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August 7

August 7, 1992 – The Short Film Petal to the Metal is Released to Theaters

On August 7, 1992, the special short film Petal to the Metal premiered in theaters before the feature film 3 Ninjas. The short featured the character of Bonkers D. Bobcat, before he starred in his television show in 1993. It finds Bonkers, in an effort to keep his job, trying to deliver a bouquet to Fawn Deer in only five minutes, but ends up in one hilarious predicament after another. The short was directed by David Block.

August 3

August 3, 2012 – The Special Studio DC: Almost Live Premieres on Disney Channel

“Dylan, Cole, take five. Pepe, Rizzo, take a hike!”

On August 3, 2012, the special variety show Studio DC: Almost Live premiered on Disney Channel. The special featured The Muppets alongside a variety of Disney Channel stars, including stars of The Suite Life of Zack & Cody. Jokes were interspersed throughout the program referencing other Disney Channel shows and Muppet ventures. A second special premiered on October 5, 2008; neither episode has been released on home video in the United States.

July 17

July 17, 1992 – The Animated Short Film Off His Rockers Premieres

On July 17, 1992, the animated short film Off His Rockers premiered in theaters. It was an experimental piece for the Disney Studio, Disney using some early form of computer animation within the short. It was directed by Barry Cook, and animated at the Disney-MGM Studios.

The short begins with a little boy playing video games, while his old rocking horse peeks at him from behind the closet door. The horse rocks his way out to see the boy, eyes wide with fatigue, and attempts ot get his attention by rocking around the room, only to break off one of his rockers. Realizing he can walk without the rocking pieces, he continues to try and get the boy’s attention through various antics, including kicking the game way. Unfortunately, this only angers the boy, and he runs to get the game. As the boy runs to get his controller, he steps on a picture of him and the rocking horse, and spies the horse sadly reapplying his rocking pieces. The boy has a change of heart and dons his old Western gear after turning off his game for good. The two race around the room before running off into the sunset for a new adventure.

May 6

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May 6, 1990 – The Muppets at Walt Disney World Premieres on ABC

On May 6, 1990, the television special The Muppets at Walt Disney World premiered on NBC under the “Magical World of Disney” programming banner. The special featured the classic Jim Henson-created characters exploring the Florida theme park, and was the last Muppet feature that Henson would work on before his untimely passing. It was created to help highlight the merger between The Walt Disney Company and the Jim Henson Company, a merger that wouldn’t fully take place until 2004. The episode also starred Charles Grodin, Raven-Symoné, and Michael Eisner.

March 10

March 10, 1948 – Bambi Wins Special Golden Globe Award

On March 10, 1948, the 5th Golden Globe Awards were held at the Roosevelt Hotel in Los Angeles, California. Walt Disney was awarded with the Special Achievement Award for the animated feature Bambi; he was specifically awarded for “Furthering the Influence of the Screen” for the Hindustani version of the animated feature. This is the only time this specific special award has ever been awarded.

March 6

March 6, 2012 – The Disney Fantasy Arrives at Port Canaveral

“Welcome home, Disney Fantasy!”

On March 6, 2012, the newest ship in the Disney Cruise Line Fleet, the Disney Fantasy, pulled into its home port of Port Canaveral to prepare for its maiden voyage to the Caribbean at the end of the month. The ship sailed almost 5,000 miles from Bremerhaven, Germany, and was greeted with fireworks and a parade of guests.

February 11

February 11, 2007 – Disney Animator Andreas Deja Wins Winsor McCay Award

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“It’s fine to have a villain who beats people up and is ruthless, but the more important thing for me is whether or not they are interesting. The villains who have full personalities are the ones you remember.”

On February 11, 207, the 34th Annie Awards were held at the Alex Theatre in Glendale, California. One of the honorees of the Winsor McCay Award was Disney animator Andreas Deja. The award, named after pioneer animator Winsor McCay, honors those who have made lifetime or career contributions to the animation field. Deja is known for animating some of the most well-regarded villains in the Disney Renaissance, including Gaston from Beauty and the Beast, Jafar in Aladdin, and Scar in The Lion King. With this award, Deja joins the ranks of esteemed animators Max Fleischer, Tex Avery, and early mentor Eric Larson.

