The Typography of Disney Animation Logos #4: Goodwill and Package Features

We’re now on Round 4.

  1. Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs and Pinocchio
  2. Fantasia
  3. Dumbo and Bambi
  4. Saludos Amigos, The Three Caballeros, and Make Mine Music
  5. Fun & Fancy Free, Melody Time, and The Adventures of the Ichabod and Mr. Toad
  6. Cinderella, Alice in Wonderland, and Peter Pan
  7. Sleeping Beauty, 101 Dalmatians, and The Sword in the Stone
  8. The Jungle Book, The Aristocats, and Robin Hood
  9. The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, The Rescuers, and The Fox and the Hound
  10. The Black Cauldron, The Great Mouse Detective, and Oliver & Company
  11. From The Little Mermaid to Aladdin
  12. From The Lion King to Hercules
  13. From Tarzan to Atlantis: The Lost Empire
  14. From Lilo & Stitch to Chicken Little
  15. From Meet The Robinsons to Now…

We are entering the rather weird era that began while World War II raged across the Atlantic. Walt Disney invested in two goodwill pictures that centered around Central and South American culture, two anthology pictures that began a streak of feature films made up of multiple segments. These very films are often nicknamed “the package features”…

Only one package feature was theatrically re-released in its complete form, the others were carved up in some way or another. The various short segments would be shown on Disney’s anthology television program, or they would be attached to feature-length films. This post will mainly focus on the films themselves, not so much their individual segments…

SALUDOS AMIGOS

The first of these features qualified as a feature back in 1942, and that was Saludos Amigos. Running less than 45 minutes long, it is not feature material in this day and age, as the rule apparently now states that your film has to be over 60 minutes in order to qualify. In 1942, that was not the case. Saludos Amigos went into general release in February 1943…

The Film Proper…

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A basic, vibrant cursive script… Nothing too special, but nice on the eyes. The theatrical poster? That’s a different story…

The Posters…

SaludosAmigosPoster

Nothing to write home about here as well. Big, bold, and very 40s…

These other two are pretty basic as well…

I do kind of dig what they did with the letter forms on the left poster, though… But again, nothing too spectacular here. I shouldn’t expect much, considering that this was what it was.

Saludos Amigos was theatrically re-released on a double bill with Dumbo in 1949. I already used the poster for that in the previous part, but I’ll show it here as well…

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Nothing of note here as well.

Home video… We’ll actually skip this, because Saludos Amigos was paired with its follow-up, The Three Caballeros, on DVD and has gotten a few standalone releases outside of that.

THE THREE CABALLEROS

Longer, wilder, and far more exciting than its predecessor, The Three Caballeros made its world premiere in Mexico in December 1944, and then entered general release in the US in early 1945.

The Film Proper…

threecaballerostitlecard

Now this is a great title card. Letter forms that look like they were painted on, set against a lovely Mary Blair piece…

The Posters…

The original US release poster sports a pretty nice font for the logo, it has energy and some texture…

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An alternate poster took this logo and made it more colorful, with fun results.

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A more uncommon poster used a rather generic font.

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In the mid-1970s, a heavily truncated version of the roughly 70-minute film was being circulated. Around this time, Disney would often do these one-day only re-release things in certain parts of the country. Think of it as something similar to the Fathom Events screenings of classic films and exclusive releases, just a day or two, and you might’ve had the chance to catch a movie or two that wouldn’t come back for another 5-10 years.

This edited-down version of The Three Caballeros saw a wide theatrical re-release in early 1977, on a double bill with the 1968 live-action Disney comedy Never a Dull Moment. The font used here is certainly contemporary, but nonetheless appealing.

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And it stuck… Boy did it stick…

Home video…

The very first home video release of this picture in November 1982 used the 1977 poster’s logo.

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At least they had the three words in different colors…

The 1987 release (my copy pictured below) and the 1994 release used it as well…

The next home video release was in 1995… But this was LaserDisc only! It was packaged with Saludos Amigos in an “Exclusive Archive Collection” set. This would be the 1942 title’s first US home video release, as it had been available on videocassette in Europe since roughly 1990.

three-caballeros-saludos-amigos-box-set-edition-laserdisc-5716cs

Nothing here to write home about, either.

Saludos Amigos and The Three Caballeros were part of the short-lived Walt Disney Gold Classic Collection, a line that launched in 2000 and ended in 2001. Both pictures made their DVD debut here, and Saludos Amigos made its US VHS debut here as well…

Both rather bland fonts, though at least they try a little something with the letter forms… But overall, the covers and the logos never quite grabbed me. For me, the early 2000s was when a lot of Disney’s home video packaging took a real dip.

