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June 10

June 10, 2008 – Disney Announces Plans to Stream Movies Online

The Wonderful World of Disney, the venerable prime-time TV show originally hosted by Walt Disney himself, is getting its geek on.”

On June 10, 2008, Disney.com released a statement that they planned to stream several of the studio’s full-length feature films online. The announced plan was that these films would be shown on the Saturday night program The Wonderful World of Disney, and then be shown for free on the online platform. The schedule included Pixar favorites Finding Nemo and Monsters, Inc., as well as films Haunted Mansion, Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen, Princess Diaries 2, Freaky Friday, and Peter Pan.

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November 7

November 7, 1999 – The Television Movie Annie Premieres on The Wonderful World of Disney

Annie

“Tomorrow, tomorrow, I’ll love ya, tomorrow, you’re only a day away.”

On November 7, 1999, the television movie Annie premiered on ABC’s The Wonderful World of Disney programming block. The film was based on the popular Broadway musical of the same name, written by Thomas Meehan with music and lyrics by Charles Strouse and Martin Charnin. The movie was nominated for and won two Emmy awards for choreography and music direction. The movie also featured a cameo by the original Broadway Annie, Andrea McArdle. The film was directed by Rob Marshall, and starred Kathy Bates as Miss Hannigan, Alicia Morton as Annie, Victor Garber as Daddy Warbucks, Audra McDonald as Grace Farrell, Alan Cumming as Rooster, and Kristin Chenoweth as Lily St. Regis.

April 19

April 19, 1998 – The Television Movie My Date with the President’s Daughter Premieres on ABC

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“’Daddy?’ You mean, the President? Of our country?”

On April 19, 1998, the made-for-television movie My Date with the President’s Daughter premiered on ABC’s The Wonderful World of Disney programming block. The movie received mixed reviews from critics and audiences alike. The film was written by William Robertson and Alex Zamm, and was directed by Zamm. It starred Dabney Coleman as President Richmond, Will Friedle as Duncan Fletcher, Elisabeth Harnois as Hallie Richmond, Mimi Kuzyk as Caroline Richmond, Wanda Cannon as Rita Fletcher, and Jay Thomas as Charles Fletcher.

The film begins with teenager Hallie Richmond being woken up early on a Saturday morning to attend another event for her parents, as her father is the President of the United States. She heads into the dining room for breakfast, where her dad is working on a speech about the future of America. Her father is working with his campaign manager, while her mother is working on her schedule as the First Lady. Hallie begs to stay home, but her family needs her there to show that they are a happy family for publicity’s sake. Hallie works up the courage to ask her father to go to the dance at her school, but as it is an election year and he’s about to go campaigning, she will be unable to go. While at an event at a new daycare center, the Vice-President’s son Reid tries to hit on Hallie, but she is rather hostile to his advances. Hallie spots a mall nearby, and decides to slip away to go shopping like a normal teenager for once.

Duncan (center) takes grief from his friends about his magic, as they think no girl would be impressed by it

Duncan (center) takes grief from his friends about his magic, as they think no girl would be impressed by it

In a CD store, Duncan Fletcher starts working on his magic act in front of his friends, who are embarrassed that he would do something like that in public. They think that he could never find a girl for the dance, but Duncan says that he doesn’t even want to go to the dance. When they bet him $50 to find a date, he takes the bet and decides to ask out the next girl he sees. He spots Hallie in a store trying on hats, and is instantly smitten. As he attempts to approach her, but is really shy in talking with her. When she spots some Secret Service agents, she starts to flee. He stops her by asking her to the dance at his school, and as she is unable to go to her own school’s dance, she readily accepts, and tells him to pick her up at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. However, when she asks her father to go, he refuses to let her. She finally lets loose her feelings about her father being president and ruining her life, but her mother asks her step outside for a moment. Her mother fights for her, and her father finally relents, letting her go on her date, although they want to meet him.

Duncan gets ready for his date, while his parents get ready for a party that night. His father won’t let him borrow the company car, but he decides to take it anyway, instead of the family’s station wagon. When he pulls up to the White House, he thinks that Hallie played a practical joke on him, but still goes in, thinking that maybe he got the address wrong somehow. When he goes to security, he’s surprised that he’s allowed in, and even more shocked that she’s the President’s daughter. He’s taken to meet the President, and sits there nervously. The Secret Service gives Duncan a list of places they’re approved to go, with his school not on the list. Duncan is even more shocked when Hallie tells him that they’ll talk about the dance later. The drive on their date is rather uncomfortable, as two Secret Service agents are crammed into the backseat. They head to the movies, and Hallie tells them they need to ditch the agents to get to the dance, and they’re able to make a break for it. As they head to the dance, she asks to stop at a store to get new clothes. The agents soon notice that the couple is missing, and scramble to find them.

The President and the First Lady are alerted to their daughter's disappearance after she slips past the Secret Service

The President and the First Lady are alerted to their daughter’s disappearance after she slips past the Secret Service

The head of the Secret Service soon alerts the President and the First Lady that Hallie and Duncan have slipped past the agents, and the First Lady keeps the President from panicking, although the President asks that Duncan’s parents be brought to the fundraiser. At the clothing store, Duncan waits for Hallie to pick on outfit, and after she picks something, she starts picking out an outfit for him. He uses his father’s credit card to pay for both outfits, and Hallie decides that they should go to Club Alien instead, a new club that just opened. She then asks Duncan to drive his car, and while he is nervous about doing so, she convinces him to let her. Meanwhile, at the Fletcher residence, Duncan’s father notices that the company car is gone just as the Secret Service arrives. While Hallie and Duncan drive, they are harassed by some rednecks. She runs over one of the redneck’s shoes as she drives away, and they park in a parking lot near Club Alien, with Hallie dying to go inside. At the fundraiser, the Fletchers are brought inside, although Mr. Fletcher is not a fan of the President in the slightest. The President asks where they could have gone, and Mr. Fletcher says that Duncan was going to the dance at his high school.

