Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Animation Fun Facts for Feb 20, 2019



1925- Willis O’Brien’s silent movie The Lost Worldpremiered. Based on Conan-Doyles 1912 novel. The stop motion animation of dinosaurs and exploding volcanoes issued in a new era of special effects films. O'Brien later did King Kongand trained kids like Ray Harryhausen.

1936- The film “Follow the Fleet” premiered, with Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers.

1947- In a lecture to the London Mathematical Society, Computer pioneer Alan Turing said the best way to test the intelligence of a computer would be to teach it to play chess. Earliest reference to interactive gaming.

2005- First episode of Seth Green’s Robot Chickenpremiered on TV.


2006- The animated film Wallace & Gromet: Curse of the Were-Rabbit, won the British Academy Award (BAFTA) for the best British Film of the year. It beat out the Constant Gardner, and Pride & Prejudice. 

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Animation Fun Facts for Feb 19, 2019

Quiz: It’s been said America is now a nation dominated by plutocrats. What is a plutocrat?

Yesterdays’ question answered below: What is the Copernican Theory?
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HISTORY FOR 2/19/2019
Birthdays: Copernicus is 1542, Luigi Boccherini, Smokey Robinson, Andre Breton, Lee Marvin, Sir Cedric Hardwicke. Karen Silkwood, Paul Terry, Paul Krause, Merl Oberon, Amy Tam, John Frankenheimer, Jeff Daniels, Benicio Del Toro is 52, Hilary Duff


1878- Thomas Edison patented the phonograph.

1944- Writer John Steinbeck asked that his name be taken off of the credits for the Alfred Hitchcock film version of “Lifeboat”. “In view of the fact that my script for the picture was distorted in production.”

1951-Poet philosopher Andre Gide died in Paris. Several things were quoted as his last words, my favorite is " Before you quote me, please make sure I'm conscious."

1960- Bill Keane's "Family Circus" cartoon strip debuts.

1963- The book The Feminine Mystique was published. Betty Freidan’s analysis of contemporary women’s issues is considered the first shot of the modern Women’s Movement.

1968- “ It’s a beautiful day in the Neighborhood…” Mister Roger’s Neighborhood debuted on National Education Television, later called PBS. Ordained Presbyterian minister Fred Rogers had been doing children’s shows similar in Pittsburgh and Canada since the 50’s, but today was the start of his national show. It would run unchanged for thirty-five years.

1995- Shapely actress Pamela Anderson married rocker Tommy Lee. On their honeymoon they shot an explicit sex tape on Lake Powell, that leaked onto the internet, becoming the first viral video. By 2000, one sixth of everything viewed on the world-wide web was about Pamela Anderson.


1990- ILM VFX artist John Knoll helped his brother grad student Tom Knoll create a surfacing and paint system for home use. Adobe bought it and today released it as Photoshop.

Sunday, February 17, 2019

Animation Fun Facts for Feb 18, 2019


Birthdays: Queen Mary I Tudor -Bloody Mary, Pietro Guarnieri the violin maker, Harry Grover- Seeley one of the founders of Paleontology, Louis Tiffany, Andre Segovia, Wendell Wilkie, Billy de Wolfe, Enzo Ferrarri, Yoko Ono is 86, Jack Palance, Milos Forman, Bobby Bachman of the Bachman Turner Overdrive, Gahan Wilson, Johnny Hart, Matt Dillon is 55, John Travolta is 65, John Hughes, Dr. Dre

1885- Mark Twain's 'Adventures of Huckleberry Finn'published.

1888- The Hotel Coronado in San Diego Cal. opened for guests. It remains one of the largest remaining wood structures in the U.S. Several presidents stayed there, the Duke of Windsor met Wallis Simpson there, and films like the Marilyn Monroe film Some Like it Hot andThe Stuntmanwere shot there.


1950- First Mr. Magoo cartoon "Ragtime Bear".

1953- First 3-D stereoscopic movie,"B'wana Devil"starring Robert Stack.


Animation Fun Facts for Feb 17, 2019


Birthdays: Roman Emperor Constantine the Great, Montgomery Ward, Red Barber, Marian Anderson, C'haim Potok, Jim Brown, Rene Russo, Michael Bay, Jerry O’Connell, Cybil Shepard, Huey Newton, Lou Diamond Phillips is 57, Denise Richards is 48, Paris Hilton is 38, Michael Jordan is 56, Hal Holbrook is 94, Joseph Gordon Levitt is 50

1890- The Los Angeles City Council voted to change the name of their main street, called Fort Street because it led up to the old fort, to Broadway. 

1912- THE NEW YORK ARMORY SHOW-Mabel Dodge and Gertrude Stein introduced the American public to modern art. The first showings of Picasso, Matisse, Duchamp and the Italian futurists in the USA. The show was denounced as a "chamber of horrors" and Matisse was burned in effigy in Chicago. Marcel Duchamp's "Nude Descending a Staircase" was described by an art critic as "an explosion in a shingle factory".  Duchamp was highly gratified, I believe.

1925- First issue of Harold Ross’s The New Yorker magazine. 

