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Tag Archives: Color

December 26

December 26, 1957 – The Featurette Mars and Beyond is Released to Theaters

“In this exciting age when everyone seems to be talking about the future possibilities of space travel, there’s much speculation on what we will discover when we visit other worlds.”

On December 26, 1957, the featurette Mars and Beyond was released to theaters. Originally featured as an episode of the Disneyland anthology series Disneyland on December 4, 1957, it was directed by famed Nine Old Men animator Ward Kimball. The featurette was researched and written by Kimball, William Bosche, John Dunn, Charles Downs, and Con Pederson, and features technical advisors such as Dr. Ernst Stuhlinger, Dr. E. C. Silpher, and Dr. Wernher von Braun. Although man had not landed on the moon by 1957, this featurette took that dream beyond by exploring what would happen should man land on Mars and explore the greater universe. It featured a mix of live-action and animated sequences, with the show’s tone ranging from humorous to more serious. This theater feature was the first non-television incarnation of the episode; parts of the short were taken to create a short film called Cosmic Capers that would be released in the United Kingdom in 1979.

December 21

December 21, 1955 – The People and Places Featurette Men Against the Arctic is Released to Theaters

On December 21, 1955, the fourth People and Places featurette, Men Against the Arctic, was released to theaters. Written and directed by Winston Hibler, this 30-minute documentary details how certain Coast Guard ships, known as “icebreakers,” are able to make their way through the substantial Arctic ice. It would go on to win the Academy Award for Best Documentary Short Subject, and would also be entered into the 6th Berlin International Film Festival in 1956.

December 19

December 19, 2003 – The Short Film Destino is Released to Theaters

“In 1946, two legendary artists began collaboration on a short film. More than half a century later, their creation has finally been completed.”

On December 19, 2003, the animated short feature Destino was released to theaters, months after its well-received debut at the Annecy International Animated Film Festival on June 2. This short is experimental in nature, having been conceived as a collaboration between Walt Disney and artist Salvador Dali back in 1946. After being storyboarded for eight months, the film was unexpectedly shelved, and wasn’t brought to the studio’s attention until 2002, when Roy E. Disney picked up the project and brought it to completion. Complications arose in the completion of the project, as the contract between Disney and Dali stipulated that Disney possessed the storyboards, but didn’t own any aspect of the project until the movie was made. Using a portfolio of 80 sketches and a 15-second film reel. The completed short is a mix of 2D and CG animation, with the CG being used to replicate Dali’s “plastic” style. It was eventually nominated for the Best Animated Short Academy Award. The story for the film was developed by Dali and John Hench, and features the song “Destino,” written by Armando Dominiguez. The song was performed by Dora Luz.

September 3

September 3, 1990 – The Challengers Premieres on Television

On September 3, 1990, the syndicated game show The Challengers premiered on television. A joint production between Rob Greenberg Productions, Dick Clark Productions, and Disney’s Buena Vista Television. Presented by Dick Clark, the show featured three contestants – one being a returning champion – competing in a sprint round, two rounds of questions, a final challenge, and a bonus ultimate challenge. One of the things that made this show unique is the tie to current events, which necessitated the show being filmed shortly before their airdate. The show was cancelled on August 30, 1991.

August 10

August 10, 1989 – The Educational Film Trains is Released

“Gawrsh, I was hoping to meet some of the people who work on this here railroad.”

On August 10, 1989, the second of three educational films in the Goofy’s Field Trips series, titled Trains, was released. It features Bill Farmer as the voice of Goofy.

The short begins at the Rio Grande Train Station, where two kids, Cindy and Peter, are bombarding Peter’s father with questions. Peter’s father asks the kids to wait while he buys the tickets, and as they go to sit down, they spy Goofy in the station, singing to himself. He greets them, and the three magically disappear from the station and reappear near an Amtrak train. They are greeted by the engineer, who explains his job and some logistics of the train and tracks. He then has them meet Sherry, the Chief of Onboard Services, who explains her job before she takes them aboard the train. She introduces several types of rooms, including the dining car. As Peter looks through a book, Sherry explains the different types of trains he spies in his book. She takes them to meet the conductor, who quickly explains his role before the train takes off. The kids and Goofy then are whisked away to the freight yard, where they see a variety of freight trains and meet the yard master. He points out the different kinds of freight trains, which carry different kinds of supplies. He also describes the differences of the trains of old, and the new computerized systems of the time. Afterwards, they head to the dispatch center to learn about the process of dispatching the trains, with the computers helping make sure the trains are doing what they want them to do. The kids then reappear in the main terminal, and head out to their train with Peter’s father. As they pull out of the station, they spy Goofy waving goodbye from the platform.

August 7

August 7, 1989 – The Educational Film Ships is Released

“I was hopin’ to see that big ship. I wanna learn all about ships.”

On August 7, 1989, the first of three educational films in the Goofy’s Field Trips series, titled Ships, was released. It featured Bill Farmer as the voice of Goofy.

The short begins at the Starship Atlantic, which has just begun to board. Two kids are asking a lot of questions about the ship, when they spy Goofy. Magically, the trio are whisked away to the dock, where they meet the cruise director. Brought inside, the cruise director explains her job of coordinating activities for the passengers while showing them around the ship. She also explains the names of the front, back, and sides of the ship. She then takes them to the galley to meet the ship’s cook, who explains he has to cook for over 2,000 people. They meet the captain, who shows the group the radar system, and explains how he works with the ship’s engineers. The group also learns about how the lines keep the ship in place, and how the ship will take off from the shore. The cruise director takes the group to the radio room, where the ship keeps in communication with the shore, the Coast Guard, and other important parties. The group gets a message from Mickey Mouse, telling them to check out the rest of the harbor. Magically they are whisked away to the harbor, where they meet the harbor master. The group learns about all the types of ships in the harbor, and meet the berthing officer. The kids then end up back with their family, and board the ship for their cruise. As they sail away, they spy Goofy sitting at the dock, fishing.

July 31

July 31, 1982 – The Television Special Pluto and His Friends Premieres

On July 31, 1982, the 30-minute television special Pluto and His Friends premiered on CBS. It was a shortened version of the Disneyland Anthology Series episode “Pluto’s Day,” and featured four Pluto-centric animated short films: Canine Caddy (released 1941), Bubble Bee (released 1949), Food for Feudin’ (released 1950), and The Simple Things (released 1953). The special was narrated by Gary Owens.