July 30, 1932 in US cinemas: first Disney animation in colour, “Flowers and Trees”

Flowers and Trees is a Silly Symphony that marked the first Disney animated short to be made in colour. It was the first commercially released film to be produced in the full-colour three-strip Technicolor process, after several years of two-colour Technicolor films.

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July 29, 1959 in UK cinemas: Disney’s “Sleeping Beauty”

“Wondrous to see – Glorious to hear – A magnificent NEW motion picture!”

Sleeping Beauty is a 1959 animated feature produced by Walt Disney Pictures and Buena Vista Distribution and originally released to theatres on January 29, 1959. The sixteenth animated feature in the Disney Animated Canon, it was the last animated feature produced by Walt Disney to be based upon a fairy tale (after his death, the studio returned to the genre with The Little Mermaid), as well as the last cel animated feature from Disney to be inked by hand before the xerography process took over. Sleeping Beauty is also the first animated feature to be shot in Super Technirama 70, one of many large-format widescreen processes (only one more animated film, The Black Cauldron, has been shot in Super Technirama 70). The film spent nearly the entire decade of the 1950s in production: the story work began in 1951, voices were recorded in 1952, animation production took from 1953 until 1958, and the stereophonic musical score was recorded in 1957.

It was originally a failure and did not make up the huge cost of the film. Along with the mixed critical reception, it was also noted to be the film that made Walt Disney lose interest in the animation medium. However, the subsequent re-releases proved massively successful, and critics and audiences have since hailed it as an animated classic.

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July 29, 1988 in US cinemas: Touchstone Pictures releases “Cocktail”

“When he pours, he reigns.”

Cocktail is a 1988 romantic drama film released by Touchstone Pictures. Directed by Roger Donaldson, the film is based on the book of the same name by Heywood Gould, who also wrote the screenplay. It stars Tom Cruise as a talented and ambitious bartender who aspires to working in business and finds love with Elisabeth Shue while working at a bar in Jamaica. The original music score was composed by J Peter Robinson.

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July 29, 1998 in US cinemas: Lindsay Lohan springs “The Parent Trap” in this Disney remake

“Twice the Fun, Double the Trouble.”

The Parent Trap is a 1998 family film remake of the 1961 Disney film of the same name. It was directed by Nancy Meyers and stars Dennis QuaidNatasha Richardson, and Lindsay Lohan (in her feature film debut). It is based on Erich Kästner’s novel Lottie and Lisa (Das Doppelte Lottchen). The plot involves a set of twins who have been separated at birth and, upon meeting by chance, decide to work together to reunite their divorced parents.

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July 28, 1989 in US cinemas: Touchstone Pictures releases “Turner and Hooch”

“The Oddest Couple Ever Unleashed!”

Turner & Hooch is a 1989 comedy drama crime film starring Tom Hanks and Beasley as the eponymous and occasionally maverick characters, Turner and Hooch respectively. The film also stars Mare Winningham, Craig T. Nelson, and Reginald VelJohnson. It was directed by Roger Spottiswoode; it was originally slated to be directed by Henry Winkler, but he was terminated due to “creative differences”. It was co-written by Michael Blodgett from Beyond the Valley of the Dolls fame.

Although K-9 (with James Belushi) was released prior to the film (exactly three months earlier), it became more popular and seemingly overshadowed its greater success probably down to the maverick nature of Hooch, even though K-9 had a very similar plot.

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July 28, 1951 in US and UK cinemas: Disney releases “Alice In Wonderland”

“It’s truly Wonderful!”

Alice in Wonderland is the thirteenth animated feature film produced by Walt Disney in the Disney Animated Canon and originally premiered in London, England on July 28, 1951 by Walt Disney Pictures. Lewis Carroll’s books Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass had only a few adaptations before this movie; this adaptation solved the problems of the setting by using animation (the next adaptation wouldn’t come until 1972, two decades later). The film features the voices of Kathryn Beaumont as Alice (also the voice of Wendy Darling in the later Disney feature film, Peter Pan) and Ed Wynn as the Mad Hatter. Made under the supervision of Walt Disney himself, this film and its animation are often regarded as some of the finest work in Disney studio history, despite the lacklustre, even hostile, reviews it originally received, especially in the UK. Even those that have made the film, including Walt Disney himself, didn’t like the film, though it did receive an Academy Award nomination for Best Original Score.

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July 27, 1953 in UK cinemas: Disney’s “Peter Pan”

“WALT DISNEY’s Enchanting Entertainment for EVERYONE!”

Peter Pan is a 1953 American animated fantasy-adventure film produced by Walt Disney and based on the play Peter Pan, or The Boy Who Wouldn’t Grow Up by J.M .Barrie. It is the fourteenth film in the Disney Animated Canon, and was originally released on February 5, 1953 by RKO Radio Pictures. Peter Pan is the final Disney animated feature released through RKO before Walt Disney’s founding of his own distribution company, Buena Vista Distribution, later in 1953 after the film was released. Peter Pan is also the final Disney film in which all nine members of Disney’s Nine Old Men worked together as directing animators. It is also the second Disney animated film starring Kathryn Beaumont, Heather Angel, and Bill Thompson after their roles in the animated feature Alice in Wonderland.

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July 26, 1950 in UK cinemas: Disney’s “Cinderella”

“The Greatest Love Story Ever Told!!!”

Cinderella is a 1950 American animated film produced by Walt Disney and is based on the fairy tale “Cinderella” by Charles Perrault. However, “Cinderella stories” can be found in cultures throughout the globe. This is the twelfth feature in the Disney Animated Canon. The film had a limited release on February 15, 1950 by RKO Radio Pictures, before going into general release on March 4. Directing credits go to Clyde Geronimi, Hamilton Luske and Wilfred Jackson. The songs were written by Mack David, Jerry Livingston and Al Hoffman.

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July 25, 1961 in UK cinemas: Disney’s “One Hundred and One Dalmatians”

“It’s A Comedy – It’s A Mystery – It’s A Thriller – It’s New – It’s Different – It’s Delightful – It’s FUN !”

One Hundred and One Dalmatians, often abbreviated as 101 Dalmatians, is a 1961 American animated film presented by Walt Disney and based on the novel of the same name by Dodie Smith. Seventeenth in the Disney Animated Canon, it was originally released to theatres on January 25, 1961 distributed by Buena Vista Distribution.

The film stars Rod Taylor as the voice of Pongo, Cate Bauer as the voice of Perdita, and Betty Lou Gerson as the voice of the villainous Cruella De Vil. The plot centres on the fate of the kidnapped puppies of Pongo and Perdita.

This is the first Disney animated feature film to take place in the time period it was made (late 1950’s to early 1960’s), as all previous features were either period pieces or set in some kind of fantasy world with no specifically recognizable time period. Adjusted for inflation it is the 11th highest grossing movie of all time and second highest grossing animated film, just behind Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, it is also a critical gem, as critics praised it for defying Disney convention and for its character animation.

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July 24, 1985 in US cinemas: Disney releases their first PG-rated animation, “The Black Cauldron”

“Hidden by darkness. Guarded by witches. Discovered by a boy. Stolen by a king. Whoever owns it will rule the world. Or destroy it.”

The Black Cauldron is an American animated feature dark fantasy film produced by Walt Disney Pictures and originally released to theatres on July 24, 1985. The twenty-fifth animated feature in the Disney Animated Canon and Disney’s first PG-rated animated film, the film is based on the first two books (“Book of Three” and “The Black Cauldron”) from Lloyd Alexander‘s Chronicles of Prydain book series, which is in turn based on Welsh mythology.

Find out more at disney.wikia.com.