Welcome to the latest edition of “This Week in Disney History”!
April 13th, 1954
Winsor McCay Award-winning animator, storyboard artist and author Glen Keane (one of my all-time FAVES) is born in Arbington, Pennyslvania. Joining Disney in 1974, his interest in art had developed as a child by observing his father’s work as a cartoonist. Keane’s long list of Disney credits include such features as: The Rescuers, The Little Mermaid (the “Part of Your World” scene, yeah. That’s his.) Pocahontas, Aladdin, Tarzan, Tangled and the 4-D film park attraction Mickey’s PhilharMagic. (Glen is the son of Bil Keane, creator of the popular newspaper comic Family Circus.)
April 14th, 1934
Disney’s Silly Symphony cartoon “The Big Bad Wolf” is released. The Three Little Pigs team up with Little Red Ridinghood and her grandmother in defeating the Big Bad Wolf.
April 15th, 1983
Tokyo Disney opens in Japan, taking it’s place as the fourth Disney theme park.
April 16th, 1889
Charles Spencer Chaplin, Jr. (better known as Charlie Chaplin) is born in London England. One of the most creative and influential personalities in the silent film era, Chaplin had a prolific relationship with Walt Disney. He was caricatured in the 1936 Disney short Mickey’s Polo Team – which played in front of the premiere of Chaplin’s Modern Times, the final screen appearance of his Little Tramp character. Chaplin attended the Hollywood premiere of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs in 1937 and assisted Walt with financial advice in helping to determine what kind of proceeds should be earned from RKO (the distributor of Snow White). There was an intense mutual admiration between he and Walt, who both recognized similarities in each other’s work.
April 17th, 1964
Disney’s “Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln” exhibit is flown from California to New York for the upcoming World’s Fair. Unfortunately once in New York, the truck delivering the exhibit to the Illinois Pavilion is caught in heavy traffic around the Flushing Meadows area of Queens. The cause of traffic … A new ballpark and home to the New York Mets – is hosting their official opening day! The Mets lose to the Pirates 4-3, and Lincoln never makes it to the fair.
April 18th, 1969
Various musical cues are recorded at the Walt Disney Productions Recording Stage in California for Disneyland’s much anticipated Haunted Mansion attraction.
April 19th, 1987
Milt Kahl (one of Walt’s Nine Old Men) passes away in Mill Valley, CA. Milt was considered one of the finest draftsmen of the Disney animators, and contributed to Snow White, Pinocchio, Cinderella, and much more.
That’s all for this week! Stay tuned every Tuesday from now until the 60th Celebration for Disney History!