The Walt Disney Company has a rich and lengthy history with decades of amazing movies, shows and park experiences. To commemorate Disney’s 100th birthday this year, I am spotlighting the company’s history year by year in this new ‘Disney by the Years’ series.
Here is a quick rundown of everything that happened in the world of Disney in the year 1959. I hope you find this lookback in time helpful and entertaining.
Disney Movies Headlines in 1959:
In 1959, Disney released several movies, including:
- January 29 – Sleeping Beauty
- March 19 – The Shaggy Dog
- June 26 – Darby O’Gill and the Little People
- August 4 – The Big Fisherman
- November 10 – Third Man on the Mountain
As was custom at this time, Disney also re-released a number of classic movies to theaters in 1959:
Disney won three Oscars in 1959- two for the shorts Grand Canyon and Ama Girls and one for the documentary White Wilderness.
Overall, the year saw a decent output of movies quantity-wise, but the quality is through the roof with a few of the company’s most beloved animated and live-action feature films making their debut in the year.
Disney Parks Headlines in 1959:
Disneyland was 4 years old in 1959 and saw its first decent-sized overhaul during the year. A number of iconic attractions made their debut in 1959 including the Matterhorn Bobsleds, the Disneyland Monorail and the Submarine Voyage.
Other notable changes at Disneyland include:
- The addition of the Fantasyland Autopia in June.
- The Rainbow Mountain Stage Coaches close in September.
- The Conestoga Wagons close in September.
Disney Television Headlines in 1959:
In 1959, Walt Disney Presents was in its second year of production and was going strong every Sunday night on ABC. A notable episode was the January 30th show titled The Peter Tchaikovsky Story which was the first stereophonic broadcast of a television program in history.
In June, the company aired a live television special titled Disneyland ’59 to show off the various new attractions at the park.
That’s all for 1959. Stay tuned for in-depth looks at additional years in the very near future!