Chapter Five: Almost There


Chapter Five: Almost There

The rest of the 1920s would be a transformative decade for Disney, the company, and the artists who worked at it. It would also be a big change for certain members of the family itself. The first big change would be the location of the young animator and his company. It was a big risk to move from New York. New York was the center of the cartoon industry. Yet Walt was not truly enjoying the laugh o grams. they made money and gained some popularity but they were far from groundbreaking. He saught to become a live-action film director instead that added to the fact his brother still suffered tuberculosis drove Disney to move to Los Angeles. Here coming back into full contact with his sister and brother once more.

Like pieces in a puzzle, things soon began coming together. Ub Iwerks soon followed in the move to continue working on the laugh o gram’s even though he knew Walt intended to move on he did believe he could continue without him with the other staff. Hugh Harman would choose not to follow the company and this would be the end of his short tenure with the company. There would be no hard feelings that existed between Hugh and the company. He would go on to found the just as important Harman-Ising Productions which in turn would go on to originate the Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies series of animated short subjects in 1930 and 1931. Though Hugh left, his brother Fred Harman would remain. The three men (Walt, Ub, and Harman) began the foundation of what is today commonly known as the Merry folk of Disney or the wise old folk of Disney.

Yet it was more than animators that Disney needed and like the rest, it began to fall into place. Roy O. Disney had always been close to his brother yet they had not truly seen each other for years. Now they were both in the city while Roy recovered slowly from tuberculosis. He had worked as a banker while recuperating in the hospital but before that had worked as a businessman. When his banking job let him go as his illness seemed not to be clearing up, Roy jumped straight back into another job. He became the financial man behind the company, the boss of sorts. Handling the money and making sure Walt didn't do anything too crazy. There were clashes of cause but the group persisted. After tense meetings that nearly broke apart the new Hollywood venture before it could take root, the name Laugh-O-Gram Studio was dropped in favor of Disney Brothers Studio.

Roy would not be the only Disney now joining the fray at the newly named studio. Ruth had lived nearby Roy while he recovered and had taken up a job writing for a local newspaper. She had honed her skills by now and surprised Walt with what he considered impressive storytelling. Ruth and Walt had been much closer so the chance to bond again was a strong one. As Roy recovered, they established permanent roots in the city. The brothers ordered kit houses and built their homes adjacently on Lyric Avenue. Despite some reservations from the others, ruth became the first female at the studio and the next link in the chain that was Merry folk of Disney.

The company seemed to have it all it needed yet there was one more person to join who would be one of the most vital members. Walter Pfeiffer Walt’s old-time friend had broken the mold of his family as Walt had done and had successfully somehow become a lawyer. It had been a stressful time for Pfeiffer yet his love for the theatre had never died. He moved to Hollywood when he heard of the Disney studio. Work would never be dry here for the lawyer especially not as Hollywood began to grow around them. He would never officially work for or with Walt or his studio. Yet he offered advice from other things he had seen and heard. Vital advice on ownership and the courts. It was advice that would remain in Walt’s head even If he had yet the need for it.

With the crew in place, the laugh o grams continued. Still profitable but not yet complete money makers. Yet one of them was about to get the company noticed. Alice's Wonderland‍ combined both live-action and animation to tell the tale of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland‍. It was a brave venture and Walt cast Virginia Davis in the title role. It was a gamble, a roll of the dice to see how far the studio could push its limitations. The result was the studio's longest production to date. At 12 and half minutes, it was a success for the studios yet if they couldn't find a buyer soon the company would drop into bankruptcy. Luckily for them, they had an interested party already and that person was impressed with the cartoon.

It would be a New York-based person that would latch onto Alice's Wonderland‍. New York film distributor Margaret J. Winkler was interested which surprised the studio. She was the first woman to produce and distribute animated films and continued to solidify Walt’s progressive views. Women had a place in animation was something he told anyone who asked, he pointed to Winkler and ruth as evidence. Life for Winkler at the time however was not easy. She was losing the rights to both the Out of the Inkwell and Felix the Cat cartoons and needed a new series. This lined up perfectly with Walt and his studio. She could have turned anywhere else yet she turned to the newer studio and soon they signed a contract for six Alice comedies, with an option for two further series of six episodes each. Virginia Davis, the child star of the Alice comedies was persuaded with her family to move to Hollywood. The Rise of the Studio had begun.

