The Magical Music of Walt Disney Box Set

The Walt Disney Studio is best known for its achievements in both Shorts and feature-length animations. Live-action movies aren’t far behind. But after those must come music! Because for almost every Disney movie you know, you can probably hum a tune that you identify with that movie. Yes?

Hence, we have The Magical Music of Walt Disney box set, brought to you with glorious 8-Track tape quality:

Ahhh… 1978 lives!

I found this set at a charity shop for just $5.99 CAN and just had to have it, even though I don’t have an 8-track player. Who does?

Front and Back of the Box Set

This commemorative box set was released to coincide with the 50th Anniversary of the creation of Mickey Mouse, who you might remember, first appeared on-screen in the 1928 Short entitled Steamboat Willie.

So it all started with a mouse and ended, in 1978, with this glorious tribute.

Who remembers these?

My father bought an old Fargo van when I was still a teenager and it actually had an 8-track player in it (along with a 3-on-the-tree shifter) and I would borrow it to ‘cruise.’ I cranked the two tapes I found on the floor of the van. One was Burton Cummings, I think. Good times in rural Ontario!

Big. Bulky. And beautiful!

Apart from just wanting an unusual piece for my disneyana collection, I also bought this set because it has a 52-page full-color book included. It starts with an introduction to both Dick Schory, the producer of this set, and the book itself. Next, there is a two-page spread about Walt Disney. Let’s have a look at one page from that spread:

This montage shows Walt from his beginnings up to just months before his death (center picture, on the set of The Happiest Millionaire).

Next is a two-page spread featuring the art of Disney animation. Below is one page from that spread:

The next several pages cover Mickey’s early years in Shorts as well as the Silly Symphonies, and Mickey’s later years.

The book moves into the feature-length feature films starting with Snow White and including Pinocchio, Dumbo (below), and Bambi.

Next we are treated to some of the great animated classics of the Forties:

Following is Song of the South, Cinderella, Peter Pan, Fantasia, Lady and the Tramp, and Sleeping Beauty. Then the True-Life Adventures series is covered as are the later animated years with 101 Dalmatians and The Rescuers, among others.

The live-action movies are covered next with Mary Poppins and Pete’s Dragon, both known for their excellent use of music.

Below are pages showing the music and sound effects departments:

The book concludes with a look at the Disneyland and Walt Disney World parks. Both have a long history of musical storytelling!

Sweet Nostalgia!

So maybe some day in the distant future, 8-track tapes will make the same comeback journey that vinyl has today… but I doubt it! Oh well. This set makes a great keepsake, a conversation piece, and definitely provides a cool slice of Disney history.

The Windsor Star Weekend Magazine

This large format 28-page magazine supplement was quite an impressive publication in its day! The two copies that I have were inserted into the weekend edition of The Windsor Star newspaper in the late 1970’s. It had both black and white and color pages.

September 17th and November 5th, 1977

I found these at a yard sale just outside of Windsor, ON. I paid $2.00 a piece for them which is funny when you consider that they were given away free with a newspaper almost 40 years ago!

But I think you can guess why I bought them?

    

10 1/2″ x 12″

Obviously Mickey and Minnie caught my eye and so buying that issue was a no-brainer. I also love vintage television programs so the other issue also became a must-have.

So let’s take a look at the content of the article entitled 50 Years of Mickey Mouse:

This was a fun but brief article which you are welcome to read by enlarging the pictures above. I especially enjoyed page 11 as I have some of the merchandise pictured there!

Apart from the cover story in the second issue of this set, I found another Disney reference inside. Disney placed an advertisement on pages 14 and 15:

Who wants some cookies?

The contest would award 40 vacation trips to Walt Disney World, 100 authentic Mickey Mouse watches, and 200 Fantasia soundtracks. All you had to do was state how many cookies you could see in the jar. Disney even made it easier by giving the possible answers in the form of multiple choice on the entry form.

         

Enlarge and read those rules!

Unfortunately we are all 39 years too late to enter. Just our luck, eh! But it is still fun to see these old promotions and product tie-ins.

So just how many cookies were in the jar? Was it 9, 14, 21, 35, or 49? Who cares, just give me one! Hey, stale or not, I love me some cookies!

WDW 25th Anniversary Guide & T-shirt

I love finding unusual items for my collection, and when I saw this Special Edition release for the 25th Anniversary of Walt Disney World, I just had to have it:

12″ x 12″ Presentation Box

One Anniversary Guide and T-shirt (medium)

This is from perhaps one of the most vilified promotions in WDW history. It included the hated Birthday Cake Castle, as pictured on the cover of the Anniversary Guide.

1971-1996

I for one wish I could have seen the Birthday Cake Castle in person, if for no other reason than to say ‘I was there!’ ‘I saw it!’ But my trips to WDW would bracket this promotion.

Let’s have a look at the contents of the Anniversary Guide. As we do, I’ll point out the new attractions that were offered for this promotion:

New: Hunchback of Notre Dame – A Musical Adventure

New: Remember the Magic Parade / ExtraTERRORestrial Alien Encounter

New: Ellen DeGeneres Universe of Energy / Honey I Shrunk the Audience

I hear that as of 2016, the Honey I Shrunk the Audience attraction will be discontinued. Not perhaps the worse news?

I’d also like to mention that Epcot had some new Streetmosphere acts in the form of Stilt Birds and Moving Statues for 1996.

New: Toy Story Parade

New: Blizzard Beach

It’s also interesting to note that at this time, 1996, WDW had three water parks, as River Country was still in operation. Discovery Island was also open and the two attractions were advertised as two great places to be visited in one day.

New: Planet Hollywood

Old: The Disney Village Marketplace

Character Dining chart and map

WDW Maps: Three Parks (no Animal Kingdom yet)

Back Cover

I hope you can take the time to enlarge the above pictures and enjoy a look into the past of WDW as it was found in 1996!

But this great box set also contained a very nice t-shirt with the promotional logo and a special surprise on the back:

Autographs from four Big Celebs!

         

Mickey Inc. Made in the USA

I haven’t worn this t-shirt (it wouldn’t fit anyway!) instead choosing to leave it with the set. I enjoy opening it up from time to time for a look into the past of my favorite Disney park!