Sunday, March 29, 2009

The Little House (1952)

A rainy day here in Western PA, so thought a good day to catch up on some recent DVD purchases. I popped in Disney Rarities: Celebrated Shorts, 1920's - 1960's (released in Dec. 2005).
One of my favorite shorts included on this DVD tin is The Little House (1952) based on the 1942 book of the same name, written and illustrated by Virginia Lee Burton.

The story centers on a house built at the top of a small hill, far out in the country. Her builder decrees that she "may never be sold for gold or silver" but is built sturdy enough to one day see his great-great-grandchildren's great-great-grandchildren living in her. The house watches the seasons pass, and wonders about the lights of the city, which grow ever closer.

Eventually a road is built in front of the house. This is followed by roadside stands, gas stations, and more little houses. Next, the small houses are replaced by tenements and apartments. Streetcars, an elevated railroad, and a subway appear to surround the house. Finally, two gigantic skyscrapers are built -- one on each side.

One day the great-great-granddaughter of the builder sees the house and remembers stories that her grandmother told about living in just such a house, albeit far out in the country. When the great-great-granddaughter discovers that it is the same house, she arranges to have her moved out of the city, to a hill in the country where she can once again watch the seasons pass.

As an added treat (for a rainy day), The Little House (courtesy of

The Little House is ©Disney


Jehna (AliceGirl23) said...

this is one of my favs along with suzie the little blue coupe. would love a wdcc of this piece

tom margarites said...

WDCC should do this character,along with Paul Bunyan and Babe,The Walrus and the Carpenter,Lambert the Sheepish Lion,The Whale that wanted to sing at the Met,Wind in the Willows characters,Peter and the Wolf Characters,Ferdinand the Bull,Morris the Midget Moose and Balsam,and more.The people who are shelling out the big bucks for these statues are not kids,they are 40-75 year old Disney fans who love the TRUE DISNEY CLASSICS,circa 1945-1969.Johnny Depp is NOT WDCC material nor is Runaway Brain!!!!!

Duckman said...

Hey Jehna,

Both The Little House and Susie, the Blue Coupe are favorites of mine as well.

Discovered both during a segment of Read Me a Story with Belle, a Sat. morning TV show I used to watch with Amanda when she was younger. Fell in love with both characters instantly.

Was glad to see the WDCC do Susie, now if they would only do The Little House :)

Duckman said...

Hi Tom,

Welcome to the Blog! All excellent suggestions and ones I would love to see done.

My only fear, these characters are in the same vein as those in the Silly Symphony Series, which it is my understanding that has sadly underperformed (as did Johnny Appleseed).

Given WDCC has tried giving us seasoned collectors some esoteric characters (which weren't warmly embraced), wonder if this doesn't bode well for future releases of characters like those you suggested :(

You bring up a good topic!

tom margarites said...

All you have to do is go to eBay and you'll see that the pieces that I love,like Johnny Appleseed,are the ONLY THINGS SELLING on eBay.Even in this BAD economy,the WDCC pieces that I love are hard to find,coveted pieces that always sell for BIG BUCKS and always have LOTS OF BIDS.The last Johnny A.that sold there went for $122.00 with 22 bids.Now honestly Duckman,does that sound like something that "didn't preform well"???!
All the pieces that I wanted and predicted they (WDCC) should do have become big sellers...the bottom line is the collectors out there LOVE the pieces I have mentioned and would snarf up the characters I have mentioned if ever they are produced.I always hoped they would do a mr. Toad (Not the Pinky and Blueboy,but the definitive version of Toad)Then when they made him (in the car) he became an instant classic! I bought two and sold one a few months ago for $600! Does THAT sound like something that the collectors arn't interested in Duckman? IT doesn't get much more obscure than Mr. Toad!!! All the obscure characters are always the hottest sellers on eBay and eBay is where all the collectors buy their WDCC because they get the pieces at a fraction of the original overblown price.I'm sure WDCC is being run by business graduates who have worked their way up enough corporate ladders to find themselves at the helm of something they know nothing about,if they did I would be sitting here spewing about this!
eBay is FULL of hundreds of WDCC auctions that have zero bids because they are on the less obscure boring characters that I and nearly all WDCC collectors are NOT interested in.All I have to do is scroll down a list of WDCC auctions on eBay,and if I see a picture of a piece I like,an obscure piece,I can almost always guess that it has a bid on it AND the ones that I scroll across that I don't like...NO BIDS!!!! I have bought over 150 WDCC pieces on eBay and 3 times a week I scan ebay for good deals on WDCC.I know the WDCC market better than WDCC does,and I mean that most sincerely!!!

Duckman said...

Interesting comments. A few questions, if you don't mind :)

1.) Which pieces have you been looking for that you are finding hard to find?

2.) What pieces have they done that you wanted and/or predicted that have done well?

3.) What is your take on how the Silly Symphony Series has done? A lot of the characters that you suggested in your initial response would fall into the category of these characters. I mentioned both the Silly Symphony characters and Johnny Appleseed in my response but noticed you honed in only on Johnny :)

tom margarites said...

