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Disneyland’s Disastrous Opening Day

Whether or not Walt Disney wished upon a star, his dreams were about to come true as nearly half of the United States gathered around black-and-white televisions on July 17, 1955. After more than two decades of planning and a breakneck year of construction, the Mickey Mouse ...read more

7 Things You May Not Know About Walt Disney

1. Disney came from humble beginnings. Born in Chicago on December 5, 1901, Walt Disney, the fourth of five children, moved with his family to a farm in Marceline, Missouri, when he was four. It was in Marceline—a small-town community Disney remembered as an adult as having been ...read more

Walt Disney announces $7.4 billion purchase of Pixar

By the end of 2005, Pixar had become a giant in the world of movie animation, and on January 24, 2006, the company that brought the world the blockbuster hits Toy Story (1995), A Bug’s Life (1998), Monsters, Inc. (2001), Finding Nemo (2003) and The Incredibles (2004) was sold to ...read more

Disneyland opens

Disneyland, Walt Disney’s metropolis of nostalgia, fantasy and futurism, opens on July 17, 1955. The $17 million theme park was built on 160 acres of former orange groves in Anaheim, California, and soon brought in staggering profits. Today, Disneyland hosts more than 18 million ...read more

Production begins on “Toy Story”

On January 19, 1993, production begins on Toy Story, the first full-length feature film created by the pioneering Pixar Animation Studios. Originally a branch of the filmmaker George Lucas’s visual effects company, Industrial Light and Magic (ILM), Pixar first put itself on the ...read more

Michael Eisner resigns as Disney CEO

On September 30, 2005, Michael Eisner resigns as the chief executive officer of the Walt Disney Company. During Eisner’s 21-year tenure with Disney, he helped transform it into an entertainment industry giant whose properties included films, theme parks and a cruise line, ...read more

Disney releases “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs”

“See for yourself what the genius of Walt Disney has created in his first full length feature production,” proclaimed the original trailer for Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, released on February 4, 1938. Based on the famous fairy tale by the Brothers Grimm, Snow White opened ...read more

Disney’s “Cinderella” opens in theaters

On February 15, 1950, Walt Disney’s animated feature Cinderella opens in theaters across the United States. The Chicago-born Disney began his career as an advertising cartoonist in Kansas City. After arriving in Hollywood in 1923, he and his older brother Roy set up shop in the ...read more

Disney names Robert Iger as new chief executive

On March 13, 2005, the board of directors of the Walt Disney Company officially announces that Robert Iger, Disney’s president and chief operating officer, will succeed Michael Eisner as the company’s chief executive officer (CEO). As Disney’s chief executive since 1984, Eisner ...read more

Disney-MGM Studios becomes Disney’s Hollywood Studios

At the close of business on January 6, 2008, the Walt Disney World Resort theme park known as Disney-MGM Studios officially shut its doors after almost a decade of operation. Fans didn’t have to worry too much, however, as the park would reopen the next morning under its new ...read more


Beginning of Animation Career

In January 1920, Walt Disney and Ubbe Iwerks established a short-lived company called, Iwerks-Disney Commercial Artists. Disney’s first client was a publisher, Restaurant News, that issued leaflets. He persuaded the company that the marginally profitable newspaper could be improved by adding an illustrated advertising application to it. Being conquered by the spell of Disney, the publisher let him and his friend, Ubbe Iwerks, use an available room (actually a bathroom) as a studio. Walt purchased the necessary equipment on his extra savings in the amount of $250. Then he launched a broad expansion of printing and publishing houses.

Thanks to the perseverance of Walt their company was successfully developed. Iwerks-Disney Commercial Artists seemed to have good prospects at the beginning. The partners moved into a new office, and both of them had enough money to visit the local cinema, where they were particularly surprised by cartoons. One day, Walt was reading a local newspaper and saw a job advertisement of an animator at the Kansas City Film Ad Company. Walt Disney temporarily left their business to earn some money at that company. After seeing the illustrations of Disney, the company director offered him $40 per week. The work and payment were quite attractive. Walt could not resist and agreed. In February 1920, he left the established business, leaving the reins to Ubbe Iwerks. At the Kansas City Film Ad Company, Walter Disney designed advertisements based on cutout animation. He became interested in animation technique and decided to be an animator.

To enrich his knowledge, Disney read Edwin G. Lutz’s book Animated Cartoons: How They Are Made, Their Origin and Development. He learned that celluloid animation to be much reliable technique than the cutout animation. Disney quickly became a star among the animators. The original work carried out in his spare time became the basis for creating his company Laugh-O-Gram Studio.


