Friday, June 06, 2014

Sito's Animation History

TAG President Emeritus Tom Sito's historical factoids for the month of June.

June 1, 1931 - 48 year old Swiss artist Albert Hurter joined the Disney staff, giving the look of cartoons like Snow White a more Germanic storybook look. His hiring created a new type of job at the studio, the Inspirational Sketch Artist, what we today call a Vis-Dev artist. ...

June 4, 1938 - Date of the Walt Disney Studio crew party to celebrate the success of Snow White. The young artists, released of tension and filled with booze, swapped bedrooms and galloped horses through the Hotel Norconian sending Walt and Roy fleeing the scene for fear of bad publicity.

June 3, 1964 - Hanna & Barbera’s feature Hey There, It’s Yogi Bear premieres.

June 6, 1982 - The film Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, premiered. Besides Ricardo Montalban as the bad guy with the great pectorals, it features the Genesis Effect. This one minute sequence was a landmark of computer graphics effects. Done by the Lucas Graphics Group, who four years later would break off and become Pixar.

June 7, 2002 – Kim Possible, the second animated Disney Channel Original Series, and the first series to be produced by Walt Disney Television Animation, in association with Disney Channel, premiered.

June 8, 1946 - Bob Clampett’s cartoon Kitty Kornered, the first Sylvester the Cat cartoon, debuted.

June 9, 1934 - Walt Disney short, The Little Wise Hen, introduces Donald Duck.

June 9, 2006 - Pixar’s Cars opened.

June 10, 1910 - Cartoonist George Herriman was doing a strip for Hearst called “The Family Upstairs”. He was amused at the idea of a friendship between a cat and a mouse. So Herriman put them in the corner playing marbles while the family quarreled. First an office boy and later editor Arthur Brisbane suggested they have their own strip. Krazy Kat and Ignacz Mouse are born.

June 10, 1957 - Tom Terrific and Manfred the Wonder Dog cartoon debuts on the Captain Kangaroo show.

June 10, 1995 - 110,000 people jam Central Park in New York to see Disney’s Pocahontas, the largest audience ever to attend a single movie premiere.

June 11, 1984 - Today when Wall Street corporate raider Saul Steinberg announced he intended to target the ailing Walt Disney Company for takeover, Disney CEO Ron Miller paid him $23 million just to make him go away. The Disney shareholders are outraged at this payment of “greenmail’ and demanded Miller’s resignation, which was exactly what Roy Disney had planned.

June 11, 1993 - Steven Spielberg’s Jurassic Park opened. The film set a box office record of $931 million. It was begun with modelers and puppeteers about to do the dinosaurs with clay and beeswax. But after seeing tests using the new 3D CGI (Computer Graphic Imaging) software, Steven ordered ILM to do it digitally. Jurassic Park clinched the digital takeover of Hollywood and set the standard for future VFX.

June 12, 1999 - Disney’s Tarzan premiered.

June 15, 1994 - Disney’s The Lion King premiered.

June 16, 1955 - Disney’s Lady and the Tramp premiered.

June 18, 2010 - Pixar’s Toy Story III opened.

June 19, 1954 - Bugs Bunny short Devil May Hare aired, the first cartoon in which the Tasmanian Devil appeared.

June 19, 1998 - Disney’s Mulan premiered.

June 20, 1941 - Walt Disney’s The Reluctant Dragon premiered with cartoonist’s pickets surrounding the Pantages Theater in Hollywood. Police actually have to close part of Hollywood Blvd. out of concern for what the rampaging animators might do.

June 21, 1988 - Who Framed Roger Rabbit? premiered at Radio City Music Hall.

June 21, 2002 - Disney’s Lilo & Stitch premiered.

June 22, 1977 - Disney’s The Rescuers premiered. The movie featured the last work of animator Milt Kahl.

[Milt had departed the studio the previous year, when most of his animation on the villainess Medusa was completed. He told me "I didn't retire from the studio, I quit."

Milt's last L.A. address was 2220 Avenue of the Stars in Century City. The following spring he left L.A. for good and wrote TAG Business Rep Lou Appet: "Just a short one to let you know I've moved. The new address is 1069 So. Eliseo Dr., Greenbrae, Calf. Marin County is a delightful place to live. The air is good and there are no billboards -- you can actually see the trees. ..."

Milt Kahl died in Marin County ten years later, in 1987. -- Steve Hulett]

June 23, 1989 - Disney’s Roger Rabbit short Tummy Trouble premiered with Honey I Shrank the Kids, featuring animated titles by Kroyer Films.

June 25, 1934 - Young artist Milt Kahl’s first day at Walt Disney Studios. It was said he was the first artist to ever show Walt a real portfolio of drawings to get hired.

June 25, 1997 - Disney’s Hercules premiered.

June 26, 1974 - Bob Taylors’ The Nine Lives of Fritz the Cat opened.

June 29, 1936 - Pope Pius X published an encyclical warning of the evils of Motion Pictures. “They glorify Lust and Lascivious behavior.”

June 29, 2007 - Pixar’s Ratatouille premiered.

June 30, 1933 - A group of actors meet in secret at Frank (he Wizard of Oz) Morgan’s home and form the Screen Actors Guild. The secrecy was because studios threatened to blacklist anyone who so much as breathed the word union. Among the founding members that night are James Cagney, Groucho Marx, Joan Crawford, Franchot Tone, Frederic March, Robert Montgomery and Boris Karloff. ...


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