IN 1937, when Walt Disney premiered Snow White and the Seven Dwarves, the animators of Leon Schelsingers’ Looney Tunes were invited also. Among the Disney artists and Hollywood notaries, Chuck Jones, Friz and Bob Clampett were there in black tie and tails. Afterwards they felt that sweet bitterness of seeing something amazing that they could never be part of. Oh, they were proud of their own stuff… but still. They were good enough to know they had just witnessed something special. They saw the art of animation advance.

I think many of us had the same feelings as we went to see RATATOUILLE tonight at a special screening set up by ASIFA/Hollywood. I think we all felt animation has advanced.

Bravo to Brad Bird and all the PIXAR gang. It was a wonderful night of animation. I was so proud and happy for old friends like Teddy Newton, Tony Fucile, Michel Gagne', Jim Capobianco, Ronnie Del Carmen, Andy Schmidt, Peter Sohn and old students of mine like Mayer Abousaeedi. I not only loved the character animation performances, but I am happy to see good art direction and cinematography return to feature animation. In a time when everyone is trying to place the emphasis on cheap shortcuts, outsourcing and cinematic tricks in place of real performances, Ratatouille proved that high budget, high quality animation can still pack ‘em in the theaters.

I once asked Shamus Culhane why he gave up a good gig at Max Fleischers to go be a minor player at Walt Disneys. Shamus told me:” Don’t you see? At Fleischers we did okay stuff, but we all knew that at Disney they were really doing it! The real thing! “

I am jealous I was not part of it , but I am happy for them all and proud to be in animation at a time when such great work is being made. Go see it.
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Birthdays: John Paul Jones,, Frida Kahlo, Della Reese Nancy Reagan, Ned Beatty, Sylvester Stallone is 60, Merv Griffin, Janet Leigh, Bill Haley, Vladimir Ashkenazy, Sebastian Cabot, James Bordrero, The Dalai Lama, LaVerne Andrews of the Andrews Sisters, Geoffrey Rush, President George W. Bush is 61

180-? THE IMMORTAL BELOVED LETTERS.- Composer Ludwig van Beethoven never married but not for want of trying. The bad tempered loner loved several women but never had a serious relationship. After his death several love letters were found. The letters written this day were of a supremely passionate nature where he begged some unknown woman to keep an appointment with him at some unstated rendezvous in Hungary. “Though still in bed my thoughts go out to you, My Immortal Beloved…” The letters were never sent and have no addresses or names. Who is this Immortal Beloved Beethoven yearns for?

1886 - Horlick's of Wisconsin offers the1st malted milk to public. It began as an attempt to create a new type of baby formula.

1895- A businessman named William Sydney Porter returned from Honduras where he had fled after being indicted for embezzlement. He had returned because he had learned of the illness of his wife. Porter was sent to prison and while there began writing little stories which he later published under the name O. Henry.

1917 – As Lowell Thomas’ news reel cameras rolled, Lawrence of Arabia and Bedouin Sheik Ouda Abu-Tai captures the Red Sea Port of Acqaba from Turkish troops. The battle was dramatized in the 1962 David Lean epic Lawrence of Arabia.

1928- The film "The Lights of New York" premiered at the Strand theater on Broadway. 1927's the Jazz Singer popularized sound movies while still being half silent. This film was the first with an all dialogue track.

1957-Chuck Jones short "Whats Opera,Doc?" debuts. “Kill da wa-bitt, kill da wa-bitt..."

1957-16 year old John Lennon first met 15 year old Paul McCartney at a church picnic near Woolton, England. Lennon invited McCartney to join his first band called the Quarrymen, but MacCartney missed their first engagement because of a boy scout trip.

1964 - Beatles' film "Hard Day's Night" premieres in London. The bands iconoclastic, antics portrayed by Richard Lesters surreal free style direction set the style for the music videos of the future.

1965- TV sitcom F-Troop premiered. Shortly after the series began production it was learned that lead actress Melody Patterson (Wrangler Jane) was actually underage- barely 16. She kept her part but the writers had to tone down any sexual innuendo in the scripts.

1974- The first broadcast of A Prairie Home Companion, Garrison Keilor’s ode to a small town in Minnesota.

1998- French workers at Disney’s Paris theme park went on strike for better pay and not having to smile all the time like Americans do.


this isn't volume five but I couldn't get an image for that one.

