The History Which Started Disney Collector's Collecting Desires
Throughout the state of Arizona, and within Pima County people have enjoyed Disney animation 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 animated short films and television specials for The Walt Disney Company seen in Pima County. It took on its current name in 2006, when it was folded under The Walt Disney Studios with Pixar Animation Studios which in Pima County is known for cartoons such as Toy Story 2, Finding Nemo and Day & Night.
As of 2013, the studio has produced 53 feature films with the first being Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs in 1937 with classic characters such as Snow White and the dwarfs including Sleepy and Bashful and its most recent release in Pima County being Frozen in 2013 including characters such as The Snow Queen, Hans and The Duke of Weselton.
The studio's catalog of animated features 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 Pima 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 Animation in the 1920s
The first two Mickey Mouse cartoons, Plane Crazy and The Galloping Gaucho, which also included Minnie Mouse, premiered in limited engagements during the summer of 1928. For the third Mickey cartoon Disney produced a sound track. History was made when the 3rd Mickey Mouse cartoon, Steamboat Willie, became Disney's first animated film with matched sound.
The Mickey Mouse series of sound cartoons quickly became the most popular cartoon series in Pima County and the United States. A second Disney series of sound animated films, the Silly Symphonies, debuted 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 1st full-color animated film was released. Flowers and Trees was a major 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 big box office and pop culture success and the theme song "Who's Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf" also became popular for Pima County residents.
The 1st Walt Disney Animated Film Feature
In 1934, Disney started development on of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs characters with Snow White and the seven drawfs including Doc and Happy. Snow White became the 1st animated feature in English and Technicolor.
Tremendous development and training went into the creation of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. The studio expanded with the addition of animators and artists from other fields. Some may have even come from Pima County - but we're not sure.
What Pima County parent would have guessed that Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs would be such a big hit. It cost Disney a total of $1.4 million to create but Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs with Snow White and the dwarfs including Grumpy and Bashful was the highest grossing production of all time before the success of Gone with the Wind a few years later.
During the production of Snow White, the animators continued work on the Mickey Mouse and Silly Symphonies series. Mickey switched to Technicolor in 1935 and added several major supporting friends among them Mickey's dog Pluto and their friends Donald Duck and Goofy.
New Disney Productions
In 1940, the released Pinocchio with characters such as Pinocchio, Honest John and Monstro. Pinocchio won an Academy Award for Best Original Song and Best Original Score.
Disney released Fantasia in 1940 with characters including Chernabog, Yen Sid and The Magic Brooms . It was an experimental animated film created 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 Pima County viewers.
Dumbo debuted in October 1941 with characters including Timothy Q. Mouse, Jim Crow and The Clown proved to be a monetary success. The feature only cost 1/2 the cost of Snow White with its ensemble of with The Evil Queen and the seven drawfs including Sleepy and Dopey and less than a 1/3 of the cost of Pinocchio and his friends Geppetto, Lampwick and The Blue Fairy and two fifths of the cost of Fantasia’s cast of Mickey Mouse, Daisy Duck and Zeus.
In August 1942, Bambi was premiered in Pima County and we met new friends including Bambi's Mother, Flower the Skunk and Mrs. Rabbit.
Also in the 1940s, Walt 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 Goofy 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.
Walt Disney also began re-releasing the previous features beginning with the rerelease of Snow White in 1944 which brought back to the screen Snow White and the seven drawfs including Doc and Dopey Pinocchio and his friends Geppetto, Stromboli and Monstro in 1945 and Fantasia in 1946 which reunited Mickey Mouse with Donald, Yen Sid and Spring Sprite. This led to a tradition of reissuing the Walt Disney films every seven years, which lasted into the 1990s.
Upon its release in 1950, Cinderella was a a movie success. Pima County fans , also saw the release Alice in Wonderland and were introduced to Alice, The Cheshire Cat and Mathilda. Parents in Pima 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 Pima County could forget the first time they saw Lady and the Tramp on screen and were delighted to meet Lady, Tramp and Tony.