Hallie asks Duncan to dance, but he nervously heads off to the restroom instead. As she waits, she runs into a guy she spotted earlier on a motorcycle, and goes off to dance with him. Duncan calls his friends to let him know that he’s with the President’s daughter, and ups the bet. When he heads back to find Hallie, he sees her dancing with someone else, and drops his keys. He runs across the redneck again, and tells Hallie they need to run. She bumps into Reid, and tries to blow him off. When the rednecks catch up with her, she convinces them that Reid is the guy from the car, and they take him away to beat him up. As they drive away, the couple has a fight, and the car gets a flat tire. Reid, having been beaten to a pulp, is taken back to the fundraiser to talk to the President, giving them Hallie’s location. Duncan’s father storms away to go search for the two, and the President goes with him, giving his own Secret Service detail the slip.

After Duncan fixes the flat tire, he is surprised to find that Hallie has disappeared

After Duncan fixes the flat tire, he is surprised to find that Hallie has disappeared

Duncan manages to fix his flat tire, but Hallie has gone missing. When he asks a nearby homeless man where she’s gone, he finds she’s gone into a nearby pool hall. As he demands Hallie that they go, the men of the pool hall refuse to let her go, and start to beat him up. To get out of his precarious situation, he impresses the group with his magic tricks, and impresses Hallie. They manage to slip out unscathed, and he is flattered that Hallie finds his magic so cool. They then find that the car has been stolen, and she tries to stop him from going to the police to report it. The two people that stole Duncan’s car go on a crime spree, and they pass by Mr. Fletcher and the President. Thinking it’s the two kids, the two men quickly follow them, and are soon pulled over by the police. The President and Mr. Fletcher are arrested and locked up, as the officer doesn’t believe that the President is who he says he is. The two men, however, start to talk and bond over their busy lives and being a parent.

Hallie and Duncan take the bus, and Hallie asks if there’s anything else they could do before they turn themselves in to the police, as she wants to do something normal. He tells her that having a normal life is boring, and she says that she can’t even have a boring moment. The bus passes by the protest at her father’s fundraiser, and Hallie decides she wants to check it out. When one woman is interviewed about why she’s protesting and starts trashing President Richmond, calling him a crook, Hallie defends her father on the news. The agents spot the teenagers and rush out to get them, although Hallie and Duncan make a break for it. The First Lady and Mrs. Fletcher go to the police station to pick up their husbands, and the President decides to go back to the White House to wait for his daughter rather than the fundraiser. Duncan and Hallie end up climbing up to the roof of a building, and Duncan finally admits that he’s not everything he says he is. She admits that she was impressed with how much he wanted to impress her, and apologizes for not being upfront about who she was. The two share a moment together, and dance together when they hear a slow jazz melody play. He still tries to get her to go to the dance, and when he finally reveals the bet, she gets angry and storms off. He follows her, but she is stopped once again by Steve, the guy on the bike from earlier. He offers to take her to a party, and when she sees Duncan, she agrees. Although Duncan warns her not to go with him, she takes off anyway.

After Duncan saves Hallie, the two go to the Lincoln Memorial before parting ways

After Duncan saves Hallie, the two go to the Lincoln Memorial before parting ways

The two people that stole the car are apprehended, and are mistaken as Duncan and Hallie, much to the surprise of the Fletchers and the Richmonds. Hallie arrives at the party at Steve’s place, and is immediately unimpressed. Duncan continues to track down Steve, although he doesn’t have much luck. Steve starts to make the moves on Hallie, but she shuts him down. She asks him to take her home, but he refuses. At the right moment, Duncan arrives to rescue her and take her home. Steve starts a fight with Duncan, and while it looks like Steve will really hurt Duncan, when Steve hurts Hallie, Duncan has a new reserve to fight back, and knocks out Steve with one punch. She takes Steve’s bike and crashes it before they leave and head back to the White House. The pair watches the sunrise from the Lincoln Memorial, and realize that the two actually like each other as they share a kiss. Hallie heads home on her own, and the President dismisses his men to deal with Hallie on his own terms. He gives her a hug and accepts her apology, although she is still going to be punished for her actions.

Duncan and his father pick up the car from the impound lot, with Duncan being grounded indefinitely. Mr. Fletcher tells him that he wants to spend more time with him, but crashes the car when he finds out about Duncan using his credit card. The next school day, Duncan pays his friends for the bet, and while they don’t believe what he actually did that Saturday night, he tells them he doesn’t care. While in class, he gets a visit from the Secret Service, and everyone watches as he is taken to see the President. Duncan tries to take the blame for the date, but the President tells him that Hallie told him everything, and thanks him sincerely for saving Hallie from Steve. He then gives Duncan permission to date Hallie, and then asks for a favor: Mr. Fletcher’s dad’s boss is going to play golf with the President, effectively giving Mr. Fletcher a promotion. Duncan later goes to pick up Hallie for a date, and they’re followed by a Secret Service detail that includes four SUVs and a helicopter.

April 9

April 9, 2000 – The Made-for-Television Movie Angels in the Infield Premieres on ABC

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“Prove myself? How am I going to do that if they never let me play?”

On April 9, 2000, the made-for-television movie Angels in the Infield premiered on ABC’s The Wonderful World of Disney programming block. The film was the third in the series of films, beginning with 1994’s Angels in the Outfield, and the second film to feature the Anaheim Angels baseball team. It was written by Richard Colin, Holly Goldberg Sloan, and Robert King, and was directed by King. It starred Patrick Warburton as Eddie Everett, Brittney Irvin as Laurel, David Alan Grier as Bob Bugler, Colin Fox as the Devil, Kurt Fuller as Simon, and Rebecca Jenkins as Claire.

