Sunday, February 25, 2018

Animation Fun Facts for Feb 25, 2018

\
Birthdays: Enrico Caruso, Pierre Auguste Renoir, Zeppo Marx, St. Louis (King Louis IX of France), Bobby Riggs, Carl Eller, Sir Anthony Burgess, Neil Jordan, Larry Gelbart, Tom Courtenay, Sean Astin is 47, Tea Leoni, John Foster Dulles, Neil Jordan is 68



1932- TOONTOWN SCANDALS. Former Australian prizefighter Pat Sullivan was the producer of the Felix the Cat cartoons, the first true animation star. Although animator Otto Mesmer actually created him, Sullivan's name is the only one on the titles. Felix was one of the top film stars of the 1920s. Lindbergh supposedly had a Felix doll with him in the Spirit of St. Louis and his body shape was the prototype of Mickey Mouse and dozens of other characters. While Mesmer quietly drew pictures Sullivan lived the fast life of a roaring twenties celebrity.

Mrs. Marjorie Sullivan had been having an affair with her chauffeur. After a nasty scene when husband confronted wife and the chauffeur fled, Mrs. Sullivan mysteriously fell out of her window to her death. The scandal was front page news and Sullivan never got over it. He soon drank himself to death, which during Prohibition was difficult to do. Sullivan's death and his failure to get Felix into sound cartoons doomed his studio. Otto Mesmer went on to animate the first Broadway light signs but did not receive any recognition for his contributions to animation until he was re-introduced to the public at a Bob Clampett night at the Museum of Modern Art in 1975. Kid animators Eric Goldberg and Tom Sito were in the audience.

1957- Buddy Holly and the Crickets record "That'll Be the Day."

1971- Oh Calcutta, the first play with lots of actors shedding their clothes, premiered on Broadway at the Belasco.

1983- Famous playwright Tennessee Williams was found dead in a New York hotel room. He died when he choked on a nose spray bottle cap that fell into his mouth while he was using the spray. Others say it was a Pepsi bottle cap. He was 71.

1996- Dr Haing Ngor, the doctor who survived the Cambodian Killing Fields holocaust and won an Academy Award in a movie of the same name, was killed in a robbery attempt outside his Los Angeles home.

2004- Movie star conservative-Catholic Mel Gibson’s movie the "The Passion of the Christ" opened in North America. The film was criticized for its perceived anti-Semitism, it was the first movie in which Jesus spoke his real language –Aramaic. Pastors bought blocks of tickets for their congregations. The film earned nearly a billion dollars, most of the profit earned by Mel Gibson, who was the films sole investor. Recently a sequel was announced to be going in production.

Saturday, February 24, 2018

Animation Fun Facts for Feb 24, 2018


B-Dazes: Roman Emperor Hadrian, Winslow Homer, Arrigo Boito, Wilhelm Grimm (of the brothers Grimm), Honus Wagner- early 1900’s baseball player called the Flying Dutchman, Admiral Chester Nimitz, Edward James Olmos, Barry Bostwick, Michel Legrand, James Farentino, illustrator Zdzislaw Beskinski, Michael Radford, Billy Zane, Steve Jobs, Abe Vigoda.


 1852- Russian writer and hypochondriac Nicolai Gogol burns the second half of his masterpiece DEAD SOULS on advice of a religious mystic to atone for his sins. He died two weeks later of "brain fever".

1937- MGM studio announced it acquired the rights to L. Frank Baum’s book The Wizard of Oz, to be made into a movie for their new star Judy Garland.

1942- The radio service The Voice of America first went on the air.

1943- Fed up with the bad feelings left in the studio because of the Strike, master animator Bill Tytla resigned from the Walt Disney Studio and returned back east.

1987- US Robotics sold the first 56k modems.

1988- PARODY LAWS- The US Supreme Court upheld the right of public figures to be satirized by throwing out a lawsuit Rev Jerry Fallwell brought against Hustler Magazine owner Larry Flynt. Flynt published a drawing describing Rev Fallwell having sex with his mother in an outhouse. The Court ruled a public figure can be lampooned, so long as it is not portrayed as factual.

1989- According to the David Lynch television series Twin Peaks this is the day Laura Palmer’s body was found and F.B.I. agent Dale Cooper came to town to investigate.


2008- Pixar’s Ratatouille won the Oscar for best animated feature.

Friday, February 23, 2018

Animation Fun Facts for Feb 23, 2018


Birthdays: George Fredrich Handel, Samuel Pepys (pronounced 'peeps'), Mayer Amschel Rothschild-1743- founder of the Rothschild banking dynasty, Victor Fleming, W.E.B. DuBois, Johnny Winter, Peter Fonda is 78, William Shirer, Allan MacLeod Cormack-inventor of the CAT Scan, Kelly MacDonald, Tom Bodet, Neal McDonough, Kristin Davis is 53, Dakota Fanning is 24.


1821- In a house in Rome’s Piazza de Espagna, 25 year old English poet John Keats died of tuberculosis. As he was dying he joked: ” I can feel daisies growing over me”. He instructed that his grave marker bear only the self-deprecating message” Here lies one Who’s Fame was Written in Water.”

1927- animator Les Clark began work at the Walt Disney Studio. He was the first of Walt’s Nine Old Men.

1935- Walt Disney Mickey & Donald cartoon "The Band Concert." This was the first color Mickey Mouse cartoon.



