Disney's 24-minute Mickey Mouse short Mickey's Christmas Carol is released
as an accompaniment to a re-release of The Rescuers. An animated version of the
Charles Dickens tale featuring Scrooge McDuck, it is Mickey's first appearance since The Simple Things in
1953. The short features the final performance of Clarence Nash as Donald Duck (the only character in the
film to be voiced by his original actor) and the first performance of Wayne Allwine as Mickey Mouse.
Mickey's Christmas Carol will be nominated for an Academy Award for Best Animated Short Subject.
The very first "Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party" premieres at
The Walt Disney Company breaks ground on the first phase of a 125-acre
campus that eventually will house its theme-park designers, sound stages and a
high-tech business center. The Grand Central Creative Campus project (or GC3) at Grandview
Avenue and Flower Street in Los Angeles is expected to be completed by December 2006.
Writer and linguist Wilhelm Grimm passes away in Berlin, Germany. He and his
brother Jacob were the first to write down such classic tales as Snow White, Cinderella, and Sleeping Beauty.
Hardie Albright, one of the adolescent voices of Disney's 1942
Bambi, is born in Charleroi, Pennsylvania.
The Walt Disney Studios is incorporated as a partnership and replaced by 4
companies: Walt Disney Productions, Ltd.; Walt Disney Enterprises; Liled
Realty and Investment Company; and the Disney Film Recording Company.
The Walt Disney directed Silly Symphony cartoon The Merry Dwarfs is released.
Actress Joyce Bulifant is born in Newport News, Virginia. Best known for her role of
Marie Slaughter (Murray's wife) on the classic series Mary Tyler Moore, Bulifant appeared in Disney's 1967
live-action feature The Happiest Millionaire as Rosemary.
WED Enterprises is founded as a private company owned solely
by Walt Disney to design and create Disneyland and to manage
Disney's personal assets. WED stands for Walter Elias Disney. Already hard at work on the theme park project are Walt's first 3 Imagineers ... Harriet Burns, Fred Joerger and Wathel Rogers. (In 1986, WED will be renamed Walt Disney Imagineering.)
Mickey Mouse Club airs on ABC-TV. Today is Talent Round-Up Day.
The TV series Walt Disney's Wonderful World of Color
airs "Hurricane Hannah."
At 5:00 p.m. on this Friday, a private service is held for Walt Disney's immediate
family at Little Church of the Flowers of Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Glendale,
California. No announcements of the funeral are made until after it has taken place.
The New York Times runs "Walt Disney, 65, Dies on Coast; Founded an Empire on a
Mouse" the day after his passing. The obituary (penned by Marty Sklar, who at this time is a staff writer
at WED) reads:
Disney's animated short The Small One, directed by Don Bluth, is released. Set in the
town of Bethlehem on the eve of the first Christmas, it is based on the children's book by Charles Tazewell.
Disney Channel Christmas airs on the Disney Channel.
The Commisary restaurant opens at Disney-MGM Studios.
After extensive renovations, Walt Disney World's Snow White's
Adventures reopens as Snow White's Scary Adventures.
Meanwhile over in Tomorrowland, the new ExtraTERRORestrial Alien
Encounter offers a soft opening.
Ninety-eight-year-old Lillian Bounds Disney dies peacefully in her sleep at her
home in West Los Angeles, after suffering a stroke the day before.
(Her husband Walt had died thirty-one years ago and a day in the early morning of December 15, 1966.)
"We will continue to operate
Walt Disney’s Company in
the way that he has established
and guided it." -Roy O. Disney
(This Day 1966)
WED Enterprises established
Voice actress and comedian Patricia "Patti" Deutsch Ross is born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. A frequent panelist on the TV game shows Match Game and Tattletales, she also provided
voices for Disney films and television shows. Her credits include Tarzan (1999), The Emperor's New
Groove (2000), Monsters, Inc. (2001), Kronk's New Groove (2005), and The Emperor's New School (2007-2008).
Sound engineer David J. Hudson is born. Nominated for three Academy Awards, his Disney/Touchstone credits include Tin Men, Adventures in Babysitting, Good Morning, Vietnam, The Little Mermaid, Pretty Woman, The Rescuers Down Under, What About Bob?, Beauty and the Beast, Sister Act, Aladdin, Sister Act 2: Back in the Habit, The Return fof Jafar, and The Lion King.
The Donald Duck cartoon Toy Tinkers, directed by Jack Hannah, is released. In this Christmas short, Chip 'n' Dale fight with Donald for the goodies under his tree!
"Well, WED is, you might call it my backyard laboratory, my workshop away from work.
It served a purpose in that some of the things I was planning, like Disneyland for example… it’s pretty hard for banking minds to go with it… so I had to go ahead on my own and develop it to a point where they could begin to comprehend what I had on my mind." -Walt Disney
Disney's live-action documentary Mysteries of the Deep is released. Narrated by Winston
Hibler, the featurette shows just how incredibly diverse and compelling our planet is. Written and co-produced by
Roy E. Disney, Mysteries of the Deep is one of thirteen True-Life Adventures.
