burley loved to sing at an early age, performing for weddings and on the radio. He studied law and music at the Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan, but dropped his law studies to pursue a career in entertainment. Burley was able to secure a contract with Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, and appeared in supporting roles in several films. In 1943 he landed a role in the Diamond Horseshoe Review after a telephone audition, and continued to tour with several musical productions, honing his skills in music and comedy. In 1962, after receiving a call from friend (and eventual fellow Disney Legend) Wally Boag, Burley came to work at the Golden Horseshoe Review at Disneyland. While there, he not only gained popularity with the show, but recorded the voice for Michael in the Enchanted Tiki Room attraction. In 1987, Burley retired from Disney, but came back in 1997 to help rerecord the lines for the updated version of the Enchanted Tiki Room alongside Boag and Thurl Ravenscroft. He was honored as a Disney Legend in 1995. In 2007, Burley passed away from heart failure at the age of 84.

June 11

June 11, 2012 – The ABC Family Series Bunheads Premieres

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“If a director can just look at you and say ‘no’ after three seconds, it’s not ‘no’ cause you’re so young and hot. It’s ‘no’ cause you’re starting to look like an IHOP cashier.”

On June 11, 2012, the dramedy series Bunheads premiered on ABC Family. The series centered around Las Vegas showgirl Michelle Simms, who marries a man impetuously and moves to his hometown of Paradise, California. After her husband dies, Simms decides to go back to her roots and teach ballet alongside her mother-in-law at the Paradise Dance Academy. The series lasted for 18 episodes, being cancelled after one season. It was created by Amy Sherman-Palladino and Lamar Damon. It starred Sutton Foster as Michelle Simms, Kelly Bishop as Fanny Flowers, Kaitlyn Jenkins as Bettina Jordan, Julia Goldani Telles as Sasha Torres, Bailey Buntain as Virginia Thompson, and Emma Dumont as Melanie Segal.