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Tag Archives: Disney Legend

August 4

August 4, 1985 – Nine Old Men Animator Ollie Johnston is Profiled on The Disney Family Album

“Just because they’re a bunch of mere pencil drawings, going through these routines and giving these performances, to me, that was real.”

On August 4, 1985, the fifteenth episode of the documentary series The Disney Family Album premiered on the Disney Channel. The series introduced those that had an impact on making Disney the company it became; this episode introduced Nine Old Men member Ollie Johnston, known for his work on animating Thumper from Bambi and the fairies from Sleeping Beauty. The episode focused on his career at Disney, when he started as an apprentice animator on Disney early short films, such as the Academy Award winning The Tortoise and the Hare, leading to his role as an animator and a directing animator on over 24 animated feature films. The episode also focused on his train hobby, one he shared with fellow animator Ward Kimball, as well as Walt Disney, and looked at the backyard railroad he built himself.

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July 19

July 19, 1989 – Ub Iwerks and the Nine Old Men are Honored as Disney Legends

“Collectively, they helped establish The Walt Disney Company…the impact of their work is immeasurable.”

On July 19, 1989, the Disney Legends Award Ceremony was held at the Walt Disney Studios. The focus of the ceremony were the animators that helped make the Walt Disney Company and Disney Animation: animator and Imagineer Ub Iwerks, and Nine Old Men animators Les Clark, Marc Davis, Ollie Johnston, Milt Kahl, Ward Kimball, Eric Larson, John Lounsbery, Woolie Reitherman, and Frank Thomas. This group was considered the “Founders Circle” of the Walt Disney Company. Of those being honored, only Frank Thomas, Milt Kahl, Ollie Johnston, Marc Davis, and Ward Kimball were alive to attend the ceremony.

May 3

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May 3, 2005 – The Compilation Album Julie Andrews Selects Her Favorite Disney Songs is Released

“Though her words are simple and few, listen, listen, she’s calling to you.”

On May 3, 2005, as part of the Disneyland 50th anniversary celebrations, the album Julie Andrews Selects Her Favorite Disney Songs was released through Walt Disney Records. Andrews, who is well-known for her role as the titular character in the live action feature film Mary Poppins, was selected as the Official Ambassador for the 50th anniversary celebration; this album was created to celebrate this, and to reflect on Andrews’ favorite Disney memories. Rather than releasing new songs, this album was a compilation of Disney songs, ranging from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs to Beauty and the Beast.

February 10

February 10, 2003 – The Partners Statue is Installed at the Disney Studios

On February 10, 2003, the fifth copy of the iconic Partners statue was installed at the Disney Studios in Burbank, California. The original statue, created by Disney Legend Blaine Gibson, was installed in the central hub of Disneyland on November 18, 1993, with the other three copies placed in Disney Parks. The idea of Walt holding Mickey’s hand was inspired by a scene from the animated feature film Fantasia, where Mickey shakes the hand of famed conductor Leopold Stokowski.

December 13

December 13, 2015 – Disney Legend Dick Van Dyke Celebrates 90th Birthday in Disneyland

“This is the cherry on top of my entire life.”

On December 13, 2015, a special celebration was held for actor and Disney Legend Dick Van Dyke, who was in the park to celebrate his 90th birthday. Best known for his role as Bert in the live-action feature film Mary Poppins, a special parade was held down Main Street featuring a troupe of chimney sweeps and penguins, along with a dedication of his silhouette in the Jolly Holiday Bakery Café, with Mary Poppins by his side.

October 20

October 20, 1993 – Ten New Inductees are Honored as Disney Legends

“The stuff Legends are made of…”

On October 20, 1993, ten new inductees were added as Disney Legends in a special ceremony held at the Walt Disney Studios. The ten inductees included Card Walker; former President of the Walt Disney Company; Donn Tatum, senior executive; Clarence Nash, original voice actor of Donald Duck; Jimmy MacDonald, sound effects wizard and second voice actor for Mickey Mouse; Pinto Colvig, original voice actor for Goofy; actor Buddy Ebsen, who was best known for his role as George Russel in the Davy Crockett series; Irving Ludwig, film distributor who helped form the Buena Vista Distribution Company; matte artist Peter Ellenshaw; Harper Goff, Imagineer and artist; and Blaine Gibson, Imagineer and sculptor, best known for the Partners statue in the Disney Parks. The ceremony was presided over by Michael Eisner and Roy E. Disney, and of those honored, Tatum, Nash, MacDonald, Colvig, and Goff were honored posthumously.

October 16

October 16, 2003 – Eleven Inductees are Honored as Disney Legends

“Today, the Walt Disney Company will celebrate, recognize and reward those who have contributed their creativity and imagination to the Disney heritage in the 2003 Disney Legends ceremony.”

On October 16, 2003, eleven members of Disney history were inducted as Disney Legends. Among those honored were comic publisher Al Taliaferro; Disney representative to New Zealand, Neil Beckett; actor Buddy Hackett; director Richard Fleischer; wife of Disney and supporter of the Disney Company, Edna Disney; advisor and trustee of the California Institute of the Arts, Harrison “Buzz” Price; former Vice President of Engineering, Design, and Production, Orlando Ferrante; composer and co-founder of Disneyland Records, Tutti Camarata; comic strip artist Floyd Gottfredson; voice actress for Cinderella, Ilene Woods; and last but not least, Lillian Disney, who performed many behind-the-scenes acts to keep the company, and her husband’s legacy, alive. Among the eleven honored, only five were alive at the time of the ceremony: Richard Fleischer, Harrison Price, Orlando Ferrante, Tutti Camarata, and Ilene Woods.