December 17

December 17, 1943 – The Wartime Propaganda Short Film Chicken Little is Released to Theaters

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“As our story continues, we find all our fine feathered friends happy and contented. And why not? Didn’t they have a big strong fence protecting them?

On December 17, 1943, the wartime propaganda special short film Chicken Little premiered in theaters. The short was a piece about persuasion and falling under the sway of leaders with sinister agendas. Originally it was supposed to have explicit connotations of World War II, with Foxy Logy reading Mein Kampf, but was left generic to be used in potential future cases. The short was directed by Clyde Geronimi.

The story begins in a small peaceful farmyard, and introduces the characters: the mayor rooster Cocky Locky, local gossip Henny Penny, intellectual Turkey Lurkey, the carefree Jitterbirds, bar regulars Goosey Poosey and Ducky Lucky, and the main character Chicken Little. The entire community feels safe with a large fence protecting them, and don’t seem to notice Foxy Loxy taking an interest in the chickens. He decides to use psychology to get all of the chickens, and begins with Chicken Little, pegging him to be the least intelligent of the lot. He tricks Chicken Little into thinking the sky is falling with a bit of show and a piece of a sign. Chicken Little believes the lie Foxy Loxy told him, and it spreads like wildfire. Cocky Locky doesn’t believe it, and reassures the group that it was just a piece of wood that hit Chicken Little on the head. Undeterred, Foxy Loxy changes strategy to make the chickens lose faith in Cocky Locky. Through holes in the fence, Foxy Loxy manages to spread rumors and false information to each different group within the community, and again it spreads through the community. He then eggs on Chicken Little to assume the leadership, and through his whispers, he convinces Chicken Little to take the entire community to the cave – right where Foxy Loxy is lying in wait. Cocky Locky is left as the lone chicken in the yar, with Foxy Loxy devouring every last chicken.

 

November 27

November 27, 2009 – The Film Christmas with Walt Disney Premieres at the Walt Disney Family Museum

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“The quick cuts from Walt to Goofy did the trick and showed how much this man’s life became his art.” – Executive Producer Craig Murray

On November 27, 2009, the special seasonal film Christmas with Walt Disney premiered at the Walt Disney Family Museum. Directed by Don Hahn, the exclusive to the museum film gives guests a chance to see how Walt celebrated Christmas within his various works, and with his family. The film is a mix of home movies, vintage commercials, and never-before-seen clips that were cut from various projects. The film is narrated by Walt’s daughter Diane Disney Miller. It has since been shown seasonally at the museum through the month of December.

November 10

November 10, 1953 – The Special Short Film Toot, Whistle, Plunk and Boom is Released to Theaters

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“The study of musical instruments is the subject for today.”

On November 10, 1953, the special short film Toot, Whistle, Plunk and Boom premiered in theaters. The short would go on to win the Academy Award for Best Short Film. The art is also notable for being the work of Eyvind Earle, who would go on to create the stylized look for Sleeping Beauty. Toot, Whistle, Plunk and Boom was directed by Charles Nichols and Ward Kimball, with story by Dick Huemer.

The short begins with Professor Owl running to his class to teach them about musical instruments. He explains that the music comes from a “toot, and a whistle, and a plunk, and a boom,” no matter from where the music comes. He then goes back to the dawn of history to where the music started. Starting with the “toot,” he moves from the caveman to Ancient Egypt, to the Romans, where they created a curved horn. The next aspect is the “whistle,” which began with a tube of grass, which then led to the creation of the clarinet and the saxophone. This is then followed with a look at the “plunk” of a bow, and the creation of what would eventually become a harp, and the violin. There are several variations of string instruments shown, unfortunately with all of them snapping a string. The last caveman shows the “boom” of how percussion instruments were born. The short ends at the symphony, where the cavemen have joined the orchestra.