Following the move to Burbank Disney ramped up production on feature length animated films.
First came Pinocchio, the adaptation of Carlo Collodi’s 19th century fairytale. Production started before the completion of Snow White, but was put on hold by Disney until problems with the story were ironed out. Though it went on to help define the studio (the Oscar-winning song ‘When You Wish Upon A Star’ is the company’s fanfare today) it lost money in its original theatrical run when released in 1940.
Next came Fantasia, Walt’s attempt to restore Mickey Mouse to the top of the Disney tree. The film grew from what is still its most famous and popular segment, The Sorcerer’s Apprentice, and was expanded at the suggestion of conductor Leopold Stokowski. It was technically brilliant, but not a financial success – it didn’t make a profit until its fifth re-release in 1969.