Early Career in Kansas City

Disney did not achieve financial success in Kansas City, but he experimented with and learned animation, created his first animated series, and trained a number of young artists in this new field. His first job was for Pesman-Rubin Commercial Art Studio designing letterhead and advertisements. There he met his longtime friend and associate Ub Iwerks. Disney and Iwerks were soon laid off, and they decided to start their own company. Iwerks-Disney Commercial Artists lasted only one month.

From there, the two got jobs with the Kansas City Slide Company, later renamed the Kansas City Film Ad Company, making one-minute advertisements to appear before movies and live action films. Disney learned about animation at this job and eventually felt confident enough to start his own business. He left the Film Ad Company in May of 1922 to start Laugh-O-Gram Films in the McConahy building at 31st Street and Forest Avenue. Disney put an ad in the newspaper requesting artists who wanted to learn animation to come work for him.

Disney’s first popular film, Alice’s Wonderland, was created here and featured a girl, Virginia Davis, entering a cartoon world. He went on to make a series of these films, which are referred to as the Alice Comedies.

Disney operated his new company for a year and a half. He had good ideas, but he was not a good businessman. Eventually his staff left because they were not getting paid. Disney declared bankruptcy and left Kansas City in July of 1923 to try his luck in Hollywood.

The building where Disney created his first films and operated his first professional film studio still stands and is being renovated. The talented animators who got their start in Kansas City eventually followed Disney to California, making up the core of professional cartoonists in the early days of the Hollywood animation scene. They included Ub Iwerks, Rudolf Ising, Hugh Harman, and Friz Freleng.


Walt Disney - HISTORY

Next to Camera, in the Cutting building, the post production process occurred. Sound facilities included dubbing, scoring, effects, and voice recording studios. Many of the buildings were linked together by an underground tunnel, so even in bad weather, the process of making animated films was not disrupted. To enhance the campus-like setting, all of the utilities were placed underground which was an innovation for 1940.

During the 1940s and 1950s many prominent animated features were produced in Burbank, including FANTASIA, BAMBI, CINDERELLA, ALICE IN WONDERLAND, and PETER PAN.

Sound Stages
Many of the interior scenes for Disney films were shot on five live-action sound stages.

Stage 1 is part of the original lot that was built in 1940. It was first used for filming the live-action scenes for FANTASIA. Stage 2 was built in 1949 in conjunction with Jack Webb, who used the stage for the filming of the television series DRAGNET. A popular television show filmed there was THE MICKEY MOUSE CLUB. Stage 2 is one of the largest sound stages in Los Angeles at approximately 31,000 square feet.

Well-known tenants on our stages have included Disney classics such as DAVY CROCKETT, MARY POPPINS, POLLYANA, THE LOVE BUG, BLACKBEARD'S GHOST, PETE'S DRAGON, and BEDKNOBS & BROOMSTICKS. Other well-known tenants have included ARMAGEDDON, HOME IMPROVEMENT, ELLEN, MTV, MADONNA, BROTHERS AND SISTERS, NATIONAL TREASURE 2, and PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN I, II & III.

Riverside Lot
Across the street from the Studio now stands the new Feature Animation Building and The ABC Building. This is where Walt was planning to build a place called Mickey Mouse Park. There were to be lifelike statues of Mickey and Donald, and guests could take pictures with their favorite characters and enjoy a train ride. However, as Walt's ideas continued to grow, he realized more space was needed to fulfill his dreams. Shortly thereafter he acquired more than 200 acres of orange groves in Anaheim, California. Those orange groves became the site of Disneyland.

Shops
The back-lot shops were built to provide the many crafts and services required by live action productions. The Machine Shop, which is no longer in use, housed machines and equipment that produced innovative camera and projection objects for the film industry. During the construction of Disneyland in the mid-fifties, this shop's engineers designed and hand-built many of the automobiles, train parts, boats, trams and carts that were required by the new park. Hollywood Records now occupies the building.

Close by you'll find the Electric / Plumbing building containing machines and equipment for repairing and maintaining the many systems within the Studio complex.

Next to Electric/Plumbing was the Special Effects shop, where our craftspeople created the myriad of unique effects that have come to be associated with Disney films. Flying cars, spaceships, miniature paddle wheelers, and medieval armor that comes to life are just some of the effects produced by this department.

The Paint Shop, which is in another large metal building, does everything from spraying cars and furniture to be used on a movie set, to spraying the set itself.

