Friday, December 31, 2010

The Princess Photography of "Disney Resort" Sam

His photos have created quite a stir on Flickr. Some folks love his Photoshop-manipulated images. Others literally send him hate mail convinced that what he's doing is wrong. Yet, no matter where you stand, photographer Sam a.k.a ."Disney Resort" is building quite a reputation for his Disney princess pictures. 

Sam started taking shots of Disneyland cast members a little over 3 years ago, and it wasn't long before he began bringing them into Photoshop to add his own artistic treatments. The results are stunning and a great way to end out the Snow White Sanctum posts for 2010.

Waiting To Meet Disney's Newest Princess

From his "Disney Resort" Flickr profile page, Sam explains how and why he began taking princess pictures:
I bought an annual pass back in 2007 because I needed to add more exercise into my routine. So three to four times a week I'll walk throughout the entire Disney Resort.

At first I just walked, but I found that this would also be a good opportunity to rekindle an old hobby of I'm also a Graphic Designer, so you'll notice almost all of my images are definitely not just SOOC.

The majority of the images in my photostream are Disney characters that I've photographed, then manipulated in Photoshop to follow my imagination. So if something looks too good to be probably is.

The Disney Resort

The Disney Resort

While it may seem as if Sam asks the cast members to pose for his photos, this is not the case. Just the opposite. He keeps a low profile while at the park. From a correspondence with him, here's Sam in his own words...
There are other Flickr photographers who go there on a regular basis like myself. But the difference is, I prefer to remain anonymous, as opposed to their efforts to be recognized by the Cast Members. I just wouldn't want the CMs to feel uncomfortable if they kept seeing that "Disney Resort" guy all the time. Sam aka "Disney Resort"

  "I'm Wishing" Snow White Disneyland

"Bless the seven little men..."

Snow White Has Found Her Way Home

Snow White Christmas Fantasy Parade Disneyland

I have been contacted by a number of Cast Members over the years who have requested digital files of the images I've created. Some have even made requests for me to come out and photograph them as they performed as a particular character. But I've never met any of them personally. Again, that's just my preference to remain anonymous. Sam aka "Disney Resort"

 Aurora, Snow & Cinderella With Their Critter Friends

Cinderella, Snow White, Jasmine, Giselle, Aurora...& Dumbos! Disneyland

Princess Traffic Jam Autopia Disneyland

"Snow, what level are we on? Goofy or Mickey?

For every image I upload, I trash about five. They don't always work, but that's okay. It helps pass the evening away trying. Sam aka "Disney Resort"

A Little Christmas Snow

To see loads more of Sam's work, visit his flickr photostream. All images copyright Sam a.k.a. Disney Resort. Photos used with permission.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Let Them Eat Dwarfs!

All handmade edible dwarfs...

Dwarfs made from sugarpaste copyright Rhonda Robb. Used with permission.

Cookies copyright The Whole Cake and Caboodle, New Zealand. Used with permission.

Cupcakes copyright nadibakes, Malaysia. Used with Permission.

Sugar-sculpted cake toppers copyright Luciana Paiva

Copyright The Cake Store in London, UK.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

December 26, 1938 - Lux Radio Theatre Presents Snow White

Lux Radio Theatre. 
Image via OTR Archives.

It was the day after Christmas exactly seventy-two years ago this very night, and how cool it would have been to be in that studio audience! Hosted by Cecil B. DeMille, the Lux Radio Theatre presented a live Hollywood performance of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.

Not only did some of film's original voice actors return to reprise their roles for the show, but Walt Disney himself was on hand to be interviewed by DeMille for both the intermission and at the end of the broadcast.

Left: Cecil B. DeMille

Here's an excerpt from the second interview where DeMille asks Walt about his secret to success with fairytales:
DeMILLE:In their written form, Walt, fairytales are only for children. But when you bring one to the screen, it captivates everyone. Age, language, race make no difference. What is the secret?
WALT: Well, here is half an answer. Over at our place we’re sure of just one thing -- everybody in the world was once a child. We grow up, our personalities change. But in every one of us, something remains of our childhood. It’s where all of us are simple and naïve without prejudice and bias. We’re friendly and trusting. It just seems to me that if your picture hits that spot in one person, it’s going to hit that same spot in almost everybody. So in planning a new picture we don’t think of grown-ups and we don’t think of children. But just of that fine clean unspoiled spot down deep in every one of us that maybe the world has made us forget and that maybe our pictures can help recall.


