This Week in Disney History: January 21-27

There’s always a great, big, beautiful tomorrow at The Walt Disney Company, because every day is tied to a milestone in the heritage and rich history of a company that has been entertaining millions of people every year. Published every week, this interesting series features highlights from all the divisions of The Walt Disney Company. Let's see what happened this week:


Jan. 21: 58 years and 101 Dalmatians
“One Hundred and One Dalmatians” had its on-screen debut on Jan. 25, 1961 (released later on video in 1992). The film tells the tale of clever Dalmatians, Pongo and Perdita, who embark on a quest to save their Dalmatian puppies (and nearly 100 others) from the evil villain Cruella De Vil and her henchmen.

Did you know? “One Hundred and One Dalmatians” was the first feature to solely use the Xerox process for transferring the animators’ drawings to cels. Prior to this, each one of the animators’ drawings had to be hand traced in ink onto a cel. The new process sped up the production greatly, especially in a film that had so many spotted dogs. Pongo, the cartoon canine lead, wears 72 spots while his love, Perdita, has 68 on her coat.

Jan. 21
1933 – “The Mad Doctor” (Mickey Mouse cartoon short) debuts
1956 – Dairy Bar opens in Tomorrowland at Disneyland Park
1960 – “Gala Day at Disneyland” (documentary featurette) debuts
1960 – Walt Disney Productions releases “Toby Tyler, or Ten Weeks with a Circus””
1977 – Walt Disney Pictures releases “Freaky Friday”
1995 – “Circle of Life: An Environmental Fable” opens in The Land at Epcot at Walt Disney World Resort
2003 – “101 Dalmatians II: Patch’s London Adventure” (direct-to-video film) debuts
2005 – “American Dragon: Jake Long” debuts on Disney Channel

Jan. 22
1964 – Walt Disney Productions releases “The Misadventures of Merlin Jones”
2000 – “Up, Up and Away” (Disney Channel Original Movie) debuts
2001 – “The Book of Pooh” (television series) debuts on Disney Channel

Jan. 23
1928 – “Neck ‘n’ Neck” (Oswald the Lucky Rabbit cartoon short) debuts
1942 – “The New Spirit” (film made for the U.S. Treasury Department) is delivered
1948 – “They’re Off” (Goofy cartoon short) debuts
1957 – “Our Friend the Atom” (television show) airs
1982 – “Donald and Jose, Olè!” (television show) airs
1992 – Bonnet Creek Golf Club, including Eagle Pines and Osprey Ridge courses opens at Walt Disney World Resort
1999 – “Zenon: Girl of the 21st Century” (Disney Channel Original Movie) debuts
2004 – “Dave the Barbarian” (television show) debuts on Disney Channel
2006 – A grand opening is held for Monsters, Inc. Mike & Sully to the Rescue! at Disney California Adventure Park at Disneyland Resort
2015 – Touchstone Pictures releases the Lucasfilm, Ltd. animated film “Strange Magic”

Jan. 24
1927 – “Alice Foils the Pirates” (Alice Comedy) debuts
1941 – “Pluto’s Playmate” (Pluto cartoon short) debuts
1987 – “Double Switch” (television movie) airs
1993 – Mickey’s Toontown opens at Disneyland Park
2006 – Disney announces its acquisition of Pixar Animation Studios
2011 – Mickey’s PhilharMagic opened at Tokyo Disneyland

Jan. 25
1961 – Walt Disney Productions releases “One Hundred and One Dalmatians”
2003 – “Cinderellabration” opens as a new stage show at Tokyo Disneyland
2007 – The first family is selected to stay in the Cinderella Castle Suite in Magic Kingdom Park as part of the Year of a Million Dreams campaign
2008 – “Minutemen” (Disney Channel Original Movie) debuts

Jan. 26
1945 – “The Clock Watcher” (Donald Duck cartoon short) debuts
1955 – “Davy Crockett Goes to Congress” (television show) debuts
1972 – “The Mouse Factory” (television series) debuts
1990 – “The Bones and Muscles Get Rhythm” (Wonders of Life educational film) debuts
1990 – “The Brain and the Nervous System Think Science” (Wonders of Life educational film) debuts
1990 – “The Heart and Lungs Play Ball” (Wonders of Life educational film) debuts
1996 – The Ford Formula 200 takes place at the Walt Disney World Speedway
2003 – “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” debuts on ABC
2011 – The Disney Dream sets sail on its official maiden voyage

Jan. 27
1996 – The Indy 200 is held at the Walt Disney World Speedway
2006 – “The Emperor’s New School” (television show) debuts on Disney Channel
2008 – “Wild About Safety: Timon and Pumbaa, Safety Smart at Home” (animated educational film) debuts
2011 – “The Magic, The Memories, and You!” show debuts at Disneyland Resort, projected on the exterior it’s a small world

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