Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Animation Fun Facts for Dec 18, 2018


Birthdays: King Phillip V of Spain (1683), Edith Piaf, Edwin Stanton, Thomas 'Tip' O'Neil, Cicely Tyson, Sir Ralph Richardson, Robert Urich, Robert Sherman, Jennifer Beals is 55, David Susskind, Fritz Reiner, Mel Shaw, Alyssa Milano is 46, Jake Gyllenhaal is 38

1732- The Pennsylvania Gazette announced the publication of a new enterprise by Dr. Benjamin Franklin writing under the penname Richard Saunders. The work was Poor Richard’s Almanac, an international best seller that made Franklin famous. 

1914- Earl Hurd patented animation 'cels' (celluloids) and backgrounds. Before this cartoonists tried drawing the background settings over and over again hundreds of times or slashed the paper around the character and tried not to have it walk in front of anything. By the late 1990’s, most cels & cel paint were been replaced by digital imaging. 

1918- Robert Ripley began his "Believe It Or Not"column in the New York Globe.

1926- The U.S. government passed a law that women authors can only legally copyright their works under their husband's names.

1932- BBC Overseas Service Radio broadcasts begin.

1957- The musical ‘The Music Man’starring Robert Preston first debuted. "Seventy Six Trom-bones in the Big Parade…"

1958- First airing of the Disneyland TV holiday special “ From All of Us, to All of You.”

1971- Stanley Kubrick’s ‘A Clockwork Orange’premiered. Based on a novel by Anthony Burgess. In America the film received an X Rating, more for the violence than the sexual situations. The sensation over the film caused so many incidents of urban violence, that with Kubrick’s permission, it was banned in England for three decades.

1974- The first personal computer went on sale. The Altair 8800, named for the planet in the 1955 sci-fi movie classic Forbidden Planet. The computer came in a kit that you had to build and it cost $397. The next year, two kids at Harvard named Bill Gates and Paul Allen created a programming language for it called BASIC.

1997- MTV dropped airing the rap song Smack My Bitch Up, by Prodigy.

2001- Peter Jackson’s film ‘The Lord of the Rings, the Fellowship of the Ring’first opened.



Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Animation Fun Facts for Dec 18, 2018


Birthdays: Antonio Stradivari, Karl Maria Von Weber, Ty Cobb, George Stevens, Ozzie Davis, Diane Disney-Miller, Anita O’Day, Paul Klee, Betty Grable, Willy Brandt, Keith Richards is 76, Leonard Maltin is 68, Alyssia Sanchez-Vaccario, Ray Liotta is 64, Katie Holmes is 40, Brad Pitt is 55, Steven Spielberg is 72

1812- The first volume of stories Children’s and Household Talesby the Brothers Grimm came out. The world learns of Rapunzel, Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty and Snow White.

1917- Universum-Film AG (UFA) was founded as a consolidation of private film companies in Berlin.

1919- in France, composer Cole Porter married divorcee Linda Thomas. They stayed together all their long lives even though she knew that he preferred male companions.

1937- Mae West does a comedy routine on national broadcast radio with Don Ameche about Adam and Eve that was considered so racy CBS banned her from their network.

1939-Max Fleischer's animated classic “Gulliver's Travels”.

1956- TV Game show To Tell the Truth made its debut. Bud Collier hosting, and panelists like Kitty Carlisle, Bennett Cerf, Orson Bean and Dorothy Killgallen as panelists.

1960- A young, eccentric man named Jerry Garcia was dishonorably discharged from the U.S. Army. He had done things like drive a tank into a field then walk away. He had been AWOL 8 times in one year. After leaving the army, Jerry Garcia became a hippie musician in San Francisco. In 1966 formed the rock band the Grateful Dead.

1961-" In the Jungle, the mighty jungle, the lion sleeps to-night…a winoweh, etc. " this song by the Tokens goes to #1 in pop charts.

1964- DePatie-Freleng’s The Pink Phink, the first Pink Panther cartoon short.

1966- Chuck Jone's 'How the Grinch Stole Christmas'premiered.

1975- Rod Stewart announced he was leaving the band Faces, for a solo singing career.

1978- SAG strikes Hollywood again for residuals. (again...)

1983- Jean Shephard’s The Christmas Storyopened to tepid acclaim and weak box office, but soon became an annual holiday classic. On Christmas Day many TV stations play it 24 hours straight.

1984- Christopher Guest married Jamie Lee Curtis at Rob Reiner’s house .

