RSS Feed

Tag Archives: Technology

April 2

April 2, 1899 – Sound and Camera Pioneer and Disney Legend Bill Garity is Born

“With his pioneering efforts in sound and camera techniques, he helped set Disney Studios apart from others, while his planning and supervisory expertise resulted in the building of a highly efficient Studio in Burbank.” – Disney Chief Archivist Emeritus, Dave Smith

On April 2, 1899, Bill Garity was born in Brooklyn, New York. After attending the Pratt Institute of Art in New York, he served with the Radio Research and Development sector of the U.S. Signal Corps during World War I. His work in radio continued to flourish when, after the war, he met and worked with Lee DeForest, a pioneer in the field of radio. The pair would work on the development of sound for the earliest films. As Garity was working on the Cinephone motion picture recording system in 1928, he met a young Walt Disney, who was hoping to elevate the animated art form. With Garity’s help, Steamboat Willie became a hit for the fledgling Disney Studios, and Disney bought the Cinephone system with an offer for Garity to come out to Hollywood to install it and train a technician to operate it. Garity officially joined the Walt Disney Studios in 1929 and stayed with the company for over 13 years, leading a department of 18 engineers. At Disney, Garity was instrumental in creating such innovations such as the multiplane camera, which earned the studio an Academy Award in the Scientific and Technical category; the team also invented Fantasound, a unique stereo system that was installed in theaters specifically for the animated feature film Fantasia. Garity left the studio in 1940 to pursue other technical ventures, and ended up serving as the vice president and production manager for the Walter Lantz Studios. He passed away on September 16, 1971, in Los Angeles California. For his groundbreaking technical expertise and ability to help Walt achieve his dream of the elevated animated film, Garity was posthumously honored as a Disney Legend in 1999.

Advertisements

January 12

January 12, 1999 – The GO Network is Launched

On January 12, 1999, the internet portal site GO Network was launched in a joint production between Disney and Infoseek. The GO Network offered a variety of services, including chat rooms, search engines, email, and a news service. In November of that year, Disney presented a deal to, and was approved by, stakeholders to spinoff the Go Network with GO.com, and purchased Infoseek (which would merge with the Buena Vista Internet Group. On November 18, the first shares of GO.com began trading on the New York Stock Exchange. In 2001, Disney announced that GO.com would be closing, including all the offshoot directories and the stock tracker.

August 5

August 5, 2004 – The Disney Dream Desk PC is Unveiled in New York City

“At the core of Disney is our mission to entertain and enlighten audiences through products that spark the imagination.” – President and COO Bob Iger

On August 5, 2004, the newest creation from Disney, the Disney Dream Desk PC, was unveiled in New York City. Designed for children or family use, the PC features an LCD flat screen monitor, embedded speakers, a DVD player, a CD burner, a multimedia keyboard, and a digital pen. The PC also features a variety of Disney programs and applications designed to nurture users’ creativity and imagination, including Disney Mix and Disney’s Adventures in Typing with Timon & Pumbaa. Retailing at about $600, the computer was jointly designed by Disney and frog design, and was built by Medion AG. There were also some parental controls added to the operating system, including an Internet filter, email filer, spam blocking, and pop-up window blocking. Alongside Iger to present the new PC was Mickey Mouse, as well as the casts of Hope & Faith and One Life to Live, and children from the Lincoln Square Neighborhood Center.

January 8

January 8, 2007 – The New Disney.com Portal is Unveiled at the International Consumer Electronics Show

iger_ices

“We are witnessing an explosion of media and Disney is both reaping the benefits of that explosion and acting as a catalyst by taking a technology-friendly approach.”

On January 8, 2007, President and CEO of the Walt Disney Company Bob Iger was on hand at the International Consumer Electronics Show, held in Las Vegas, Nevada, to present several new technological advancements for the company, including the new Disney.com portal. Among the advancements mentioned were the acquisition of Pixar in early2006, the hit ABC show Lost and its distinction as one of the first series offered on iTunes, ESPN’s updated media presentation for Monday Night Football, and virtual games including Pirates of the Caribbean Online.

February 25

February 25, 2014 – The Digital Streaming Service Disney Movies Anywhere Launches

Disney Movie Rewards

“Enjoy your Disney, Pixar, and Marvel movies anywhere you go.”

On February 25, 2014, the digital streaming service Disney Movies Anywhere launched on the Apple platform, working with iTunes and running on Apple products; it has since been updated to work with Google Play and VUDU. The service works with Disney Movie Rewards, where fans enter special codes within their Blu-Ray purchases that include a digital copy of the film, giving them a separate digital copy that can be played on mobile devices at any time through this film repository. The service also provides parents with parental controls, and directs users as to where they may purchase any Disney movies they do not currently have.

February 19

February 19, 2009 – Disney Announces the Acquisition of Kerpoof Studios

Kerpoof

“A standard-based, Web-based creative multimedia suite for students.”

On February 19, 2009, Disney announced that it had acquired Kerpoof Studios, an educational and entertainment media group that specialized in exploring creativity through image creation. The company was lauded for its emphasis on child safety and the educational aspects that made it a favorite in many classrooms. After Disney’s acquisition in 2009, four activities were released in the new combined URL: URock2 Digital Painter, DoubleDuck Comic Creator, Animoids, and JONAS and High School Musical Photo Mashup. However, as Disney’s focus shifted to mobile application development, the decision was made to close Kerpoof in April of 2014.

November 24

November 24, 2013 – The Animated Series Sheriff Callie’s Wild West Premieres on the Disney Junior App

Sheriff_callie_logo

“In this, the first Western made just for preschoolers, our audience will not only have a chance to get to know our characters and our stories more quickly…but we are confident they will be delighted with how those stories embrace what has enthralled us for generations in western tales – strong and important role models, high stakes stories, and distinctive music.” – Nancy Katner, Executive VP for Original Programming and General Manager for Disney Junior Worldwide

On November 24, 2013, the first nine episodes of the animated series Sheriff Callie’s Wild West premiered exclusively on the Disney Junior smartphone app, with a television premiere on January 20, 2014. This animated series was the first series in the Disney ABC Television group to premiere on the mobile device platform with multiple episodes. The episodes’ availability also helped place the WATCH Disney Junior app at number one in the iTunes store ranking. The series has since gone on to receive positive reviews. The show was developed by George Evelyn, Holly Huckins, and Denis Morella. It stars Mandy Moore as Sheriff Callie, Lucas Grabeel as Deputy Peck, and Jessica DiCicco as Toby.