Hello! Jose from "Movies Kick Ass" here. History has always been kinder to those who excel at "firsts" and the Disney studio has an impeccable record in such achievements (even when they come in the shape of fact manipulation and corporate machinations).
Today, we commemorate another of Disney's "firsts", on July 30th, 1932, the short animated film "Flowers and Trees" debuted at Sid Graummann's Chinese Theater, opening for "Strange Interlude" starring Clark Gable. The Disney short however had the distinction of being the first animated film to be shot in the three-strip Technicolor process.
As with everything pertaining to the Disney studio at the time, this project once again almost left the studio completely broke. The film was being made in black and white, but Disney had it cancelled and they began working on the color version from scratch. Three strip Technicolor was an expensive endeavor and very few people at the time would've tried it on something like animation.
But Walt Disney was a visionary and a great businessman and not only secured the Technicolor procedure for his studio's "Silly Symphonies" (which prevented rivals from delivering the richness of color he could) he also won an Academy Award for the movie and his influence in history also managed for us to usually think of this as the first time color was used in an animated film.
That honor in fact belongs to "The Debut of Thomas Cat" made in the 1920s by Earl Hurd, who used the Brewster color process. Sadly the film is almost impossible to find and "Flowers and Trees", while remaining a wonderful piece of history, now is usually showered with undeserving landmarks.
All of which makes me wonder...has anyone actually seen that Clark Gable movie?