1984- Pixar’s first short The Adventures of Andre and Wally-Breleased in theaters. Directed by Alvy Ray Smith and animated by John Lasseter.

1997- Comedian Chris Farley was found dead in his Chicago apartment in the John Hancock Tower, surrounded by empty food containers and porn magazines. The chubby 31-year-old had been partying for 17 straight hours doing cocaine, heroin, vodka and crystal-meth. His last words were to an exhausted prostitute:" Please don’t leave me.” Farley idolized the late John Belushi, who had also died of drugs and hard living at age 31. One writer recalled once a drunken Farley turned to him and asked:" Do you think Belushi is in heaven?"


1988- Don Bluth’s The Land Before Timeopened.

2015- Star Wars VII, The Force Awakensopened. J.J. Abrams reboot of the old Star Wars franchise became a box office phenomenon. It earned $247 million in its opening weekend, and ended way over a billion and a half dollars.


Monday, December 17, 2018

Animation Fun Facts for Dec 17, 2018


Birthdays: Paracelsus (otherwise known as Nicholas Paracelsus Theophrastus Bombastus Von Hohenheim) the father of modern medical diagnosis, Antonio Cimmarosa, William Lyon Mackensie-King, Arthur Fiedler, Bob Guccione, William Safire, Cal Ripken Sr., Ford Maddox-Ford, Erskine Caldwell, Tommy Steele, Pope Francis I, Bill Pullman is 65, Eugene Levy is 72, Giovanni Ribisi is 44, Armin Mueller-Stahl is 88, Wes Studi, Sean Patrick Thomas, Mila Jovovich is 43, Bart Simpson is 29.

1843- Charles Dickens "A Christmas Carol: A Ghost Story for Christmas" first published. In the 18th century and earlier the Christmas celebration was a more rowdy affair with public drinking, marching around in costumes “mummery” and mayhem more resembling Mardi Gras. 
The popularity of Dickens story of Scrooge, Marley and Tiny Tim did much to help Victorians change the nature of the Christmas celebration to a more intimate observance centered on the family. Charles Dickens said he wrote the book to make some money. Had two flops and wanted to capitalize on the new fashion for family Christmas celebrations around the tree, from by the example set by the royal family of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert.

1865- Schubert's Unfinished Symphony (#8) received it's world premiere. In 1822 Schubert wrote the first two movements and 8 measures for the 3rd (Scherzo), then forgot about it when he died in 1828. A friend kept the manuscript in a closet for 43 years.

1892- Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s ballet “The Nutcracker” premiered at the Imperial Ballet in Saint Petersburg. One child dancer playing a candy cane in that first performance was a Georgian boy named Gyorgi Balavadajze- later American choreographer George Balanchine.

1955- Carl Perkins awoke in the middle of a bad nights sleep and wrote Blue Suede Shoes, the first song to be a hit in Country, R&B and Rock n’ Roll charts simultaneously, especially when sing by Elvis Presley” Well you can knock me down, step on ma face, etc.”

1963- Americans began to hear on their transistor radios a new sound from a band in England named the Beatles. “ I wanna hold your hand”  becomes a big hit and heralds the British rock invasion in 1964. 

1969- Tiny Tim, the campy, ukulele strumming crooner, married his Miss Vicky, or Victoria Budinger live on the Tonight Show with Johnny Carson.



1969- Walt Disney re-released Fantasia,and it was embraced by hippy stoners who liked to get high during screenings, Disney did a black-lite poster for it. It was the first time the 1940 film had ever made a profit. 

1989- After appearing in some interstitial shorts on the variety Tracey Ullman Show, The Simpsonsfirst premiered as a regular TV series.

1999- The film Stuart Littlepremiered. 


Sunday, December 16, 2018

Animation Fun Facts for Dec 16, 2018


 Birthdays: Ludwig Van Beethoven, Catherine of Aragon (Henry VIII's wife number one), Marshal Gerbhard von Blucher, Lenoid Brezhnev, Jane Austen, Margaret Mead, Noel Coward, George Santayanna, Liv Ullmann is 80, Steve Bochco, Leslie Stahl. Quentin Blake- dean of British illustrators favored by Roald Dahl, Arthur C. Clarke, Philip K. Dick, Miranda Otto is 51.


