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Tag Archives: 2000s

January 23

January 23, 2006 – The Attraction Monsters Inc. Mike & Sulley to the Rescue! Has Its Grand Opening

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“A child is loose in Monstropolis and must be apprehended!”

On January 23, 2006, the Disneyland’s California Adventure attraction Monsters, Inc. Mike & Sulley to the Rescue! had its grand opening, although it had been open since December of 2005. Based on the hit 2001 Pixar film, guests are taken through downtown Monstropolis to tour the factory when they hear that a child is on the loose in the city. Guests are able to live the adventure alongside Mike and Sulley as they try to rescue Boo and bring her back to the human world. The attraction replaced Superstar Limo, which closed on January 11, 2002, and only being open for less than a year.

January 22

January 22, 2001 – The Disney Channel Original Series The Book of Pooh Premieres

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“Could it be who there? Maybe it’s Pooh Bear! Pooh? Well, that’s me!”

On January 22, 2001, the Disney Channel original series The Book of Pooh premiered. Featuring characters from A. A. Milne’s beloved franchise, this was Disney’s third Winnie the Pooh centric series; the first two were Welcome to Pooh Corner (1983 – 1986) and The New Adventures of Winnie the Pooh (1988 – 1991). The series relied on the art of Japanese bunraku puppetry for the members of the Hundred Acre Wood, along with computer animated sets. The series was notable for having voice actor Jim Cummings voicing Tigger full time, replacing former voice actor, Paul Winchell. During its run, the show was nominated for three Daytime Emmy Awards, and won once in 2002 for Outstanding Directing in a Children’s Series, tying with Sesame Street; the nominations were for Outstanding Achievement in Single Camera Photography and Outstanding Achievement in Costume Design/Styling (both in 2002), and Outstanding Directing in a Children’s Series in 2005. The series stars Jim Cummings as Winnie the Pooh and Tigger, John Fiedler as Piglet, Ken Sansom as Rabbit, Peter Cullen as Eeyore, André Stojka as Owl, Stephanie D’Abruzzo as Kessie, and Paul Tiesler as Christopher Robin.

January 17

January 17, 2005 – The Nighttime Event Cinderellabration: Lights of Romance Begins in Tokyo Disneyland

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昔々あるところに、シンデレラという心優しい女の子がいました。”

On January 17, 2005, the nighttime event Cinderellabration: Lights of Romance began its run at Tokyo Disneyland. The event tells the story of the coronation of Cinderella and the ensuing celebration. The area in front of Cinderella’s Castle was transformed into a special garden with a central fountain decorated with crystal sculptures of scenes from the animated film. The entertainment provided for guests included a fortune teller, a shoe merchant selling glass slippers, and various street performers. The Royal Coronation event had Mickey and Minnie Mouse, with other characters, appearing to wish happiness to Cinderella and her prince. After the ceremony, Cinderella tours the garden in her royal coach to greet their guests. The event ended March 18, 2005.

January 10

January 10, 2008 – The Broadway Musical The Little Mermaid Officially Begins its Run

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“I knew how it would sound under the sea on stage, but not how it would look. That was the biggest challenge, and it was so out of my hands.” – Alan Menken

On January 10, 2008, the Broadway musical version of the hit 1989 animated feature film The Little Mermaid began its run at the Lunt-Fontanne Theater. Previews had run from November 3, 2007, with a pre-Broadway run at the Ellie Caulkins Opera House of the Denver Center for the Performing Arts. Originally supposed to open on December 6, 2007, this opening was delayed due to the stagehands strike of 2007. The challenge of the musical was to keep true to the story, but also portray a world underwater. Francesca Zambello, the director, had an extensive opera background, which made her quite willing to take on this task. Alan Menken, the original songwriter for the 1989 film, was brought in to be part of the production team, with lyricist Glenn Slater working with him to write 10 new songs for the musical. The book was written by Doug Wright, who made the focus of Ariel’s journey her pursuit of living her life on her own terms. The original cast included Sierra Boggess as Ariel, Sean Palmer as Eric, Brian D’Addario and Trevor Braun alternating the role of Flounder, Norm Lewis as King Triton, Sherie Rene Scott as Ursula, Tituss Burgess as Sebastian, Tyler Maynard as Flotsam, Derrick Baskin as Jetsam, Jonathan Freeman as Grimsby, and John Treacy Egan as Chef Louis. While the audience response to the musical was positive, critics were mixed, with most being rather critical. It was nominated for two Tony Awards: Best Original Score, and Best Lighting Design of a Musical. The musical closed on August 30, 2009, after 50 previews and 685 performances. Since then, it has had an American tour, and several international productions.

