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Monthly Archives: May 2016

May 21

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May 21, 1998 – The New Tomorrowland Opens in Disneyland for the Media

Tomorrowland

“It turns out the new Disney vision has been framed less by NASA and Caltech than by famous visionaries of the past.”

On May 21, 1998, the media day for the newly resigned Tomorrowland was held, with the new area open to the public the following day. The park underwent an extensive redesign that took almost two years and over $100 million, complete with a new symbol for the area itself: the flagship attraction Rocket Rods. Changes were also made to the landscaping, with the addition of crops grown within the park, including artichokes, coffee plants, and orange trees. Several attractions were moved to other parts of the park or discontinued altogether. The most startling change, however, was the new color scheme for the area, which was a new metallic blend.

May 20

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May 20, 2003 – The Soundtrack for Finding Nemo is Released Through Walt Disney Records

Finding Nemo Soundtrack

“Somewhere beyond the sea…”

On May 20, 2003, the soundtrack to Pixar’s fifth animated feature Finding Nemo was released through Walt Disney Records. This was the first Pixar feature not to be scored by Randy Newman, and the first collaboration between Pixar and Thomas Newman, who would go on to work with Andrew Stanton on the score for WALL-E. The score would go on to be nominated for Original Music Score at the Academy Awards, but lost to The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King.

May 19

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May 19, 1934 – The Mickey Mouse Short Film Gulliver Mickey is Released to Theaters

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“Now, you all keep quiet, and I’ll tell you about the time Uncle Mickey was shipwrecked.”

On May 19, 1934, the Mickey Mouse short film Gulliver Mickey was released to theaters. It was based on the book Gulliver’s Travels by Jonathan Swift. The short was directed by Burt Gillett.

Mickey is reading the book Gulliver’s Travels, when he spots his nephews pretending to sail a boat across the floor. Mickey pretends to be a whale and rocks their boat, but is surprised when they attack him. The boat tumbles from his jump, and the nephews all start to cry when they think their game is over. Mickey, in an effort to calm them, decides to use one of Gulliver’s travels to tell his nephews a story. He begins the story with a violent storm, which left him shipwrecked on an island. He fell asleep on the shore, waking up to find that he had been tied down by the townspeople. He is surprised, but amused, by the size of the people, though they are not amused by his antics. The tiny army attacks him, though Mickey once again only finds it more comical than anything. He is able to deflect anything they throw at him, until a giant spider comes into town destroying everything. Mickey fights the spider valiantly, though it looks as though the spider may win. In the end, Mickey acts out fighting the spider by punching a pillow, much to his nephews’ amusement, though one nephew scares Mickey with a rubber spider, showing Mickey might not be so brave after all.

May 18

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May 18, 2004 – The Soundtrack for That’s So Raven is Released Through Walt Disney Records

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“It’s the future I can see, it’s so mysterious to me.”

On May 18, 2004, the soundtrack for the Disney Channel Original Series That’s So Raven was released through Walt Disney Records. Featuring songs sung by the cast and a collection of other pop songs, the album peaked at number 44 on the Billboard 200. Artists included lead actress Raven-Symoné, Jesse McCartney, Chaka Khan, and Kool & the Gang. The album would eventually be certified gold by the RIAA.

May 17

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May 17, 2005 – The Compilation Album Best of the Muppets Featuring the Muppets’ Wizard of Oz is Released

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“Sometimes, you gotta get out of Kansas.”

On May 17, 2005, the special compilation album Best of the Muppets Featuring the Muppets’ Wizard of Oz was released through Walt Disney Records. This was the first album released through Disney after their acquisition of the Muppets in February 2004. The album mainly featured songs from the television movie The Muppets’ Wizard of Oz, starring Ashanti and Queen Latifah. A song from the film, “When I’m With You,” was nominated for an Emmy award, but lost to “Mary Jane/Mary Lane” from Reefer Madness. The album also featured standards from the Muppet catalogue, including “Mahna Mahna” and “Rainbow Connection.”

May 16

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May 16, 1927 – The Alice Comedy Alice’s Three Bad Eggs is Released to Theaters

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On May 26, 1927, the Alice Comedy Alice’s Three Bad Eggs premiered in theaters. It was the 50th Alice Comedy produced, and the third starring fourth and final actress Lois Hardwick as Alice. It has subsequently been labeled a lost cartoon.

