The History Which Started Disney Collector's Collecting Desires
Throughout the state of Massachusettes, and within Berkshire County people have enjoyed Disney animation with great enthusiasm.
Walt Disney Animation Studios, headquartered in Burbank, CA, formerly known as Disney Brothers Cartoon Studio, is an animation studio which creates animated short films and television specials for The Walt Disney Company seen in Berkshire County. It took on its current name in 2006, when it was folded under The Walt Disney Studios with Pixar Animation Studios which in Berkshire County is known for animated movies such as Cars, WALL-E and Lifted.
As of 2013, the studio has released 53 feature films beginning with Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs in 1937 with lovable characters such as The Prince and the dwarfs including Doc and Bashful and its most recent release in Berkshire County being Frozen in 2013 including characters such as The Snow Queen, 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 Berkshire 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 movie screens during the summer of 1928. For the third Mickey Mouse cartoon Disney added a sound track. History was made when the 3rd Mickey cartoon, Steamboat Willie, became Disney's 1st cartoon with synchronized sound.
The Mickey Mouse series of sound animated films quickly became the most popular animated film series in Berkshire 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 first full-color cartoon 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 hit and the theme song "Who's Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf" becoming a popular chart hit for Berkshire County residents.
The 1st Walt Disney Animated Film Feature
In 1934, Walt Disney began development on of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs characters with The Prince and the dwarfs including Doc and Dopey. Snow White became the first animated feature in English and color.
Tremendous training and development went into the creation 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 Berkshire County - but we're not sure.
What Berkshire County parent would have imagined that Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs would be such a huge 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 film of all time before being de-throned by 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 Mouse switched to Technicolor in 1935 and added several major supporting characters among them Mickey's dog Pluto and their friends Donald Duck and Goofy.
New Walt Disney Productions
In 1940, the released Pinocchio with characters such as Geppetto, Honest John and The Blue Fairy. Pinocchio won ”Gold Statue” for Best Original Song and Best Original Score.
Disney released Fantasia in 1940 with characters including Donald Duck, Daisy Duck and Jack-in-the-Box . 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 Berkshire County viewers.
Dumbo premiered in October 1941 with characters including Dumbo, Casey Junior and Elephant Catty proved to be a financial income success. The film only cost half the cost of Snow White with its ensemble of with The Evil Queen and the dwarfs including Sleepy and Bashful and less than a 1/3 of the cost of Pinocchio and his friends Geppetto, Stromboli and Gideon and two fifths of the cost of Fantasia’s cast of Chernabog, Yen Sid and The Magic Brooms.
In August 1942, Bambi was premiered in Berkshire 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 reissuing the previous features beginning with the rerelease of Snow White in 1944 which brought back to the screen The Prince and the seven drawfs including Doc and Dopey Pinocchio and his friends Geppetto, Lampwick and Gideon in 1945 and Fantasia in 1946 which returned Mickey Mouse with Donald, Yen Sid and Jack-in-the-Box. This led to a tradition of re-releasing the Disney features every 7 years, which lasted into the 1990s.
Upon its premier in 1950, Cinderella proved to be a box office success. Berkshire County movie-goers , also saw the release Alice in Wonderland and were introduced to The Mad Hatter, The Cheshire Cat and The King of Hearts. Parents in Berkshire County also took their boys and girls to see Peter Pan and were delighted to meet Peter Pan, Mary Darling and The Crocodile. What dog-lover in Berkshire County could forget the first time they saw Lady and the Tramp on screen and were delighted to meet Darling, Jock and Tony.
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