During my research on this radio broadcast, I received assistance from several different sources. First was Disney Historian Jim Korkis who supplied the names of the performers:

Voice actors from the original film included Roy Atwell (Doc), Billy Gilbert (Sneezy), Moroni  Olsen (Mirror), and Stuart Buchanan (Huntsman). Buchanan also played the voice of Grumpy for this production.

The rest of the radio cast included Thelma Hubbard (Snow White), James Eagles (Prince), Rolfe Sedan (Happy), Jack Smart (Bashful), Lou Merrill (Sleepy), Paula Winslowe (Queen) and Gloria Gordon (Witch). 
Folks like Lou Merrill who did Sleepy were "utility performers" filling in a variety of odd little side voices for a show. He did a lot of this work for Lux Radio Theatre in the early years. Jim Korkis


Additional information came from Alexander In 1993 the Walt Disney Company was working on a CD-ROM of Disney Characters, a sort of interactive companion to the Encyclopedia of Walt Disney's Animated Characters. Alex was the audio designer and one of several animation art researchers for the CD:
Unfortunately, it was never released. Disney couldn't decide exactly what they wanted and who their market was, so the project was eventually shelved. There was talk at one point of incorporating bits of [this] Lux Snow White program into the CD, hence, my research into the particulars of the show. Alexander


Finally, the following December 1938 Radio Guide for the week of this broadcast comes from long-time Snow White buff Rick Payne. It featured Dopey on the cover and promoted the Monday airing of the Lux Theatre show:

Radio Guide, December 1938 (10 5/8" x 13 5/8").
Images courtesy of Rick Payne via dadric's attic. Used with permission.


Now come open a window to the past. Sit back and relax as you listen to the entire hour long Snow White Lux Radio Theatre performance. Original airdate December 26, 1938.

Audio clip via the Internet Archive:

Also at Podbay:


Produced and hosted by film legend Cecil B. DeMille, Lux Radio Theatre strove to feature as many of the original stars of the original stage and film productions as possible, usually paying them $5,000 an appearance to do the show. Many of the greatest names in film appeared in the series, most in the roles they made famous on the screen. Source: Wikipedia.

Lux advertisement...

Image via Eliza Karltorp.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Hollywood Models for Disney's First Princess

Don Graham, the Chouinard Art Institute instructor hired by Walt Disney to teach his animators the finer points of figurative drawing, told the Disney Studio students that if they wanted to see how things moved in real life, they needed to study movement in motion pictures. He instructed them to watch movies.

In the late 1930s, films of all kinds were studied by the animators. "We saw every ballet, we saw every film," remembered animator Marc Davis. "If the film was good, we would go see it 5 times."

The animators took home more from their cinema excursions than just lessons on the science of movement too. Many of the renderings of Snow White bare a striking resemblance to the Hollywood stars of the day.

The New Movie Magazine was a periodical sold in the 1930s through the Woolworth dime store chain. They published an annual issue, The New Movie Album, which featured photos and info on the top Hollywood stars of that year.

Constance Bennett, remembered today as the lead actress who in 1937 appeared opposite Cary Grant in Topper, was one of the bright stars spotlighted in this early 30s edition of the Album. Although a blond, Ms. Bennett does bare a resemblance--the short wavy hair, large eyes and other facial features--to a number of inspirational illustrations made of Snow White.

Constance Bennett, The New Movie Album, copyright early 1930s.

Snow White Storyboard Sketch via John Canemaker's Paper Dreams

Snow White scan via Michael Sporn Animation Splog

It is known that Walt Disney wanted his animators to think of the Snow White character as a Janet Gaynor or Mary Pickford type. While both actors did bare some resemblance to their animated counterpart, it's possible that Walt was focused less on their looks and more on the individual persona that each tended to portray on screen--that is, their asexual qualities and childlike innocence.

In 1928, Janet Gaynor was the first ever "Best Actress" Academy Award winner. It was the only time the Oscar was given for multiple performances--three silent films--rather than one particular role. Mary Pickford won the award the following year for her performance in the talkie Coquette.