Two more key figures would soon join the studio. Les Clark was the first. Born in 1907 he began to work at Disney as a camera operator however he soon moved on to work under the guidance of Ub. He was the next link In the Merry folk of Disney. Yet another person caught Walt’s eye. Early in 1925, Disney hired an ink artist, Lillian Bounds. Lillian had been born in Idaho in 1899, making her one year older than Walt. She had been the youngest of ten children and family life was never easy for the young girl. She struggled financially while her father died when she just seventeen. After attending a year of business college, she moved to southern California in 1923 to live with her sister Hazel's family. It was here in 1925 she joined the studio as secretary. It was here she met Walt.

The romance burned bright straight away. They married in the July of 1925; a letter of happiness was sent by Walt’s mother but his father still refused to talk to the son. Their marriage was to be a happy one yet despite Walt’s pledge she could continue working if she wanted to Lillian chose not to. Lillian had little interest in films or the Hollywood social scene so she happily became a housewife tending to the home. This would be necessary as their first child would be born a year later in 1926 named Theodore Elias Disney. An attempt to keep his children away from the limelight would be in vain as the first child would begin following his father’s path as soon as he could walk. Their second child and last for the rest of the 1920s was Diane Disney, born December 1929.


Yet as Walt attended to family life. A big opportunity lay on the horizon. Tiering of the Alice comedies, one night over a meal at the Disney home. Disney and Iwerks created Oswald Rabbit. They did not have plans yet for the Rabbit nor did they know the fame it and its eventual counterpart would bring but for now Oswald laid in waiting. As time bled on Walt became more and more bored again and once again everyone around him could see it. yet this time he was not about to leave. By 1926, Margaret J. Winkler had handed over the distribution of the Alice series to her husband Charles Mintz. While Walt had enjoyed working with Margert, he hated Charles and the pair’s working relationship was strained from day one.

The Alice series ran until 1927. By now Walt wanted to move onto full animation. Luckily for the company, Mintz wanted new material. Oswald Rabbit was brought back out and spruced up. Oswald was to be preppy, saucy while also being neat and trim. Yet here is where Walt finally listened to the advice of his friend Walt er Pfeiffer. During a tense negotiation, which Mintz nearly walked out on, a new contracted was agreed. The studio would begin making Oswald shorts, a prototype for what was to come in the 1930s. by now the shorts were popular and so Walt moved to gain a larger free for producing the series. This action would destroy a man’s carer. Mintz wanted to reduce the payments and so a clash began. With Walt owning the rights to Oswald there was little Mintz could do. He attempted to steal many of the artists involved but they refused.

Disney and his would continue to make the Oswald shorts still released by universal for now but Mintz was out in the cold. The stress would cause him to suffer a fatal heart attack in 1929 and tragically pass away. For the studios, they seemed to be gaining popularity yet had not truly broken the beach. For Walt, Oswald was not enough. They needed something else. In Walt’s mind, Oswald needed a friend. He began talking to Ub who agreed. The conversations were short as Disney seemed ready to push for innovation again. yet one day, inspired by his childhood the lightbulb lit up. Soon Mortimer Mouse (later named Micky by Lillian) was born. Oswald had a friend now and together they were ready to strive forward. The Rabbit and the mouse were about to change the game once again.
 
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Ooh! I can certainly get behind this! However, I do have a couple of questions.

1: Is Disney's partnership with Universal more like their OTL togetherness with RKO Radio Pictures at this current point?
2: Are Oswald and Mickey going to be portrayed as a comedic duo of sorts, with their relation as brothers being revealed much earlier than 2010?
 
Ooh! I can certainly get behind this! However, I do have a couple of questions.

1: Is Disney's partnership with Universal more like their OTL togetherness with RKO Radio Pictures at this current point?
2: Are Oswald and Mickey going to be portrayed as a comedic duo of sorts, with their relation as brothers being revealed much earlier than 2010?
There partnership with universal is just the current contract signed for Oswald, since Walt kept the ownership of Oswald it remained intact. It may continue afterword's instead of them going to RKO though eventually they wont need universal. Oswald and Mickey will play of each other in a comedic sense early on. Till the others arrive. Oswald and Mickey being together this early on makes me feel like it would somewhat mirror the friendship of Ub and Walt themselves. I can see them being devpopled more as the others appear to. The next chapter will take us from the early Oswald/Mickey shorts to the time just before snow white so we will see more of how they work together then.
 
