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Toon Talk: 100 Years of Magic - 100 Movies, Part One
Page 1 of 5

by Kirby C. Holt (archives)
November 26, 2001
In part one a special edition of Toon Talk, Kirby celebrates Walt Disney's 100th birthday by looking at 100 significant Disney films.

100 YEARS OF MAGIC - 100 MOVIES
Part One of Two

"His story began as a typical Hollywood tale:
With little more then $40 and a dream, Walt Disney's future awaited.
It wasn't long before Walt's innovative imagination began enchanting the world.
Through the animated characters and films he inspired,
Walt Disney showed us that dreams really do come true."

-- Opening narration for the Disney's Stars and Motorcars Parade at the Disney-MGM Studios.

Toon Talk shines a spotlight on that dream, celebrating 100 years of Disney movie magic.

Happy birthday, Walt, and thanks for creating and inspiring so many wonderful memories at the movies!

Join us, as we countdown through the years: 100 Years of Magic - 100 Movies:

#1. IN THE BEGINNING ...

Road conditions in Kansas City? Corruption in the local police department? Such were the subjects of the Newman Laugh-O-Grams (circa 1920), short cartoons that were the very first films Walt made.

#2. THROUGH THE MIRROR

Walt's first successful entertainments were a series of shorts called the Alice Comedies, depicting a live action little girl's adventures in Cartoonland. The first, Alice's Day at Sea, premiered on March 1, 1924. A total of 56 silent cartoons were produced, until 1927.

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Image courtesy of Toonopedia.com

#3. OSWALD THE LUCKY RABBIT

Actually, that should be Oswald the Infamous, Ill-fated Rabbit, who made his debut in Trolley Troubles (released September 5, 1927). When Walt lost the rights to Oswald, he went on to create a certain mouse ...

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(c) Disney

#4. IT ALL STARTED WITH A MOUSE ...

... and a talking mouse at that. In New York's Colony Theater on November 18, 1928 a legend was born. With the release of Steamboat Willie, Mickey and Minnie Mouse (both voiced by Walt himself in this short) were introduced in this, the first cartoon with synchronized sound. Animation, and the world, would never be the same again.

#5. THE SILLY SYMPHONIES

Beginning with The Skeleton Dance (August 22, 1929), this series of 75 shorts served as a training ground for the Disney artists, testing new techniques and technologies that would later be used in their ground-breaking features. Musical themes were the basis for these cartoons, which were produced through 1939 and won a total of seven Academy Awards.

#6. MOUSE'S BEST FRIEND

The character who would become Pluto made his first appearance in the Mickey Mouse cartoon The Chain Gang (September 5, 1930). As his loyal pet, Pluto co-starred with Mickey in many shorts, and starred in 48 cartoons of his own, including the Oscar-winning Lend a Paw (1942).

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(c) Disney

#7. A DIPPY DAWG BY ANY OTHER NAME

An inauspicious debut as an extra in Mickey's Revue (May 25, 1932), Goofy's unique laugh caught Walt's ear. Supporting roles with Mickey soon lead to his own series, a total of 48 cartoons. He is the only member of the Fab Five who has starred in his own full-length feature, naturally titled A Goofy Movie (1995).

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(c) Disney
Image courtesy of The Encyclopedia of Disney Animated Shorts

#8. IN LIVING COLOR, PART ONE

Flowers and Trees (July 30, 1932) changed forever the way we would see animation. Through Walt's exclusive two-year contract with Technicolor, the 29th Silly Symphony, initially started as black and white, was redone (at great time and expense) in color, resulting in universal acclaim and an Academy Award.

#9. PIGS IS PIGS

Released in the midst of the Great Depression (May 27, 1933), Three Little Pigs became one of the most beloved cartoons of all time, often receiving top-billing on theater marquees. The Oscar-winning Silly Symphony not only featured Disney's first hit song, "Who's Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf", it spawned a flurry of best-selling merchandise and three sequels.

#10. JUST DUCKY

Dancing a jig in his screen debut in the Silly Symphony The Wise Little Hen (June 9, 1934), the irrepressible Donald Duck soon danced his way into the hearts of moviegoers world-wide. Eventually surpassing even Mickey Mouse in popularity, he starred in a record 128 shorts over 25 years.

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