Good morning! This day in Disney history, July 10th, 1981: The Fox and the Houndpremiers in U.S. theaters.
Loosely based on the Daniel P. Mannix novel of the same name, it is the 24th fully animated film produced by Walt Disney Productions. Earning a domestic lifetime gross of $63,457,988 it was considered a success and re-released to theaters in March of 1988.
Development of the project began in 1977, but was interrupted by the defection from the animation department of Don Bluth, Gary Goldman, John Pomeroy and a group of animators who were anxious to set up their own production studio. The film was finished four years later, and with the exception of some early scenes and character development done by veteran animators Frank Thomas, Ollie Johnston, and Cliff Norberg, the film represented the combined talents and imagination of a new team. This new generation of animators would go on to forge a second Golden Age of feature animation in the next decade with such films as The Little Mermaid (1989), Beauty and the Beast (1990) and Aladdin (1992).
Have you seen this film? Do you have a favorite scene?
Also on this day in 1987: The Brave little Toaster is released.
Adapted from the 1980 novel of the same name written by Thomas Disch. The film was directed by Jerry Reese. With an estimated 2,300,000 budget, members of the original Pixar were involved, John Lasseter and Joe Ranft. After John Lasseter and Glen Keane had finished a short 2D/3D test film based on the book Where the Wild Things Are, Lasseter and Thomas L. Wilhite decided they wanted to make a whole feature this way. The story they chose was The Brave Little Toaster, but in their enthusiasm, they ran into issues pitching the idea to two high level Disney executives, animation administrator Ed Hansen, and head of Disney studios Ron W. Miller. During Lasseter and Wilhite's pitch, the film was rejected due to the costs of having traditionally animated characters inside expensive computer-generated backgrounds. A few minutes after the meeting, Lasseter received a phone call from Hansen and was asked to come down to his office, where Lasseter was told that his job had been terminated. The development was then transferred to the new Hyperion Pictures, the creation of former Disney employees Wilhite and Willard Carroll, who took the production along with them.
Eventually The Brave Little Toaster turned into an independent effort with Disney, TDK and CBS-Fox backing it. Disney, who held the video and television rights, withdrew its official theatrical distribution, and elected to showcase it on their new premium cable service instead. The film premiered on The Disney Channel on February 27, 1988. In July 1991, Disney finally released the film to home video.
Have you seen this film? Do you have a favorite part?
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