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Tag Archives: 1980s

December 9

December 9, 1985 – Pixar is Incorporated in the State of California

On December 9, 1985, Pixar Animation Studios became incorporated in California. By this point, the company had several successes in computer animation while working for Lucasfilm, including the “Stained Glass Knight” sequence in Young Sherlock Holmes and The Adventures of Andre & Wally B, the first computer animated short film by the studio. In 1986, Steve Jobs completed the purchase of the company from George Lucas and Lucasfilm, officially becoming the independent company Pixar.

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December 5

December 5, 1985 – The Skyfest Celebration is Held in Anaheim, California

“A million balloon salute to honor Walt Disney and Disneyland’s 30th year.”

On December 5, 1985, to honor Walt Disney’s birthday, the residents of Anaheim celebrated with a special event known as Skyfest. The event featured a release of 1,000,000 balloons, and seven thousand pounds of helium were used to send the balloons skybound. The event not only honored what would have been Walt Disney’s 84th birthday, but also the 30th anniversary of Walt’s dream, Disneyland. This event also set a world record, beating the previous record of 384,800 balloons.

December 3

December 3, 1985 – Dumbo is Released on Home Video

“One of the true Disney masterpieces…”

On December 3, 1985, the Walt Disney animated feature film Dumbo was the third film to be released on home video as part of the new Walt Disney Classics line. The film was originally released in VHS form in 1981, but only for rental purposes; the 1985 release was when people could own their own copy to show a new generation from the comfort of their living room. The film would be continually released every so often, whether through a new Disney promotion line, or a new format.

December 2

December 2, 1988 – Disney Acquires KHJ Television Station

On December 2, 1988, The Walt Disney Company finished their acquisition of the Los Angeles-based television station KHJ. The station, originally owned by RKO, had been made available due to corporate issues; Disney had to purchase the license from Fidelity Television, while purchasing the intellectual property from RKO. Once Disney purchased the station, the call letters were changed to KCAL, and was eventually changed to K-CAL 9 in the mid-90s. The station ran Disney’s syndicated animated series, such as the lineup of the Disney Afternoon, as well as investing in other family-oriented series. Disney would eventually sell K-CAL 9 to CBS on February 14, 2002.

November 27

November 27, 1986 – The Animated Television Special Disney’s Fluppy Dogs Premieres on ABC

“A mythical beast able to speak like humans.”

On November 27, 1986, the hour-long animated television special Disney’s Fluppy Dogs premiered on ABC. It was intended to be the pilot for a new Disney animated series, in the same vein as The Wuzzles and Disney’s Adventures of the Gummi Bears. Unfortunately, this special was the week’s lowest-ranked program, and the intended series was cancelled. The special was written by Haskell Barkin and Bruce Talkington, and directed by Fred Wolf. It starred Carl Steven as Jamie Bingham, Jessica Pennington as Claire, Marshall Efron as Stanley, Susan Blu as Tippi and Bink, Lorenzo Music as Ozzie, Hal Smith as Dink and Hamish, and Michael Rye as Wagstaff.

The special begins with the five Fluppy Dogs traveling alongside a dangerous cliffside, and use a magical key to open a door to escape. They end up in a beautiful garden, but quickly find themselves in danger. They open another door and find themselves in a grocery store, causing chaos before finding themselves outside on the street. As they flee, they get the attention of J.J. Wagstaff, a businessman who is intrigued that the dogs can talk. Though they try to escape, the dogs are soon captured and are taken to the pound. The five realize that they need to start acting like regular dogs in order to be saved, and Stanley, the leader of the Fluppy Dogs, gets himself adopted in order to come back and save the others.

Jamie is saved by the quick thinking of Stanley, and is amazed at his new dog’s skills.

It’s revealed that Wagstaff collects exotic animals and keeps them locked in cages in his office; he discovers that the dogs he saw were Fluppies, and gets his assistant Hamish to accompany him to capture the Fluppies. Meanwhile, a kid named Jamie comes home, excited to meet the dog that his mom picked out for his birthday. Although initially disappointed at the dog’s size, he takes Stanley for a walk to “get to know him.” Stanley escapes the leash and heads back to the pound, with Jamie in pursuit. Both end up in a construction site, and when Jamie ends up stuck, Stanley manages to save him. Jamie is astounded at Stanley’s actions, and Stanley opens up to Jamie about his friends. He says that they have a mythical key that opens doors to other dimensions, but the problem is that they may never end up back home.

Jamie offers to use his birthday money to get the other Fluffy Dogs to get out of the pound, but can only afford one: Tippi. Jamie’s mom tells him that they can’t keep another dog, and offers the solution of giving Tippi to Jamie’s neighbor Claire so that the dogs can be neighbors. Claire gladly takes Tippi in. Unfortunately, Wagstaff realizes that the Fluppies are at the pound, and uses his connections to get the others. Stanley tells Jamie that they’ll have to break in to get the other Fluppies, even though Jamie is against it. Stanley makes Jamie promise that he’ll never tell anyone about the existence of Fluppies, and that they left home for the sake of adventure. As Jamie scratches Stanley’s head, magic dust flies out, and Jamie’s bed goes flying across the night sky. As the bed careens around the sky, Jamie scratches Stanley’s head again and gets control of the bed again. The pair stop to pick up Tippi before they head to the pound, but not before Claire sees them, and Jamie makes her promise not to say anything. Tippi and Stanley break in, but Jamie sees Wagstaff with the pound staff and tries to warn Stanley. The five Fluppies manage to make a break for it, pursued by Wagstaff, but manage to get away.