1900 -EARLY ANIMATED FILM "ENCHANTED DRAWINGS', James Stuart Blackton was a New York World cartoonist who used to do a vaudeville act in drag. He came to do an article on Thomas Edison then Edison put him on the payroll. He created this and several other trickfilms. It doesn’t move much more than his vaudeville lightning drawing act, His 1906 film Humorous Phases of Funny Faces is considered the first animated cartoon.

1905- Variety magazine born. 

1913- Young English music hall actor named Charlie Chaplin got a job at Keystone Studios in Hollywood. His first film he would play a villain.

1935- Hollywood movie star Thelma Todd found dead in her car in her garage in Malibu She was 30. She was a sexy comedienne who starred with Laurel & Hardy, Buster Keaton and the Marx Brothers. She loved to party so much she was nicknamed "Hot Toddy". She knew New York mobster Lucky Lucciano. Was she done in by the mob, her jealous director boyfriend, was it a suicide or did she just pass out drunk in her car garage with the motor running? The mystery’s never been answered.

1966- The Jimi Hendrix Experience released the song ‘Hey Joe’.

1966- Sergio Leone’s epic Spaghetti Western, The Good, The Bad and the Uglypremiered in Rome. The last of the Man with No Name trilogy. Clint Eastwood never worked with Leone again. 

1971- Don McClean released the long version of the song ‘American Pie’.

1978- The Disney short The Small One, directed by Don Bluth. 

1980- Colonel Harland Sanders, the Kentucky Fried Chicken founder, died.

1988- Shockjock Howard Stern is fined $100,000 by the FCC for having on his radio show a man who could play the piano with his penis.

1993- Producer Aaron Spelling fired star Shannon Dougherty off the TV soap Beverly Hills 90210.

1999- Julie Andrews, star of Mary Poppins and The Sound of Music, sued New York’s Mount Sinai Hospital for destroying her singing voice during a routine throat operation. 

2009- Roy E. Disney died, the Walt Disney nephew who oversaw the animation resurgence of the 1990s. 


Saturday, December 15, 2018

Animation Fun Facts for Dec. 15, 2018


Birthdays: Roman Emperor Nero, Roman Emperor Lucius Verus who was known for little else but his really swell haircut, Gustav Eiffel, J. Paul Getty, Jeff Chandler, Alan Freed, Ernie Pintoff, Tim Conway is 85, Helen Slater, Neil DeGrasse-Tyson, Don Johnson is 69, Julie Taymor is 66

1815- Giacomo Rossini received the commission to write a new opera based on Beaumarchais’ play the Marriage of Figaro- The Barber of Seville.

1893-Czech composer Anton Dvorak premiered a symphony he wrote while living in the Minnesota. The New World Symphony.

1939- The gala premiere of Gone with The Windat the Loews Grand Theater in Atlanta Georgia. Clark Gable and Vivien Leigh flew out from Hollywood and the Governor of Georgia declared it a state holiday. Clark Gable called Margaret Mitchell “ The most fascinating woman I ever met.” Hattie McDaniel, the first black woman to win an Oscar for her portrayal, was not invited to the premiere.

1941- Lena Horne recorded her signature tune “Stormy Weather.”

1943- In Harlem jazz great Fats Waller died of alcoholism and heart failure. He was 39.

1954-“Davy Crockett, Indian Fighter” starring Fess Parker was featured on the Walt Disney TV show for the first time. The show created a mania for little kids, all wanting coonskin caps. “ Born on a mountaintop in Tenn- Ah- See..”

1966- Walt Disney died at age 65. He was alone in the room at Saint Joseph's when he died. His brother Roy had been in earlier rubbing his legs. On his desk, scribbled on a piece of paper the name- Kurt Russell. A heavy cigarette smoker- his favorites were Malboro and French Gitanes- he suffered from lung cancer and respiratory failure. Contrary to the legend that he's cryogenically frozen in a room in the Sleeping Beauty Castle at Disneyland, he was cremated and interred at Forest Lawn. 


1974- Mel Brooks film Young Frankensteinopened.


1978- Superman the Movie opened in theaters. Richard Donner directed, and it made a star of Christopher Reeve. 

1985- Sylvester Stallone married model Birgit Neilsson. 


Friday, December 14, 2018

Animation Fun Facts for Dec 14, 2018


Birthdays: 1553-King Henry IV of Navarre, Tycho Brahe, Nostradamus -Michel de Notre Dame-1503, English King George VI- 1895, Spike Jones the bandleader, Morey Amsterdam, Charlie Rich, Gen. Jimmy Doolittle, Lee Remick, Patty Duke, Adult film star Ginger Lynn,Clark Terry- trumpeter. Cecil Pay, Saxophonist, Jane Birkin "Je t'aime moi non plus" is 71.


