Thursday, April 30, 2015

Animation Fun Facts for April 30, 2015

Birthdays: Elector Johann-Frederich the Magnanimous, Franz Lehar, Joachim Von Ribbentropp, Max Skladanowsky, Jaroslav Hasek, Eve Arden, Jill Clayburgh, Alice B. Toklas, Isaiah Thomas, Cloris Leachman, Jane Campion, Al Lewis, Bill Plympton is 69, Lars von Trier, Burt Young, Willie Nelson is 83, Kirsten Dunst is 33

1939- The 1939 World’s Fair opened in Flushing Meadows, NY. The Trylon & Perisphere presided over the gleaming Art-Deco paean to optimism, even as the world waited nervously for Hitler’s next move.  With President Franklin D. Roosevelt in attendance the NBC network began regular television broadcasting. It only went to a few homes.  Experts were not optimistic." It requires a darkened room and constant attention." one said.

1952 - Mr Potato Head is 1st toy advertised on television. In 2000 Rhode Island declared itself the Mr Potato Head State. the Hasbro Toy Company is headquartered in Pawtucket, a city just outside of Providence.

1976- Great Disney animator Milt Kahl retired.

1988- Tom Hanks married actress Rita Wilson.

1992- BERN, the Geneva particle lab where the World Wide Web was developed by Tim Berners-Lee, declared that WWW. aka the Web would be open and free to all with no restrictions or royalties to be paid to them.

1993- The Walt Disney Company announced its’ purchase of top independent film producer Miramax. Ten years later a feud with Michael Eisner caused Miramax founders the Weinsteins to leave and form another company. By the time Miramax was sold off in 2010, it was a shadow of it’s former self.

1997- In the last show of the season, comedian Ellen Degenere’s character Ellen admits to Laura Dern that she’s gay. Disney promptly canceled the Ellen Show. Ellen returns with a talk show that is even more popular.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Animation Fun Facts for April 29, 2015

Birthdays: Emperor Hirohito, Duke Ellington , Duke Wellington, Sir Thomas Beacham, Zuben Mehta is 78, Tom Ewell, Rod McKuen, Fred Zinnemann, Jerry Seinfeld is 59, Michelle Pfeiffer is 56, Daniel Day Lewis is 57, Uma Thurman is 44

1771- Artist Benjamin West unveils his painting of the “Death of General Wolfe” at the Royal Academy in London. Wolfe was killed in the Battle of the Plains of Abraham, which decided that Canada would be English. West’s portrayal of Wolfe in his actual uniform instead an idealized Grecian god was considered scandalously realistic and revolutionized painting.

1786- The day before his opera THE MARRIAGE OF FIGARO was to premiere, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart sat down after dinner and wrote the famous overture. Friends said he liked to think 

1944- Dancing Romeos, the last Our Gang comedy short was produced by MGM, which had bought the franchise in 1938 from Hal Roach.

1949- MGM chief Louis B. Mayer fired Frank Sinatra for making a joke about him. Mayer hurt his hip riding, and Sinatra joked he got hurt not falling off his horse, but falling off Jean Howard, a young actress Mayer was chasing.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Animation Fun Facts for April 28, 2015

Birthdays: English King Edward IV (1442), President James Monroe, Lionel Barrymore, Oskar Schindler, Carolyn Jones-aka Morticia Addams of the TV Addams Family, Ann Margaret is 74, Jay Leno is 65, Saddam Hussein, Jean Redpath, James Baker III, Penelope Cruz is 41, Jessica Alba is 36

1925- T.S. Elliot landed a job at Faber & Fabers Publishing. His enabled the poet to quit his job as a bank teller at Lloyds and continue his literary career.

1937- Italy’s famed movie studio Cinecitta’ opened.

1954- Happy Birthday Godzilla! The movie by Ichjiro Honda was inspired when a Japanese fishing boat was fatally exposed by radioactive fallout from a U.S. hydrogen bomb test. Godzilla is an Anglicized version of the Japanese Kohjira, which is a combination of Gorilla and Whale. 

The famous roar was done by rubbing a resin-covered glove down some bass fiddle strings. The film was later released in the U.S. with American actor Raymond Burr (actually, Canadian actor..) acting in inserted scenes. The complete Japanese version of the film was not seen in North America until 2004. (image courtesy of riot 

1961-At La Scala, When tenor Guiseppi Di Stefano took ill, a young schoolteacher from Modena took the lead role in the opera La Boheme. Lucciano Pavarotti debuted.

