Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Animation Fun Facts for Oct. 26, 2016

Birthdays: Danton, Leon Trotsky, Vladimir “Bill” Tytla - Disney animator who gave life to Dumbo, Grumpy and the Devil from Bald Mountain, Francois Mitterand, Domenico Scarlatti, Charles W. Post of Post Cereals, Bob Hoskins, The last Shah of Iran Mohammed Reza Pahlevi, Mahalia Jackson, Clive Barker, Bootsie Collins, Marla Maples, Count Helmuth Von Molkte the Elder -German strategist of the Franco-Prussian War, Dylan McDermott, Cary Elwes, Jaclyn Smith, Hilary Rodham Clinton, Seth McFarlane, and Pat Sito!

1947-HOLLYWOOD FIGHTS BACK.- Members of Hollywood's progressive elite tried to answer the McCarthy hearings and the blacklist with a nationwide radio broadcast "Hollywood Fights Back' -Starring Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall, Judy Garland, Katharine Hepburn, Danny Kaye, John Huston, Gene Kelly and Edward G. Robinson.
 The event was a public relations fiasco. Nobel laureate Thomas Mann used his airtime to launch into a longwinded intellectual defense of Communism. When word reached them that some of the Hollywood writers they were defending really were communists Bogart and Bacall felt they had been hoodwinked. "As politicians we stink!" quote Bogie.

1952- David Wolper’s documentary Victory at Sea, with it’s majestic score by Richard Rogers first premiered.

1955- The Greenwich Village Voice, later called simply The Voice, first published.

1957- Vatican Radio began broadcasting.

1965- The rock band the Beatles received MBEs ( most excellent Member of the British Empire ) medals at Buckingham Palace.  John Lennon later returned his as a protest.

1970- Doonesbury born. Yale law graduate Gary Trudeau was convinced by Jim Andrews his classmate now an editor at Universal Press syndicate, to recreate his funny comic he did in the campus newspaper. It's original name was 'Bull Tales".

1984-" I’LL BE BACK…" James Cameron’s sci-fi thriller THE TERMINATOR first released. Arnold Schwarzenegger was considered a Hollywood joke before this film made him a major star.  An interesting what-if, was that before Arnold was cast in the role of the cyborg assassin, the producers were first considering O.J. Simpson.

1985- The original date Marty McFly time travels from in the film Back to the Future.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Animation Fun Facts for Oct. 25, 2016

Birthdays: Pablo Picasso, George Bizet, Johann Strauss Jr., Bobby Knight, Helen Reddy  Minnie Pearl, Whit Bissell, Lyle Lovett. Leo G. Carroll, Bill Barty the famous Little Person celebrity, John Matusak, Julia Roberts , 

Tyrus Wong is 106!

1903- New York’s New Amsterdam Theater opened with a gala performance of A Midsummer’s Night Dream. The New Amsterdam boasted all Art Nouveau decoration, the first theater in a steel girdered building and a new style of floating balcony that didn’t obstruct the view with support pillars, an effect to be copied by movie houses throughout the world. The Great Ziegfield staged his great Follies there and in the rooftop garden theater for only the cream of New York society. The theater fell into decrepitude and in the 1970’s was a porno house, but the Walt Disney Company restored it to it’s Gilded Age glory in 1996.

1917- Sir Arthur Conan-Doyle, the creator of Sherlock Holmes, in a lecture announced his firm belief in spiritualism, divination, and communication with the dead. He called it The New Revelation. “The chasm between this life and the next is not insurmountable.” Other British intellects think Sir Arthur had gone a bit potty.

