RSS Feed

Monthly Archives: March 2016

March 21

March 21, 1927 – The Alice Comedy Alice in the Alps is Released to Theaters

Alice Comedies

On March 21, 1927, the Alice Comedy Alice in the Alps was released to theaters. The short film was the 46th film released in this title, and the 30th Alice Comedy starring Margie Gay as Alice. The short has since become a lost film. The short has Alice traversing the Swiss Alps with Julius, ice skating and mountain-climbing.

March 20

March 20, 1970 – Actress, Voice of Jasmine, and Disney Legend Linda Larkin is Born

vlcsnap-2016-03-20-20h28m27s48

“When I see the way that little girls respond to Jasmine, I know what’s exciting about her to them. She’s not a victim. She’s not sheltered. She’s got spirit, and she has power, and I think it’s really great to be the voice of this character that is strong.”

On March 20, 1970, Linda Larking was born in Alaska; soon after her birth, she and her family moved to Duluth, Minnesota. While the family moved around the state, Larkin developed an interest in the performing arts, especially ballet. After graduating high school, she moved to New York to attend Hofstra University, and continued to book jobs dancing and, after a shift in her major, acting. In 1989, while visiting a friend in Los Angeles, Larkin ended up scoring a movie role – her first big break. This led to acting gigs on popular television shows, and finally, her biggest break of all: the voice of Princess Jasmine from the Disney animated feature Aladdin. Since that film, Larkin has still been involved as the voice of Jasmine, voicing her in animated sequels, the television series, and video games featuring her character. She was inducted as a Disney Legend in 2011.

March 19

March 19, 1953 – The True-Life Adventure Short Film Water Birds Wins the Academy Award for Best Live Action Short Film, Two-Reel

Water Birds

“In any case, Walt fought his way through all the Oscars in his living room to our stage tonight.”

On March 19, 1953, the 25th Academy Awards were held at the RKO Pantages Theater in Hollywood, California, as well as the NBC International Theater in New York City. It was the first Academy Awards ceremony to be broadcast on television, as well as held on two coasts simultaneously. The short film documentary Water Birds from Disney’s True-Life Adventures series was nominated for, and won, the Academy Award for Best Live Action Short Film, Two-Reel. The short won against the films Bridge of Time, Devil Take Us, and Thar She Blows! This awards ceremony was also special for the added Disney fact that Walt was asked to present the award for the musical categories.

March 18

March 18, 1933 – The Mickey Mouse Short Film Mickey’s Mellerdrammer is Released to Theaters

vlcsnap-2016-03-18-18h00m01s192

“Let’s hide in Uncle Tom’s cabin!”

On March 18, 1933, the Mickey Mouse short film Mickey’s Mellerdrammer premiered in theaters. The subject matter is somewhat controversial, as it has Mickey and friends putting on a production of Uncle Tom’s Cabin. It’s important to remember that this short is a reflection of the attitudes of the 1930s, and the play was the most well-known play in this time. The short was directed by Wilfred Jackson.

Mickey and his friends are putting on a production of Uncle Tom’s Cabin, with Mickey as Uncle Tom and Topsy, Minnie as Eva, Clarabelle Cow as Eliza, and Horace Horsecollar as Simon; the cast is also joined by fifty bloodthirsty bloodhounds. The theater is packed, and the cast quickly prepares themselves, with comic ways of applying their costumes. The play begins with a rousing musical number, with Horace and Goofy helping with sound effects and props. The audience boos the villain, Simon, as he enters on stage, while Mickey does a quick costume change to become Uncle Tom. His performance is well-received, but the play is interrupted when Horace uses his whip to accidentally pull Goofy on stage. When the play resumes, the audience starts throwing rotten fruits and veggies at poor Horace. The next scene is quite an affair, with Clarabelle playing Eliza and crossing the ice. Mickey and Minnie help dress several dogs as bloodhounds, though they attempt to dress one cat up as well. The cat rushes the stage, and the dogs chase after it, destroying the set and musical instruments of the orchestra. The audience cracks up, and Mickey quickly pulls the curtain. Minnie and Mickey head out for their bows, while Horace is pelted with rotten fruits and vegetables again.

March 17

March 17, 1956 – Disneyland Anthology Series Wins Two Emmys

Walt Disney Emmy

“Walt Disney Presents…”

On March 17, 1956, the 8th Primetime Emmy Awards were held in the Pan Pacific Auditorium in Los Angeles, California. The Disney Anthology series, then known as Disneyland walked away with two Emmy awards: one for Best Action or Adventure Series, and one or Best Producer for a Film Series, awarded to Walt Disney. The Best Action or Adventure Series award was undoubtedly won for the popular “Davy Crockett” featurettes on the show, which had swept the nation; the episode “Davy Crockett and the River Pirates” had gone on to be nominated as Best Single Program of the Year (though it lost to “Peter Pan” from Producers’ Showcase).

