Friday, September 19, 2014

"Learn To Draw Grumpy" Tutorial

Park guests that visit the Animation Academy at Disney’s Hollywood Studios in Florida can partake in a class on how to draw a Disney character. The instruction occurs approximately every 30 minutes. Guests work at professional drawing boards to produce their sketches.

Yesterday, the Disney Parks Blog posted a "Learn To Draw Grumpy" video which features artist Brian James Fichtner showing us the ropes.



Start by drawing a circle...




Here's an interview from last March with Brian at the Animation Academy.

Videos posted by Disney Parks Blog.


Special thanks to Nick at Disney Musings for the heads-up on this one.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

1938 French 'Snow White' 78 rpm Record + Reissues

At first glance, the French Snow White record set from 1938 appears near identical to that of the British version (earlier post), except for the obvious language distinction. Both album covers are made from a paperboard-like material and feature the same artwork on the front and back. And except for the record labels, that's where the similarities end.




This is a two-record 78 rpm set, not three. It also is not the actual soundtrack from the film.



The 1938 French dub for the Snow White motion picture was recorded at the Disney studio in California. However, as far as we can tell, it was never issued on a record album. Three probable reasons why:
  1. The audio quality of the original recording was poor. When Snow White sings, it sounds like she has her hand over her mouth.
  2. The singer is an American named Beatrice Hagen. She was obviously chosen because her voice resembled that of Adriana Caselotti, but she sounds slightly American to a modern French audience and must have even more so to the average 1938 moviegoer--given the fact that most singers at the time rolled their "Rs" and she does not.
  3. Copyright issues may have played a role too since there are slight differences between the lyrics used in the picture and those on the record albums.
So instead of the movie soundtrack, this two-record set is an alternative recording which was produced and released in France. The album features the Snow White story with short song snippets mixed in. The talking and singing voice of the princess was played by Belgian singer Elyane Célis. Hear a short excerpt from the story finale: https://app.box.com/s/miw82wvcttx5sqys7668

The yellow record labels are similar to those used in the British release.

Catalog No. SP.1
Matrix #OLA.2782 & OLA.2783



Catalog No. SP.2
Matrix #OLA.2784 & OLA.2785



Several sources credit Elyane Célis (and/or fellow French singer Lucienne Dugard) as the actual voice(s) of Snow White in the Disney film. Both did make separate recordings of the popular songs and thus surfed on the success of the movie.

However, as mentioned above, it was Beatrice Hagen who did the singing in the picture and actor Christiane Tourneur played the speaking voice of the princess (see earlier Archive entry for more details.) Yet, neither would ever end up on a record album.

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In 1955, the Elyane Célis 1938 recording was reissued on a 45 rpm disc.



On the back cover is an advertisement for a 78 rpm record of Disney's Peter Pan (again, in story format with re-orchestrated music rather than the original French dub).


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In 1964, Elyane Célis' 1938 recording appeared on a 3313 rpm album. On the flip side is Alice in Wonderland (story and alternate song recordings). The lead for Alice on this record was Marie Claire Marty, who was also the original French voice of Faline (Bambi) and Wendy (Peter Pan). 




Other records featuring this Elyane Célis recording were probably issued as well. In an interesting side note, Elyane had a limp. When she performed on stage, she very often sang sitting down (on a piano, a chair, etc.).

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In addition to Elyane Célis, two other voice actors are credited on this 1938 recording--Robert Buguet and Adrien Lamy. I made an inquiry to researcher Greg Philip to see if he might know which roles they played. Here's his response:

There is never any written detail about the other performers. Even the BNF (the National French Library) who owns a copy does not list any more information. I sense that Elyane voiced the Queen too, especially considering how little is said--she just goes "Snow White!" when the mirror first mentions the princess.

Buguet and Lamy, along with another uncredited performer, André Any (or "Andréany"), are singers. They all probably form the dwarf choruses, like Heigh Ho and The Dwarfs' Yodel Song, and also the spoken voices (which are very scarce, like "She stays!" or "Good night Princess").

In short, except for Snow White, the only voices you really hear are the Prince (singing only), and the narrator (throughout).

Adrien Lamy's claim to fame in France was that he sang J'ai deux amours with Josephine Baker, a very popular song to this day glorifying Paris. He died in 1940 during a bombing. I think he is the narrator.

Robert Buguet's voice sounds like that of the Prince. Of course, this is based purely on my ear comparison of the songs. My judgment could be biased by the fact that old recordings tend to distort their voices. From one song to another, you'd swear it was a different person.

One final thing that made me smile about this recording is the reason given for why the Huntsman does not kill the girl. It's not empathy or because she's sweet or anything. His motivation is that "She's too beautiful." Apparently, if Snow White had been ugly, she would have deserved to have her heart ripped out of her chest.

