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Monthly Archives: January 2019

January 15

January 15, 1926 – The Alice Comedy Alice’s Balloon Race is Released

“Big Balloon Race – $10,000.00 Prize To The Winner”

On January 15, 1926, the Alice Comedy Alice’s Balloon Race was released to theaters. It was the 28th Alice Comedy to be produced, and the 12th to feature second Alice actress Margie Gay.

The short begins with the announcement of a Big Balloon Race, with a $10,000 prize for the winner. A band performs near the sign, drumming up excitement for the race. Alice and Julius are competing in the race against their nemesis Pete, who tells the crowd that Julius is nothing to be concerned with. The balloons set off, although Alice and Julius’ balloon doesn’t immediately take off. Pete tries to cheat and throws Alice and Julius’ balloon to the ground. Julius then has a difficult time getting it to fly, causing a fight between the duo. The pair then spot a hippo with a pipe and a spittoon, and Julius comes up with the idea to use the hippo to get then moving, thanks to the hippo’s sneeze by the use of red hot pepper. The balloon takes off, without Julius, and Alice sends down a ladder to pull him up, but forgets to hold the other end of the ladder, sending Julius tumbling to the ground. He continues to chase after the balloon and uses a rope to get up, but then the pair find themselves caught in a storm. The balloon is destroyed, and the pair fall to the ground, but Julius uses a dachshund and two balloons to send him skyward again, but this also fails. He then tries to use an elephant filled with air, pulled along by a passing bird. Julius then spends his time dodging lightning strikes, but then uses the lightning to deflate Pete’s balloon, which lands on Alice. Pete, angered by both, chases after them.

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January 14

January 14, 1938 – The New York Daily News Publishes Review of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs

“The entire audience seemed to fall under the magic spell which Walt Disney and his staff of clever magicians wove with great artistry on the screen.”

On January 14, 1938, the day after the animated feature Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs had its East Coast premiere at Radio City Music Hall, Kate Cameron of the New York Daily News published a glittering review alongside an image of Snow White and her bird friends chasing the hag out of the Dwarfs’ cottage. The review was simply glowing, calling the audience “spellbound,” while noting that mostly adults attended the screening and were enraptured with the animated performances. The review also notes the music as “excellent,” the adaptation as “delightful,” and the voices having been selected “judiciously.” The film was awarded four stars for children, and four stars for adults.

January 13

January 13, 1927 – President of Walt Disney Creations S.p.A and Disney Legend Antonio Bertini is Born

“There is always a market. There is never a problem when you give a good product at the right price. And Disney is a very good product.”

On January 13, 1927, Antonio Bertini was born in Milan, Italy. He attended the University of Pavia, and while there he explored market research, a concept that was unfamiliar in Italy at the time, and eventually graduated with a Ph.D. in political science in 1955. Soon after, he joined the Lever Brothers company in Milan as a planning officer, putting his skills to use as he coordinated the operating, marketing, and publicity of the company’s four Italian factories. He joined Walt Disney Productions in 1960, after answering an anonymous ad in a newspaper, as the assistance to Major John William Holmes, the Italian sales representative. Bertini had almost immediate success; he was able to negotiate several new contracts with Italian licensees to create Disney-themed projects, ranging from toys to housewares, and was subsequently promoted to sales manager a year later. At the same time, Bertini was also asked to join the Board of Directors, and after another stellar year, Roy O. Disney personally named Bertini the president of Walt Disney Creations S.p.A. Bertini continued to expand Disney influence in Italy through the 1960s and 1970s, creating educational films for the country and creating over a $1 million in revenue; this success helped lead the way for Disney’s eventual success in the home video market through the 1980s. Bertini was also instrumental in creating a booming publishing division in Italy for the Disney books, comics, and magazines, rather than licensing out the characters to other publishers. After 30 years with the company, Bertini retired from Disney in 1990; he was honored as a Disney Legend in the category of Disney Consumer Products in 1997.

January 12

January 12, 1999 – The GO Network is Launched

On January 12, 1999, the internet portal site GO Network was launched in a joint production between Disney and Infoseek. The GO Network offered a variety of services, including chat rooms, search engines, email, and a news service. In November of that year, Disney presented a deal to, and was approved by, stakeholders to spinoff the Go Network with GO.com, and purchased Infoseek (which would merge with the Buena Vista Internet Group. On November 18, the first shares of GO.com began trading on the New York Stock Exchange. In 2001, Disney announced that GO.com would be closing, including all the offshoot directories and the stock tracker.

January 11

January 11, 2002 – The Disney’s California Adventure Attraction Superstar Limo Closes

“Don’t worry, we’ll get you there in time! Our first stop is glamorous Rodeo Drive.”

On January 11, 2002, the dark ride attraction Superstar Limo closed in the Hollywood Pictures Backlot area of Disney’s California Adventure Park. Guests boarded a purple limousine and toured around “Tinsel Town,” reveling in caricatures of their favorite celebrities and Hollywood landmarks. Celebrities in the attraction included Regis Philbin, Cher, and Cindy Crawford. The attraction was open for less than a year before California Adventure underwent a massive overhaul; the attraction’s former space has since been replaced by Monsters, Inc. Mike & Sulley to the Rescue!

January 10

January 10, 1932 – The First Mickey Mouse Sunday Comic is Printed

“Here’s something you’ve never seen before – something new under the old overworked sun – MICKEY MOUSE in a full page color comic!”

On January 10, 1932, the first color Sunday comic of the Miceky Mouse series premiered in newspapers across the United States. The Mickey Mouse comics burst on the scene on January 13, 1930, and became a smash hit almost overnight. The comic syndicate King Features had been eager to feature a full-page color comic, but artist Floyd Gottfredson and inker Earl Duvall hadn’t had the time to devote to such an ambitious undertaking. Once Gottfredson and Duvall had Al Taliaferro and Ted Osborne on their team, the team then had time to bring the color comic to fruition. The appeal of the color comics is interesting to note, as at that time, Mickey’s appearance on the silver screen was still black and white (Mickey’s first color cartoon wouldn’t be until 1935’s The Band Concert). The first color comic was done by completely by Duvall, trying to mimic the slapstick that had worked so well in the short films; Gottfredson would take over soon after. The pair were able to create a new kind of gag strip storytelling through their adaptation of Mickey Mouse short films and the creation of new stories.

January 9

January 9, 1977 – The New Mousketeers Perform at Super Bowl XI

“Ladies and gentlemen, the entire audience of Super Bowl XI presents from the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, a greeting to the world of peace, joy, and love.”

On January 9, 1977, Super Bowl XI was held at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California. This halftime show was produced by Disney, and was used to promote the revamp of the Mickey Mouse Club by featuring the New Mousketeers performing alongside the LAUSD All-City Band. The presentation centered around the theme of the it’s a small world attraction, including the themes of “peace, joy, and love.” For the first time in a halftime show, the audience of the game was invited to participate through the waving of colored placards.