Monday, October 24, 2016

Animation Fun Facts for Oct 24, 2016

Birthdays: Roman Emperor Domitian, Bob Kane the creator of Batman, Antoni van Lewuenhoek- the founder of Microbiology, Moss Hart, Jiles Perry Richardson better known as the Big Bopper, F. Murray Abrahams is 75, Enkwase Mfume, Y.A. Tittle, Sara Josepha Hale 1788- who wrote the poem "Mary Had a Little Lamb", animator Preston Blair, Kevin Kline is 68

1902- Author Arthur Conan-Doyle was knighted by King Edward VII. He received the award not for his literary accomplishments but for his doctor volunteer services during the just concluded Boer War. 

1937- At Piping Springs NY, composer Cole Porter suffered an accident while horseback riding that broke both his legs. Even after 26 operations he never regained their full use and one leg was amputated in 1958.

1947- Walt Disney testified to the House UnAmerican Activities Committee (HUAC) as a friendly witness. He accused members of the Cartoonists Guild and the League of Women Voters –which he mistakenly called the League of Women Shoppers, as being infiltrated by Communists "Seeking to subvert the Spirit of Mickey Mouse'.

1948- In-N-Out, the first drive-through restaurant opened in Baldwin Park California. It’s still in business today, selling only burgers, shakes, and fries, pretty much like they did back then.

1969- Godfather Producer Robert Evans married young actress Ali McGraw.

1975- The musical play A Chorus Line opened.

1994- Disney TV series Gargoyles premiered.

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Animation Fun Facts for Oct. 23, 2016

Birthdays; Johnny Carson, Adlai Stevenson, Pele,  Zioniev, Weird Al Yankovic, Dwight Yoakham, Michael Crichton, Chi-Chi Rodriquez, Phillip Kaufman, porn star Jasmine St. Claire, Gummo Marx, Ang Lee is 62, Ryan Reynolds is 40, Sam Raimi is 57

1928- A financial consortium led by Wall St. banker-bootlegger Joseph Kennedy Sr. buys the Keith Albee theater circuit and merged it with the Radio Company and the Orpheum theaters to form Radio-Keith-Orpheum or RKO pictures. After Joe Kennedy met with the other Hollywood moguls he told a friend :”They’re all a bunch of Austrian Pants Pressers! I can take their businesses away from them!” Kennedy made a quick killing then got out of the picture business in 1930, just before the Depression dropped his studios stock value. RKO made films like King Kong, Fort Apache and Citizen Kane before merging into Desilu in 1957.

1940- Shooting on the film Citizen Kane wrapped.

1941- Walt Disney’s Dumbo premiered.

1971-Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida opened.

2001- Apple Computers launched the i-pod.

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Animation Fun Facts for Oct 22, 2016

Birthdays: Sarah Bernhardt, Timothy Leary, Franz Liszt is 204, Doris Lessing, Joan Fontaine, Derek Jacobi, Christopher Lloyd is 78, Annette Funicello, Brian Boitano, Curly Howard of the Three Stooges, Catherine Deneuve is 73, Spike Jonze is 47.

1883- First performance at the New York Metropolitan Opera House. It was Gounod’s Faust with soprano Christine Nillson and tenor Italo Campanini.

1938-THE BIRTHDAY OF THE XEROX COPY- Chester Carlson working with an amateur chemistry set behind a beauty parlor in Astoria Queens created the first photo copy. He took his invention to Edison, G.E., RCA and IBM who all rejected it. Finally a little firm that produced photographic paper for Kodak called the Haloid Company bought it. They later changed their named to Xerox.

1962- Twentieth Century Fox chief Daryl Zanuck fired long suffering director Joe Mankiewicz off of the editing of the spectacle Cleopatra. Mankiewicz had shot a 6 hour movie he wanted shown as two films. Zanuck wanted one big movie at half that size. After a lot of embarrassing feuding in the press, Zanuck rehired Mankiewicz and he recut Cleopatra, When Elizabeth Taylor saw the finished film, she threw up.
Cleopatra became one of the biggest disasters in Hollywood History.

