The History 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, whose home is in Burbank, CA, formerly known as Disney Brothers Cartoon Studio, 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 3, The Incredibles and A Bug's Life.
As of 2013, the studio has released 53 feature films beginning with Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs in 1937 with unforgettable characters such as The Prince and the dwarfs including Sleepy and Dopey and its most recent release in Grant County being Frozen in 2013 including characters such as Elsa, Kristoff 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 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.
Vintage Disney Animation in the 20s
The first two Mickey Mouse animated films, Plane Crazy and The Galloping Gaucho, which also included Minnie Mouse, was released in limited engagements during the summer of 1928. For the third Mickey Mouse cartoon Disney produced a sound track. In the end the 3rd Mickey Mouse cartoon, Steamboat Willie, became Disney's 1st animated film with synchronized sound.
The Mickey series of sound animated films quickly became the most popular cartoon series in Grant 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 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 Practical Pig became a big box office and pop culture hit and the theme song "Who's Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf" becoming a popular chart hit for Grant County residents.
The 1st Disney Cartoon Feature
In 1934, Disney started production 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 Technicolor.
Considerable 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 Grant County - but we're not sure.
What Grant County parent would have known Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs would be such a big hit. It cost Walt Disney a then-expensive sum of $1.4 million to create but Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs with The Evil Queen and the dwarfs including Grumpy and Happy was the highest grossing production of all time before being de-throned by Gone with the Wind two years later.
While working on 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 premiered Pinocchio with characters such as Pinocchio, Honest John and Monstro. Pinocchio won an Academy Award for Best Original Song and Best Original Score.
Disney released Fantasia in 1940 with characters including Chernabog, Yen Sid and Spring Sprite . 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 Grant County viewers.
Dumbo debuted in October 1941 with characters including Timothy Q. Mouse, The Ringmaster and Elephant Catty proved to be a monetary success. The feature only cost half the cost of Snow White with its ensemble of with The Prince and the seven drawfs including Grumpy and Bashful and less than a 1/3 of the cost of Pinocchio and his friends Geppetto, Stromboli and Gideon and 2/5 of the cost of Fantasia’s cast of Chernabog, Daisy Duck and Jack-in-the-Box.
In August 1942, Bambi was premiered in Grant County and we met new friends including Bambi's Mother, Flower the Skunk and Great Prince of the Forest.
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 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 re-releasing 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 Doc and Happy Pinocchio and his friends Jiminy Cricket, Lampwick and Monstro in 1945 and Fantasia in 1946 which reunited Mickey with Chernabog, Tyrannosaurus Rex and The Magic Brooms. This led to a tradition of reissuing the Disney features every 7 years, which lasted into the 1990s.
Upon its premier in 1950, Cinderella proved to be a box office success. Grant County movie-goers , also saw the release Alice in Wonderland and were introduced to The March Hare, The Cheshire Cat and The Dormouse. Parents in Grant County also took their kids to see Peter Pan and were delighted to meet Wendy Darling, Mary Darling and Jeffrey Silver. 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, Trusty and Jim Dear.
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