Walt Disney Pictures releases Miracle, starring Kurt Russell, to theaters.
The film centers on the United States men's hockey team, led by head coach Herb Brooks (Russell),
that won the gold medal in the 1980 Winter Olympics.
Elias Disney (the father of Walt Disney) is born to Kepple Disney II and Mary Richardson in Bluevale, Ontario, Canada. While still in his teens, Elias moved with his
family to the United States and eventually settled in Ellis, Kansas. As an adult, he found employment as
a construction worker for the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago - a likely source of
inspiration for his son Walt many years later! As a a general contractor, he opened his first contracting
office in 1895. Elias is honored with a Main Street window at Disney World's
Magic Kingdom that reads:
The 40th U.S. President, Ronald Reagan is born in Tampico,
Illinois. Besides being immortalized in Walt Disney World's Hall of Presidents
attraction, Reagan (at the time an actor) took part in Disneyland's opening day television broadcast in July 1955. When Ronald Reagan became governor of California in 1966, one of the things he did was to promote, through
correspondence with the Postmaster General of the United States, the creation of a commemorative Walt
Disney stamp. As president, Reagan visited the American Adventure at Epcot in March 1983 and again in
May 1985 for his second inauguration.
Voice actor, singer and Disney Legend Thurl Ravenscroft is born in Norfolk,
Nebraska. He is the voice behind many of Disney's animated characters such as Kirby in The
Brave Little Toaster, the Knight in The Sword in the Stone, the Captain in One Hundred and One
Dalmatians and Billy Bass in The Aristocats. As a member of the vocal group The Mellomen,
Ravenscroft's singing voice can be heard on countless Disney television shows, films, records and
theme park attractions (such as the Haunted Mansion and Country Bear Jamboree). He also took part
in Disneyland's opening day in 1955 as an announcer for many of the events. (You may recognize Ravenscroft's deep booming vocals on "You're a Mean One, Mr. Grinch" from the TV special How The Grinch Stole Christmas! and as the voice of Kellogg's Tony the Tiger in more than 500 television commercials.)
Disney's Oswald the Lucky Rabbit cartoon The Ol' Swimmin' 'Ole is released. On this same day Walt & Lillian Disney travel to New York to negotiate a deal with Charles Mintz of Winkler Productions for the next series of Oswald cartoons. The experience will prove to be an eye-opener for the young Disney Studio.
The music from Disney's Snow White and the Seven
Dwarfs is nominated for an Academy Award.
Disney's Saludos Amigos, a 42-minute film about Latin America is generally released in the U.S. Made up of four animated segments tied together by live-action footage of the activities of Walt Disney and his artists on their trip to South America, the film features Donald Duck, Goofy, and José Carioca. Released through RKO, it will earn 3 Academy Award nominations.
Actor-musician Jon Walmsley is born in Lancashire, England. At age 12 he supplied the voice to Christopher Robin for Disney's Winnie the Pooh and the Blustery Day. (TV fans will recognize him from his role of Jason on the 1970s hit series The Waltons.)
Animator Floyd E. Norman is issued his Walt Disney Productions employee identification card (# 6935). Norman will continue to work there through 1966, the last year of Walt's life.
Actress Kathy Najimy, who portrayed Dr. Feemis in Walt Disney World's (now retired) Alien Encounter attraction, is born in San Diego, California. She is the voice of Mary in Disney/Pixar's 2008 WALL-E, Thespis on a 1998 episode of TV's Hercules, Aunt Taqqiq in the 2006 Brother Bear 2, and Minister of Summer in the 2008 Tinker Bell. She's even appeared on episodes of Disney Channel's That's So Raven and The Suite Life of Zack and Cody. (TV fans will recognize Najimy from the series NUMB3RS and as the voice of Peggy Hill on the animated series King of the Hill - for which she received an Annie Award.)
The TV series Walt Disney Presents airs "Elfago Baca: Attorney at Law." It is the 5th episode of the Baca serial starring Robert Loggia. Mouseketeer Annette Funicello plays the role of a teenager whose father Baca must defend.
Actor, comedian and composer Roy Atwell, the voice of Doc in Disney's 1937
animated feature Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, passes away in New York City.
Disney and Lucasfilm reach an agreement for Lucasfilm to develop new
attractions for Disney's theme parks.
Disneyland begins year-round, seven days-a-week operation. Prior to this day,
the park was traditionally closed on Monday and Tuesday during the off season.
Walt Disney Productions officially changes its name to The Walt Disney Company.
Super Bowl MVP Hines Ward and Pittsburgh Steelers teammate Jerome "The Bus"
Bettis appear in a victory parade at Disney World's Magic Kingdom along with football
legend Emmitt Smith.
George Millay, a theme-park visionary who founded SeaWorld and Wet 'n Wild and pioneered Orlando, Florida's tourism business, passes away at age 76 in San Diego, California. Often referred to as "the father of water parks", Millay opened the original SeaWorld (in California)
in 1964. He was a great admirer of Walt Disney and the company he built.
The famous "I'm Going to Disney World!" television advertising
campaign does not take place at Super Bowl XXXIX for the first time since it
started at Super Bowl XX in 1987. Instead Disney runs an ad several times
during the game showing several players from both teams practicing the
catch-phrase. (The New England Patriots defeat the Philadelphia Eagles, 24-21.)
Walt Disney Pictures releases Cinderella III: A Twist in Time direct-to-video.
The sequel features Tami Tappan as the singing voice of Cinderella.
Disney provides over
a year and special
Actress Allison Holker, one of the Cheerleader Dancers
in High School Musical, is born in Minnesota.
Actor Rip Torn is born in Temple, Texas. His Disney credits include the 1999 TV movie Balloon Farm as Harvey H. Potter, and the voice of Zeus in the 1997 animated feature Hercules. (You may recognize Torn from the Men in Black film series and from TV's The Larry Sanders Show.)
