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Tag Archives: Special Event

August 20

August 20, 2016 – D23 Members Celebrate 75th Anniversary of The Reluctant Dragon

                Image credit: D23 Official Site

“It was definitely a Disney day to remember, proving you’ll never know what surprises will await at a D23 event.”

On August 20, 2016, the Disney fanclub D23 held an official event to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the little-known Disney film The Reluctant Dragon. The film, released in 1941, starred Robert Benchley as himself trying to pitch the titular story at the Walt Disney Studios, and ultimately takes a tour around several areas while trying to find Walt; this gave viewers a chance to see how an animated film gets made, thanks to tours around the Ink and Paint Department and the Sound Effects stage. Almost 400 D23 members were present at the Walt Disney Studios for a viewing of the film, and were able to see several artifacts from the Archives that were present in the film, including the bust of Robert Benchley. Also present for the event were members of the Walt Disney Archives, including director Becky Cline; voice actors Bill Farmer (Goofy) and Bret Iwan (Mickey Mouse); Animation Research Library manager Fox Carney; film producer and director Ted Thomas; Disney historian Les Perkins; Imagineer Tony Baxter; and Steve Vagnini from D23. There were special events on the lot after the screening and presentations, along with autograph sessions with several of the Disney Legends in attendance.

June 25

June 25, 2010 – The Documentary Archiving the Archives: Forty Years of Preserving the Magic Premieres

“We’re excited to honor Dave [Smith] and the Archives, and to give our members a close-up look at some rarely seen ‘jewels in the crown’ of Disney history.” – Head of D23, Steven Clark

On June 25, 2010, the documentary film Archiving the Archives: Forty Years of Preserving the Magic premiered at a special D23 event at the Disney Studios. The film, honoring the Walt Disney Archives’ 40th anniversary, took a look at how founder Dave Smith started the archives, and the impact it has on the Disney legacy. The premiere event also featured appearances by Disney President and CEO Bob Iger, as well as film historian Leonard Maltin to honor Smith and his contributions.

June 8

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June 8, 2013 – Hungry Hobos is Screened at UCLA’s 24th Silent Film Event

“This cartoon as far as we know hasn’t been seen in over half a century.” – Dave Bossert, Producer, Creative Director, and Head of Special Projects at Walt Disney Animation Studios

On June 8, 2013, the 24th Silent Film Event was held at UCLA, with the 1928 Oswald the Lucky Rabbit short film Hungry Hobos touted as the headline of the event. The short film was previously thought to be lost, but a 16-mm print of the movie had been discovered two years prior in a movie vault in England. Since then, Disney has bought the print and restored it extensively, preparing it for this “re-premiere” at UCLA.

May 22

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May 22, 2015 – Walt Disney World Kicks Off “Coolest Summer Ever” 24-Hour Event

“I can’t wait to kick-off the ‘Coolest Summer Ever’ in Magic Kingdom Park at Walt Disney World Resort!”

On May 22, 2015, the 24-hour even “Coolest Summer Ever” kicked off at 6 a.m. in the Magic Kingdom Park of Walt Disney World. Using Olaf from the animated feature Frozen as the event’s mascot, the event was filled with special shows and treats for guests, including a pajama party as the park stays open through the night, special appearances by the characters from Frozen at the Welcome Show, and appearances from Disney Channel Stars in the Disney Festival of Fantasy Parade.

May 10

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May 10, 2005 – Ollie Johnston Drives the Marie E. at Disneyland

On May 10, 2005, a special ceremony was held in Disneyland for animator and member of the Nine Old Men Ollie Johnston. Under the ruse of receiving a special honor for contributing to the Carolwood organization, Johnson was surprised to find that his locomotive, the Marie E., was on the Disneyland tracks to allow him one last ride. Johnson, along with Ward Kimball and Walt Disney, were train enthusiasts, but in his older age, Johnson had to sell his train as he was unable to operate it. Sold to none other than John Lasseter, Lasseter was able to find a way to bring it to the park in a special ceremony. Friends and family were gathered at Frontierland station to watch Johnson ride his beloved train one last time.

May 7

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May 7, 2010 – The Disney Feature Animation Building is Renamed in Honor of Roy E. Disney

“Nobody appreciated what went on inside the building more than Roy Disney, so that is why we decided to put his name on the top of it.” – Bob Iger, President and CEO of the Walt Disney Company

On May 7, 2010, a special ceremony was held to remember Roy E. Disney as the Disney Feature Animation Building was renamed in his honor. Disney, who was one of the important players in saving Disney Animation in the late 1980s and through the 1990s, tragically passed away on December 16, 2009. The event, hosted by D23, also gave guests the opportunity to view two films with which Disney was heavily involved: the True-Life Fantasy Perri and the Disney animated feature film Fantasia 2000. The event was attended by producer Don Hahn, president and CEO Bob Iger, and Disney’s family.

April 26

April 26, 1958 – The First Zorro Days Event Kicks Off in Disneyland

“Yes – all of your ZORRO favorites – in person – for the first time.”

On April 26, 1958, the first event featuring the cast of the popular show Zorro, advertised as “Zorro Days,” kicked off in Disneyland. The two-day event featured appearances by the entire cast of the show, including Guy Williams, who played the titular character. The show had been an incredible success for Disney, with this live event certainly emphasizing this. The event had the cast march in parades, as well as perform in live shows in Frontierland and sign autographs. This event went on to be the first of five total events: the other events were held on May 30 through June 1, 1958; November 27 through November 30, 1958; November 26 through November 29, 1959; and November 11 through November 13, 1960.