Tuesday, April 30, 2013

1940 Walt Disney Festival of Hits Pressbook


In an effort to raise much needed funds for the studio, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs was brought back to theatres in the summer of 1940 after having been "retired" just one year earlier. The Great Walt Disney Festival of Hits was a compilation release of five Disney films. The four shorts included Ferdinand, The Bull, The Practical Pig (a Three Little Pigs sequel), The Ugly Duckling, and Donald's Lucky Day.

Festival of Hits pressbooks are difficult to come by, as are the posters and lobby cards. This re-release was very popular with audiences and did quite well, but it only played to a limited number of theaters, making the promotional materials all the more rare.

The book contained a total of eight pages including covers. Dimensions 12" x 18". Content included newspaper copy for stories about all the films, but it focused mainly on Snow White as would be expected...


Print-ready newspaper ad layouts.

More newspaper copy...

On the back cover, an array of poster sizes that could be ordered by theatre owners. A set of eight lobby cards was also available. Four of the cards were for Snow White and one each for the others titles. Note that while the posters are shown here in yellow, in actuality, they were printed full color.

Image scans courtesy of the Michael Filippello Collection.

See these in other Archive entries:

The Great Walt Disney Festival of Hits continued to play at select cinemas throughout the rest of 1940 and even into March 1941.

Monday, April 29, 2013

April 29, 1939 - Last Day Before Snow White Closes

It was at the conclusion of this day, 74 years ago, that the Disney brothers would "retire" their multimillion dollar cash cow.
In the spring of 1939, after a record-breaking worldwide run of more than a year, Snow White made headlines once again when the Disney studio pulled it off the market. RKO exchanges were informed that the film would no longer be available for bookings after 29 April. JB Kaufman's The Fairest One of All, p.266.

This Australian newspaper clipping from The Morning Bulletin (Rockhampton, Queensland) dates from April 26, 1939, just days before Snow White's first run would come to a close. The article included press copy about the making of the movie plus an illustration. From the introductory paragraph, it's clear the film had previously screened in Rockhampton but was returning on this date for three final days at the Wintergarden Theatre.

Images via Trove.

At the time, Snow White's viewership was still strong and probably would have continued on for a good while. Walt and Roy knew, though, that the more it remained in the public eye, the less value the motion picture would have in the long run. So they did the unprecedented and stopped things while they were still ahead. Sending films to 'rest a spell' in the Vault is something Disney has done better than any other studio over the years. This may have been what the brothers had in mind back then, but what they probably didn't plan for was a return of the movie the very next year.

It's well-known that in North America, the first stand-alone RKO reissue of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs occurred in 1944. Yet as early as 1940, with the less-than-hoped-for box office returns of Pinocchio, the high production expense of Fantasia, the costly studio move to the new Burbank location, and the looming loss of revenue in wartime Europe, the Disney boys found themselves once again in need of a real influx of income.

So it was that The Great Walt Disney Festival of Hits was conceived to bring Snow White out of her brief retirement and back to the big screen for a limited run. It would be the highlight of a reissue package that also featurted four other Disney films--Ferdinand the Bull, The Practical Pig, Donald's Lucky Day, and The Ugly Duckling.

Tune in for tomorrow's Archive entry to see the complete 1940 Festival of Hits pressbook.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Vintage Italian Snow White Decals by Presto

Collector Nunziante Valoroso shares this little piece of Italian memorabilia from the 1960s and 70s--a handsome set of Snow White decals produced by Presto in Milan. Presto had an exclusive license in Italy with Disney and continued to print character decals up until the 1980s. At that point, the license passed to the Pezzetti family in Milan and the decals, with the same pictures, became stickers.

Images and info courtesy of the Nunziante Valoroso Collection.

These particular images were made exclusively for the decal set, though they are a repainting of poses originally created by Tom Wood for the 1937 book Walt Disney's Complete Story of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. See a reprint of this book in an earlier Archive entry.

Friday, April 26, 2013

1960s Italian Postcards by Mondialcolor and Fusac

In the 1960s, a postcard series was printed in Italy for distribution in Europe. Arnoldo Mondadori Editore (Mondialcolor), an Italian publisher of Disney items (from 1930s to 1988) first issued the cards. Many Disney characters were included. All are copyrighted Walt Disney Productions. Standard 4" x 6" size.

One example is this card with a drawing by artist Giuseppe Perego. His artwork made it onto several covers and in numerous stories for Italian comic books. This postcard dates from 1962, serie 104. Mondialcolor imprint.

