April 2, 2007 mon
April 2nd, 2007

Birthdays: Frankish Emperor Charlemagne, Giacomo Casanova, Hans Christian Andersen, Marvin Gaye, Emile Zola, Max Ernst, Buddy Ebsen, Sir Alec Guinness, Frederick Bartholdi the creator of the Statue of Liberty, Emmy Lou Harris, Linda Hunt

1877- First man shot out of a cannon.

1943- Disney short 'Private Pluto' the first Chip & Dale cartoon.

1943-Happy Birthday SAT’s! This day Harvard Dean Henry Chauncey supervised the distribution to 316,000 High School seniors of the Army-Navy College Qualifying Test, later re-titled the Scholastic Aptitude Tests or SAT. This became a standardized test that manages every year to raise the stress level of seniors regardless of race, class or religion.
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1974-While actor David Niven was speaking at the Academy Awards telecast a nude streaker ran past him on nationwide television. Mr. Niven, completely unflustered, dryly commented: "The only laugh that man will ever get is by stripping off his clothes and showing off his shortcomings. "

1978-The t.v. show "Dallas" debuts.

1993- Bullocks Wilshire department store with it's famous Tea Room closed.

1994-Disney chief executive Frank Wells is killed in a helicopter crash on a skiing trip. It’s been speculated that blowing snow off some high peaks caused a ice ball to be sucked into the copter’s air intake manifold. Clint Eastwood was supposed to be on that trip but couldn't make it. Billie Joel and Christie Brinkley had a similar scare with their helicopter on the same day. The death of the Disney CEO set in motion the events that would lead to Jeffrey Katzenberg forming Dreamworks and Michael Ovitz’s brief tenure as a mouseketeer and Michael Eisners eventual fall. In 1999 the Hollywood Reporter estimated that the little iceball cost the Walt Disney Company one billion dollars.

2004- Walt Disney Studio released HOME ON THE RANGE, which many feared would be the final Disney Feature done with pencils and paper.


April 1st, 2007 Sunday
April 1st, 2007

Welcome to April, named for Aprilis, an Etruscan Goddess of Agriculture and planting or it may even be a corruption of the name of the Greek Aphrodite, the goddess of love. The month was considered by Romans sacred to Venus- Venuralia. To Ancient Egyptians it was the birthday of the God Het-Heth or Hathor.

Happy April Fool’s Day – The Ancient Romans considered today ALL FOOLS DAY-a day of comedy- they did things backwards, men and women swapped clothes and carried on. Before the Gregorian Reforms in 1582 some Old Style Calendars had the year begin in April instead of January. As the new modern calendar became more widely accepted the people who stubbornly clung to the old practice were made fun of and called April-Fools.


"This is the day upon which we are reminded what we really are on the other three hundred and sixty four.." -Mark Twain

Birthdays: Edmund Rostand the creator of Cyrano De Bergerac, Lon Chaney, Sergei Rachmaninoff, Ali McGraw, Toshiro Mifune, Big Jim Fisk, Debbie Reynolds, Hans Conreid the voice of Disney's Captain Hook, Phil Neikro, Wallace Beery, Jane Powell,Annette O’Toole

1488-Ludovico Buonarotti, after going through a lot of trouble to get his son in the wool and draper’s guild, gives up hope that the boy would ever be anything other than an artist. He reluctantly takes him to be an apprentice to fresco painter Domenico Ghirlandaio. Michelangelo's career begins.

1747-Georg Frederich Handel premiered his oratorio Judas Maccabeus with the song "Hail, Conquering Hero !" frequently used at royal functions.

1867- Opening of the Paris World Exhibition. The gala worlds fair was seen as the zenith of Napoleon III’s Second Empire. Visitors marveled to fascinating exhibits as Dr Lister’s new Disinfectant, a new alloy called Aluminum, a butter that never spoils called oleomargarine and in the American exhibit a novel bit of furniture called a Rocking Chair. The Art galleries of the exhibition were filled with Ingres, Courbets and Delacroix. But judges accepted nothing from those weird painters Cezanne, Manet , Pizarro, who would one day be called Impressionists.

1923- Developers S.H. Woodruff and Canadian William Whitley start advertising lots for sale in Hollywoodland, beneath his his giant new Hollywoodland sign. The sign originally was covered with lightbulbs. It collapsed and was repaired in 1939, the 'land' part never restored. The Hollywood Sign was made over again in 1978.

1944- Tex Avery's "Screwball Squirrel" Only a few shorts were made. As one artist reminisced:" Everyone found that squirrel just too annoying!"

1949- Zsa Zsa Gabor married George Sanders.

1961- Rev Jim Bakker and Tammy Faye Bakker get married.

1970- A symbol of the 70’s.- AMC’s compact car the Gremlin introduced.

1972- In a gesture of turnabout-is-fair-play for women, Cosmopolitan Magazine ran its first male nude centerfold- Burt Reynolds.

1984- Motown star Marvin Gaye was shot to death by his own father in an argument over plans for the singer's 45th birthday party the next day.

1995- Chasen's restaurant closed and turned into a supermarket. The Chasen family claims it will reopen it at another location, but this was the original since 1936. During the filming of Cleopatra (1963) Elizabeth Taylor had Chasen's famous chili flown out to her hotel in Rome. Walt Disney met Leopold Stokowski over dinner at Chasens and conceived the film Fantasia, Orson Welles and Joe Mankiewicz got into a fistfight over the script outline of Citizen Kane there, Bogart, Bacall and John Huston discussed how to fight the Hollywood Blacklist there.

1996- Animation World Network, Toontown’s virtual trade magazine, started up. www.AWN.com


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!


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