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February 9

February 9, 2003 – The Jungle Book 2 Premieres at the El Capitan Theatre

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On February 9, 2003, the animated film The Jungle Book 2 had a special premiere at the El Capitan Theatre, the Disney-owned theatre that hosts premieres of Walt Disney Studios films. The film would go on to be released across the country on February 14, 2003. It was the third animated sequel to be released theatrically, following 1990’s The Rescuers Down Under and 2002’s Return to Neverland; like the latter, however, it is not considered a Disney Animated Feature Film. The premiere featured voice actors Haley Joel Osment, John Goodman, Mae Whitman, and Connor Funk, as well as director Steve Trenbirth, producers Chris Chase and Mary Thorne, and a myriad of celebrities, including Melanie Griffith and Marilu Henner.

February 1

February 1, 2005 – The Direct-to-Video Sequel Mulan II is Released

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“Mulan’s gonna teach us how to kick butt!”

On February 1, 2005, the direct-to-video sequel Mulan II was released. Many of the original voice actors resumed their roles in the sequel. It was directed by Darrell Rooney and Lynne Southerland, and written by Michael Lucker, Chris Parker, and Roger S.H. Schulman. It stars Ming-Na Wen as Fa Mulan, Mark Moseley as Mushu, BD Wong as Shang, Lucy Liu as Mei, Harvey Fierstein as Yao, Sandra Oh as Ting Ting, Gedde Watanabe as Ling, Lauren Tom as Su, Jerry Tondo as Chien-Po, and Lea Salonga as the singing voice of Mulan.

The film begins in the ancestral shrine, where Mushu is still milking his glory of helping Mulan save China, much to the chagrin of the ancestors. Meanwhile, Mulan’s family is worried about when Shang will propose to Mulan, with Mulan’s father placing a bet on when it will happen. A little girl stops by to ask where Mulan is, and runs off to join Mulan in the fields while she’s doing her chores. Mulan is actually practicing fighting in the fileds, and all the little girls of the village appear, wanting Mulan to teach them how to fight. Although the girls want to be tough, Mulan tells them they must be gentle and tough at the same time, as there’s a balance to everything. Shang arrives after the lesson, and greets the girls warmly, and it’s revealed he got a promotion to General. Although Mulan remarks about how brave he is, he seems to struggle with asking Mulan something. Finally, he pulls her aside and asks her to marry him, and she says yes. Mushu is also thrilled that Mulan is getting married, although he’s more happy for himself as her getting married is going to help his status. Mulan is further surprised when everyone in town arrives to help the couple celebrate.

The ancestors celebrate Mulan and Shang's engagement, but for a different reason

The ancestors celebrate Mulan and Shang’s engagement, but for a different reason

The ancestors celebrate once Mushu announces that Mulan is getting married, but they reveal they’re excited because Mushu will be fired once Mulan gets married, as Shang’s guardians will become hers. While the party continues, Mulan’s parents grow increasingly concerned, as Mulan and Shang’s opinions on their life together differ greatly. The party is interrupted as Mulan and Shang are needed at the Emperor’s palace, but before they leave, Mulan’s parent present their gift: the Yin and Yang pendants. The two then warn the two that they must work together through everything, and Mushu, having seen the entire thing, wants to use the differences to keep his pedestal by breaking the pair up. Mulan and Shang head off to the palace, with Mushu and Crickee hitching a ride. At the palace, the Emperor asks the pair to help form an alliance through marriage by escorting three princesses to the Kingdom of Qui Gong to marry the sons of Lord Chin. The pair have three days to deliver the princesses, but Mulan is concerned about an arranged marriage, and even more concerned when it’s revealed that the princesses are his daughters. Shang requires the use of three men: Ling, Yao, and Chien-Po.

