The History Which Started Disney Collector's Collecting Desires
Throughout the state of California, and within Orange County people have enjoyed Disney animation with great enthusiasm.
Walt Disney Animation Studios, whose home is in Burbank, CA, formerly known as Walt Disney Productions, is an animation studio which creates cartoon short films and television specials for The Walt Disney Company seen in Orange County. It took on its present name in 2006, when it was folded under The Walt Disney Studios with Pixar Animation Studios which in Orange County is known for cartoons such as Cars, Brave and Lifted.
As of 2013, the studio has created 53 feature films starting with Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs in 1937 with unforgettable characters such as Snow White and the dwarfs including Sleepy and Dopey and its most recent release in Orange County being Frozen in 2013 including characters such as Elsa, Olaf 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 Orange 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 animated films, Plane Crazy and The Galloping Gaucho, which also included Minnie Mouse, was released in movie screens during the summer of 1928. For the third Mickey Mouse cartoon Disney added a sound track. Subsequently the third Mickey Mouse cartoon, Steamboat Willie, became Disney's first animated film with synchronized sound.
The Mickey Mouse series of sound animated films quickly became the most popular cartoon series in Orange 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 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 Practical Pig became a huge box office and pop culture hit and the theme song "Who's Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf" becoming a popular chart hit for Orange County residents.
The First Disney Animated Film Feature
In 1934, Disney began production of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs characters with The Prince and the dwarfs including Sleepy and Dopey. Snow White became the first cartoon in English and color.
Tremendous 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 Orange County - but we're not sure.
What Orange County parent would have imagined that 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 complete 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 de-throned by Gone with the Wind a couple of years later.
During the production of Snow White, the designers continued work on the Mickey and Silly Symphonies series. Mickey Mouse switched to Technicolor in 1935 and added several major supporting friends including Mickey's dog Pluto and their friends Donald Duck and Goofy.
New Disney Productions
In 1940, the premiered Pinocchio with characters such as Pinocchio, Lampwick and Gideon. Pinocchio won ”Gold Statue” for Best Original Song and Best Original Score.
Disney released Fantasia in 1940 with characters including Mickey Mouse, Yen Sid and The Magic Brooms . It was an experimental cartoon produced 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 Orange County viewers.
Dumbo was released in October 1941 with characters including Dumbo, The Ringmaster and Crow Chorus 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 seven drawfs including Grumpy and Happy and less than a third of the cost of Pinocchio and his friends Geppetto, Stromboli and Monstro and two fifths of the cost of Fantasia’s cast of Mickey Mouse, Daisy Duck and Spring Sprite.
In August 1942, Bambi was premiered in Orange County and we met new friends including Bambi's Mother, Friend Owl and Mrs. Rabbit.
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 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 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 Sleepy and Happy Pinocchio and his friends Jiminy Cricket, Lampwick and Monstro in 1945 and Fantasia in 1946 which reunited Mickey Mouse with Chernabog, 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 release in 1950, Cinderella was a a box office success. Orange County movie-goers , also saw the release Alice in Wonderland and were introduced to The Mad Hatter, The Caterpillar and Mathilda. Parents in Orange 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 Orange County could forget the first time they saw Lady and the Tramp on screen and were delighted to meet Si and Am, Tramp and Jim Dear.