The Backstory Which Started Disney Collector's Collecting Desires
Throughout the state of New Mexico, and within Sierra County people have enjoyed Disney animated movies with great enthusiasm.
Walt Disney Animation Studios, whose home is 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 Sierra County. It took on its current name in 2006, when it was folded under The Walt Disney Studios alongside Pixar Animation Studios which in Sierra County is known for animated movies such as Monsters Inc., Finding Nemo and A Bug's Life.
As of 2013, the studio has produced 53 feature films starting with Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs in 1937 with unforgettable characters such as Snow White and the dwarfs including Doc and Dopey and its most recent release in Sierra County being Frozen in 2013 including characters such as The Snow Queen, Hans and The Duke of Weselton.
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 Sierra 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 cartoon Disney included a sound track. Subsequently the 3rd Mickey cartoon, Steamboat Willie, became Disney's first cartoon with synchronized sound.
The Mickey Mouse series of sound animated films quickly became the most popular cartoon series in Sierra County and the United States. A second Disney series of sound cartoons, 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 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 huge box office and pop culture hit and the theme tune "Who's Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf" becoming a popular chart hit for Sierra County residents.
The 1st Walt Disney Animated Film Feature
In 1934, Disney started development on of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs characters with The Evil Queen and the dwarfs including Grumpy and Bashful. Snow White became the 1st animated feature in English and color.
Tremendous development and training 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 Sierra County - but we're not sure.
What Sierra County parent would have guessed that Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs would be such a huge success. It cost Disney a then-expensive sum of $1.4 million to create but Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs with The Prince and the dwarfs including Grumpy and Bashful was the highest grossing movie of all time before being de-throned by Gone with the Wind a few 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 including Mickey's dog Pluto and their friends Donald Duck and Goofy.
New Walt Disney Productions
In 1940, the premiered Pinocchio with characters such as Jiminy Cricket, Stromboli and Monstro. Pinocchio won Oscar for Best Original Song and Best Original Score.
Disney released Fantasia in 1940 with characters including Chernabog, Daisy Duck and The Magic Brooms . 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 Sierra County viewers.
Dumbo debuted in October 1941 with characters including Elephant Matriarch, Casey Junior 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 dwarfs including Grumpy and Dopey and less than a third of the cost of Pinocchio and his friends Geppetto, Stromboli and Monstro and two fifths of the cost of Fantasia’s cast of Chernabog, Daisy Duck and Zeus.
In August 1942, Bambi was premiered in Sierra County and we met new friends including Bambi's Mother, Faline and Mrs. Rabbit.
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.
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 dwarfs including Doc and Happy Pinocchio and his friends Jiminy Cricket, Lampwick and The Blue Fairy in 1945 and Fantasia in 1946 which returned Mickey with Chernabog, Daisy Duck and Zeus. This led to a tradition of reissuing the Disney movies every seven years, which lasted into the 1990s.
Upon its premier in 1950, Cinderella was a a movie success. Sierra County movie-goers , also saw the premier Alice in Wonderland and were introduced to The March Hare, The Cheshire Cat and Tweedledee and Tweedledum. Parents in Sierra County also took their childres to see Peter Pan and were delighted to meet Wendy Darling, Captain Hook and The Crocodile. What dog-lover in Sierra County could forget the first time they saw Lady and the Tramp on screen and were delighted to meet Si and Am, Tramp and Tony.
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