The movie begins with a heavenly ballgame, being played by the likes of Babe Ruth. This new angel named Bob Bugler starts complaining to the other angels while sitting on the bench that he’d finally gotten the chance to be the starting pitcher when he dies, and he’s once again warming the bench. Down on Earth, the Anaheim Angels are getting ready to play a game, with pitcher Eddie Everett acting like a bigshot. He has the nickname “Steady Eddie” for his slow and deliberate pitching style, which gives him the worst record of any starting pitcher, and the team overall has the worst record of any American-league team this year. The fans boo him in the stands, and Eddie gets ready to pitch against his nemesis, Fleck. The Angels once again are falling apart, and Eddie soon gets a call from his ex-wife Claire, who is there watching the game. Claire is about to move to Boston, and is going to leave their teenaged daughter Laurel with him for the rest of the season. Eddie, who hasn’t seen his daughter in six years, is not thrilled about this, and manages to strike out the next hitter due to his frustration. Wanting to finish the game in record time, Eddie manages to strike the rest of the hitters, while Eddie’s agent attempts to stop Claire from leaving.

Eddie picks up Laurel after the game, and the meeting is more than a little awkward

Eddie picks up Laurel after the game, and the meeting is more than a little awkward

Eddie and Laurel head to Eddie’s apartment, and he is less than prepared for her arrival. He doesn’t attempt to get to know her, and he soon realizes that his life is not the way he wanted it to be. He watches a game from his rookie year, where he was a star pitcher with an almost perfect game. He stops the game as it plays, and when he presses plays again, it is revealed that Eddie bungled the game, and the Angels lose the World Series. Laurel prays that God could help her by giving her father a second chance so he can do everything right this time. Bob, who had been practicing his pitching, suddenly falls from Heaven, landing near Laurel’s ballet class. When one girl in Laurel’s class starts bullying her, Bob steps in and stops the girl from dumping her drink all over Laurel’s head. After class, Laurel is picked up by Eddie’s manager, Simon. Bob appears in the backseat of Simon’s car, and after a confusing conversation with Simon, Bob reveals that Laurel’s the only person that can see him. He explains that he’s answering her prayer and is there to help her dad win the pennant, although Laurel is highly skeptical. She finally believes him after he pulls some tricks, and they get to work on helping her father.

During the game, Laurel calls out to her father and asks him to believe, although Eddie is confused by their exchange. Bob tells her to look to the sky, and she sees two balls of light coming out from the sun. The lights are angels, and they help one of the outfielders fly up to catch the ball, although they fail miserably. Bob reveals that they’re a little out of practice, as they’re the second-string team of angels. Laurel is highly disappointed, and Bob decides that they will have to train. In the Angels training room, the manager is giving a speech about going back to fundamentals, and Bob mirrors the same speech to the angels. At home, Laurel asks her dad gently about Bob and his career, and then explains that Bob’s here as an angel to help, but her dad doesn’t listen to her. She then takes matters into her own hands and decides to learn how to manage a team herself so she can help the angels. Claire soon calls, and reveals that it was Laurel’s idea to stay with her father, as she wanted to know more about Eddie. Eddie then tries to reach out to Laurel, but she decides that she doesn’t want his help after all. Bob convinces her to ask him again, and he helps her learn how to manage. In turn, she uses her ballet skills to help Eddie improve his pitching game.

Laurel tells her father to just believe, although he is skeptical of her message

Laurel tells her father to just believe, although he is skeptical of her message

Bad news comes to Eddie when his manager gives him his release. Laurel tells him that he has to believe, and he can win the game. Bob panics slightly, as he feels the angel team isn’t ready yet, but Laurel tells him that it’s now or never, or her dad is done with baseball. A mysterious figure shows up at the game, and he removes his hat to reveal that it’s the Devil. The game continues, and the Angels are losing horribly. Eddie looks to Laurel, and she calls to him to believe, making the sign of an angel. She prays to Bob, and Eddie takes the mound, using the ballet moves Laurel taught him. An angel appears on the field, and Eddie pitches a smoking fastball. The second pitch has the ball on fire, and hardly anyone can believe it, especially when the third pitch knocks the umpire and the catcher out. The Angels win the game, and Eddie remains on the team. The Devil, who had been watching, is for some reason not pleased with the results. That evening, as Eddie’s rival Fleck practice batting balls at a large image of Eddie, the Devil appears and offers him a deal: sign away his soul, and Eddie will not only lose the pennant, but his life will be completely destroyed. Fleck agrees readily.

Meanwhile, Laurel’s ballet dreams come crashing down, as she is kicked out of class for missing three classes in a row, and Bob practices in secret to help her out. Laurel then goes in to class to re-audition for the class, and Bob helps her out with everyone watching as they are taken over by Bob’s influence. She not only is readmitted, but she gets to represent the whole school in the district recital. Eddie wants to go, but she tells him that it’s the same day as the championship, so he doesn’t need to go. Bob pulls out a video for Eddie would watch, and Eddie sees that he never saw her recitals. He is even more heartbroken when a young Laurel says that her father is probably embarrassed by her, which is why he never attends her recitals, and he’ll probably just tape over it, which he accidentally did. When she gets home from school, she is angry that he didn’t pick her up, but is then shocked at how he turned his former weight room into her room, with pink painted walls and everything. He apologizes for being a bad father, and promises to be there at her recital. At the next game, Laurel sees that the player Jacobs should be batting, as he’s ready, although he’s not in the line-up. She convinces her father, who convinces the manager, and Jacobs hits a grand slam. The Angels win the game, and continue their winning streak, much to the annoyance of local sports commentator Dexter Deekin.