Special thanks to Greg Philip of A Lost Film for sharing this information and images from his record collection.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Grumpy & Happy in Pintasmic Pin Sets

Appearing yesterday online at the Disney Store were a couple of new collections called the Mickey Mouse and Friends Pintasmic Pin Sets 1 & 2. The pins were created for Walt Disney World and Disneyland. Measure up to 1.75'' across. Retail $54.95 per 6-pin set.


Set #1...

Stock images copyright Disney Store.

  • Mr. Toad - The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad
  • Goofy - ''Spaced Out''
  • Chip 'n Dale - Chip 'n Dale Rescue Rangers
  • Oswald the Lucky Rabbit with Flag
  • Mickey Mouse - ''Pillage & Plunder''
  • Grumpy - ''This is My Happy Face''

Item No. 7511055889897P.


Set #2...




  • Donald Duck - ''You Quack Me Up''
  • Grumpy - ''Genius by Birth, Grumpy by Choice''
  • Pluto - ''Food Critic''
  • Mickey Mouse - ''Explore the Galaxy''
  • Happy - ''Happy to be Me''
  • Goofy - ''Goof Lightning''

Item No. 7511055889898P.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Three Wicked Mugs

The ebay seller who listed these three Snow White-themed mugs said they were purchased at Disneyland sometime in the early 1990s. All measure approximately 4.5" tall and 4" across at the rim. Made in Thailand.

Witch - "I'm feeling wicked!"






Magic Mirror - "Don't ask!"





Queen -"What can I say? I'm Evil."



All images via ftisme.


Apparently, later versions came with red handles instead of black.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Vintage Tin Tray from New Zealand

With its divergent style of artwork, this Snow White lithographed tin tray may appear at first glance as if it's not an officially licensed item from Disney. Yet it is, as indicated by the "© Walt Disney Productions" imprint in the lower right corner. Manufactured by W.H. Bond & Co. Ltd. of New Zealand, it measures 9" x 12". The character names are printed along the inner rim. Possibly dates from the 1950s.



Two other Disney character trays have also been seen.

Images via justkidsnostalgia.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

1938 British 'Snow White' 78 rpm Record Set

In January 1938, as many of us already know, the original Snow White movie soundtrack was released in the United States as a 78 rpm three-record set by RCA/Victor (see earlier post). The same American recordings were also issued in Great Britain but under the RCA subsidiary label of His Master's Voice (HMV), manufactured by the Gramophone Co, Ltd., Hayes, Middlesex, England.

The British album cover is made from a paperboard-like material. The front design features Snow and the boys in a variation of the Gustaf Tenggren's poster art (though the dwarfs, in particular, have been altered to appear more as they do in the film).




On the back cover, markings in the lower right corner indicate a print date of March 1938



The album opens up into a tri-fold design and on the inner flap is the Snow White story.



Fully open, we see more artwork on the three record sleeves.


[CLICK IMAGES TO ENLARGE]



The label artwork is much more colorful and interesting than in the US release.

Catalog No. B.D.514.
Matrix #OA.09849 With a Smile and a Song
Matrix #OA.09850 Dig-A-Dig Dig and Heigh Ho



Catalog No. B.D.515.
Matrix #OA.09847 I'm Wishing and One Song



Matrix #OA.09848 Whistle While You Work



Catalog No. B.D.516.
Matrix #OA.09870 Dwarfs' Yodel Song
Matrix #OA.09871 Some Day My Prince Will Come



In a few upcoming posts, we'll have a look at the 1938 French and Italian albums and the 1940 Spanish release. Special thanks to Greg Philip of A Lost Film for sharing info and images from his record collection.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Thumper and the Seven Dwarfs - Better Little Book

In 1943, the Carl Buettner-illustrated story, Thumper and the Seven Dwarfs, was issued as a Dell Four Color Comic. The following year in 1944, it was re-bound and sold in the Better Little Book series, #1409.



The color images from the comic book were not carried over to the Better Little Book. Instead, the pages are illustrated in black ink only. This All Pictures Comics-volume was produced in Racine, Wisconsin by Whitman Publishing Company.



The comic is the first to mix Bambi characters with those from other Disney films. The story follows Thumper, who falls down a hole and discovers Dopey digging away in the mine.



Doc invites the rabbit to come back to the cottage where they build him his own bed.



The next day, after the Dwarfs have gone off to work again, Thumper stumbles across the wishing well.



The wild adventure begins that evening with a visit by the Giant from The Brave Little Tailor.




A fun little tale, it holds up well after all these years.



The leaves are not numbered, but the book looks to be over 175 pages in length. Measures 3.75" x 4.5".

Additional cover image via Heritage Auctions.


Special thanks to Major Pepperidge of Gorillas Don't Blog for his recent generous donation of this book to the Filmic Light Collection.