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There partnership with universal is just the current contract signed for Oswald, since Walt kept the ownership of Oswald it remained intact. It may continue afterword's instead of them going to RKO though eventually they wont need universal. Oswald and Mickey will play of each other in a comedic sense early on. Till the others arrive. Oswald and Mickey being together this early on makes me feel like it would somewhat mirror the friendship of Ub and Walt themselves. I can see them being devpopled more as the others appear to. The next chapter will take us from the early Oswald/Mickey shorts to the time just before snow white so we will see more of how they work together then.
Just when I thought it couldn't get any better! I can't wait.
 
Chapter Six: Rabbit and The Mouse


Chapter Six: Rabbit and The Mouse

The creation of mickey mouse was not a forgone conclusion. Oswald was quite a popular figure and had so far appeared in thirty of his own shorts come November of 1938. Yet even though the rabbit was popular he was not exactly the most sellable character. He came off more adult with his suave nature and saucy nature. Oswald had however become Universal's first major hit in 1927, rivaling other popular cartoon characters, such as Felix the Cat and Koko the Clown. He earned the studio money and a new contract in early 1928 kept the studio producing Oswald cartoons. Yet with Mintz out of the way. a warmer yet stable working relationship with universal was developed. It seemed set that the studio would continue on with Oswald alone but Walt being Walt could not let his worries go to waste.

After visiting New York to discuss a further contract, a deal Walt was not ready to sign. He departed for California on a long train ride feeling optimistic. It was here a childhood pet would strike Walt with inspiration. A new character based on a pet mouse, one that could join Oswald. It was a basic idea at first and soon Walt began extremely secret meetings with Ub about the new idea. Ub was onboard from the start. At first, the pair agreed to try out other animals such as a dog, a cat, a horse but none seemed to stick. The mouse was the way they chose to go. Mortimer Mouse was to be the name and he was to be a minor star alongside Oswald. However, Lillian intervened. She believed the name to be pompous and aloof. She instead suggested the name Micky mouse and the character was born.

Micky would make his first-ever appearance in an Oswald short. The 1928 December short, Farmyard Follies. At first, it was not known what to do with Micky and his character was deemed okay. Walt however was determined to give Micky a shot, in trade for agreeing to stay with universal to at least 1938, the shorts now became known as the Oswald and Micky shorts. Oswald was no longer alone and with Ruth Disney shifting to work on the story. Things began to make a little more sense for the cartoon characters. Oswald would be the smarter, careful quieter more adult character in contrast to the younger, carefree, and slightly mischievous. To test this new formula, Disney pushed ahead with the first Oswald Disney short. That film would be called Plane Crazy.

Plane Crazy featured Micky trying to imitate Mickey Charles Lindbergh in order to impress Mini mouse all while Oswald attempted to keep things sane. Minnie was created to be the love interest of Mickey Mouse and an object for the crazy actions he takes that Oswald has to deal with. She would be the first of the expanded cast of characters that would soon grow around them. Plane Crazy was decently viewed but still being silent it did very little for the studio. Walt was not impressed and once again his strive to change up what was normal hit home. Ub refined Mickey while Walt worked on the sound. Walt had already seen the jazz singer and was now more determined than ever to be the first to do it.

The result of this great effort would be the January 1929 Steamboat Shenanigans. Now considered by many the first true appearance of Mickey mouse and Mini mouse while also serving as the first appearance of Pete. The plot was simple. Oswald and Pete run a steamship, Mini was onboard and mickey was a stowaway. Shenanigans soon followed. Many in the studio did not expect the short to do that well as it appeared in front of the gang war film. The unexpected became the expected as Steamboat Shenanigans opened Disney and mickey/Oswald to international fame. The company was now being watched and in order to cash in the fame, plane crazy was soon released with sound as well. Disney had its thing and was now prepared to use it to continue gaining popularity.

