Monday, August 21, 2017

1938 Pepsodent Moving Picture Machine

The Mickey Mouse Theater of the Air was a Sunday afternoon radio program on NBC sponsored by toothpaste manufacturer, Pepsodent. The show didn't last very long, only 20 episodes. Yet, the January 9, 1938 installment did headline Snow White (see earlier post). In addition, a Pepsodent advertising campaign was launched that would feature Snow White and other Disney characters, and it included a free mail-in premium--The Pepsodent Moving Picture Machine.

This toy nickelodeon-style projector is made from lithographed black & white cardboard. It includes a side crank handle that turns an internal wheel cylinder which holds 56 color flip cards. The mechanism creates an animated scene with Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs on one side and Mickey and Donald on the other. "Copyright 1938 Walt Disney Enterprises." Approximate assembled measurements: 8"x 7"x 2".

The uncut tri-fold design.

Image via Heritage.

The assembled projector.

Images via hideho.

The flip cards.

Creative Commons images via Loopdeeloop.

A 1938 newspaper advertisement for the Moving Picture Machine.

The picture machine and the original mailing envelope have been sold in auction by Hake's and also listed on page 836 of their Official Price Guide to Disney Collectibles, 2nd edition, 2007.

1951 Belgian Handbill

A handbill for the 1951 re-release of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs at the Éden Cinema in Namur, Belgium. The film would be presented in French and was scheduled to start on August 10th.

Image courtesy of Greg Philip of A Lost Film.

In an earlier Archive entry, see Belgian handbills from the 1938 Snow White release.

Sunday, August 20, 2017

1939 Standard Oil "Travel Tykes Weekly"

In the previous post, we saw the commercial short, Walt Disney's Standard Parade for 1939. It was in that same year that the Standard Oil Company of California ran a nationwide promotion which featured Mickey and Donald racing from New York and Miami--across the United States and Canada--to the Treasure Island site at the Golden Gate International Exposition in California.

Kids could follow the race in a series of 18 numbered Travel Tykes Weekly newspapers. In addition to Mickey and Donald, these papers also included Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs and other characters. Each edition featured games and activities, plus two picture stamps which could be cut out and glued to the boarder of a free Race Map that was handed out at gas stations. Each newspaper measures 11" x 15" and consists four color pages.

Issue No. 1 (January 1939)

The two cut-out stamp pictures are found on the back page.

Issue No. 11

Image via Heritage.

The Race Map features 36 spaces around the border for the cut-out picture stamps to be attached.


In addition to the Travel Tykes Weekly, there were also full page Travel Tykes newspaper and magazine ads:

The Dwarfs Start Out to See the World. This in-progress layout for the ad shows the preliminary artwork which would eventually be updated before the final publication.

The updated production artwork.

Production art pieces via digauctions.

The same artwork with the service station man would also be used in a magazine ad, July 1939.

Images via gingincorporated.


The Fried-Egg Desert.

The Witch Queen's Curse. Newspaper ad seen in both full-color and B&W.

Color image via pezdudewelch.

Snow White Day at the Fair,

Image via 2719 Hyperion.

Other Travel Tykes ads have been seen with different sponsorship, such as the Standard Oil of Texas (rather than California).

Walt Disney's Standard Parade for 1939

With the massive 1938 box office success of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, the Disney Company turned its attention to the production of their next feature-length films, Pinocchio and Fantasia. It was during this time that they also created a lesser known short entitled, Walt Disney's Standard Parade for 1939. It was a commercial project sponsored by the Standard Oil Company of California and was shown at the oil company's sales conventions that year. It's purpose was to promote their new nationwide Disney-themed advertising campaign.

A black & white live-action segment was produced to highlight Walt Disney and his successes up to this point in his career, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs being the greatest of these achievements. This narrated bit runs slightly over five minutes.

Screen captures from the film...

This is followed by a full-color animated short that is exactly what the title suggests--a "parade" of characters. The piece is actually a reworking of earlier Disney animation. In 1931, the studio released a black & white Silly Symphony entitled Mother Goose Melodies. It began with characters marching in a parade for Old King Cole. (Animated by Ben Sharpsteen.) This would be the foundation upon which the Standard Oil piece would take its shape.

In 1932, the parade sequence was reworked into a full-color short, Parade of the Award Nominees, meant for viewing at the Academy Awards banquet that year. The same musicians, sweepers, carpet roller, flower girl (Clarabelle Cow) and similar repeating background were all used again. In addition, Mickey and Minnie Mouse were added at the start. Mickey is seen in color for the first time ever. Minnie holds a parade banner. Old King Cole was replaced by caricatures of the Hollywood Star nominees (artist Joe Grant's contribution).

The same parade sequence was once again reworked in the Standard Parade for 1939. Clarabelle Cow is gone, as are the Hollywood caricatures, replaced by the Seven Dwarfs holding signs that spell out "STANDARD". They are followed by Donald Duck, the Three Little Pigs, and other Disney characters, all with signs promoting the ad campaign. The dwarfs animation was originally created by artist Bill Tytla for a scene that was eventually cut from the Snow White feature. The new signs replaced the picks they originally carried.

The Standard Parade for 1939...

Learn more details about the Standard Parade for 1939 from film historian J.B. Kaufman at:

The 1939 Standard Oil ad campaign spotlighted a fictional cross-country race between Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck. Kids could follow it in a series of Travel Tykes Weekly comics that were issued over the course of the promotion. Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, plus other characters, were also featured. In addition, magazine and newspaper ads furthered the story. See examples of these comics in the next Archive entry.