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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 17

December 17, 1958 – The Featurette Grand Canyon Premieres in Theaters

On December 17, 1958, the CinemaScope featurette Grand Canyon premiered in theaters; it would later be released alongside Sleeping Beauty. Grand Canyon was similar in style to the True-Life Adventure documentaries but had a twist: the film had no narration, but was set against the “Grand Canyon Suite” by Ferde Grofé. The featurette would go on to win the Academy Award for Best Live-Action Short Subject.

June 10

June 10, 1958 – The People and Places Featurette Wales is Released to Theaters

On June 10, 1958, the People & Places Featurette Wales was released to theaters. It was the eleventh featurette in the series to be released, and was filmed in CinemaScope. Directed by Geoffrey Foot, the featurette takes a look at the country of Wales, including its rich history and folklore, along with its factories and natural resources.

July 3

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July 3, 1957 – The People and Places Featurette Lapland is Released to Theaters


On July 3, 1957, the ninth People and Places featurette, entitled Lapland, premiered in theaters. Directed by Ben Sharpsteen, the half-hour documentary took a look at the area known as Lapland, currently located as part of Finland and Sweden but had once also had touched a part of Norway and Russia. This documentary focused on the nomadic people of this region known as the Sami, who made their trade through livestock.

April 27

April 27, 1960 – The Final People & Places Featurette, The Danube, is Released to Theaters


On April 27, 1960, the final People & Places documentary featurette, The Danube, premiered in theaters. The 28 minute featurette explored the areas surrounding Europe’s Danube River, looking at old and new customs of the populous, their diverse traditions, and ends with a look at the most popular city on the riverside, Vienna. The film, like many others in the series, was filmed in CinemaScope. It was produced by Ben Sharpsteen.

October 20

October 20, 1983 – The Featurette Mickey’s Christmas Carol Premieres in England


“Merry Christmas, Uncle Scrooge!”

On October 20, 1983, the special Mickey Mouse featurette Mickey’s Christmas Carol premiered in England. The featurette was Mickey’s first film appearance since the 1953’s short film The Simple Things. This British premiere had the featurette paired with a re-release of the animated feature film The Jungle Book. It was based on the book A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens, and would go on to be nominated for an Academy Award for Best Short Film. The short was written by Burny Mattinson, Tony L. Marino, Ed Gombert, Don Griffith, Alan Young, and Alan Dinehart; it was directed by Mattinson. The featurette starred Alan Young as Scrooge, Wayne Allwine as Mickey Mouse, Clarence Nash as Donald, Hal Smith as Goofy, Eddie Carroll as Jiminy Cricket, and Will Ryan as Willie the Giant and Pete.

February 4

February 4, 1966 – The Cartoon Featurette Winnie the Pooh and the Honey Tree is Released to Theaters


“Oh, yes! I’m rumbly in my tumbly. Time for something sweet!”

On February 4, 1966, the cartoon featurette Winnie the Pooh and the Honey Tree was released to theaters. It was the first Disney animated version of the classic Winnie the Pooh stories by A.A. Milne, and was later combined with two other Pooh featurettes to become the 1977 animated feature The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh. Although the featurette mostly stays true to the source material, it did veer in the addition of a new character, Gopher, who continually points out that he’s “not in the book, you know.” The featurette also features several musical pieces by the Sherman Brothers. The segment was directed by Wolfgang Reitherman, and starred Sebastian Cabot as the narrator, Sterling Holloway as Winnie the Pooh, Bruce Reitherman as Christopher Robin, Ralph Wright as Eeyore, Howard Morris as Gopher, Barbara Luddy as Kanga, Hal Smith as Owl, Junius Matthews as Rabbit, and Clint Howard as Roo.

The featurette begins with Pooh’s clock going off, but Pooh can’t remember why. Pooh finally remembers that it’s time for his stoutness exercises, which he performs with great enthusiasm, until he splits a seam, which he immediately stitches back up. His stomach then makes a noise, and Pooh realizes that it’s time for his favorite sweet treat. Unfortunately for the bear, he is completely out of honey. As he gets his nose stuck in a honey jar, he hears the buzzing of a bee around his head, and follows the bee to the window, seeing the bee enter a tree. Pooh realizes that this must be a honey tree, and climbs the tree. As he nears the bee’s nest, he is unable to get the honey, and falls from a branch, landing in a gorse-bush. He then decides to go to Christopher Robin for help. Christopher Robin is helping Eeyore reattach his tail, with Owl, Kanga, and Roo supervising. Pooh finds the group and asks him for his balloon. When Christopher Robin asks what it’s for, Pooh lets him know of his plan to get the honey from the honey tree.

Pooh dons his disguise, and Christopher Robin lends him the balloon to help him float

Pooh dons his disguise, and Christopher Robin lends him the balloon to help him float

Christopher Robin takes Pooh to a muddy place, where Pooh covers himself in mud to look like a “little black rain cloud.” Christopher Robin hands him the balloon, and Pooh soars towards the bee hive, singing a song about being a rain cloud. He manages to reach inside to take a handful of honey, not realizing that his hand is also covered in bees. When he puts his hand in his mouth, Pooh is startled, but soon spits out all the bees. Angered at the deception, the bees then swarm around Pooh, and as Pooh swings around, he gets his behind stuck in the opening of the hive. The bees laugh, but the ones inside the hive push Pooh out, and he is left holding on to dear life to the balloon, which has been released from its string and is flying around frantically. Finally, the balloon completely deflates, but luckily, Christopher Robin is able to catch Pooh. The bees then plan their next attack, but Christopher Robin and Pooh are able to hide in the mud puddle.

Still on a search for Honey, Pooh stops by Rabbit’s house, hoping Rabbit will share his honey. Rabbit doesn’t want to share his food with Pooh again, but Pooh enters anyway, and Rabbit is stuck offering his food to Pooh again. Pooh eats several jars of Rabbit’s honey before deciding to leave, but gets stuck trying to get out of Rabbit’s house. Rabbit then runs out the back door to go get Christopher Robin to help, and Owl stops by to help. When Owl says that they need an expert, Gopher pops out of the ground, and surveys the situation. Gopher declares that it will take three days to dig Pooh out, before thinking that dynamite is the best way to go, but disappears down a hole. Christopher Robin soon appears and tries to pull Pooh out, but the group then decides that the best thing to do is wait for Pooh to get thin again. Rabbit tries to make the best of the situation by decorating Pooh’s backside as a hunting trophy, which is ruined when Pooh sneezes thanks to the flowers Roo gave him.

Pooh has to wait several days to get thin again, and his friends help him through the wait

Pooh has to wait several days to get thin again, and his friends help him through the wait

Pooh waits days to get thin again, keeping poor Rabbit awake the entire time. Gopher appears again with his lunchbox, which tempts a very hungry Pooh. When Rabbit hears Gopher say he has honey, he races from his house and places a sign in front of Pooh: Don’t Feed the Bear. Finally, one morning, Pooh is able to move, and everyone gathers to pull Pooh out from Rabbit’s house. The group manages to pull Pooh out, and he soars across the Hundred Acre Wood, into the Honey Tree. When they go to find him and pull him out of the tree, Pooh, is satisfied staying stuck in the tree, as he gets to eat all the honey inside.