Monday, April 27, 2015

Animation Fun Facts for April 27, 2015

Birthdays: Ulysses S. Grant, King Edward IV, Samuel Morse, Mary Wollenstonecraft, Edward Gibbon, Anouk Aimee, Sheena Easton, Sandy Dennis, Coretta Scott King, Kasey Kasem, Jack Klugman

 1956- Disney short cartoon Hooked Bear, starring Humphrey the Bear, premiered.

1981- Ringo Starr married Barbera Bach, his costar on the film 'Caveman'. UngaBunga!

1986- Reporter Geraldo Rivera hosted a primetime TV special in an old Chicago Hotel that was once a headquarters for gangster Al Capone. After wasting an hour speculating on discovering buried treasure or mobster skeletons, they broke into a room sealed since 1932. All they found were some old dusty bottles.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Animation Fun Facts for April 26, 2015

Birthdays: Marcus Aurelius, French Queen Marie De Medicis, Pasquale Paoli, John James Audubon, Frederick Law Olmstead, Eugene Delacroix, Syngman Rhee, Dr. Lee DeForrest, John Grierson founder of the National Film Board of Canada, Rudolf Hess, Bobby Rydell, Anita Loos, I. M. Pei, Carol Burnett is 82, Eyvind Earle, Giancarlo Esposito is 59, Kevin James, Amos Otis, Joan Chen is 53, Jimmy Giuffre, Rocker Duane Eddy- 75, Jet Li- born Li Lian jie is 52
1928- Los Angeles City Hall dedicated.

1969- PAUL IS DEAD. The height of a strange rumor that excited the rock &; roll world that Paul McCartney of the Beatles had died and the news was being kept a secret. Evidence was presented in the cryptic lyrics of "I am the Walrus", songs played backwards and the record album photo where Paul is the only figure with his back to the camera.
A TV special hosted by attorney F. Lee Bailey, the Nancy Grace of his day, explored the controversy. Finally, this day Paul and Linda McCartney held a news conference and declared he was very much alive and what on Earth was everyone on about?

1986- Arnold Schwarzenegger aka Conan the Republican, married Maria Shriver, the niece of John F. Kennedy. They separated in 2011 when he revealed he was schtupping the maid..

1993- NBC announced former Simpsons and Saturday Night Live comedy writer Conan O’Brien would take David Letterman’s old Late Show spot.

2004- Michael Eisner of Disney named to Forbes list of the Worst CEO’s in America.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Animation Fun Facts for April 25, 2015

Birthdays: Roman emperor Otho -32ad, English King Edward II-1284,  Oliver Cromwell-1599, Guiseppi Marconi, Edward R. Murrow, Ella Fitzgerald, Al Pacino is 75,  Jason Lee is 45, Meadowlark Lemon, Talia Shire, Paul Mazursky, Hank Azaria is 51, Rene Zellwellger is 46,  Ron Clements is 62

1956- Elvis Presley’s song Heartbreak Hotel goes to #1 in the pop charts.

1972- Witty, urbane actor George Sanders (All About Eve, Samson & Delilah, Sher Khan in Jungle Book) had turned age 65. He complained he had been famous and rich and was not looking forward to old age and having a nurse wipe his bottom. So he committed suicide and left a witty, urbane note. "Dear World: I am leaving because I am bored. Adieu, I leave you with your worries in this sweet cesspool."

1996- "Bring in Da Noise, Bring in Da Funk" opened on Broadway.

Friday, April 24, 2015

Animation Fun Facts for April 24, 2015

Birthdays: Daniel Defoe, William de Kooning, St. Vincent de Paul, Morgan Earp, Jack E. Leonard, Dame Ethel Smyth, Jill Ireland, Eric Bogosian, Sue Grafton, Robert Penn Warren, Barbera Streisand is 73, Cedric the Entertainer is 52, Shirley McLaine is 81

1933-Ub Iwerk's "Fiddlesticks" the first Flip the Frog cartoon, done in a simple two-color process. Iwerks was the first designer and animator of Mickey Mouse, who had left Walt Disney to open his own studio.

1954- Handsome English actor Peter Lawford married John F. Kennedy’s sister Patricia Kennedy. This union would give JFK his link to Hollywood, Frank Sinatra and the RatPack.

1961- First day of shooting on the film King of Kings, the Christ story starring Jeffrey Hunter. Called by one critic” I was a Teenage Jesus” . In 1966 Jeffrey Hunter turned down a TV series after doing the pilot episode. His wife worried that he’d be typecast. The role of Star Trek’s Captain Kirk, went instead went to William Shatner.

