The History Which Started Disney Collector's Collecting Desires
Throughout the state of Delaware, and within Sussex County people have enjoyed Disney cartoons with great enthusiasm.
Walt Disney Animation Studios, headquartered in Burbank, CA, formerly known as Walt Disney Feature Animation, is an animation studio which creates animated short films and television specials for The Walt Disney Company seen in Sussex County. It took on its present name in 2006, when it was folded under The Walt Disney Studios alongside Pixar Animation Studios which in Sussex County is known for cartoons such as Toy Story, Finding Nemo and Day & Night.
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 The Evil Queen and the dwarfs including Doc and Happy and its most recent release in Sussex County being Frozen in 2013 including characters such as The Snow Queen, Kristoff 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 Sussex 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 20s
The first two Mickey Mouse cartoons, Plane Crazy and The Galloping Gaucho, which also included Minnie Mouse, premiered in movie screens during the summer of 1928. For the 3rd Mickey cartoon Disney produced a sound track. In the end the 3rd Mickey Mouse cartoon, Steamboat Willie, became Disney's 1st cartoon with matched sound.
The Mickey series of sound animated films quickly became the most popular cartoon series in Sussex County and the United States. A second Disney series of sound cartoons, the Silly Symphonies, premiered 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 tremendous box office and pop culture hit and the theme tune "Who's Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf" also became popular for Sussex County residents.
The First Walt Disney Animated Film Feature
In 1934, Walt Disney began production of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs characters with The Prince and the dwarfs including Sleepy and Happy. Snow White became the first cartoon in English and color.
Tremendous 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 Sussex County - but we're not sure.
What Sussex County parent would have guessed that Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs would be such a big hit. It cost Walt Disney a total of $1.4 million to create but Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs with The Prince and the dwarfs including Doc and Bashful was the highest grossing production of all time before the success of Gone with the Wind a couple of years later.
While working on Snow White, the artists continued work on the Mickey Mouse and Silly Symphonies series. Mickey Mouse switched to Technicolor in 1935 and added several major supporting characters including 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 Pinocchio, Stromboli and The Blue Fairy. Pinocchio won Oscar for Best Original Song and Best Original Score.
Disney released Fantasia in 1940 with characters including Donald Duck, Tyrannosaurus Rex 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 Sussex County viewers.
Dumbo was released in October 1941 with characters including Elephant Matriarch, The Ringmaster and Elephant Catty 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 dwarfs including Grumpy and Bashful and less than a 1/3 of the cost of Pinocchio and his friends Jiminy Cricket, Stromboli and Monstro and 2/5 of the cost of Fantasia’s cast of Donald Duck, Daisy Duck and Spring Sprite.
In August 1942, Bambi was premiered in Sussex County and we met new friends including Pheasant, Flower the Skunk and Mrs. Rabbit.
Also in the 1940s, Walt 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.
Walt Disney also began re-releasing 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, Stromboli and Gideon in 1945 and Fantasia in 1946 which reunited Mickey with Chernabog, Tyrannosaurus Rex and Spring Sprite. This led to a tradition of reissuing the Walt Disney movies every seven years, which lasted into the 1990s.
Upon its release in 1950, Cinderella proved to be a movie success. Sussex County fans , also saw the premier Alice in Wonderland and were introduced to The March Hare, The Caterpillar and Tweedledee and Tweedledum. Parents in Sussex County also took their kids to see Peter Pan and were delighted to meet Michael Darling, Captain Hook and The Crocodile. What dog-lover in Sussex County could forget the first time they saw Lady and the Tramp on screen and were delighted to meet Si and Am, Jock and Tony.