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After all, what was Disney’s first live-action film?

Discover the context in which it emerged, the history and when the first live-action film that received the Disney seal was released

In addition to the animations that have enchanted several generations of children since Disney emerged in 1923, the studio founded by Roy It is Walt Disney is also responsible for producing feature films in which real actors bring to life characters that previously did not exist on the big screen, such as the ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ franchise, or the great adaptations of fairy tales, such as ‘Beauty and the Beast’ ( 2017).

There are countless plots that belong to the label, but do you know which was the first live-action of the Disney among them? To discover the answer it is necessary to remember the first decades of the studio’s existence, as well as the historical context of the time.

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Shortly after Disney completed 20 years of creation, the world began to experience one of the greatest military conflicts humanity has ever faced: World War II (1939 — 1945). During this period, the studio, like many others, was requested by the United States Armed Forces shortly after the bombing of Pearl Harbor, to create military propaganda content, paralyzing projects unrelated to the political stance of the time, since, as revealed on Disney’s official blog, 90% of the studio’s production was directed toward the war efforts.

With the end of World War II following the surrender of Japan in September 1945, Walt was able to return to the studio’s production reins. Still, there weren’t many projects lined up that could be launched quickly, after all, it took years for an animation to be finished, which led the company’s co-founder to come to the conclusion that Disney needed to diversify its content to remain active in the market.

Thinking about expanding into new types of entertainment, Walt began considering producing a live-action film. According to the animation historian Michael Barrier, Walt I had been thinking about a title in this format “since March 1941”, using the book “The Hound of Florence”, by Felix Saltenbut the idea only took shape after the great conflict, and with another work: “Treasure Island”, a classic novel by Robert Louis Stevenson.

The story of ‘Treasure Island’

Poster for ‘Treasure Island’ / Credit: Disclosure/Disney

With filming beginning in July 1949, “Treasure Island” was released in theaters just over a year later, on September 4, 1950, having Byron Haskin as director, and Disney veteran, Perce Pearcewho had been a writer for ‘Fantasia’ (1940) and story director for ‘Bambi’ (1942), as producer.

The plot, which follows a boy named Jim Hawkins as he searches for hidden treasure, was filmed in Bristol Harbor in Bristol, England, as, due to new post-war policies implemented to revive its economy, over a million dollars’ worth of box office revenue earned by Disney in England could only be spent in England.

Although it was the studio’s first live-action film, the film became a huge success, grossing a total box office of US$4.8 million worldwide, a profit of US$3 million, given the budget spent on the film. Production of the film was US$1.8 million.

Source: Recreio

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