57 years ago today, Disney”s Sleeping Beauty premiered at the Fox Wilshire Theater in Los Angeles.
It was the last film based on a fairy tale that the House of Mouse made for over 30 years, until 1989″s The Little Mermaid, since Sleeping Beauty underperformed at the box office, leading to massive layoffs at Disney. The successful release of 101 Dalmatians in 1961 ended up saving Disney Animation.
Though Sleeping Beauty wasn”t a hit at its debut, the film”s become a beloved Disney classic, with Aurora in her pink dress (you win, Flora) prominent among the lineup of Disney princesses, and with Maleficent now an iconic animated villain. Maleficent got her own movie starring Angelina Jolie in 2014.
Other notable January 29 happenings in pop culture history:
• 1845: Edgar Allen Poe”s The Raven was first published in the New York Evening Mirror.
• 1942: BBC Radio first aired “Desert Island Discs.” Still on the air today, and with many other radio stations around the world having adopted the format, “Desert Island Discs” the longest-running radio show in the U.K.
• 1963: Poet Robert Frost died at age 88.
• 1964: Horror film Children of the Damned opened in theaters across the U.S.
• 1974: Grand Funk Railroad recorded their cover of “The Loco-Motion.”
• 1987: Arthur Miller play All My Sons opened on Broadway at the Coronet Theatre.
• 1964: Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb opened in theaters.
• 1966: The Beach Boys” “Barbara Ann” peaked at No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.
• 1989: Billy Joel sang the national anthem at Super Bowl XXIII.
• 1998: Paul Simon”s short-lived and poorly reviewed musical The Capeman opened at Broadway”s Marquis Theatre. It closed after only 68 performances.
• 2001: The 100th episode of 7th Heaven aired, guest-starring The Monkees” Peter Tork.
Birthdays: Oprah Winfrey (turns 62 today), Saving Private Ryan actor Edward Burns (48), Smallville actor Justin Hartley (39), Roseanne actress Sara Gilbert (41), The Hangover actress Heather Graham (46), 10 Things I Hate About You actor Andrew Keegan (37), singer Adam Lambert (34), Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen actress Isabel Lucas (31), Magnum, P.I. actor Tom Selleck (71), The Graduate actress Katharine Ross (76)