Other prominent shops throughout the back-lot include Sign Graphics, Crafts Service, and the Mill.

Back Lot
For more than 30 years, the back-lot featured exterior sets used for outdoor live-action filming. These consisted of a Western Street, Zorro Pueblo, Residential Street, and Town Square.

Most of the buildings on the Western Street were constructed in 1958 for the ELFEGO BACA and TEXAS JOHN SLAUGHTER television shows. Other productions which modified the structures for filming were DARBY O'GILL AND THE LITTLE PEOPLE, THE LOVE BUG, THOSE CALLOWAYS, and THE APPLE DUMPLING GANG. The last major feature films to utilize the street extensively were HOT LEAD AND COLD FEET and THE APPLE DUMPLING GANG RIDES AGAIN.

Sets representing a downtown area were constructed in 1965 for THE UGLY DACHSHUND and FOLLOW ME BOYS. They were changed extensively for various films, and then completely demolished in 1981 to make way for a new town set for SOMETHING WICKED THIS WAY COMES.

There were four original buildings on the Residential Street originally constructed in 1960 for THE ABSENT-MINDED PROFESSOR, including the main house and garage used for the laboratory. Other houses were used for THE SWAMP FOX and the original THAT DARN CAT.

A well-known set was constructed for the ZORRO television series in the 1950s. This was once the Pueblo de Los Angeles with a fort, a jail, a square, an inn, and a church. Later, one of the old Spanish squares was redesigned to become a French village. Hills, pools, berms, and caves were built nearby for other productions.

With the increased use of "on location" shooting, the back lot sets were gradually replaced by the Property building, the Zorro parking structure, the Frank Wells office building, and Stages 6 & 7.

The Golden Oak Ranch
Walt Disney first leased the Golden Oak Ranch, which is situated in the nearby Santa Clarita area, in the mid-1950s for the SPIN AND MARTY segments of THE MICKEY MOUSE CLUB. Because of the variety of natural settings available there, the Studio purchased the 700-acre property in 1959. Disney films shot at the Ranch include: OLD YELLER, TOBY TYLER, THE PARENT TRAP, THE SHAGGY DOG, FOLLOW ME BOYS, and more recently THE SANTA CLAUSE, PEARL HARBOR, PRINCESS DIARIES II and the PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN II & III.

A western street was created for the renowned television miniseries ROOTS II in the late 1970s, and remained an active filming location until it's removal in 2008. Other ranch sites include a rural bridge on a lake, an entertainment and event venue, "THE GOLDEN OAK HALL," farm houses, barns, fields, country roads, tree groves, a forest area, a creek bed, and a running waterfall. Currently being developed is a pine lake designed to give the feeling of a High Sierra setting.

The Golden Oak Ranch is used by the entire industry and has been seen in LASSIE, BEVERLY HILLS 90210, CHARMED, RED DRAGON, MURDER SHE WROTE, DIAGNOSIS MURDER, BONANZA, INDEPENDENCE DAY, PROFILER, CSI, MY NAME IS EARL, ENTOURAGE, BOSTON LEGAL, BONES, SONS OF ANARCHY, GHOST WHISPERERS, AMERICAN IDOL and so many more.

Imaging
Film imaging facilities have existed at the lot from its earliest days, starting with the Process Lab, building which was adjacent to Inking and Painting. Through the years the building housed a motion picture laboratory, primarily employed for animation, and photo/visual effects facilities.

During the 1980s, the unit was named Buena Vista Visual Effects Group and expanded its facilities into the Camera building to include a motion-control stage. In 1990, the unit became Buena Vista Visual Effects (BVVE) and shifted rapidly to digital-imaging technologies. Rooms within the Camera building, which formerly housed multi-plane cameras used to shoot animation, were filled with computer equipment. BVVE transitioned to Buena Vista Imaging in 1996.

Today, Buena Vista Imaging occupies the Camera building, providing a full range of photo-optical and digital-imaging services, which include a black and white lab, digital workstations, film recorders and scanners, optical printers, and title graphics.

Post Production Sound
The Main Theater is a state-of-the-art digital sound dubbing and screening facility that was first used to mix the sound for FANTASIA. Sound mixers blend dialogue, music, and sound effects tracks to the various levels appropriate for a movie theater. The acoustics are designed to simulate a theater that is three-quarters full. Although the theater is empty during the mixing session, extra padding in the seats and specially designed walls absorb and reflect the sound. This helps the sound mixers to know what the final product will sound like when it is released to the public.