1942- Ernst Lubitsch’s screwball comedy "To Be, Or Not To Be" debuted. Adolf Hitler enters a room and after everyone "Sieg Heil" salutes him, he responds "Heil Myself!" But the comedy flopped, in part because it’s female star Carole Lombard had died tragically in a plane crash just before the film opened.

1958 – Johnny Hart’s comic strip "BC" 1st appears.

1967 – The Beatles release "Penny Lane" & "Strawberry Fields"

1979- A Prairie Home Companion radio show starring Garrison Keilor was first broadcast nationally. It was a feature on Minnesota Public Radio since 1974. Garrison retired in 2016 and was accused of Me-Too sexual abuse shortly after.

1989- "Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure" premiered, starring the most excellent Keanu Reeves and Alex Winter. Whoah-Dude!

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Saturday, February 16, 2019

Animation Fun Facts for Feb 16, 2019


Birthdays: The Great Elector Frederick William of Brandenburg-Prussia, Henry Adams, Charles Taze Russell founder of the Jehovah’s Witnesses, Edgar Bergen, James Baskett, Sonny Bono, John MacEnroe, Frank Welker, John Schlesinger, Faith Hubley, Katherine Cornell, John Corligiano, Kim Jong Il, Levar Burton is 62, Ice-T is 61

1848- Frederic’ Chopin played his last concert in Paris. Slowly dying from tuberculosis, the 48 year old retired to the isle of Majorca, and died a year later.

1923- Bessie Smith made her first recording-"Downhearted Blues". 

1978- The first computer bulletin board goes on live. Two guys from Chicago named Ward Christensen and Randy Seuss built a Computerized Bulletin Board System that was an S-100 motherboard and CP/M, and a Hayes 300 baud modem. It still runs to this day, but the Internet has taken the place that BBS's used to have.


1987-"Family Dog" episode on Steven Spielberg’s Amazing Stories show. The first direction by Brad Bird.

1994- Apple announced the introduction of the digital camera, the first camera that needed no film but could load images directly into a computer. Within ten years Polaroid and Kodak were filing for bankruptcy.

Friday, February 15, 2019

Animation Fun Facts for Feb 15, 2019


Birthdays: Galileo, French King Louis XV, Michael Praetorius, Susan B. Anthony, Charles Tiffany, John Barrymore, Jane Seymour, Cesar Romero, Gale Sondergard, Melissa Manchester, Chris Farley, Claire Bloom, Chris MacDonald, Marissa Berenson is 72, Matt Groening is 65


1950- Walt Disney’s Cinderella opened in general theater release.

1954- Future President and b-movie star Ronald Reagan tried doing a stand-up act at the Las Vegas Ramona Room with the "Honey Brothers", a comedy troupe similar to Abbot & Costello. 

1965- Canada first flies the Maple Leaf flag.

1984- Touchstone Pictures created, so the Walt Disney Company could do more adult PG movies. Their first film was Splash, starring a tastefully topless Darryl Hannah.


1994- After months of insane bidding, Viacom’s Sumner Redstone beat out QVC’s Barry Diller to buy Paramount Pictures. The cost was $20 billion, although the studio’s net worth was estimated at $8 billion. When asked, Diller replied: “What’s done is done. Next.”



Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Animation Fun Facts for Feb 14, 2019


Birthdays: Joshua Norton aka Joshua Ist Emperor of the United States 1819, Jack Benny- real name Benjamin Koubeilsky, Frederick Douglas, Christopher Latham Scholes- inventor of the typewriter, George Washington Ferris inventor of the Ferris Wheel, Pier Francesco Cavalli, Jimmy Hoffa, Vic Morrow, Skeezix Wallet (character in Gasoline Alley comic strip), Gregory Hines, Ignaz Friedman, Thelma Ritter, Carl Andersen, Hugh Downs, Jim Kelly, Florence Henderson, Meg Tilly, Alan Parker, Simon Pegg is 48,
Margaret Knight the inventor of the flat bottom paper bag still in use in supermarkets today.  The character Lara Croft, is 51.

Happy Valentines Day!


1886- Los Angeles began to export its first trainload of oranges back east.


1907- Golden Books incorporated. One of their artists was Gustav Tennegren, who would  become the stylist of Walt Disney's Pinnochio.

1920- The League of Women Voters formed.

1927-Alfred Hitchcock’s first suspense film “The Lodger” opened in London.

1931- Tod Browning's film of the play Dracula, starring Hungarian actor's union organizer and recreational morphine addict Bela Lugosi, premiered.

1946-John Mauchly and J. Presper Eckert Unveil The ENIAC, the first all electronic circuited computer, started up at the University of Pennsylvania.  

1962- First Lady Jackie Kennedy gave a tour to network television cameras of the private living quarters of the White House. It’s the first time most Americans had ever seen the inside of the Executive Mansion. She worked mostly without a script, adding her own details as she went along. The day after the broadcast, Pres. Kennedy called the FCC just to see how here Nielsen ratings were. They were much higher than his speeches ever were. 


1967- Former kinky pinup model Betty Page married Harry Lear.


1979- Digital music composer Walter Carlos, who scored the film A Clockwork Orange, announced he had undergone a sex change and was now Wendy Carlos.


1991-Meg Ryan married Dennis Quaid.
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