The Backstory Which Started Disney Collector's Collecting Habits
Throughout the state of California, and within San Mateo County people have enjoyed Disney cartoons with great enthusiasm.
Walt Disney Animation Studios, headquartered in Burbank, California, 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 San Mateo County. It took on its current name in 2006, when it was folded under The Walt Disney Studios with Pixar Animation Studios which in San Mateo County is known for cartoons such as Up, Brave and A Bug's Life.
As of 2013, the studio has created 53 feature films beginning with Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs in 1937 with notable characters such as Snow White and the dwarfs including Doc and Happy and its most recent release in San Mateo County being Frozen in 2013 including characters such as The Snow Queen, 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 San Mateo 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 Cartoons 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 added a sound track. History was made when the third Mickey Mouse cartoon, Steamboat Willie, became Disney's 1st animated film with matched sound.
The Mickey Mouse series of sound cartoons quickly became the most popular cartoon series in San Mateo County and the United States. 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 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 Practical Pig became a huge box office and pop culture success and the theme song "Who's Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf" becoming a popular chart hit for San Mateo County residents.
The First Disney Cartoon Feature
In 1934, Disney began development on of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs characters with Snow White and the seven drawfs including Sleepy and Bashful. Snow White became the 1st animated feature 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 animators and recent college graduate artists. Some may have even come from San Mateo County - but we're not sure.
What San Mateo County parent would have guessed that Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs would be such a big success. It cost Disney a total of $1.4 million to create but Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs with Snow White and the seven drawfs including Sleepy and Bashful was the highest grossing movie of all time before the success of Gone with the Wind a few years later.
During the production of Snow White, the artists continued work on the Mickey and Silly Symphonies series. Mickey Mouse switched to Technicolor in 1935 and added several major supporting characters among them Mickey Mouse’s dog Pluto and their friends Donald Duck and Goofy.
New Walt 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 Donald Duck, Yen Sid and Jack-in-the-Box . It was an experimental animated film 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 San Mateo County viewers.
Dumbo premiered in October 1941 with characters including Dumbo, Casey Junior 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 The Evil Queen and the seven drawfs including Sleepy and Happy and less than a third of the cost of Pinocchio and his friends Geppetto, Lampwick and Monstro and two fifths of the cost of Fantasia’s cast of Mickey Mouse, Yen Sid and Jack-in-the-Box.
In August 1942, Bambi was premiered in San Mateo County and we met new friends including Thumper, Friend Owl and Mrs. Possum.
Also in the 1940s, 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 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 Doc and Bashful Pinocchio and his friends Geppetto, Honest John and The Blue Fairy in 1945 and Fantasia in 1946 which returned Mickey Mouse with Chernabog, Daisy Duck and Zeus. This led to a tradition of re-releasing the Walt Disney movies every seven years, which lasted into the 1990s.
Upon its release in 1950, Cinderella was a a movie success. San Mateo County fans , also saw the release Alice in Wonderland and were introduced to The Mad Hatter, The Queen of Hearts and Mathilda. Parents in San Mateo County also took their childres to see Peter Pan and were delighted to meet Michael Darling, Captain Hook and The Crocodile. What dog-lover in San Mateo County could forget the first time they saw Lady and the Tramp on screen and were delighted to meet Lady, Trusty and Aunt Sarah.
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