Saturday, January 30, 2010

Alphonse Mucha and the Disney Princess Nouveau Collection

Alphonse Mucha (1860–1939) was the Czechoslovakian artist who pioneered the ornate stained glass style of Art Nouveau. He moved to Paris in 1887 and lived as a "starving artist" for the next seven years. Then in 1894, his fortunes changed.

Around Christmas 1894, Mucha happened to drop into a print shop where there was a sudden and unexpected demand for a new poster to advertise a play starring Sarah Bernhardt, the most famous actress in Paris, at the Théâtre de la Renaissance on the Boulevard Saint-Martin. Mucha volunteered to produce a lithographed poster within two weeks, and on 1 January 1895, the advertisement for the play Gismonda appeared on the streets of the city. It was an overnight sensation and announced the new artistic style and its creator to the citizens of Paris.

Bernhardt was so satisfied with the success of that first poster that she entered into a 6 years contract with Mucha. He produced a flurry of paintings, posters, advertisements, and book illustrations, as well as designs for jewellery, carpets, wallpaper, and theatre sets in what was initially called the Mucha Style but became known as Art Nouveau (French for 'new art').

In 2008, Disney released their short-lived, but extremely popular Disney Princess Nouveau Collection, including shirts, stained glass hangings, trinket boxes and journals. Each of the main princess characters were reproduced in a style after one of Mucha's famous paintings. Ed Irizarry conceived and sketched the designs for the princesses and Enrique Pita colored them.

The Snow White reproduction was patterned after Painting from The Arts Series, 1898...

A. Mucha, Painting, 1898

Irizarry and Pita's Snow White as seen in The Art of the Disney Princess book, p.47...


Artist quotes from The Art of the Disney Princess book...

Book pages copyright Disney.

B+W Snow White image adapted by Jess Park from original by Irizarry and Pita.

Some of the others included Mucha's Poetry of 1898 which became Aurora from 1959...

La Plume as La Cinderella...

See more of the Disney Princess Nouveau Collection at mdmbrightside.

Also view the upcoming posts featuring Snow White's Nouveau sun catcher, puzzle, and shirts.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Snow White's Apple

When this image first appeared on the web, no one seemed to know much about it. From Crave: We don't have the details for this bit of art--whether it is a vinyl sticker or painted on. And it looks like this picture is all the information we'll be getting for now because the original image has been deleted by Flickr user LubeckerJung.

Snow White's Apple!

But it didn't take long before a variety of Snow White vinyl stickers started showing up for sale online. This would be just one of many.

Snow White's Revenge available from vinylville etsy shop

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Multiplane Camera

What a fantastic invention this really was! The multiplane camera enabled the Disney studio to create the realism needed for feature-length animations.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Taipei Bubble Gum Signage

These photos of a Snow White bubble gum sign were taken in Taipei at the Taiwan Storyland, a quasi-museum and themed food hall that recreates Taiwan of the mid-1960s. The sign probably dates from this era since the rest of the museum does.

Photo copyright WanShan, 2006.

Not sure if it was an actual product or simply art. If the gum was real, it could have been introduced to the island by Americans after WWII. Or it may have been a Taiwanese product made without licensing from Disney.

Photo (2008) and additional information courtesy of calramen.

Photo copyright mimuthings, 2007.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

"Toy-Town Jamboree" Sheet Music

This from collector Rick Payne...
Sheet music for a 1938 song "TOY-TOWN JAMBOREE". I've never seen one of these before, and was shocked to see that the lyrics actually mention MICKEY and MINNIE MOUSE, DONALD DUCK, KRAZY KAT, POPEYE and THE SEVEN DWARFS.

No mention of Disney copyright and given the cover illustration, I wouldn't be surprised if the Disney lawyers put a quick end to this one. Produced by RED STAR SONGS of New York. Standard sheet music size of 9" x 12".
Images and info courtesy of Rick Payne via dadric's attic. Used with permission.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Face Lift to Seven Dwarfs Mine

Renovations to the facade of the Seven Dwarfs Mine shop outside Snow White's Scary Adventures ride, Walt Disney World--November 2009.

