This Week in Disney History: December 3-9

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 marks the 70th anniversary of “Mickey and the Seal,” released on December 3, 1948. Pluto finds a baby seal in Mickey’s basket when he returns from a visit to the zoo, but does not get a chance to tell him until the seal is in the bathtub with Mickey. They return it to the zoo, only to find the bathroom full of seals when they get home.

Did you know? Mickey Mouse and Pluto have had a few cartoon encounters with seals over the years in “Mickey’s Circus” (1936), “Pluto’s Playmate” (1941) and“Rescue Dog” (1947).

Dec. 3
1948 – “Mickey and the Seal” (Mickey Mouse cartoon short) debuts
1980 – Leaders host the groundbreaking and dedication ceremonies of Tokyo Disneyland Park
1988 – “Goodbye, Miss 4th of July” (television film) debuts on Disney Channel
2013 – “it’s a Small World: the animated series” (online series) debuts

Dec. 4
1942 – “How to Fish” (Goofy cartoon short) debuts
1957 – “Mars and Beyond” (television special) debuts
1982 – “A Disney Christmas Gift” (television special) debuts
2011 – “Austin & Ally” (television) debuts on Disney Channel
2015 – D23 commemorates the return of three historic Audio-Animatronics® in the Gran Fiesta Tour Starring the Three Caballeros at Epcot

Dec. 5
1901 – Walt Disney is born in Chicago, Illinois
1930 – “Pioneer Days” (Mickey Mouse cartoon short) debuts
1941 – “Chef Donald” (Donald Duck cartoon short) debuts
1986 – President Ronald Reagan officially commemorates Walt Disney Recognition Day
1987 – “The Christmas Visitor” (Disney Channel Premiere Film) airs
1990 – Espace Euro Disney (Euro Disney preview center) opens
2001 – Fans around the world celebrate what would have been Walt Disney’s 100th birthday
2011 – “Prep & Landing: Naughty vs. Nice” (holiday special) debuts on ABC

Dec. 6
1903 – Walt Disney’s sister, Ruth Flora Disney is born; Walt would compose a letter to her annually on her birthday
2012 – New Fantasyland is dedicated with a ceremony at Magic Kingdom Park

Dec. 7
1945 – “Canine Patrol” (Pluto cartoon short) debuts
1986 – Disney Channel begins 24-hour programming
2001 – “‘Twas the Night” (Disney Channel Original Movie) airs
2010 – “Prep & Landing: Operation: Secret Santa” (holiday special) debuts on ABC
2015 – Walt Disney’s office suite is restored as a permanent exhibit space at The Walt Disney Studios in Burbank, CA

Dec. 8
1941 – Following the attack on Pearl Harbor, the U.S. military moves onto the Disney Studio lot and uses the space for vehicle maintenance and ammunition storage
1944 – “Donald’s Off Day” (Donald Duck cartoon short) debuts
1954 – “Operation Undersea” (television) airs
2009 – “Lanny and Wayne the Christmas Elves in Prep & Landing” (holiday special) premieres on ABC

Dec. 9
1931 – “Mickey’s Orphans” (Mickey Mouse cartoon short) debuts
1933 – “The Night Before Christmas” (Silly Symphony) debuts
1938 – “Merbabies” (Silly Symphony) debuts
1994 – Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Cafe opens in Magic Kingdom Park, taking the place of Tomorrowland Terrace
2005 – Walt Disney Pictures releases “Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe”

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