And btw,did I EVER say I wanted to see Silly Symphonies done? I knew that was a bad idea.Silly Symphonies.I don't particularly love the cartoons themselves as they still had a very old look to them at that point,the stories are fairly dull and they don't seem much different than a lot of cartoons from that time period style wise,even thought I know that they were doing a lot of groundbreaking in many areas of animation at the time.No,I would never have suggested that they do The Ugly Duckling,Old Mill or Hiawatha before the other characters that I think they need to do.Paul Bunyan and Babe,Walrus and the carpenter,the others I mentioned...they will sell out and in a hurry.I would stake my reputation on that if I had one!

tom margarites said...

I don't think anything pre-Snow White is going to ever do real well.That seems to be dividing line.Johnny Appleseed was done during the heyday of Disney Animation.they were on fire and in the zone after Snow White.Most collectors that I know,and I'm 50 next week,don;t particularly care for the black and white Disney shorts and are not real fond of the Silly Symphonies series.There is a literal WORLD of difference in the the animation and mosr-so character styling s from S.S. to Johnny Appleseed and everything post S.White.Also Duckman,I LOVE your blog and it is so much fun having a place where I can talk with other WDCC fans.Thanks for having this great Blog Duckman!

tom margarites said...

Duckman said...

Interesting comments. A few questions, if you don't mind :)SURE.HERE'S MY ANSWERS!

DUCKMANS QUESTION #1.) Which pieces have you been looking for that you are finding hard to find? TOMS ANSWER>"For starters Johnny Appleseed.He is very hard to come by on eBay.Every now and then one will go up for auction and every single time about 10-20 bids are put on him and he usually ends up selling for about $120-$125.Tiger Lilly and Capt.Hook is one that took a while to find.FoulFellow and Gideon took a long time to find,both the horn blowing white rabbit and the running white rabbit from Alice...Robin Hood,King John and Sir Hiss,Willie the Giant,Monstro the Whale"...

D.M.QUESTION # 2.) What pieces have they done that you wanted and/or predicted that have done well? TOMS ANSWER>"All of the WDCC pieces I am about to mention,I wanted to see WDCC produce years before they actually became reality...#1.LOST BOYS.Because there are so many of them and you never really see them apart from each other,I assumed that it would make the most sense for WDCC to do them as one piece,like they eventually did them in Fireside celebration,but I imagined them standing at attention.They could and should do another piece of them,slightly bigger,like them standing at attention! #2.MR.TOAD because I never thought that the Pinky and Blue Boy were good definitive versions of him and to this day I don't know why they haven't done Toad in that one classic pose.I think it's from a portrait painting hanging in Toad Hall.The Toad in the Disneyland ride car is great,and close to my vision,and he has proven to be a HIGHLY SOUGHT AFTER PIECE! I paid a pretty penny for the two I owned And nearly doubled my money when I resold one of them.Btw,my Toad in car is Number 2 of 500.That's pretty sweet,right!! #3.JOHNNY APPLESEED.I have wanted him ever since I bought Pecos,Slue Foot and Casey way back in 2002.I knew those four American folk heros would look great together on my shelf and they do!...#4 and #5.Tiger Lilly and Indian Chief...they are now in not just one but TWO of the higher end WDCC pieces with Smee and Hook.In fact,all that I predicted are high end WDCC pieces...Fireside Celebration ($600-$900 eBay plus shipping),Tiger Lilly,Smee and Hook ($250-$325 eBay Plus shipping)
Mr.Toad ($400-$600 eBay Plus shipping)#9 and #10.Ranger Woodlore and Humphrey($65-$80 each on eBay Plus shipping).Always wanted them so many years ago! #11 and #12.Merlin and Madam Mim ($250-$350 on eBay Plus shipping).In fact I have always thought that they should do a lot more characters from this.#13 and #14.Foul Fellow and Gideon.($300-$400 per set eBay Plus shipping.So unless I'm forgetting a few, I have predicted and HOPED for (to be more precise!)at least 14 characters and each and every one of these characters has been highly sought after by WDCC collectors.The prices I posted are what these pieces go for on average every single time they are put up for auction!Usually the higher end of the cost spectrum here."

3.) What is your take on how the Silly Symphony Series has done? A lot of the characters that you suggested in your initial response would fall into the category of these characters. I mentioned both the Silly Symphony characters and Johnny Appleseed in my response but noticed you honed in only on Johnny :)TOMS ANSWER>"Well,I answered this before.To me the dividing line for what I love from Disney and what I don't love from Disney is Pre or Post Snow White.Pre-snow White I am not interested in too much,the black and white M.Mouse shorts,the Silly Symphonies...they seem Old fashioned and antiquated compared to everything Disney did post-Snow White.The Disney Team was in the zone after Snow White and everything cartoon they made for the next 30 years was nothing short of stellar genius,and these are the years, 1939-1969,that WDCC should focus on and leave no worthy stone unturned.