Walt Disney, who built his whimsical cartoon world of Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck and Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs into a $100-million-a-year entertainment empire, died in St. Joseph's Hospital here this morning. He was 65 years old.
His death, at 9:35 a.m., was attributed to acute circulatory collapse. He had undergone surgery at the hospital a month ago for the removal of a lung tumor that was discovered after he entered the hospital for treatment of an old neck injury received in a polo match. On Nov. 30, he re-entered the hospital for a 'post-operative checkup.'
Just before his last illness, Mr. Disney was supervising the construction of a new Disneyland in Florida, a ski resort in Sequoia National Forest and the renovation of the 10-year-old Disneyland at Anaheim. His motion-picture studio was turning out six new productions and several television shows and he was spearheading the development of the vast University of the Arts, called Cal Art, now under construction here.
Although Mr. Disney held no formal title at Walt Disney Productions, he was in direct charge of the company and was deeply involved in all its operations. Indeed, with the recent decision of Jack L. Warner to sell his interest in the Warner Brothers studio, Mr. Disney was the last of Hollywood's veteran moviemakers who remained in personal control of a major studio.
Roy Disney, Walt Disney's 74-year-old brother, who is president and chairman of Walt Disney Productions and who directs its financial operations, said: "We will continue to operate Walt's company in the way that he had established and guided it. All of the plans for the future that Walt had begun will continue to move ahead."
Besides his brother, Mr. Disney is survived by his widow, Lillian, two daughters, Mrs. Ron Miller and Mrs. Robert Brown.
Editorial cartoons honoring Walt Disney begin to
appear in newspapers around the country. The one to
the right, by famed editorial cartoonist Charles Brooks appears in The
Birmingham News (a newspaper in Birmingham, Alabama). Brooks'
farewell to Walt shows Disney's cartoon characters gathered
mournfully at his grave. Thousands of copies will be requested
from across the country ... including one from the Disney Studios.
Roy O. Disney sends a 6-page telegram to the
London Disney office announcing the death of his
brother Walt. It is then forwarded to the Paris Disney office. The
telegram includes these words:
"The death of Walt Disney is a loss to all the people of the world. In
everything he did, Walt had an intuitive way of reaching out and
touching the hearts and mind of young and old alike. His
entertainment was an international language.
For more than 40 years, people have looked to Walt Disney for the
finest quality in family entertainment. There is no way to replace Walt
Disney. He was an extraordinary man. Perhaps there will never be
another like him. I know that we who worked at his side for all these
years will always cherish the years and minutes we spent in helping
Walt Disney entertain the people of the world. The world will always be a better place because Walt Disney was its master showman.
As President and Chairman of the Board of Walt Disney Productions, I want to assure the public, our stockholders and each of our more than 4,000 employees that we will continue to operate Walt Disney’s Company in the way that he has established and guided it."
Disney's live-action feature Candleshoe, starring Jodie Foster as Casey Brown,
Helen Hayes (in her final screen appearance) as Lady St. Edmund, and David Niven
playing 3 roles including the part of a butler, is released in Los Angeles. Based on the Michael Innes novel Christmas at Candleshoe, a small time crook named Harry Bundage discovers that the old manor house where Lady St. Edmund resides, with three orphans and her butler Priory, is the resting place for a hoard of treasure!
Roy E. Disney, son of Disney Studios co-founder Roy O. Disney, and
nephew of Walt Disney, passes away at the age of 79 at Hoag Memorial
Hospital Presbyterian in Newport Beach, California (following a
year-long battle with stomach cancer). A successful businessman, philanthropist,
filmmaker, and award-winning sailor, he played a key role in the revitalization of The Walt Disney
Company and Disney's animation legacy (his influence led to the departure of former chief Michael Eisner). Roy
Edward Disney was associated with the Company over a 56-year period, and from 1984–2003, served as vice
chairman of the Company's board of directors, and chairman of the Studio's Animation Department. In recent years,
he held the title of director emeritus and consultant for the Company.
Nominations for the 19th Critics' Choice Awards are announced. Among the nominees:
-Best Picture: Saving Mr. Banks
-Best Actress: Emma Thompson – Saving Mr. Banks as Pamela "P. L." Travers
-Best Animated Feature: Frozen and Monsters University
-Best Actor in an Action Movie: Robert Downey Jr. – Iron Man 3 as Tony Stark / Iron Man
-Best Actress in an Action Movie: Gwyneth Paltrow – Iron Man 3 as Pepper Potts
-Best Costume Design: Daniel Orlandi – Saving Mr. Banks
-Best Score: Thomas Newman – Saving Mr. Banks
-Best Song: "Let It Go" – Robert Lopez and Kristen Anderson-Lopez – Frozen
-Best Visual Effects: Iron Man 3
Winners will be announced January 16, 2014
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, the first stand-alone film in the Star Wars Anthology series, opens in U.S. theaters. Produced by Lucasfilm and distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures, the film is chronologically set between the films Revenge of the Sith (2005) and A New Hope (1977).