The Disney and animation history fans among you will be pleased to know that Walt's People Volume 5 has been published and is currently available at http://xlibris.com. Didier does a great job interviewing the Disney greats and getting good anecdotes out of them. Bon Chance Monsieur Ghez and yours truly has already been interviewed in a future volume, number seven. I think thats in the same one with Walt's gardener and necktie salesman!

Here's a list of the contents:
Foreword: Mark Mayerson
Michael Barrier: Hugh Harman
Dave Smith: Nadine Missakian
Richard Shale: Ward Kimball
Dave Smith and Richard Shale: Erwin Verity
Richard Hubler: James Algar
Richard Hubler: Winston Hibler
Richard Hubler: Bill Anderson
Richard Hubler: Bill Walsh
Christopher Finch and Linda Rosenkrantz: Bill Walsh
Richard Hubler: George Bruns
John Burlingame: Buddy Baker
Jérémie Noyer: Buddy Baker
Mike Barrier: Fess Parker
Christian Renaut: Walt Stanchfield
Richard Hubler: Marc Davis
Dave Oneil: Alice Davis
Richard Hubler: T. Hee
Harry McCracken: Maurice Noble
Christopher Finch and Linda Rosenkrantz: Al Dempster
Bob Miller: Walt Peregoy
Floyd Norman: Windwagon Smith
Floyd Norman: The Making of The Jungle Book
Jim Korkis: Bill Evans
Alberto Becattini: Jack Bradbury
Alberto Becattini: Lynn Karp
Didier Ghez: Dave Michener
John Musker: In Memory of Vance Gerry
Charles Solomon : Vance Gerry
Christian Renaut: Vance Gerry
Clay Kaytis: Ron Clements and John Musker
Pete Emslie: Cover Art

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Birthdays: P.T. Barnum, Beatrix Potter, The XVIII Century English actress Mrs. Sarah Siddons, Jean Cocteau,Len Lye, George Pompidou, Shirley Knight, Huey Lewis, Milburn Stone (Doc on Gunsmoke),Warren Oates, Henry Cabot Lodge IV, Edie Falco

1910- Writer O.Henry died of cirrhosis and tuberculosis at 47. His last words were "Turn up the lights, I don't want to go home in the dark." He became a writer while serving a jail term for embezzlement.

1933-The Germans began building the Autobahn, a system of highways that became the envy of the world. The Bauhaus designers of the Autobahn invented the ideas we take for granted today- the Cloverleaf Exit, Blending Lanes and the central meridian.

1934- THE SAN FRANCISCO GENERAL STRIKE- A longshoreman strike had brought harbor traffic along the West Coast to a standstill. California Governor Frank Merriam decided to send in the National Guard. When the longshoremen picketline was rushed by armored trucks full of scab replacements they rioted and the troops opened fire. Hundreds were hurt and two killed. Blood flowed on the Embarcadero. One policeman who killed a demonstrator later said: "The man was a Communist so my only regret was that I did not kill more !" Flowers, candles and memorials to the slain men were kicked over by the S.F. police. As a spontaneous unorganized reaction to the violence 100,000 San Franciscans refused to go to work for 4 days. The third largest city in the U.S. was completely paralyzed. Governor Merriam declared martial law but the tanks in the street were helpless.
To a nation struggling in the Depression there was widespread fear that this incident was the beginning of a Bolshevik style revolution. After all the Russian Revolution had started with general strikes. Then, on the 5th day San Francisco went back to work.

1935- The Wagner Act passed congress, decreeing all American workers have the right to collective bargaining and to form unions.

1943- Betty Grable married bandleader Harry James.

1951- Dr Shockley announced the invention of the Transistor, making the miniaturizing of complex electronics possible. One documentary noted that if you tried to make a digital telephone with the earlier technology of vacuum tubes, it would have to be the size of an office building.

1952- London Transport scrapped the last of their electric streetcars in favor of diesel polluting double-decker buses.

1954- Elvis Presley recorded "That’s All Right" at Sun Records in Memphis. Some call it the first true Rock & Roll song, but that is disputed by Bill Haley’s Rock Around the Clock, Ike Turners Delta 88 and many other R&B hits. “That’s All Right” was written by black bluesman Arthur Big-Boy Crudup, who never profited from the song’s success and died in a shack.

1954- Tomoyuki Tanaka announced the beginning of production on the movie Godzilla.


