This Week in Disney History: February 2-8

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: 65th anniversary of “Peter Pan”
The directions are simple: think of a wonderful thought, then second star to the right and straight on ‘til morning. This week in Disney history, Walt Disney and his animators introduced the world to the imaginative, animated story of the boy who refused to grow up. “Peter Pan” follows Wendy, John, and Michael Darling as they fly to Never Land with Peter Pan and Tinker Bell, meet the Lost Boys and encounter Captain Hook and his crew of pirates. The story is based on the play by author J. M. Barrie, who bequeathed the story rights to the Great Ormond Street Hospital in London. Although Walt acquired permission to make the film back in 1939, it was not until after World War II, in 1949, that production actually began. The film was released on Feb. 5, 1953, and today, “Peter Pan” is one of Disney’s best-known films.

Feb. 2
1967 – Walt Disney Productions releases “Monkeys, Go Home!”
1969 – “Pancho, the Fastest Paw in the West” (television movie) airs
1986 – “The Disney Sunday Movie” (television series) debuts on ABC
1988 – Film production begins on “Splash, Too” at Disney’s Hollywood Studios
2001 – “Motocrossed” (Disney Channel Original Movie) debuts
2013 – Turtle Talk with Crush experience is introduced at the CHOC Children’s Hospital in Orange, California

Feb. 3
1931 – “Birds of a Feather” (Silly Symphony) debuts
1939 – “Society Dog Show” (Mickey Mouse cartoon short) debuts
1945 – Walt Disney Productions releases “The Three Caballeros” in the United States
1963 – “Greta, the Misfit Greyhound” (television show) airs
1974 – “Carlo, the Sierra Coyote” (television show) airs
1985 – “Lots of Luck” (television movie) airs on The Disney Channel
1986 – Pixar Animation Studios is founded
1993 – Walt Disney Pictures releases “Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey”
2001 – “Lloyd in Space” (television series) debuts
2014 – “Blank: A Vinylmation Love Story” (stop-motion film) debuts at the El Capitan Theater

Feb. 4
1954 – Walt Disney Productions releases “Rob Roy, the Highland Rogue”
1966 – Walt Disney Productions releases “Winnie the Pooh and the Honey Tree”
1966 – Walt Disney Productions releases “The Ugly Dachshund”
2017 – Paddlefish opens at Disney Springs at Walt Disney World Resort

Feb. 5
1946 – “The ABC of Hand Tools” (training film) is delivered to General Motors Corporation
1953 – Walt Disney Productions releases “Peter Pan”
1953 – “Bear Country” (True-Life Adventure featurette) debuts
1960 – “Two Happy Amigos” (television show) airs
1996 – Ye Olde Christmas Shoppe opens at Magic Kingdom Park
2000 – “The Color of Friendship” (Disney Channel Original Movie) debuts

Feb. 6
1928 – “The Ol’ Swimmin’ ‘ole” (Oswald the Lucky Rabbit short) debuts
1937 – “Magician Mickey” (Mickey Mouse cartoon short) debuts
1943 – Walt Disney Productions releases “Saludos Amigos” in the United States
1948 – “The Big Wash” (Goofy cartoon short) debuts
1972 – “Justin Morgan Had a Horse” (two-part television show) airs
1986 – Walt Disney Productions changes its name to The Walt Disney Company
1994 – “Aladdin” (television series) airs on Disney Channel
2001 – Rancho del Zocalo opens at Disneyland Park
2004 – Walt Disney Pictures releases “Miracle”
2007 – “Cinderella III: A Twist in Time” (direct-to-video animated film) is released
2009 – it’s a small world officially reopens at Disneyland Park with 29 Disney and Pixar characters incorporated into the attraction
2011 – Tortuga Tavern opens at Magic Kingdom Park
2015 – “Miles from Tomorrowland” (television series) debuts on Disney Channel

Feb. 7
1927 – “Alice at the Carnival” (Alice Comedy) debuts
1938 – Donald Duck begins as a daily comic strip in newspapers
1940 – Walt Disney’s “Pinocchio” premieres in New York City
1942 – “Mickey’s Birthday Party” (Mickey Mouse cartoon short) debuts
1971 – “Bayou Boy” (two-part television show) airs
1997 -The Richard Petty Driving Experience debuts at the Walt Disney World Speedway
2006 – “Bambi II” (direct-to-video animated film) is released

Feb. 8
1952 – The Disney animated short “Lambert, the Sheepish Lion” debuts
1956 – “Survival in Nature” (television show) airs
1968 – Walt Disney Productions releases “Blackbeard’s Ghost”
1983 – “A Valentine from Disney” (television show) airs
2001 – Disney California Adventure Park opens at Disneyland Resort
2009 – The Walt Disney Company announces a long-term distribution and marketing deal with DreamWorks Studios
2009 – “Sonny with a Chance” (television series) debuts on Disney Channel

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