During this time the studio would continue to grow in more ways the one. More members of the Merry folk of Disney soon joined in the wake of an increase in popularity for Oswald and Mickey. Marc Davis was the first, he was born in 1913 and was picked out of a drawing contest the company held to find new animators. He had an interest in drawing animals and that was the key to his entry into the studio. He would soon be put to work on the Disney cartoons and would be an important animator in bringing some of the expanded characters to life. following Davis in the same vein was Wolfgang Reitherman who also took part in the same contest that hired Davis.

Reitherman was born in 1909. He had been studying at Chouinard Art Institute. His paintings had attracted the attention of a painting instructor, impressed with his artwork he notified dissent who invited Reitherman to the content where he won the second position open at the studio. The final place from the contest was taken up by John Lounsbery. Lounsbery had been born in 1911 and had attended East Denver High School and the Art Institute of Denver. It was that Art Center College, an instructor sent him to interview with Walt Disney and gained him a place in the contest which claimed him his place in the studio. The final person would directly apply to work for the studio and in an interview with Walt would gain a position even if there weren’t any. Mary Blair was born in 1911 and was in Hollywood looking for a job. She applied at MGM but was turned down, she applied for universal but was directed toward Disney who soon hired her. The Merry folk of Disney had now expanded even further with all of them ready to play key vital roles in the company.

The animation staff expanded would also allow the animation shorts to expand in more ways than one. For Walt innovating sound in his cartoons was simply not enough. He had to go above and beyond and so the next challenge came. Working alongside Universal, Disney managed to gain an exclusive contract with Technicolor (through the end of 1935) to produce cartoons in color, beginning with Flowers and Trees. It was another revolution for the studio and a further boost in popularity. With black and white out, the world of Oswald and Mickey was about to get much larger. In 1932 Just Dogs would see the debut of Mickey’s dog Pluto and Oswald’s dog Mercury. While Mercury was a calm older dog, Pluto was an adventurous puppy. This was done to reflect their owners.

A couple of months after Just dogs and the Disney animation family expanded again in Santa's Workshop. This time Goofy debuted. Goofy was the dim but caring friend of mickey mouse who often felt the brunt of mickey’s jokes and the blame from Oswald. Goofy debuted with his wife Clarabelle Cow. Clarabelle did not agree with goofy and mickey’s friendship and often worked with Oswald. They would become the first married couple to be debuted in the shorts. After two years of shorts would go by before 1934’s the little wise hen saw the debut of Donald Duck. Donald appeared as a grumpy, greedy, and lazy character who would do anything to get out of work. Finally in 1937, Daisy duck. The love interest of Donald appeared in don Donald. Daisy was everything Donald was not. Hardworking, dedicated, and happy.

The debut of more characters and the release of more and more shorts propelled the studio's popularity through the roof. And changes where abound which would lead to things the company and Walt never expected. For example, which produces a short in 1931 Walt gained a strange request from theatre manager Harry Woodin. He wanted to start a Mickey Mouse club. Walt agreed and soon they began popping up all over the country. The success was growing. Yet Walt did not let it get to him as another thing came into his desk. The idea of comic books. In 1935, Walt signed his first contract with William Randolph Hearst to begun publicizing Mickey and his friend’s comics. By now Oswald had been outpaced by Mickey and he began to take a back seat with mickey taking over. The days of Oswald’s sole dominance were over yet he would never truly die away.

Walt himself was a busy man throughout the 1930s. raising his two children Theodore and Diane. Two more would join bringing the total to four. Harry Roy Disney was born in 1933 and Water Disney Junior was born in 1936. This plus his work at the studio kept him busy. Walt should have been happy and content with his success. He already had three Oscars by 1934 (Flowers and Trees: Best Animated Short Film, The Three Little Pigs: Best Animated Short Film, and The Tortoise and the Hare: Best Animated Short Film). It should have been enough yet the people around him knew it was never going to be. By now the company gained a new name. Walt Disney Productions had a merchandising division, Walt Disney Enterprises, and a subsidiary (Disney Film Recording Company). Shorts were no longer fun. Walt had big plans; he was ready for the next step. To the shock of his family, his staff, his brother, and the world. Walt Disney declared he would make the first-ever full-length cel-animated feature in motion picture history. And it would be called Snow White and the seven dwarfs.


 
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Wow. Lots to unpack here.

Oswald and Mickey give me serious Ren and Stimpy or CatDog vibes here. I wonder if this was intentional...

Giving Oswald a pet dog and naming that dog Mercury? That was unexpected, to say the least.