Jamie says goodbye to the Fluppies as they set off to find their door.

The next day, Tippie confides in Claire, admitting that she wants to go home. Jamie wakes up and quickly hides Ozzie, Bink, and Dink from his mom, and says goodbye to Stanley as they find a way for the Fluppies to get home. Stanley promises that they will always be friends, no matter what happens. However, the Fluppies head to Jamie’s school to ask for his help to find the next door. The group sneaks into the sewer to find the way to the door. The group manages to find the door, but a torrent of water comes rushing out, sweeping them away. Jamie heads home to find Claire, and asks for her help. Wagstaff is frustrated with his lack of progress in finding the Fluppies, and decides to advertise on television a $1,000 reward for handing over a Fluppy.

The Fluppies find a door in Jamie’s basement, and once they open it, they find a beautiful garden – and a giant creature running through it. Unfortunately, although the creature is nice, they are unable to return him to the door. Attracted to flowers, the creature runs towards Jamie’s flower-patterned couch, but is terrified by everything in the house. The Fluppies help Jamie and Claire clean up the house after capturing the creature; unfortunately, Jamie is in trouble with his mom for cutting class. Jamie then sees the ad by Wagstaff, and goes down to warn the others. Ozzie, Dink, and Bink set out to find another door, and manage to find the door that will lead them home. The lights attract the attention of Wagstaff, and as he sets out to capture the Fluppies, the trio rush home to Stanley and Tippi. Wagstaff manages to capture Ozzie and takes him back to his mansion. Dink and Bink make it back to Jamie’s house, and tell Stanley about what happened. Stanley, realizing that they’ve caused Jamie enough trouble, have Claire help them rescue Ozzie. Jamie uses the creature to help take himself, Bink, and Dink to Wagstaff’s mansion to help.

Wagstaff threatens Ozzie to start talking and prove that he is, indeed, a mythical Fluppy.

Wagstaff threatens Ozzie to get him to talk and prove that he is a Fluppy, but his threats are interrupted by the arrival of Claire. Wagstaff is prepared for their arrival, and manages to capture Stanley and Tippi. Jamie arrives and demands that Wagstaff lets the Fluppies go, but he threatens Jamie and Claire. Stanley convinces Wagstaff to let the kids say goodbye, and asks Jamie for “one last scratch.” Jamie and Claire scratch the heads of Stanley and Tippi, and magic is released throughout the house, destroying it as it takes off in flight. The house takes the group to the library, the location of the door back to the Fluppie’s own world. Unfortunately, the key flickers ominously, but manages to let the Fluppies go back home. Stanley tells Jamie that he should come with them, but Jamie can’t go. Stanley and Jamie share a tearful goodbye, and as they head into their own world, Wagstaff follows. The door closes, leaving Wagstaff and Hamish trapped in the Fluppies’ world.

A few months later, Claire and Jamie have become good friends, and reminisce about times with the Fluppies, when Stanley and crew arrive back in their world. Jamie sees a door open, and many Fluppies running out. Asking Stanley why they’re all entering this world, Stanley answers with one word: adventure.

October 25

October 25, 1985 – Mickey’s Character Shop Opens in Walt Disney World’s Disney Village Marketplace

On October 25, 1985, the merchandise store Mickey’s Character Shop opened in the Disney Village Marketplace, Walt Disney World’s precursor to Downtown Disney. At the time, it was the largest Disney merchandise store in the park, and was originally founded as the only place that was devoted to Disney merchandise in the whole of the Village Marketplace. The store was also known for its large mechanical airship, which featured several Disney characters including Mickey, Donald, and Figment. Once World of Disney’s construction was completed, Mickey’s Character Shop was closed on October 2, 1996.

October 19

October 19, 1989 – The Attraction Cranium Command Opens in Epcot’s Future World

“Your job, if you can cut it, is to run the most sophisticated information system ever devised.”

On October 19, 1989, the attraction Cranium Command opened as part of the Wonders of Life pavilion in Epcot’s Future World. Like many attractions within Epcot, this was an educational attraction that taught guests about how the brain worked. Guests sit in an auditorium that acts as a “control center” for the brain of a 12-year-old boy named Bobby, and observe as rookie Buzzy is given the controls by General Knowledge. The film was directed by Kirk Wise and Gary Trousdale, who would go on to direct Beauty and the Beast, and starred George Wendt, Dana Carvey, Charles Grodin, Bobcat Goldthwait, and Kevin Nealon. The attraction closed on January 1, 2007.