The Backstory Which Started Disney Collector's Collecting Habits
Throughout the state of New Mexico, and within Grant County people have enjoyed Disney animation with great enthusiasm.
Walt Disney Animation Studios, headquartered 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 Grant County. It took on its present name in 2006, when it was folded under The Walt Disney Studios with Pixar Animation Studios which in Grant County is known for animated movies such as Toy Story, The Incredibles and A Bug's Life.
As of 2013, the studio has produced 53 feature films beginning with Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs in 1937 with unforgettable characters such as The Evil Queen and the dwarfs including Grumpy and Bashful and its most recent release in Grant County being Frozen in 2013 including characters such as Elsa, Hans and Grand Pabbie the Troll King.
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 Grant 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 20s
The first two Mickey Mouse animated films, Plane Crazy and The Galloping Gaucho, which also included Minnie Mouse, premiered in movie screens during the summer of 1928. For the third Mickey Mouse cartoon Disney included a sound track. Subsequently the third Mickey cartoon, Steamboat Willie, became Disney's 1st animated film with matched sound.
The Mickey Mouse series of sound animated films quickly became the most popular animated film series in Grant County and the United States. 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 big box office and pop culture success and the theme tune "Who's Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf" also became popular for Grant County residents.
The 1st Disney Animated Film Feature
In 1934, Walt Disney began production of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs characters with The Prince and the dwarfs including Sleepy and Bashful. Snow White became the first cartoon 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 established animators and artists from other fields. Some may have even come from Grant County - but we're not sure.
What Grant County parent would have imagined that Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs would be such a huge hit. It cost Disney a then-expensive sum of $1.4 million to complete but Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs with Snow White and the seven drawfs including Doc and Dopey was the highest grossing movie of all time before being surpassed by Gone with the Wind a few years later.
While working on Snow White, the artists 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 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, Stromboli and Monstro. 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 Zeus . It was an experimental animated film 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 Grant County viewers.
Dumbo hit the screens in October 1941 with characters including Dumbo, The Ringmaster and The Clown proved to be a financial income success. The movie only cost half the cost of Snow White with its ensemble of with Snow White and the seven drawfs including Grumpy and Happy and less than a 1/3 of the cost of Pinocchio and his friends Jiminy Cricket, Lampwick and Gideon and two fifths of the cost of Fantasia’s cast of Mickey Mouse, Tyrannosaurus Rex and Spring Sprite.
In August 1942, Bambi was premiered in Grant County and we met new friends including Pheasant, Faline and Great Prince of the Forest.
Also in the 1940s, 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 reissuing the previous features beginning with the rerelease of Snow White in 1944 which brought back to the screen The Evil Queen and the seven drawfs including Doc and Dopey Pinocchio and his friends Geppetto, Stromboli and The Blue Fairy in 1945 and Fantasia in 1946 which reunited Mickey with Donald Duck, Tyrannosaurus Rex and Spring Sprite. This led to a tradition of reissuing the Disney features every 7 years, which lasted into the 1990s.
Upon its premier in 1950, Cinderella was a a movie success. Grant County fans , also saw the release Alice in Wonderland and were introduced to The Mad Hatter, The Cheshire Cat and The Dormouse. Parents in Grant County also took their boys and girls to see Peter Pan and were delighted to meet John Darling, Mary Darling and The Crocodile. What dog-lover in Grant County could forget the first time they saw Lady and the Tramp on screen and were delighted to meet Si and Am, Jock and Boris.