January 6

January 6, 2001 – The Recess Episode “Lawson and His Crew” Premieres

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“A royal thanks to you, kid who always wins. A royal thanks to you, friend of smart girl.”

On January 6, 2001, the sixty-second episode of the animated series Recess premiered on ABC. The episode, a twenty minute special, was to serve at the series finale, with the fifth season only lasting nine episodes; however, the show would soon be renewed for a sixth and final season. The episode was written by Phil Walsh, and directed by Howy Parkins.

The episode begins with the gang getting medals of royal thanks from King Bob after the gang stopped the school’s plan of making the students wear school uniforms. Amid the celebrations, fifth grader Lawson vents to his friends about how he hates that TJ and the others keep getting recognition, and how he wants some of that glory. He dumps his friends to find a new gang to help him achieve his dreams of victory. Later, TJ and the gang are asked to prevent war between the second and third graders. As they head to the battleground, they are stopped by a fifth grader, who shows them that Lawson is already accomplishing peace between the two grades. Lawson approaches the dumbstruck group and declares that he’s got everything under control with his crew, consisting of Randall, Kurst, Skeens, Swinger Girl, and Menlo.

TJ discusses with his friends the opportunities for pranks while Lawson performs the good deeds

TJ discusses with his friends the opportunities for pranks while Lawson performs the good deeds

Later, as TJ and his friends are talking, they realize that having Lawson and his crew take over would be a good thing, leaving them with the opportunity to play pranks instead of saving the students. They plan an elaborate prank including a cactus, but find that Lawson’s crew had already played the prank before them. The gang suddenly realizes that they have nothing left to do on the playground. Suddenly, they are alerted that the school has outlawed chocolate milk, and decide to go out there and picket. However, Lawson has once again beaten them to the punch. Lawson and his gang are rewarded by King Bob, and the gang sadly comes to the conclusion that they have been replaced.

As they sit behind the dumpster, a little girl goes over to the gang to ask them for help, but TJ retorts with “what’s the point?” When inspired by Mikey to help the kids of the playground, TJ has a renewed spirit, but that spirit is quickly dashed when, once again, Lawson and his crew have beaten them to the punch. As the kids once again sit dejected, they start question why they did all their good deeds in the first place, figuring that they did it for the glory. Mikey then realizes that it wasn’t for the sake of glory, but because they want to share their friendship with the rest of the kids. Lawson hears from Randall that TJ and his friends are miserable, and wants to go over to gloat. When Lawson and his crew see the gang having fun instead of being down, the crew begins to argue amongst themselves. As Lawson is sent to help the kindergarteners, the crew continues to argue, leading to their inevitable breakup. Lawson is left alone, and TJ with the gang rescuing the kindergarteners and resuming their place in the recess hierarchy. Lawson then reunites with his own friends, and TJ walks off happily with his own gang.

December 30

December 30, 2003 – The Hotel Chain Holiday Inn Replaces Downtown Disney’s Courtyard by Marriott

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“Guests can experience world-class accommodations and service at the only Holiday Inn located in the Walt Disney World Resort area.”

On December 30, 2003, the hotel chain Holiday Inn purchased the former Courtyard by Marriott hotel located in Lake Buena Vista, Florida, near the Downtown Disney area. Before becoming a Courtyard by Marriott, it was originally a Howard Johnson’s. Unfortunately, the hotel was closed on August 14, 2004, after Hurricane Charley caused extensive damage to the property. The hotel was reopened on July 15, 2010, after a $35 million renovation, and still remains under the Holiday Inn banner. The hotel has since won a certificate of excellence by TripAdvisor, and a JD Power Award for Guest Satisfaction Index.

