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Blog Posts from March 2007:

March 31, 2007 Sat.
March 31st, 2007

Birthdays: Rene' Descartes, Franz Josef Haydn, Serge Diagheliev, Richard Chamberlain, Cesar Chavez, Herb Alpert, Gordie Howe, Liz Claiborne, Gabe Kaplan, Rhea Perlman, Shirley Jones, Richard Kiley, Volker Schlondorf, William Daniels, Lucille Bliss the voice of Crusader Rabbitt, Christopher Walken is 64, Colin Farrell, Al Gore, Ewan McGregor is 35

1905- THE RETURN OF SHERLOCK HOLMES- Sir Arthur Conan Doyle brought back his famous sleuth in a new series of adventures. Conan Doyle had created Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Watson in 1887 but by 1893 he had tired of the characters, he wanted to write more serious fiction like his novel The White Company. So he killed him off. Holmes fell to his doom fighting Prof. Moriarity at the Reichenbeck Falls. The reaction of the public was astonished outrage. It seemed whenever Conan Doyle went out inevitably someone would stop him and say "You Blackguard! How Could You ?!" Finally Conan-Doyle bowed to public pressure and resumed the career of the inhabitants of #221B Baker Street.

1930 -Reacting to charges that the movies had become too naughty, Hollywood producers accept the MOTION PICTURE CODE. It was regulated by Will Hays, former Republican Party Chairman. The regulation wouldn't really start to have strength until 1935-36 when pressure groups like the Catholic League of Decency went after Mae West and the Tarzan pictures. The Hays Code forbade open sex and obscenity:
- twin beds only in a bedroom, nightclothes buttoned to the neck.
-if a couple were seated together on a bed they must have at least one foot touching the floor,
-"kisses with a duration of no longer than 3 seconds, parting with lips closed."
Lots of jokes were spawned like: "Give him the bird!" "If the Hays Commission would let me, I'd give him the bird!" One other little known clause was the forbidding of members of different races from kissing on camera. So Anna Mae Wong, the greatest Chinese actress of her time, could not play a Chinese heroine if her co-star was a Caucasian with eyepieces.

1931- ITT transmits the first message by microwave, from Dover to Calais.

1943- Rodger & Hammerstein's "Oklahoma!" debuts. Despite the opinion of producer Mike Todd -"No legs, No Laughs, No Chance", the musical becomes one of the great hits of American musical Theater.

1962- The Los Angeles County Museum of Art opened on Wilshire Blvd. No, it didn’t display customized surf boards or the ideal tuna melt with sprouts but an exhibit of paintings by Bonnard.

1967- In a small London nightclub rising young rock & roller Jimmy Hendrix burned his guitar for the first time. British rock luminaries like Paul MacCartney, John Lennon and Pete Townsend sat in the audience stunned at the technical brilliance of this unknown former paratrooper who played left handed. The pieces of his guitar were purchased by Microsoft chairman Paul Allen and today are in his Seattle Rock Museum.

1973- Comic strip hero Smilin' Jack gets married, the strip concludes next day.

1991- Former child star Danny Bonaduce arrested for fighting with a transvestite prostitute.

1995- In Corpus Christy Texas famed Tejana singer Selena Perez was shot and killed by an obsessed fan. The woman Yolanda Saldivar was president of the Selena Fan Club. “the gun just went off, I didn’t mean to shoot anybody.

2004- Air America radio goes on the air.


One of the secrets of animation artists is our attitude towards the rich and powerful in our community. Because animation is an art that requires a lot of capitol and heavy technological investment, animation people frequently work shoulder to shoulder with the Hollywood rich, then go back to our more modest surroundings.

Observing the powerful, you see many types. You can understand when you recognize real brilliance, or at least strong street smarts. Other times you are at a loss ot understand why these people are where they are. All you know is they are going to make a lot of more money then you, while you are going to have to work a lot harder than them. You also feel pity for your fellow workers who become so dazzled by their influence with the powerful, only to one day be reminded that they are just employees after all.

Oliver Cromwell's favorite biblical passage was "Put not your faith in the word of Princes..." No matter how much the powerful admire your talents, we are still just employees, admired like thoroughbred horses are admired. We are considered all of one tribe, one race of crazy, emotional artists. Better off being replaced by some mo-cap marvel or software package.

