The cover of LOOK magazine features Mickey Mouse - the "first citizen of Florida" and the
headline FLORIDA: The sweet life The powder keg and Your first look at the magical new
DISNEY WORLD. Articles report on the near completion of Disney World and the booming development of Florida.
NASA Administrator Sean O'Keefe and aspiring astronaut Sofi Collis appear at Epcot for ceremonies honoring the success of the Mars Exploration Rover mission. Ten-year-old Sofi submitted the winning essay in a naming contest for both of NASA's JPL rovers. She suggested the names Spirit and Opportunity. O'Keefe's quote, "We're back ... and we're on Mars," is added to a permanent collection of space-related quotations on the facade of Mission: SPACE.
Ella Enchanted: Original Soundtrack, the soundtrack to the movie Ella Enchanted, is released by Hollywood Records. The album features Kelly Clarkson, Jesse McCartney and Raven-Symoné. Anne Hathaway (the star of the film) performs three songs on the album including one duet with Jesse McCartney. The film will be released April 9.
Disney's Mickey Mouse cartoon The Castaway, directed by Wilfred Jackson (his first for Disney), is released. In this short, Mickey is alone on a raft and cast up on a desert island. Luckily there are plenty of bananas and of course ... a piano! The short is also the first to be scored by Frank Churchill, who will go on to write the songs for Three Little Pigs, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Dumbo,
Bambi and The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad.
Actor John Ratzenberger, Pixar's "good luck charm" is born in Bridgeport,
Connecticut. There was a time that all of Pixar Animation's feature films included Ratzenberger's voice,
ranging from main characters to characters who appear in only one scene. According to director/screenwriter Andrew Stanton, Pixar actually had a rule stating that Ratzenberger had to be in all Pixar films! Some of his voice roles include:
Hamm in all of the Toy Story films (1995, 1999, 2010, 2019)
P.T. Flea, the Circus Ring Leader in A Bug's Life (1998)
The Abominable Snowman in the Monsters, Inc. series (2001, 2013)
The school of Moonfish in Finding Nemo (2003)
The Underminer in The Incredibles series (2004, 2018)
Mack the truck in all of the Cars films (2006, 2011, 2017)
Mustafa the waiter in Ratatouille (2007)
John in WALL-E (2008)
Tom the construction worker in Up (2009)
Gordon the guard in Brave (2012)
Fritz in Inside Out (2015)
Earl the Velociraptor in The Good Dinosaur (2015)
Bill the crab in Finding Dory (2016)
Juan Ortodoncia in Coco (2017)
Fenwick the construction worker in Onward (2020)
TV fans may remember Ratzenberger for his role of Clifford Clavin - the misinformed mailman on the hit
comedy series Cheers. In 1990 Ratzenberger actually appeared on the TV special "Disneyland's
35th Anniversary Celebration" ... as Cliff Clavin!
Disney is awarded 3 Academy Awards; one for the film Grand Canyon (Short Subjects, Live-Action Subjects), another for the People & Places short AMA Girls (Short Subjects, Documentary), and a third for the True-Life Adventure film White Wilderness (Documentary, Features). Although Oliver Wallace is nominated for Scoring of a Dramatic or Comedy Picture (for his work on Disney's White Wilderness), Dimitri Tiomkin takes home the Oscar for his contribution to The Old Man and the Sea.
Damon Pampolina, a member of the Disney Channel's
The All New Mickey Mouse Club, is born in Houston, Texas.
Actor Zach Braff, the voice of Chicken Little, is born in
South Orange, New Jersey. His Disney credits also include the television film It's a Very Merry Muppet Christmas Movie and Oz the Great and Powerful.
(TV fans will recognize him as Dr. John "J.D." Dorian from the hit series Scrubs.)
The Disney Channel airs the Lizzie McGuire episode
"Misadventures in Babysitting" for the first time.
Hollywood Pictures and The Gaumont Film Company release the comedy
Just Visiting. A remake of the French film Les Visiteurs, it stars Jean Reno, Christina Applegate, Christian
Clavier, Malcolm McDowell, Tara Reid, and Bridgette Wilson. A twelfth century knight and his valet are plagued by
a witch, and to repair the damage, they make use of the services of a wizard. However, something goes terribly
wrong when they are transported to the year 2000.
The first of three SuperSoap Weekends begin at Disney's California Adventure. Some of the stars of ABC-TV's All My Children are on hand to meet fans for the next two days.
Disney airs an exclusive look at their summer action-packed spectacular The Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl. The event is shown across its owned-and-affiliated broadcast and synergy properties, and in all U.S. Disney theme parks.
