Monday, November 16, 2015

The President Emeritus Presents November's History Cavalcade

Time once again for Professor Tom Sito's Month in Animation (with, as is the custom, other things).


Nov. 1, 1968- To replace the outmoded Hays Production Code, the Motion Picture Ratings System is introduced- G, M, R, and X- Later PG, PG-13, and NC-17 replaced X.

Nov. 2, 2001- Pixar’s Monsters Inc. opens.

Nov. 2, 2012- Walt Disney’s Wreck-it Ralph premieres.

Nov. 3, 1977- Disney's original version of Pete's Dragon starring Helen Reddy and Red Buttons hits America's screens.

Nov. 3, 1981- WALLY WOOD was one of the most influential cartoonists of the 1950’s and 60’s. His amazing versatility enabled him to draw everything from superhero comics to very cartoony to playfully naughty comics like Sally Forth. He drew EC Comics, the Mars Attacks series, Mad Magazine, Weird Science, THUNDER Agents and much more. He had done an infamous drawing of the Disney characters having sex that brought down upon him the wrath of the Disney legal dept.

But hard living and deadlines took their toll. Suffering from a stroke, and failing kidneys, Wally Wood put a 44 cal pistol to his right temple and pulled the trigger. On this day police find his remains.

Nov. 5, 1937- Walt Disney's silly symphony The Old Mill debuts. The first film featuring the multiplane camera technique. (Snow White has its world premiere a month later.)

Nov. 5, 2004- Pixar's The Incredibles premieres. ...

Nov. 8, 1966- Doctors at St. Joseph's hospital remove one of Walt Disney’s cancerous lungs and discover the cancer has spread to his lymph nodes. They determine he does not have long to live.

Nov. 8, 1973- Walt Disney’s animated Robin Hood premieres.

Nov. 9, 2004- Mozilla-Firefox starts up.

Nov. 10, 1950- Paramount's "Mice Meeting You" The first Herman and Katnip cartoon.

Nov. 10, 1953- Disney’s short Toot Whistle, Plunk and Boom is released. Legend has it Walt was abroad when Ward Kimball pushed this experiment in the UPA style to completion. When Walt first sees it, the short is without credits. He turns to Kimball and says, “Aren’t you glad we don’t do crap like that?”

TWPaB wins an Oscar.

Nov. 10. 1969- The children’s education show SESAME STREET premieres on PBS TV. The world is introduced to Bert & Ernie, Cookie Monster, Grover, Big Bird and Mr Hooper. And SS employs a lot of animators.

Nov. 11, 1978- The renovated Hollywood Sign is unveiled. The second O was paid for by rock star Alice Cooper in memory of his idol, Groucho Marx.

Nov. 11, 1992- Premiere of Walt Disney’s Aladdin.

Nov 12, 1937- Alan Turing delivers his famous paper "On Computable Numbers, with an Application to the Entscheidungsproblem" at Kings College, Cambridge.

In it he postulates on the ability to create a "universal machine" that uses numbers to solve problems and could be re-programable for different tasks. In his day they were called Turing Machines, but we know them now as Computers.

Nov. 12, 1946- Walt Disney's "Song of the South" .

Nov. 13,1940- Walt Disney's 'Fantasia' premiered. As Walt put it, "This'll make Beethoven!" Frank Lloyd

Wright's opinion was 'I love the visuals, but why did you use all that old music?"

Nov. 13, 1971- Walt Disney’s The Aristocats opened.

Nov. 13, 1978- Mickey Mouse got his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Nov. 13, 1986- Directors John Huston and Woody Allen join Martin Scorcese to denounce the fad promoted by Ted Turner of computer-colorizing classic Black & White films like the Maltese Falcon.

Nov. 13, 1991- Disney's animated film Beauty and the Beast opens, the first animated film ever nominated for a Best Picture Oscar.

Nov. 14, 1922- Happy Birthday B.B.C., the British Broadcasting Companies first radio service 2LO goes on the air with general election results.

Nov. 14, 1967- Jack Warner, the last surviving Warner Brother, sells out his stake of Warner Bros and it’s huge film library to a Canadian company called Seven Arts.

Nov, 14, 1998- Pixar's A Bugs Life premieres.

