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Tag Archives: Animated Feature Film

April 2

April 2, 1899 – Sound and Camera Pioneer and Disney Legend Bill Garity is Born

“With his pioneering efforts in sound and camera techniques, he helped set Disney Studios apart from others, while his planning and supervisory expertise resulted in the building of a highly efficient Studio in Burbank.” – Disney Chief Archivist Emeritus, Dave Smith

On April 2, 1899, Bill Garity was born in Brooklyn, New York. After attending the Pratt Institute of Art in New York, he served with the Radio Research and Development sector of the U.S. Signal Corps during World War I. His work in radio continued to flourish when, after the war, he met and worked with Lee DeForest, a pioneer in the field of radio. The pair would work on the development of sound for the earliest films. As Garity was working on the Cinephone motion picture recording system in 1928, he met a young Walt Disney, who was hoping to elevate the animated art form. With Garity’s help, Steamboat Willie became a hit for the fledgling Disney Studios, and Disney bought the Cinephone system with an offer for Garity to come out to Hollywood to install it and train a technician to operate it. Garity officially joined the Walt Disney Studios in 1929 and stayed with the company for over 13 years, leading a department of 18 engineers. At Disney, Garity was instrumental in creating such innovations such as the multiplane camera, which earned the studio an Academy Award in the Scientific and Technical category; the team also invented Fantasound, a unique stereo system that was installed in theaters specifically for the animated feature film Fantasia. Garity left the studio in 1940 to pursue other technical ventures, and ended up serving as the vice president and production manager for the Walter Lantz Studios. He passed away on September 16, 1971, in Los Angeles California. For his groundbreaking technical expertise and ability to help Walt achieve his dream of the elevated animated film, Garity was posthumously honored as a Disney Legend in 1999.

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April 1

April 1, 1978 – The First Disney Films are Shown on Pay-TV

On April 1, 1978, the first Disney films were shown through pay-TV services, and served as a precursor to what would become the Disney Channel. Disney had been interested in creating their own cable channel since 1977, but instead made a deal with HBO to air several pieces from the Disney catalog. The idea for the Disney Channel was revived in 1981, and would finally launch in April 18, 1983.

March 7

March 7, 2010 – Up Wins Two Academy Awards

“Boy, never did I dream that making a flip book out of my third grade math book would lead to this.”

On March 7, 2010, the 82nd Academy Awards were held at the Kodak Theatre in Los Angeles, California. Nominated for five awards, Pixar’s animated feature film Up walked away with two: Best Animated Feature, and Best Original Score. It was the second animated feature film to ever be nominated for Best Picture, but lost out to The Hurt Locker. For animated feature films, it won against Coraline, Fantastic Mr. Fox, The Princess and the Frog, and The Secret of Kells.

March 6

March 6, 2007 – Peter Pan is Released as a Platinum Edition DVD

“The second start to the right shines with a light that’s rare, and if it’s Never Land you need it’s light will lead you there.”

On March 6, 2007, the animated feature film Peter Pan was released as part of the Platinum Edition DVD series, a special designation of the most popular Disney animated features. Along with a digitally restored version of the film, there were a multitude of features included on the set, such as a reading of a Walt Disney interview where he explains why he made Peter Pan. Sketches and abandoned concepts were also included on the DVD release. The film was returned to the vault on January 30, 2009.

February 28

February 28, 2006 – Lady and the Tramp is Released on 2-Disc Special Edition DVD

“Walt Disney’s Lady and the Tramp, filled with memorable music and purebred fun, now shines like never before with an all-new digital restoration!”

On February 28, 2006, the animated feature film Lady and the Tramp was released on a 50th anniversary edition two-disc DVD; this marked the film’s first time being released on DVD. This was the sixth release in the Disney Platinum Edition line. The film was digitally restored, and several bonuses were included on the release, including a making-of documentary, the original 1943 storyboard version of the film, deleted sequences, and DVD games made for the release.

February 27

February 27, 1942 – The Daily Variety Runs Article “Walt Disney Weeps as He Gets Oscar”

“I want to thank everybody here. This is a vote of confidence from the whole industry.”

On February 27, 1942, the Daily Variety ran an article entitled “Walt Disney Weeps as He Gets Oscar,” recounting how Disney received the Irving G. Thalberg Memorial Award the night before at the Academy Awards. The award itself is not an annual award, but awarded periodically to those individuals that brought high quality work to the motion picture industry. Disney was the fourth person to win the award, and he was emotional upon winning, as this seemed to be validation from the film industry for his then-relatively small body of work in animation (which included short films and only four animated feature films: Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Pinocchio, Fantasia, and Dumbo). This award was particularly special for Disney, as the film Fantasia had not done as well as hoped at the box office, and while Disney called it “a [mistake] but it was an honest one,” he was still lauded by the presenter as presenting a new and novel way to educate the public about classical music. Thalberg’s widow Norma Shearer was at the ceremony and gave Disney a kiss after he returned to his seat.

February 21

February 21, 2004 – Snow White – An Enchanting New Musical Has Premiere at Fantasyland Theater

“Live on stage at Disneyland!”

On February 21, 2004, the elaborate stage show Snow White – An Enchanting New Musical had a premiere at Disneyland’s Fantasyland Theater, two days before its official opening. It was the most elaborate stage production to be held at that theater at the time, and was produced exclusively for the park. The musical ran until 2006 when it was replaced by the Disney Princess Fantasy Faire. The show was free with park admission. It was directed by Eric Schaeffer, with the show adapted by Norman Allen and Darrah Cloud. It originally starred Anne Warren as Snow White, Stuart Ambrose as the Prince, Elizabeth Wardland as the Queen, Lisa Wolpe as the Hag, and featured the voice of Patrick Stewart as the Magic Mirror.