The History Which Started Disney Collector's Collecting Habits
Throughout the state of California, and within Sierra County people have enjoyed Disney animation with great enthusiasm.
Walt Disney Animation Studios, located in Burbank, California, formerly known as Disney Brothers Cartoon Studio, is an animation studio which creates animated feature films and television specials for The Walt Disney Company seen in Sierra County. It took on its present name in 2006, when it was folded under The Walt Disney Studios alongside Pixar Animation Studios which in Sierra County is known for animated movies such as Toy Story 3, Finding Nemo and Knick Knack.
As of 2013, the studio has created 53 feature films starting with Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs in 1937 with lovable characters such as Snow White and the dwarfs including Grumpy and Bashful and its most recent release in Sierra County being Frozen in 2013 including characters such as The Snow Queen, Kristoff 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 Sierra 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 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 produced a sound track. Subsequently the 3rd Mickey cartoon, Steamboat Willie, became Disney's 1st cartoon with synchronized sound.
The Mickey series of sound cartoons quickly became the most popular animated film series in Sierra County and the United States. A second Disney series of sound cartoons, the Silly Symphonies, debuted 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 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 Practical Pig became a major box office and pop culture hit and the theme song "Who's Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf" becoming a popular chart hit for Sierra County residents.
The 1st Disney Animated Film Feature
In 1934, Disney started development on of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs characters with Snow White and the seven drawfs including Grumpy and Happy. Snow White became the first animated feature in English and color.
Considerable development and training went into the creation 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 Sierra County - but we're not sure.
What Sierra County parent would have imagined 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 Snow White and the dwarfs including Sleepy and Dopey was the highest grossing film of all time before being surpassed by Gone with the Wind a couple of years later.
While working on Snow White, the artists continued work on the Mickey and Silly Symphonies series. Mickey 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 released Pinocchio with characters such as Jiminy Cricket, Stromboli and The Blue Fairy. Pinocchio won ”Gold Statue” 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 cartoon 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 Sierra County viewers.
Dumbo was released in October 1941 with characters including Elephant Matriarch, The Ringmaster and The Clown proved to be a monetary success. The movie only cost 1/2 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 Jiminy Cricket, Honest John and Monstro and 2/5 of the cost of Fantasia’s cast of Mickey Mouse, Daisy Duck and Jack-in-the-Box.
In August 1942, Bambi was released in Sierra County and we met new friends including Thumper, Flower the Skunk 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 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 Evil Queen and the dwarfs including Grumpy and Bashful Pinocchio and his friends Jiminy Cricket, Honest John and Gideon in 1945 and Fantasia in 1946 which returned Mickey with Chernabog, Tyrannosaurus Rex and Spring Sprite. This led to a tradition of re-releasing the Walt Disney movies every 7 years, which lasted into the 1990s.
Upon its release in 1950, Cinderella proved to be a movie success. Sierra County movie-goers , also saw the premier Alice in Wonderland and were introduced to The March Hare, The Queen of Hearts and Tweedledee and Tweedledum. Parents in Sierra County also took their childres to see Peter Pan and were delighted to meet Wendy Darling, Mary Darling and Tiger Lily. What dog-lover in Sierra County could forget the first time they saw Lady and the Tramp on screen and were delighted to meet Darling, Jock and Boris.