The Backstory Which Started Disney Collector's Collecting Desires
Throughout the state of Washington, and within Skagit County people have enjoyed Disney animated movies with great enthusiasm.
Walt Disney Animation Studios, located in Burbank, CA, formerly known as Walt Disney Feature Animation, is an animation studio which creates animated feature films and television specials for The Walt Disney Company seen in Skagit County. It took on its current name in 2006, when it was folded under The Walt Disney Studios alongside Pixar Animation Studios which in Skagit County is known for animated movies such as Cars 2, WALL-E and Partly Cloudy.
As of 2013, the studio has produced 53 feature films starting with Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs in 1937 with notable characters such as The Evil Queen and the dwarfs including Sleepy and Dopey and its most recent release in Skagit County being Frozen in 2013 including characters such as Anna, Olaf 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 Skagit 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 animated films, 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 added a sound track. In the end the 3rd Mickey Mouse 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 Skagit County and the United States. A second Disney series of sound cartoons, 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 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 Practical Pig became a big box office and pop culture hit and the theme tune "Who's Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf" becoming a popular chart hit for Skagit County residents.
The 1st Walt Disney Animated Film Feature
In 1934, Walt Disney began development on of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs characters with The Evil Queen and the seven drawfs including Grumpy and Dopey. Snow White became the 1st cartoon in English and color.
A lot of development and training went into the production 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 Skagit County - but we're not sure.
What Skagit County parent would have guessed that Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs would be such a huge success. 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 seven drawfs including Grumpy and Bashful was the highest grossing production of all time before the success of Gone with the Wind two years later.
While working on Snow White, the designers continued work on the Mickey and Silly Symphonies series. Mickey Mouse switched to Technicolor in 1935 and added several major supporting friends among them Mickey Mouse’s dog Pluto and their friends Donald Duck and Goofy.
New 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, Yen Sid and Zeus . 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 Skagit 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 dwarfs including Grumpy and Happy and less than a 1/3 of the cost of Pinocchio and his friends Jiminy Cricket, Honest John and Gideon and 2/5 of the cost of Fantasia’s cast of Mickey Mouse, Daisy Duck and The Magic Brooms.
In August 1942, Bambi was premiered in Skagit 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 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 reissuing the previous features beginning with the rerelease of Snow White in 1944 which brought back to the screen The Evil Queen and the dwarfs including Sleepy and Bashful Pinocchio and his friends Jiminy Cricket, Stromboli and The Blue Fairy in 1945 and Fantasia in 1946 which reunited Mickey Mouse with Chernabog, Daisy Duck and Zeus. This led to a tradition of re-releasing the Walt Disney features every 7 years, which lasted into the 1990s.
Upon its release in 1950, Cinderella was a a movie success. Skagit County movie-goers , also saw the premier Alice in Wonderland and were introduced to The Mad Hatter, The Cheshire Cat and The Dormouse. Parents in Skagit County also took their kids to see Peter Pan and were delighted to meet John Darling, Captain Hook and The Crocodile. What dog-lover in Skagit County could forget the first time they saw Lady and the Tramp on screen and were delighted to meet Si and Am, Jock and Boris.
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