Assuming that Ortensia still exists, I guess Goofy and Clarabelle being introduced as husband and wife means that Horace Horsecollar doesn't exist?

And for that matter, why introduce the two of them in a Christmas-themed short? Unless you didn't mean for that to happen, anyway.

Will the catalog of Walter Lantz Productions as we know it not become as famous as IOTL with Universal having a friendlier relationship with Walt and Ub? It's implied that they still keep Lantz as a Universal employee, but since we have Oswald and Mickey as a comedic duo for the ages, I'm not sure if the likes of Andy Panda or Woody Woodpecker would still be around.

Does the Mickey and Friends comic take on an anthology format, with separate stories featuring Disney's growing stable of characters? I think that's the intended vibe.

All in all, this gives me high hopes for your timeline.
 
Wow. Lots to unpack here.

Oswald and Mickey give me serious Ren and Stimpy or CatDog vibes here. I wonder if this was intentional...

Giving Oswald a pet dog and naming that dog Mercury? That was unexpected, to say the least.

Assuming that Ortensia still exists, I guess Goofy and Clarabelle being introduced as husband and wife means that Horace Horsecollar doesn't exist?

And for that matter, why introduce the two of them in a Christmas-themed short? Unless you didn't mean for that to happen, anyway.

Will the catalog of Walter Lantz Productions as we know it not become as famous as IOTL with Universal having a friendlier relationship with Walt and Ub? It's implied that they still keep Lantz as a Universal employee, but since we have Oswald and Mickey as a comedic duo for the ages, I'm not sure if the likes of Andy Panda or Woody Woodpecker would still be around.

Does the Mickey and Friends comic take on an anthology format, with separate stories featuring Disney's growing stable of characters? I think that's the intended vibe.

All in all, this gives me high hopes for your timeline.
1: That was not actually the intention however it makes sense. The Prototype for those characters. Though as we advance though the ages, they will be less comedy duo due to revelations about there connection.
2: Wanted to Pluto to have someone to work of as well. Love Pluto and wanted him to have an expanded role. so why two characters named after the first and last planet.
3: Horace Horsecollar has been wiped from existence; for now.
4: They where introduced at Christmas simply for money purposes. Early attempts to link things to holidays for greater sales
5: The Partnership with Universal wont last forever. Disney will go its own way eventually and then universal will need a replacement. They may not have Oswald but they will need something.
6: It does take on the anthology format. And it will feature the growing stable of characters as that was intended. Yet the comics will grow and as you will see they will begun introduceing there own characters, expanding the Mickey/Oswald even further.
And Again. Thank you
 
1: That was not actually the intention however it makes sense. The Prototype for those characters. Though as we advance though the ages, they will be less comedy duo due to revelations about there connection.
2: Wanted to Pluto to have someone to work of as well. Love Pluto and wanted him to have an expanded role. so why two characters named after the first and last planet.
3: Horace Horsecollar has been wiped from existence; for now.
4: They where introduced at Christmas simply for money purposes. Early attempts to link things to holidays for greater sales
5: The Partnership with Universal wont last forever. Disney will go its own way eventually and then universal will need a replacement. They may not have Oswald but they will need something.
6: It does take on the anthology format. And it will feature the growing stable of characters as that was intended. Yet the comics will grow and as you will see they will begun introduceing there own characters, expanding the Mickey/Oswald even further.
And Again. Thank you
1: Ah, I see. The Drake and Josh association, only their brotherhood is biological rather than by marriage. I gotcha.
2: Not to mention the two smallest planets in the Solar System. I can dig this.
3: This works. Maybe we can have a Technicolor short where Mickey and Minnie, Oswald and Ortensia, and Goofy and Clarabelle are all having a shared couples picnic, when Pete, Mortimer, and Horace show up to woo the girlfriends? That way, Horace can still exist as a romantic rival, as does Mortimer, but as more of an antagonist than his OTL form.
4: I take it The Skeleton Dance still becomes the first Silly Symphony, then?
5: And that's when Lantz steps in and becomes more appreciated in the studio! That's perfect!
6: I thought that was the case. Any way we can see some of the lesser-used characters from the shorts make themselves household names in the comic?
7: You're welcome.
 