Bob confronts the Devil, with the Devil giving a cryptic message that Eddie won't make the game

Bob confronts the Devil, with the Devil giving a cryptic message that Eddie won’t make the game

Fleck’s team is assisted by demons, who help the team to win in a gruesome way. Bob confronts the Devil, but the Devil assures Bob that he plans to cheat, and Eddie will not be in the playoff game. The Angels play against the Crimson Devils, team of Eddie’s rival. Claire calls, and the two seem to be bringing back the spark they once had, as Claire had been following all of his games, and Claire soon books a flight to LA. Bob is confused by the Devil’s promise that Eddie won’t be in the game, and won’t have to go near him to do it. The Devil causes it to rain, bringing about a rain delay until 4, which means Eddie will miss the recital. Laurel waits for her father to arrive, but is disappointed when he is not there, and falls on stage in the beginning of her solo. As she sits, close to tears, she sees her father in the doorway, making the sign of an angel, and she is encouraged to dance once again. After she finishes her first dance, Bob informs her that Eddie wants to see her last dance, and this means he will miss the show. She wants him to go, and Bob helps out by speeding up the show.

The game suffers without Eddie, but after Bob speeds up Laurel’s dance, he is able to make it to the game just in time. Although down by two runs, Eddie believes that they can win the game. Laurel watches the game, and sees that devils are stopping the Angels from playing properly. However, with the encouragement of Eddie, telling them to believe, the team comes back. Eddie is able to play his best game ever, with the game riding on Fleck versus Eddie. The Devil tells Fleck what pitches are coming, and Eddie looks defeated. He starts praying, and turns around to see Bob, who reveals himself to Eddie. He points out to Eddie that his angel is arriving, and Eddie looks up to see Claire in the stands. She makes the sign of an angel, which starts the whole stadium making the sign. Eddie has the confidence that he used to have, and throws the pitch to Fleck. Fleck hits it as a bunt, but Eddie’s history doesn’t repeat, and he catches it and throws it to first, giving the Angels the pennant. Eddie and his family are reunited, and Eddie shares a kiss with Claire. Bob watches down on the family and waves goodbye to Laurel before returning to Heaven. In Heaven, Bob is a great pitcher, and has finally earned his wings.

March 12

March 12, 2000 – The Live-Action Television Film Model Behavior Premieres on ABC’s Wonderful World of Disney

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“Let’s just say, I’ve officially clinched my status as junior class spinster.”

On March 12, 2000, the live-action television film Model Behavior premiered on ABC’s Wonderful World of Disney programming block. The movie was based on the book Janine & Alex, Alex & Janine by Michael Levin, who helped to co-write the film with David Kukoff and Matt Roshkow. The film was directed by Mark Rosman, and starred Maggie Lawson as Alex Burroughs/Janine Adams, Justin Timberlake as Jason Sharpe, Jesse Nilsson as Eric Singer, Daniel Clark as Josh, Karen Hines as Monique, and Kathy Lee Gifford as Deirdre Adams.

Shy teenager Alex Burroughs is attending a party on a mission: to ask popular athlete Eric Singer to the Fall Ball. Her best friend Sharon is there for moral support, although Alex has taken to hiding in the bathroom. Alex finally leaves the bathroom and runs into Eric, but the encounter is rather awkward, and she soon leaves the party to head home, embarrassed. Her father lectures her on breaking curfew, but she doesn’t seem to care. Before she goes to sleep, she reads her fashion magazines once again, wishing she were the model on the cover. Meanwhile, the model on the cover, Janine Adams, is trying to order Chinese food, but her mother nixes the order and changes it to her usual “steamed broccoli and brown rice.” Janine thinks her mother is overbearing, and wishes she could just be a normal teenage girl. She watches television in her room and comes across a program about herself, including an “exclusive” about her being involved with fellow model Jason Sharpe, although in reality Janine wants nothing to do with him.

Alex tries to talk to her father about her ideas for new catering uniforms, showing  a glimpse of her unsatisfactory life

Alex tries to talk to her father about her ideas for new catering uniforms, showing a glimpse of her unsatisfactory life

The next morning, Alex gets ready for an event for her father’s catering company, and finds out that she’s a finalist to get into a summer program for fashion and design, with an interview occurring in two weeks. Janine is preparing for her day, snapping at everyone and everything around her, including her assistant Monique. Janine has to go to a launch for her book, which Alex’s dad’s company is catering. At the party, Janine and Alex run into each other, and Janine takes Alex into the bathroom to show that the two look uncannily alike. Janine starts questioning Alex about normal life, and then offers to have Alex trade places with her, just for a week. Alex is unsure, but finally agrees. The two quickly change outfits and head back to the party in their new roles. Janine is excited to head home and begin a “normal” life, while Alex is thrilled to live the life of a supermodel.

Alex’s family and Janine’s assistant Monique are confused at the girls’ behavior, but they run with it. Janine heads to Alex’s school, and is unusually excited about the experience. She runs into Alex’s friend Sharon and starts walking the hallways. Janine confidently says hello to the cutest guys in school, but Sharon reminds her that they don’t exist on the social radar. Janine refuses to accept this, and also refuses to take the abuse from popular mean girl Mindy. Alex then attends a photo shoot in a bikini, and is noticeably uncomfortable in front of the camera. Although the photographer is annoyed at first, he is soon taken with her “new” shy look. Back at school, Janine talks back to the teacher, earning the respect from several of her fellow students. Alex walks the streets after her shoot, and runs into Jason Sharpe, who apologizes for the recent article calling them a couple. He promises to make it up to her, and quickly leaves. Monique tells Alex that she should want nothing to do with him, but Alex tells Janine that, just for this week, she’ll reconsider. Janine finds some eye candy of her own in the form of Eric Singer, and decides to approach him, although Mindy is hanging all over him. She pours Eric’s carton of milk all over Mindy, and certainly catches Eric’s attention before heading back to her table.

