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Monthly Archives: March 2016

March 31

March 31, 2001 – The Animal Kingdom Lodge Opens for Annual Passholders


“Step into the heart of Africa at this magnificent Resort hotel.”

On March 31, 2001, Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge opened for a special open house exclusively for Walt Disney World Annual Passholders, weeks before its official opening on April 16. The hotel, as do many other attractions and resorts, has an intriguing backstory: the lodge is based on a traditional African kraal, and was built on the top of an extinct volcano. Keeping with the theme of the park, the resort has many animals inhabiting the nearby savannah plains, including wildebeest and giraffes. The hotel has almost 1,300 rooms in six stories, and three restaurants: Jiko, Boma, and Mara.


March 30

March 30, 1955 – 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea Wins Two Academy Awards

20000 Leagues

“Got a whale of a tale to tell you, lads, a whale of a tale or two…”

On March 30, 1955, the 27th Academy Awards were held at the RKO Pantages Theatre in Hollywood, California, as well as the NBC Century Theatre in New York City. Nominated for three awards, the live-action feature film 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea manages to walk away with two: Best Art Direction – Color (awarded to John Meehan and Emile Kuri), and Best Special Effects (awarded to John Hench and Joshua Meador). Walt himself managed to win an Academy Award for the Best Documentary Feature for the True-Life Adventure The Vanishing Prairie.

March 29

March 29, 1951 – The True-Life Adventure In Beaver Valley Wins an Academy Award

Beaver Valley

“The close call with the coyote has failed to shake our young beaver’s stubborn resolve.”

On March 29, 1951, the 23rd Academy Awards were held at the RKO Pantages Theatre in Hollywood, California. The True-Life Adventure In Beaver Valley (also known as simply Beaver Valley), scored Walt Disney Productions the Academy Award for Best Short Subject (Two-Reel), Disney’s only win this ceremony. It was the second of five eventual wins for the studio in this category. The featurette focused on a beaver as he lived his life in a pond area, and his interactions with other kinds of animals, including a moose, deer, and raccoons. The featurette would also go on to win the Golden Bear for documentaries at the 1st Berlin International Film Festival.

March 28

March 28, 1941 – The Pluto Short Film A Gentleman’s Gentleman is Released to Theaters


“Now, my good man, run to the corner and get me the Sunday paper. Here’s a dime; now, be careful and don’t lose it.”

On March 28, 1941, the Pluto short film A Gentleman’s Gentleman premiered in theaters. It was originally released under the Mickey Mouse short line, but has since been regarded as a Pluto short film. It was directed by Clyde Geronimi.

It’s an early Sunday morning, and Pluto brings in Mickey’s breakfast on a tray, as if he were Mickey’s butler. He pours him coffee, and Mickey gives him a dime to go get the Sunday paper, warning him not to lose it. Pluto gingerly takes the dime and rushes off, but starts flipping it with his tongue as soon as he gets outside. He loses the catch and watches as the dime rolls away before landing on its side. As he goes to pick it up with his teeth, he is unable to grab it, and it ends up eventually landing in a sewer grate. Pluto tries to grab it, but his leg is too short to reach it, as is his tail. He cries as he realizes how hopeless the situation is, but is soon relieved when he spies a gum machine. He manages to steal a gumball from the machine, and attaches the chewed gum to his tail to grab onto the dime. He retrieves the dime and grabs the paper. As he heads home, he hears the praise from nearby customers, but trips when trying to show off. As he collects the paper, he spies a comic, starring him, on the front page, and stops to read. Unfortunately, he doesn’t notice the wind that has swept his paper away, and starts chasing after the individual pages. He manages to find them all in a mud puddle, and comes home with a mud covered paper and a disappointed Mickey, who laughs at Pluto when he starts to cry again.

March 27

March 27, 2009 – The Celebrate! A Street Party Parade Begins in Disneyland

Celebrate“In everything you do, celebrate you!”

On March 27, 2009, the Celebrate! A Street Party daytime parade began its run in Disneyland. The parade, added for the “What Will You Celebrate” festivities of 2009, started from the it’s a small world attraction and wandered down toward Main Street. There were three special “celebration zones” for guests to be in where the parade would stop and entertain guests with a special dance to the songs chosen for the show. Songs included “I Love Rock and Roll,” “I Wanna Be Like You,” and “Friend Like Me,” as well as an original son g for the show, “Celebrate You,” played at the end of the show. Several Disney characters were on hand for the parade, including a special appearance of Chip and Dale’s paramour, Clarice.

