Tuesday, January 28, 2020

Animation Fun Facts for Jan 28, 2020


Birthdays: King Henry VII Tudor, Jose Marti, Colette, Jackson Pollack, Claus Oldenburg, Arthur Rubenstein, Ernst Lubitsch, Connie Rasinski, Susan Sontag, Barbie Benton, General George Pickett, William Burroughs (1855) the inventor of the calculator, Mo Rocca, Alan Alda is 84, Elijah Wood is 40

1926- Composer Kurt Weill married his Pirate Jenny- Lotte Lenya.


1930- Warner Brothers Cartoons Born.  Leon Schlesinger, the head of Pacific Art and Title, signed a deal with several unemployed Disney animators who had left Walt to form their own studio to draw Oswald the Lucky Rabbit, but had been stiffed by their contacts. Schlesinger had connections with Warner Bros. since he helped them get funding for the 'Jazz Singer'. They created Leon Schlesinger's Studio Looney Tunes, in imitation of Disney's Silly Symphonies. Their first character was Bosko, but eventually they would create Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Porky Pig, Pepe LePew and more.

1949- The Admiral Broadway Review premiered on television. The one and a half hour comedy review starred Sid Caesar and Imogene Coca. The show was so popular Admiral was swamped for orders for new televisions and ironically was forced to cancel the show to focus on their production needs. The show was revived as Your Show of Shows, one of the great shows of early television.

1956- Young singer Elvis Presley first appeared to television audiences on the Dorsey Brothers Stage Show. 

1978- Premiere of Hanna-Barbera's the Three Robonic Stooges.

1982- Danny DeVito married Rhea Perlman.



Monday, January 27, 2020

Animation Fun Facts for Jan 27, 2020


Birthdays-Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Kaiser Wilhelm II, Charles Dodgson-better known as Lewis Carroll, Eduard Lalo, William Randolph Hearst, Samuel Gompers, Jerome Kern, Skitch Henderson, Donna Reed, Bridgette Fonda, Mikhail Baryshnikov, Kate Wolf, Ross Bagdasarian a.k.a. David Seville- creator of Alvin and the Chipmunks, James Cromwell is 80, Mimi Rogers, Keith Olbermann, Frank Miller is 63, Patton Oswalt is 51

1888- The first magazine published of the National Geographic Society.

1900- Italian opera composer Guiseppi Verdi died. On his instructions no music was played at his funeral.

1918- Warner Bros. Pictures incorporated. The Brothers Warner (originally Wonkolasser)- Sam Albert, Harry and Jack were the sons of Jewish immigrants who had moved from Poland in 1882 and after some time in Canada, set up a bicycle repair shop in Ohio. In 1903 Albert and Harry bought a movie theater and began showing flickers. After their move to Hollywood, their first movie was Five Years in Germany. Throughout the 1920’s their little studio survived making pictures with dog star Rin Tin Tin. They called him The Mortgage Lifter, because the profits from his pictures paid their bills. Later they bought Vitagraph from animator James Stewart Blackton, and gambled on the new Sound technology. When they made The Jazz Singer with Jolson, Warner Bros became a major studio. 

1918- The first Tarzan movie premiered. A silent film, the first Tarzan was named Elmo Lincoln.


1926- Scotsman John Logie Baird demonstrated his televiser system- the first true television image. The image was too small, and resolution too weak and fuzzy to yet be more than a scientific curiosity. More potential was seen in American Philo Farnsworth’s system of radio-transmitted scan line images.

1927- Charlie Chaplin’s short comedy The Circus premiered.  

1944- WAS WALT A RED? Walt Disney donated money and may have attended a tribute to cartoonist Art Young in New York who had died three weeks before. Art Young was a political lefty and a close friend of John Reed and Louise Bryant, founders of the American Communist Party. The F.B.I. noted the memorial to Young was sponsored by the socialist newspaper The New Masses and other attendees included progressives like Paul Robeson, Langston Hughes, Ernest Hemingway and Carl Sandburg.
   Walt was already a founding member of the Hollywood Society for the Preservation of American Ideals, a group of conservative Hollywood celebrities meant to counteract the rampant Hollywood Liberals. Disney later became an F.B.I. informant, but like Reagan, it may have been after the F.B.I. reminded him of his attendance at this little soiree'....

1948- The Wireway Company announced the first tape recorder for sale using the new magnetic tape. It cost $150.


1961- The TV show Sing-a-Long with Mitch, The Mitch Miller Show premiered. Mitch Miller was a classical performer who had a hit show where he encouraged people to sing with the TV as it was playing. He was famous for saying rock & roll was a passing fad and would soon be gone.


