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.

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Snow White Thimble Cottage Collectors Set

The Snow White Thimble Cottage Collectors Set was sold at the Disney Store in the 1990s. It included nine figural thimble sculpts--Snow White, the Witch, and the Seven Dwarfs (in sitting positions)--plus a wooden display stand. Each piece is hand-painted and made of cold cast porcelain. Original retail price $165.

Certificate of Authenticity.

Original box.

Images via backwithmorestuff.