The three men in question have just been kicked out of the matchmaker’s house, as there is no way she can find anyone to fit their outrageous demands for a wife. The three then decide to find their perfect girls themselves, although the three fare no better than the matchmaker. Mulan and Shang find the trio, and readily accept the proposal to help escort the princesses. At the palace that evening, the trio guards the princesses as they head to the caravan, and one loses a shoe on her way inside. Yao helps the princess with her shoe, and there’s a spark when their eyes meet. Mulan questions the princesses about their arranged marriages, but the princesses remain firm that it is an honor. The group moves out, crossing through the Chinese countryside. Mulan is still worried about the situation, and confesses to Shang that she doesn’t feel that it is right. Shang convinces her that sometimes life doesn’t work that way for everyone, but the two of them are able to be happy together. Yao continues to be moony-eyed over the princess, with Ling and Chien-Po giving him a hard time. Inside the caravan, Princess Mei considers Yao to be a big cuddly panda bear, much to the confusion of her sisters. Eldest sister Ting-Ting lectures Mei, as they have promised to marry in three days, and aren’t supposed to fall in love with their guards before then.

Yao and Mei start talking after their first initial attraction

Yao and Mei start talking after their first initial attraction

As they stop for a break, Mei talks to Yao, and the two bond. Princess Su meets Chien-Po, and they seem to get along well. The meeting between Ting-Ting and Ling starts off frosty, as she seems to hate him. Afterwards, Mei goes to talk with Mulan, and asks how to decide between duty and heart. Mulan says that her duty is to her heart, and Mei takes the words seriously before heading back to her sisters. Meanwhile, Mushu puts his plan into action to make Shang look so ridiculous that Mulan will dump him, but it continually backfires. At one point, Mushu accidentally sends the carriage barreling down the road to the cliff, although they are able to save the princesses, the carriage is destroyed. The group sets up camp, and Mulan and Shang argue over which way to go to take the princesses to Qui Gong. However, Yao finds a path through the forest, ending the argument, and the pair apologize to each other. That night, Ling returns Ting-Ting’s fan, but seems to be hurt, as he thinks that Ting-Ting hates him, although he likes her very much. Mei questions how Ting-Ting can dismiss her feelings for Ling so easily, but Ting-Ting lectures her about their mission. Mei heads back in the tent and writes a letter to her father, as she plans to run away with Yao. Ting-Ting tries to convince her that she must do her duty for her country, and all three are hurt that they must ignore their feelings to help their countries. Mei then admits that she wants to be just like other girls, and her sisters agree. Chien-Po overhears the girls, and realizes that the three princesses are in love with the three guards.

Mushu kicks his plan up another notch by talking to Shang as he sleeps, convincing Shang that Mulan has gone behind his back. He then sets up puppets outside Shang’s tent and talks badly about Shang, and Shang wakes up and finds Mulan to confront her. Mulan and Shang get into an argument, but Mushu feigns innocence when Mulan talks to him. Meanwhile, the guard trio decides to talk to the princesses and convince them to go to a nearby village in the moonlight. The girls agree, and Mushu watches as the princesses and the guards walk out of the camp. Mulan decides to handle the situation on her own, and in an attempt to break Shang and Mulan up for good, Mushu wakes up Shang. There’s a festival in the nearby town, and the guards bond with their respective princesses, save for Ling and Ting-Ting. Poor Ling feels like he’s a failure at being funny, but Ting-Ting finally starts laughing, and reveals that she never laughed because she hates her laugh, and the two finally connect. Mulan finally finds them, and exclaims for joy when she finds that the guards and the princesses are in love. When Shang appears, however, he is furious about what happened, having found the letter Mei had written about running away. The happy couples are forbidden to speak to each other, and Mulan is saddened with Shang’s behavior, and the two believe that they are too different.

The journey continues, but the atmosphere is considerably tense

The journey continues, but the atmosphere is considerably tense

The journey continues, with the tense atmosphere surrounding the camp. Mulan is too hurt to even talk to Mushu, but the princesses apologize to Mulan for breaking up her relationship with Shang. Mulan in turn thanks them for opening her eyes about how broken her relationship with Shang was. The guards then secretly pass a message to the princesses about how much they love them. Mulan finally talks to Mushu, and he feels an overwhelming sense of guilt for breaking the pair up. He finally confesses what he’s done, and while Mulan is angry at Mushu, she tries to apologize to Shang. Unfortuantely, before she can, bandits attack the camp. The bandits make off with Mei, but Shang and Mulan are able to save her. The wooden bridge they’re fighting on breaks, and Mulan tries to keep a hold of Shang. Shang apologizes and lets go of Mulan’s hand, falling to the rocks below. The camp mourns for Shang, with Mulan grieving at the edge of the bridge. The next morning, the group agrees to go through with the wedding, but Mulan tells them that their mission is to take care of each other. Meanwhile, Shang’s horse searches for his master, and Shang is found alive.