1994- The very first Marc Davis Lecture given at the Motion Picture Academy in Beverly Hills. Marc and Alice established a fund to sponsor an annual talk about the art and development of animation. Marc gave this first talk himself.

1997- First day shooting on the Cohen Bros. film The Big Lebowski- The Dude Abides.
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Saturday, January 25, 2020

Animation Fun Facts Jan 26, 2020


Birthdays: First Lady Julia Dent Grant, General Douglas MacArthur, Stephan Grappelli, Angela Davis, Maria Von Trapp, Wayne Gretsky, Eartha Kitt, Paul Newman, Charles Lane, Roger Vadim, Jules Feiffer is 91, Henry Jaglom, Anita Baker, Edward Abbey, Scott Glenn, David Straitharn, Randy Rhodes, Ellen DeGeneres is 62

1911- Richard Strauss’ opera, Der Rosenkavalier premiered in Vienna. Kaiser Wilhelm was offended by the E.T. Hoffman story about aristocrats sleeping around with their servants. He called it "A dirty little play". 

1934- Hollywood producer Sam Goldwyn bought the rights to L. Frank Baum’s book the Wonderful Wizard of Oz to develop into a movie. Walt Disney and Hal Roach were trying to get it also.

1939- The first day of shooting on the film Gone With the Wind.

1979- The Dukes of Hazard TV show premiered. Catharine Bach’s cutoff jeans became thereafter known for her character- Daisy Dukes.

1983- The software LOTUS 1-2-3 premiered that helped make IBM’s PC into the most popular business computers in the US.

1984- HELP ME TITO! During the filming of a Pepsi commercial at LA’s Shrine Auditorium, a magnesium flash ignited singer Michael Jackson’s Jeri curl hair gel causing him 3rd degree burns on his scalp.

1988- Andrew Lloyd Weber’s musical The Phantom of the Opera premiered.

2003- After the Super Bowl, ABC premiered a new latenight talk show, Jimmy Kimmel Live!


Animation Fun Facts for Jan 25, 2020


Birthdays: Genghis Khan, Byzantine Emperor Leo IV the Khazar, Robert Burns, Somerset Maugham, Virginia Woolf, Vice Pres Charles “Goodtime Charlie” Curtis, Edwin Newman, Jean Image, Dean Jones, Ava Gardner, Etta James, Corazon Aquino, Anita Pallenberg, Disney Animator John Sibley, Tobe Hooper

1824- Artist Theodore Gericault was famous for his paintings of horses. This day he died, from a fall off a horse.

1858- Queen Victoria & Prince Albert's eldest child, Victoria the Princess Royal (Vicky), married Crown Prince Frederick of Prussia (Fritzy) in a lavish ceremony. At this wedding, for the first time the "Bridal Chorus "Treulich gef├╝hrt") from the 1850 opera Lohengrin by composer Richard Wagner was used as a processional. Like everything Victoria and Albert did, it soon became a custom, known in English was Here Comes the Bride, All Dressed in White.” Queen Victoria in her own wedding started the custom of brides wearing all white. 

1890- Newspaper reporter Nelly Bly (Elizabeth Cochrane) of the New York World is welcomed home after traveling around the world in 72 days. The stunt was inspired by the Jules Verne story Around the World in 80 days, which had become a hit stage play.


1938- Walt Disney attempted to head off the rising tide of unionizing workers in Hollywood by forming a dummy company union called the Federation of Screen Cartoonists. No other artists but Disney employees joined, and Disney's chief attorney Gunther Lessing could veto any vote management did not like. 

1949- The first Emmy Awards ceremony was held at the LA Athletic Club. Five awards were given out for shows like Mabel’s Fables, and Treasures of Literature. Rudy Vallee hosted. Tickets were $5 each. Mayor Fletcher Bowron declared it “ TV Day” in LA.

1960- Actress Diana Barrymore, the daughter of John Barrymore, overdosed on sleeping pills. The Barrymore family that had dominated the American theater since the 1850’s had a history of drug and alcohol abuse. Ancestor after ancestor drank themselves to death. Current leader of the family Drew Barrymore recovered after rehab at age 12.

1961- John F. Kennedy has the first televised Presidential press conference. 


1961- Walt Disney’s 101 Dalmatians premiered. “Cruella, Cruella da Ville,.. 

1970- Robert Altman’s groovy movie M*A*S*H premiered.

Friday, January 24, 2020

Animation Fun Facts for Jan 24, 2020


Birthdays: Roman Emperor Hadrian AD117, Frederick the Great, Farinelli the Castrato-1707, Pierre De Beaumarchais, Swedish King Gustavus III, Edith Wharton, German Field Marshal Model, Sharon Tate, Ernest Borgnine, Mary Lou Rhetton, John Belushi, Disney director Wilfred Jackson, Warren Zevon, Yakov Smirnoff, Daniel Auteuil is 69, Orel Roberts, Natassia Kinski is 61 

1865- The Pioneer Oil Company set up to prospect for petroleum in the L.A. area. 