The respect of your fellow artists is worth more than any temporary advantage on a project. Todays hit show will be tomorrow's memory. Todays hot project will one day be just another DVD box or download. In the end, your fellow artists are the only ones you can really trust.

you tell me to re-do that scene one more time...

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Birthdays: Maimonides- Moses Ben Maimon, Anna Sewell (the disabled author of Black Beauty), Eric Clapton, Vincent Van Gogh, Francisco Goya, John Astin, Peter Marshall, Warren Beatty is 69,Disney animator Marc Davis, Arthur Lee Harrington the designer of the Jeep, Tracey Chapman, Robby Coltrane, Paul Reiser, Celine Dion

1853- The pencil eraser patented.

1918- Thomas Edison sold his studio and gets out of the movie business. He had earlier fired W.K.L. Dickson inventor of the movie studio set, Edwin Porter the inventor of the narrative film and closeup, and J. Stuart Blackton the inventor of cartoon animation for annoying him too much about filmmaking. Edison was more interested in finding a way to extract iron ore from rocks using magnets.

1968- In New York’s Bowery district two children find the body of a homeless drug addict. The John Doe is later identified as Bobby Driscoll, 31, Walt Disney child star and the voice of Peter Pan.

1981- PRESIDENT RONALD REAGAN SHOT. After only few weeks in office President Ronald Reagan is shot by lunatic John Hinckley. Hinckley was trying to impress actress Jodie Foster. Reagan recovers. Jodie Foster was unimpressed. Oh well, at least Hinckley was a Republican. In a bit of bizarre theater during the confusion Presidential Security advisor General Alexander Haig went to the media and announced he was in control: “ I am minding the store.” This is in direct conflict with the US Constitution which states plainly the line of succession goes from the President to the Vice President the Speaker of the House to the Senate Leader Pro-Tem. Fortunately, no one took Haig seriously.

2000- Dreamworks animated feature the Road to El Dorado premiered.


W-World
March 29th, 2007

New York based animator Kyle Boyd is doing an on-line flash series about our president entitled W-World on Super Deluxe.com
http://www.superdeluxe.com
Check it out!


My old pal Joe Campana has opened a new website that is already proving a daily visit for all us animation history fans. http://animationwhoandwhere@blogspot.com
Joe is a great authority of LA animation detail.He once took me through Forest Lawn and believe me, he knows where all the bodies are buried! He is preparing a book on the addresses of famous old animation and comic art personalities. I wish him good luck with his new website and look forward to his daily findings.

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Birthdays: President John Tyler, Sir William Walton, Eric Idle, Bud Cort, LaToya Jackson, M.C. Hammer, Walt "Clyde" Frazier, Christopher Lambert, Brendan Gleeson, Lucy Lawless, Elle MacPherson, Amy Sedaris

1886-COCA-COLA Invented. Cocaine in a wine tonic was then a popular health drink. Mark Twain and the Pope drank it. Atlanta Pharmacist and liver pill salesman John Pemberton developed the carbonated drink originally with some Cocaine in it. His bookkeeper, Francis Robinson, penned the famous script logo still in use today. Advertising for the drink claimed it cured everything from hysteria, cholic and the common cold.
The formula is still a secret. During World War Two the Nazis openly worried how a break with the United States would effect their supply of Coca Cola so Dr Goebbels arrested Coke execs in Germany and forced them to develop Fanta Cola. Fanta, the Uber-Cola!

1936-Republic Pictures formed.

1939- Moviestars Clark Gable and Carole Lombard marry. They had a happy marriage until Lombard was killed in a plane crash in 1942. It’s been said the first California King Size mattress, slightly larger than normal king size, was ordered custom made for Gable and Lombard for their rather exuberant assignations at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel.

1951- 'The King and I' debuts on Broadway with Gertrude Lawrence and Yul Brynner, who shaved his head for the first time for the role.

1971- First day of shooting on the film the Godfather. Francis Coppola wanted young actor Al Pacino for the Michael Corleone role but while waiting for the offer Pacino had signed with Fox to do a different film- a Mafia comedy " The Gang that Couldn't Shoot Straight". Producer Robert Evans begged and wheeled and dealed with Fox exec James Aubrey "The Smiling Barracuda" to get Pacino released from his contract. Finally Aubrey replaced him with Jerry Ohrbach-later better known as Lumiere in Beauty and the Beast. He called Evans and said:"All right, you can have the midget."