Birthdays: Jean Pierre Blanchard the balloonist-1753, George M. Cohan, Stephen Foster, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Calvin Coolidge, cartoonist Rube Goldberg, Louis Armstrong*, Mayer Lansky, Tokyo Rose, Louis B. Mayer, George Murphy, Emerson Boozer, Neil Simon, Mitch Miller, Eve Marie Saint is 83, Gina Lollabrigida is 80, Al Davis, George Steinbrenner, Ann Landers, Ron Kovic, Geraldo Rivera, Victoria Abril, Pam Shriver Rene Laloux, Gloria Stuart the old lady in the film Titanic is 97 and Edward Walker the inventor of the Lava Lamp

* Louis Armstrong always claimed his birthday was July 4th 1900, records show his birth was August 4th 1901.

painting by Howard Pyle, the man! taught NC Wyeth, inspired the Brandywine School.

1776- U.S. INDEPENDENCE DAY- The actual vote for independence was on July 2nd, two days were required for rewrites, but the 4th was the day of the vote to approve the amended Declaration and the official announcement. After 46 revisions and deletions Tom Jefferson showed the finished document to Ben Franklin, he smiled :”Now we may proceed.” The 56 men who signed the document knew that this was their death warrant as they were committing high treason. Many had their personal fortunes ruined as a result. It then took two months for the news to cross the Atlantic. In London King George III wrote in his diary for July 4th, 1776:" Nothing important happened today..."

1848- The Communist Manifesto published by Karl Marx and Frederich Engels.

1855- Henry Davis Thoreau moves to Walden Pond. He was the first U.S. writer to espouse nature as a thing of beauty instead of an enemy to be conquered. This date is considered the birth of the American Conservation Movement.

1855- Walt Whitman published his quarto of poems The Leaves of Grass. Many people were shocked at it’s frank description of sexual desire. Whitman’s mother said :”Walt is a good boy, but strange.”

1862-Oxford mathematics professor Charles Dodgson rowed ten year old Alice Liddell and her sister up the Thames in a small punt. The little girls begged him for a story, so Dodgson made up fantastic tales of March Hares, Mad Hatters and the Queen of Hearts.
Dodgson later wrote them down and published them in 1865 as Alice in Wonderland. He used the penname Lewis Carroll, which was a joke on the fact that Rennaissance scholars adopted big stuffy Latin names like Ludovicus Carolus Magnus.

1883- Buffalo Bill staged his first Wild West Show in North Platte Nebraska. Bill and his partners took the show all over the US and played for the crowned heads of Europe until 1916. In an interesting case of life imitating art until the Wild West Shows not many gunfighters carried their six shooters in a holster slung low on their hip. Wild Bill Hickock for instance carried his in a sash around his waist. But cowboys went to the Wild West Show and saw a hip holster was the only proper way to carry your shootin iron. Likewise before the Wild West Shows cowboys wore any kind of hat: sombrero, derbys, old cavalry kepis. But soon the wide brimmed Stetson was the only proper attire for any self respecting cow puncher.

1898- The US flag first raised over Wake Island in the Pacific.

1905- Los Angeles developer Abbott Kinney had broke with his partners over the Santa Monica Pleasure Pier. He moved down the coast to some marshy wetlands and built a new community with canals, lagoons and gondolas. VENICE California opened this day. In 1925 the City of LA got rid of most of the canals and gondolas. Venice went on to be a seaside mecca for Beatniks, Hippies and weightlifters like young Arnold Schwarzenegger.

1911- The first rollercoaster on the Pacific Coast opened on Santa Monica Pier.

1914- First day of filming on D.W. Griffith’s “The Birth of an Nation.”

1946- The Independence of the Philippines is declared.

1947- THE WILD ONES- 400 motorcyclists converge on a small California town called Hollister to party hard. The local police arrest 49 and call for State reinforcements. The national media sensationalized the wild bikers terrorizing a small town, calling them "Hell's Angels" three years before the first chapter was formed. Truth be told many residents remember the incident fondly and said it livened things up. Many of the bikers weren’t teenage delinquents but World War Two veterans who used motorcycles to recapture the thrill and camaraderie of action. The Life Magazine that dramatized the Hollister incident had a cover photo showing a depraved biker swilling beer. The shot was staged and the man in the photo was actually a Hollister local who never went near a Harley. The Marlon Brando film 'The Wild One" was based on the Hollister incident.

1966- President Johnson signed the Freedom of Information Act.