1874- Modest Mussorgsky’s opera Boris Gudunov premiered in Saint Petersburg.

1875- Camille Saint-Saens orchestral work Danse Macabre premiered in Paris.

1927- The Pleasure Garden premiered, the first film directed by Alfred Hitchcock.

1936- The first motion picture of a solar eclipse taken from a dirigible, The Los Angeles.

1942- Producer David O. Selznick signed young star Jennifer Jones. He became infatuated with her and left his wife Irene, the daughter of Louis B. Mayer, to marry Jones.


1961- Warner Bros. cartoon voice actor Mel Blanc had a terrible auto crash. He lingered in a coma for several weeks. The way the doctor brought him around was to say: “Hey Bugs Bunny! How are we today?” Blanc replied in character:” Ehhh…fine, doc!” Mel recovered and lived another thirty years.. 

1983- Hulk Hogan pinned the Iron Sheik to win his first World Wrestling Federation title.

2006- The Walt Disney Company acquired CG animation studio Pixar. Apple and Pixar head Steve Jobs got a seat on Disney Board, Ed Catmull was named head of the studio, and director John Lasseter became its creative head.



Thursday, January 23, 2020

Animation Fun Facts for Jan 23, 2020


Birthdays: Musio Clementi, Edouard Manet, Sergei Eisenstein, Derek Walcott, Ernie
Kovacs, Stendahl, Jean Moreau, Randolph Scott, Dan Duryea, Rutger Hauer, Warner Bros animator Manny Davis, Disney animation director Dave Hand, Princess Caroline of Monaco, Mariska Hargitay is 56, Sonny Chiba. Animator Phil Mendez, Pixar Animator Peter Sohn. 

1930- Ivory Snow soap invented. Advertised as 'pure as the driven snow'. In 1969 the model on the Ivory Snow detergent box, Marilyn Chambers, became a notorious porn star. The baby she held in the photo was actress Brooke Shields.

1957- The Disneyland TV show premiered” Our Friend, the Atom.”

1978- In Woodland Hills Terry Kath, the lead singer of the group Chicago, killed
himself when he playfully put a pistol to his head. His last words were: "Don't
worry. It's not loaded, see...?" 

1983- TV series The A Team, making a celebrity out of a Mohawk and bling wearing former bouncer named Mr. T. “ I pity the fool!” 

1989- Artist Salvador Dali’ died. Rushing to leave as much money as possible for
his family, his agents had the old dying artist autograph reams of blank paper they intended to print Dali’ lithographs on later.

2004- Satellite TV dish installer Jay McNeil of Paduca Kentucky was trying out a
new telescope when he discovered a nebula in space. It’s now called McNeil’s Nebula.

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Animation Fun Facts for Jan 22, 2020


St. Vincents Day- "If Vincents Day be Rainy Weather, shall rain then 30 days together.”

Birthdays: Sir Francis Bacon, D.W. Griffith, Lord Byron, August Strindberg, Andre Marie Ampere (electric Amps), 1960’s UN Secretary General U-Thant, Ann Southern, Sam Cooke, John Hurt, George McManus, Joseph Waumbaugh, J.J. Johnson, Seymour Cassell, Jim Jarmusch is 67, Linda B
1918- A Manitoba judge tries to outlaw movie comedies, because they tend to make the public "too frivolous".

1930- Work began on the foundation of the Empire State Building in New York.

1938- On a bare stage, Thorton Wilder’s play Our Town premiered.

1947- Hollywood first commercial television station KTLA went on the air for regular broadcasting. At the time in all of Los Angeles there were only 350 TV sets.


1949- Tex Avery’s cartoon "Bad Luck Blackie".

1951- During Winter baseball tryouts a promising young left-handed pitcher from Cuba  was scouted by the New York Yankees. But after losing a game for the Washington Senators and getting dropped from their roster, he gave up on sports to pursue a career in politics- Fidel Castro.


1968-T.V. comedy review show Rowan & Martin’s Laugh In premiered. It launched the careers of Lilly Tomlin, Goldie Hawn and Eileen Brennan. You bet your sweet Bippy!

1972- In an interview with Melody Maker magazine, rocker David Bowie outed himself and said he was gay. Technically he would be bi-sexual since his wife Angela did catch him in bed with Bianca Jagger. Others called him a closet-heterosexual. 

1975- Hollywood agents Ron Meyer and Michael Ovitz leave William Morris and form the Creative Artists Agency, or CAA.

1984- Apple released the Macintosh I personal computer.