Rogue tells the story of a group of unlikely heroes who band together on a mission to steal the plans to the Death Star, the Empire's ultimate weapon of destruction. The films stars Felicity Jones, Mads Mikkelsen, Ben Mendelsohn, Forest Whitaker, Diego Luna, Donnie Yen, Alan Tudyk, Jiang Wen, and Genevieve O’Reilly.
"Mrs. Disney was a full-time partner to Walt and we are all grateful for her contributions in the creation of Mickey Mouse and the Disney company and for the example she set for family life and community service. Lillian and Walt Disney and Edna and Roy Disney were pioneers in turning a creative vision through hard work and sacrifice into an American institution. For that, the world is grateful." -Michael D. Eisner
Actor Benjamin Bratt is born in San Francisco, California. He played Paco in the 1993 Hollywood Pictures film Blood In Blood Out, Felix in the 1991 One Good Cop, and Jonathan Pangborn in Marvel's 2016 Doctor Strange (distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures). Bratt also voiced Ernesto de la Cruz in the 2017 Disney/Pixar animated film Coco, and played the recuring character of Javier Delgado in episodes of ABC-TV's Modern Family.
Actress Anna Popplewell is born London, England. She played the role of Susan Pevensie in the 2005 The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe and the 2008 The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian, both co-produced by Walt Disney Pictures. (She also revived her role for the 2010 The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, although it was not co-produced or distributed by Disney.)
Actress/singer Kiara Muhammad is born in Boston, Massachusetts. Disney fans know her from the animated television series Doc McStuffins as the voice of Doc McStuffins. She also voices Princess Kari
in episodes of Sofia the First.
Disney’s Riviera Resort, located at 1080
Esplanade Avenue in Lake Buena Vista,
Florida, opens to guests. The new Disney
World resort is the 15th Disney Vacation Club resort
and is inspired by Walt and Lillian Disney’s travels
throughout Europe and the Mediterranean coastline.
Built by Disney Parks, Experiences and Products
between Epcot and Disney's Hollywood Studios, it is
the first newly-constructed resort to be served by the
Disney Skyliner gondola system. Within the resort,
guests have three options for food: Le Petite Café
(named after the Disney film The Aristocats), Primo Piatto, and Topolino's Terrace. The Riviera Resort has a full-size pool, a leisure pool, and a shallow interactive splash area for small children.
Actor, comedian, and celebrity impressionist Paul C. Vogt is born in Buffalo, New York. His wide variety of Disney/ABC credits include Hannah Montana (alongside his twin brother Peter), Phil of the Future, The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement, Lilo & Stitch 2: Stitch Has a Glitch, Raising Helen, and Grey's Anatomy. In 2011, he appeared as Ursula in the summer production of The Little Mermaid at The Muny in St. Louis. (It's not unusual for Vogt to play a female as he had the lead role of Edna Turnblad in the Broadway production of Hairspray in 2007. You may also recognize him for his work as a cast member on the sketch comedy program MADtv.)
The Little Mermaid Trilogy is released. The box set includes The Little Mermaid, The Little Mermaid II: Return to the Sea, and The Little Mermaid: Ariel's Beginning.
Actor and singer Nicol Williamson passes away at age 75 in Amsterdam, Netherlands. He played the role of Dr. Worley/Nome King in the 1985 dark fantasy Return to Oz.
Animator and cel painter Phyllis Barnhart is born in Levan, Utah. Starting her career in animation at Disney during the 1940s, she first worked on the films Fun & Fancy Free and Melody Time, at the inking and painting department. Her Disney credits also included The Sword in the Stone, Robin Hood, and The Fox and the Hound. (Barnhart's husband Dale Barnhart worked as a Disney layout and background artist.)
Actor Ben Cross is born Harry Bernard Cross in London, England. He voiced The Sorcerer in Randy Cunningham: 9th Grade Ninja (an American-British-Irish animated television series created for Disney XD). Cross also played William Lloyd Garrison in the 1991 television film She Stood Alone (a co-production with Walt Disney Television). (Cross is best known for his portrayal of the British Olympic athlete Harold Abrahams in the 1981 film Chariots of Fire.)
The television series Dragnet, based on the radio series of the same name and both created by their star Jack Webb, debuts on NBC. About a Los Angeles police detective named Sergeant Joe Friday, the series is filmed at Walt Disney Studios in Burbank, California. Jack Webb had agreed to finance the construction of live-action sets for Disney's production company in exchange for its use. Dragnet will run for 8 seasons.