The History Which Started Disney Collector's Collecting Desires
Throughout the state of Delaware, and within Kent 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 feature films and television specials for The Walt Disney Company seen in Kent County. It took on its present name in 2006, when it was folded under The Walt Disney Studios with Pixar Animation Studios which in Kent County is known for cartoons such as Up, Finding Nemo and Day & Night.
As of 2013, the studio has released 53 feature films starting with 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 Kent County being Frozen in 2013 including characters such as Anna, Kristoff and The King and Queen of Arendelle.
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 Kent 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.
Older Cartoons in the 1920s
The first two Mickey Mouse animated films, 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 produced a sound track. Subsequently the 3rd Mickey Mouse cartoon, Steamboat Willie, became Disney's 1st animated film with synchronized sound.
The Mickey series of sound cartoons quickly became the most popular animated film series in Kent County and the United States. A second Disney series of sound cartoons, 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 tremendous box office and pop culture success and the theme song "Who's Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf" also became popular for Kent County residents.
The First Disney Cartoon Feature
In 1934, Disney began development on of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs characters with Snow White and the dwarfs including Doc and Bashful. Snow White became the 1st animated feature in English and Technicolor.
Considerable development and training went into the creation of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. The studio expanded with the addition of animators and recent college graduate artists. Some may have even come from Kent County - but we're not sure.
What Kent County parent would have known Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs would be such a huge success. It cost Disney a total of $1.4 million to produce but Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs with The Prince and the seven drawfs including Doc and Bashful was the highest grossing movie of all time before the success of Gone with the Wind a couple of 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 characters among them 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 Geppetto, Lampwick and The Blue Fairy. Pinocchio won ”Gold Statue” for Best Original Song and Best Original Score.
Disney released Fantasia in 1940 with characters including Chernabog, Tyrannosaurus Rex and Jack-in-the-Box . It was an experimental cartoon designed 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 Kent County viewers.
Dumbo was released in October 1941 with characters including Timothy Q. Mouse, Casey Junior and Elephant Catty proved to be a financial income success. The feature only cost 1/2 the cost of Snow White with its ensemble of with Snow White and the dwarfs including Doc and Bashful and less than a 1/3 of the cost of Pinocchio and his friends Jiminy Cricket, Honest John and Monstro and two fifths of the cost of Fantasia’s cast of Mickey Mouse, Tyrannosaurus Rex and Spring Sprite.
In August 1942, Bambi was released in Kent County and we met new friends including Bambi's Mother, Faline and Mrs. Possum.
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 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 Evil Queen and the seven drawfs including Sleepy and Happy Pinocchio and his friends Jiminy Cricket, Honest John and Monstro in 1945 and Fantasia in 1946 which reunited Mickey with Donald Duck, Daisy Duck and Zeus. This led to a tradition of re-releasing the Disney features every 7 years, which lasted into the 1990s.
Upon its release in 1950, Cinderella proved to be a movie success. Kent County fans , also saw the premier Alice in Wonderland and were introduced to The March Hare, The Queen of Hearts and Mathilda. Parents in Kent County also took their boys and girls to see Peter Pan and were delighted to meet John Darling, Captain Hook and Tiger Lily. What dog-lover in Kent County could forget the first time they saw Lady and the Tramp on screen and were delighted to meet Si and Am, Trusty and Tony.