George Britton, who was hired in 1969 to run the railroad at Walt Disney World,
puts in his last day of work. Two years before Disney World opened, Britton was hired to restore
discarded, turn-of-the-century steam engines. The day the park opened in October 1971, they were in pristine
condition ... and they still are today! Britton (the only railroad foreman Disney World has ever had) is presented
with one of their highest honors - a window to one day be put up along Main Street.
The Disneyland Resort 50th anniversary celebration takes to the skies over San
Diego, California with a 100-foot tall, Mickey Mouse-shaped hot air balloon dubbed
"The Happiest Balloon On Earth."
"When I got this job here, this is a true, honest-to-goodness feeling, I thought I'd arrived. I got the job I always wanted and that's what I had here!"
-George Britton (original Disney World railroad foreman)
Disney World improved their linen washing process by increasing wash loads by 20%,
upgrading dryers and adapting a water reuse system. The result ... Disney saves 29 million gallons of water each year! That's enough water to fill the aquarium at The Seas with Nemo
and Friends six times.
Disney's "People and Places" travelogue Japan is released. The 16th in a series of 17 featurettes, it features the work of photographer Ernst A. Heiniger. Produced by Ben Sharpsteen, it is the story of colorful Japanese customs and manners of the past, and their contrast with present-day Japan.
The Disney-produced television sitcom Zorro and Son debuts on CBS. The first of what will be
five episodes, the limited series stars Henry Darrow as Don Diego and Paul Regina as Don Carlos. Many of the exterior sets, props and costumes are from Disney's 1950s Zorro series.
ABC-TV airs The Disney Sunday Movie, "I-Man" starring Scott
Bakula. When cab driver Jeffrey Wilder (Bakula) is exposed to an alien gas, he acquires the
ability to heal instantly and survive any injury or toxin!
Voice actor Eddie Carroll, who took over the role of Jiminy Cricket in 1973 after the death
of original voice Cliff Edwards in 1971, passes away at the age of 76. Also known for his
critically-acclaimed one-man tribute stage show Jack Benny: Laughter in Bloom, Carroll's voice talent can be heard in
Mickey's Christmas Carol, Spectromagic, Wishes, and the Kingdom Hearts video game series.
Entertainer Donny Osmond visits Disneyland with his his wife, Debbie, and son, Joshua, 12. (A singer, musician and actor, Osmond is the singing voice of Shang in the 1998 Mulan and appeared as Gaston in Disney's Broadway musical Beauty and Beast.)
Fans of the Kingdom Keepers Saga and author Ridley Pearson get to celebrate the National Launch of his newest book, Kingdom Keepers III: Disney In Shadow this day at Once Upon a Toy in Downtown Disney Marketplace.
Make Your Mama Proud, the debut album by Fastball, is released on Hollywood Records.
Actress Greer Garson, popular during the Second World War, passes away at age 91 in Dallas, Texas. The British born actress was one of America's top-ten box office draws from 1942 to 1946. Garson played the role of Mrs. Cordelia Biddle in Disney's 1967 musical The Happiest Millionaire.
Today is the last time Disney World guests can see the Pixar Pals Countdown to
Fun parade and the Disney Channel Rocks street show.
April is 1964/65 New York World's Fair Month
Stand-up comedian and actor Don Rickles passes away at the age of 90 in California. Best known as an insult comic, Rickles voiced Mr. Potato Head in all 3 of the Toy Story films and for the shorts Hawaiian Vacation, Small Fry, and
Partysaurus Rex. Although his passing comes before voice work could begin for Toy Story 4, unused recordings from the first 3 films will be used to create a new performance for the upcoming installment (to be released in June 2019). Rickles also supplied the voice of Mr. Potato Head for Toy Story Midway Mania! (an
attraction at Disney California Adventure Park and Disney's Hollywood Studios), and Toy Story: The Musical (created by Walt Disney Creative Entertainment for Disney Cruise Line). Best of friends with comic Bob Newhart, the 2 visited Disneyland in 1974. Sarcastically nicknamed "Mr. Warmth," the Emmy Award-winning Rickles (who also acted on film and television) took insult comedy to a new level during his 6 decade career.
Clark Spencer, a film producer, businessman and studio executive best known for his
work at Walt Disney Animation Studios, is born in Seattle, Washington. He joined Walt
Disney Feature Animation in 1993 as director of planning but later moved on to be senior vice president of finance
and operations. Spencer then moved on to the Florida animation division of the company where he was the head of
studio before becoming the producer of Lilo & Stitch. Since then, Spencer has gone on to also produce the Disney
animated film Bolt, as well as Winnie the Pooh, Tangled, Wreck-It Ralph and Zootopia.
Actress Peyton List, known for playing Emma Ross on the Disney Channel comedy series Jessie and its spin-off Bunk'd, is born in Florida. In 2016, she starred as Ellie O'Brien in
the Disney Channel Original Movie The Swap.