The group arrives at Qui Gong, and Mulan apologizes to Lord Chin, saying that the princesses lost their lives in an accident in the river. Mulan sacrifices herself to marry one of Lord Chin’s sons, and Lord Chin agrees. Shang finds the group and tells them of Mulan’s plan, and runs off to Qui Gong to save Mulan, with the group following. Mushu apologizes once again, and tells her he doesn’t care about his job anymore, as he wants to stop this wedding. Mulan, however, realizes she has to go through with it, and sets off to the ceremony. Shang arrives just in time to stop the ceremony, and Mushu gets an idea to pretend to be the Golden Dragon of Unity, declaring that Mulan and Shang should be together. Mulan and Shang are married, and the entire kingdom celebrates. Mushu then also declares that the princesses and the guards are free to marry, and everyone celebrates. Back at Mulan’s home, Mushu sighs and packs his things, leaving behind his post; although sad, he prefers Mulan to be happy. Mulan and Shang show up at the shrine, and Shang decides to combine the family temples, with Mushu keeping his pedestal. Shang then finally meets Mushu, but it looks like the two will get along. In the end, it’s a happy ending for everyone.

December 13

December 13, 2005 – The Direct to Video Sequel Kronk’s New Groove is Released

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“But then he did a whole 180, said vamoose to the shady lady, now he’ll teach your kid to talk like a squirrel.”

On December 13, 2005, the direct-to-video sequel to the 2000 animated feature film The Emperor’s New Groove, titled Kronk’s New Groove, was released. This sequel was nominated for three Annie Awards, including Best Home Entertainment Production, Best Storyboarding in an Animated Feature Production, and Best Writing in an Animated Feature Film. The film overall was panned, as critics considered the storyline weak. It was written by Tom Rogers, Anthony Leondis, and Michael LaBash, and was directed by Elliot M. Bour and Saul Andrew Blinkoff. The film includes the original cast from the first film, including Patrick Warburton as Kronk, Eartha Kitt as Yzma, David Spade as Kuzco, John Goodman as Pacha, and Patti Deutsch as the Waitress; the film also includes Tracey Ullman as Miss Birdwell, and John Mahoney as Kronk’s father.

The film begins with a cheese explosion at Mudka’s Meat Hut, where Kronk is the head chef. Kronk is distressed, as his perfect life seems to have gone awry. He takes the audience back to when his troubles started – earlier that same day. Kronk has changed a lot since the end of his involvement with Yzma, with the whole town adoring him. Kuzco interrupts Kronk’s narration to talk about himself, but explains that the film really belongs to Kronk, but still interrupts here and there. Back at the Meat Hut, Kronk continues his duties as head chef and head delivery boy, and sees his friend Pacha and his family. Soon, an urgent message arrives for Kronk, which he attempts to hide from everyone. He is panicked that his father is coming for a visit, as he hasn’t told his father that he doesn’t have a wife, family, and a house on a hill. His father never approved of his cooking talents, and Kronk feels like he always disappointed his father.

True to form, Kronk misses the signs that he's heading into a dangerous area

True to form, Kronk misses the signs that he’s heading into a dangerous area

Kronk begins telling the story about how he gained and lost his house on a hill to the waitress, where he first goes to the senior citizens home, where the seniors are wishing for a youth potion. He is unaware that he’s being watched by Yzma, who comes up with a trap to catch Kronk. She is no longer a cat, but still maintains some catlike qualities, including a tail. She claims that she has changed and wishes to help others, and takes him down to her secret lair, where she has created a youth potion. She tasks Kronk to sell the youth potion to the seniors, knowing that he needs the money to buy a big house and finally get a thumbs up from his father. Everyone takes the potion, and starts believing they are now young and beautiful, although they are really only having a placebo effect. Yzma soon reveals that she’s been running a scam, as the potion is nothing more than sewer slime.