Friday, October 21, 2016

Animation Fun Facts for Oct 21, 2016

Birthdays: Katushika Hokusai, Dizzy Gillespie, Whitey Ford, Alfred Nobel, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Mary Blair, Carrie Fisher is 60, Patty Davis (Reagan's daughter), Benjamin Netanyahu, Sir Malcolm Arnold, Manfred Mann, Sir Georg Solti, Angus McFadyen, Ken Watanabe is 567, Kim Kardasian is 36.

1932- The film Red Dust premiered. It made stars out of Clark Gable and Jean Harlow.

1959- Six months after the death of Frank Lloyd Wright his last creation the Guggenheim Museum in New York City opened.

1969- Beat Generation author of On the Road- Jacques Kerouac died of alcoholism and stomach bleeding, a pencil and pad on his lap. He grew bitter about how his call for youth rebellion had been reinterpreted by the 60's generation as hippies and flower power. When he came upon a gathering of kids at an anti-war rally distributing American flags to burn, Kerouac collected them all and folded them neatly.

1972- Curtis Mayfield’s soundtrack theme to the movie “Superfly” debuted at Number #1 in the Billboard charts.

2003- The Great California Brush Fires. Hot dry wind and a lost hunter ignited the worst brush fires in California history. Ten fires from Ventura County north of Los Angeles to Tijuana Mexico burned hundreds of thousands of acres for two weeks, destroyed 3000 homes and killed 20. The smoke clouds were visible from space.

2015- According to Robert Zemeckis 1989 film Back to the Future II, all the events Marty McFly and Doc Brown experience in the future occur on this date. Got your hoverboard, yet?

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Animation Fun Facts for Oct 20, 2016

Birthdays: Sir Christopher Wren, Bela Lugosi (born Bela Blasgow from Lugosz), Charles Ives, Arthur Rimbaud, Daniel Sickles, Black Panther Bobby Seale, Juan Marichal, Tom Petty, Art Buchwald, Arlene Francis, Grandpa Jones, Mickey Mantle, Frank Churchill, Thomas Newman, Jerry Ohrbach, Rex Ingram, Dr. Joyce Brothers, Michael Dunn, Snoop Dogg (born Calvin Broadus Jr) is 45, Danny Boyle is 60, Viggo Mortensen is 58

1921- Rudolf Valentino starred in The Sheik, which premiered today.

1939- Frank Capra’s film “Mr Smith Goes to Washington” opened.

1947- 'ARE YOU NOW OR HAVE YOU EVER BEEN...' Judge J. Parnell Thomas banged the gavel opening the House Committee on UnAmerican Activites investigation into Communist infiltration into the Motion Picture Business. HUAC was set up in 1938 as the Dies Committee to keep an eye on pro-Nazis groups operating in German and Italian immigrant organizations, but by 1944 it's emphasis had switched to Communist espionage. Investigations of the army or top civil servants like Dean Acheson was dull stuff, New Deal hating conservatives knew investigating Hollywood would yield the big headlines and jazz up public interest. 
Jack Warner, Louis B. Mayer, Ronald Reagan and Walt Disney were the first in line to name names. Lucille Ball, Sterling Hayden, Zero Mostel, Ginger Rogers and Lloyd Bridges admitted they had once held communist party memberships. The anti-commie hysteria turned Hollywood inside out and the bitter feelings remained for the rest of their lives.

1955- Harry Belafonte recorded the Banana Boat Song, that made him a star. “ Come Mister Tally-Man, tally me banana…Dayo!”

1955- J.R.R. Tolkein’s last book of the Lord of the Rings published. The Return of the King.

1973- The Six Million Dollar Man with Lee Majors premiered.

1973- Sidney Australia’s Opera House was dedicated by Queen Elizabeth II.

1977- Lynyrd Skynyrd band members Ronnie Van Zandt and Steve Gaines died when their plane crashed into a swamp while en route to a concert at Louisiana University.

2013- Saving Mr. Banks with Tom Hanks as Walt Disney, premiered.