How Disney Built America Recap for Dawn of the Animated Blockbuster

How Disney Built America Recap for Dawn of the Animated Blockbuster

How Disney Built America Recap for Dawn of the Animated Blockbuster

-In 1923, Walt Disney headed to LA in hopes of making his dreams of becoming an animator come true. He had tried and failed in the past, even going bankrupt, but he was not willing to give up.

-Despite being told that animation movies would not amount to anything, Walt was determined to prove everyone wrong.

-In 1932, three years into the Great Depression, things were still looking down for most people in America. They found solace in movies, particularly the double feature. This put the animated shorts into jeopardy, leaving animators in a panic.

-Not one to give up, Walt decided to take a gamble with a new invention called Technicolor, which would bring color to the animated features. His brother Roy was not sold on this, thinking it was too expensive and put them more in the hole in terms of being broke.

-The ink and paint department (run by mostly women, including Walt’s sister-in-law Hazel) went to work to make their current work in color. However, it proves to be a harder process than anticipated, with Walt having the women mix together colors to make their own version of Technicolor. In July 1932, Flowers and Trees becomes the first full-color film—and cartoon–in history.

-Walt was now more motivated than ever to make it big in the world of animation, so he decides to make more movies. However, the stories he wants to tell in the fantasy genre aren’t working in the live-action world. He decides to take another gamble and try and tell these stories using animation.

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-The first story he decided to try was Snow White and the Seven Dwarves. He had seen it as a silent film as a teenager and loved Grimm’s Fairy Tales, so he decided this would be his first movie.

-After a few false starts (and a few other shorts that didn’t quite meet the vision he wanted for animated humans) he decided to use real actors and actresses as models to achieve the vision he has in his mind’s eye. It ends up costing a lot of money AND they are facing competition from rival animation companies.

-Roy is trying to find a way to pay for everything, after realizing the project would cost over $250,000. The brothers decide to get a loan, risking everything on this project.

-By 1936, everything is on the line for this animated movie. They use storyboarding in order to visualize each scene shot by shot. He adds more depth to each picture and works on different camera techniques to make it work.

-The movie keeps hitting roadblocks, upsetting Roy and putting the brothers in more and more depth. Media gets wind of what is happening and begin to consider them a joke. Roy wants Walt to figure it out or forget it, but Walt is not ready to give up just yet.

-A new multiplane camera and team of workers finally help Walt get the vision he has been dreaming of this entire time. It costs thousands of dollars, but Walt doesn’t care. However, the bank wants to see this movie before they can give them more money.

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-Walt reluctantly agrees to show the bank what they have, which is a very, very rough cut. Mr. Rosenberg, the man from the bank, loves it, but gives them three months to complete the project.

-There is now a mad dash to finish the film. It is all hands on deck and there is no work on any other projects to get it done. Despite a lot of doubt and several mishaps, they are able to complete the movie. Walt is unhappy with a couple of mistakes in it, but lets it go.

-In December 1937, Snow White opens with a huge red carpet premiere. Walt is nervous from start to finish, even though his wife is there to try and calm him down. However, he is shocked when he sees people, including Clark Gable, crying over the movie.

-The movie is a hit and gets rousing applause. It makes million of dollars and became the number one feature film of all time.

-Snow White set the road for the world of animation, giving us the wonderful genre we have today.

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Author: Sammi Turano
Sammi has been a journalist for over a decade, specializing in entertainment, lifestyle, sports and celebrity news. She is the owner of TVGrapevine and Football in High Heels and the Host of Grapevine in High Heels With Sammi.