Welcome to our second edition of This Week in Disney History!
March 30th, 1913:
Marc Davis, one of Walt’s “Nine Old Men” is born in Bakersfield, CA! He will go on to create such memorable characters as Snow White, Sleeping Beauty, & Cruella DeVil. Marc will also play a key role in the development of many theme park attractions such as Pirates of the Caribbean and the Haunted Mansion. (Part of his work in the Haunted Mansion is the original Stretching Portraits, my personal favorite!)
March 31st, 1958:
The 306-foot long diorama of the Grand Canyon is added to the Disneyland Railroad between the Tomorrowland and Main Street stations. The painting (by motion picture artist & designer Delmer J. Yoakum) has been done on a special seamless canvas, which required 4,800 manhours to complete, using 300 gallons of paint in 14 colors! The diorama, which includes taxidermic animals (the only ones in the park) in lifelike poses, is the longest in the world. (In 1966, the diorama will be expanded with a prehistoric theme – shipped in from Disney’s World’s Fair Magic Skyway.)
April 1st, 1983:
Walt Disney Pictures is incorporated as a separate company responsible for the development, production & marketing of all live action films, and commercial television programming.
April 2nd, 1930
Clarabelle Cow makes her first appearance in the Mickey Mouse comic strip.
Also on April 2nd of 1943…
Two characters debut in Disney’s ‘Private Pluto’ who will later be named “Chip and Dale”. My two favorite guys!
April 3rd, 1953:
Walt Disney signs a contract that will change the face of entertainment forever. The two-page document gives Walt Disney Incorporated the rights and license to use Disney’s name for all commercial purposes. By signing this document, Walt will make possible the Disneyland theme park and later such TV series as Walt Disney Presents and The Wonderful World of Disney.
April 4th, 1960
Ub Iwerks wins an Oscar (Scientific or Technical Class III) for the design of an optical printer for special effects.
April 5th, 1965
Julie Andrews wins the Oscar for Best Actress for her roll in “Mary Poppins”. The film (which was nominated for 13 Oscars) also wins for Best Song “Chim Chim Cher-ee”, Best Musical Score, Film Editing, and Special Effects. Ub Iwerks, Petro Vlahos, and Wadsworth Pohl also win the award for Scientific or Technical Class I for the conception & perfection of techniques for color Traveling Matte Composite Cinematography used in Mary Poppins.
Thanks for reading! Check back in next Tuesday for another edition of “This Week in Disney History”!