Sunday, June 22, 2008

June 22: Passing of a Legend

On this day in 2008, Grammy Award-winning comedian, actor, and author George Carlin passed away at age 71. Carlin supplied the voices of Fillmore for the Disney/Pixar Cars and Zugor for Disney's Tarzan II.
Noted for his political humor and observations on language, psychology, and religion, Carlin's stand-up routines often focused on the flaws of every day America. Born in New York City in 1937, he first began appearing on television variety shows (such as The Ed Sullivan Show) in the 1960s. He was a favorite of The Tonight Show starring Johnny Carson and hosted the very first episode of Saturday Night Live in 1975. His best-known routine "Seven Words You Can Never Say On Television" brought him fame and controversy.
Carlin was given a Lifetime Achievement Award at the 15th Annual Comedy Awards in 2001. His very last HBO stand-up special It's Bad for Ya aired on March 1, 2008.
On June 22, 2008 Carlin was admitted to St. John's Hospital in Santa Monica, California complaining of chest pains. Sadly he passed away later that day.

"Why do they lock gas station bathrooms? Are they afraid someone will clean them?" -George Carlin

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Wednesday, June 11, 2008

June 11: Dangerous! Daring! Devil-May-Care!

On this day in 1960, Disney released the live-action feature The Sign of Zorro, starring Guy Williams, to U.S. theaters. (The film had been released overseas in 1958.) The Sign of Zorro was actually put together from episodes of Disney's half-hour TV series Zorro.
Based on the character originally created by Johnston McCulley back in 1919, Disney's Zorro first premiered on October 10, 1957 on ABC-TV. During its run, 78 episodes were produced as well as 4 hour-long specials. Zorro was very popular with kids and its theme song (written by Norman Foster and George Bruns) was first recorded by the Mellomen (a singing quartet featuring Thurl Ravenscroft).
The Sign of Zorro finds the masked avenger up against Captain Monastario, a corrupt military governor who wants to make Southern California his own!

Click HERE for more June 11 Disney history.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

June 10: Birth of Moochie

On this day in 1949, Kevin Corcoran (a child actor and director/producer) was born in Santa Monica, California.
As a young boy he appeared in numerous Disney projects between 1957 - 1963. Corcoran played several different (but similar) characters - oddly all bearing the nickname Moochie. He appeared in 3 Mickey Mouse Club serials beginning with "Adventure in Dairyland," in which he played Moochie McCandless, a farmer's son. He then portrayed Montgomery "Moochie" O'Hara in two Spin and Marty serials - "The Further Adventures of Spin and Mary," and "The New Adventures of Spin and Marty."
Although never a Mouseketeer, he did appear in a Mouseketeer outfit (with the name Moochie across the chest) in the 1957 TV episode "Disneyland: The Fourth Anniversary Show."
In 1959, Corcoran portrayed Montgomery "Moochie" Daniels in the live-action feature The Shaggy Dog. He also starred as Moochie Morgan in the made-for-TV films Moochie of the Little League and Moochie of Pop Warner Football.
His non-Moochie roles for Disney included Old Yeller (as younger son Arliss Coates), Pollyana (as Pollyana's friend. orphan Jimmy Bean), Swiss Family Robinson (as younger son Francis Robinson), and Babes in Toyland (as Boy Blue).
Corcoran later graduated from California State University (with a degree in theater arts) and returned to Disney as an assistant director and producer. Beginning in the early 1970s, his credits included Superdad, The Island at the Top of the World, and Pete's Dragon. In 1977 he worked on The New Mickey Mouse Club and was an associate producer on the 1978 sequel Return to Witch Mountain. He later co-produced Herbie Goes Bananas and produced the comedy series Zorro and Son.
Corcoran was honored as a Disney Legend in 2006.

Click HERE for more June 10 Disney history.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

June 03: The Adventure in Animation Continues ...

On this day in 2001, Disney's animated feature Atlantis: The Lost Empire had its premiere in Hollywood at Disney's El Capitan Theatre. (The film was later generally released on June 15.)
An animated sci-fi mixed action movie, Atlantis was written by Tab Murphy, directed by Gary Trousdale and Kirk Wise (both known for their work on Beauty and the Beast), and produced by Don Hahn (who had began his career working for Disney Legend Wolfgang Reitherman).
Set in the year 1914, the film tells the story of an expedition crew and their search for the lost city of Atlantis. The voice cast featured such stars as Michael J. Fox (as Milo - the main character), James Garner, Corey Burton, Don Novello, Leonard Nimoy, David Ogden Stiers, and Jim Varney. Sadly Varney (also the voice of Slinky Dog in Toy Story and Toy Story 2) passed away during production. Several of his lines had to be done by a sound-alike.
Atlantis did moderately well at the box office (making about $85 million) and was nominated for 6 Annie Awards.
Atlantis is notable as one of the few animated features to be shot in the anamorphic widescreen process (a video technique that utilizes rectangular pixels to store a widescreen picture into standard 4:3 aspect ratio).

Click HERE for more June 03 Disney history.

Monday, June 2, 2008

June 02: Dean of American Astronauts

On this day in 1997, Story Musgrave appeared at the Disney Institute at Walt Disney World in Florida. An astronaut, surgeon, mathematician, computer analyst, pilot, parachutist, ex-Marine, student of the humanities and a motivational speaker, Musgrave shared his wealth of knowledge as the Discover Magazine scientist-in-residence.
Today a retired NASA astronaut, he continues to be a public speaker and a consultant for Disney Imagineering (he had a helping hand in Epcot's Mission: SPACE).
Originally from Boston, the 6-time space shuttle astronaut made his first flight into space in April 1983. During his six space flights, he recorded 1,281 hours 59 minutes 22 seconds in space in addition to approximately 25 million miles in orbit!
The Disney Institute is gone ... but Musgrave continues to share his wealth of knowledge as a professional speaker.

Click HERE for more June 02 Disney history.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

June 01: A Royal Evening for The Lion King

On this day in 1998, Disney's Broadway production of The Lion King won 6 Tony Awards at a ceremony in New York City.
Chosen for an amazing 11 nominations, the categories included:
Book (Musical), Choreographer, Costume Designer, Director (Musical), Featured Actor (Musical), Featured Actress (Musical), Lighting Designer, Musical, Orchestrations, Scenic Designer, and Score.
Winners included:
Garth Fagan (Choreographer), Julie Taymor (Costume Designer & Director - the first woman in Broadway history to win Best Director of a Musical), Donald Holder (Lighting Designer), Disney Theatrical (Musical), and Richard Hudson (Scenic Designer).

Click HERE for more June 01 Disney history.