Postcard images and info courtesy of the Nunziante Valoroso Collection.

The series included several reprints. Fusac (Fulvio Priest Co.) of Padova (Padua) produced the postcards in a collection totaling 88. The reverse sides looked like normal postcards. However, they had self-adhesive backs, which when peeled off, could be placed into an album. This album was dated January 1966 and entitled, "Your Friends in Post Cards". The pages had matching black & white illustrations of each card. Once attached, the reverse sides also looked like normal postcards--that could then be removed individually from the album and mailed, if so desired. The Fusac series (as compared to the Mondialcolor) is identified by a lower front text strip. Some cards were numbered; others were not.

A Fusac album page - front and back.

Additional info and images via webalice.it.

Below are the Snow White cards we've come across. The numbers only refer to the 1966 Fusac series, yet for ease of categorizing, we've placed the 1962 Mondialcolor cards under these headings too. Plus there are other printings with no identifying markings at all except "Walt Disney Productions".

No. 33
  • Fusac (numbered text strip on lower front).

  • Mondialcolor (no text strip along the lower front)

No. 34
  • Fusac (unnumbered printing)

  • Mondialcolor

No. 35
  • Fusac (numbered)

  • Unmarked printing (except for © Walt Disney Productions)

No. 36 + No. 37
  • Fusac (numbered)

No. 38
  • Fusac (numbered)

No. 39
  • Fusac (both numbered and unnumbered printings)

No. 40 + No. 41
  • Fusac (numbered)

No. 42
  • Fusac (numbered) + Mondialcolor

No. 43 + No. 44
  • Fusac (numbered)

A few of the other Disney characters in the Fusac collection.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

2011-2013 Grumpy and Dopey Mugs

A sleepy-looking Grumpy and Dopey were seen at several Walt Disney World shops in February of 2011. These "morning" coffee cups were created especially for WDW and Disneyland Resorts. Also featured in the series were Tinker Bell, Mickey, Minnie, and Tigger.

In late 2011, Dopey also showed up online at the Disney Store. Made of ceramic. Holds 16 oz., 5'' tall. Microwave and dishwasher safe. Retail price $12.95 each.

Item No. 7509002520028P.



The mugs are still available at the parks as evidenced by these recent shots from Disneyland by TokyoMagic. The price has gone up by two bucks.


This artwork was also available on travel mugs. Thermal plastic with soft sleeve. Spill-proof lid. BPA-free. Holds 16 oz., 7.5'' tall. Retail originally $16.95 each; priced raised a buck to $17.95 before selling out.

Item No. 7509002520032P.

Item No. 7509002520033P.

Looks like a travel mug "party" was going on at the Disneyland Emporium in Anaheim, June 2011.

DL Travel Mugs image courtesy of TokyoMagic! of Meet the World.

APRIL 2016 UPDATE: The same Grumpy art design was seen on a new travel tumbler at the Disney Store. Measures 8'' high, holds 12 oz. $19.95.

 Item No. 7509055890554P.

In July 2012, a couple of new plastic travel mug designs appeared at Downtown Disney, Walt Disney World,

2012 WDW photos copyright Dirk Wallen via WDW News Today. 

Not done yet. August 2012 brought us this Grumpy stoneware mug from the UK Disney Store. Artwork on one side, "Grumpy Dwarf" slogan on the other. Measures 12cm high. Dishwasher and microwave safe. Retail £8.00.

Item No. 416023049498P.

Others in the series.

A Grumpy tea cup was also available in August 2012 at the UK Disney Store. Ceramic. 8.5cm high. Dishwasher and microwave safe. £8.00. These have also been seen for sale in 2013 at US Disney outlet stores.

Item No. 416022696709P.

The rest of the series.

Seen online at the UK Disney Store in 2013 are two more stoneware mugs. Raised character artwork and "I am so angry/Dopey" text. Dishwasher and microwave safe. 12.5cm high. Retail £8.00. Sold separately.

Item No. 416025076324P.

Item No. 416025078229P.


Another Grumpy mug is spotted at Disneyland Park. Photos by TokyoMagic. Ceramic. Holds 12 oz. Stands 4.5'' H x 3.5'' Diameter (5'' at handle). Retail $11.95.

It was also seen at WDW in May 2014. $12.95.

APRIL 2016 UPDATE: WDW version seen online at the Disney Store. Retail $14.95.

Item No. 7509055890644P.
Stock images copyright Disney Store.