1981- Small companies like Apple and Commodore had dominated the personal computer market while giants like IBM stuck with large business systems. Now IBM weighed in with The IBM PC –personal computer, with basic software language DOS provided by Microsoft. It soon came to dominate the market. 

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Animation Fun Facts April 23, 2015

Birthdays: William Shakespeare, James Buchanan, Sergei Prokoviev, J.M.W. Turner, Vladimir Nabokov, Senator Stephen Douglas the Little Giant, Shirley Temple, Roy Orbison, Halston, Sandra Dee, Valerie Bertinelli, Lee Majors is 74, Judy Davis, Simone Simon, Michael Sporn, Tony Esposito, Michael Moore is 61, Herve Villechaise

1867- William Lincoln patents the zoetrope, an optical toy predating motion pictures..

1896-THE FIRST PROJECTED MOVIES IN THE U.S.- The first projection of Thomas Edison’s kinetoscope film by means of Thomas Armat’s Vitascope at Koster & Bials Music Hall on 28th street and Broadway in New York City. Edison had to be nagged into this by his engineer W.K.L. Dickson. Edison thought projecting movies like the Lumiere Brothers were doing in Europe would never catch on and the future of film was nickelodeon machines.  The movie show featured the sultry Annabella the Dancer and a boxing match, but the real hit of the evening was footage of Waves Hitting the Rocks on Shore, which made people instinctively duck to keep from getting wet.

1951- Comedian Lenny Bruce was arrested for a stunt where he dressed as a priest and solicited funds in a leper colony.

1998- Microsoft chairman Bill Gates introduced Windows 98 to a 4,000 industry leaders. When he ceremonially opened the first window, the system crashed-.Doh!

2005- The first You-Tube video was uploaded- Me At the Zoo.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Animation Fun Facts for April 21, 2015 tues.

Birthdays: Edwin S. Porter, Charlotte Bronte', John Muir, Freiderich Froebel the inventor of kindergarten-1782, Anthony Quinn, Patti Lupone, Iggy Pop, Charles Grodin, Anna Magnani, Andie MacDowell is 57, Tony Danza, Elaine May, James McAvoy is 36, Rob Riggle is 45, Queen Elizabeth II is 89

1921- The Coconut Grove nightclub opened in Hollywood.

1938- Disney animator Bill Tytla married artists model Adrienne LeClerc.

1961- Two groups of British teenage rock bands meet each other for the first time- The Beatles met the Rolling Stones.

1964- British TV viewers double their pleasure- BBC 2 goes on the air. Their first program is Play School.

1997-The first Intergalactic Funeral.  The ashes of Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry and 1960's drug guru Dr. Timothy Leary were shot into space.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Animation Fun Facts for April 20, 2015

Birthdays: Harold Lloyd, Juan Miro', Adolf Hitler, Tito Puente, Nina Foch, Gregory Ratoff, Ryan O'Neal, Daniel Day Lewis, Jessica Lange, Luther Vandross, Don Mattingly, Rosalyn Summers, Crispin Glover, Betty-Lou Gerson the voice of Cruella da Vil, George Takei, Carmen Electra is 40, Andy Serkis, animator Bob Kurtz

1859- " It was the Best of Times, It was the Worst of Times..." Charles Dicken's novel "A Tale of Two Cities" began to be published in magazine form.

1909- Mary Pickford, the first Movie Star, goes in front of a camera for the first time.

1925-The Warner Bros. Moving Picture company merged with Vitagraph,  and began experimenting with fixing sound on to film.

1935- Radio program “Your Hit Parade” premiered.

1938- On Hitler’s birthday was the Berlin premiere of Leni Reifenstahl’s film Olympia, about the 1936 Berlin Olympics.

1939- RCA president David Sarnoff dedicated RCA pavilion at World's Fair in New York City. First U.S. news event filmed on television. Sarnoff predicted that one day everyone would have a television in their home!

1970- San Rafael Cal, started a tradition of smoking marijuana en masse at 4:20, supposedly the police code for a drug bust. The Greatful Dead took up the tradition and now everyone tokes at 4:20PM.

1974 - Paul McCartney and Wings releases "Band on the Run"

1976 - George Harrison sang the Lumberjack Song with the Monty Python comedy troop.

1977- Woody Allen & Diane Keaton starred in the film “Annie Hall”.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Animation Fun Facts for April 19, 2015

Birthdays: Paulo Verronese, Elliot Ness, Jayne Mansfield, Dudley Moore, Paloma Picasso, Iwao Takamoto, Ashley Judd, James Franco is 37, Kate Hudson is 36, Tim Curry is 69, Anna Porchicova is 28

1927- Mae West found guilty of indecent behavior in writing, producing and starring in a Broadway musical entitled “SEX”.   She said:” Everyone thinks I am opposed to censorship. Actually, I’m in favor of censorship. I’ve made a fortune from it!”