December 14

December 14, 2003 – Walt Disney World’s Pop Century Resort Opens

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“Experience the unforgettable fads of the 1950s through the 1990s all over again.”

On December 14, 2003, the Pop Century Resort at Walt Disney World opened. The theme of the resort is important pieces of popular culture that defined the United States starting from 1950 to 1990, including toys (Rubik’s Cube), activities (bowling), and innovations (laptop computers). The resort is also known for its several pools: the 1960s Hippy Dippy Pool, the 1950s Bowling Pool, and the 1990s Computer Pool. The ’60’s section also includes a playground for younger children. The resort was originally planned to be completed in 2002, but was postponed due to the effects on tourism from the terrorist attacks in New York City. A section known as the Legendary Years was planned and had extensive work done, but was never opened; this section eventually turned into the Art of Animation Resort, which opened in 2012.

December 13

December 13, 2005 – The Direct to Video Sequel Kronk’s New Groove is Released

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“But then he did a whole 180, said vamoose to the shady lady, now he’ll teach your kid to talk like a squirrel.”

On December 13, 2005, the direct-to-video sequel to the 2000 animated feature film The Emperor’s New Groove, titled Kronk’s New Groove, was released. This sequel was nominated for three Annie Awards, including Best Home Entertainment Production, Best Storyboarding in an Animated Feature Production, and Best Writing in an Animated Feature Film. The film overall was panned, as critics considered the storyline weak. It was written by Tom Rogers, Anthony Leondis, and Michael LaBash, and was directed by Elliot M. Bour and Saul Andrew Blinkoff. The film includes the original cast from the first film, including Patrick Warburton as Kronk, Eartha Kitt as Yzma, David Spade as Kuzco, John Goodman as Pacha, and Patti Deutsch as the Waitress; the film also includes Tracey Ullman as Miss Birdwell, and John Mahoney as Kronk’s father.

The film begins with a cheese explosion at Mudka’s Meat Hut, where Kronk is the head chef. Kronk is distressed, as his perfect life seems to have gone awry. He takes the audience back to when his troubles started – earlier that same day. Kronk has changed a lot since the end of his involvement with Yzma, with the whole town adoring him. Kuzco interrupts Kronk’s narration to talk about himself, but explains that the film really belongs to Kronk, but still interrupts here and there. Back at the Meat Hut, Kronk continues his duties as head chef and head delivery boy, and sees his friend Pacha and his family. Soon, an urgent message arrives for Kronk, which he attempts to hide from everyone. He is panicked that his father is coming for a visit, as he hasn’t told his father that he doesn’t have a wife, family, and a house on a hill. His father never approved of his cooking talents, and Kronk feels like he always disappointed his father.

True to form, Kronk misses the signs that he's heading into a dangerous area

True to form, Kronk misses the signs that he’s heading into a dangerous area

Kronk begins telling the story about how he gained and lost his house on a hill to the waitress, where he first goes to the senior citizens home, where the seniors are wishing for a youth potion. He is unaware that he’s being watched by Yzma, who comes up with a trap to catch Kronk. She is no longer a cat, but still maintains some catlike qualities, including a tail. She claims that she has changed and wishes to help others, and takes him down to her secret lair, where she has created a youth potion. She tasks Kronk to sell the youth potion to the seniors, knowing that he needs the money to buy a big house and finally get a thumbs up from his father. Everyone takes the potion, and starts believing they are now young and beautiful, although they are really only having a placebo effect. Yzma soon reveals that she’s been running a scam, as the potion is nothing more than sewer slime.