Nov. 15, 1881- The American Federation of Labor AF of L formed under the leadership of former cigar-maker Samuel Gompers. In 1951 they merge with the CIO.

Nov. 15, 1907- The comic strip Mutt & Jeff debuts. The strip was so popular that it’s creator Harry “Bud“ Fisher becomes a celebrity and negotiats the first large backend deal. He builds an animation studio, but spends all the profits on partying with showgirls.

Nov. 15, 1920- The League of Nations holds its first meeting in Geneva.

Nov. 15, 1926- FIRST NETWORK BROADCAST- NBC hooks up 20 cities across America and Canada for a radio program "The Steinway Hour" with Arthur Rubinstein.

Nov. 15, 1934- Animator Bill Tytla starts work at Walt Disney's on a trial basis for $150 a week. He would create Grumpy the Dwarf, The Devil in Fantasia and the little elephant Dumbo.

Nov. 15, 1965- Walt Disney announces he plans to build a second Disneyland, this time in Orlando Florida.

Nov. 15, 1989- Walt Disney Productions' The Little Mermaid debuts.

Nov. 16, 1946- The Television Academy of Arts and Sciences founded. Fred Allen once said: "We call television a Medium because nothing on it is Rare or Well Done."

Nov. 16, 1952- The first time in a "Peanuts" comic strip where Lucy pulls away the football as Charlie Brown is attempting to kick it.

Nov. 16, 1960- CLARK GABLE DIES- The 59-year-old star had just completed the film The Misfits, a film in which director John Huston demanded a great deal of physical exertion. He had told his agent that the unprofessional antics of his moody co-star Marilyn Monroe had driven him so nuts “ That dame is going to give me a heart attack!”

Gable had one after shooting, and on this day while convalescing in Hollywood Presbyterian Hospital reading a magazine, a second heart attack kills him. He writes his own epitaph, but it's never used: "Oh Well, Back to Silents."

Nov. 16, 1990- Disney’s feature film The Rescuers Down Under premieres. The first traditionally animated film to be painted digitally on computer instead of acetate cels and paints.

Nov. 17, 1978- "The Star Wars Holiday Special", a two-hour variety show on CBS, with Harrison Ford, Beatrice Arthur and Nelvanas animated cartoon.

Nov 17, 1989- Don Bluth's animated film "All Dogs Go to Heaven." premiered.

Nov. 17,1993- The US Congress votes for the free trade, job-killing bill called NAFTA.

Nov. 18,1902- THE TEDDY BEAR BORN - The Washington Evening Star published a story of how

President Teddy Roosevelt while hunting couldn't bring himself to shoot a grizzly bear cub. Cartoonist Cliff Berryman illustrated the incident with one of his signature “dingbat” bear cubs in a gesture of “oh no!” Brooklyn toymaker Morris Mitchcom sewed a doll from the illustration in the newspaper and sent the first one to the White House.

Nov. 18, 1928- HAPPY BIRTHDAY MICKEY MOUSE- At Universal’s Colony Theater in New York, Walt Disney’s cartoon "Steamboat Willie" debuts before a movie called Gang War It's the first major sound cartoon success and the official birth of Mickey Mouse. Two earlier silent Mickey's had been done, but they're held back when the sound experiment goes ahead.

Nov. 18, 1985- Bill Watterson’s comic strip Calvin & Hobbs debuted.

Nov. 18, 1988- Disney’s Oliver & Company released.

Nov. 19, 1959- Jay Ward's TV show Rocky and his Friends debuts.

Nov. 19, 2007- Disney’s The Enchanted premieres.

Nov. 21, 2008- Walt Disney’s film Bolt premieres.

Nov. 22, 1888- According to Edgar Rice Burroughs, this is the birthday of the boy who would become Tarzan.

Nov. 22, 1995- Pixar’s Toy Story opens, the first all-CG movie, and the first true CG hit.

Nov. 23, 1952 - Animator Fred Moore, who drew Mickey Mouse in Fantasia and the Brave Little Tailor, dies from injuries incurred in an auto accident in the Big Tujunga Canyon area of Los Angeles. He is 41.