Thursday, February 22, 2018

Animation Fun Facts for Feb 22, 2018


Birthdays: George Washington, Hungarian King Ladislas the Posthumous-1440, Shah Tahmasp Ist-1514, George Washington, Frederic Chopin, Edward St. Vincent Millay, John Mills, Edward Gorey, Luis Bunuel, Ted Kennedy, Dr. J- Julius Erving, Dwight Frye- Renfield in Dracula, Sparky Anderson, Sheldon Leonard, Charlie O. Finley, Nicky Lauda, Don Pardo, Jonathan Demme, Jeri Ryan, Lea Salonga, Kyle McLachlan is 57, Rachael Dratch, Steve Erwin, Drew Barrymore is 43


1879- Frank Winfield Woolworth opened his first Five & Ten Cent-store in Utica, New York. F.W. Woolworths became a major national chain of stores.

1911-The Kester Ranch in the San Fernando Valley became the town of Van Nuys, named for early settler Issac Newton Van Nuys.


1924- President Coolidge becomes first president to address the nation over the radio.


2009- Slumdog Millionaire won best picture and best cinematography at the 81st Academy Awards. The first movie to win that was shot completely digital, with no celluloid film used.

=====================================================

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Animation Fun Facts for Feb 21, 2018


Birthdays: Leopold Delibes, C. Brancusi, Anais Ninn, W.H. Auden, Hubert de Givenchy, Era Bombeck, Sam Peckinpah, Nina Simone, Robert Mugabe, Joe Oriolo, David Geffen, Mary Chapin Carpenter, Kelsey Grammar is 63, Jennifer Love Hewitt is 39, Alan Rickman, Ellen Page is 31. Pebbles Flintstone is 54.

1838- The first telegraph message sent by Samuel Morse "What hath God wrought?" He strung electric cables up and down several floors of his art studio using wood stretchers normally used for oil paintings. Morse was an artist and never wanted to be an inventor, he just did it to finance his painting.

1980- Ukrainian astronomer Ludmila Karachkina named a main belt asteroid for Walt Disney, asteroid 4017 Disneya.

1988- Televangelist Jimmy Swaggart tearfully confessed to his Baton Rouge congregation “Ah Have Sinned!!” He had been arrested for soliciting a prostitute. They forgave him, A year later he was busted again for the same reason, but he still continues to preach family values on TV.



Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Animation Fun Facts for Feb 20, 2018


Birthdays: Honore' Daumier, Nancy Wilson, Ansel Adams, Cindy Crawford, Buffy Sainte-Marie, Robert Altman, Roger Penske. Phil Esposito, Jennifer O’Neill, Ivanna Trump, Mike Leigh, Lili Taylor, Sidney Poitier is 90

1816- "Fee-Garr-Row! Fig-Ar- Roww- Figaro-Figaro, Figaro, Figaro"- Giacomo Rossini's opera 'The Barber of Seville' premiered. Rossini endured bad press and heavy criticism at the time because the another opera of the Marriage of Figaro had just been premiered by Paisiello, an inferior composer who then was more popular than him.

1845- The Battle of the Cahuenga Pass.  Angry Spanish Californians rancheros led by Juan de Alvarado and Pio Pico clashed with the Mexican governor Miguel de Micheltorena. The only casualty was a mule. The story of Alvarado may be one of the origins of Zorro.

1925- Willis O’Brien’s silent movie The Lost World premiered. 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 Kong and 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.

1980- Bon Scott, vocalist for the band AC/DC, was found dead in a friend’s automobile choked in his own vomit.


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.

Monday, February 19, 2018

Animation Fun Facts for Feb 19, 2018


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 51, Hilary Duff


1736- Georg Frederich Handel’s oratorio Alexander’s Feast premiered at Covent Garden.


1878- Thomas Edison patented the phonograph.

1913- Crackerjacks start putting toy prizes in every box. The name Crackerjack for the caramel corn was named for the reaction of Teddy Roosevelt trying it for the first time- These caramel-corns are Crackerjack!

1915- L.A. Times publisher and land baron Harry Chandler was indicted with 8 other prominent Angeleanos for conspiring to start a new revolution in Mexico. The Mexican government had seized their large land holdings there for land redistribution, and this was their quaint little way of getting them back.

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 show that would run unchanged for thirty-five years.

1995- Busty 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. They called it ImagePro. Adobe bought it and today released it as Photoshop.

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Animation Fun Facts for Feb 18, 2018


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 85, Jack Palance, Milos Forman, Bobby Bachman of the Bachman Turner Overdrive, Gahan Wilson, Johnny Hart, Matt Dillon is 54, John Travolta is 64, John Hughes, Dr. Dre

1842- Two hundred of New York City’s high society and top politicians held a banquet in honor of the visiting English author Charles Dickens. Dickens spent the evening depressing everyone with talk about his tour of the cities prisons, slums and poorhouses.

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 and The Stuntman were shot there.

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

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

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Animation Fun Facts for Feb 17, 2018


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, Lou Diamond Phillips is 56, Denise Richards is 47 and Paris Hilton is 37, Michael Jordan is 55, Hal Holbrook is 93, Joseph Gordon Levitt is 49


1890- The Los Angeles City Council voted to change the name of their main street, called Fort Street, to Broadway.


1912- THE NEW YORK ARMORY SHOW-Mabel Dodge and Gertrude Stein introduce Post expressionist modern art to the U.S. public. The first U.S. showings of Picasso, Matisse, Duchamp and the Italian futurists. 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 replies "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!

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Animation Fun Facts for Feb 16, 2018


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 61, Ice-T is 60


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.