The DGA Award (presented by Directors Guild of America) is presented at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York City, and the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Los Angeles. Mary Poppins, nominated for Best Picture, is edged out by My Fair Lady.
Ben-Hur wins the DGA Award for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Motion Pictures, beating out twelve other films including Disney's
The Shaggy Dog (directed by Charles Barton).
Actor Brian Stepanek, best known for his comedic role of Arwin the misfit hotel janitor
on the Disney Channel sitcom The Suite Life of Zack and Cody, is born in Cleveland,
Ohio. He has also supplied voices for such Disney productions as Phineas and Ferb, Kim Possible and the
feature Bolt. (You may also recognize Stepanek from his many TV commercials.)
Disney's live-action comedy The Strongest Man in the World starring Kurt Russell is released. It is the third Disney film
to feature Russell as Dexter Reilly, a brainy but charismatic and popular college science major who gets himself into crazy adventures. Riley and his friends accidently discover a new chemical, which when mixed with a cereal, gives
anyone temporary superhuman strength! The Strongest Man in the World
features an all-star comedic cast including Joe Flynn (as Dean Higgins),
Eve Arden (as Harriet), Cesar Romero (as AJ Arno), Phil Silvers (as Krinkle),
Dick Van Patten (as Harry) and Harold Gould (as Regent Dietz). The Strongest Man in the World is the final film appearance of character actor Joe Flynn.
Flynn died of a sudden heart attack back in July 1974 after principal filming had
The exhibit Disney: The Music Behind the Magic makes its
California debut at the Western Center Museum in Hemet.
Organized by the Experience Music Project, Seattle, the exhibition tells the story of how Disney has used
music to engage audiences, drive its timeless narratives, and succeed in cartoons, television, theme parks,
live-action films, on Broadway and the Billboard charts. Disney: The Music Behind the Magic will be on
display through May 10.
Disneyland Resort’s It’s a Small World re-opens with a brand-new "Spirit of
America" scene and 29 newly added Disney-Pixar characters.
"Never think you're better than anyone else, but don't let anyone treat you like you're worse than they are."
The Goofy short The Big Wash, directed by Clyde Geronimi, is released.
Circus employee Goofy must feed and wash the elephants!
The 37th Annual Annie Awards, hosted by William Shatner, are held at UCLA's
Royce Hall in Los Angeles, California. Pixar Animation Studio's Up wins the Best Animated
Feature. Walt Disney Animation Studios wins six Annies overall including three for its feature The Princess
and the Frog and three for its television production Prep and Landing.
At Super Bowl XLV, quarterback Aaron Rodgers shouts "I’m going to Disney
World!" after helping his team the Green Bay Packers defeat the Pittsburgh
Steelers, 31-25. Rodgers threw three touchdown passes and was named MVP. (This is the 25th year of
the "I’m going to Disney World" commercials.)
Super Bowl XLV - Cowboy Stadium, Dallas, TX
The Disneyland Resort announces a $5 million gift to Children’s Hospital of Orange County for an expansion that will include a Disney-designed lobby. The donation toward a 426,000-square-foot patient tower is announced with Disney music and Mickey Mouse on top of a CHOC parking garage overlooking the construction site on La Veta Avenue in Orange.
Martin A. "Marty" Sklar, The Walt Disney Company's International Ambassador for Walt
Disney Imagineering, is born in New Brunswick, New Jersey. A student at UCLA and editor of its
newspaper, in 1955 Sklar was recruited to create an 1890s-themed newspaper, The Disneyland News, a month before the
theme park opened. After graduating, he joined Disneyland full-time in 1956, where he held responsibility for most of the
park's publicity and marketing materials. In 1961, he moved to WED Enterprises (renamed in 1986 to Walt Disney
Imagineering) where he worked on attractions for the 1964 New York World's Fair. Among the attractions he helped to
design were The Enchanted Tiki Room and It's a Small World. For nearly 10 years, he wrote personal materials for Walt
Disney for use in publications, television and special films. In 1974 he became vice president of concepts/planning, and
guided the creative development of EPCOT Center (now known as Epcot) at Florida's Walt Disney World Resort. As vice
president of creative development, executive vice president and then president of Imagineering for nine years, Sklar
supervised the design and construction of Tokyo Disneyland, the Disney-MGM Studios, Disneyland Paris, Disney's Animal
Kingdom, Disney California Adventure Park, Tokyo DisneySea, the Walt Disney Studios Park and Hong Kong Disneyland.
Sklar has the distinction of attending all 11 Disney theme parks worldwide for their respective opening day celebrations!
The 43rd Annual Annie Awards are held at UCLA’s Royce Hall. Inside Out wins Best Animated
Feature along with 11 other categories, including Outstanding Music – Michael Giacchino; Outstanding Editing – Kevin
Nolting; Outstanding Production Design – Ralph Eggleston; Outstanding Voice Acting – Phyllis Smith as ‘Sadness’;
Outstanding Writing – Pete Docter, Meg LeFauve and Josh Cooley; and Best Directing – Pete Docter.
Film producer Don Hahn (credited with producing some of the most successful animated films in recent history including
The Lion King and Beauty and the Beast) is presented with the June Foray Lifetime Achievement Award.
James White, who scored Super Bowl LI's winning touchdown for the New England Patriots the night before, is honored with a parade at Walt Disney World. White scored three
touchdowns in the game, including the game-winner in overtime, securing a 34-28 victory for the Patriots over the
Atlanta Falcons. His team trailed by 25 points in the second half before staging a comeback led by quarterback
Tom Brady, who was selected as the game’s MVP (and who took part in the "I’m going to Disney World" honors in
2002 and 2004).