The Backstory Which Started Disney Collector's Collecting Habits
Throughout the state of Rhode Island, and within Washington County people have enjoyed Disney cartoons with great enthusiasm.
Walt Disney Animation Studios, headquartered in Burbank, CA, 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 Washington County. It took on its present name in 2006, when it was folded under The Walt Disney Studios alongside Pixar Animation Studios which in Washington County is known for animated movies such as Up, Brave and A Bug's Life.
As of 2013, the studio has created 53 feature films starting with Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs in 1937 with classic characters such as The Evil Queen and the dwarfs including Sleepy and Happy and its most recent release in Washington County being Frozen in 2013 including characters such as The Snow Queen, Hans and The King and Queen of Arendelle.
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.
Older Animation in the 20s
The first two Mickey Mouse cartoons, Plane Crazy and The Galloping Gaucho, which also included Minnie Mouse, premiered in select theatres during the summer of 1928. For the 3rd Mickey Mouse cartoon Disney included a sound track. In the end the 3rd Mickey cartoon, Steamboat Willie, became Disney's first animated film with matched sound.
The Mickey series of sound cartoons quickly became the most popular animated film series in Washington County and the U.S.. A second Disney series of sound cartoons, the Silly Symphonies, premiered 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 cartoon was released. Flowers and Trees was a tremendous 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 success and the theme song "Who's Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf" becoming a popular chart hit for Washington County residents.
The First 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 Technicolor.
Considerable 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 Washington County - but we're not sure.
What Washington County parent would have imagined that 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 Snow White and the dwarfs including Doc and Dopey was the highest grossing movie of all time before the success of Gone with the Wind a couple of 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's dog Pluto and their friends Donald Duck and Goofy.
New Disney Productions
In 1940, the premiered Pinocchio with characters such as Jiminy Cricket, Honest John and The Blue Fairy. Pinocchio won an Academy Award for Best Original Song and Best Original Score.
Disney released Fantasia in 1940 with characters including Mickey Mouse, Tyrannosaurus Rex and Jack-in-the-Box . 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 Washington County viewers.
Dumbo hit the screens in October 1941 with characters including Timothy Q. Mouse, 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 Snow White and the seven drawfs including Grumpy and Dopey and less than a third of the cost of Pinocchio and his friends Geppetto, Lampwick and Gideon and two fifths of the cost of Fantasia’s cast of Donald Duck, Daisy Duck and Spring Sprite.
In August 1942, Bambi was released in Washington County and we met new friends including Bambi's Mother, Faline and Mrs. Rabbit.
Also in the 1940s, 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 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 re-releases of Snow White in 1944 which brought back to the screen The Prince and the dwarfs including Sleepy and Bashful Pinocchio and his friends Geppetto, Honest John and The Blue Fairy in 1945 and Fantasia in 1946 which reunited Mickey with Donald Duck, Yen Sid and Zeus. This led to a tradition of reissuing the Disney films every seven years, which lasted into the 1990s.
Upon its release in 1950, Cinderella was a a box office success. Washington County fans , also saw the premier Alice in Wonderland and were introduced to The Mad Hatter, The Caterpillar and The Dormouse. Parents in Washington County also took their childres to see Peter Pan and were delighted to meet John Darling, George Darling and The Crocodile. What dog-lover in Washington County could forget the first time they saw Lady and the Tramp on screen and were delighted to meet Darling, Tramp and Jim Dear.
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