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August 14

August 14, 1942 – The New York Times Runs Review of Bambi

“The children at the Music Hall yesterday were content again; form all over the darkened house childish laughter broke forth continuously and one or twice childish tears and boohoos. For Bambi has come to town and with it the Music Hall has again become a children’s fairyland.”

On August 14, 1942, the day after the animated feature film Bambi premiered at Radio City Music Hall, the New York Times ran its favorable review of the film. The reviewer admired the characters, specifically Thumper and Flower, the colors of the woodland, and the story; however, the reviewer does muse of why Disney has cartoons at all, as “one cannot combine naturalism with cartoon fantasy.” Even with the concern about going too far into realism, the reviewer still notes that, even through his own “churlish exceptions,” many will love Bambi.

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May 2

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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.

February 4

February 4, 1958 – The Wall Street Journal Publishes Article “Disney’s Land: Dream, Diversify – and Never Miss an Angle”

“Integration is the key word around here: we don’t do anything in one line without giving a thought to its likely profitability in our other lines.”

On February 4, 1958, an article entitled “Disney’s Land: Dream, Diversify, and Never Miss an Angle” appeared in the Wall Street Journal. Written by Mitchell Gordon, the article looks at the integration of business lines within the Disney Company, using the recent release of Sleeping Beauty as an example; the film’s release also spawned success in book, tv, record, and park profits. The article also takes a look at the intricacies of the company’s employees as more than just “movie moguls,” but innovators of various fields. The article was also sent to the company’s shareholders, as it was seen as an accurate description of how the company worked across business lines.

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.

July 9

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July 9, 1955 – The New York Times Publishes Article on Disneyland

“Fantastic Amusement Park, at Cost of $16,500,000, to Open July 18.”

On July 9, 1955, an article ran in the New York Times about the soon-to-open Disneyland theme park. Entitled “Disneyland Gets its Last Touches,” the article focused on Walt Disney’s vision for a brand new type of amusement park, to which the article wrote “For its appellation ‘amusement park’ is inadequate, for it has no banalities as roller coasters, Ferris wheels, and dodge-‘ems in a milieu of honky-tonk.” This was one of many articles used to promote this new type of park, which was seen as very different from the amusement parks of its time.

February 19

February 19, 1967 – The New York Times Publishes Article About Walt Disney World

“In Mr. Disney’s words, however, the ‘most exciting and most important part’ of Disney World will be the planned community, which ‘will take its cue from the new ideas and new technologies that are now emerging from the creative centers of American industry.’”

On February 19, 1967, the New York Times published an article entitled “Florida’s Disney World Aims at ’70 Opening,” which gave the public some new insight into the highly publicized “Florida Project” which would become Walt Disney World. The article went into detail about how large the planned park would be (“bigger than Manhattan”), the planned community EPCOT, and several plans in the area to provide a suitable living space for those who will live in the community, including a drainage survey and an interchange. It estimated, based on reports from Disney executives, that the park would open in 1970; Walt Disney World would go on to open on October 1, 1971.