Nov. 23, 1960- The Hollywood Walk of Fame is dedicated, featuring over 1,500 names - but not Charlie Chaplin, who is banned until 1972 because of his alleged lefty political views.

Nov. 24, 1947- THE HOLLYWOOD BLACKLIST- 50 Hollywood moguls like Harry Cohn, Jack Warner and Dori Charey meet at the Waldorf Astoria in New York to formulate a group response to the House UnAmerican Activities Committee's anti-commie hearings that are targeting Hollywood. Besides the heat from the feds, their stockholders are clamoring for them to get the Reds out! They agree to enforce an industry-wide blacklisting of anyone refusing to cooperate with the HUAC Committee. Nothing was ever officially written down or published, but if you are blacklisted, you suddenly were unable to find any work.

Nov. 23, 1963- The very first episode of Dr. Who premieres on the BBC TV. (William Hartnell plays the first Dr. Who. There have been eleven doctors since.

Nov. 24, 1999- Pixar's Toy Story 2 in theaters.

Nov. 24, 2010- Disney’s Tangled is released. (The feature is over a decade in the making.)

Nov. 25, 1949- Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer, sung by Gene Autry, hits number one on the musical charts.

Nov. 25, 1997- Pixar's A Bug's Life and Geri’s Game premieres.

Nov. 25, 2009 Disney’s Princess and the Frog is released.

Nov. 26, 1939- The first Woody Woodpecker Cartoon, "Knock-Knock.’

Nov. 27, 1924- The first Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York. The marvel of the parade were large displays that moved down the street thanks to small automobiles concealed under them. They seemed to "float", so they are called parade floats . The huge balloons were added in 1927. Originally after the parade the balloons were let go to float away into the sky. Macy’s offered a bounty to people who found them after they landed, sometimes in rural New Jersey.

Nov. 27, 1933- Former Terrytoons animator Art Babbitt, now at Walt Disney's, writes to fellow animator Bill Tytla encouraging him to move to California. "Terry owes you a lot and Disney has plans for a full length color cartoon!"

Nov. 27, 1936- Max Fleischer's cartoon featurette, "Popeye meets Sinbad the Sailor".

Nov. 27, 2002- Disney’s “ Treasure Planet” opens.

Nov. 28, 1947- Disney's "Chip and Dale".

Nov. 29, 1915- In the first years of animated films, one artist like Winsor McCay drew everything. This day John Randolph Bray's "Colonel Heeza Liar in Africa" cartoon debuts. Bray adapted Henry Ford's assembly line system to making animation, creating the job positions of layout, background painter, inkers, cel painters, checkers and camera. After 1919 J. R. Bray shifted his studio’s focus from entertainment to technical and training films. Paul Terry, Walter Lantz, Max & Dave Fleischer and Shamus Culhane all got their start at Bray's.

Nov. 29, 1972- Atari introduces Pong, the first mass-marketed interactive game.

Nov. 30, 2003- Roy Disney Jr, the last serving member of the Disney family, is forced to resign from the Walt Disney Company. It was claimed to be the mandatory retirement policy, but more likely he is forced out by the exec he hired to run the company in 1984 - Michael Eisner. So Roy builds a successful grass roots stockholders campaign In 2005 Eisner is compelled to retire. Roy Disney then keeps an emeritus board position until his death in 2009.

[Roy Disney told me he resigned from the board because he had it on good authority that he was going to be pushed out. "I left before they could fire me." -- Steve Hulett]

Birthdays: Steve Ditko, Gustav Tennegren, Osamu Tezuka, Jim Cummings, Ben Sharpsteen, Ed Rehberg, Bram Stoker, William Hogarth, Carl Stalling, Tim Rice, Sue Kroyer, Russell Means, Tracy Morgan, Rodin, Cecil B. DeMille, Shamus Culhane, Edvard Munch, David Brain, Will Ryan, Zhang Yimou, Bill Melendez, Daws Butler, Lorne Michaels, Martin Scorcese, Ted Turner, Chester Gould, Ming Na, Bill Kroyer, Rodney Dangerfield, Terry Gilliam, Scarlett Johanssen, Boris Karloff, Billy Connolly, Charles Schulz, Bruce Lee, Katherine Bigelow, Jon Stewart, Randy Newman, Ridley Scott, Henry Selick.


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