Stages B & C were designed to provide sound elements for the animated films. Because of the Studio location near the Burbank Airport, special priority was given to soundproofing with "building within a building" design for noise reduction.

Stage B is known as the dialogue stage, where character voices were recorded for many animated classics including ALICE IN WONDERLAND, LADY AND THE TRAMP, PETER PAN, and THE JUNGLE BOOK. The tradition continues today, as Stage B is still used for such recent films as ALADDIN, THE LION KING, BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, and THE HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE DAME. Today, that tradition continues not only on Disney films, but also with Pixar hits such as TOY STORY, BUGS LIFE, TOY STORY 2, and MONSTERS INC. Stage B accommodates Automatic Dialog Replacement (ADR), a process that allows the talent to re-record their dialogue. One such use is for scenes shot on location, where an talent's lines were destroyed by outside sound or noise, such as a plane flying over at the time of filming.

Stage C was originally used for the recording of various sound effects for the animated features and short subjects. Many of the unique sound-effects props and gadgets for these processes were invented by Disney technicians. Today, Stage C serves as a dubbing stage for film and television. It was recently renovated in 2001 and like the other stages it features an all-digital, state-of-the-art film console.


Biography of Walt Disney, Animator and Film Producer

Walt Disney (born Walter Elias Disney December 5, 1901–December 15, 1966) was a cartoonist and entrepreneur who developed a multibillion-dollar family entertainment empire. Disney was the renowned creator of Mickey Mouse, the first sound cartoon, the first Technicolor cartoon, and the first feature-length cartoon. In addition to winning 22 Academy Awards in his lifetime, Disney also created the first major theme park: Disneyland in Anaheim, California.

Fast Facts: Walt Disney

  • Known For: Disney was a pioneering animator and film producer who won 22 Academy Awards and built one of the largest media empires in the world.
  • Born: December 5, 1901 in Chicago, Illinois
  • Parents: Elias and Flora Disney
  • Died: December 15, 1966 in Burbank, California
  • Awards and Honors: 22 Academy Awards, Cecil B. DeMille Award, Hollywood Walk of Fame, Presidential Medal of Freedom, Congressional Gold Medal
  • Spouse: Lillian Bounds (m. 1925-1966)
  • Children: Diane, Sharon

The cruel reality of Disney's world

He bestrode America's 20th-century cultural landscape like a colossus, churning out an idealised cartoon vision of reality that influenced the world. He was kindly 'Uncle Walt', the amiable old man all American children loved like a member of their own family.

Now a new biography of Walt Disney has cast a fresh light on one of the most elusive characters of modern American history. The picture that has emerged is far from the genial figure of legend. Disney has emerged as a troubled man, a lonely and reclusive depressive. He also notoriously ill-treated his staff and close friends and was a ferociously right-wing anti-communist during the Forties and Fifties.

The book, Walt Disney: The Triumph of the American Imagination, was written by Neal Gabler, who received unprecedented access to records about Disney. He is the first author to get the Disney family's permission to examine fully the complete Disney archives. Gabler portrays Disney as the emotionally driven son of a cold father who sought to create a fantasy world for himself in which he would feel loved and safe, and ended up spreading that invention to the world. 'During a peripatetic childhood of material and emotional deprivation, at least as he remembered it, he began drawing and retreating into these imaginative worlds,' Gabler writes.

Yet those personal worlds would shape much of modern America and far beyond through characters such as Mickey Mouse, films such as Snow White and eventually theme parks. The figures alone show the astonishing reach of Disney. By the time he died in 1966 more than 240 million people had seen a Disney film, 80 million had read a Disney book and 100 million had watched a Disney TV show. Pop culture experts see Disney's influence as unrivalled. 'He was the dominant culture of childhood for such a long time. He was making a product on a massive industrial scale. It just happened that this product was part of the culture industry,' says Professor Bob Thompson of Syracuse University in upstate New York.

Thompson says it is unrealistic to imagine that the real Disney would match the public image he created. Certainly Gabler's book dispels many of the kindly old man images. He details an at times tragic life. Disney's father ended up resenting his son and their relationship fell apart. Disney refused to cut short a business trip when his father died and missed his funeral. He also had a mental breakdown in 1931 as he and his wife struggled to have children and she suffered several miscarriages. Disney was also cruel and controlling to employees, terrorising them with humiliating dressing-downs. It included even his brother Roy, who kept the company afloat with a financial acumen Walt did not appear to possess. Yet that did not stop Disney from ridiculing Roy in public. At one meeting, discussing the film Fantasia's soundtrack, Roy suggested using some more popular music. Disney kicked him out of the room, saying: 'Go back down and keep the books.'