Alex surprises everyone by giving her chauffeur Tony the day off, and spending the day seeing the city with Monique

Alex surprises everyone by giving her chauffeur Tony the day off, and spending the day seeing the city with Monique

Alex decides to go see the sights of New York, and gives her chauffeur the day off. Janine cooks breakfast for her family, and shows a real talent for cooking, although Alex’s brother Josh is suspicious of “Alex’s” new behavior. Alex and Monique go rollerblading through Central Park, and Alex hears about Janine’s habit of talking down to the people around her. Alex decides to be kind to those around her instead, and decides to take Monique shopping. At school, “Alex’s” social standing has improved substantially thanks to Janine, and Eric starts talking to her, although she acts nonchalant about it. In New York, Alex is asked out on a date by Jason. She wants to accept, but the night he proposes is the night that Alex and Janine are supposed to switch back. Janine soon calls Alex, and the two agree to postpone the switch back for another week. Josh overhears the conversation, and realizes that he’s got a huge scandal on his hands. Although Alex is warned to stay away from Jason Sharpe, she ignores Janine’s advice and goes on a date with Jason. Janine then goes on a date with Eric, although she is less than impressed with his car. Eric plans on taking Janine to Les Gourmand, a fancy French restaurant, which is where Alex and Jason are also going.

Alex and Jason show up at the restaurant amid a sea of reporters, although the reporters ignore Janine when she shows up with Eric. After finding out that the restaurant lost Eric’s reservation, they leave, but Eric decides to take her around the back. Alex and Jason start to bond, especially when Jason admits that he’s only modeling to save up money for grad school so he can study astronomy. He invites Alex to see a meteor shower later that night, and she accepts. Josh sneaks into the restaurant to film the evidence of the two girls. Meanwhile, Eric is more and more impressed with how Janine handles herself. Janine and Alex excuse themselves to the bathroom, and, unaware that the mirror is actually gone, think the other is their mirror reflection. They finally realize that they are at the same restaurant, and Janine is angry to the point where she tries to break up the date between Alex and Jason, while Alex tries to break up Eric and Janine. The two then switch back, although they both have a lot of explaining to do. Eric then takes Janine go-karting, and they have a much better, more normal evening; Jason takes Alex to see the meteor shower, and the two share a kiss. After Eric takes Janine home, she admits that this is the most fun she’d had in a long time, and he calls her his girl before he kisses her.

Janine arrives home from her date with Eric, unaware of how much trouble she's in

Janine arrives home from her date with Eric, unaware of how much trouble she’s in

When Janine gets home, Alex’s father reminds her that she missed the wedding event she was supposed to cater, and is grounded. Alex arrives home to find Janine’s mother waiting for her. Alex then wakes up for an early morning workout the next morning, while Janine gets in trouble for using her cell phone in class, among other things, and is sentenced to do the laundry for the school. Alex then has to walk in a show, although she doesn’t do very well, as she has never walked a runway before, and rips the dress before running into another model. At school, Janine snaps at Sharon, and arrives home to find the admissions adviser for the summer program Alex wants waiting for her. Not knowing where Alex’s portfolio is, she creates a mishmash of pictures and scribbles, and Alex is not accepted into the program. Back at Janine’s, Josh shows up to blackmail Alex. Josh then gives her the idea of telling Jason who she really is, and asking him to the fall ball, and calls him to meet her that night. Janine tries to sneak out of the house to meet Eric, but gets caught and is sent back to her room by Alex’s father. Alex shows up at the high school to meet Jason, and before she can ask, he tells her that he’s heading to Paris and wants her to go with him. As Alex ties up her hair and puts on her glasses, she gives Jason the tape and asks him to kiss her. Eric spots them, and the two guys think that she’s been two-timing them.

When Janine and Alex speak on the phone, the two yell at each other for ruining each other’s careers, and decide that they need to switch back right away, and plan it for the next morning in front of the school. The two have a tearful goodbye, and sadly return to their lives. Janine starts snapping at everyone and everything again, and Monique sadly states that Janine was so different the past week. Alex’s parents are surprised at how different Alex is, as her attitude has done a complete 180. At Janine’s photo shoot, the photographer wants her to be shy and coquettish as Alex was, and Janine is frustrated that she can’t do it. While doing through her bag, she finds the pictures of her and Eric, and gets an idea. Alex resumes life at school, although it seems that everything is now worse after Janine’s stint. Suddenly, she gets an idea, and smiles. At the apartment, Janine refuses to go to her agent’s party, instead choosing to go to the Fall Ball. Alex plans to go get Jason, and actually gets brother’s help for once. She calls Jason, but it appears that he’s already left for Paris.

Janine tries to explain everything to Eric at the Fall Ball, but he is soon pulled away by Mindy

Janine tries to explain everything to Eric at the Fall Ball, but he is soon pulled away by Mindy

Janine pulls up to the Fall Ball, pretending to be Alex, and looks for Eric. Although she tries to talk to Eric, Mindy pulls Eric away and insults her. Alex then shows up to the dance, although her parents soon discover that she has snuck out. The Prince and Princess of the Fall Ball are announced, and it’s Eric and Mindy, which crushes Janine. As Eric and Mindy dance together, Janine watches on sadly. Meanwhile, Alex and Janine’s families show up at the dance, and Alex is surprised to see Jason show up at the dance. As Alex walks to Jason, and Janine walks to Eric, the two girls collide and everyone is surprised to see the two of them. When their families walk in, the two finally explain the entire situation. Their parents finally start listening to them, making them both very happy. Alex wishes Jason goodbye, but Jason refuses to let her go, and asks her to dance. Eric then goes over to Janine and asks her to dance. The dance continues, and everyone is happy, including Monique and Alex’s chauffeur, who pair up as well.