1: Ah, I see. The Drake and Josh association, only their brotherhood is biological rather than by marriage. I gotcha.
2: Not to mention the two smallest planets in the Solar System. I can dig this.
3: This works. Maybe we can have a Technicolor short where Mickey and Minnie, Oswald and Ortensia, and Goofy and Clarabelle are all having a shared couples picnic, when Pete, Mortimer, and Horace show up to woo the girlfriends? That way, Horace can still exist as a romantic rival, as does Mortimer, but as more of an antagonist than his OTL form.
4: I take it The Skeleton Dance still becomes the first Silly Symphony, then?
5: And that's when Lantz steps in and becomes more appreciated in the studio! That's perfect!
6: I thought that was the case. Any way we can see some of the lesser-used characters from the shorts make themselves household names in the comic?
7: You're welcome.
On the note about Horace. Goofy has had a wife quite often OTL but having her face never shown. However she's never seen with goofy and his son, meaning something happened. Not wanting to establish a deep continuity here but there will be some. Horace, goofy and Clarabelle will grow lets say in a certain way. Giving micky a romantic rival as well sounds like a great idea. The Goal is to make them all house hold names. So more would know who Clarabelle is, little bit like Huey, Dewey, and Louie who first appeared in a newspaper.

 
On the note about Horace. Goofy has had a wife quite often OTL but having her face never shown. However she's never seen with goofy and his son, meaning something happened. Not wanting to establish a deep continuity here but there will be some. Horace, goofy and Clarabelle will grow lets say in a certain way. Giving micky a romantic rival as well sounds like a great idea. The Goal is to make them all house hold names. So more would know who Clarabelle is, little bit like Huey, Dewey, and Louie who first appeared in a newspaper.
First off, Mortimer Mouse as Mickey's romantic rival does actually exist.
So there's that to consider.

I didn't know that Donald's nephews debuted in a newspaper comic, so technically, my request already happened and I didn't even realize it.

If your goal is to make them all household names, might I suggest turning Song of the South into a Looney Tunes-esque Br'er Rabbit series of theatrical shorts instead? That way, the more racy aspects can be justified as adult-focused jokes.
 
First off, Mortimer Mouse as Mickey's romantic rival does actually exist.
So there's that to consider.

I didn't know that Donald's nephews debuted in a newspaper comic, so technically, my request already happened and I didn't even realize it.

If your goal is to make them all household names, might I suggest turning Song of the South into a Looney Tunes-esque Br'er Rabbit series of theatrical shorts instead? That way, the more racy aspects can be justified as adult-focused jokes.
Firstly, wanted a solution to song of the south, because i love that song and the actual actor for the uncle is great so thank you on that. Also I had no idea that Mortimer mouse existed. He can for sure be used then. Also I always believed they first appeared in duck tales but there older then they seem. Means however we can use them earlier.
 
Firstly, wanted a solution to song of the south, because i love that song and the actual actor for the uncle is great so thank you on that. Also I had no idea that Mortimer mouse existed. He can for sure be used then. Also I always believed they first appeared in duck tales but there older then they seem. Means however we can use them earlier.
Well, if you want to preserve the song, why not make it part of the first Br'er Rabbit short? After all, James Baskett, the actor for Uncle Remus, also did work as both Br'er Rabbit and Br'er Fox, essentially making Remus himself even more of a liability if the concept is turned into all-animated shorts ITTL.

Mortimer Mouse debuting in DuckTales? Him debuting in House of Mouse is something I can understand, but in DuckTales? Even if non-ducks exist in that world, as seen by Scrooge's butler, Duckworth, actually being a dog, that still wouldn't add up. Then again, I used to think that Mickey's Christmas Carol was the pilot to the show before I realized that the show truly began with a TV movie.
 
Well, if you want to preserve the song, why not make it part of the first Br'er Rabbit short? After all, James Baskett, the actor for Uncle Remus, also did work as both Br'er Rabbit and Br'er Fox, essentially making Remus himself even more of a liability if the concept is turned into all-animated shorts ITTL.

