Monday, April 23, 2007

The Walt Disney Classics Collection

A couple years ago, my parents bought me a really cool birthday present. It was this sculpture: As a Disney fan & an art fan, all I could say was "WOW". I looked over this little pamphlet that came with it & eyed some of the other Disney sculptures like this one. I studied up on the collection, started buying a couple that I liked best & eventually bought myself a membership in the collection. That was back around 2002. I now have roughly 60 sculptures in my own collection, ranging from $30 little set completers like Thumper & Scuttle here... gigantic & expensive sets like this Snow White set below. I couldn't possibly imagine how much it's worth!

Thanks to a great local retailer & the magic of eBay, I was able to buy some of the coolest Disney sculptures imaginable.

Let me just say that I am not one of those "fanatical" collector types who buys every single one that's released & collects them for the sake of "resale value". I only buy the ones that I find the most appealing & because they're cool-looking. & I not only use them as "beautiful sculptures I can see behind glass", but I also use them as maquettes.

For those of you who don't know, maquettes are three-dimensional sculptures made as references for animators. The earliest ones date back to the 1930's at the Disney Studio. I've seen a few of the old ones at the old Disney animation tour at Disney-MGM Studios down in Orlando before the "big change". In fact, WDCC sculptors like Kent Melton & Ruben Procopio are/were official maquette sculptors for animation studios like Disney.
Once in a while, I take them out of my curio cabinet, place them on a table & draw them from all angles. It's a great way to know how to draw a specific character from top to bottom.

Here's my collection below:
Behold! Two curio cases filled with WDCC's, pins, COA's, Christmas ornaments & snowglobes. My pride & joy. Let me stop from the left side & work my way down...

The top shelf in my left cabinet is my "Miscellaneous Pieces" shelf. If a sculpture doesn't fit anywhere else, it goes here. The Mickey on the left is an Anniversary piece, commemorating the 10th anniversary of the collection. If you look closely, he's sculpting himself as the Sorcerer's Apprentice from Fantasia. On the right is Wart (King Arthur) from Sword in the Stone. I positioned him directly under the curio light for that spotlight effect like in the movie (I put too much time with these things, don't I?)

The right side of the shelf has these two sculptures. The big dragon is a replica of the Main Street Electrical Parade float. It actually lights up. I got it cheap on eBay because of a broken horn on his head. You can see the space on top of his head. The turtle & chipmunk sculpture looks a little questionable from this angle (for those with their minds in the gutter, the chipmunk is using the turtle as a washboard).

This sculpture of Lady & the Tramp was inspired from the original movie poster (below).

The shelf below contains my "Spotlight Collection" sculptures. Each character's pose was inspired from poses from the character's original model sheet (another animation reference). The sculpture of Donald, for example, was taken directly from the bottom-center pose from this model sheet replica, which came with the sculpture. In fact, each of the sculptures on this shelf came with a model sheet, which I posted on the wall behind them.

-Since I'm swamped with stuff to do tonight, I'll continue this post tomorrow.
For more information on the Walt Disney Classics Collection, check out WDCC Duckman's Inside Report & for news & updates about new sculptures & events, check out the Duckman's Blog.
More tomorrow!


Duckman said...

Hi Michael,

Great job on recapping your collection, both in text and photos.

Have you had any problems with your Hyacinth Hippo? Some (myself included) have reported flaking on the underside of the divan.

Look forward to your next installment!

Michael J. Ruocco said...

Thanks for the compliment, Duckman!

As a matter of fact, my Hyacinth Hippo DOES have some major flaking on the underside. Luckily it's underneath where nobody can see it.

I also had some minor flaking on Timon's nose. Black is the color that flakes the most. Since I'm not selling them or anything, I just colored the blank space with a Sharpie. It's hardly noticable.

Stay tuned for my third & last installment tonight!

Duckman said...

Fortunately, my Hyacinth has only flaked in two spots (both small) and not noticeable.

The only other sculpt of mine that flaked/blistered was the original Captain Hook, on his boot. Luckily, not noticeable where it's at.

Linked your original post for anyone who visits my blog. Look forward to the next installment.

Michael J. Ruocco said...

Gee, thanks a million Duckman! You rock!

I also added a link to both the WDCC site & your blog on my homepage.

By the way, I just came back from my local WDCC shop, The Gifted Images Gallery. Not only did I buy the Cinderella Membership piece, but I also bought the Donald's Better Self Donald to go with my Devil Donald & the title card.

Also, I'll make sure to find the 5-Year Steamboat Willie Mickey.