May 7

Posted on

May 7, 2000 – The Television Musical Geppetto Premieres on The Wonderful World of Disney

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“All right, so I didn’t sleep so well. But who cares? I have a son unique in all the world. It’s not every boy who can trace his family tree to a tree.”

On May 7, 2000, the made-for-television musical Geppetto aired on The Wonderful World of Disney program on ABC. The story is loosely based on the 1940 film Pinocchio, reusing the characters of the Blue Fairy and Stromboli, but it adds many new aspects of the film when Geppetto searches for Pinocchio after he leaves with Stromboli’s traveling puppet show. The music for the film was written by Stephen Schwartz, save for the reuse of the 1940 song “I’ve Got No Strings”; the film was written by David I. Stern (with the original source material written by Carlo Collodi). It was directed by Tom Moore, and stars Drew Carey as Geppetto, Julia Louis-Dreyfus as the Blue Fairy, Brent Spiner as Stromboli, Rene Auberjonois as Buonragazzo, Wayne Brady as the Great Lazardo, and Seth Adkins as Pinocchio. Recording artist Usher makes a special cameo as the Ringmaster of Pleasure Island. The film was nominated for four Emmy Awards, including Outstanding Art Direction for a Miniseries, Movie, or Special.

The story is narrated by Geppetto, beginning when he finished the new toys for the season. All of the children of the village of Villagio run to the toy story in a frenzy, with their parents trying to keep up with them. The children spy the toys through the window, and when Geppetto opens the shop, they rush inside. The parents voice their complaints of trying to get their children to behave, and Geppetto, who has longed for a child of his own, voices his own sadness that “those that see children as bothers are the ones who get to be fathers.” After everyone leaves that evening, Geppetto returns to his work on his puppet, Pinocchio, wishing that the puppet were a real boy. That night, the Blue Fairy appears in Geppetto’s house, granting his wish. Geppetto is confused, then overjoyed to find that Pinocchio has come to life. As they try to go to sleep, Pinocchio keeps his father awake with many questions, which Geppetto tries to answer good-naturedly, but his patience grows thin.

Geppetto takes Pinocchio around the town,introducing the residents to his son

Geppetto takes Pinocchio around the town,introducing the residents of Villagio

The next day, Geppetto is ready to show Pinocchio off to the town. Unfortunately, Pinocchio lets his mischief get the better of him, causing problems for several people in town. The next day doesn’t get better, as Pinocchio doesn’t listen to his father. When Geppetto gives Pinocchio a tricycle, Pinocchio ends up crashing and breaking the tryke. By the third morning, Geppetto is rather upset by Pinocchio’s willfulness. When Geppetto tries to teach Pinocchio how to be a toymaker, Pinocchio refuses to learn, wanting to be a train engineer instead. Geppetto then decides to send Pinocchio to school the next day, with the advice of acting “just like the other children.” Unfortunately, Pinocchio takes his advice quite literally, and gets into a fight with another student. Pinocchio is then asked to leave the school until he can behave, much to Geppetto’s annoyance. On the way home, they are accosted by puppeteer Stromboli, who wishes to make Pinocchio part of his show. At home, Pinocchio breaks Geppetto’s music box, and his nose begins to grow when he lies about breaking it. The two argue, and Geppetto begins to look for the Blue Fairy, calling Pinocchio a disappointment. Pinocchio overhears this, and decides to run away to join Stromboli’s traveling puppet show.

Geppetto finally finds the Blue Fairy, and tells her that her magic was defective. The Blue Fairy takes a bit of offense, but tells him that maybe it isn’t Pinocchio that is “defective,” and it takes a little bit more than just magic to solve his life. Without answers, Geppetto returns home. He finds that Pinocchio has run away, and muses that maybe it is for the best, but goes to the show to give Pinocchio his teddy bear and favorite train. When he arrives, he sees Pinocchio perform and, thinking that the boy is happy, he decides that Pinocchio has found where he belongs. What he doesn’t see, however, is how Stromboli treats Pinocchio, locking him in a cage. When Geppetto stops by Stromboli’s tent, he asks to see Pinocchio, but Stromboli tells him that Pinocchio has already left. Geppetto rushes off to find his son, and when Stromboli returns to his cage, he finds Pinocchio gone, boarding a carriage for Pleasure Island. Stromboli goes after Pinocchio, needing his cash cow.

The Blue Fairy stops by, once again using magic to teach Geppetto a valuable lesson on fatherhood

The Blue Fairy stops by, once again using magic to teach Geppetto a valuable lesson on fatherhood

Geppetto searches for his son, and runs across the Blue Fairy again, who is pleased to see that Geppetto is beginning to realize that he is responsible for what he created, but Geppetto protests that it’s about Pinocchio rather than himself. As he runs away from the Blue Fairy, he comes across a magician who isn’t very good at being a magician. After looking around at the magician’s props, Geppetto remarks that Lazardo has a talent for making toys, but Lazardo tells him that he became a magician because his father was a magician, and his father before him was a magician. He wanted to be a toymaker, but he couldn’t bear to disappoint his father. Geppetto finally understands the message, and resolves to make it up to Pinocchio once he finds him. Geppetto then comes across the town of Idyllia, where an inventor named Professor Buonragazzo creates “perfect children.” Although Geppetto is at first taken by the idea of a perfect child, he realizes that he doesn’t want a child that’s perfect, he wants his son. As he leaves Idyllia, the Blue Fairy appears again, directing him to Pleasure Island, where Pinocchio is, and revealing Stromboli’s lies.