Mortimer Mouse debuting in DuckTales? Him debuting in House of Mouse is something I can understand, but in DuckTales? Even if non-ducks exist in that world, as seen by Scrooge's butler, Duckworth, actually being a dog, that still wouldn't add up. Then again, I used to think that Mickey's Christmas Carol was the pilot to the show before I realized that the show truly began with a TV movie.
I mean the three twins. I believed duck dales was there first appearance but they appeared much much earlier, meaning I can use them. Mortimer Mouse doesn't seem to appear much in anything, not as far I am aware of. Keeping James Baskett is a must so I will use your idea of all animated shorts. Do away with the questionable and save the ride as well.

On a side note: Goofy did appear in the duck tales reboot however Mickey never did.
 
I mean the three triplets. I believed ducktales was there first appearance but they appeared much much earlier, meaning I can use them. Mortimer Mouse doesn't seem to appear much in anything, not as far I am aware of. Keeping James Baskett is a must so I will use your idea of all animated shorts. Do away with the questionable and save the ride as well.
Yeah, that's all fair.

Thanks for using my idea on Br'er Rabbit and the gang!
 
Looking forward to seeing your thoughts on what's to come. Including some movies that weren't Disney but will be. Any help or questions are always greatly apricated.
Any time, pal.

Oh, and I was only curious about Walter Lantz's company because I still wanted some competition for Walt, even if everything good is going his way,
 
Chapter Seven: Dreaming with our eyes wide open


Chapter Seven: Dreaming with our eyes wide open

Snow White and the seven dwarfs. Years of hardship, growing friendship, and animated shorts had led Walt to this moment. Yet even now the hard-fought battles were far from being over. He believed in the project. He also believed it was the next step for animation. Yet it had never been done before and nobody believed it could be done. Development on Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs had already begun in early 1934 and had already acted out the entire story of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs to his staff. His staff stuck by him as they always had but reservations were high. His brother attempted to persuade him not to follow up with the idea while his wife was soon echoing the same words.

Yet Walt refused to listen to either. Despite their successes, the shorts were boring Walt now. once again he found no challenge and completion had already begun to ramp up. The loony toons shorts were rapidly approaching the same popularity and for them not to be overtaken and forget. They had to make the next biggest move. Yet the media did not agree. They called it Disney’s Foley and predicted that animated movies would never become a thing. A box office failure and the ending of the Disney studios were all predicted. Despite claims that the movie would destroy the studio, Walt pressed on and with his staff behind him began the production of snow-white. It was to be the first-ever animated film so groundwork would have to be laid. For now, however, he was the only one who felt that the movie was the way.

The estimated budget Is recorded to have nearly given Walt’s brother Roy, the money man of the business a heart attack. It was estimated that Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs could be produced for a budget of $250,000 dollars which was ten times the budget of an average short film. Even as Hollywood looked on in amusing, Walt did whatever he could to make sure the film was made. He even mortgaged his own house to help finance the film's production, which eventually ran up a total cost of $1,488,422.74 which was much more than the estimated budget and a very large sum of money for a feature film at the time. Lillian feared her children would soon be homeless yet despite her disagreements stood by her husband.

Yet here is where the Merry old folk of Disney would come into their own. Ruth Disney would be the first to work on the project. She too was worried about the film but pushed on. She put together the earliest draft of the film which consisted of characters, situations, and jokes the story could hold. While the film was snow-white, Walt himself was fascinated with the seven dwarfs and their potential to replicate the comedic success of mickey and Oswald. Despite his sister writing the story, Walt was not against intervening himself. He suggested that each of the dwarfs whose names and personalities are not stated in the original fairy tale could have individual personalities. It was a grand idea that seemed almost too much for the first animated film.

There were many dwarf names suggested including Jumpy, Deafy, Dizzy, Hickey, Wheezy, Baldy, Gabby, Nifty, Sniffy, Swift, Lazy, Puffy, Stuffy, Tubby, Shorty, and Burpy. The final seven were chosen through the progress of elimination which included Ruth, Lillian, and the children. Doc, Grumpy, Bashful, Sleepy, Happy, Sneezy, and Dopey were to be the ones they would use. The original draft was much more comedic however than expected. The original idea was to have a fat, bratty self-caring character while the Prince was also portrayed as a clown-like character. Disney became concerned that such a comical approach would lessen the plausibility of the characters and pushed for the comical elements to be toned down.

