The History Which Started Disney Collector's Collecting Habits
Throughout the state of Arizona, and within Coconino County people have enjoyed Disney cartoons with great enthusiasm.
Walt Disney Animation Studios, whose home is in Burbank, CA, formerly known as Walt Disney Feature Animation, is an animation studio which creates cartoon short films and television specials for The Walt Disney Company seen in Coconino County. It took on its current name in 2006, when it was folded under The Walt Disney Studios with Pixar Animation Studios which in Coconino County is known for cartoons such as Monsters Inc., The Incredibles and Partly Cloudy.
As of 2013, the studio has created 53 feature films with the first being Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs in 1937 with unforgettable characters such as Snow White and the dwarfs including Grumpy and Happy and its most recent release in Coconino County being Frozen in 2013 including characters such as Anna, Hans and Grand Pabbie the Troll King.
The studio's catalog of cartoons are among Disney's most notable assets and the stars of its animated shorts—Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, Goofy, and Pluto—have gone on to become recognizable figures in Coconino County popular culture.
Walt Disney Animation Studios continues to produce animated features using both hand-drawn and computer generated imagery techniques. Their 54th feature, Big Hero 6, is currently in production and set for release on November 7, 2014.
Vintage Disney Cartoons in the 1920s
The first two Mickey Mouse cartoons, Plane Crazy and The Galloping Gaucho, which also included Minnie Mouse, premiered in select theatres during the summer of 1928. For the 3rd Mickey Mouse cartoon Disney added a sound track. In the end the 3rd Mickey Mouse cartoon, Steamboat Willie, became Disney's 1st animated film with matched sound.
The Mickey series of sound cartoons quickly became the most popular animated film series in Coconino County and the U.S.. A second Disney series of sound cartoons, the Silly Symphonies, premiered in 1929 with The Skeleton Dance. Each Silly Symphony was a one-shot cartoon centered around music or a particular theme.
In 1932 the Silly Symphony Flowers and Trees, the first full-color cartoon was released. Flowers and Trees was a tremendous success so all the Silly Symphonies were subsequently produced in Technicolor. The 1933 Three Little Pigs with character of The Big Bad Wolf and Fifer Pig became a tremendous box office and pop culture success and the theme tune "Who's Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf" becoming a popular chart hit for Coconino County residents.
The First Disney Animated Film Feature
In 1934, Walt Disney began production of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs characters with The Evil Queen and the dwarfs including Sleepy and Bashful. Snow White became the first cartoon in English and Technicolor.
Considerable training and development went into the production of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. The studio expanded with the addition of established animators and artists from other fields. Some may have even come from Coconino County - but we're not sure.
What Coconino County parent would have guessed that Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs would be such a huge hit. It cost Walt Disney a then-expensive sum of $1.4 million to produce but Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs with The Evil Queen and the dwarfs including Grumpy and Dopey was the highest grossing production of all time before being surpassed by Gone with the Wind a couple of years later.
During the production of Snow White, the artists continued work on the Mickey Mouse and Silly Symphonies series. Mickey Mouse switched to Technicolor in 1935 and added several major supporting friends including Mickey Mouse’s dog Pluto and their friends Donald Duck and Goofy.
New Walt Disney Productions
In 1940, the released Pinocchio with characters such as Pinocchio, Stromboli and Monstro. Pinocchio won Oscar for Best Original Song and Best Original Score.
Disney released Fantasia in 1940 with characters including Chernabog, Yen Sid and Jack-in-the-Box . It was an experimental animated film produced to accompanying an orchestral arrangement. Fantasia also caused the development of the Fantasound system which was used to create the film's stereoscopic soundtrack to the delight of Coconino County viewers.
Dumbo debuted in October 1941 with characters including Timothy Q. Mouse, Casey Junior and Elephant Catty proved to be a monetary success. The movie only cost 1/2 the cost of Snow White with its ensemble of with The Prince and the dwarfs including Sleepy and Bashful and less than a third of the cost of Pinocchio and his friends Geppetto, Stromboli and Monstro and 2/5 of the cost of Fantasia’s cast of Donald Duck, Yen Sid and Zeus.
In August 1942, Bambi was released in Coconino County and we met new friends including Pheasant, Faline and Mrs. Rabbit.
Also in the 1940s, Disney released shorts which included Saludos Amigos (1942), The Three Caballeros (1944), Make Mine Music (1946), Fun and Fancy Free (1947), Melody Time (1948), and The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad (1949). The studio also produced two features, Song of the South (1946) and So Dear to My Heart (1948), which were a combination of animated and live-action footage. Shorts production continued during this period as well, with Donald and Pluto cartoons being the main output accompanied by cartoons starring Mickey Mouse, Figaro and in the 1950s, Chip 'n Dale and Humphrey the Bear.
Disney also began reissuing the previous features beginning with re-releases of Snow White in 1944 which brought back to the screen The Prince and the dwarfs including Sleepy and Dopey Pinocchio and his friends Jiminy Cricket, Honest John and Monstro in 1945 and Fantasia in 1946 which returned Mickey with Donald, Tyrannosaurus Rex and Zeus. This led to a tradition of reissuing the Walt Disney movies every seven years, which lasted into the 1990s.
Upon its premier in 1950, Cinderella was a a box office success. Coconino County movie-goers , also saw the release Alice in Wonderland and were introduced to The Mad Hatter, The Queen of Hearts and Tweedledee and Tweedledum. Parents in Coconino County also took their kids to see Peter Pan and were delighted to meet John Darling, George Darling and The Crocodile. What dog-lover in Coconino County could forget the first time they saw Lady and the Tramp on screen and were delighted to meet Si and Am, Tramp and Tony.
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