Wednesday, June 30, 2010

USS Mercy Snow White Patch

Snow White cares for an injured Dopey on this embroidered military patch from World War II. Text reads " USS Mercy AH-8." Measures 4" x 5".

From ebay description...
The USS Mercy AH-8 was a comfort-class hospital ship laid down under Maritime Commission contract by Consolidated Steel Corporation at the Wilmington Yard, Wilmington, California, on 4 February 1943. She was acquired by the U.S. Navy from the Maritime Commission on 25 March 1943 and launched the same day.

Image via Discount Tool Guy.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Snow White Comic - Dell 1944

With the Disney Studio thoroughly sequestered by the US military, the deep loss of revenue from the eclipsed European market, and a shortage of top animators, 1944 saw Walt Disney once again facing a serious cash flow problem. His answer was simple yet brilliant--use what you've got. He re-released the film to the theatres, and Snow White made a basket full of money. It also reignited public interest in all things Snow...one of those things being the comic book printed by Dell Publishing in that same year.

Cover Art, 1944 Dell Comic Book.

Front Endpaper, 1944 Dell Comic Book.

Page One, 1944 Dell Comic Book.


As mentioned in the previous post, staff artist Hank Porter illustrated the original Snow White newspaper comic back in 1937-38. Hank was still employed by Walt in 1944 but was assigned to oversee the department which pumped out a thousand plus insignias (many drawn by Porter himself) and other illustrations for the war effort.

So why mess with a good thing? This Snow White comic issued by Dell Publishing utilized the same Porter illustrations and Merrill de Maris story from the earlier newspaper strip. The only real changes were in the colors, e.g. Snow White's dress in the original dark forest scene was red with a white cape; in 1944 they both were painted yellow.

Original January 23, 1938 newspaper strip illustrated by Hank Porter. 
Image courtesy of the Thom Buchanan collection via The Pictorial Arts blog.


1944 Dell Comic Book; same Hank Porter illustrations, different color painting.
Comics copyright Disney. All images (unless otherwise noted) courtesy of the Bob Fergusson Collection. Used with Permission. See Bob's blog at Allure.


According to Don Markstein's Toonopedia, the strip was "repeatedly reprinted" in comic book form by Dell, Gold Key, Gladstone and even a Marvel edition in 1995.  It was also published as a Big Little Book by Whitman Publishing. Most assuredly, Hank Porter's original 1937-38 Snow White strip will continue to live on in future forms.

For more Snow White comic book covers, see this post.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

1937-38 Hank Porter Comic Strip

Distributed by King Features Syndicate, this Snow White Sunday newspaper comic strip ran for twenty weeks, from December 12, 1937 to April 24, 1938. It actually began nine days prior to the film's colossal premiere at the Cathay Circle Theatre on December 21, 1937 and a whopping month and a half or more before the movie's general public release in February 1938. By the time the film actually appeared in theaters, devoted readers would have already been familiar with the princess, prince and queen. They'd also have had a silhouetted glimpse of the dwarfs marching home from their diamond mine.


-December 12, 1937 - week one...



- December 19, 1937 - week two...



- December 26, 1937 - week three...



- January 2, 1938 - week four...



- January 9, 1938 - week five...



- January 16, 1938 - week six...



- January 23, 1938 - week seven...



- January 30, 1938 - week eight...



- February 6, 1938 - week nine...



- February 13, 1938 - week ten...



- February 20, 1938 - week eleven...



- February 27, 1938 - week twelve...



- March 6, 1938 - week thirteen...



- March 13, 1938 - week fourteen...



- March 20, 1938 - week fifteen...



- March 27, 1938 - week sixteen...



- April 3, 1938 - week seventeen...



- April 10, 1938 - week eighteen...



- April 17, 1938 - week nineteen...



- April 24, 1938 - week twenty...



The strip was illustrated by the talented but lesser-known Hank Porter, a staff artist in the Disney Publicity Art Department from 1935 to 1950. The story was authored by Merrill de Maris, one of several writers credited with the Snow White screenplay.