Kronk soon makes a lot of money, and as the seniors need money to buy more youth potion, they sell Kronk the home. After a while, one of the seniors named Rudy stops by to visit, but isn’t wearing any clothing. Rudy reveals that he had to sell his clothes to buy more youth potion, and Kronk gives him a free bottle. Rudy then goes crazy on receiving the potion, and Kronk realizes that the potion was a fake. Kronk feels incredibly guilty for helping Yzma to cheat his friends, and Rudy reveals that the seniors were ready to elect Yzma as emperor. Kronk exposes Yzma as a fake, and the seniors chase after her. After they catch her, the seniors realize that they’re only as young as they feel, but still wish to get their belongings back from Yzma. She pulls out her most diabolical potion ever, and turns into a fluffy pink bunny, but is soon taken away by a hawk. Kronk then returns his attentions to the problems at hand, and decides to give his house back to the seniors.

Kronk finishes his story, and begins the tale of his lost love

Kronk finishes his story, and begins the tale of his lost love

As Kronk finishes telling the story of how he gained and lost his house on a hill, he starts to cry. The waitress sends Kronk back to work, but he then moves into a story about how he lost his girl. Kronk begins with taking the village children to Camp Chippamunka, competing for best troop for a third year. There, Kronk falls in love with troop leader Miss Birdwell, but thanks to the antics of his troop, the romance between Birdwell and Kronk doesn’t last long, turning into a rivalry between the troops. The two have a fight one night, but come to an understanding and work together to make a treat of raisin bread for their troops, which once again leads to a mutual attraction. The two declare to their troops that they are ending the feud, but are unaware that Tipo from Kronk’s troop is planning on playing a mean prank on Miss Birdwell’s troop. At the final event of the contest, Kronk’s troop performs exceptionally well, and Tipo puts his plan into action, accidentally leaving behind his empty pouch of itching powder in their grip chalk. After discovering Tipo’s bag of powder, marked with Tipo’s name, Kronk steps in to take the blame, and loses the woman he loves. He then goes back to the present, and the waitress points out that his father is on his way.

Kronk then comes up with the idea to borrow Pacha’s wife, kids, and house on a hill. Kronk’s father soon arrives at the restaurant, and Pacha’s family pretends that they are Kronk’s family. However, the idyllic scene is interrupted when Pacha enters the scene dressed as a woman, but Kronk pretends that he’s his mother-in-law. Kronk’s father, thinking Pacha is attractive, starts hitting on him. Kronk also has to pretend that he’s not the chef of the restaurant, and as he tries to balance cooking and meaningful, yet meddlesome, gestures from his friends as they try to assist him, the fondue explodes, bringing it back to the scene at the beginning of the film. Kronk finally explains the truth to his father, and resigns himself to being a failure. Chaca, one of Pacha’s kids, tells Kronk that he has the entire village, which cheers him up. His father finally gives him the thumbs up he’s always wanted, and tells him that he’s proud of him. The movie ends with Miss Birdwell returning, and the two rekindle their romance.

December 2

December 2, 2002 – The Theme Song for The Santa Clause 2, “Santa Claus Lane,” is Released

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“Walking this Christmas down Santa Claus Lane, no need to wonder, no need to explain.”

On December 2, 2002, the promotional single for the live-action feature film The Santa Clause 2, “Santa Claus Lane,” was released through Buena Vista Records. The single was the second single from Disney Channel star Hilary Duff’s debut album, Santa Claus Lane, a collection of Christmas songs. Duff also promoted the single on Disney Channel, particularly the Movie Surfers television program, which was also promoting the Tim Allen film. The single was released with the album version and two mixes: the North Pole Mix, and the Megamix.

December 1

December 1, 2008 – Bolt and Wall-E Receive Nominations for the 36th Annie Awards

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Bolt was second [in nominations] with 9 nods, and WALL-E third with 8.”

On December 1, 2008, the nominations for the 36th Annie Awards were announced; Walt Disney Animation Studios’ Bolt received 9 nominations, while Pixar’s WALL-E received 8. Both films were nominated for Best Animated Feature, up against DreamWorks Animation’s Kung Fu Panda, Sherman Pictures and Lama Films’ $9.99, and Sony Pictures’ Waltz With Bashir. When the awards took place on January 30, 2009, the ceremony was not without controversy, as Kung Fu Panda shut out both Disney features from all of their categories, with much criticism directed at the organization’s balloting practices. Pixar’s WALL-E would go on to win the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature.