Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Animation Fun Facts for Jan 31, 2017

Birthdays: Gouverner Morris, Zane Grey, James G. Blaine, Franz Schubert, Shogun Tokugawa Ieyasu, Sir John Profumo, Phillip Glass, Johnny Rotten, Ernie Banks, Norman Mailer, Nolan Ryan, Susanne Pleshette, Anthony LaPaglia, Tallulah Bankhead, Jean Simmons, Justin Timberlake is 36, Portia DiRossi, Minnie Driver is 47,
Carol Channing is 96!

Happy National Dress up in a Gorilla Suit Day. First advocated by Don Martin, cartoonist for MAD Magazine.

1925- Scotch brand invisible tape introduced by the 3-M Company.

1954- Howard Armstrong, the inventor of FM Radio, driven to despair by constant lawsuits with RCA Corporation over his patents, jumped to his death out of a hotel window. He first put on his hat, overcoat and gloves because he didn't want to be cold...(?) Armstrong loved heights and used to climb hundreds of feet in the air to meditate on top of his radio antennas. By 1977 his family won all the lawsuits. Today, most radio, television and air traffic communications are by FM band.

1978- Polish director Roman Polanski fled the U.S. for exile after being charged for having sex with a thirteen year old girl in Jack Nicholson’s house.

1989- Michael Jackson’s sister LaToya Jackson posed nude for Playboy.

1999- The first episode of Seth McFarlane’s show Family Guy premiered.


Monday, January 30, 2017

Animation Fun Facts for Jan 30, 2017

Birthdays: Barbara Tuchman, Walt “Moose” Dropo, Olaf Palme, Dick Martin, Louis S. Rukeyser, Dorothy Malone, Boris Spassky, John Ireland, Douglas Englebart, Phil Collins, Vanessa Redgrave is 80, Gene Hackman is 87, Christian Bale is 43, Former VP Dick Cheney is 77

1931- Hollywood Premiere of Charlie Chaplin’s City Lights. Later at a dance at the Biltmore Hotel, writer Herman Mankewicz (Citizen Kane, Duck Soup) got into a drunken fistfight with producer David O. Selznick (Gone With the Wind, Rebecca). You’ll never eat turtle-soup in this town again!

1933- HI-YO SILVER!! The Lone Ranger debuted on radio. The Masked Man was invented by the WXYZ Detroit station owner George Trendle and writer Fran Striker with absolutely no experience of cowboys or Indians. They just wanted a hero like Zorro with a strict moral code. He was later voiced by actor William Conrad who did the Rocky & Bullwinkle narration and the TV series Cannon.

1934- Artist Salvador Dali married Gala.

1960- For years after the making of Fantasia, critics had pondered Igor Stravinsky's cryptic reaction to Disney's portrayal of his "Rite of Spring".  Disney publicity said he was "speechless with admiration!" Today in a Saturday Review article, Stravinsky said Stokowski's editing of his music was 'execrable' and the visuals "an unresisting imbecility".  His opinion still didn't stop him from selling the studio film rights to several other of his pieces including "The Firebird' in 1942. Igor needed the cash.

1961-H-B's the Yogi Bear Show.

1963- MIT Grad student Ivan Sutherland published his thesis Sketchpad, the first animation software.  For the first time, a computer could draw lines instead of just numbers. When students at the University of Utah like Ed Catmull, Nolan Bushnell and Jim Blinn were learning about CG. The first thing they were asked to read was Sutherland’s Sketchpad. Everything from Buzz Lightyear, Laura Croft, Gravity and Mortal Combat results.

1969- The rock band the Beatles last public appearance as a group. They tried to do a free concert in the London streets but were banned by police for fear of congestion and noise complaints. So they withdrew to a rooftop above their recording studio and played anyway. John Lennon ended the concert by saying: ‘Thank you very much on behalf of the band and myself, and I hope we passed the audition.”

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Animation Fun Facts for Jan 29, 2017

Birthdays: Roman Emperor Didius Julianus, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Thomas Paine, William Claude Dunkenfeld known as W.C. Fields, Victor Mature, Paddy Chayefsky, Tom Selleck is 72, Ed Burns, Bill Peet, Greg Louganis, John D Rockefeller Jr., Claudine Longet, John Horsely (1817) the inventor of the Christmas Card-1842*, Oprah Winfrey is 63, Heather Graham is 47.

