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Tag Archives: 1940s

November 13

November 13, 1940 – Fantasia Has World Premiere at the Broadway Theater

Fantasia was not simply a film or a concert. Instead, it was a hybrid, a selection of great orchestral works conducted by Leopold Stokowski, played by the Philadelphia Orchestra and illustrated by Walt Disney.”

On November 13, 1940, the animated feature film Fantasia had its world premiere at the Broadway Theater in New York City. This premiere was substantial in showing the evolution of Disney animation, as the film premiered twelve years after the official debut of the first Mickey Mouse short film, Steamboat Willie. This premiere was part of a roadshow held to promote the film, along with an exclusive sound system called Fantasound. Proceeds from the opening night went toward the British War Relief Society, as England was then embroiled in World War II. There was great demand from viewers to see the film, and the film would eventually run at the Broadway for forty-nine weeks.

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August 30

August 30, 1943 – Walt Disney is Awarded the Order of the Aztec Eagle

On August 30, 1943, Walt Disney, along with MGM Studios co-founder Louis B. Mayer, was awarded the Order of the Aztec Eagle, Mexico’s highest honor. Disney received the award from Mexican president Manuel Ávila Camacho, honoring Disney’s efforts to create a strong relationship with Mexico through the Good Neighbor Program. Through this program, Walt and a group of animators, known as “El Grupo,” traveled through South America to research the countries and create animated features and short films. One such output was the film The Three Caballeros, which featured Mexican rooster Panchito as a lead character. This film was the beginning of a long relationship the Disney Studios had with Mexico.

August 24

August 24, 1942 – Saludos Amigos Has Premiere in Rio de Janeiro

“Saludos amigos, a fond greeting to you!”

On August 24, 1942, the sixth animated feature film, and the first package film by the Walt Disney Studios, Saludos Amigos, premiered in Rio de Janeiro. The film was an output of a goodwill ambassador tour Walt and his animators took of various Latin American countries. The countries featured in Saludos Amigos are Peru, Bolivia, Chile, and Brazil, and includes a new main character in José  Carioca, a Brazilian parrot. The premiere featured a Portuguese version of the film, with the name of the film changed to Alo Amigos. The film was very popular in Latin America, and opened in the United States six months later.

 

 

August 13

August 13, 1945 – The Educational Film Tuberculosis is Delivered

On August 13, 1945, the educational film Tuberculosis was delivered to the Coordinator of Inter-American Affairs. The Disney Studios had a series of “good neighbor” films during World War II that stressed the importance of cleanliness and other issues that affected areas of South America; this film was one of the first in a series addressing health concerns and the steps that need to be taken to cure someone of the disease. Though an English version was produced, the film was created entirely in Spanish.

March 14

March 14, 1942 – Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, Pluto, Dumbo, and Timothy Mouse Appear on the Cover of Liberty Magazine

“Last minute double check for your income tax.”

On March 14, 1942, the cover of Liberty magazine featured popular Disney characters Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, Pluto, Dumbo, and Timothy Mouse. The characters were used to promote an article about filing income taxes that year, as a main message at the time was that Americans’ taxes would “beat the Axis” – a line from the Donald Duck short film The New Spirit. Disney character use was high at the time to help with the war effort, with their use ranging from military insignia to full-length goodwill films, such as Saludos Amigos.

March 10

March 10, 1948 – Bambi Wins Special Golden Globe Award

On March 10, 1948, the 5th Golden Globe Awards were held at the Roosevelt Hotel in Los Angeles, California. Walt Disney was awarded with the Special Achievement Award for the animated feature Bambi; he was specifically awarded for “Furthering the Influence of the Screen” for the Hindustani version of the animated feature. This is the only time this specific special award has ever been awarded.

March 4

March 4, 1943 – Der Fuehrer’s Face Wins Academy Award

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“We heil! Heil! Right in der Fuehrer’s face!”

On March 4, 1943, the 15th Academy Awards were held at the Coconut Grove in Los Angeles, California. The Disney propaganda short film Der Fuehrer’s Face won the Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film, beating out the likes of All Out for V, Blitz Wolf, Juke Box Jamboree, Pigs in a Polka, and Tulips Shall Grow. Most of the shorts in this category, including Der Fuehrer’s Face, ridiculed the brainwashing tactics of Nazism and were very anti-German, save for Pigs in a Polka, which parodied Disney’s Three Little Pigs and Fantasia. The song for Der Fuehrer’s Face, written by studio composer Oliver Wallace, also proved to be very popular after it was recorded by Spike Jones and His City Slickers.