Kronk soon makes a lot of money, and as the seniors need money to buy more youth potion, they sell Kronk the home. After a while, one of the seniors named Rudy stops by to visit, but isn’t wearing any clothing. Rudy reveals that he had to sell his clothes to buy more youth potion, and Kronk gives him a free bottle. Rudy then goes crazy on receiving the potion, and Kronk realizes that the potion was a fake. Kronk feels incredibly guilty for helping Yzma to cheat his friends, and Rudy reveals that the seniors were ready to elect Yzma as emperor. Kronk exposes Yzma as a fake, and the seniors chase after her. After they catch her, the seniors realize that they’re only as young as they feel, but still wish to get their belongings back from Yzma. She pulls out her most diabolical potion ever, and turns into a fluffy pink bunny, but is soon taken away by a hawk. Kronk then returns his attentions to the problems at hand, and decides to give his house back to the seniors.

Kronk finishes his story, and begins the tale of his lost love

Kronk finishes his story, and begins the tale of his lost love

As Kronk finishes telling the story of how he gained and lost his house on a hill, he starts to cry. The waitress sends Kronk back to work, but he then moves into a story about how he lost his girl. Kronk begins with taking the village children to Camp Chippamunka, competing for best troop for a third year. There, Kronk falls in love with troop leader Miss Birdwell, but thanks to the antics of his troop, the romance between Birdwell and Kronk doesn’t last long, turning into a rivalry between the troops. The two have a fight one night, but come to an understanding and work together to make a treat of raisin bread for their troops, which once again leads to a mutual attraction. The two declare to their troops that they are ending the feud, but are unaware that Tipo from Kronk’s troop is planning on playing a mean prank on Miss Birdwell’s troop. At the final event of the contest, Kronk’s troop performs exceptionally well, and Tipo puts his plan into action, accidentally leaving behind his empty pouch of itching powder in their grip chalk. After discovering Tipo’s bag of powder, marked with Tipo’s name, Kronk steps in to take the blame, and loses the woman he loves. He then goes back to the present, and the waitress points out that his father is on his way.

Kronk then comes up with the idea to borrow Pacha’s wife, kids, and house on a hill. Kronk’s father soon arrives at the restaurant, and Pacha’s family pretends that they are Kronk’s family. However, the idyllic scene is interrupted when Pacha enters the scene dressed as a woman, but Kronk pretends that he’s his mother-in-law. Kronk’s father, thinking Pacha is attractive, starts hitting on him. Kronk also has to pretend that he’s not the chef of the restaurant, and as he tries to balance cooking and meaningful, yet meddlesome, gestures from his friends as they try to assist him, the fondue explodes, bringing it back to the scene at the beginning of the film. Kronk finally explains the truth to his father, and resigns himself to being a failure. Chaca, one of Pacha’s kids, tells Kronk that he has the entire village, which cheers him up. His father finally gives him the thumbs up he’s always wanted, and tells him that he’s proud of him. The movie ends with Miss Birdwell returning, and the two rekindle their romance.

November 13

November 13, 1999 – Disney/Pixar’s Toy Story 2 Premieres at the El Capitan Theater

Kirstie Alley at the premiere of Toy Story 2

Kirstie Alley at the premiere of Toy Story 2

“Kids need smart movies to inspire them. Look out, Pokémon!” – Tom Hanks, Voice of Woody

On November 13, 1999, Disney/Pixar’s third computer animated feature Toy Story 2 had its official premiere at the Disney owned El Capitan Theater in Los Angeles, California. It was a star studded event, with the cast of the film in attendance with director Jon Lasseter, co-directors Ash Brannon and Lee Unkrich, and producers Helene Plotkin and Karen Robert Jackson. Also in attendance were the likes of Nicholas Cage, Jerry Seinfeld, and Haley Joel Osment. The event began at noon, with the actual screening of the film beginning at 2 p.m. The film would be released in an exclusive engagement at the El Capitan on November 19, with a general release nationwide on November 24.

