The History Which Started Disney Collector's Collecting Habits
Throughout the state of California, and within Modoc County people have enjoyed Disney cartoons with great enthusiasm.
Walt Disney Animation Studios, headquartered in Burbank, CA, 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 Modoc County. It took on its present name in 2006, when it was folded under The Walt Disney Studios with Pixar Animation Studios which in Modoc County is known for animated movies such as Monsters Inc., The Incredibles and Luxo Jr..
As of 2013, the studio has created 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 Sleepy and Happy and its most recent release in Modoc County being Frozen in 2013 including characters such as Elsa, Hans and The King and Queen of Arendelle.
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 Modoc 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 Cartoons in the 1920s
The first two Mickey Mouse animated films, Plane Crazy and The Galloping Gaucho, which also included Minnie Mouse, premiered in limited engagements during the summer of 1928. For the 3rd Mickey cartoon Disney produced a sound track. Subsequently the 3rd Mickey cartoon, Steamboat Willie, became Disney's first animated film with matched sound.
The Mickey Mouse series of sound cartoons quickly became the most popular animated film series in Modoc County and the United States. A second Disney series of sound cartoons, the Silly Symphonies, released 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 first 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 Fiddler 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 Modoc County residents.
The 1st Disney Animated Film Feature
In 1934, Walt Disney started production of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs characters with The Prince and the dwarfs including Grumpy and Happy. Snow White became the 1st animated feature 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 artists from other fields. Some may have even come from Modoc County - but we're not sure.
What Modoc County parent would have guessed that Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs would be such a huge success. It cost Disney a then-expensive sum of $1.4 million to create but Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs with The Prince and the seven drawfs including Doc and Dopey was the highest grossing production of all time before being surpassed by Gone with the Wind two years later.
During the production of Snow White, the designers continued work on the Mickey and Silly Symphonies series. Mickey switched to Technicolor in 1935 and added several major supporting characters among them 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, Stromboli and Monstro. Pinocchio won ”Gold Statue” for Best Original Song and Best Original Score.
Disney released Fantasia in 1940 with characters including Chernabog, Daisy Duck and The Magic Brooms . 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 Modoc County viewers.
Dumbo debuted in October 1941 with characters including Elephant Matriarch, Casey Junior and The Clown proved to be a financial income success. The feature only cost half the cost of Snow White with its ensemble of with Snow White and the dwarfs including Doc and Dopey and less than a third of the cost of Pinocchio and his friends Geppetto, Lampwick and Monstro and 2/5 of the cost of Fantasia’s cast of Mickey Mouse, Tyrannosaurus Rex and Jack-in-the-Box.
In August 1942, Bambi was premiered in Modoc County and we met new friends including Thumper, Faline and Mrs. Rabbit.
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 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 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 dwarfs including Doc and Bashful Pinocchio and his friends Geppetto, Stromboli and Gideon in 1945 and Fantasia in 1946 which returned Mickey with Chernabog, Tyrannosaurus Rex and The Magic Brooms. This led to a tradition of reissuing the Walt Disney movies every seven years, which lasted into the 1990s.
Upon its premier in 1950, Cinderella proved to be a box office success. Modoc County movie-goers , also saw the premier Alice in Wonderland and were introduced to The March Hare, The Caterpillar and The Dormouse. Parents in Modoc County also took their kids to see Peter Pan and were delighted to meet Michael Darling, Mr. Smee and Tiger Lily. What dog-lover in Modoc County could forget the first time they saw Lady and the Tramp on screen and were delighted to meet Si and Am, Trusty and Aunt Sarah.