The two films were packaged together on DVD in 2008. This set was dubbed the Classic Caballeros Collection…

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In addition to plastering the character models from the Gold Collection covers onto a new background, there’s really nothing to the fonts. Kind of generic…

Saludos Amigos later turned up, in uncensored form, on the DVD of the documentary Walt & El Grupo. Both films have not received a Blu-ray release, but…

A cover was prepared for a Blu-ray release that appears to have been scrapped, because I saw this thing back in 2014. Yes, 2014.

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It is real, too. It comes from the website of a designer who had made multiple recent Disney Blu-ray covers. It’s honestly a great cover, and both logos really, really resemble the in-film credit versions. The best out-of-film logos for the two films yet, and this release isn’t even a reality. A shame… Get on it, Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment. Caballeros was recently restored and shown on TCM, too! Get on it!

Now we move into…

MAKE MINE MUSIC

The Film Proper…

MakeMineMusictitlecard

The film’s title card integrates the title itself into an object, and this wouldn’t be used on any promo materials or home video covers. Nonetheless, this introduction is very, very 40s. The tall bold letterforms, the shapes, the angles, the whole look of it…

The Posters and Home Video…

We have two variants here…

Both use the same basic cursive font, but it is nice enough. Interesting how they add an exclamation point, the movie is simply titled Mike Mine Music.

The closest thing Make Mine Music ever got to a theatrical re-release was Music Land. Never heard of it? Well, that’s okay, because it seems like many Disney history accounts seemed to have forgotten it as well. Various segments from Make Mine Music and Melody Time were combined to make Music Land, which was released on October 5, 1955. Just months after Lady and the Tramp‘s release.

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This was basically, from what I’ve heard, Walt’s way of fulfilling his contract with RKO Radio Pictures. In 1953, Walt and his brother Roy founded Buena Vista, their own distribution company. Lady and the Tramp was the first animated feature distributed under the label, and now we know… Peter Pan wasn’t the last Disney animated release for RKO. You can see little was put into this poster, and the font isn’t anything special.

While Saludos Amigos and The Three Caballeros saw at least one theatrical re-release, Make Mine Music was simply carved up. Its individual segments were later double-billed with other Disney pictures in theaters. They were also shown on television.

Make Mine Music was not released on home video in North America until 1998, though various countries such as Japan and the UK got it on video as far back as the mid-1980s. I’d like to highlight the UK cover for a second, for I like the font they used on it – even if it doesn’t scream 40s or the film’s content at all…

MakeMineMusic80sVHS.png

It was sometimes aired on the Disney Channel. Here in America, Disney chose to release the various segments on videocassette in the late 80s/early 90s, in a line called the Walt Disney Mini-Classics. (Home of other package feature segments like Fun & Fancy Free‘s ‘Bongo’ and ‘Mickey and the Beanstalk’, alongside both segments from The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad.)

In 2000, Disney finally released the film on home video, and made it part of the Walt Disney Gold Classic Collection. Sadly, it was presented in a censored form! What’s the cover like?

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Now it’s cool how the letter forms are shaped into music notes, but on the whole the logo is just okay. To me, most of the Gold Classic Collection edition covers do little for me – from the text to the artworks themselves. This was the first and final release of the title on home video in North America. A real shame, because it and Melody Time are deserving of a new release, a Blu-ray double-pack would be great… But if Disney doesn’t want to do anything with the Caballeros 2-movie set, there’s no way they’re touching Make Mine Music. It seems like their interest in physical media is waning, for this film, Melody Time, and The Black Cauldron also aren’t on Blu-ray. The last time Disney released an animated classic that’s not part of the coveted Platinum/Diamond/Signature league was in the summer of 2014!

Disney is currently holding off on 4K Blu-ray, the new physical format on the block. Make Mine Music is also not available to rent or purchase digitally. The film may be a product of its time, but I don’t see any other compelling reason why Disney often saves this one for last. Some of the individual segments, I’d argue, are pretty well-known in some way or another. (Whether it’s through parks or some other piece of consumer product.) Maybe the censorship issues linger? Who knows… But I hope it arrives on home video some day, in uncut form. Maybe with that, we can get a really nice cover, too!

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One thought on “The Typography of Disney Animation Logos #4: Goodwill and Package Features

  1. Pingback: The Typography of Disney Animation Logos #5: Three More Anthologies… | Kyle Loves Animation and More…

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