The History Which Started Disney Collector's Collecting Desires
Throughout the state of Delaware, and within Kent 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 feature films and television specials for The Walt Disney Company seen in Kent County. It took on its present name in 2006, when it was folded under The Walt Disney Studios with Pixar Animation Studios which in Kent County is known for cartoons such as Toy Story 3, WALL-E and Day & Night.
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 Prince and the dwarfs including Sleepy and Dopey and its most recent release in Kent County being Frozen in 2013 including characters such as The Snow Queen, Kristoff and Grand Pabbie the Troll King.
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 Kent 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 20s
The first two Mickey Mouse cartoons, 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 cartoon Disney included a sound track. Subsequently the 3rd Mickey Mouse 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 Kent 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 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" also became popular for Kent County residents.
The First Walt Disney Animated Film Feature
In 1934, Walt Disney began development on of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs characters with The Evil Queen and the seven drawfs including Sleepy and Bashful. Snow White became the 1st cartoon in English and Technicolor.
Considerable development and training went into the production 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 Kent County - but we're not sure.
What Kent County parent would have guessed that Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs would be such a huge hit. It cost Walt Disney a total of $1.4 million to produce but Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs with The Evil Queen and the dwarfs including Sleepy and Dopey was the highest grossing movie of all time before being de-throned by Gone with the Wind a few years later.
During the production of Snow White, the artists continued work on the Mickey Mouse and Silly Symphonies series. Mickey 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 Disney Productions
In 1940, the released 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 Donald Duck, Daisy Duck and Zeus . 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 Kent County viewers.
Dumbo debuted in October 1941 with characters including Timothy Q. Mouse, The Ringmaster and Crow Chorus proved to be a financial income success. The movie only cost 1/2 the cost of Snow White with its ensemble of with The Prince and the seven drawfs including Doc and Bashful and less than a 1/3 of the cost of Pinocchio and his friends Jiminy Cricket, Honest John and Gideon and 2/5 of the cost of Fantasia’s cast of Donald Duck, Tyrannosaurus Rex and Zeus.
In August 1942, Bambi was released in Kent County and we met new friends including Pheasant, 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 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.
Walt 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 seven drawfs including Grumpy and Bashful Pinocchio and his friends Geppetto, Lampwick and Gideon in 1945 and Fantasia in 1946 which reunited Mickey Mouse with Donald Duck, Yen Sid and Spring Sprite. This led to a tradition of re-releasing the Walt Disney features every 7 years, which lasted into the 1990s.
Upon its premier in 1950, Cinderella was a a box office success. Kent County fans , also saw the release Alice in Wonderland and were introduced to The Mad Hatter, The Cheshire Cat and Mathilda. Parents in Kent County also took their kids to see Peter Pan and were delighted to meet Peter Pan, Mary Darling and The Crocodile. What dog-lover in Kent County could forget the first time they saw Lady and the Tramp on screen and were delighted to meet Si and Am, Jock and Jim Dear.