Thursday, October 22, 2015

Tom Sito's Month in History

Focused, as always, on cartoons and other types of movies. (Note: A few items below have earlier appeared as single items, for which apologies. )

Oct. 1, 1945 - Looney Tunes director Frank Tashlin leaves the cartoon business to work full time at Paramount doing live action movies. There, he writes for the Marx Brothers and later directs the Dean Martin-Jerry Lewis comedies.

Oct. 1, 1992 - Cartoon Network first goes on the air.

Oct. 2, 2004 - Dreamworks film "Sharktale" opens in theaters.

Oct. 2, 1950 - Charles Schulz’s “Peanuts” comic strip debuts. Schulz’s strip “Little Folks” was initially rejected by all major comic syndicates. Three months before the strip was accepted, his fiancĂ©e breaks off their engagement. He had left his job at the post office and she was convinced he would never amount to anything. Good ol’ Charlie Brown was the name of a fellow post office worker all the guy’s liked to play jokes on. At the time of his death Charles Schulz had mountains on the moon named for his characters, and he was arguably the richest visual artist on earth.

Oct. 2, 1958 - Hanna & Barbera’s "The Huckleberry Hound Show" debuts.

Oct. 3, 1955 - The Mickey Mouse Club TV Show premiers. “Who’s the leader of
the Band that’s made for you and me...?”

Oct. 3, 1957 - Walter Lantz’s "The Woody Woodpecker T.V. Show" debuts.

Oct. 3, 1964 – “There’s no need to fear, Underdog is here!” Underdog debuts on NBC.

Oct. 5, 1969 - "Monty Python’s Flying Circus" debuts on British television BBC-1.

Oct. 7, 1993 - Steven Spielberg’s “Jurassic Park” with CG dinosaurs earned $712 million dollars in North American box office alone. A feat not equaled until "Titanic" five years later.

Oct. 8, 1933 - HOLLYWOOD ACTOR’S FIRST MASS PROTEST- When Franklin Roosevelt created the NRA to fix wages and prices to try and solve the Depression, he even went as far as to try to regulate Motion Picture rates and fees. The catch was the rates were drafted with the advice of friends of the studio heads in Washington. The actors went ballistic when they saw new rules such as a ceiling cap on actors salaries of $100,000 a year (the producers had no such cap), restriction of actors independent agents, and terms of an old salary contract would stay in effect even after the contract expired until it was renegotiated.

This night, at the El Capitan Theater on Hollywood Blvd., hundreds of movie stars met to draft a petition calling for rewriting of the codes. The activists included Paul Muni, Frederic March, Jeanette MacDonald, Groucho Marx and Boris Karloff. SAG president Frank Morgan (the Wizard of Oz) was considered politically too far left to face Roosevelt, so he stepped down in favor of comedian Eddie Cantor, who had helped Vaudeville acts unionize. Cantor went to the president’s retreat at Warm Springs Georgia with the petition and had the hated articles taken out of the code.

Oct 11, 1960 - "The Bugs Bunny Show" premiers on TV. “Overture, hit the lights! This is it, we’ll hit the heights, and oh what heights we’ll hit.....etc..”

Oct. 11, 1967 - The NY Times prints an image of a nude female by Bell Lab artist-in-residence Ken Knowlton. The image was rendered on a computer as a mosaic of thousands of numbers was a breakthrough for CGI.

Oct. 12, 1937 - Under pressure from parent Paramount Studio, Max Fleischer signs the first animation union contract and settles the Cartoonist strike begun May 8th. The following year, Fleischer tries to escape the union by moving his studio to Right-To-Work State Florida. The additional expenses and poor box office ruin his studio.

Oct 12, 1994 - Steven Spielberg, David Geffen and Jeffrey Katzenberg announce the partnership named Dreamworks SKG.

Oct. 13, 1978 - Mickey Mouse gets his star on Hollywood Blvd Walk of Fame.

Oct. 15, 1946 - Walt Disney’s film "Make Mine Music" premieres.

Oct. 16, 1923 - Walt Disney Studios Born. 22-year-old Walt and his older brother Roy sign a deal with M.J.Winkler for six “Alice in Cartoonland” short cartoons. Budget - $1,500 each.

Oct. 17, 1990 -, the Internet Movie Data Base, debuts.

Oct. 18, 1967 - Walt Disney’s last cartoon done under his supervision “The Jungle Book.” premieres. Disney had died the previous December.

Oct. 20, 1955 - J.R.R. Tolkein’s last book of the Lord of the Rings trilogy,
The Return of the King, publishes.

Oct. 22, 1941 - Walt Disney’s "Dumbo" premieres.

Oct. 24, 1947 - Walt Disney testifies to the House UnAmerican Activities Committee (HUAC) as a friendly witness. He accuses members of the Cartoonists Guild and the League of Women Voters, which he mistakenly calles the “League of Women Shoppers”, as being infiltrated by Communists “Seeking to subvert the Spirit of Mickey Mouse’.

Oct. 24, 1994 - Walt Disney TVA’s "Gargoyles" premieres.

Oct. 27, 1954 - Walt Disney breaks with other Hollywood movie studios, who feel television will cut into feature revenues, and debuted their TV show “Disneyland” today.

Oct. 27, 1966 - Bill Melendez "Peanuts" TV special “It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown” premieres.

Oct. 28, 1726 - Johnathan Swift publishes “Gulliver’s Travels” - “To Vex the World rather than divert it.”

Oct. 28, 1892 - Pauvre Pierrot, the first cartoon to be projected in France, premieres.

Oct. 29, 1969- THE BIRTH OF THE INTERNET- In the basement of UCLA’s Boelter Hall, Lick Licklider, Vincent Cerf, Robert Kahn, Lawrence Roberts and Bob Taylor set up the first call to Stanford. “We typed the ‘L’ and we asked on thephone‘Didyouseethe‘L’?’ ‘Yes,weseethe‘L’,wastheresponse.Thenwe typed O and asked ‘Did you see the O?’ ‘Yes, we see the O’, was the response. Then we typed G, and then the system crashed!” They called it ARPANET- Advanced Research Projects Agency-NET, a few years later, it became the Internet.

Oct. 30, 1994 - Nickelodeon premieres "Aaah! Real Monsters!"

Birthdays: Julie Andrews, Zack Galifianakis, Satoshi Kon, Harvey Kurtzman, Bill Keane, Art Babbitt, Guillermo Del Toro, Pete Doctor, Jodie Benson (voice of Ariel - Little Mermaid), Rod Scribner, Mike Judge, Virgil Partch, Jerry Siegel, Auguste Lumiere, Trey Parker, Jerry Ohrbach (voice of Lumiere – "Beauty and the Beast"), Mary Blair, Preston Blair, Bob Kane, Picasso, Bill Tytla, Seth McFarlane, Bernie Wrightson, Ralph Bakshi, Bill Mauldin, Ollie Johnston.


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