Photos from the Filmic Light Collection.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

On the Train to Hollywood

After its premiere on December 21, 1937 and then subsequent release to theaters in February 1938, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs became an instant worldwide critical and financial success. The film enabled the Disney brothers to pay off their entire loan of over $1,480,000 to the Bank of America as well as build a brand new state-of-the-art studio.

Disney's Folly it was not.

Yet some 15 years prior, Walt Disney was broke. He was living in the Kansas City office of his Laugh-O-Gram studio, taking baths just once a week at Union Station. It was 1923, and unable to make a profit, his studio went bankrupt. He sold his movie camera to pay for a one-way ticket to Hollywood.

Walt Disney reminiscing many years later about this point in time:
I met a guy on the train when I was comin' out. It was one of those things that kind of made you mad. I was out on the back platform--I was in my pants and coat that didn't match but I was riding first class. I was making conversation with a guy who asked me, "Goin' to California?"

"Yeah, I'm goin' out there."
"What business you in?"
I said, "The motion-picture business."
Then all of a sudden. "Oh, is that right? Well I know somebody in the picture business. What do you do?"
I said, "I make animated cartoons."
It was like saying, "I sweep up the latrines."

Some people make you mad, and you want to prove something to them even though they mean nothing to you. I thought of that guy...when we had the premiere of Snow White. And that darn thing went out and grossed eight million dollars around the world.

Excerpt from: Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs: The Making of the Classic Film by Richard Holliss and Brian Sibley (page 35)

Friday, January 15, 2010

Fan Club Pin

Released August 30, 2004, this Snow White Fan Club pin was limited to just 500 and was available only online from Disney Auctions. Fixed retail price $12.00 (USD)...

The backside is decorated with auction gavels and reads, "© Disney,, Limited Edition 500, Disney Auctions Exclusive, China"...

Original card backing...

Thursday, January 14, 2010

1938 Milton Bradley Snow White Board Game

The Game of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs board game by Milton Bradley Company. "© Walt Disney Enterprises", 1938.

The game was designed for two, three, or four players. Comes with one pair of bone dice and a large assortment of brightly colored markers, discs, and sticks. The wooden pieces represent Snow White and the Prince. There's also a Queen, Huntsman, and Seven Dwarfs, plus a poison apple and kiss discs. Two sets of directions on how to play the game plus a paper insert retelling the story of Snow White.

Images via Heritage Auction Galleries. Special thanks to Bob at Allure for the tip-off on the auction.

Player pieces, treasure sticks, Dwarfs pieces, Queen and Huntsman, dice, poison apple, and kiss pieces.

Board size when open is 18.25" x18.25". Includes the Queen's Castle, Dwarfs' Mines, House of the Dwarfs, Huntsman's Lodge, Magic Grotto, and Prince's Castle.

Back of board.

Additional images via lakeerietreasures + bunnylady44.

The rules...


Rules courtesy of Megomike.

The game is found in The Collectors Encyclopedia of Disneyana by David Longest and Michael Stern, p.146 (Collector Books, 1992). Box measures 9.5" x 19".

Original wholesale price to retailers was $16.00 per dozen.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Vintage Disney Pins

The idea of collectible Disney pins really did not come into its own until 1999 when Disney Pin Trading was introduced at the Disneyland Resort during the Millennium Celebration and then the following year at Walt Disney World.

Yet, pins in one form or another have been around almost since the beginning when the Disney Company started selling merchandise to fund their animated film projects.

Left: Vintage Mickey Mouse Pin. Made by Cohn and Rosenberger from 1933-1936. Measures approximately 1" tall, pinback clasp. Stamped WD" on back.


Here's a couple of early Snow White pins...

Made in 1938, this is one of the first pins to feature characters from a Disney full-length movie. It was popular at the time for little girls to wear their sweaters around their shoulders without putting their arms through the sleeves. This sweater pin was used as a fashion accessory to help hold the sweater on. Brier Manufacturing Company circa 1938.


