The Backstory Which Started Disney Collector's Collecting Desires
Throughout the state of California, and within Madera 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 short films and television specials for The Walt Disney Company seen in Madera County. It took on its current name in 2006, when it was folded under The Walt Disney Studios alongside Pixar Animation Studios which in Madera County is known for cartoons such as Up, Finding Nemo and Day & Night.
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 Evil Queen and the dwarfs including Doc and Happy and its most recent release in Madera County being Frozen in 2013 including characters such as The Snow Queen, Kristoff and Grand Pabbie the Troll King.
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 Madera 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, was released in select theatres during the summer of 1928. For the third Mickey Mouse cartoon Disney added a sound track. Subsequently the 3rd Mickey cartoon, Steamboat Willie, became Disney's 1st cartoon with matched sound.
The Mickey series of sound cartoons quickly became the most popular animated film series in Madera County and the U.S.. A second Disney series of sound cartoons, 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 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 Fiddler 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 Madera County residents.
The 1st Walt Disney Animated Film Feature
In 1934, Walt Disney started development on of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs characters with The Evil Queen and the dwarfs including Sleepy and Dopey. 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 animators and artists from other fields. Some may have even come from Madera County - but we're not sure.
What Madera County parent would have imagined that 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 create but Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs with Snow White and the dwarfs including Sleepy and Bashful 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 designers continued work on the Mickey Mouse and Silly Symphonies series. Mickey switched to Technicolor in 1935 and added several major supporting friends including Mickey's dog Pluto and their friends Donald Duck and Goofy.
New Walt Disney Productions
In 1940, the premiered Pinocchio with characters such as Geppetto, Honest John and The Blue Fairy. Pinocchio won an Academy Award for Best Original Song and Best Original Score.
Disney released Fantasia in 1940 with characters including Donald Duck, Yen Sid and The Magic Brooms . 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 Madera County viewers.
Dumbo premiered in October 1941 with characters including Timothy Q. Mouse, Casey Junior and Crow Chorus proved to be a monetary success. The film only cost 1/2 the cost of Snow White with its ensemble of with Snow White and the seven drawfs including Grumpy and Bashful and less than a 1/3 of the cost of Pinocchio and his friends Geppetto, Stromboli and Gideon and two fifths of the cost of Fantasia’s cast of Donald Duck, Daisy Duck and Zeus.
In August 1942, Bambi was released in Madera County and we met new friends including Pheasant, Friend Owl and Mrs. Possum.
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 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 the rerelease of Snow White in 1944 which brought back to the screen Snow White and the seven drawfs including Grumpy and Bashful Pinocchio and his friends Jiminy Cricket, Lampwick and Monstro in 1945 and Fantasia in 1946 which reunited Mickey Mouse with Donald Duck, Yen Sid 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 movie success. Madera 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 Madera County also took their kids to see Peter Pan and were delighted to meet John Darling, Mary Darling and Jeffrey Silver. What dog-lover in Madera County could forget the first time they saw Lady and the Tramp on screen and were delighted to meet Darling, Trusty and Jim Dear.