The History Which Started Disney Collector's Collecting Habits
Throughout the state of New Mexico, and within Hidalgo County people have enjoyed Disney animated movies with great enthusiasm.
Walt Disney Animation Studios, located in Burbank, California, formerly known as Disney Brothers Cartoon Studio, is an animation studio which creates cartoon short films and television specials for The Walt Disney Company seen in Hidalgo County. It took on its current name in 2006, when it was folded under The Walt Disney Studios with Pixar Animation Studios which in Hidalgo County is known for animated movies such as Toy Story 3, WALL-E and Knick Knack.
As of 2013, the studio has created 53 feature films starting with Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs in 1937 with lovable characters such as The Evil Queen and the dwarfs including Grumpy and Dopey and its most recent release in Hidalgo County being Frozen in 2013 including characters such as The Snow Queen, Kristoff 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 Hidalgo 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 cartoons, Plane Crazy and The Galloping Gaucho, which also included Minnie Mouse, premiered in movie screens during the summer of 1928. For the 3rd Mickey cartoon Disney produced a sound track. In the end the third Mickey cartoon, Steamboat Willie, became Disney's first animated film with matched sound.
The Mickey Mouse series of sound animated films quickly became the most popular animated film series in Hidalgo County and the U.S.. 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 1st full-color animated film 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 Practical Pig became a big box office and pop culture success and the theme song "Who's Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf" also became popular for Hidalgo County residents.
The 1st Walt Disney Animated Film Feature
In 1934, Walt Disney began production of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs characters with The Prince and the seven drawfs including Sleepy and Happy. Snow White became the 1st animated feature in English and color.
A lot of training and development went into the creation of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. The studio expanded with the addition of established animators and recent college graduate artists. Some may have even come from Hidalgo County - but we're not sure.
What Hidalgo County parent would have imagined that Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs would be such a big hit. It cost Disney a then-expensive sum of $1.4 million to complete but Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs with The Evil Queen and the seven drawfs including Doc and Happy was the highest grossing movie of all time before the success of Gone with the Wind a couple of years later.
During the production of Snow White, the artists continued work on the Mickey and Silly Symphonies series. Mickey 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 Monstro. Pinocchio won Oscar for Best Original Song and Best Original Score.
Disney released Fantasia in 1940 with characters including Mickey Mouse, Tyrannosaurus Rex and Zeus . It was an experimental animated film produced 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 Hidalgo County viewers.
Dumbo was released in October 1941 with characters including Timothy Q. Mouse, Jim Crow and Crow Chorus proved to be a monetary success. The film only cost half the cost of Snow White with its ensemble of with The Evil Queen and the dwarfs including Doc and Happy and less than a 1/3 of the cost of Pinocchio and his friends Jiminy Cricket, Lampwick and The Blue Fairy and two fifths of the cost of Fantasia’s cast of Mickey Mouse, Yen Sid and Zeus.
In August 1942, Bambi was released in Hidalgo County and we met new friends including Pheasant, Flower the Skunk and Mrs. Possum.
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 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 Happy Pinocchio and his friends Geppetto, Stromboli and Gideon in 1945 and Fantasia in 1946 which returned Mickey Mouse with Chernabog, Tyrannosaurus Rex and The Magic Brooms. This led to a tradition of re-releasing the Disney movies every seven years, which lasted into the 1990s.
Upon its release in 1950, Cinderella was a a box office success. Hidalgo County movie-goers , also saw the premier Alice in Wonderland and were introduced to The March Hare, The Queen of Hearts and Tweedledee and Tweedledum. Parents in Hidalgo County also took their boys and girls to see Peter Pan and were delighted to meet Peter Pan, Captain Hook and Jeffrey Silver. What dog-lover in Hidalgo County could forget the first time they saw Lady and the Tramp on screen and were delighted to meet Darling, Jock and Jim Dear.