May 1, 1999- Spongebob Squarepants debuted on Nickelodeon.
May 2, 1964- Disney’s audio-animatronic Abe Lincoln exhibit opened at the NY World’s Fair. The animatronic technology formed the basis of modern motion capture techniques.
May 3, 1948- THE PARAMOUNT DECISION- In 1938 the independent theater chains had brought suit in Federal court against the major Hollywood Studios over their monopolistic practices. Ten years later, the Supreme Court ruled the Motion Picture Studios did constitute a monopoly and under the Sherman AntiTrust Act ordered them to sell their theater chains. One casualty of this rule was the art of the short cartoon. Theater managers no longer were forced to run a cartoon, newsreel and short with a feature (block-booking), so instead they opted to use the time to run more showings of the main feature. ...
May 4, 1927- The Motion Picture Academy of Arts & Sciences formed. Studio heads Irving Thalberg and Louis B. Mayer originally conceived the Academy as an arbiter where studio artists could air grievances without fear of retaliation, thereby sidetracking the call for unions. It didn’t work, because of the nature of its founding by studio heads.
May 5th, 1945- Happy Birthday Yosemite Sam! Hare Trigger, the first cartoon to feature the red mustachioed desperado, premiered.
May 9, 1955- A Washington D.C. station put on a young University of Maryland grad named Jim Henson as filler before the TODAY Show. He antics with his green frog called Kermit, fashioned from fabric from one of his mothers old green coats. The Muppets are born.
May 10, 1929- Skeleton Dance, the first Disney Silly Symphony premiered. It’s tight sync animation by Ubb Iwerks inspired a generation of animators.
May 18, 2001- Dreamworks' Shrek opened.
May 20, 1975- In a small warehouse in Van Nuys California, George Lucas assembled an effects crew to create the film Star Wars. It was the birth of Industrial Light & Magic, or ILM.