The History Which Started Disney Collector's Collecting Habits
Throughout the state of Rhode Island, and within Kent County people have enjoyed Disney animated movies with great enthusiasm.
Walt Disney Animation Studios, headquartered in Burbank, CA, formerly known as Walt Disney Feature Animation, is an animation studio which creates cartoon short films and television specials for The Walt Disney Company seen in Kent County. It took on its current 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, Ratatouilli and Day & Night.
As of 2013, the studio has released 53 feature films starting with Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs in 1937 with notable characters such as The Evil Queen and the dwarfs including Sleepy and Bashful and its most recent release in Kent 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 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.
Vintage Disney Animation in the 20s
The first two Mickey Mouse cartoons, Plane Crazy and The Galloping Gaucho, which also included Minnie Mouse, was released in select theatres during the summer of 1928. For the 3rd Mickey Mouse cartoon Disney included a sound track. In the end the third Mickey cartoon, Steamboat Willie, became Disney's 1st cartoon with matched sound.
The Mickey Mouse series of sound cartoons quickly became the most popular cartoon series in Kent County and the U.S.. 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 1st full-color animated film 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 Practical Pig became a big box office and pop culture success and the theme song "Who's Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf" becoming a popular chart hit for Kent County residents.
The First Disney Cartoon Feature
In 1934, Disney started development on of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs characters with Snow White and the seven drawfs including Doc and Happy. Snow White became the 1st animated feature in English and Technicolor.
A lot of training and development went into the creation of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. The studio expanded with the addition of established animators and recent college graduate artists. Some may have even come from Kent County - but we're not sure.
What Kent County parent would have known 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 produce but Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs with The Evil Queen and the seven drawfs including Grumpy and Happy was the highest grossing production 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 Mouse and Silly Symphonies series. Mickey switched to Technicolor in 1935 and added several major supporting friends 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 Jiminy Cricket, Stromboli and Gideon. Pinocchio won Oscar for Best Original Song and Best Original Score.
Disney released Fantasia in 1940 with characters including Chernabog, Tyrannosaurus Rex 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 Kent County viewers.
Dumbo hit the screens in October 1941 with characters including Timothy Q. Mouse, Jim Crow and The Clown proved to be a monetary success. The feature only cost half the cost of Snow White with its ensemble of with The Prince and the seven drawfs including Grumpy and Bashful and less than a third of the cost of Pinocchio and his friends Geppetto, Honest John and The Blue Fairy and two fifths of the cost of Fantasia’s cast of Donald Duck, Yen Sid and The Magic Brooms.
In August 1942, Bambi was premiered in Kent County and we met new friends including Thumper, Faline and Mrs. Rabbit.
Also in the 1940s, Walt 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 re-releasing the previous features beginning with the rerelease of Snow White in 1944 which brought back to the screen The Prince and the seven drawfs including Sleepy and Dopey Pinocchio and his friends Jiminy Cricket, Lampwick and Gideon in 1945 and Fantasia in 1946 which returned Mickey Mouse with Donald Duck, 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 movie success. Kent County movie-goers , also saw the premier Alice in Wonderland and were introduced to Alice, The Caterpillar and Tweedledee and Tweedledum. Parents in Kent County also took their childres to see Peter Pan and were delighted to meet Peter Pan, George 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 Lady, Tramp and Jim Dear.