Saturday 8 December 2012

Walt Disney's Seven Dwarfs figurines

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs is a 1937 American animated film produced by Walt Disney and released by RKO Radio Pictures. Based on the German fairy tale by the Brothers Grimm, it is the first full-length cel animated feature in motion picture history. The film premiered at the Carthay Circle Theatre on December 21, 1937, to a wildly receptive audience, receiving a standing ovation at its completion from a star-studded audience that included such celebrities as Charlie Chaplin, Shirley Temple, Ginger Rogers, Clark Gable and a host of others. RKO Radio Pictures put the film into general release on February 4, and it went on to become a major box-office success, making four times more money than any other motion picture released in 1938. Further, noted critics and filmmakers, such as Sergei Eisenstein and Charlie Chaplin, praised Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs as a notable achievement in cinema.
Frank Seiberling, founder of the Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company, so named in honor of Charles Goodyear who invented vulcanized rubber, also founded the Seiberling Rubber Company in 1921. In 1933, Tom Casey, the company's Vice-President, happened to catch a showing of Walt Disney's Three Little Pigs at a local theater and, according to a 1938 newspaper article, ventured out west to secure the rights to produce rubber figurines based on characters from the Three Little Pigs. Casey also believed Walt Disney's Snow White and the Seven Dwarf's was going to be a huge hit, so much so that his factory produced 40,000 of the figurines in anticipation of the film's success. The figures appeared in the marketplace two months prior to the film's premiere, and although sales may have been slow to start, when Walt Disney's feature went into general release in 1938, Snow White mania swept the nation. Unfortunately, most of Seiberling's toys have fallen victim to oxidation, leaving collectors hard pressed to find examples in anything better than very good condition.

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