37¢ The Art of Disney
Issue Date: June 30, 2005
City: Anaheim, CA
Printed By: Banknote Corporation of America for Sennett Security Products
Printing Method: Lithographed
Perforations: Serpentine Die Cut 10.5 x 10.75
Please note: Due to the layout of the pane, the se-tenant may or may not be provided in Scott Catalogue order.
Mickey and Pluto
Walt Disney introduced Mickey Mouse in 1928 in the cartoon “Steamboat Willie,” the first cartoon ever produced with synchronized sound. Disney himself provided Mickey’s voice.
Mickey went on to star in more than 120 cartoons, but he began to play less of a role. By 1938, Disney had dropped the designation “Mickey Mouse Cartoons” and identified each short by its major character instead.
Some cartoons were taken over by Pluto. The unnamed bloodhound that later became Pluto first appeared in the Mickey Mouse cartoon “The Chain Gang” (1930). Unlike many other Disney characters, this animal was never given a speaking voice.
In “The Moose Hunt” (1931), Pluto appeared as Mickey’s faithful pet and was given his name. When a moose chases the two of them over a cliff, Pluto flaps his ears and flies them both to safety. In 1937, Pluto received his first starring role in “Pluto’s Quinpuplets.”
The Disney director Charles Nichols supervised most of the shorts with Mickey and Pluto in the 1940s. His gentle, cute approach helped shape these characters into the exuberant, playful pup and the cheerful, indulgent master that are celebrating a birthday on “The Art of Disney” stamp.
Alice in Wonderland
Lewis Carroll was the pen name of British preacher and mathematics professor Charles L. Dodgson (1832-98) of Oxford College, England. Growing up, Dodgson had commonly entertained his ten brothers and sisters.
During a boating party on the Thames River in 1862, one of the guests, ten-year-old Alice Liddell, grew restless and begged Dodgson for a story “with lots of nonsense in it.”
Later, Alice asked Dodgson to write the story down for her, and in 1865, he published it under the title, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.
In the story, Alice is treated to a Mad Tea Party at the March Hare’s house. This proves to be a strange sort of celebration, however.
Alice finds the Dormouse sitting between the March Hare and the Mad Hatter at a large table, fast asleep. It seems that ever since Time stopped working for the Mad Hatter, it has always been six o’clock, teatime. Alice’s confusing conversation with the trio reflects Carroll’s talent for word games and logic puzzles.
Walt Disney adapted Alice in the late 1940s. (The British copyright on Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland had expired in 1907.) Disney’s animated feature film was released in 1951.
The Little Mermaid
The author of “The Little Mermaid,” Hans Christian Andersen (1805-75), was born into a poor Danish family. He received little early education and had to go to work before he was twelve. At 14, he moved to Copenhagen to pursue a career in theater. Fortunately, a generous director of the Royal Theatre gave Anderson the means to complete his education.
A writer of novels and plays, Andersen was best known for stories like “The Ugly Duckling” and “The Princess and the Pea” from his Fairy Tales and Stories (1835-72). The third volume of these tales, published in 1837, contained the story “The Little Mermaid.”
Walt Disney had gotten the idea for an animated film based on “The Little Mermaid” back in the 1930s, but it was not until 1989 that the feature was produced.
Both the Andersen and Disney tales deal with the longing of a beautiful young mermaid named Ariel. In Andersen’s story, Ariel longs to be human so she will have an immortal soul. She sacrifices her life for her beloved’s happiness and becomes a “daughter of the air.” In Disney’s version, Ariel longs to be human so the prince will love and marry her. The romantic film ends with an evil witch vanquished and the little mermaid getting her wish.
Snow White and Dopey
Snow White is an old German folktale, preserved in written form by Jakob and Wilhelm Grimm. The story tells of a princess who survives the murderous efforts of a jealous queen with the help of seven dwarfs.
The Brothers Grimm were born in Hanau, Germany. Jakob (1785-1863) and Wilhelm (1786-1859) lived and worked together almost all their lives. They are chiefly known for their studies of language and folklore.
Beginning in 1812, the Grimms published their first volume of Children’s and Household Tales, containing 86 folktales. In 1814, they added 70 more stories in a second volume. Their final version had more than 200 tales. It became the best-known book ever created in the German language and was the model for folklore collections all over the world.
Walt Disney adapted the Grimm brothers’ Snow White, removing some of the violence of the original story and expanding the romantic theme. Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs was Disney’s first full-length animated feature film. The film took almost four years and $1.7 million to create. It was released in 1937.
This “Art of Disney” stamp represents Snow White’s first night in the dwarfs’ cottage as they celebrated with music, singing, and dancing.