Thursday, July 18, 2024

100 years of the magical world of Disney

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This occasion is exceptional and therefore a must for the whole family to celebrate. Disney Studios has reached its hundredth year, and could this event be more important than this to bring its heroes from the heart of movies, series and films?

As part of its studio’s first centennial celebrations, Disney began showing a short film no longer than 10 minutes on both its platform and the Hulu platform. Titled “Once Upon a Studio,” the work brings together 543 characters from more than 85 feature-length and short Disney films to pay tribute to an institution that has grown without age.

Mickey, Bambi, Mona and the rest of the team

It’s the story of a memorable photo that brings together heroes with extras, princesses with witches and good guys with bad guys. As the last employees leave the company’s headquarters in California, closing the door behind them after work, characters begin to emerge from their pictures hanging on the walls of their birthplace. Mickey Mouse leads a joyous encounter full of sentimentality and nostalgia.

“Minnie” and the little witch “Tinker Bell” join him, and they are joined by “Peter Pan”, “Bambi” the deer and the new generation “Moana”, “Nemo” the fish, “Elsa”, and “Anna” from the movie “The Snow”. Queen” (Frozen) and others. Animated characters, with their colors, laughter and acrobatics, roam the company’s corridors and climb its stairs. In a gesture to founding father Walt Disney, “Mickey Mouse” stands in front of his picture, raises his hat, and salutes the man who created him: “I’ve got to go; but thank you! Keep the show going,” he told him.

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Peter Pan and his companions visit the company’s offices in California (Disney).

The film is not without poignant gestures, leaving “Mickey” and his companions’ travels and tours in charge of the company and closing the door behind him, the company’s senior employee, Barry Mattinson. 70 years ago, before he died at the age of 87 in early 2023.

Among the departures, curators used old recordings of actor Robin Williams to restore the voice of the “Blue Genie” in the movie “Aladdin.” As for the still-living actors, about 50 of them returned to lend their voices to the project, led by Jeremy Irons as the character “Scar” from “The Lion King.” Among those returning: Jodie Benson and Paige O’Hara, who will reprise their roles as “Ariel” from “The Little Mermaid” and “Belle” from “Beauty and the Beast.”

The company restored the voice of the late actor Robin Williams as the character “The Blue Genie” from the movie “Aladdin” (Disney).

The Disney team created the film without resorting to artificial intelligence. Under the supervision of directors Dan Abraham and Trent Currie, 80 percent of the characters were drawn by hand, while the rest were computerized.

A final scene where the characters gather to take a commemorative photo, with the dog “Goofy”, a character close to Walt Disney’s heart, amusingly. As for the ending, it included a greeting to viewers around the world: “To everyone who fancied with us, laughed with us, dreamed with us, thank you.”

The team created the film without resorting to artificial intelligence (Disney).

Magic maker

Walt Disney was 22 years old when he moved to Hollywood and along with his brother Roy founded the “Disney Brothers Studio” which later became “The Walt Disney Company”. It happened in 1923, and the first production was the “Alice in Wonderland” series, which lasted for 4 years.

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The founding father behind the Disney legend, or “Magic Maker,” was born with an extraordinary talent for drawing, which first appeared when he was five years old. He painted a horse for a family neighbor in Chicago, USA, in return for his first salary. To develop his skills, he started copying cartoons from his father’s newspaper.

Walt and his brother Roy Disney in front of the studio they founded in 1923 (Disney).

Walt Disney’s childhood was not easy, he worked day and night delivering newspapers from the age of 10 to 16. He and his brother used to wake up at four in the morning every day and deliver newspapers before going to school. This had a negative impact on his academic results and he was falling asleep in class. But what could be harmful could be beneficial. Instead, he joined an institute that taught the art of drawing, taking correspondence courses in animation.

After working several jobs in the industry and opening his first studio at the age of twenty, Walt Disney moved to Hollywood. And that’s where the real beginning is.

Walt Disney and the character “Pinocchio” he created in 1940 (Disney)

Empire of Animation

Laying the groundwork for what would later become an animation empire was not easy for the 22-year-old. But Disney did it, and he owns the old adage: “You can achieve all your dreams if you have the courage to follow them.” From his dreams, countless characters emerged, taking children and adults to a beautiful fantasy world.

Just as he opened Once Upon a Studio, “Mickey Mouse” opened the way to fame and popularity for Walt Disney. The little mouse represented a good omen for the American artist. He was said to have been inspired by a pet mouse he had adopted and loved “Mickey” so much that he voiced him for about 20 years (1928-1947).

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Among the characters dear to Walt Disney’s heart were “Mickey” and “Minnie” (Disney).

“Mickey” was not alone for long as his companion dog “Pluto” joined him in 1930, and “Goofy” joined them two years later. As for the most famous duck, Donald Duck, he joined the group in 1934. That year, despite many criticisms and warnings, Disney decided to begin production on his first feature film, “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.”

Contrary to expectations, the film was a huge success and earned Disney his first Oscar, followed by 21 awards and 59 nominations, making him the most honored artist by the American Academy.

One of the clips from the short film marking the first centennial (Disney)

After his death in 1966, Disney preserved the legacy of its founding father. In the last century, its studios produced about 500 films, not all of them animated. The company has 30 films in production till 2026.

Pandora Bacchus
Pandora Bacchus
"Coffee evangelist. Alcohol fanatic. Hardcore creator. Infuriatingly humble zombie ninja. Writer. Introvert. Music fanatic."

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