Saturday, March 22, 2014

An Interesting Disney Find

By: Gaylin

I have very little luck finding Disney memorabilia at thrift stores in my neighbourhood, fortunately for me, my sister finds me great things!

She gave me this as a present, and wow, how cool!

December 22, 1956, Saturday Evening Post – with an article about "Disney: Birth of Snow White". Since I don't collect for the monetary value of things, the condition of this magazine is of no concern to me. The article inside is intact and that is what counts.

The article is written by Diane Disney Miller (as told to Pete Martin) and is actually Part VI of a series. This part referred to as "Disney's Folly". The following magazine would have had an article in it called "The Mouse at War". There were 8 articles in all.

The starting page of the article looks like this:

Here are close ups.

The caption beside this photo says " Walt, who often pretends he's overlooked as the only male in the house – sneaks a snack for Lady, the family's French poodle, just after getting home from work.

One thing that stands out to me about this article is the length of it. Today's magazines have such brief articles without much real information in them, this article is quite lengthy and very informative. I thought about typing it out here but it is much too long.

One nice thing is that the article has some of Diane Disney Miller's recollections in it. "When my younger sister, Sharon and I grew old enough to hang onto a steering wheel and shift a gear, we learned to drive –by driving Dad's car around the studio lot while he was roving inside the buildings. I was practicing backing up in the studio parking lot one day when I backed over a water pip and a geyser gushed up." She goes on to say how understanding he was "We'll come and get the car and take care of everything".

It article goes on at length about Snow White, the innovations, the time and the cost. One part I liked that I didn't know "Of the seven dwarfs, Dopey turned out to be the public's favorite. He was always trailing aimlessly behind the others, and he couldn't talk. the dwarf named Happy explained Dopey's speechlessness by saying, "He just never tried." But the real reason he couldn't talk was that Dad couldn't find a voice he thought suitable for Dopey."

Did you know that on its first time around the world, Snow White grossed $8,000,000!!! At the time the article was written, that number had reached $15,000,000, a heck of a lot of money in 1956.

The money from Snow White let Walt and Roy build their movie and animation studio. Again, to quote the article: "The new studio housed 1500 employees. There were 100 students in the Disney training school alone – a school that had grown from a class of twenty in 1933. In effect, it trained artists for the entire cartoon industry; as nearly as Dad can figure it, 90 percent of all cartoon artists now in the business wherever they work –came out of his training school."

A lovely piece of history that my sister found in a garage sale, she said the magazine was dusty and so was the little old lady who was selling it!

Editor's note: Gaylin's article reminded me that I have several issues from this series in my attic somewhere. When I find these, I will be sure to share them here.-Nick

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