August 25

August 25, 2006 – The Disney Channel Original Movie The Cheetah Girls 2 Premieres

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“You know as soon as we walk through this door, we are no longer American divas in training, we are international superstars in training.”

On August 25, 2006, the Disney Channel Original Movie The Cheetah Girls 2 premiered. The sequel to the hit 2003 film, it received the highest ratings of a Disney Channel Original Movie at the time with over 8 million viewers; it is now known as the highest rated gilm in the Cheetah Girls trilogy. The trilogy was based on the teen book series by Deborah Gregory. The film was written by Gregory and Alison Taylor, and was directed by Kenny Ortega. It stars Raven-Symone as Galleria, Adrienne Bailon as Chanel, Sarina Bryan as Dorinda, and Kiely Willaims as Aquanette.

The film begins with the Cheetah Girls performing at a graduation ceremony. The girls are excited about their upcoming summer vacation, although Galleria is obsessed with keeping the group busy practicing and trying to meet producers. Chanel vents to Galleria about her mother Juanita taking her to Barcelona to meet Juanita’s boyfriend, Luc. Chanel dislikes her mother’s relationship, and admits that she is scared that she will have to move to Spain should her mother marry Luc. Galleria promises that nothing will split the friends apart, and pushes Chanel to ask Juanita to bring the Cheetah Girls with her. After Juanita nixes the idea, the two girls head to Galleria’s for a sleepover and Chinese food with the other members of the group. As they talk, Aquanette spots a shooting star, and the girls make a wish to go to Barcelona. As they do, a passing breeze opens the pages of a magazine to an ad for a music festival in Barcelona. Galleria spots the ad, and the group decides to enter the competition.  Although they have missed the deadline by a week, the contest is impressed with their singing and allows them to enter.

The girls arrive in Barcelona, with so much to do and so little time

The girls arrive in Barcelona, with so much to do and so little time

After they convince Juanita and Dorothea to let the girls go, everyone is on a plane to Spain. Aquanette is obsessed with the culture and the history, but the other girls decide to go shopping first. After a long day, the girls settle at a cafe, where they hear the sounds of a guitar. They see a gorgeous man playing guitar, and he stars serenading the girls, and they start singing along with his playing while dancing down the Barcelona streets. Galleria and the guitar player, named Angel, share a connection before Galleria runs off to join the girls. Later, the girls arrive at Luc’s villa, and Chanel immediately becomes sour. Luc tries to win Chanel over, welcoming the girls warmly, but Chanel thinks that Luc is too perfect. Galleria tries to comfort Chanel, but Chanel is still worried about being split from her friends. Luc informs the girls that he has asked one of his associates to travel around with the girls as a guide, but Chanel brushes his assistance off again, wanting nothing to do with him. The girls then head to the festival headquarters, and are surprised when they are asked to properly audition by the director. The girls sing, but are quickly cut off by the director. However, they are surprised to find that they have been accepted into the New Voices competition.

As the girls relax, Galleria interrupts the others for rehearsal, but they are all interrupted by the arrival of Luc’s associate, Joaquin. Joaquin quickly takes to Dorinda, and Dorinda is impressed to find that Joaquin is a dancer. While Galleria and Aquanette go shopping with Dorothea, they run into her old colleague, Randolph Hunter, who is working with his wife, designer Aramet. Meanwhile, Dorinda heads to Joaquin’s studio, where he teaches her how to tango. Afterwards, as Dorinda rushes off to rehearsal, Joaquin asks her to a beach party, but she turns him down, as she has to practice for the festival. Later that evening, the girls head to The Dancing Cat, a club downtown, where they see a performance by Marisol, a competitor in the New Voices competition, and a favorite in the competition. The girls are intimidated by Marisol, but are soon distracted by Angel when he appears on stage to play a Spanish lullaby that Chanel and Belinda sing as a duet before the other girls harmonize.

