This Week in Disney History: Feb. 25-March 3, 2019

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:

This week: 85th anniversary of Playful Pluto
It lasts just a little more than a minute, but the famous “flypaper sequence” that concludes the Mickey Mouse cartoon Playful Pluto, which was released on March 3, 1934, remains one of the most influential animations of all time. The dazzling sequence, from the hand of William Norman “Norm” Ferguson, the primary animator of the witch in Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs as well as our capricious canine, shows a lithe, elastic and increasingly annoyed Pluto engaged in battle with a seemingly innocent sheet of floating flypaper that, despite Pluto’s hilarious protestations to the contrary, proceeds to alight on almost every part of the increasingly perturbed pooch’s body.


It’s a scene that caught the eyes of Disney Legends Frank Thomas and Ollie Johnston, who wrote in their classic 1981 book Disney Animation: The Illusion of Life, that the sequence represents a “milestone in personality animation. Through it all, [Pluto’s] reaction to his predicament and his thoughts of what to try next are shared with the audience. It was the first time a character seemed to be thinking on the screen, and, though it lasted only 65 seconds, it opened the way for animation of real characters with real problems.”

Feb. 25
1938 – Boat Builders (Mickey Mouse cartoon) debuts
1968 – The Young Loner (two-part television show) airs
2003 – “Spirit of Aloha Dinner Show” debuts at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort at Walt Disney World Resort
2014 – Disney Movies Anywhere digital movie streaming service launches

Feb. 26
1991 – Prairie Outpost & Supply opens in Magic Kingdom Park
2000 – The Weekenders (television show) debuts on One Saturday Morning on ABC
2002 – Cinderella II: Dreams Come True (direct-to-video animated movie) is released

Feb. 27
1959 – The Adventures of Chip ‘n’ Dale(television show) airs
1966 – Ballerina (two-part television show) airs
1995 – Alien Encounters from New Tomorrowland (syndicated television special) airs
2001 – Lady and the Tramp II: Scamp’s Adventure (direct-to-video animated movie) is released
2007 – Muppet Mobile Lab is first tested at Disney California Adventure at the Disneyland Resort
2009 – Walt Disney Pictures releases Jonas Brothers: The 3-D Concert Experience
2017 – When We Rise (8-part television mini-series) airs on ABC

Feb. 28
1942 – Pluto, Junior (Pluto cartoon) debuts
1993 – Bonkersdebuts on Disney Channel
1996 – The Walt Disney Company acquires Gorda Cay, a Bahamian island that will become Castaway Cay for Disney Cruise Line

March 1
1924 – Alice’s Day at Sea, the first Alice Comedy, debuts
1964 – The Legend of Two Gypsy Dogs (television show) airs
1970 – Menace on the Mountain (two-part television show) airs
1986 – Safari Outpost opens in Disneyland Park
1996 – Disney’s Hilton Head Island Resort (a Disney Vacation Club resort) opens in Hilton Head, South Carolina
1998 – Bug Juice (18-episode documentary series) premieres on Disney Channel
1999 – Kali River Rapids and Maharajah Jungle Trek officially open at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park
2012 – The Disney Fantasy cruise ship is christened in New York City

March 2
1951 – Dude Duck (Donald Duck cartoon) debuts
1955 – From Aesop to Hans Christian Andersen(television show) airs
1969 – Nature’s Better Built Homes (television show) airs
1976 – Magic Kingdom Park welcomes its 50 millionth Guest
2007 – Walt Disney Pictures releases Wild Hogs
2009 – Construction begins on the Disney Dream at the Meyer Werft shipyard in Papenburg, Germany

March 3
1934 – Playful Pluto (Mickey Mouse cartoon) debuts
1950 – The Brave Engineer (special cartoon) debuts
1963 – Square Peg in a Round Hole (television show) airs
1967 – Walt Disney Productions releases The Adventures of Bullwhip Griffin
1974 – Ringo, the Refugee Raccoon (television show) airs
1984 – The Edison Twins (television series) debuts on Disney Channel
1995 – Indiana Jones Adventure opens at Disneyland Park
1995 – Walt Disney Pictures releases Man of the House
2015 – Tinker Bell and the Legend of the NeverBeastis released on video

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