May 15

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May 15, 1998 – Bill Nye Wins Daytime Emmy

Bill Nye displays his Emmy statuette during the1998 Daytime Emmy Awards at Radio City Music Hall in New York on Friday, May 15, 1998. Nye won for "Outstanding Performer in a Children's Series" for his role in "Bill Nye the Science Guy." (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)

“Science Rules!”

On May 15, 1998, the 25th Daytime Emmy Awards were held at Radio City Music Hall in New York City. The science program Bill Nye the Science Guy, distributed by Disney, won five Emmy awards, including one for Bill Nye as Outstanding Performer in a Children’s Series. The series also won for Outstanding Writing in a Children’s Series, Outstanding Sound Editing, Outstanding Sound Mixing, and Outstanding Single Camera Editing. This was the second win for several of these categories, and the first for Nye as Outstanding Performer; the series would go on to win Outstanding Children’s Series the following year.

May 14

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May 14, 2007 – Walt Disney World Makes a Donation to Orlando’s Performing Arts Center

DPAC Check

“Disney Cast Members take great pride in supporting our community and making Central Florida a better place to live, work, and play.” – Meg Crofton, President, Walt Disney World Resort

On May 14, 2007, the Walt Disney World Resort announced its plans to make three significant donations to the Central Florida area, beginning with a $12.5 million commitment to the Dr. P. Phillips Orlando Performing Arts Center. Disney’s contributions to the area trace back to 1989, when they contributed $425,000 to build the amphitheater for community events. By 2007, Disney’s contributions to the amphitheater totaled more than $1 million.

May 13

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May 13, 1935 – Storyboarder, Animator, and Disney Legend Burny Mattinson is Born

Burny Mattinson

“Disney has always been a family place. I think that’s what’s so rich about it.”

On May 13, 1935, Burnett Mattinson was born in San Francisco, California. A skilled artist from an early age, Mattinson managed to score a job at Disney thanks to his mother, who dropped him off at the gate of the Disney Studios after he graduated high school. A guard called the head of Personnel for him, and he got a job in the mailroom. Mattinson’s case is similar to those early animators, as he had no formal art training before he started working as an in-betweener a mere six months later. For the animated feature Sleeping Beauty, he was promoted to assistant animator under Marc Davis. After working with Davis on One Hundred and One Dalmatians, he worked with fellow Nine Old Men animator Eric Larson for twelve years on a variety of projects; he then began working with Ollie Johnston after an internal animation training program. Mattinson made his mark by recommending to then CEO Ron Miller an idea for a holiday film, which to his surprise was approved, and Mattinson was picked to direct what would eventually become Mickey’s Christmas Carol. He continued to make his mark on several Disney projects, and in 2008, he was honored as a Disney Legend. In 2013, he celebrated his 60th anniversary with the company, becoming one of the longest serving employees with the company.

May 12

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May 12, 1956 – The First Main Street Horseless Carriage Operates in Disneyland

Take a ride in the yellow automobile. Or more appropriately, the Yellow Horseless Carriage. This vehicle, designed by Disney Legend Bob Gurr, first appeared on Main Street U.S.A. at Disneyland on December 6, 1956, and was the second of two Horseless Carriages to ride up and down the street carrying park guests. The first was the Red Horseless Carriage, which appeared May 12, 1956. The motorized Fire Engine appeared August 16, 1958. Prior to its appearance, there was a horse-drawn fire wagon that would carry park guests that debuted on the park's opening day, July 17, 1955. The fire wagon is now on permanent display inside the Disneyland Fire Department fire station.

“Travel back in time during a breezy, one-way drive down Main Street, U.S.A in a charming turn-of-the-century vehicle.”

On May 12, 1956, the first Main Street Horseless Carriage began operating in Disneyland. The vehicles, designed by Imagineers to match the turn-of-the-century look of Main Street, take guests around Main Street all the way up to Sleeping Beauty Castle. The Horseless Carriages were also placed in Walt Disney World (starting operation on October 1, 1971), as well as Tokyo Disneyland (starting operation on April 15, 1983).