The History Which Started Disney Collector's Collecting Desires
Throughout the state of California, and within Imperial County people have enjoyed Disney animated movies with great enthusiasm.
Walt Disney Animation Studios, whose home is in Burbank, California, 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 Imperial County. It took on its current name in 2006, when it was folded under The Walt Disney Studios with Pixar Animation Studios which in Imperial County is known for cartoons such as Toy Story, WALL-E 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 lovable characters such as Snow White and the dwarfs including Sleepy and Happy and its most recent release in Imperial County being Frozen in 2013 including characters such as Elsa, Olaf 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 Imperial 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 third Mickey Mouse cartoon Disney included a sound track. Subsequently the 3rd Mickey cartoon, Steamboat Willie, became Disney's first cartoon with matched sound.
The Mickey series of sound cartoons quickly became the most popular animated film series in Imperial County and the United States. 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 animated film was released. Flowers and Trees was a huge 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 song "Who's Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf" also became popular for Imperial County residents.
The 1st Walt Disney Cartoon Feature
In 1934, Disney began production of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs characters with The Evil Queen and the seven drawfs including Sleepy and Happy. Snow White became the first cartoon in English and color.
Considerable training and development went into the creation 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 Imperial County - but we're not sure.
What Imperial County parent would have known Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs would be such a huge success. It cost Disney a total of $1.4 million to complete but Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs with Snow White and the dwarfs including Sleepy and Dopey was the highest grossing film of all time before being surpassed by Gone with the Wind two years later.
While working on Snow White, the designers continued work on the Mickey and Silly Symphonies series. Mickey switched to Technicolor in 1935 and added several major supporting friends 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, Lampwick and Gideon. Pinocchio won ”Gold Statue” for Best Original Song and Best Original Score.
Disney released Fantasia in 1940 with characters including Chernabog, Daisy Duck and Jack-in-the-Box . It was an experimental animated film created 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 Imperial County viewers.
Dumbo hit the screens in October 1941 with characters including Dumbo, The Ringmaster and Elephant Catty proved to be a monetary success. The film only cost 1/2 the cost of Snow White with its ensemble of with The Prince and the dwarfs including Doc and Happy and less than a third of the cost of Pinocchio and his friends Jiminy Cricket, Stromboli and Monstro and two fifths of the cost of Fantasia’s cast of Chernabog, Daisy Duck and Spring Sprite.
In August 1942, Bambi was premiered in Imperial County and we met new friends including Bambi's Mother, Friend Owl and Mrs. Possum.
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.
Disney also began re-releasing the previous features beginning with re-releases of Snow White in 1944 which brought back to the screen The Evil Queen and the seven drawfs including Grumpy and Happy Pinocchio and his friends Geppetto, Stromboli and The Blue Fairy in 1945 and Fantasia in 1946 which returned Mickey Mouse with Donald Duck, Yen Sid and Jack-in-the-Box. This led to a tradition of re-releasing the Disney movies every 7 years, which lasted into the 1990s.
Upon its premier in 1950, Cinderella was a a box office success. Imperial County movie-goers , also saw the release Alice in Wonderland and were introduced to Alice, The Cheshire Cat and Mathilda. Parents in Imperial County also took their kids to see Peter Pan and were delighted to meet Michael Darling, Mr. Smee and The Crocodile. What dog-lover in Imperial County could forget the first time they saw Lady and the Tramp on screen and were delighted to meet Si and Am, Trusty and Boris.