1956-Movie star Grace Kelly married Prince Rainier of Monaco.

1970- XEROX PARC – The Xerox Company announced the set up of a research group in Palo Alto Cal. This group pioneered the development of the personal computer and laser printer.

1973- Three years later Xerox Parc booted up the Alto, the first personal computer. They invented a new mouse, point and click windows, graphic interface and digital printer. President Carter installed one in the White House. Yet Xerox didn’t know what to do with them, they were in the copier business. The Alto cost $16,500 each, too expensive for most, so the idea bombed. One day in 1979 a group from Apple visited led by Steve Jobs. The group was inspired by their progress, and they went back to Apple and put what they learned into the development of the Lisa and Apple II Computer.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Animation Fun Facts for April 18, 2015

Birthdays: Lucrezia Borgia, Franz Von Suppe’, Haley Mills, Leopold Stokowski, Miklos Rosza, Herb Sorell, Wahoo Sam Crawford, Conan O’Brien is 52, James Woods is 68, Eric Roberts, Rick Moranis is 63, Maria Bello is 48, David Tennant is 44.

1914-. The full feature length movie premiered in Turin, Italy. "Cabiria" directed by Giovane Patrone. It was believed to be the first full length movie ever until the discovery of a 1912 version of Quo Vadis.  D.W. Griffith’s 1915 classic the Birth of a Nation popularized the 120 minute format for feature films.

1983- The Disney Channel went on the air.

1994- Disney’s first theatrical musical Beauty and the Beast A New Musical, opened on Broadway.

Friday, April 17, 2015

Animation Fun Facts for April 17, 2015

Birthdays: artist Tobias Stummer-1539, Duke Maximillian Ist of Bavaria- leader of the Catholic League 1579, Nikita Khruschev, Thorton Wilder, Clarence Darrow, Arthur Schnabel, Olivia Hussey is 64, Gregor Piatigorsky, Don Kirschner, William Holden, Harry Reasoner, Boomer Eiseason, Sean Bean is 56, Victoria Beckham, Ron Miller, WB artist Martha Sigall,  Jennifer Garner is 43, Rooney Mara is 30.

1924- Metro Pictures, Goldwyn and Mayer Films all merged to become Metro-Goldwyn- Mayer. By 1940 MGM was the largest studio in Hollywood.

1937 "Porky's Duck Hunt" The birth of Daffy Duck. One legendary story is that newly hired voice actor Mel Blanc in part designed Daffys distinctive lisp to be an impression of the Looney Tunes boss Leon Schlensinger. When they screened this cartoon all the artists stood in dread of how Leon would take the joke. Leon never made the connection that the Ducks voice was an imitation of him:" Gee Fellers, dat Duck iz pretty Ffffunny!"

1971- The song "Joy to the World" by Three Dog Night tops the pop charts .

1987- Comedian Dick Shawn ­the Hippy-Hitler in the original Mel Brooks film the Producers- was doing his one-man show The Second Funniest Man in the World at UC San Diego. After one particularly funny punch line he fell over dead from a heart attack. The audience roared for several more minutes at him lying there face down because they thought it was part of the act.

2011- The first season of Game of Thrones premiered in the U.S. on HBO.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Animation Fun Facts for April 16, 2015

birthdays: King John II “The good” of France (1319), Elisabeth Vignee-Lebrun, Wilbur Wright, Charlie Chaplin, J.P. Morgan, Kingsley Amis, Anatole France, Henry Mancini, Peter Ustinov, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Bobby Vinton, Spike Milligan, animator John Halas, Edie Adams, Hans Sloane*, Disney artist Victor Haboush, Martin Lawrence is 50, John Cryer is 50, Ellen Barkin is 61, Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI is 88.

1787- What some consider the first professionally produced American play- Royall Tyler’s the Contrast- debuted at New York City’s John Street Theater. It was a comedy that poked fun at aristocracy. Gen. George Washington was in the audience. At this time the Broadway theater district and Times Square was a quiet forest clearing.

1828- Spanish artist Francisco Goya died at 82 in Bordeaux, France. Years later when his remains were moved to Madrid it was discovered Goya wasn't alone in his grave. His friend Martin Goesochea's remains were in with him. Maybe there was a two-for-one sale..

1926- The Book-Of-The-Month-Club distributed it’s first selection-Lolly Willowes by Sylvia Townsend Warner. 

1935- Fibber McGee and Molly debut on radio.

