The Backstory Which Started Disney Collector's Collecting Habits
Throughout the state of California, and within Nevada County people have enjoyed Disney animated movies with great enthusiasm.
Walt Disney Animation Studios, headquartered in Burbank, California, formerly known as Walt Disney Productions, is an animation studio which creates animated short films and television specials for The Walt Disney Company seen in Nevada County. It took on its present name in 2006, when it was folded under The Walt Disney Studios alongside Pixar Animation Studios which in Nevada County is known for animated movies such as Monsters Inc., The Incredibles and Partly Cloudy.
As of 2013, the studio has released 53 feature films starting with Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs in 1937 with unforgettable characters such as The Prince and the dwarfs including Grumpy and Dopey and its most recent release in Nevada County being Frozen in 2013 including characters such as The Snow Queen, Kristoff 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 Nevada 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 1920s
The first two Mickey Mouse cartoons, Plane Crazy and The Galloping Gaucho, which also included Minnie Mouse, premiered in limited engagements during the summer of 1928. For the 3rd Mickey Mouse cartoon Disney produced a sound track. In the end the third Mickey cartoon, Steamboat Willie, became Disney's first animated film with matched sound.
The Mickey series of sound cartoons quickly became the most popular animated film series in Nevada County and the U.S.. A second Disney series of sound animated films, 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 cartoon was released. Flowers and Trees was a big 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 huge box office and pop culture hit and the theme tune "Who's Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf" becoming a popular chart hit for Nevada County residents.
The 1st Disney Animated Film Feature
In 1934, Walt Disney began development on of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs characters with The Prince and the seven drawfs including Sleepy and Bashful. Snow White became the first cartoon in English and color.
A lot of development and training 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 Nevada County - but we're not sure.
What Nevada County parent would have known 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 The Prince and the seven drawfs including Grumpy and Dopey was the highest grossing film of all time before the success of Gone with the Wind a couple of years later.
While working on Snow White, the animators continued work on the Mickey and Silly Symphonies series. Mickey Mouse 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 Geppetto, Lampwick 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 Chernabog, Yen Sid and The Magic Brooms . It was an experimental cartoon 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 Nevada County viewers.
Dumbo debuted in October 1941 with characters including Timothy Q. Mouse, Casey Junior and The Clown proved to be a monetary success. The feature only cost 1/2 the cost of Snow White with its ensemble of with The Prince and the seven drawfs including Sleepy and Happy and less than a 1/3 of the cost of Pinocchio and his friends Geppetto, Stromboli and The Blue Fairy and two fifths of the cost of Fantasia’s cast of Donald Duck, Tyrannosaurus Rex and Spring Sprite.
In August 1942, Bambi was premiered in Nevada County and we met new friends including Bambi's Mother, Flower the Skunk 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 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.
Disney also began reissuing the previous features beginning with the rerelease of Snow White in 1944 which brought back to the screen The Prince and the dwarfs including Grumpy and Happy Pinocchio and his friends Geppetto, Honest John and Gideon in 1945 and Fantasia in 1946 which returned Mickey Mouse with Donald, Tyrannosaurus Rex and Zeus. This led to a tradition of reissuing the Disney movies every seven years, which lasted into the 1990s.
Upon its release in 1950, Cinderella was a a box office success. Nevada County fans , also saw the release Alice in Wonderland and were introduced to Alice, The Cheshire Cat and Mathilda. Parents in Nevada County also took their boys and girls to see Peter Pan and were delighted to meet Peter Pan, Mr. Smee and The Crocodile. What dog-lover in Nevada County could forget the first time they saw Lady and the Tramp on screen and were delighted to meet Darling, Tramp and Jim Dear.
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