1969-“ Give Peace a Chance.” released by John Lennon and the Plastic Ono Band.

1976-What’s Love Got to Do With It? Singer Tina Turner left Ike Turner.

1976- The first true Punk Band, The Ramones, arrived in England for a tour. They greatly inspired future bands like the Clash and the Sex Pistols. When playing at the Palladium the Sex Pistols said they couldn’t get tickets to get in so the Ramones pulled them in through the men’s room window. Hey, Ho, Lets Go!

1982- Jimmy Connors defeated John MacEnroe for his last Wimbledon Championship.

1982- Ozzie Ozbourne married Sharon Ozbourne.

1984- First Lady Nancy Reagan began the campaign to combat drugs among kids by saying “Just Say No”. Two of her Secret Service bodyguards standing behind her were cocaine snorters.

1987- Martina Navratilova defeated Steffie Graf for her 6th straight Wimbledon championship.

1990- 2 Live Crew released the song Banned in the USA.

1997- NASA landed Pathfinder on Mars and deployed Sojourner the first ever autonomous robotic rover. The rover collected image and science data on the Red Planet for the next two months. A JPL scientist said that during the press conference announcing the results suddenly all the reporters jumped up from their seats and rushed out of the room. The Scientists thought some new news event had occurred but what really happened was the Hot Wheels toy car people were outside and giving away free samples of their Mars Pathfinder toy.


Eduard Meissonier
Yersterday marked the One Year Birthday of this website and this blog!I want to thank all of you who routinely read and enjoy this little page. I promise to share some of my own artwork on this site eventually. I have to get over my stage fright. I appreciate those who contact me with corrections to my trivia when I err, and I look forward to sharing more stories, anecdotes and tall tales from ToonTown with you all in the future.

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Birthdaze: King Louis XI of France "the Spider King"1423, Franz Kafka, Mr. Preserved Fish -New York Congressman-1819 and father of Vice President Hamilton Fish, Dave Barry, Leos Janacek, John Singleton Copley, Ken Russell, Tom Stoppard, George Saunders the voice of Shere Khan in Jungle Book, Peter Fountain, Tom Cruise is 45

1916-Hetty Green "the Witch of Wall Street" dies at 80. Her eccentric cheapness created the millionaire-bag lady myth. The richest woman in America, worth around $100 million, she lived in a dumpy apartment in Hoboken, refused to pay for a doctor when her son broke his leg, and stole bread off the tables at fashionable restaurants.

1931- The Cab Calloway Orchestra recorded 'The St. James Infirmary Blues."

1937- In California the Del Mar Racetrack opened, partly owned by Bing Crosby.

1946- Millionaire aviator Howard Hughes crashed an experimental airplane into four homes in Beverly Hills. Hughes had crashed planes before without much injury, but this crash left him near death. His slow recuperation addicted him to morphine and codine.

1969- Brian Jones, having been kicked out of the Rolling Stones just days before -- drowns in his swimming pool. His home was once the estate of A.A. Milne. To this day, conspiracy theorists still insist foul play was involved. More likely, lots of drugs and depression.

1969- On the same day, John and Yoko Lennon are almost killed in a car crash, along with John's son Julian and Yoko's daughter Kyoko.

1971- Rock singer Jim Morrison 28, found dead of a heart attack in his bathtub in Paris.

1971- First laser surgery performed in Sweden.

1978- The Supreme Court upheld the FCC’s reprimand of N.Y. Pacifica radio station WBAI’s airing of a George Carlin comedy routine called the “7 Deadly Words”, reciting expletives you cannot say on radio or television even today.


July 2nd , 2007 Monday
July 2nd, 2007

Congratulations to Brad Bird and all the PIXAR gang for Ratatouille taking the number one box office slot in North America with $47 million. Almost 12 million bucks more than the next runner up.

To those animation folks in competing studios or who may be jealous of their success: You must understand that the public and mainstream media judge us as a medium regardless of studio. If there are some flops in Science Fiction for example, you don't give up on Sci-Fi, you just wait for a better one. But if there are one or two big budget animated flops, the press immediately start writing obituaries for our entire medium! It makes it harder for every one. So as animation people, we should wish every animated film the greatest success. And with a film as good as Ratatouille, thats not that difficult.