The girls meet Marisol, a competitor, and her momager, Lola

The girls meet Marisol, a competitor, and her momager, Lola

After they sing, Belinda’s mother Lola greets the girls, and introduces herself as Marisol’s manager. Lola wins the girls’ affections, but secretly plans to break up the Cheetah Girls to give Marisol a better chance to win, especially if she sings in a duo with Chanel. Dorothea is suspicious of Lola’s actions, but the girls reassure her that there’s nothing strange going on. The girls then head to the beach party, and the girls split up to different parts of the party. Galleria, however, is disappointed that the girls don’t want to rehearse for the competition. Juanita and Dorothea vent over tea about their problems: Dorothea about Lola, and Juanita about Luc. Galleria tries to bring everyone back to rehearsal, but the girls once again have other things to do. Dorinda’s relationship with Joaquin hits a snag when Dorinda decides that they’re from two different worlds and their relationship won’t work. Feeling that she’s the only one that is taking the contest seriously, Galleria decides to head home. As she heads to the train station to meet her dad in Paris, the girls meet her there, having realized that they have been too distracted from their main ambition. The girls sing the song that Galleria wrote for the contest, but Galleria only agrees to come back with them if they agree to become serious about the contest.

As the girls reunite, Lola panics and comes up with another plan to break up the Cheetah Girls. Juanita has troubles of her own, as she believes that Luc won’t propose because Chanel doesn’t like Luc. Chanel quickly goes to apologize to Luc, giving him her blessing to propose to Juanita. Luc then proposes, and Juanita happily accepts. Dorinda and Joaquin then patch up their relationship, and the girls then set to work practicing their routine for the competition. The girls then perform at the Dancing Cat to a cheering crowd, much to Lola’s annoyance. She then convinces the owner of the club to give the girls money for their performance, which counts them out of the contest, as the New Voices competition is only for amateurs. Lola then tries to get Marisol to sing with the girls, and when the girls refuse, Chanel is then convinced to sing with Marisol. Although the girls are disappointed, they are cheered when Luc announces his intentions to move to New York with Juanita and Chanel after the wedding. The director then lets the girls know that a reliable source tipped him off that Lola had the girls paid for their performance, and the girls are surprised to find that the source is none other than Angel. The Cheetah Girls are allowed to perform, and Marisol refuses to play her mother’s game anymore dropping out of the competition.

The Cheetah Girls perform in the competition, singing the new song that Galleria wrote, with Angel accompanying them on guitar. The girls win the crowd over, especially when they introduce Marisol as part of their act in an act of friendship. Joaquin and his friends then join the Cheetah Girls as dancers, and the competition ends as a dance party.

August 22

August 22, 1936 – The Silly Symphony Toby Tortoise Returns is Released to Theaters

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“How ya doin’, Toby-Woby? I like a man that takes his time.”

On August 22, 1936, the Silly Symphony Toby Tortoise Returns was released to theaters. It is the sequel to the 1935 Silly Symphony The Tortoise and the Hare, and includes characters from other Silly Symphonies, including Practical Pig from Three Little Pigs and Jenny Wren from Who Killed Cock Robin? The short was directed by Wilfred Jackson.

The stadium is packed to see the fight between champion Max Hare and challenger Toby Tortoise. Jenny Wren sits in the front row of the fight, greeting the boys as they say hello. The fight begins, and Toby is naturally too slow to keep up with Max. Max teases Toby before making a mockery of the poor tortoise. As Toby approaches Max from behind, Max makes quick work of Toby before sending him flying out of the ring, straight into Jenny’s arms. Inspired by Jenny’s flirtation, Toby flies back into the ring and attempts to attack Max, but misses and knocks himself into a stupor, where he dreams he’s a sultan, surrounded by dancing Jenny Wrens. As the ref is about to call the match for Max, the bell rings, signaling the end of the round.