1871- Verdi's opera "Aida" debuts in Cairo.


1913-   Cartoonist Johnny Gruelle entertained his dying daughter by making up stories involving her rag dollies. After her passing, friends urged Gruelle to publish them. The RAGGEDY ANN & ANDY stories are born.

1924- Ottorino Respighi ‘s stirring rhapsody The Pines of Rome premiered.

1934- March of the Wooden Soldiers, the Hal Roach version of Babes in Toyland with Laurel & Hardy opened. 

1944- Hollywood starlet Lupe Velez, the "Mexican Spitfire' committed suicide.  

1944- The film National Velvet premiered, making a star out of 12 year old Elizabeth Taylor.

1957- Hanna Barbera's first TV cartoon "Ruff and Ready" premieres.

1970- George Harrison’s single My Sweet Lord went gold.

1977- DISCO! The movie Saturday Night Fever starring John Travolta and the music of the Bee Gees make the Disco dancing scene a national craze.

1979- STUDIO 54 RAIDED- The Internal Revenue Service busted the worlds most notorious disco club. Formerly the hangout of Andy Warhol, Bianca Jagger, Truman Capote and other “Beautiful People”, now the Feds were on to them. The IRS seized doctored account books, cocaine and undeclared cash, landing the owners in jail and bringing the celebrity playlands days to an end. 

1983- Disney Studio released the short film Frankenweenie, done by a weird young artist named Tim Burton.

2015- Hollywood premiere for J.J. Abrams reboot of the Star Wars franchise, Star Wars the Force Awakens.

2017- Rupert Murdoch sold off much of the Twentieth Century Fox Studio to Walt Disney for $66 billion.

Thursday, December 13, 2018

ANIMATION FUN FACTS FOR DEC 13, 2018


Birthdays: Heinrich Heine, Mary Todd Lincoln, Dick Van Dyke is 93, Mike Mosley, Darryl Zanuck Jr., George Schulz, Christopher Plummer is 89, Steve Buscemi is 62, Jamie Fox is 49, Lynn Holly Johnson, Wendy Malick, Taylor Swift is 29.

1895- Gustav Mahlers 2ndSymphony “Resurrection” premiered.

1928- Leopold Damrosch conducted the premiere of George Gershwin's -"An American in Paris."

1936- At the urging of New Yorker editor Harold Ross to find a better line of work, actor Dave Chasen opened Chasen's restaurant in Beverly Hills, which catered to Hollywood stars for 60 years. It is the restaurant where Leopold Stokowski was introduced to Walt Disney and as a result they conceived "Fantasia". Humphrey Bogart, John Huston and Lauren Bacall met upstairs to discuss the Blacklist of 1947. Elizabeth Taylor ordered Chasen’s chili flown out to Rome so she could eat it on the set of Cleopatra. The restaurant closed in 1995 because the Chasen family wanted to cash in on the choice real estate. Today it is a supermarket.
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1940- Fleischer Popeye cartoon "Eugene the Jeep" .The Thimble Theater character would give its name to the new army General Purpose vehicle- G.P. or "Jeep".

1951- One of the legendary Hollywood producers was Walter Wanger- starting in 1921 his films included The Sheik, Stagecoach, Queen Christina, Invasion of the Body Snatchers, Silk Stockings andCleopatra.His wife was beautiful starlet Joan Bennett, but at this time she had taken a lover. On this day Wanger surprised Hollywood by pulling out a gun and shooting his wife's lover in the nads right in the MCA studio parking lot. In true Hollywood fashion Wanger got off, sentenced to just a few months in an honor ranchero compound and was soon back to work. Contributors to pay his legal fees included the Jack Warner, Walt Disney and Sam Goldwyn. The boyfriend, Jennings Lang, recovered and later became an executive producer of comedies like House Calls. 

1961- Jimmy Dean’s folk ballad Big Bad John went to #1 of the country charts. Later Dean had his own TV variety show and started Jimmy Dean’s Pure Pork Sausage Company.

1969- Arlo Guthrie’s hit song Alice’s Restaurantreleased.


1971- Disney’s film Bedknobs and Broom Sticks opened.

1996- In Terry Gilliams’ sci-fi apocalypse epic the Plague of the 12 Monkeys was unleashed today, a virus that killed 4/5ths of the world’s population and drove the remainder underground.