Hank Porter. Image via Walt Disney's Mickey and the Gang, p 10.

Comics copyright Disney. Images courtesy of the Thom Buchanan collection via The Pictorial Arts blog.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Marguerite Clark as Snow White (1916)

It's well-known that one of the first films Walt Disney ever saw was Snow White. It was a special free showing attended by sixteen thousand children squeezed into the Kansas City Convention Center. The hall was arranged with four separate screens set in the center of the room and the youthful audience encircling them. Four projectors all ran simultaneously and the film included live musical accompaniment.
I once saw Marguerite Clark performing in it in Kansas City when I was a newsboy back in 1917. It was one of the first big feature pictures I'd ever seen...I thought it was the perfect story. It had the sympathetic dwarfs, you see? It had the heavy. It had the prince and the girl. The romance. I just thought it was a perfect story. Walt Disney

Snow White title plate, 1916.

Marguerite Clark. Image in public domain.


Before the 1916 feature adaptation of Grimm's fairy tale was produced, it was first a 1912 play starring Clark. Her popularity in this and other Broadway productions led to a silent film contract in 1914 with the Famous Players-Lasky Corporation. She was 31 when she starred in the first of her forty films--making her 33 when she played Snow White.

L to R: Creighton Hale (Prince), Dorothy Cumming (Queen) and Marguerite Clark (Snow White).

Asleep in the dwarfs cottage.


Marguerite became one of the most popular film stars of the teens and early 1920s--and also one of the industry's best paid. In November of 1916, the New York Times called her "one of the Big Four of movie stars, the other three being Mary Pickford, Douglas Fairbanks, and Charlie Chaplin. Like Mary Pickford, Clark was quite petite (4'10") and possessed youthful features which allowed her to play characters much younger than her actual age.

In recognition of her accomplishments, she was given a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, located at 6304 Hollywood Boulevard.








1917 Kromo Gravure movie card (left); 1916 playing card by Movie Souvenir Card Co (right).

Images courtesy of Immortal Ephemera.



The 1916 film was produced by Adolf Zukor and directed by J. Searle Dawley. Watching this version of Snow White is like looking through a window to the past. Filmed nearly 100 years ago, we see a style of storytelling long gone. Many of the scenes were shot and performed as if it were a stage play--not necessarily the most interesting filmically. Nonetheless, Marguerite Clark's performance is charming and charismatic. She makes the movie.

The Huntsman is unable to kill Snow White.


One can also see the influence this film had on Walt Disney. Although there doesn't seem to be any confirmation of this, it almost seems as if he got ahold of the reels and screened it for his animators. The similarity of certain designs and scenes is noticeable.

The Huntsman and Queen with her chair in background.


Contrary to popular belief, Walt Disney's film was not the first to name the dwarfs. Here we have Blick, Flick, Glick, Snick, Plick, Whick and Quee--a grumpy stubborn dwarf who is forced to wash up when the other dwarfs throw him in a water barrel.

Quee getting dunked.


It's interesting to note the differences from Disney's film too. For example, the Queen and Witch are two separate characters, and it's the latter who demands to have the heart of the princess.

Witch and Queen as two separate characters.


Years later at a special dinner given for Marguerite Clark at the Disney Studios in Hollywood, [Walt Disney] told Miss Clark that [the] Snow White picture he saw in Kansas City--from a loft gallery seat--was the inspiration that caused him to create the first long cartoon picture.
From Walt Disney and Europe by Robin Allan














Movie Poster.





Read a review of the film on Commentary Track. And for more side-by-side comparisons between this and Disney's version, see the article at A Lost Film.

An IMDb review:
The highlight of this version of "Snow White" is the lively performance by Marguerite Clark, who fits into the role very well and shows why she was so popular in her time. Overall, the movie is a pleasant, old-fashioned telling of the story, with a stage-like technique but some pretty good production values for the mid-1910s.