1989- As part of one of the silliest Oscar telecasts in history actor Rob Lowe (The West Wing) had to dance and sing 'Proud Mary" with a Las Vegas showgirl dressed as Disney's Snow White. Lowe had just been embarrassed by the publication of a videotape shot in a hotel room of him having sex with two teenagers. The Disney Company immediately threatened a lawsuit and the Academy apologized and replaced director Alan Carr with Gilbert Cates.

1992- Presidential candidate Bill Clinton uttered the legendary American phrase:" I smoked pot- but I didn’t inhale!"


March 28, 2007 weds
March 28th, 2007

Birthdays: Paul Whiteman, Pearl Bailey, Freddy Bartholemew, Dirk Bogarde, pianist Rudolph Serkin, Swifty Lazar, Marlin Perkins, Diane Weist, Reba McEntire, Vince Vaughn, Julia Stiles is 26

193 A.D. -THE DAY THE WORLD WAS AUCTIONED- The Roman Emperor Pertinax had just been slaughtered by his Praetorian Guards and the Praetorian Prefect Marius Maximus wisely turned down the promotion- bad retirement benefits, you know. The men realized they can't be Imperial Guards without an Imperial type person to guard. They might even get sent back to the front! So they posted an announcement that "who ever wanted to be Emperor and Lord of the Known World" should come to the Praetorian camp that night and submit a bid. Several senators competed but the winner was Didius Julianus, with a winning bid of 15,000 silver pieces per man in the 1,500 man Guards. Almost none of the Roman generals went along with this dippy solution to the succession to the throne of the Caesars. Juilianus was soon bumped off in a violent civil war that saw Septimius Severus the winner.

1456- Today is the feast of St. John Capistrano. The Saint of the Swallows of California was born in Italy and was a preacher, was married, waged war against the Turks in Hungary and in later life after becoming a monk was put in charge of the Holy Inquisition in Central Europe. He burned the Hussites and other Protestant reformers and ordered all Jews to wear yellow badges so as not to seduce good Christians. He was so hated that a century after his death from plague the Calvinists desecrated his grave and threw his bones down a well. The Mission St. John Capistrano in California was named so by monk Fra Junipero Serra even though the Saint never visited the Golden State.

1776- Happy Birthday San Francisco! Don Juan Bautista De Anza brought 247 colonists to the tip of a rocky promontory in a huge foggy natural harbor and built a Presidio, or fort. When a monk came six months later to built a mission he called it San Francisco de Asiacutes. The neaby village was called Yerba Buena for all the good herbs growing in the area. Juan de Anza explored and mapped most of the route from Old Mexico through Northern California but is not as well known to Americans as the Anglo explorers John Freemont, Kit Carson and Jim Bridger.

1881- P.T. Barnum formed a partnership with his chief competitor James Bailey to create Barnum & Bailey’s Circus. He proclaimed it the Greatest Show on Earth!

1920- Silent film stars Douglas Fairbanks & Mary Pickford married.

1928- Via radio broadcast the public heard the voice of Charlie Chaplin for the first time.

1935- Leni Reifenstahl’s hypnotic movie paean to Nazism- Triumph of the Will, premiered.

1941- English writer Virginia Woolf filled her pockets with stones and drowned herself in he River Ouse in Sussex. Her body was never found. The incident was dramatized in the film The Hours.

1942- Albert Hurter, brilliant designer for Walt Disney's "Snow White' and 'Pinnochio" died of rheumatic fever.

1979- THREE MILE ISLAND- Partial Meltdown of the Pennsylvania reactor panicked the nation. Despite the official attempts to belittle the danger Governor Richard Thornburg in Harrisburg moved his office underground to a bunker and Cardinal Krol of Philadelphia gave the entire county of Lancaster and Harrisburg a blanket unction (Last Rites). just in case.... The accident spawned the largest civilian protests since the Vietnam War and nuclear energy business has never quite recovered.

1999- Matt Groening’s cartoon series Futurama debuted.


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