I was reading a new book (it has been amazing), about the history of female animators, storytellers, background creators and creative geniuses in the early days of Walt Disney Pictures, who were overlooked, underpaid, underappreciated, and mostly uncredited on some of Disney’s most historic and revered movies such as Snow White and Seven Dwarves, Pinocchio, Dumbo, Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Peter Pan, and many others.
Nathalia Holt’s extensive research and vivid depiction of the oftentimes sexist working conditions, jealousy of male artists of their female counterparts, and the exclusive and insecure “boys club” that was Walt Disney Pictures in the 1930s through the 1950s, was eye-opening. While some workplaces still persist in such deplorable practices, it is somewhat amazing to see how far things have come.
A section in the book tells of Walt Disney’s opening of Disneyland in Southern California and its opulent opening. In 1955, during its first year of operation, a one-day ticket to Disneyland cost $1 for adults and 50 cents for children. In addition to the price of entry, each of the park’s 35 rides had a fee. Many of the attractions cost around 25 to 35 cents for adults and 10 to 25 cents for children. The park had over 1 million visitors its opening year.
This prompted surprise for me as nowadays you can’t find a ticket, even for children for less than $100/day. Next, I immediately remembered this funny skit by Jim Gaffigan.
I’ve almost completed Nathalia Holt’s new book, “The Queens of Animation,” which I will be sharing my review on here in the next week or so. I would recommend anyone interested in art, filmmaking, animation, Disney, history, or finding out more about women animators, check out this book! It is fabulous!