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Birthdays: Christoph Witobald Gluck, Herman Hesse, Andrez Kertesz, UPA director Abe Levitow, Cheryl Ladd, Jose Canseco, Jerry Hall, Imelda Marcos, Ron Silver, Brock Peters, Larry David, Lindsay Lohan is 21

1723- Johann Sebastian Bach’s choral work Magnificat first performed in Leipzig.

1776- AMERICAN CONTINENTAL CONGRESS VOTES FOR INDEPENDENCE- Deep into a hot rainy Philadelphia night the delegates finally voted the ultimate break with the mother country. At this time most Americans still referred to England as 'home'. No colony had ever broken away from their mother country and become an independent nation. And as far as the document Thomas Jefferson had written, called the Declaration of Independence, there were 46 separate revisions.
When the Declaration was voted and agreed on two days were given to cleanup the document and it would be announced on July 4th. The famous printed page with John Hancock's big signature was not done until August 2nd.
John Adams always thought the great national celebration should be July 2nd, not the 4th, because to him that was the day everything actually happened.

1789- Two weeks before the French Revolutionaries storm the Bastille, prisoner the Marquis DeSade was transferred to another jail after he grabbed one old inmates ear trumpet and recited out the window some sexual anecdotes about the warden to the laughing crowd below.

1890- The Sherman Anti-Trust Act passed. This law forbids business monopolies. J.P. Morgan had said:" Trying to break up trusts is like trying to unscramble eggs!" It was invoked to break up Standard Oil (Exxon), The Hollywood Studio system in 1948, the ATT/Bell Telephone System and in 2000 used against Bill Gates and Microsoft. In our own time this law is generally ignored.

1900- THE FIRST MAN POWERED FLIGHT- No, not the Airplane, the Zeppelin. Count Von Zeppelin’s creation the LZ-1 made it’s first flight. The LZ-1 carries gently several passengers and mechanics 30 miles from Frederichshaven on Lake Constance to Immenstadt, making perfect time. By the time of the Hindenberg disaster there was a regular zeppelin service between Europe and Buenos Aires for years and it considered much safer than airplanes.

1901- The last train holdup in America by Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.

1927- The film Flesh and the Devil established a new star named Greta Garbo.

1934- Twentieth Century Fox signed a movie contract with child star Shirley Temple.

1937-AMELIA EARHART DISSAPPEARED. Over the Pacific near Howland Island. The Coast Guard cutter Ithaca received the last radio signals from aviatrix Amelia Earhart and her co-pilot Fred Noonan. …."One half-hour fuel and no landfall in sight. We are in position….." Then nothing. They disappeared never to be found. There were all sorts of rumors, even that she was doing espionage for Washington and had been executed by the Japanese. In 1992 a scientist claims to have found 1930's era plane wreckage on a small waterless island near Java but the mystery is still considered unsolved.

1946-The Peace Treaty of Beverly Hills- SAG president Ronald Reagan brokers a labor settlement between the two rival Hollywood Unions, IATSE vs. CSU., temporarily ending a violent Hollywood strike. At this time Reagan went to work every day with a 32 mm Smith & Wesson under his coat.

1955-The Lawrence Welk T.V. Show debuts. wannaful,wannafull !

1961-In the foyer of his home in Ketchum Idaho, Nobel Prize winning writer Ernest Hemingway put a shotgun into his mouth and pulled the trigger. He blew most of his head off just leaving his lower jaw and some cheek. Papa Hemingway was always haunted by the suicide of his father and he was receiving electro-shock treatments at the Mayo Clinic for depression and alcoholism. He lived for awhile in Cuba and his office in Cuba is still kept by Fidel Castro the way he left it, even protecting the hordes of cats sired by Hemingway's original pair. In 1996 his granddaughter supermodel Margaux Hemingway committed suicide almost to the day.

1992- THE GREAT FLYING LAWNCHAIR- San Pedro resident Larry Walters flew 16,000 feet in the air in his lawnchair. He strapped 45 helium weather balloons to his chair and took along a sixpack of beer, a sandwich and a pellet gun. After his two hour flight he got entangled in some power lines. He was later fined by the FAA for violating LAX commercial airport airspace.

1998- In Paris, World Cup soccer fan Rodrigo Rafael Ortega of Mexico was arrested for drunkenly urinating on the eternal flame in honor of Frances' Great War dead. The flame had burned continuously since 1921, at least it was eternal until Rogrigo snuffed it out. Once again international soccer proves its abilities to bring peoples together.


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