Max Hare lounges in the corner as he waits for the next round to begin

Max Hare lounges in the corner as he waits for the next round to begin

Max sits in the corner, lounging as he waits for the next round, and calls the ambulance over for Toby before turning into a punching whirlwind. As Max attacks, Toby is protected by his shell, and starts teasing Max. Max gets annoyed by Toby’s teasing, and reaches into the shell to attack him, but gets his hand caught in a mousetrap instead. The tables have turned, with Toby making a fool of Max. Max then places several fireworks into Toby’s shell and lights them up; as he is about to give Toby a knockout punch, Toby is sent skyward in a shower of sparkles. As he comes back to the ground, the fireworks send Toby spinning, which also allows Toby to give several key punches to Max’s face. Max tries to outrun Toby, but finds himself being beaten by the turtle no matter where he turns. One final rocket shoots out of Toby’s shell, which catches onto Max’s shirt and sends him flying out into the audience before shooting into the ambulance, which quickly drives away. Toby is declared the winner of the match, and the crowd cheers loudly.

July 26

July 26, 1986 – The Disney Channel Premiere Film The Parent Trap II Airs

“No! Absolutely not!  I don’t care whose father he is – I’m not about to be fixed up by my eleven-year-old daughter!”

On July 26, 1986, the Disney Channel premiered The Parent Trap II, the sequel to the 1961 hit film starring Hayley Mills. Mills reprised her roles of the twins Sharon and Susan; the film also starred Carrie Kei Heim as Nikki, Bridgette Andersen as Mary, and Tom Skerritt as Bill, and was directed by Ronald F. Maxwell. There’s a piece of Disney trivia hidden in the film: the name of Sharon’s boss is Mr. Walter Elias, which is Walt Disney’s first and middle name; Mr. Elias’ wife is named Lillian, which was the name of Disney’s wife.

Sharon Ferris has been offered a job in New York City, only her daughter Nikki doesn’t want to go. Sharon tells her daughter that the move will be fine, and sends her off to summer school. At school, Nikki meets a girl named Mary Grand, and the two become fast friends. The two find that they have one thing in common: they’re the children of single parents. Mary’s mother died when she was a young girl, and Nikki’s parents have gone through a divorce. As the two become best friends, they try to come up with a plan to get Nikki to stay. Mary gets the bright idea that the two should set their parents up, and Nikki readily agrees.

Sharon and Bill meet for the first time, although not under the best circumstances

Nikki hits a snag when she first tells her mother about Mary’s father, Bill; Sharon is not ready to try dating since her divorce two years before. The girls then set up a plan, telling the other’s parent that their child is stuck in a tree, hoping that their parents will meet. The plan is a disaster, to say the least, but the girls are determined to try again, this time sending a bouquet to Sharon’s mother, pretending they’re from Bill with a card inviting her to dinner. They hit another snag, when Bill is heading out to a date, but the two share a friendly, if awkward, moment.

The two girls are ready to throw in the towel, when Nikki wonders aloud how her mother and aunt were able to get their parents back together when they were young. Nikki then gets the bright idea to bring her Aunt Susan to Tampa to help the two with their plan. Susan agrees to help, and the three set their plan in motion for Susan to pretend to be Sharon. Susan shows up at Bill’s regular haunt, and the two hit it off. The plan seems to work, until Sharon gets suspicious, and Susan gets second thoughts. Finally, Susan gives in for one more date, and Sharon figures out that Susan is in town.

Sharon (L) and Susan, laughing and explaining to the two men the entire plan that the kids concocted

The following night at the dinner the kids and Susan plan, Sharon intends to play a little prank on the scheming trio, calling up Susan’s husband and pretending he’s on a date with another woman, which is just Sharon dressed up in a disguise. The ruse being up, Susan, Sharon, and the two men go out to another restaurant and explain the entire thing. Sharon and Bill are left alone, and Sharon tries to let Bill down easy. He insists that they start fresh, but she is firm that they just stay friends.

The girls have one last idea that takes place at the farewell party for Sharon and Nikki on Sharon’s boss’s yacht. After changing the invitations to read an hour earlier than the party’s actual start time, Nikki and Mary trick their parents into being alone on the yacht before letting it loose and sending it out to sea. When Sharon steps out for air and the two realize what has happened, they finally succumb to the feelings they have and kiss. Soon after, the two are married, and Nikki and Mary rejoice in the fact that their plan worked, and Nikki won’t be going to New York after all.