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November 16

November 16, 2010 – The Soundtrack for the Film Tangled is Released Through Walt Disney Records

Tangled

“All at once, everything looks different, now that I see you.”

On November 16, 2010, the soundtrack for the 50th Disney animated feature film Tangled was released through Walt Disney Records. The soundtrack was released two days after the premiere at the El Capitan Theatre, and a week before the film’s general release nationwide. The soundtrack includes the original score by Alan Menken, songs from the film written by Alan Menken and Glenn Slater, and an original song by recording artist Grace Potter. One song included in the soundtrack was eventually cut from the film, which was the first reprise of “When Will My Life Begin?” sung by Mandy Moore, the voice of Rapunzel. The album peaked at number 44 on the Billboard 200, as well as number 7 on the Soundtrack chart, and number 3 on the Kid Albums chart.  The song “I See the Light” was nominated for an Academy Award, a Golden Globe, and a Broadcast Film Critics Association Award, and won a Grammy.

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March 17

March 17, 1951 – Actor and Disney Legend Kurt Russell is Born

kurt-russell

“The script lady pulled me aside one day and said, ‘I think they’re going to offer you a contract. Do you know why Walt likes you? Because you’re not intimidated by him.’ I never could figure out why anybody would be intimidated by him.”

On March 17, 1951, Kurt Vogel Russell was born in Springfield, Massachusetts. His career as a child actor began in the late 1950s, with an appearance in the ABC western Sugarfoot. At age 11, he appeared in the Elvis Presley film It Happened at the World’s Fair in an uncredited part where Elvis’ character paid him a quarter to kick him. In 1963, he won the lead role of Jaimie in the ABC western series The Travels of Jaimie McPheeters. He appeared in other television roles around this time, and in 1966, Russell began his work with Disney, appearing in a starring role in the film Follow Me, Boys! alongside Fred MacMurray. This was the beginning of a long string of films for Disney through the ’60s and ’70s, which included The One and Only, Genuine, Original Family Band, The Horse in the Gray Flannel Suit, The Barefoot Executive, and The Computer Wore Tennis Shoes, including its sequels Now You See Him, Now You Don’t and The Strongest Man in the World. Russell also provided the voice of adult Copper in the animated feature film The Fox and the Hound, and narrated the educational film Dad, Can I Borrow the Car? Russell is one of the few child actors that has been able to transition to a successful, film career as an adult, and has still performed in several Disney films, including Miracle and Sky High. He was awarded as a Disney Legend in 1998.

March 2

March 2, 2010 – Alice in Wonderland: An Original Walt Disney Records Soundtrack and Almost Alice are Released Through Walt Disney Records

Alice In Wonderland

“Did someone pull you by the hand? How many miles to Wonderland? Please tell us so we’ll understand, Alice! Alice! Oh, Alice!”

On March 2, 2010, two soundtracks for the live-action feature film Alice in Wonderland were released through Walt Disney Records: the film score compilation Alice in Wonderland: An Original Walt Disney Records Soundtrack and a compilation companion album entitled Almost Alice. The score, written by Danny Elfman, debuted at number 89 on the Billboard Top 200 Albums chart, and was nominated for a British Academy Film Award, a Golden Globe, and a Grammy Award.

Almost Alice is a compilation of songs inspired by the film and performed by various artists, including Owl City and Grace Potter and the Nocturnals. It debuted at number 5 on the Billboard chart. The album’s lead single was an original song by singer Avril Lavigne, and is the only song featured in the film, playing during the credits. This song peaked at number 71 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. Two songs, “The Lobster Quadrille” by Franz Ferdinand, and “You Are Old, Father William” by They Might Be Giants, have lyrics taken straight from the poetry of Lewis Caroll’s original Alice stories. Although this album was released through Walt Disney Records, the company released it under the pseudonym of Buena Vista Records, as they have done with other albums they have deemed more adult-oriented.

January 21

January 21, 1977 – The Live-Action Feature Film Freaky Friday is Generally Released

Freaky_1

“I wish I could switch places with her for just one day…”

On January 21, 1977, the live-action feature film Freaky Friday was generally released, after it played in select cities since December 17, 1976. The film was based on the 1972 children’s novel of the same name by Mary Rodgers, who also wrote the screenplay for the film. The lead song of the film, “I’d Like to Be You for a Day,” written by Joel Hirschhorn and Al Kasha, was nominated for a Golden Globe for Best Original Song – Motion Picture. Jodie Foster and Barbara Harris were also each nominated for the Golden Globe for Best Actress – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy. Neither Harris nor Foster did any of the waterskiing in the film, but instead did cutaway shots in front of a rear projection screen. The film was directed by Gary Nelson, and starred Jodie Foster as Annabel Andrews, Barbara Harris as Ellen Andrews, John Astin as Bill Andrews, Sparky Marcus as Ben Andrews, and Marc McClure as Boris Harris.

