The Backstory Which Started Disney Collector's Collecting Habits
Throughout the state of Vermont, and within Chittenden County people have enjoyed Disney cartoons with great enthusiasm.
Walt Disney Animation Studios, headquartered 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 Chittenden County. It took on its present name in 2006, when it was folded under The Walt Disney Studios with Pixar Animation Studios which in Chittenden County is known for animated movies such as Toy Story, Ratatouilli and Knick Knack.
As of 2013, the studio has released 53 feature films with the first being Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs in 1937 with notable characters such as The Evil Queen and the dwarfs including Grumpy and Bashful and its most recent release in Chittenden County being Frozen in 2013 including characters such as Elsa, Kristoff and The Duke of Weselton.
The studio's catalog of animated features 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 Chittenden 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 20s
The first two Mickey Mouse cartoons, 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. Subsequently the 3rd Mickey cartoon, Steamboat Willie, became Disney's first animated film with synchronized sound.
The Mickey series of sound animated films quickly became the most popular animated film series in Chittenden County and the U.S.. A second Disney series of sound animated films, 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 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 Practical Pig became a major box office and pop culture hit and the theme song "Who's Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf" becoming a popular chart hit for Chittenden County residents.
The First Walt Disney Animated Film Feature
In 1934, Disney began development on of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs characters with The Prince and the seven drawfs including Grumpy 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 Chittenden County - but we're not sure.
What Chittenden County parent would have imagined that 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 complete but Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs with The Prince and the seven drawfs including Doc and Happy was the highest grossing film 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 Mouse and Silly Symphonies series. Mickey Mouse switched to Technicolor in 1935 and added several major supporting characters including Mickey Mouse’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 Gideon. Pinocchio won Oscar for Best Original Song and Best Original Score.
Disney released Fantasia in 1940 with characters including Mickey Mouse, Tyrannosaurus Rex and Spring Sprite . 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 Chittenden County viewers.
Dumbo premiered in October 1941 with characters including Elephant Matriarch, Jim Crow and Mr. Stork proved to be a monetary success. The movie only cost half the cost of Snow White with its ensemble of with The Prince and the dwarfs including Doc and Bashful 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 Donald Duck, Daisy Duck and Spring Sprite.
In August 1942, Bambi was released in Chittenden County and we met new friends including Pheasant, Friend Owl and Great Prince of the Forest.
Also in the 1940s, Walt 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 Duck 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 seven drawfs including Doc and Dopey Pinocchio and his friends Jiminy Cricket, Lampwick and Monstro in 1945 and Fantasia in 1946 which returned Mickey with Donald, Yen Sid and Zeus. This led to a tradition of re-releasing the Walt Disney movies every 7 years, which lasted into the 1990s.
Upon its premier in 1950, Cinderella was a a movie success. Chittenden County movie-goers , also saw the release Alice in Wonderland and were introduced to The Mad Hatter, The Queen of Hearts and Tweedledee and Tweedledum. Parents in Chittenden County also took their boys and girls to see Peter Pan and were delighted to meet John Darling, Mr. Smee and Tiger Lily. What dog-lover in Chittenden 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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