The History Which Started Disney Collector's Collecting Desires
Throughout the state of Rhode Island, and within Washington County people have enjoyed Disney animation with great enthusiasm.
Walt Disney Animation Studios, located in Burbank, California, 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 Washington County. It took on its present name in 2006, when it was folded under The Walt Disney Studios with Pixar Animation Studios which in Washington County is known for cartoons such as Toy Story 3, Ratatouilli and Day & Night.
As of 2013, the studio has released 53 feature films starting with Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs in 1937 with lovable characters such as The Prince and the dwarfs including Doc and Dopey and its most recent release in Washington 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 Washington 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 20s
The first two Mickey Mouse animated films, Plane Crazy and The Galloping Gaucho, which also included Minnie Mouse, was released in movie screens during the summer of 1928. For the third Mickey cartoon Disney added a sound track. In the end the 3rd Mickey cartoon, Steamboat Willie, became Disney's 1st animated film with synchronized sound.
The Mickey series of sound cartoons quickly became the most popular animated film series in Washington 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 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 Fifer Pig became a huge box office and pop culture hit and the theme song "Who's Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf" also became popular for Washington County residents.
The First Walt Disney Cartoon Feature
In 1934, Walt Disney started production of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs characters with The Prince and the seven drawfs including Doc and Happy. Snow White became the 1st cartoon in English and Technicolor.
Tremendous training and development went into the creation of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. The studio expanded with the addition of animators and recent college graduate artists. Some may have even come from Washington County - but we're not sure.
What Washington County parent would have known Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs would be such a huge hit. It cost Walt Disney a then-expensive sum of $1.4 million to produce but Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs with Snow White and the seven drawfs including Doc and Bashful 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 animators continued work on the Mickey and Silly Symphonies series. Mickey Mouse switched to Technicolor in 1935 and added several major supporting characters among them Mickey's dog Pluto and their friends Donald Duck and Goofy.
New Walt Disney Productions
In 1940, the released Pinocchio with characters such as Jiminy Cricket, Stromboli and The Blue Fairy. Pinocchio won ”Gold Statue” for Best Original Song and Best Original Score.
Disney released Fantasia in 1940 with characters including Donald Duck, Tyrannosaurus Rex and Jack-in-the-Box . It was an experimental cartoon 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 Washington County viewers.
Dumbo hit the screens in October 1941 with characters including Dumbo, Casey Junior and Mr. Stork proved to be a financial income success. The film only cost half the cost of Snow White with its ensemble of with Snow White and the seven drawfs including Doc and Dopey and less than a 1/3 of the cost of Pinocchio and his friends Geppetto, Honest John and The Blue Fairy and two fifths of the cost of Fantasia’s cast of Donald Duck, Tyrannosaurus Rex and Spring Sprite.
In August 1942, Bambi was premiered in Washington County and we met new friends including Bambi's Mother, Friend Owl and Great Prince of the Forest.
Also in the 1940s, Walt Disney released 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.
Disney also began re-releasing the previous features beginning with the rerelease of Snow White in 1944 which brought back to the screen The Prince and the seven drawfs including Sleepy and Bashful Pinocchio and his friends Jiminy Cricket, Lampwick and Monstro in 1945 and Fantasia in 1946 which reunited Mickey Mouse with Donald, Yen Sid and The Magic Brooms. This led to a tradition of reissuing the Walt Disney movies every 7 years, which lasted into the 1990s.
Upon its release in 1950, Cinderella proved to be a movie success. Washington County movie-goers , also saw the release Alice in Wonderland and were introduced to The Mad Hatter, The Caterpillar and The Dormouse. Parents in Washington County also took their boys and girls to see Peter Pan and were delighted to meet Wendy Darling, George Darling and Jeffrey Silver. What dog-lover in Washington 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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