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Disney Gives Credit, 1932

As a follow-up to Amid’s post yesterday on Disney’s Pinocchio trade ad, David Lesjak (who runs two of the best Disneyana blogs on the web: Toons At War and Vintage Disney Collectibles) sent us this double page trade ad from 1932 (click thumbnails below to read at full size).

“Attached is an ad which appeared in the October 1, 1932 edition of the Motion Picture Herald. I downloaded the images a long time ago from Steve Geppi’s Diamond Galleries “Scoop” e-newsletter. It shows that as early as 1932 Walt Disney was publicly providing the names of those who worked at the Studio, even going as far to list the names of the women who worked in the “Tracing and Painting Dep’t,” as well as staff in the “Reference Library” and “Music Library.”

Interesting to note the copy running along the bottom of the ad: “To produce a single Mickey Mouse or Silly Symphony requires full time of this organization for two weeks.” Only two weeks? In each department? Animation alone took three or four weeks, even then. Can anyone clarify what that line meant?

  • Ted

    Theory on two weeks:in 1932, Disney produced 22 cartoons. That’s one every 2.36 weeks. So, if everyone in the organization was assumed to be working on a single cartoon at any given time, it would have taken 2.36 weeks (or, rounded to the nearest number of weeks, 2 weeks) to make a single cartoon. This ignores multiple units, but it gives a rough approximation of the man hours as part of the company overall.

  • zavkram

    I noticed a number of familiar names on the studio roster; notably Marcellite Garner, who eventually did the voice of Minnie Mouse; Carlos Manriquez, who later turned up at Warner Bros and “Eddie” Donnely, who later was an animator for Van Beuren and Terrytoons and who directed the very first “Mighty Mouse” cartoon.

  • Thad

    This is all nice, but why not put their names on the films themselves? You know, where most people actually will read them?

  • Mark Sonntag

    Interesting that Disney put trade ads out to thank the staff, more interesting that this has gone unnoticed in nearly all the books on Disney I have read.

  • Also, maybe a bit of bragging there? Great find!

  • Kevin Martinez

    So, wait? Carl Stalling was still working for Disney in 1932? I thought he split when Iwerks did.

  • Mark Sonntag

    I thought so too.

  • Peter H

    According to the Iwerks biography “The Hand Behind the Mouse” (Leslie Iwerks/John Kenworthy) Stallings took a sabbatical from the Iwerks Studio in 1932 to return to Disney. (His first assignment being playing piano for Practical Pig in The Three Little Pigs.)

    As to the 2-week thing, wasn’t Disney still working to the kind of release shedule asked for by most distributors – a new release every fortnight? this had been the reason for creating two units in the Oswald days – so that they could overlap productions. I guess they didn’t want to give the impression they couldn’t keep up a two week schedule.

  • SchmuleyG

    While this is nice I think it’s also noteworthy that so far this recognition has only been found in TRADE ads intended for industry insiders and not to the general public. I suspect, as someone earlier hinted at, that these were intended to make Disney Studios appear to be a big production company to other studios and insiders.

  • Tim Hodge

    “To produce a single Mickey Mouse or Silly Symphony requires full time of this organization for two weeks.”
    Seems like an incomplete sentence, poor writing skills. I can understand if the writer is trying to say that the company requires all these people to get a short finished every two weeks. But they would have to have overlapping schedules, just like any TV show today.

    Chuck Jones said they had 6 weeks to complete shorts at Warners.

  • falconi


    Yeah, they only show it in trade publications, but who, besides industry insiders, would read the credits for an animated short anyway? At least with this, someone looking for more work could point to a Disney publication and say “Yeah, I did that.”

    Now, was it to make Disney look bigger and better, or to thank the persons mentioned? Who know, but it would have been nice to the personel either way.

  • JB Kaufman

    Thanks for posting this, Jerry. A lot of people are determined to demonize Walt Disney, for whatever reason, and one way to do that is to claim that he was too stingy to give screen credit. I think it’s worth pointing out that 1) Screen credits in general were a LOT less voluminous in the 1930s than today, and a lack of credits on a short subject was not at all unusual; 2) When screen credits did appear in “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs,” there was comment about how unusually extensive they were; 3) Ub Iwerks and Carl Stalling did get screen credit in the earliest Silly Symphonies — until they bailed, of course. Maybe the new policy had something to do with that!