Walt Disney

QUESTION:  What was Walt Disney's middle name?
A)  Adolph
B)  Edward
C)  Alfred
D)  Elias

The staff of the American Treasure Tour hope to delight our visitors with our wonderful collections that span the twentieth century (dabbling in both the nineteenth and twenty-first as well).  One name that is triggered throughout the tour, though, is that of Walt Disney. Disney not only created the first animated full-length feature film, but he also developed the first modern theme park, effectively creating a worldwide entertainment industry that has only become even more influential since his untimely passing in 1966. Highlighting the addition of our wonderful papier-mache Snow White and her Seven Dwarfs, who joined our tour in October, it seems right to call out the man who changed the way families watch movies and take vacations.

Walt Disney was born in 1901 in Chicago, although the family soon moved to Missouri, where he spent his formative years. He dabbled in drawing as a child, and turn it into more than just a hobby when he got a job for an art studio in Kansas City. When they laid him off, he and his friend Ub Iwerks opened their own studio and manager to make enough money to move to Los Angeles. He was 28 years old when Mickey Mouse first appeared, and his fortunes dramatically changed - he became famous for his short cartoons with the iconic Mickey, as well as other characters. Innovative to the end, he was the first animator who incorporated sound in a cartoon and, of course, the first to make a full-length animated feature.  By 1955, his successes were unparalleled and he went in a new direction, designing what would become the most famous theme park in the world:  Disneyland.  When he died at the age of 65 due to lung cancer from a lifetime of heavy smoking, his legacy was secure, and his name synonymous with entertainment.

ANSWER:  D)  Elias

More Snow White

QUESTION:  Which of the seven dwarfs showed symptoms of narcolepsy?
A)  Dopey, as diagnosed by his clumsiness.
B)  Happy, likely because of his use of anti-anxiety medication.
C)  Sleepy, due to his susceptibility to fall asleep at inopportune times.
D)  Doc, thanks to his inclination to act like an authority figure.

The Treasure Tour blog is very happy to continue our celebration of the new, wonderful collection of papier mache figures dedicated to honoring Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. Yesterday, we talked about the publication of the story by the Grimm Brothers and their roots in Germanic lore. Honestly, though, it's a safe bet that anyone who knows them today heard of them due to the hugely popular animated feature produced by Walt Disney during the 1930's. Looking back on Disney's Snow White, it's difficult to realize how much of a gamble the company made in making the film. No one had ever tried to make a full-length animated feature before. It was expensive, took an amazing amount of time to create, and seemed like a long shot. No one, except maybe Walt Disney himself, could have imagined the amazing success it would become.

It premiered on December 21, 1937.  It was an immediate critical and commercial success, ultimately making an astounding $8 million on its initial release. Adjusted for inflation, it is considered one of the top ten performers in North American cinema to this day. And, of course, it not only assured Walt Disney a spot in film history (he won an honorary Academy Award for it), but paved the way for full-length animated features that continues today, with right around fifty estimated for release throughout 2016!

ANSWER:  C)  Sleepy, due to his susceptibility to fall asleep at inopportune times.

Snow White

QUESTION:  In the 1937 Disney animated feature, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, the dwarfs were named Sneezy, Sleepy, Bashful, Grumpy, Happy, Doc, and Dopey. What were their names in their first post-Grimm public performance in a 1912 play?
A)  Snoozy, Atchoo, Shy, Surly, Joyful, Medical Practitioner, Dummy
B)  Blick, Flick, Glick, Plick, Quee, Snick, Whick
C)  Bingo, Bango, Bongo, Bungo, Bengo, Smack, Snerd
D)  Donner, Cupid, Blitzen, Dasher, Dancer, Vixen, Comet

The American Treasure Tour is practically a living thing. It grows, it evolves, it morphs becomes more powerful and more fun on an almost daily basis. Recently, it also adopted a pretty amazing Snow White and seven pretty amazing dwarfs. They were actually donated to our collection by the daughters of Irene Higgins of Princess Anne County, Maryland.  Mrs. Higgins' devotion to a love of dolls manifested in a private museum she called Dolly Heaven.  Knowing the sheer size of Snow White at just about nine feet tall, and the Seven Dwarfs, each at about six feet, they realized few sites would be able to do them justice. Having visited the American Treasure Tour, experiencing our wonderful collection of Disneyana and memorabilia, they thought of us and generously donated the papier mache creations to the tour for the joy of our visitors.  You can enjoy them in their new home near the Sadie Mae band organ in the Toy Box.

The story of Snow White was first published in the year 1812 by the Brothers Grimm (who will get their own blog entry soon, we promise).  It had all the elements of the beloved movie of 1937, except that the individual dwarfs did not actually have names.  It would take one hundred years before they got those in a German play, only to have them changed again by Disney. Some scholars believe the original story of Snow White was inspired by a true story.  German Countess Margaretha von Waldeck, born in 1533, was sent to Brussels by her stepmother. When she fell in love with the future King Philip II of Spain, her father and stepmother disapproved. At the age of 21, she died under mysterious circumstances, quite possibly by poison. Maybe in the form of an apple?  We suspect, though, that the truth-telling mirror is ironically a lie.

ANSWER:  B)  Blick, Flick, Glick, Plick, Quee, Snick, Whick