This Snow White broach clasp pin is made from plastic and was sold at theatres during the first general release of the film. The Dwarfs are gathered around playing musical instruments. Pin came attached to a white card with non-Disney drawings of Snow White and Dwarfs in the woods. Top of card reads "SNOW WHITE PRODUCTS."  1937-38.

Image via l_moon_star.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Part V - Snow White Awakens!


One of the notable distinctions about the Snow White ride is that for the most part, it is presented from the perspective of the young princess herself. In the original 1955 Disneyland design, Snow White was never seen. As the rider, you were her. Your experience was what she experienced. This is how the WDW version was designed as well. But during renovations in 1983 and 1994 at the two respective parks, imagineers decided to change it a bit, to make the ride less frightening for younger children. In addition, they sought to quell the inevitable question that guests would ask upon exiting the ride, "Where the heck is Snow White?" With the redesign, the princess would now makes a few appearances at certain points in the story. Nonetheless, the ride would still lead guests on an adventure--Snow White's adventure.

Now as rides go, the mechanics and special effects of this one are not the latest, greatest state-of-the-art. The audio-animatronics of Pirates and the simulated universe of Star Tours are much more sophisticated and advanced in their technological wizardry. But four days of sun, palm trees, and fun had opened a door for me. My childlike nature was ready for anything. And while I was still ignorant of the fact, this Snow White mythological tale was mine, that is, it would speak directly to my archetypal core. So for me, this experience would prove way more powerful than any other I'd had at WDW.

Ti and I were not the only adults in the queue for this ride. Many had kids in tow, but substantial numbers did not. We boarded our vehicle, waited for the bar to release, then lower, and headed off into the bowels of this "dark" ride.

The WDW ride begins by taking guests through the Queen's courtyard where Snow White is seen on the steps outside. The Queen is watching her (and us) from a castle window.

We then enter the castle and are greeted by the speaking Magic Mirror. As we turn a corner, we see the Queen standing, gazing upon her reflection in the mirror. Suddenly she spins to face us, but instead of the Queen, we see the green-eyed, nearly toothless Hag.

The ride continues into the dungeon where the cackling Hag stands over her frothing cauldron, poison apple in hand. The Queen's huntsman suddenly urges Snow White to run away and we escape into the dark forest. A thunder bolt flash reveals the princess, she screams as her dress gets caught by claw-like branches. The trees have eerie scowls and floating logs loom in the swamp like lurking crocodiles. Creepy eyeballs fill the shadows.

We hear the Dwarfs' "Silly Song" in the distance as we reach the safety of their cottage.

The refuge doesn't last long as we pass the Witch giving Snow White the apple, and upon exiting the cottage, hear her crowing that she is 'Now the fairest in the land'.

The ride heads into the Dwarfs' mine where we hear them calling out that the Witch is getting away. They head off in pursuit, scrambling up a rocky ledge. She stands upon a precipice over us and attempts to dislodge a boulder on our heads. But a bolt of lightning strikes and the Old Hag meets her demise.

It was at this point that the music kicked in--the finale reprise of Someday My Prince Will Come from the original 1937 film. The hairs on the back of my neck stiffened, and a chill ran up my spine.

We return to the forest where Snow Whites lies still on her bier. The prince is bending over the sleeping princess as he's about to kiss her.

Above two images © Disney via Walt Disney World website.

In the final scene, we hear Snow White saying "Goodbye" to the dwarfs and us as she and the Prince head to their castle in the clouds.

I don't know how to explain it exactly, but upon exiting the ride, I was in a bit of a quasi-daze. The imagery coupled together with the music had in a manner of speaking tapped into my inner circuitry. It was as if a light was suddenly turned on inside. This archetypal fairytale now had meaning for me, and the deeper symbolism of it all somehow made sense.

Nine years after the fact, the Snow White mythology continues to exert influence over me, hence the writing of a blog dedicated to Miss White.