Saturday, October 31, 2009

Brave Little Tailor

This Mickey Mouse one reel cartoon is one of my all-time favorites. The story was based on the Grimm Brothers fairytale, The Valiant Tailor. Animators included: Fred Moore, Bill Tytla, Frank Thomas and Ollie Johnston. The cartoon was released by RKO Radio Pictures on September 29, 1938.

The piece of art in this post features a production cel overlay of the king and the original matching watercolor background, which was created by artist Samuel Armstrong.

When I see these pieces of vintage animation art, I am always amazed at the skill level which would have been required to both ink and paint the cel. The background is also gorgeous, considering it may have only been used for just a few scenes.

The art comes to us courtesy the collection of my good friend and fellow researcher Dennis Books.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Anniversary of the genesis of a creative empire

On October 15, 1923, Walt Disney received a telegram from Margaret Winkler, distributor of the Felix the Cat and Out of the Inkwell cartoon series, in which the New York distributor offered to pay $1,500 each for the first six of Disney's so-called Alice Comedies, with options on an additional six. Walt and Roy, as the Disney Bros. Studio, agreed to Winkler's terms.

Eighty-six years ago, on October 16, 1923, Walt wrote to the mother of his four year old
Alice star, Virginia Davis, asking if the Davis' would move to Hollywood so their daughter could continue to star in the cartoon series. This date is considered by many to be the founding date of what would become the Walt Disney Studio.

The original letter is now on display at The Walt Disney Family Museum, courtesy Phil Sears, a world renowned Disney autograph expert who acquired the letter directly from Virginia Davis in the 1990s.
Click on the images to enlarge them.

Letter and envelope courtesy