Doubts in his mind nearly sank the project but a brief holiday put him back on track. On his return, Walt threw himself into the project and alongside his sister worked on things that he considered unworkable like the portrayal of the queen. The plot film shifted for a final time. At first, the dwarfs were to be the main focus of the film and many sequences had already been written or were in the process. Walt and Ruth shifted the perspective to snow white and her relationship with the queen. With that change, the rest of the film fell into place. The prince’s role was reduced and snow-white became the main focus. There was still comedy in the film but it was not as heavy as before. With the plot fully completed, now came the hardest part.

Here is where the rest of the merry old folk of Disney came into play. Ub Iwerks became the sole authority on the design of the film. Everything used in the film from the characters to the simple look of a tree had to be approved by him. Fred Harman and Wolfgang Reitherman were also pulled in to work on the visual style of the film. Marc Davis was placed in charge of staging and atmosphere. The goal was to recreate the European feel that Walt sought. Other artists included: Les Clark, John Lounsbery, and Mary Blair. For the most part, Walt entrusted his passion project to people he trusted and knew. Hence the lack of newer names working on the film. But he did entrust some newer names on the project and they, in turn, would become members of the merry folk of Disney, the last few to join. These included: Frank Thomas, Eric Larson, Ward Kimball, Milt Kahl, and Ollie Johnston. All would learn from one another while Walt set up closes with Art Babbitt and Don Graham to teach the staff human antimony, movement, and human emotions.

The film was no easy task to make. At first, it proved difficult to add color to Snow White's and the queen's face until they found a red dye that worked. The animators were not artists either which added further complications even though art lessons helped many. The studio did gain a break from problems as their multiplane camera gave a three-dimensional feeling in many sequences. Despite production for the film finding a few bumps but mostly going smoothly, the word’s *Disney’s Foley continued to circulate and no matter what Walt did the press were keen to slam the movie before it even came out. They even at one point attempted to harass Marge Champion who was being used to copy her dance moves for snow white.

The songs were composed by newcomers to the studio Frank Churchill and Larry Morey. Walt wanted to use someone in-house but lacked any form of musicians to do so. Well becoming key parts of the studio in later years both Churchill and Morey would not become members of the merry folk of Disney. Despite keeping hold of Oswald, Walt was not able to keep the publishing rights for the songs or music as the company did not yet have a music publishing company. Instead, those would fall to universal who still hold those rights to this day. On top of being the first animated film, the film would also be the first to have a soundtrack album released alongside the film. The film had everything it needed now to be made. Animators, music, live-action references, and a plot. Snow white was a go. Three years would pass during the film’s production and soon release day arrived.

The staff, Roy, Lillian were apprehensive while the media continued to call it a dud. After years of growing up obsessed with drawing then switching to animated shorts. Disney’s biggest dream yet arrived. Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs premiered at the Carthay Circle Theatre on December 21, 1937. The audience was dotted with many of those who had once called the film "Disney's Folly". The reception to the film was an unexpected one. It received standing applause and with that Disney’s Folly became Disney’s success. The studio had done the impossible and brought animation into a full-length feature.

The effects of the film’s release soon hit the studio. Walt himself appeared on the cover of the time’s magazine with the seven dwarfs while the New York times thanked the studio. The film went into general release on February 4th, 1938. It quickly smashed all expectations and quickly became not only a major box office success but also the most successful sound film of all time. The successes it found at home were also found overseas especially in Australia. The film was a tremendous critical success, with many reviewers hailing it as a genuine work of art, recommended for both children and adults. Praise came in from all directions, Charlie Chaplin declared snow white a notable achievement in the cinema while Eisenstein went so far as to call it the greatest film ever made.

Soon the Oscars came around and as expected. Snow White was present. Disney himself won an Academy Honorary Award a significant screen innovation while the film itself won the best musical score. Yet even as the film reached successes never expected, Walt was already preoccupied. His final child was born in March of 1938 and named him George Arthur Disney. Even with the new child and a successful film behind him. Walt was not ready to stop. They had produced the first-ever animated film and won acclaim for it. Now he was ready to do it for a second time. He was now prepared to push ahead with Pinocchio.
 
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While I do appreciate the success of Snow White ITTL, causing Charlie Chaplin and Albert Einstein to be enthralled with it, I can't help but feel disappointed that Universal still owns the music and recording rights to Walt's earlier works.

Now, I'm not saying you should retcon this, but I will say that it's almost refreshing to see something go wrong for Walt in this timeline.
 
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