Flashback Fridays: November 1999

On this day in 1999, Toy Story 2 premiered at the El Capitan theatre in Hollywood. The film would be the second of four movies in the Toy Story franchise. Unlike most animated sequels, Toy Story 2 was praised just as much the previous film. This film is known for its world-building and introduction of iconic characters including Jessie, Bullseye, Emperor Zurg, and Stinky Pete. A little over a decade later, Toy Story 3 would be released in 2010; in 2019, Toy Story 4 would be released just five months short of Toy Story 2’s twentieth anniversary.

Speaking of animated films, Pokémania was at its all-time high in the United States. Pokémon: The First Movie (Mewtwo Strikes Back) debuted in American theatres on the tenth. According to news journals, many children skipped school on the date of the film’s release. The media referred to this incident as the Pokéflu. The film became to be the highest-grossing movie that weekend, grossing well over thirty-million dollars. Just a little over a week later, the first installment in the second generation of Pokémon videogames launched in Japan. Pokémon Gold & Silver would launch in American markets on October 14th, 2000.

Starting on the twelfth, kids across America shook in terror as the Cartoon Network program “Courage the Cowardly Dog” lit up television screens. The show would grow notorious reputation for being both a petrifying and simultaneously hilarious experience. Despite the occasional childhood trauma that is has instilled on a generation of viewers, it has gone on to be regarded as one of Cartoon Network’s most acclaimed programming. A lesser known show, “Mike, Lu & Og” debuted on Cartoon Network that same day. Unlike Courage, which became well-known for its distinctive style of writing, Mike, Lu & Og was significantly tamer than the horror-comedy. Both shows would air their final episode within the follow three years.

In the world of video games, NBA 2K for the Sega Dreamcast launched on November 10th. The release of NBA 2K would be the start of a franchise full of yearly installments. As of November 2020, there are twenty-two different 2K video games.

The Number-one album for the week of November 13th, 1999 was Rainbow by Mariah Carey. The album had an R&B flair, with numerous features from renowned hip-hop artists including Jay-Z, Snoop Dogg, and Usher. The album would garner an array of successful singles, including the number-one “Heartbreaker” and “Thank God I Found You.” Speaking of number-one singles, the number-one single at the time was “Smooth” by Santana (Ft. Rob Thomas). The behemoth radio giant topped the charts from October 23rd 1999 through January 8th 2000. “Smooth” and the single “Maria Maria” would elevate Santana to a commercial comeback; their 1999 LP Supernatural became their first number-one record in nearly twenty years.

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