1947- The Zoom Lens patented.

1952- THE NUNIVAK INCIDENT AND DEVELOPMENT OF THE COMPUTER – American coastal air defenses had been neglected since the end of WWII. But by 1952 the Cold War raised tensions, and we knew the Soviets had nuclear bombers capable of reaching the US mainland. This night, a radar station at Nunivak Alaska and another at Presque Isle Maine both reported flights of unidentified aircraft headed towards the U.S..  They turned out to be false alarms, but the reports of the planes took four hours to reach Washington! The resultant scandal in Strategic Air Command resulted in the rapid building up of a new early warning system. This fostered the birth of the SAGE computer systems, inventing the computer screen, the keyboard and stylus.

1959- John McCarthy of MIT invented the computer language LISP.

1962- Walter Cronkite took over the job of anchor at the CBS Evening News, building a reputation for journalistic integrity almost equaled to Edward R. Murrow. Nicknamed the Most Trusted Man in America, many credit Cronkite for breaking the news to America that the U.S. was not going to win the Vietnam War. President Lyndon Johnson said: If I lost Cronkite then I’ve lost middle America.” When Cronkite retired, the redoubtable CBS News Division descent into tabloid stupidity and irrelevance began.

1983- Disney Channel debuted.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Animation Fun Facts for April 15, 2015

Birthdays: Leonardo DaVinci, composer Domenico Gabrieli, Nanak I the guru of the Sikh religion 1469, Charles Wilson Peale, Theodore Rousseau, Henry James, Bessie Smith, Heinrich Klee, Kim Il Sung, Claudia Cardinale is 77, Roy Clark, Emma Thompson is 56, Olympic runner Evelyn Ashford, Alice Braga is 31, Seth Rogen is 33 Emma Watson is 25, Animation art director Lou Romano

1874- The first Paris show of Impressionist Painting.

1927- First Hollywood star's footprints in cement ceremony at Grauman's Chinese theater. Called Hollywood's most enduring publicity stunt. Norma Talmadge, Mary Pickford, Douglas Fairbanks and Sid Grauman himself are the first to leave their prints. Grauman also invented the classic Hollywood premiere with spotlights, red carpet runways and chauffeured limousines.

1934- Chief of production Darryl F. Zanuck quit Warner Bros. over an argument about employee salary cuts, to take over a struggling little movie studio called Twentieth Century Fox, which he turned into a giant.

1935-Kodachrome film developed. First as motion picture film, later for home photography.

1953- Famed illustrator Charles R. Knight died peacefully in a Manhattan hospital. The man who defined our idea of what dinosaurs looked like, and inspired the lush look of such films as 1933 King Kong, his last words were to his daughter Lucy, “Don’t let anything happen to my drawings.”

1962-AUNTIE EM, AUNTIE EM! actress Clara Blandick, 80, the Auntie Em of the Wizard of Oz, took an overdose of sleeping pills and tied a plastic bag around her head. She left out on a table her resume and press clippings so the newspapers would get her obituary right.

1964- Walt Disney sent attorney Robert Foster to Orlando Florida to quietly start buying up land for a planned new Disneyland Park.

1983- Tokyo Disneyland opens.

1990- Kennan Ivory Wayans comedy show In Living Color premiered on FOX TV. The show made stars of Marlon Wayans, Damon Wayans, Jamie Fox, Jim Carrey and Fly-Girls Jennifer Lopez and Rosie Perez.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Animation Fun Facts for April 14, 2015

Birthdays: King Phillip III of Spain, Christian Huygens, Arnold Toynbee, Sir John Gielgud, Menachem Schneerson- the Grand Rabbi of Chabad, Papa Doc Duvalier- Haitian dictator 1907, Robert Doisneau, Rod Steiger, Loretta Lynn, Morton Sobotnick, Frank Serpico, Pete Rose, Julie Christie, Kenneth Mars, Anthony Michael Hall, Steve Martin is 65, Sarah Michelle Geller is 38, Adrien Brody is 42. 

1883- Leopold Delibes’ opera Lakme premiered in Paris.

1956- In Redwood City, Cal. Charles Ginsburg, Ray Dolby and Charles Anderson demonstrated the first videotape recording machine. They were going then for a mere $75,000 each.

1960- The musical Bye Bye Birdie opened on Broadway.

1962- Bob Dylan recorded “Blowing in the Wind”.

1963- Beatle George Harrison was impressed by an unsigned rock band he just heard called the Rolling Stones.

2008- Ollie Johnston, the last animator of Walt Disney’s Nine Old Men, passed away at age 96.