Geppetto finally arrives at Pleasure Island, where boys are encouraged to act naughty. Stromboli finds Pinocchio, but the Ringmaster has Stromboli dragged away, as adults aren’t allowed in Pleasure Island. As Geppetto searches for Pinocchio, he finds out what happens to boys at Pleasure Island – they turn into donkeys. Pinocchio begins to board the rollercoaster, but is stopped by Geppetto, as he tries to rescue his son. Pinocchio refuses to listen to Geppetto, and boards the rollercoaster. As he begins the ride, he begins to change into a donkey. Seeing this, Geppetto boards the ride to rescue him, but is too late, as Pinocchio is shipped off to the salt mines. Geppetto then races out to sea to rescue him, but is soon swallowed by Monstro, the whale. Pinocchio leaps from the boat to save him, and his selflessness causes him to change back into a puppet. The two reunite in the belly of the whale, with Geppetto wishing he could go back in time and do everything over to make things right by Pinocchio. The two come up with a plan to escape the belly of the whale, and they return to Villagio.

Stromboli appears in Geppetto's workshop, waiting to stake his claim to Pinocchio

Stromboli appears in Geppetto’s workshop, waiting to stake his claim to Pinocchio

Back in Villagio, Stromboli appears in Geppetto’s workshop, staking his claim to Pinocchio, as Pinocchio signed a contract to stay with Stromboli’s puppet show. Geppetto tells Stromboli he’s willing to give up everything to keep Pinocchio, including his home and all of his possessions. Stromboli refuses, as he still wants Pinocchio. He storms away with the boy, and Geppetto calls out for the Blue Fairy for help. She appears, but sadly tells him that there is little she can do now. Geppetto pleads with her, asking her to turn him into wood, or stone, or clay, as he cannot continue to live without his son. She surprises everyone by turning Pinocchio into a real boy, making Stromboli’s contract void. She tells Geppetto, “What good would it do making Pinocchio a real boy if he did not have a real father to come home to,” making Geppetto realize all that he’s learned on his journey. She leaves him with one more surprise: turning the store sign of “Geppetto’s” to “Geppetto and Son,” with a happy ending for all in Villagio.

March 11

March 11, 2001 – The Television Movie Princess of Thieves Premieres on The Wonderful World of Disney

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“I’ll steal a horse fairly, but I won’t take it by the poor reason of my gender.”

On March 11, 2001, the made-for-television movie Princess of Thieves premiered on The Wonderful World of Disney. Although the film is based on the legend of Robin Hood, it takes several liberties with historical fact, including that of the character of Philip: although a real person, he actually was not able to claim the throne; Richard had decreed that John was to inherit the throne after his death. The film was shot in Romania. The script was written by Robin Lerner, and was directed by Peter Hewitt. It stars Keira Knightly as Gwyn, Malcolm McDowell as the Sheriff of Nottingham, Stuart Wilson as Robin Hood, Jonathan Hyde as Prince John, Stephen Moyer as Prince Philip, and Del Synnott as Froderick.

The film begins in Nottingham, England, in the year 1184, during the reign of Richard the Lionheart. News of the birth of the child of Robin Hood and Maid Marian has reached the Sheriff of Nottingham, who puts a price on the child’s head equal to that of its father’s. Finding that the child is a girl, Nottingham thinks little of the child, as he believes only a son would cause him any trouble in the future. The girl is named Gwyn, and spends most of her life alone, as her mother dies when Gwyn is quite young and her father is off fighting the Crusades with King Richard. Her only friend is Froderick, who has trouble hiding his feelings for her, but she confides in Friar Tuck, whom she calls “Uncle.” When he questions her feelings for Froderick, she admits that she loves him like a brother, and she could never be what Froderick needs. As they talk, a messenger dove arrives, alerting the household of the return of Robin. Gwyn waits impatiently for her father’s return, but is rather let down by the reunion, as he doesn’t seem to care that he’s left her alone for five years.

Prince John and the Sheriff of Nottingham plot how to kill Philip and secure the crown for John

Prince John and the Sheriff of Nottingham plot how to kill Philip and secure the crown for John

Nottingham is alerted by a surprise visit by Prince John that Lionheart is dying, and the two plan to prevent Prince Philip, the king’s illegitimate son, to ascend the throne. Meanwhile, Will Scarlett is trying to convince Robin to spend at least a little time with his daughter, which Robin rebuffs, claiming his duty to protect Philip comes first. Gwyn overhears him, and volunteers to go on the journey with him, but Robin refuses. Gwyn argues that if she were a son, Robin would gladly take her, but as she is a girl, she is reduced to mending socks and plucking chickens, and storms off. As Philip is on his way to England, he vents to his valet, Conrad, that he has no desire to be king. His valet convinces him to go back inside the carriage, and they continue to England. Philip is unaware that the Countess Tourtelot, with whom Philip has been traveling, is working with Prince John to have Philip killed so John can assume the throne. Conrad alerts Philip quickly and helps get him away from Tourtelot.

That night, as Robin and Will prepare to collect Philip, Gwyn comes up with a plan to pass as a boy and protect Philip. She takes off in the morning to follow her father, and is enthralled by town when she arrives. She protects a young boy from being punished as a thief, and steals a nobleman’s bag. Realizing that Froderick has followed her, she takes his horse and has him meet her away from the town, and drops the bag at the feet of hungry children, at which they call her “Robin Hood.” Will, who is disguised in town, hears this and smiles, but doesn’t realize that it is Gwyn. Gwyn and Froderick are hiding in the woods until the Sheriff’s men arrive, and they chase after her, thinking she is Philip. Robin and Will soon arrive and dispatch the men, saving her, although Robin is less than pleased. Unfortunately, Froderick is captured and chained up, with the Sheriff deciding to follow Froderick, as he may know where Robin is.

