Sunday, October 30, 2016
Mickey Mouse was originally going to be called Mortimer Mouse, but the name was rejected by Lillian Disney in favor of Mickey. Eight years later the name would be used for Mickey's rival. He continues to be used today.
Saturday, October 29, 2016
In 1935, production began on a project that Hollywood would call "Disney's Folly"- Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. Walt Disney would cast his first princess- Adriana Caselotti- as Snow White. Movie history was on the verge of being created.
Friday, October 28, 2016
Thursday, October 27, 2016
In 1933, The Walt Disney Studios would have its biggest non-Mickey Mouse hit- The Three Little Pigs. The film struck a chord with weary depression-era audiences, attracting millions of moviegoers to their local theaters. The film would bring in a ton of money, but not as much as it would have brought in had it been the feature. Walt would become inspired to produce a feature length film of his own.
Wednesday, October 26, 2016
In 1932, Walt Disney decided to try out a cartoon filmed entirely in color. With Mickey Mouse's huge popularity, he didn't necessarily need a gimmick to get audiences to see his films. The lesser known Silly Symphonies could not only use the extra attention that color would bring, but could also benefit from the added beauty and artistry that color would provide. So Mr. Disney put Flowers & Trees into production- winning an Oscar as a result.
Tuesday, October 25, 2016
Monday, October 24, 2016
In 1930, Disney's second distributor sought to take Mickey Mouse as Universal had taken Oswald. Walt's careful insistence on protecting Mickey Mouse made this impossible. So the distributor decided to take Ub Iwerks, Walt's top animator instead.
Ub held a twenty percent stake in the studio and was insisting that he be paid out even though the studio could ill afford to do so. Roy Disney found the money and paid Ub for his shares- $5000 ($79,000 in today's money.) Ub took the money and setup his new studio, which eventually failed. If Ub had retained his twenty percent ownership in the company, it would be worth $30 Billion today.
Sunday, October 23, 2016
Walt Disney wasted no time in taking advantage of Mickey Mouse's success to begin diversifying things at his studio. He envisioned a new series of cartoons that would mix music and animated visuals- Silly Symphonies.
The first film released under the new banner was Skeleton Dance. While the film looks primitive these days, it was revolutionary for its time.
Saturday, October 22, 2016
1928 began as a year the Disney Brothers most likely wanted to forget. Universal Pictures exercised its rights to steal Oswald away from their studio. It seemed as though they would be ruined. But on the long ride back to California from New York (Where Universal's business offices were still located at the time) Walt Disney got the inspiration for a character who would make everyone forget about Oswald- Mickey Mouse!
The little guy would take the world by storm, finding his way into the homes and hearts of everyone.
Friday, October 21, 2016
In 1927, Walt Disney Studios had its first big hit- Oswald the Lucky Rabbit. The plucky rabbit changed the fortunes of the studio, allowing Walt Disney to begin building up his studio. The great fortune with Oswald would be short lived, but would lead to huge things just a year away.
Thursday, October 20, 2016
In 1926, the Disney Brothers Studio became The Walt Disney Studio at the suggestion of Disney's distributor, Margaret Winkler. It also moved to the Hyperion Avenue compound and a new building.
Wednesday, October 19, 2016
Peg Leg Pete made his debut in the Alice Comedies a full three years before Mickey Mouse made his grand debut. Look familiar?
He would later morph into just "Pete", becoming Goofy's annoying neighbor and the Ghost of Christmas Future in Mickey's Christmas Carol.
Tuesday, October 18, 2016
The first cartoon series produced by Disney Brothers Studio was the Alice Comedies, a silent film cartoon series featuring a live action girl performing with a cartoon drawn by Walt Disney.
The first Disney star was Virginia Davis, who played Alice in the cartoon series. One of the cartoons released in 1924 was Alice's Day at Sea.
Monday, October 17, 2016
"In 1923 Walt Disney arrived in California to follow his dreams. Dreams which led to extraordinary achievements and wondrous adventures! Adventures where natural majesties, bustling communities and groundbreaking discoveries would all find a place in his heart."
Sunday, October 16, 2016
On this day in 1923, Walt and Roy Disney would officially setup their company- The Disney Brothers Studio. This company would eventually grow and diversify, becoming the most recognized entertainment company in the world. In 1923, however, it was Just One Dream.
Friday, October 14, 2016
Fifty years ago on this day, Walt Disney made his last official visit to his beloved Magic Kingdom of DISNEYLAND.
He would sadly pass away before the end of that year, leaving behind a legacy that continues to entertain millions of guests to this very day.
Thursday, October 13, 2016
Most people dreaming of a Disney World vacation probably imagine being swept around the resort by a sleek monorail or a magical boat.
The reality is somewhat different. While the monorail system connects Magic Kingdom Park and EPCOT, the company never continued expanding its system. Most guests actually arrive at the parks in a regular looking transit style bus.
Wednesday, October 12, 2016
There are many references to Walt Disney's past scattered around Disney California Adventure's Buena Vista Street. Even a prop candy machine is full of fun references.
In the picture below, we see various candies that are allegedly for sale. (It's a prop so there isn't any real candy in this machine.)
The first candy box - "Dream Spirals" - most likely refers to Walt Disney's dreams coming true. The second box - "O-Zell Jelly Beans" refers to a business Walt Disney's father part-owned that made soft drinks. "Banana Bites", "Nemo's Frolicking Fish" and "Lil' Scrappy" feature characters that resemble characters from Walt Disney's early cartoons and the box with the skeleton on it is a reference to the first Silly Symphony- Skeleton Dance.
Tuesday, October 11, 2016
A neighboring city to Toontown is Duckburg, Donald Duck's hometown.
As the legend goes, lucky guests at Mickey's Toontown get to play on Donald's boat. His real home, however, is in Duckburg, where Uncle Scrooge's mansion looms over the town. Scrooge's famed Money Bin can be found there too.
Monday, October 10, 2016
The tenth release from DISNEYLAND Record was the soundtrack to the classic Disney film Pinocchio.
The soundtrack featured the song most closely tied to DISNEYLAND Park- When You Wish Upon A Star, which plays when guests walk through Sleeping Beauty Castle. The well loved song remains a favorite classic.
Friday, October 7, 2016
While the Disney theme parks and resorts have plenty of hidden Mickeys, there are fewer other characters honored with the same tribute. However, Disney's Grand Californian Hotel features two rascally characters hidden in certain areas of carpeting. Can you find them?