At one time, Clark was as popular as any other actress of her day, but almost all of her movies have since been lost. Even this movie is still missing some material at various points, although the reconstruction in the Treasures From American Film Archives collection is very nicely done, and makes it fit together as well as it possibly could have.

Even when compared with the other great actresses of her day, Clark works very well in the role of a young girl. Her small stature certainly helps, but her actions and mannerisms are also very believable. For the story to work, "Snow White" has to be extremely sympathetic and engaging, and Clark is able to do that quite well.

The story stays fairly close to the Grimm Brothers' original, though downplaying or eliminating some of its more violent aspects.

____


The 1916 film was actually thought to be long lost until a copy was discovered by the Dutch film archives, Nederlands Filmmuseum. A 35mm preservation negative now exists in the International Museum of Photography and Film at the George Eastman House film archive. The movie is available to the public as part of the Treasures from American Film Archives DVD set, as well as through other sources.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Draw Snow White Tutorial

The following Snow White drawing exercise  is from artist Dawn Darko, the creator of the tutorial site DragonArt.com.

Step 1.
What you will do first is draw out the guidelines and shapes to form a nice body frame for Snow White. Start by drawing out a nicely shaped circle for her head with some facial guidelines drawn in as well. Next you will draw out the shapes of her puffed up shoulder sleeves and then the shape of her narrow torso. Then you can draw the shape of the bottom of her dress as shown. The guidelines for the arms, hands and feet should be drawn in next.



Step 2.
In this step you will start to sketch out the shape of her innocent looking face or shall I say the shape of her cheeks and the beginning lining for her hair. Then you will sketch in her mouth, nose, and first steps of her eyes. After that you can begin the detailing on the left puff shoulder sleeve and then draw out the shapes of her arms and neck. You will also draw out the lining for the creases in her dress as well as the ruffles on the bottom and the detail on her left hand.



Step 3.
As you can see by the time you are done with this step Snow White will almost look like the beautiful princess she is. You will now start sketching in her face like the eyebrows and her hair as well. Then you can add her small perfect bow. You will next draw out her high collar that rest just at the bottom of her hair. Next detail her shoulder sleeves and the front of the top of her dress as well as the bottom. You will also need to draw out the shape of her right arm and hand.



Step 4.
In this last step you will draw in the finishing details for Snow White. Draw the ribbon on her bow as well as the rest of the ruffles in her shoulder sleeve and dress. Next you will draw out her shoes and make sure her eyes are all drawn in as well. Erase all the guidelines and shapes that you drew in step one.



Step 5.
This is what your finished drawing of Snow White should look like when you are done. All you have left to do is color he in her pretty red, blue and yellow colors. That will end this tutorial on how to draw Snow White one of Disney's animated cartoons step by step.

 


And there she is!

All images and instruction copyright Dawn Darko and DragonArt.com. Used with Permission.

Monday, June 21, 2010

It's A Silly Symphony Summer

It's Midsummer's Eve and what Disney film could be better suited to kick off the festivities than the black and white Summer? The short was animated and directed by Ub Iwerks in his classic Silly Symphony style and features a menagerie of dancing insects including centipedes, butterflies, dung beetles, a dragonfly and a spider...to name a few.

Originally released on January 06, 1930, it would be the same year that Iwerks left Walt's employment to go work for competitor Pat Powers. And in just seven more short years, the Disney Studio would go from this lovable, but humble style of animation to the brilliance that is Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs!


Images and video copyright Disney.


Video posted by CartoonShortsClub.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Linden Puzzle Clock

Fifteen foam pieces, including stand, come together to form a quartz clock. This circa 1993 "puzzle clock" by Linden is one of the more unique Snow White puzzles and/or clocks ever produced. Measures approximately 10" x 6" x 2" when assembled. Runs on one AA battery. Made in Taiwan





Original box...


Images via Eleanor's Attic.