Composer Phil Collins and the cast of Disney's newest stage
musical Tarzan begin rehearsals in Brooklyn, New York.
The play Peter Pan; or, the Boy Who Wouldn't Grow Up, by James Barrie, opens at the Duke of York's Theater in London, England. Nina Boucicault, daughter of playwright Dion Boucicault, stars as Peter and Gerald du Maurier portrays Captain Hook. Following the success of this London production, theatrical producer Charles Frohman will mount a production in New York City in 1905.
(First appearing in a section of "The Little White Bird", a 1902 novel written by Barrie for adults, an animated
Peter Pan will be released by Disney in 1953.)
Disney animator & cartoonist John "Jack" Morin Bradbury is born in Seattle,
Washington. He joined Disney in 1934 at age 20 as an in-betweener on several shorts and later worked on larger projects, such as Pinocchio, Fantasia, and Bambi. In 1947 he joined Western Publishing and drew Disney comics for the next 3 decades.
The Alice Comedy Alice the Lumber Jack, featuring Margie Gay, is released.
While flying in rain and poor visibility south of Newhall, California, a United Airlines twin-engine Boeing airliner crashes in the Santa Susana Mountains. All 12 persons aboard the aircraft (9 passengers & 3 crew members) including H. S. Teague, 28, a cartoonist at Walt Disney Studios, perish.
Walt Disney appears on the cover of TIME. The publication profiles Disney the week Snow White
and the Seven Dwarfs is released, calling the film "the most ambitious animated cartoon ever attempted."
Actor John Amos, who appears in the 1973 live-action Disney feature The World's Greatest Athlete, is born in Newark, New Jersey. (TV fans will recognize him as James Evans from the hit 1970s series Good Times.)
Disney's Pluto cartoon Pantry Pirate is released. Directed by Clyde Geronimi, Pluto finds himself
banished to his doghouse for trying to raid the pantry ... but the smell of roast ham is more than he can resist!
Walt Disney appears on the cover of TIME magazine (for the second time). The issue
features an article titled "Father Goose," and this quote from artist Salvador Dalí: "Disney is innocence in action. He
has the innocence and unselfconsciousness of a child. He still looks at the world with uncontaminated wonder, and
with all living things, he has a terrific sympathy. It was the most natural thing in the world for him to imagine that
mice and squirrels might have feelings just like his."
Today is Guest Star Day on Mickey Mouse Club. The Firehouse Five Plus Two,
a Dixieland jazz band led by Disney animator Ward Kimball, appear.
Critic, reporter & columnist Sarah Vowell, the voice of Violet Parr
in Disney/Pixar's The Incredibles, is born in Muskogee, Oklahoma.
(She is best known for her bits on public radio's This American Life.)
The University of Miami Hurricanes and the University of Nebraska Cornhuskers
(scheduled to battle for the National Championship at the Rose Bowl on January
3, 2002) make their first official Southern California appearance at the new
Disney's California Adventure at the Disneyland Resort. The two top-ranked football teams
and their coaches take part in a festive "Welcome to California" event.
An event is held at Disney's California Adventure to welcome the 2003 Rose Bowl teams, the Oklahoma Sooners and the Washington State Cougars. Acappella group Groove 66 kicks off the festivities with their version of "I Just Want to Fly."
Holiday crowds are so thick at Walt Disney World this afternoon that three parks close or divert traffic at various times. Because they have reached capacity, Magic Kingdom and Disney's Animal Kingdom both close by 1:15 p.m. At Disney-MGM Studios there are parking issues, and traffic is diverted away from the main parking lots for a couple of hours after 3 p.m.
Soon after the completion of
the Magic Kingdom at Walt
Disney World, someone said,
"Isn’t it too bad Walt Disney
didn’t live to see this?" Mike
Vance, then dean of Disney
"He did see it. That’s
why it’s here."
Today is National Fruitcake Day
Disney World is visited by 71,328 holiday visitors on this day!
"Once in a while I make a bluff at being a genius. But what is a genius anyway? Edison said it was 99
percent perspiration and 1 percent inspiration. That’s what I think, too. The most important thing about me
is that I have always lived for pleasure. I have gone on doing what I had fun doing as a boy. I am a pleasure-
seeker." -Walt Disney
"Walt puts up this mild front but underneath it, there's drive, drive, drive." -Roy O. Disney
Continuing a tradition started by Walt Disney in 1959, this year's Rose Bowl teams
– Big Ten Conference champion Wisconsin Badgers and Pac-12 Conference
champion Oregon Ducks – kick off tournament week at Disneyland park.
Actor-turned-director/producer Jerome Courtland is born in Knoxville, Tennessee. In
1957 Courtland starred in the seven-episode miniseries "The Saga of Andy Burnett," which aired on Walt Disney’s
Wonderful World of Color. Two years later Courtland narrated the Disney short Noah’s Ark. As a director, he
worked on such Disney live-action films as Escape to Witch Mountain, Ride a Wild Pony and Return From Witch
Mountain. He was also one of two producers of the partly animated 1977 Disney movie Pete’s Dragon.
Actress, novelist and screenwriter Carrie Fisher passes away at age 60.
Famously known for her role of Princess Leia in the original Star Wars trilogy, she reprised
the role for the 2015 The Force Awakens (the first Star Wars theatrical feature that involved Disney). Archive
footage of her saying the word "hope" was used to portray Leia's voice in Rogue One (distributed by Disney
earlier in December 2016).