March 16

March 16, 1911 – Artist, Imagineer, and Disney Legend Harper Goff is Born

Harper Goff

“Walt liked the story-board well enough to have me give an [Audience Reaction Inquiry] to a group of exhibitors who were in town. They were enthusiastic and the rest is history.”

On March 16, 1911, Ralph Harper Goff was born in Fort Collins, Colorado. His family moved to Santa Ana, California, where he would later attend the Chouinard Art Institute in Los Angeles. Afterwards, he moved to New York where he worked as a magazine illustrator. During World War II, Goff was asked to help design camouflage paint at a research facility at Fort Belvoir. After the war, Goff returned to California to work as a set designer for Warner Brothers, with his work being used in such classics as Casablanca, Sergeant York, and Captain Blood. He moved up the ranks to work as an associate producer and art director. After a chance meeting in London in 1951, Goff was invited by Walt Disney to work at the studio to sketch storyboards for a project, which would later evolve into the live-action feature film 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. The film would go on to win two Academy Awards: one for art director, and one for special effects. Goff was also instrumental in designing concepts for several pavilions for Epcot’s World Showcase in 1975, including Japan, Italy, and the United Kingdom. He was also known for playing the banjo in the Disney Dixieland jazz band Firehouse Five Plus Two. He was inducted as a Disney Legend in 1993; the same year, Goff passed away at the age of 81.

March 15

March 15, 2006 – High School Musical is the First Film Released on iTunes

HSMiTunes

“First came the songs, then music videos and TV shows, and now Apple may be bringing movies to your home computer or video iPod.”

On March 15, 2006, Apple announced that Disney Channel’s hit film High School Musical would be iTunes’ first available feature-length movie. The movie, available for $9.99, was the first step in a grand-scale iTunes Movie service, though some critics saw the move as a vehicle for Apple and Disney to test joint projects. Disney, at the time, admitted that the TV movie would be the only release from the studio on the digital format.

March 14

March 14, 2000 – The Tribute Album Color, Rhythm and Magic: Favorites from Disney Classics is Released

MR&M

“Color, Rhythm & Magic: Favorites From Disney delivers just what the title promises…”

On March 14, 2000, the tribute album Color, Rhythm and Magic: Favorites from Disney Classics was released through Varèse Sarabande records. The album, recorded by Earl Rose, takes Disney songs and composes them in a light jazz format with piano, percussion, and violin, among other instruments. It features classics ranging from “A Dream is a Wish Your Heart Makes” to “Someday” from The Hunchback of Notre Dame.

March 13

March 13, 2005 – Robert A. Iger Named CEO of the Walt Disney Company

Bob Iger

“On behalf of the entire Board, I want to express how excited we are at the prospect of Bob [Iger] leading this extraordinary company and talented management team to new levels of financial and creative success in the years ahead.” – Sen. George J. Mitchell, Chairman of the Walt Disney Company Board of Directors

On March 13, 2005, the Walt Disney Company Board of Executives unanimously voted to elect Robert A. Iger as the new Chief Executive Office of the company. His tenure would become effective on September 30 of that year, after previous CEO Michael D. Eisner stepped down. The lengthy and highly detailed selection process began in late 2004; Iger previously served as the chairman of ABC Group, where he helped facilitate the merger between ABC and the Disney Company. Iger also served as the president of Walt Disney International, focusing on the Disney name in Europe, Asia-Pacific Region, and Latin America. He originally joined the company in 1996, when Disney acquired Capital Cities/ABC, where Iger was serving as President and COO.

March 12

March 12, 2011 – Imagineer and Disneyland Art Director Kim Irvine is Awarded the Themed Entertainment Association’s Lifetime Achievement Award

Kim Irvine

“The greatest thing about [this award] is it honors the entire on-site group of Imagineers – not just Disneyland by Walt Disney World and Paris, Tokyo, and Hong Kong too.”

On March 12, 2011, the Themed Entertainment Association awarded their lifetime achievement award, also known as the Buzz Price Thea Award, to Imagineer and Disneyland Art Director Kim Irvine. Irvine, who started at Disney in 1970, has had several prominent projects in the park, including the design of the Disneyland Dream Suite, the updated version of Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln, and the refurbishment of it’s a small world. Irvine also founded the Disneyland Imagineering office in the early 1980s.