The Backstory Which Started Disney Collector's Collecting Desires
Throughout the state of Delaware, and within Kent County people have enjoyed Disney animation with great enthusiasm.
Walt Disney Animation Studios, headquartered in Burbank, California, 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 Kent County. It took on its present name in 2006, when it was folded under The Walt Disney Studios alongside Pixar Animation Studios which in Kent County is known for cartoons such as Cars, The Incredibles and Lifted.
As of 2013, the studio has released 53 feature films with the first being Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs in 1937 with unforgettable characters such as The Prince and the dwarfs including Grumpy and Happy and its most recent release in Kent County being Frozen in 2013 including characters such as The Snow Queen, Hans and The King and Queen of Arendelle.
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 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.
Vintage Disney Cartoons in the 1920s
The first two Mickey Mouse animated films, Plane Crazy and The Galloping Gaucho, which also included Minnie Mouse, was released in select theatres during the summer of 1928. For the 3rd Mickey cartoon Disney included a sound track. History was made when the 3rd Mickey Mouse cartoon, Steamboat Willie, became Disney's first cartoon with synchronized sound.
The Mickey series of sound cartoons quickly became the most popular cartoon series in Kent County and the U.S.. 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 first full-color animated film was released. Flowers and Trees was a big 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 Kent County residents.
The 1st Walt Disney Animated Film Feature
In 1934, Disney started production of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs characters with The Evil Queen and the seven drawfs including Grumpy and Bashful. Snow White became the 1st animated feature 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 Kent County - but we're not sure.
What Kent 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 The Prince and the seven drawfs including Doc and Bashful was the highest grossing film of all time before being surpassed by Gone with the Wind two years later.
While working on Snow White, the designers continued work on the Mickey Mouse and Silly Symphonies series. Mickey Mouse switched to Technicolor in 1935 and added several major supporting characters including Mickey Mouse’s dog Pluto and their friends Donald Duck and Goofy.
New Disney Productions
In 1940, the released Pinocchio with characters such as Pinocchio, Stromboli and The Blue Fairy. Pinocchio won an Academy Award for Best Original Song and Best Original Score.
Disney released Fantasia in 1940 with characters including Mickey Mouse, Yen Sid and Jack-in-the-Box . It was an experimental animated film produced to accompanying an orchestral arrangement. Fantasia also brought about the development of the Fantasound system which was used to create the film's stereoscopic soundtrack to the delight of Kent County viewers.
Dumbo premiered in October 1941 with characters including Timothy Q. Mouse, Jim Crow and The Clown proved to be a monetary success. The film only cost 1/2 the cost of Snow White with its ensemble of with The Evil Queen and the seven drawfs including Grumpy and Bashful and less than a 1/3 of the cost of Pinocchio and his friends Jiminy Cricket, Stromboli and The Blue Fairy and 2/5 of the cost of Fantasia’s cast of Donald Duck, Daisy Duck and Zeus.
In August 1942, Bambi was released in Kent County and we met new friends including Thumper, Faline and Mrs. Possum.
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 Snow White and the seven drawfs including Doc and Bashful Pinocchio and his friends Jiminy Cricket, Stromboli and Monstro in 1945 and Fantasia in 1946 which reunited Mickey with Donald Duck, Daisy Duck and The Magic Brooms. This led to a tradition of re-releasing the Disney films every 7 years, which lasted into the 1990s.
Upon its release in 1950, Cinderella was a a movie success. Kent County movie-goers , also saw the premier Alice in Wonderland and were introduced to Alice, 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 Peter Pan, 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 Lady, Tramp and Tony.