RSS Feed

Tag Archives: 1930s

August 3

August 3, 1933 – The First Mickey Mouse Watch is Introduced

On August 3, 1933, the first Mickey Mouse watches were introduced for sale by the Ingersoll-Waterbury Clock Company at the low cost of $3.25 (about $64 today, adjusted for 2019 inflation). This price would eventually be lowered to about $2.95. The watch was a stroke of genius for both Ingersoll-Waterbury and Disney, with merchandising genius Kay Kamen inking a deal between the two and starting a lucrative partnership for both (and kick off the beginning of Disney’s merchandise empire). This watch also saved both companies from bankruptcy.

May 2

Posted on

May 2, 1938 – The New York Times Publishes Editorial on Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs

“Figments of Disney’s imagination have already sold more than $2,000,000 worth of toys since the first of the year.”

On May 2, 1938, the New York Times published a special editorial on Walt Disney and the success of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, titled “Prosperity Out of Fantasy.” This editorial piece looked to Disney’s brand of “industrialized fantasy” to save the United States economy, as the country was still in the throes of the Great Depression. However, while the success of Snow White wasn’t the driving force in saving the economy, the editorial was notable in seeing the effects of Disney’s full-length feature film, which became the model for building a profitable and long-lasting film franchise.

April 4

April 4, 1938 – Life Magazine Features Article on Snow White Model Marjorie Belcher

“Miss Belcher was the model – a real-life Snow White who enacted all the scenes of the story, so that animators could study her expressions and poses.”

On April 4, 1938, the newest issue of Life Magazine was released, and featured a special article about Marjorie Belcher, the live-action model for the character of Snow White. Belcher’s performance wasn’t seen by moviegoers, but this piece publicized her acting skills, particularly as she was seen acting several scenes. The article notes that the hardest scene to make was the “running through the forest scene,” with several pictures showing Belcher running fearfully in a field. Photos were also seen of Belcher’s co-star and model for Prince Charming, Louis Hightower.

March 10

March 10, 1935 – The New York Times Publishes Article: “Mickey Mouse Emerges as Economist”

“One touch of Mickey makes the whole world grin in a very dark hour.”

On March 10, 1935, the New York Times ran an article entitled “Mickey Mouse Emerges as Economist,” with the tagline about how the phenomenal popularity of the character led to “victories in the field of business man and banker.” The article not only spoke to his appeal in the entertainment field across the world, but to the business side as well, especially calling out marketing genius Kay Kamen. The article also featured a picture of Walt Disney, a plush Mickey Mouse, and a mountain of fanmail.

 

January 14

January 14, 1938 – The New York Daily News Publishes Review of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs

“The entire audience seemed to fall under the magic spell which Walt Disney and his staff of clever magicians wove with great artistry on the screen.”

On January 14, 1938, the day after the animated feature Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs had its East Coast premiere at Radio City Music Hall, Kate Cameron of the New York Daily News published a glittering review alongside an image of Snow White and her bird friends chasing the hag out of the Dwarfs’ cottage. The review was simply glowing, calling the audience “spellbound,” while noting that mostly adults attended the screening and were enraptured with the animated performances. The review also notes the music as “excellent,” the adaptation as “delightful,” and the voices having been selected “judiciously.” The film was awarded four stars for children, and four stars for adults.

January 10

January 10, 1932 – The First Mickey Mouse Sunday Comic is Printed

“Here’s something you’ve never seen before – something new under the old overworked sun – MICKEY MOUSE in a full page color comic!”

On January 10, 1932, the first color Sunday comic of the Miceky Mouse series premiered in newspapers across the United States. The Mickey Mouse comics burst on the scene on January 13, 1930, and became a smash hit almost overnight. The comic syndicate King Features had been eager to feature a full-page color comic, but artist Floyd Gottfredson and inker Earl Duvall hadn’t had the time to devote to such an ambitious undertaking. Once Gottfredson and Duvall had Al Taliaferro and Ted Osborne on their team, the team then had time to bring the color comic to fruition. The appeal of the color comics is interesting to note, as at that time, Mickey’s appearance on the silver screen was still black and white (Mickey’s first color cartoon wouldn’t be until 1935’s The Band Concert). The first color comic was done by completely by Duvall, trying to mimic the slapstick that had worked so well in the short films; Gottfredson would take over soon after. The pair were able to create a new kind of gag strip storytelling through their adaptation of Mickey Mouse short films and the creation of new stories.

January 2

January 2, 1938 – The First Episode of the Mickey Mouse Theater of the Air Airs

“Who’s afraid of ra-di-o, ra-di-o, ra-di-o?”

On January 2, 1938, the first episode of the radio program Mickey Mouse Theater of the Air aired on NBC. It was a musical-variety series aimed at children, and was sponsored by Pepsodent. The program was created to promote the upcoming full-length feature animation film Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, and featured Walt Disney as the voice of Mickey Mouse, Clarence Nash as Donald Duck, Thelma Boardman as Minnie Mouse, Stuart Buchanan as Goofy, and Florence Gill as Clarabelle Cow. Each episode featured the characters in a different story, with the first story featuring the tale of Robin Hood. The twentieth, and final, episode aired on May 15th.