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Tag Archives: 1930s

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.

 

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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.

September 18

September 18, 1932 – Mickey’s Nephews Ferdy and Morty Premiere in the Mickey Mouse Comic Strip

“Just wait’ll I catch those kids! I’ll make ‘em wish they hadn’t!”

On September 18, 1932, the twin characters Ferdy and Morty, Mickey’s nephews, officially premiered in the Mickey Mouse comic strip (although in this first appearance, Ferdy was spelled “Ferdie;” the spelling was subsequently changed). They first appeared in the comic Mickey’s Nephews, where the twins are left with Mickey and cause havoc for their poor uncle, until he ties them to the bed and reads them a bedtime story, which he has been told calms them down. The characters only made one appearance in an animated short film: the 1934 short film Mickey’s Steam Roller.

June 24

June 24, 1938 – Walt Disney Appears on Cover of Family Circle

“Walt Disney talks, mostly of his animals, and the author learns new facts about them.”

On June 24, 1938, Walt Disney graced the cover of The Family Circle magazine. Following the success of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Walt is interviewed about the success of the film and the characters he’s created, ranging from Mickey Mouse to characters from the successful Silly Symphonies series of short films. The cover of the magazine featured a smiling Walt surrounded by images of Donald Duck.

June 23

June 23, 1938 – Walt Disney Receives Honorary Degree from Harvard

“I am greatly honored to know that the Governing Board of Harvard University have voted to confer upon me the honorary degree of Master of Fine Arts on Commencement Day, June 23rd.”

On June 23, 1938, Walt Disney received an honorary degree from Harvard University, his third honorary degree of the year. With the success of the character Mickey Mouse, as well as the animated feature film Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Disney was honored for, as Harvard’s then-president James Bryant Conant stated, “…[creating] a modern dwelling for the Muses; his hand controls a multitude of elfish animals who charm all humans by their mirth.”