Video clip of Janet Gaynor in Sunnyside Up (1929)*; posted by stjn00.

Janet Gaynor

Snow White animation cel, copyright Disney.

Mary Pickford

Mary Pickford in silent era Cinderella (1914). Video and Mills Brothers soundtrack posted by jenzeppelin.

* Special thanks to Muir Hewitt for the link to the Janet Gaynor video clip.

Friday, December 24, 2010

2007 Jim Shore Snow White Holiday Ornament Set

The Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs Ornament Gift Set was first introduced to retailers in April 2007. Sculpted by artist Jim Shore and manufactured by Enesco, the stone resin ornaments are part of the Disney Traditions series. Hand painted. Measure up to 5" tall. Sold in gift box. Suggested retail price $137.50 (USD).

Enesco Item No. 4008072

Image below from page 22 of the Jim Shore January 2009 catalog. Includes apple ornament. Note that they are available separately too.



These same Disney Traditions ornaments showed up online at the European Disney Stores in late 2013.  Each offered separately: Snow White £20.00 (UK); 25,00 € (France/Germany). Dwarfs £10.00/12,00 €. Most sold out quickly.

Snow Disney Store Item No. 410047140896P.

Grumpy & Dopey Item Nos. 410047140308P + 410047140483P.

Happy & Sneezy Item Nos. 410047140223P + 410047140636P.

Sleepy & Bashful Item Nos. 410047140148P + 410047140063P.

Doc Item No. 410047140551P.
Stock images copyright UK Disney Store.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

A Blitzkrieg of Brass Key Dolls, 2001-2007

It started slowly. In 2001, Brass Key released their first "Disney Princess Collection". These were 14" handsomely crafted porcelain dolls with an affordable list price. The set included Snow White, Aurora, Cinderella and Belle. The next year a 16" "Signature Collection" was introduced. Sales must have been good for BK because in 2003, they added more princesses and unleashed an explosion of dolls into marketplace.

Princess Collection...14"

Box Front, Back, Bottom; original purchase price $19.97 (USD).


Princess Signature Collection...16"

Box Front, Back, Bottom; original purchase price $32.95 (USD).


Jewel Collection...16"

Box Front, Back, Bottom. 
Above dolls from the Filmic Light Collection. All other images via the Brass Key.

Holiday Series...16" (L) and Royal Holiday Collection...16" (R)

Signature Series...16"^


Holiday Romance Collection...16" (L) and Ballerina series...17" (R)

Holiday Edition...16" (L) and Celebration Collection...14" (R)

The Five Inch Collection...5" (L) and Trio Collection...9" (R)

The Holiday Collection...14"


Celebration Collection...16"^ (L) and Celebration Collection...16"^ (R)

Classic Collection...7" (L) and Seven Inch Disney Collection...7" (R)

Holiday Classic Collection...14"^ (L) and Classics Collection...14"^ (R)

Winter Fur Collection...14" (L) and Holiday Fur Collection...14"^ (R)

Spring Blossoms Collection...7"^ (L)


Holiday Fur Collection...14" (L) and Classic Holiday Collection...16" (R)

Reflection Collection...14" (L) and Reflections Collection...18" (R)

Royal Nursery Collection...8" (L) and Starlit Collection...14" (R)


Stardust Collection...14" (L) and Enchanted Tales Collection...14" (R)

Enchanted Tales Gold Collection...16" (L) and Enchanted Tales Winter...16" (R)

Winter Collection...16" (L) and Royal Ball Collection...7" (R)

Royal Nursery...13" (L) and Enchanted Nursery...7" (R)

Magical Moments...16"

Brass Key stopped updating their website after 2007, but porcelain collections with the BK logo continued to be produced up through 2009. Dare we say even to the point of possible doll overload? Some lines were limited editions, others exclusives to specific store chains. All were still fairly affordably priced for the collector who had to have the latest model. I personally felt appeased after the first three.

The following is an email response I received from BK in regards to an inquiry on possible future porcelain Snow White dolls:
Unfortunately, The Brass Key is no longer producing Disney Porcelain dolls. 2009 was the last year we produced anything Disney oriented and we have not renewed our license with Disney. We extend our apologies and thank you for your loyal support and interest in Brass Key Dolls!

^ Indicates that size was not listed on BK website so it's an estimated guess.