In “The Story Behind…” series I take a look at the history of anything related to movies. One of them are the logos of the various studios, this time that of Walt Disney Pictures.
The man who lent his name to the company was a big fan of drawing as he grew up. He shortly worked at The Pesmen-Rubin Art Studio where he met Ubbe Iwerks and after their contract with the studio expired they decided to start their own company. It was called “Iwerks-Disney Commercial Artists” in 1920. Since they couldn’t manage to run it succesfully Disney started working at the Kansas City Film Ad Company and was joined by Iwerks. He started experimenting with animation and made Laugh-o-grams. These were so succesfull that Disney was able to start a new company called “Laugh O Gram Studio”. Unfortunately this company went bankrupt and Disney decided to move to Hollywood in 1923 together with his brother Roy.
They started “Disney Brothers Cartoon Studio” and they succesfully sold a live action/cartoon named “Alice’s Wonderland”, which became very succesfull and more episodes were made. After the popularity dropped Disney developed the Oswald the Lucky Rabbit cartoons together with Iwerks who created the character. Unfortunately for Disney it was Universal Studios who owned the rights to the character and after most of his animators were hired away (except Iwerks) he had to come up with a new character, which was Mickey Mouse. The instant success of this first cartoon with synchronised sound meant he was able to create other shorts, which became the Silly Symphonies. His cartoons were distributed by various big studios including Columbia Pictures and United Artists. In 1934 he started production for the first feature length animated movie, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs which was released in 1937. Continue reading
It’s been a while since I wrote one of these “The Story Behind…” posts, but felt like doing a new one. For those who don’t know the series, in “The Story Behind…” I take a look at movie related things and the stories behind them. I’ve written several of these about the history and various logos of the major studios. I’ve covered quite a few studios, but there are a couple I didn’t cover yet. One of them is RKO, which was part of the “Big Five” studios during the golden age of Hollywood. The studio has been responsible for some classic movies like King Kong, It’s a Wonderful Life and Citizen Kane. It matched up Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers and Cary Grant was under contract with them for a long time. Although the RKO name still exists it’s not the big studio it once was as the original RKO Pictures was out of business in 1960. Continue reading
It’s been a while since I did one of these, but “The Story Behind…” series is back, this time featuring United Artists. I really never thought about the name of the company, but if you read about its history it becomes very clear. The company was formed by Charlie Chaplin, Douglas Fairbanks, Mary Pickford and D. W. Griffith and lawyer William Gibbs McAdoo, who all had a 20% stake. As the studio system was forming these actors wanted more freedom and this was the way to get it. Although they managed to set up the company it had some tough times and during the fifties two lawyers-turned-producers Robert Benjamin and Arthur Krim took over United Artists. Its logo has also changed a lot during the years the company has been in existence. Continue reading
My journey into stories behind famous movie related things we take for granted continues, still focussing on the logos of the big movie companies. This week’s choice: The Universal Pictures logo. Continue reading
Continuing my look into the stories behind movie related things we all take for granted, this week’s choice is The Warner Bros. logo. Continue reading
My journey into stories behind famous movie related things we take for granted continues, this week’s choice is the MGM Logo. Turns out the lion has been roaring for a long time. Continue reading
Continuing my look into the stories behind movie related things we all take for granted, this week’s choice is the 20th Century Fox logo. If you only hear the music it’s something you immediately relate to movies. But what’s the history of the logo? Continue reading