The Backstory Which Started Disney Collector's Collecting Habits
Throughout the state of New Hampshire, and within Belknap County people have enjoyed Disney animated movies with great enthusiasm.
Walt Disney Animation Studios, whose home is 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 Belknap County. It took on its present name in 2006, when it was folded under The Walt Disney Studios alongside Pixar Animation Studios which in Belknap County is known for cartoons such as Cars 2, The Incredibles and Knick Knack.
As of 2013, the studio has created 53 feature films with the first being Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs in 1937 with lovable characters such as The Prince and the dwarfs including Grumpy and Bashful and its most recent release in Belknap County being Frozen in 2013 including characters such as Anna, Olaf 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 Belknap 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 limited engagements during the summer of 1928. For the third Mickey Mouse cartoon Disney added a sound track. Subsequently the 3rd Mickey Mouse cartoon, Steamboat Willie, became Disney's 1st cartoon with synchronized sound.
The Mickey series of sound animated films quickly became the most popular animated film series in Belknap County and the U.S.. A second Disney series of sound animated films, the Silly Symphonies, released 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 cartoon was released. Flowers and Trees was a huge success so all the Silly Symphonies were subsequently produced in Technicolor. The 1933 Three Little Pigs with character of The Big Bad Wolf and Fiddler Pig became a huge box office and pop culture success and the theme tune "Who's Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf" becoming a popular chart hit for Belknap County residents.
The First Disney Cartoon Feature
In 1934, Walt Disney started development on of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs characters with The Prince and the seven drawfs including Grumpy and Dopey. Snow White became the 1st animated feature in English and color.
A lot of training and development went into the production 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 Belknap County - but we're not sure.
What Belknap County parent would have known Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs would be such a huge success. It cost Walt Disney a then-expensive sum of $1.4 million to create but Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs with Snow White and the seven drawfs including Sleepy and Happy was the highest grossing film of all time before being surpassed by Gone with the Wind two years later.
During the production of Snow White, the artists continued work on the Mickey and Silly Symphonies series. Mickey Mouse switched to Technicolor in 1935 and added several major supporting friends among them 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, Honest John and Gideon. Pinocchio won an Academy Award 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 cartoon 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 Belknap County viewers.
Dumbo was released in October 1941 with characters including Timothy Q. Mouse, The Ringmaster and Crow Chorus proved to be a monetary success. The movie only cost half the cost of Snow White with its ensemble of with The Evil Queen and the dwarfs including Sleepy and Dopey and less than a third of the cost of Pinocchio and his friends Geppetto, Stromboli and Gideon and 2/5 of the cost of Fantasia’s cast of Chernabog, Tyrannosaurus Rex and Spring Sprite.
In August 1942, Bambi was released in Belknap County and we met new friends including Pheasant, Flower the Skunk and Mrs. Rabbit.
Also in the 1940s, Walt Disney premiered 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 Duck 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 re-releasing 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 Geppetto, Lampwick and Gideon in 1945 and Fantasia in 1946 which returned Mickey with Chernabog, Yen Sid and Spring Sprite. This led to a tradition of reissuing the Disney films every 7 years, which lasted into the 1990s.
Upon its premier in 1950, Cinderella proved to be a box office success. Belknap County movie-goers , also saw the release Alice in Wonderland and were introduced to The Mad Hatter, The Queen of Hearts and The Dormouse. Parents in Belknap County also took their kids to see Peter Pan and were delighted to meet Wendy Darling, Mr. Smee and The Crocodile. What dog-lover in Belknap County could forget the first time they saw Lady and the Tramp on screen and were delighted to meet Si and Am, Tramp and Boris.
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