Philip and Conrad meet with Cardaggian, believing him to be Robin Hood, as he knows the secret code words

Philip and Conrad meet with Cardaggian, believing him to be Robin Hood, as he knows the secret code words

That night, Robin, Will, and Gwyn head to the chapel where Froderick is supposed to meet Gwyn, and walk into the Sheriff’s trap. Gwyn and Froderick narrowly escape. Philip and Conrad arrive in town the next day, and are tricked by Cardaggian, the Sheriff’s right-hand man, who believes Conrad to be Philip, and the two believe Cardaggian to be Robin. Conrad is killed by Cardaggian’s men and Philip flees. Froderick is sent by Gwyn to go back to the castle and inform her uncles that Robin and Will were captured and sent to the Tower of London, and she heads off to continue the mission and save her father. She runs across Philip in the woods and, not knowing who he is, attempts to steal his horse. He tackles her, but quickly apologizes, realizing that she is a woman. The two argue over the horse, with him insisting she take it because she is a woman, and Gwyn refusing because he treats her as inferior. They finally agree to share the horse, and head off to Nottingham.

The Sheriff arrives back at Nottingham to judge the tournaments at the harvest festival, and announces that Philip has died. The news, and the body, is also brought to John, but Countess Tourtelot, having seen the victim alive, tells John that it is only the body of the valet, and Philip must still be alive. John runs to where Robin and Will are sitting in the dungeon, and demands to know where Philip is, which, of course, they won’t tell him, as they are amazed themselves that he is still alive. On their ride, Gwyn announces that she’s on a mission for the king, to save Philip, her father, and Will from their imprisonment. Philip brands Robin a traitor to the crown, thinking that he and Conrad were led into a trap by Robin Hood, and tells Gwyn that Philip is dead as he pretends to be Conrad, the valet. Gwyn is saddened by this news, and urgently asks Philip for his help, for John’s first act as king will be to hang Robin and Will. Philip, afraid, refuses, but relents when Gwyn tells him that Robin is her father.

In the last round, Philip lets Gwyn, who is pretending to be his brother, be his proxy and take the final shot

In the last round, Philip lets Gwyn, who is pretending to be his brother, be his proxy and take the final shot

As Gwyn and Philip wander through town, Philip tells Gwyn that the death of “Philip” is no great loss for England, as he preferred wine and women over affairs of state. Gwyn informs him that a prince has an obligation to his people, but before he can respond, she is given a notice from a nearby stand for an archery tournament, with the winner granted a seat at the Sheriff’s banquet. The two run off to enter, with Gwyn determined to win. Both Philip and Gwyn perform well, although Philip is the one to advance to the finals. Philip lets Gwyn perform as his proxy, and Gwyn shoots the shot that breaks the Sheriff’s arrow, with a style reminiscent of Robin Hood, which arouses the Sheriff’s suspicions. Nevertheless, she is declared the winner and they sit at the banquet. When Philip sees Cardaggian at the banquet, he tells her they have to flee or they will both be killed, but promises on his honor that he will help Gwyn rescue her father. As the two leave, the Sheriff’s men are sent out into the woods to search for Philip. Gwyn and Philip then meet with Friar Tuck and Froderick, and they soon come up with a plan to rescue the two men from prison.

In Sherwood Forest, Robin’s band of men has gathered and captured the Sheriff. Gwyn asks if Robin and Will are still alive, and the Sheriff tells her not for much longer, as men don’t survive very long in the dungeon of the Tower of London. Gwyn sends a message of an exchange of the Sheriff for Robin and Will. In the forest, Philip finally comes to understand the “rule” of Prince John, and how needy the people really are. Philip goes to Gwyn and offers her food, and the two realize their growing attraction to each other (which is marred by Froderick’s earlier lie to Philip, saying that he and Gwyn are betrothed). During the night, the Sheriff is able to escape his bonds, knocking Froderick out in the process. Gwyn is furious, and snaps to Froderick that if Robin dies, she will never speak to him again. Philip declares that he is riding to London to save Gwyn’s father, and the men agree to go with him. While Robin is being tortured in the tower, John tells Robin that Richard has passed away, and demands to know where Philip is, but Robin refuses to tell. The news that Philip is alive spreads through the town like wildfire.

After Gwyn confesses Froederick's lie to Philip, the two share their first, and only, kiss of the film

After Gwyn confesses Froderick’s lie to Philip, the two share their first, and only, kiss of the film

Gwyn apologizes to Froderick, and he in turn apologizes for telling Philip that he and Gwyn are betrothed. The two repair their friendship, and Gwyn goes off to find Philip. He admits to Gwyn that he is afraid, but will fight, and the two share a kiss. After they do, Philip tries to tell her of his true identity, but they are interrupted by the news that Philip is indeed still alive, and John’s men are searching for him. Philip then admits his true identity, much to Gwyn’s surprise. A spy amongst Robin’s men lets the Sheriff know of Philip’s arrival, and the Sheriff is at the ready to attack. During the fight, Froderick steps in front of an arrow meant for Philip, telling Gwyn he had to because she knows how much she likes Philip. Meanwhile, John is having his coronation ceremony in Westminster Abbey, and Philip and Gwyn, with their friends, break into the Tower of London to rescue Robin and Will. Gwyn and her friends win the battle, and John’s coronation is disrupted by Philip’s arrival and his claim to the throne. As John commands his soldiers to arrest Philip, everyone in the room is stunned silent, and John realizes he has no more control over them.

Philip is crowned king, and Froderick is made a member of Philip’s council. Gwyn realizes that there is no future between her and Philip, although Philip protests. Gwyn tells Philip that she will continue to serve him the way her father served Richard, but the two are left heartbroken that their love will never be. Robin tells his daughter that her mother fell in love with a thief, and her falling in love with a prince is no different, and then asks her to be his partner, a father-daughter team of outlaws that serve the king. All is happy in London once again, and it is stated at the end that Philip never married, as he pledged his heart to a woman of no birthright, named Gwyn.