Like so many of you, I grew up on Disney and have been grateful enough to get to experience the magic Disney offers from the parks, family cinema trips and more! I’ve come to really admire the company for their innovation and creative storytelling, but it really came into light when I enrolled at a Disney Studies course at University. There is so much history that not many people know about, and when I learned about the hardships Walt went through, and the constant growth he had to push through for the company’s success, it is truly inspiring to see his vision continuing to flourish on.
Over a couple of blog posts I will be doing some rough timelines, dedicated to the Disney Animation, and the evolvement over the decades. It’s important to reflect back on where it all started and how each new film paved way for the next one.
Timeline : 1927 – 1950
1927 : Walt Disney and Ub Iwerks create their first animated cartoon character – Oswald the Lucky Rabbit.
*Oswald soon after become property of Universal Studios and Walt found himself on a train back from New York to California having to think of a whole new character. In 2006, the Disney Studios got Oswald back.
1928 : The birth of Mickey Mouse and his first successful cartoon, Steamboat Willie.
1929 : Silly Symphonies (short animated sequences accompanied to music) begin to be produced, with The Skeleton Dance as the first.
1932 : Flowers and Tress, from Silly Symphonies, and is the first film to use tri-Technicolor process. It won Walt Disney his first Academy Award as cartoon short and he won another award that year for Mickey Mouse as well.
1933 : Three Little Pigs (known for the song ‘Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf’) won an Academy Award for best animated short film.
1934 : The Wise Little Hen released, introducing Donald Duck who we later see get his own series.
1937 : Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs released as the first feature length animated film, and goes on to win an Academy Honorary Award (1938)
1940 : *Pinocchio and **Fantasia were released
*The film wins best original song and score. Uses technology originally seen in the The Windmill (1937) known as the Multiplane camera to give the story depth and a dimensional feeling. The Multiplane camera continued to be used in all films up until Little Mermaid.
*Wins two Academy Honorary awards
The Walt Disney Company moves to Burbank, California (and is where they remain today)
1941 : Dumbo released, wins Academy Award best scoring in a musical picture.
Walt Disney Company workers go on strike and US propaganda shorts start production in aid to WWII.
1942 : Bambi released
1945 : The Three Caballeros released as first Live Action combined with Animation
1950 : Cinderella released, transition begins to a whole new level of ‘fairy tale’ films
I hope you enjoyed a brief outline, showing how Disney animation began to evolve. Of course Disney had live-action films going on as well, and opened the parks, but I am strongly focusing on animation at the moment. Be sure to check back in the next couple weeks for new timelines, and be sure to subscribe for more blog posts Monday, Friday and Saturday!
Have a great week!