Director, screenwriter, and actor Barry Levinson is born in Baltimore, Maryland. His Touchstone directing credits include Tin Men and Good Morning, Vietnam (both released in 1987).
Actor, comedian and screenwriter Paul Rudd is born in Passaic, New Jersey. He portrayed Scott Lang/Ant-Man in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, appearing in Ant-Man (2015), Captain America: Civil War (2016), Ant-Man and the Wasp (2018), and Avengers: Endgame (2019). In Summer 2015, Rudd and his family visited Disneyland Resort and checked out the exclusive sneak peek of the Ant-Man film which was showing at Disney California Adventure park. Rudd took part in a sneak peek of the Marvel-themed attraction Ant-Man and The Wasp: Nano Battle! at Hong Kong Disneyland in March 2019. In April 2019 Rudd, along with Disney CEO Bob Iger, Scarlett Johansson and Robert Downey Jr., participated in a media event at Disneyland announcing charitable contributions of more than $5 million from Disney to nonprofits supporting children with critical illnesses. (Fans of the sitcom
Friends will remember Rudd as Mike Hannigan, who dates and then marries Phoebe Buffay - played by Lisa Kudrow.)
Film producer Peter Del Vecho is born in Quincy, Massachusetts. He is best known for producing Frozen and Frozen II together with directors Chris Buck and Jennifer Lee. Del Vecho also produced The Princess and the Frog (2009), Winnie the Pooh (2011), and the short Frozen Fever (2015), and was an associate producer of Treasure Planet (2002).
Supervising animator Mark Henn is born in Dayton, Ohio. First joining the Disney studio in 1980, he began work as an inbetweener for Glen Keane on The Fox and the Hound. Henn went on to animate several Disney leading or title characters, most notably heroines such as Ariel in The Little Mermaid, Belle in Beauty and the Beast, and Princess Jasmine in Aladdin. His long list of credits include The Lion King, Pocahontas, Mulan, Lilo & Stitch, Enchanted, The Princess and the Frog, Wreck-it Ralph, Saving Mr. Banks, Frozen, Moana, and Ralph Breaks the Internet. Henn has also animated Mickey Mouse for many Nighttime Spectaculars in Disney Parks and Resorts, including Celebrate The Magic in Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom, World of Color – Celebrate! The Wonderful World of Walt Disney in Disney's California Adventure Park, Ignite the Dream, A Nighttime Spectacular of Magic and Light in Shanghai Disneyland, Disney Illuminations in Disneyland Paris, Disney Gifts Of Christmas and Celebrate! Tokyo Disneyland in Tokyo Disneyland, and We Love Mickey Main Street Projection Show in Hong Kong Disneyland.
The soundtrack to the film 10 Things I Hate About You is released on Hollywood Records. It features Letters to Cleo performing cover versions of Cheap Trick's "I Want You to Want Me" and Nick Lowe's "Cruel to Be Kind".
Veteran actor Mickey Rooney passes away at age 93 in California. Supplying the voices of Sparky in the 2001 Lady and the Tramp II: Scamps' Adventure and Adult Tod in the 1981 The Fox and the Hound, he also portrayed Lampie in the 1977 live action/animated musical Pete's Dragon and was caricatured in the 1939 Donald Duck short The Autograph Hound. Rooney had small roles in the 2000 Disney Channel film Phantom of the Megaplex and the 2011 feature film The Muppets. He attended the grand opening of Disney California Adventure Park in February 2001. First gaining fame as a child star, during his career Rooney won multiple awards, including an Oscar, a Golden Globe and an Emmy. Best known for his film work as the Andy Hardy character, Rooney had one of the longest movie careers of any actor - entering the Guinness Book of Records as the actor with longest career on both stage and screen!
"Disney Junior Music: Dance Party! The Album" is released by Walt Disney Records.
The songs come from the shows Mickey and the Roadster Racers, Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, Sofia the First, Puppy Dog Pals, Doc McStuffins, Muppet Babies, Vampirina, Elena Of Avalor, The Lion Guard and the Disney Junior program block.
Actor Billy Dee Williams is born William December Williams Jr. in New York City. Appearing in 47 films and countless television shows, he is best known for his role of Lando Calrissian in the Star Wars franchise. Williams appeared in The Empire Strikes Back (1980) and Return of the Jedi (1983), and thirty-six years later in The Rise of Skywalker (distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures) - marking one of the longest intervals between onscreen portrayals of a character by the same actor in American film history. He also supplied the voice of Calrissian for both the animated Star Wars Rebels and Lego Star Wars. In 2019, he attended the opening of Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge at Disneyland. His ABC credits include episodes of Lost and Modern Family. First coming to national attention in the 1971 television movie Brian's Song, his film credits include Lady Sings the Blues (1972) and Mahogany (1975).