The History Which Started Disney Collector's Collecting Habits
Throughout the state of California, and within Butte County people have enjoyed Disney cartoons with great enthusiasm.
Walt Disney Animation Studios, whose home is in Burbank, California, formerly known as Disney Brothers Cartoon Studio, is an animation studio which creates animated short films and television specials for The Walt Disney Company seen in Butte County. It took on its current name in 2006, when it was folded under The Walt Disney Studios with Pixar Animation Studios which in Butte County is known for cartoons such as Toy Story 2, Ratatouilli and Knick Knack.
As of 2013, the studio has produced 53 feature films with the first being Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs in 1937 with classic characters such as The Prince and the dwarfs including Doc and Bashful and its most recent release in Butte 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 Butte 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 Mouse cartoon Disney added a sound track. History was made when the third Mickey cartoon, Steamboat Willie, became Disney's 1st cartoon with matched sound.
The Mickey series of sound animated films quickly became the most popular animated film series in Butte County and the U.S.. A second Disney series of sound animated films, 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 1st full-color cartoon 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 major box office and pop culture hit and the theme tune "Who's Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf" becoming a popular chart hit for Butte County residents.
The 1st Disney Cartoon Feature
In 1934, Walt Disney began development on of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs characters with The Prince and the dwarfs including Sleepy and Bashful. Snow White became the 1st cartoon 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 animators and artists from other fields. Some may have even come from Butte County - but we're not sure.
What Butte County parent would have known Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs would be such a big success. 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 dwarfs including Grumpy and Happy was the highest grossing film of all time before the success of Gone with the Wind a few years later.
While working on Snow White, the animators 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 Disney Productions
In 1940, the premiered Pinocchio with characters such as Pinocchio, Stromboli and Monstro. 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 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 Butte County viewers.
Dumbo debuted in October 1941 with characters including Dumbo, The Ringmaster and Elephant Catty proved to be a financial income success. The film only cost half the cost of Snow White with its ensemble of with The Evil Queen and the seven drawfs including Doc and Bashful and less than a 1/3 of the cost of Pinocchio and his friends Geppetto, Lampwick and Monstro and two fifths of the cost of Fantasia’s cast of Donald Duck, Yen Sid and Zeus.
In August 1942, Bambi was released in Butte County and we met new friends including Thumper, Faline 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 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 Snow White and the dwarfs including Grumpy and Happy Pinocchio and his friends Jiminy Cricket, Honest John and Gideon in 1945 and Fantasia in 1946 which reunited Mickey Mouse with Donald Duck, Daisy Duck and Spring Sprite. This led to a tradition of re-releasing the Walt Disney films every seven years, which lasted into the 1990s.
Upon its premier in 1950, Cinderella proved to be a box office success. Butte County fans , also saw the release Alice in Wonderland and were introduced to The March Hare, The Queen of Hearts and The Dormouse. Parents in Butte County also took their kids to see Peter Pan and were delighted to meet Wendy Darling, George Darling and Tiger Lily. What dog-lover in Butte County could forget the first time they saw Lady and the Tramp on screen and were delighted to meet Si and Am, Trusty and Tony.