*Horsley was a Victorian artist at the Royal Academy in London who refused to draw nudes because it offended his morality. This earned him the nickname- Clothes Horsely.

1813- Jane Austin’s novel Pride and Prejudice first published.

1845- Edgar Allen Poe's poem The Raven first published. Quote the Raven, Nevermore.

1920- Walt gets a job. Nineteen year old veteran Walt Disney and his buddy Ub Iwerks were hired by a local Kansas City Slide Company to draw ads for newspapers and slides for theaters.

1936- Dictator Benito Mussolini lays the first stone of Cinecitta’ Movie Studios.

1957- Patsy Cline recorded "Walkin' After Midnight."

1959- Disney's " SLEEPING BEAUTY " opened. Despite earning the fifth highest box office for that year, it finished $5 million behind what it cost to make.  The animation staff had swollen to it's largest to finish the production. Its disappointing box office soured Walt Disney on feature animation. After the film was finished the studio had a massive layoff, dropping from 551 to just 75. Staff level will not return to these same levels until 1990.

1964- Stanley Kubrick's nuclear comedy "DR STRANGLOVE –OR HOW I LEARNED TO STOP WORRYING AND LOVE THE BOMB." premiered. It's use of hand held camera for action sequences and cutting inspired by the European New Wave ushered in a new style in Hollywood cinema. So, who was Tracey Reed? She played Miss Scott, George C. Scott’s bikini clad secretary, and the only woman in the entire movie.

1964- Actor Alan Ladd (Shane), accidentally overdosed on tranquilizers and scotch. He was 50.

1977- Comic TVstar of "Chico and the Man " Freddy Prinze (23) blew his brains out. Some said he suffered from a survivor's depression about why he had succeeded in life while all his friends from the Barrio were dead from gang killings or drugs. Family members said that he was just stoned on Quaaludes and was clowning around with a gun.

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Animation Fun Facts for Jan 28, 2017

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 81, Elijah Wood is 37

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 the 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.

Friday, January 27, 2017

Animation Fun Facts for Jan 27, 2017

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, Mimi Rogers, Keith Olbermann, Frank Miller is 60, Patton Oswalt is 48

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 Wonskolasser)- 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 James Stewart Blackton, and gambled on the new Sound technology. When they made The Jazz Singer with Jolson, Warner Bros became a major studio.

1926- Englishman John Logie Baird demonstrated his televisor system- the first true television image.

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

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

1997- First day shooting on the Cohen Bros. film The Big Lebowski- The Dude Abides.

Thursday, January 26, 2017


Birthdays: First Lady Julia Dent Grant, General Douglas MacArthur, Stephan Grappelli, Angela Davis, Maria Von Trapp, Wayne Gretsky, Eartha Kitt, Paul Newman, Roger Vadim, Jules Feiffer is 88, Henry Jaglom, Anita Baker, Edward Abbey, Scott Glenn, David Straitharn, Randy Rhodes, Ellen DeGeneres is 59

1911- Richard Strauss’ opera Die Rosenkavalier opens 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.
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 Phantom of the Opera premiered.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Animation Fun facts for Jan 25, 2017


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, Tobe Hooper

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

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 they had. 

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. Mayor Fletcher Bowman 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 seeking rehab at age 12.

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

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

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Animation Fun Facts for Jan 24, 2017

Birthdays: Roman Emperor Publius 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 67, Orel Roberts, Natassia Kinski is 58

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.

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!”

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, 1 and director John Lasseter became it’s creative head.

Monday, January 23, 2017

Animation Fun Facts for Jan 23, 2017

Birthdays: Musio Clementi, Edouard Manet, Sergei Eisenstein, Derek Walcott, Ernie
Kovacs, Stendahl, Jean Moreau, Randolph Scott, Dan Duryea, Rutger Hauer is 73, Warner Bros animator Manny Davis, Disney animation director Dave Hand, Princess Caroline of Monaco, Mariska Hargitay is 53, Sonny Chiba is 78. Animator Phil Mendez

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.

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Animation Fun Facts for Jan 22, 2017

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 is 77, George McManus, Joseph Waumbaugh, J.J. Johnson, Seymour Cassell, Jim Jarmusch is 64, Linda Blair is 59, Piper Laurie is 85, Diane Lane is 52

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".

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!

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

1984- Apple releases the Macintosh I personal computer.