The story begins on Friday the 13th with Annabel Andrews narrating the story, introducing the audience to her life and her family. She adores her father, and notes that she and her mom have not been getting along lately. As Annabel leaves for school, her mother intercepts her, and the two have a tense conversation which seems to be a holdover from a fight the night before. Her mother, Ellen, tries to talk to her husband, Bill, who doesn’t seem to take her opinions seriously. Annabel goes to the local diner to meet her best friend, Virginia. As Annabel and her mother complain about the other, simultaneously they wish to be in each other’s place for just one day. Suddenly, Annabel finds herself smoking a cigarette at home, and Ellen finds herself eating an ice-cream sundae at the diner.

When "Annabel" calls home to check on "Ellen," Bill reports that Ellen is acting rather odd

When “Annabel” calls home to check on “Ellen,” Bill reports that Ellen is acting rather odd

Ellen tries to call home to see what has happened, and Bill reports that “Ellen” is now acting strangely. Annabel tells Ellen not to worry about her, and informs her that she has a big typing test and the field hockey playoffs that day. Ellen hangs up the phone and greets Annabel’s friends, but ends up making them laugh as she tries to explain her situation. At home, Annabel has to take care of her little brother and cater to the whims of her husband, who finds her Annabel-like behavior increasingly odd. The two begin to explore each other’s lives, with Annabel trying all of her mother’s makeup, and Ellen taking the bus to school.

Unfortunately for the two, things don’t get easier through the day; Annabel has problems with the washing machine, while Ellen ends up blowing up all the typewriters in the typing class. Annabel finds herself overwhelmed with all of the chores that have to be done and all the visitors that arrive at the house, including the housekeeper, the car repairman, carpet cleaners, drapery cleaners, and the grocery deliveryman. At band rehearsal, Ellen has no idea where to go or what to play, disrupting the entire formation. Finding herself bored with housework, Annabel calls up her crush, her neighbor Boris, hoping to talk herself up while in her mother’s body. Unfortunately, Annabel only succeeds in having Boris fall for Ellen rather than Annabel. Ellen gets in over her head when it comes to the field hockey match, and leads the team to a loss.

Bill volunteers his wife to cater for twenty-five people, and Annabel has no idea how to cook

Bill volunteers his wife to cater for twenty-five people, and Annabel has no idea how to cook

As Annabel plays ball with her little brother in the park, she discovers that he thinks Annabel is an amazing older sister. He worries that Annabel will only continue to hate him as they get older, but Annabel reassures him that it will be okay. When she gets home, she finds that Bill has been calling, desperate for her help, telling her that he’s volunteered her for catering his big event that evening. Ellen arrives at Bill’s work, meeting his new, young secretary, who dresses rather provocatively. Ellen intimidates the secretary, making her believe that “her mother” is rather frightening. The secretary then shows up with a rather unflattering look, terrified of the wrath of Ellen. At home, Annabel is trying to prepare the big meal for Bill’s event, when she gets a call that she’s late for meeting with her principal.

Ellen goes to Annabel’s orthodontist appointment and gets her braces off, and decides to give her daughter a makeover as well. As she leaves the store, she is kidnapped by the water-skiing team and taken away to her father’s big event, where “Annabel” is supposed to be the main attraction. Annabel meets with her principal, where she discovers that her teachers think she’s highly intelligent, but perhaps is rebelling against her mother. Chaos continues to ensue at home when the entire meal Annabel has been preparing burns up in the oven. Finding out that Ellen is at the marina, Annabel races to event, having to learn rather quickly how to drive. Ellen is sent flying into the water, not knowing how to water ski. At the same time, the two wish they had their own bodies back, and Ellen is waterskiing in her own body while Annabel is driving her mother’s car. After a police chase and a rather strange waterskiing routine, mother and daughter are reunited at the marina, and the two have a new appreciation for each other’s lives. The film ends with Bill and Ben wishing to be in the other’s shoes, with Ellen and Annabel hiding their faces in horror.