March 26

March 26, 1907 – Composer and Disney Legend Leigh Harline is Born

Leigh Harline

“[Harline’s songs] seemed like symphonic writing by a good classical composer.” – Director Wilfred Jackson

On March 26, 1907, Leigh Harline was born to a large family in Salt Lake City. After majoring in music at the University of Utah, he moved to California in 1928 to work as a composer, conductor, arranger, instrumentalist, singer, and announcer for various radio stations. He joined the Disney Studios in 1932, and quickly set to work writing music for the Silly Symphony series. After acknowledging the innovative ways of using music to tell the story, Walt Disney gave Harline the plum role of scoring the studio’s first full-length animated feature film, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, alongside fellow Disney Legend Frank Churchill. Harline and Churchill’s work on the film scored them an Oscar nomination for Best Music and Score. Afterwards, he was asked to work on Pinocchio, which scored him two Oscars: Best Music and Original Score, and Best Song for the classic “When You Wish Upon a Star.” He left in 1941 to work at several other studios as a freelance composer, and racked up eight additional Oscar nominations throughout his career. In the 1960s, Harline added television scoring to his repertoire, scoring for several popular series, such as Daniel Boone, featuring another Disney Legend, Fess Parker. On December 10, 1969, Harline passed away in Long Beach, California. For his work on early Disney shorts, and for creating one of the most iconic songs from the studio, he was inducted as a Disney Legend in 2001.

March 25

March 25, 1996 – John Lasseter is Awarded a Special Academy Award for Toy Story

John Lasseter Award

“Now we take you to the world of computer animation, where director John Lasseter has proved that a boy with a hard drive can go a long way.” – Presenter Robin Williams

On March 25, 1996, the 68th Academy Awards were held in the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion in Los Angeles, California. At this ceremony, John Lasseter was awarded a special Academy Award for the creation of the first fully computer-animated feature film, Toy Story, calling its creation a milestone in the achievement of motion pictures. The film had been a long time in the making, going back to Lasseter’s aspirations after starting at Disney decades earlier. Lasseter showed up on stage to receive the award, bringing with him a Woody and a Buzz Lightyear toy. Lasseter thanked the Academy for its longtime support of student filmmakers, as well as everyone at Pixar and Disney for their support and effort into making the film.

March 24

March 24, 1950 – The Donald Duck Short Film Crazy Over Daisy is Released to Theaters


“Oh, you poor little darlings! Was Donald mean to you?”

On March 24, 1950, the Donald Duck short film Crazy Over Daisy was released to theaters. The short is similar to the Mickey Mouse short film The Nifty Nineties, being set in the early 1900s, and features cameos of Goofy, Mickey, and Minnie. The short was directed by Jack Hannah.

The short begins with Donald riding a penny-farthing to Daisy’s house, passing Goofy driving an ice truck, and Mickey and Minnie in their car. As he passes through the park, Chip, who has been relaxing in a tree, spies Donald passing by and calls for Dale. The pair spot Donald and make fun of him before following him. They mock Donald as he continues to ride the penny-farthing, and the teasing continues to go back and forth. Dale then gets an idea to tie Donald’s hands to the handlebars, and Donald goes careening through the park. When he finally frees himself, he sees that the chipmunks have released a cannonball to chase him down a hill, which Donald frantically tries to escape. The cannonball flattens Donald’s vehicle to nothing more than a rail, and Donald chases them around the park, taking them home and building a new penny-farthing – with Chip and Dale spinning within the wheels like hamsters. When Donald arrives at Daisy’s, Daisy chastises him for being so cruel to the chipmunks, and takes the pair inside, leaving Donald all alone outside.

March 23

March 23, 1950 – Bobby Driscoll Wins the Academy Juvenile Award

Bobby Driscoll Award

“[The award] goes to the little boy whose performance in The Window and So Dear to My Heart enchanted movie-goers and critics alike, Bobby Driscoll.” – Presenter Donald O’Connor

On March 23, 1950, the 22nd Academy Awards were held at the Royal Pantages Theater in Hollywood, California. For his work in the Disney film So Dear to My Heart, as well as the RKO film The Window, Bobby Driscoll was awarded with the Academy Juvenile Award as the best juvenile actor of 1949. So Dear to My Heart was Driscoll’s second film for the Disney Studios, and he had received several positive reviews for his role as Jeremiah Kincaid. He was the ninth recipient of the award, joining actors such as Mickey Rooney and Shirley Temple.

March 22

March 22, 2005 – The Updated Soundtrack to the Animated Series Kim Possible is Released

Kim Possible

“Call me, beep me, if you want to reach me.”

On March 22, 2005, the soundtrack to the hit animated series Kim Possible was re-released through Walt Disney Records. An updated version of the original 2003 album, this version contained remixes of the theme song “Call Me, Beep Me! (The Kim Possible Song)” by Christina Milian, as well as a combination of songs from and inspired by the show. The artists featured include Disney artist (and voice of title character) Christy Carlson Romano, pop artist Aaron Carter, and band Smash Mouth.