The Backstory Which Started Disney Collector's Collecting Habits
Throughout the state of Utah, and within Sanpete County people have enjoyed Disney animated movies with great enthusiasm.
Walt Disney Animation Studios, located in Burbank, California, formerly known as Walt Disney Productions, is an animation studio which creates cartoon short films and television specials for The Walt Disney Company seen in Sanpete County. It took on its present name in 2006, when it was folded under The Walt Disney Studios alongside Pixar Animation Studios which in Sanpete County is known for animated movies such as Toy Story, The Incredibles and Luxo Jr..
As of 2013, the studio has released 53 feature films beginning with Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs in 1937 with notable characters such as Snow White and the dwarfs including Grumpy and Dopey and its most recent release in Sanpete County being Frozen in 2013 including characters such as Elsa, Kristoff 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 Sanpete 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 1920s
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 third Mickey cartoon Disney included a sound track. In the end the third Mickey Mouse 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 Sanpete County and the U.S.. 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 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 big box office and pop culture success and the theme song "Who's Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf" becoming a popular chart hit for Sanpete County residents.
The First Disney Cartoon Feature
In 1934, Disney started production of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs characters with The Prince and the dwarfs including Doc and Happy. Snow White became the first animated feature in English and color.
Tremendous 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 Sanpete County - but we're not sure.
What Sanpete County parent would have known Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs would be such a big hit. It cost Disney a total of $1.4 million to complete but Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs with The Evil Queen and the dwarfs including Sleepy and Happy was the highest grossing movie of all time before being surpassed by Gone with the Wind two years later.
During the production of Snow White, the artists continued work on the Mickey Mouse and Silly Symphonies series. Mickey switched to Technicolor in 1935 and added several major supporting friends 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 Geppetto, Honest John and The Blue Fairy. Pinocchio won ”Gold Statue” for Best Original Song and Best Original Score.
Disney released Fantasia in 1940 with characters including Chernabog, Daisy Duck and Spring Sprite . It was an experimental animated film designed 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 Sanpete County viewers.
Dumbo was released in October 1941 with characters including Elephant Matriarch, Jim Crow and Elephant Catty proved to be a monetary success. The film only cost half the cost of Snow White with its ensemble of with Snow White and the seven drawfs including Sleepy and Dopey and less than a third of the cost of Pinocchio and his friends Geppetto, Stromboli and The Blue Fairy and two fifths of the cost of Fantasia’s cast of Chernabog, Daisy Duck and Zeus.
In August 1942, Bambi was released in Sanpete County and we met new friends including Thumper, Flower the Skunk 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 re-releasing the previous features beginning with re-releases of Snow White in 1944 which brought back to the screen Snow White and the dwarfs including Sleepy and Happy Pinocchio and his friends Geppetto, Honest John and The Blue Fairy in 1945 and Fantasia in 1946 which returned Mickey Mouse with Donald, Yen Sid 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 movie success. Sanpete County fans , also saw the premier Alice in Wonderland and were introduced to The Mad Hatter, The Queen of Hearts and The King of Hearts. Parents in Sanpete County also took their kids to see Peter Pan and were delighted to meet Peter Pan, Captain Hook and Tiger Lily. What dog-lover in Sanpete County could forget the first time they saw Lady and the Tramp on screen and were delighted to meet Si and Am, Jock and Aunt Sarah.
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