Disney had a ferocious temper, especially against people he saw as left-wing. He testified enthusiastically before the House UnAmerican Activities Committee and detailed what he saw as communist plots to take over Hollywood. He branded some former animators communists, said the Screen Actors Guild was a communist front and labelled a 1941 strike that hit his studio a communist plot. He even contacted the FBI about alleged communist infiltration.

When his cartoonists tried to form a union, he brought in armed guards. He fired organisers, cut wages and slashed the opening hours of the studio coffee shop. At one point, faced with a strike picket, Disney had to be physically restrained from attacking the leader of the industrial action.

But it was in his private life that the most disturbing images of Disney emerge. In fact, Disney himself felt trapped by his creation and public image. 'I'm not Walt Disney any more. Walt Disney is a thing. It's grown to be a whole different meaning than just one man,' he once complained.

He was in effect married to his studio, ignoring his long-suffering wife. He would retreat into his mansion and play with a huge toy train set with a track that ran for an astonishing half a mile in length, including a 90ft-long tunnel. He also associated with a group of anti-semitic members of the Motion Picture Alliance and frowned on the idea of hiring black people to work in Disneyland.

But Gabler says his prejudices were no different from those of many of his contemporaries and also explodes the urban myth that Disney was cryogenically frozen on his death. In fact, he was cremated and his ashes buried in a private garden. But there is little doubt that his cultural legacy has achieved immortality in a way that the real-life cantankerous and lonely man could not.


Contents

Walter Elias Disney was born on December 5, 1901 at 2156 North Tripp Avenue in Hermosa, Chicago, Illinois. His father Elias Disney had Irish-Canadian ancestry and his mother, Flora Call Disney had German and English ancestry. [3] [4] His great-grandfather, Arundel Elias Disney, had emigrated from Gowran, County Kilkenny, Ireland where he was born in 1801. Arundel Disney was a descendant of Robert d'Isigny, a Frenchman who had traveled to England with William the Conqueror in 1066. [5] The d'Isigny name was anglicized as "Disney" and the family settled in a village now known as Norton Disney, south of the city of Lincoln, in the county of Lincolnshire.

About the time Disney was entering high school, his family moved to the big city of Chicago. Disney took classes at the Chicago Art Institute and drew for the school newspaper. When he was sixteen, Disney decided he wanted to help fight in World War I. Since he was still too young to join the army, he dropped out of school and joined the Red Cross. He spent the next year driving ambulances for the Red Cross in France.

Disney's best-known creation is the cartoon character, Mickey Mouse. Disney even provided the voice for Mickey Mouse for many years. Donald Duck is another famous creation. Minnie Mouse and Pluto are also his creations. Disney was once fired from a newspaper company in Kansas City, Missouri because of his lack of creativity. [6]

Disney began as a cartoonist in the 1920s. He created Oswald the Lucky Rabbit but lost ownership of the character due to a contract problem. He then created Mickey Mouse. Disney started the Walt Disney Studios and created the first full-length animated movie when he created Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937). The movie was a huge success. The money from the movie helped Disney create many more cartoons and movies such as Fantasia, Pinocchio (both 1940), Dumbo (1941), and Bambi (1942). New animated and live-action films followed after World War II, including the critically successful Cinderella (1950), Peter Pan (1953), and Mary Poppins (1964), the latter of which received five Academy Awards. He earned 32 academy awards. Disney once refused an offer from Alfred Hitchcock to make a movie at Disney World after Hitchcock filmed Psycho. He also served as the host of The Wonderful World of Disney, a weekly variety show that had Disney cartoons and some live-action skits.

In the 1950s, Disney created Disneyland in Anaheim, California. Disneyland was the first modern theme park. Disney also bought the land for Walt Disney World Resort in Florida. Disney did not see Walt Disney World finished though because he died before it opened. Both Disneyland and Walt Disney World (and now other Disney theme parks) are famous for their design, level of detail, being very clean, and animatronics.

On December 15, 1966, Disney died of lung cancer in Burbank, California at the age of 65. His movies and theme parks are still enjoyed by millions of people around the world. His company continues to produce very successful new theme parks and films.

After Disney's death, many rumors were spreading that Disney's body was cryonically frozen, and that he was stored beneath the Pirates of the Caribbean ride at Disneyland. [7] In reality, he was cremated and his ashes were scattered in the Forest Lawn Memorial Park cemetery in Glendale, California. [8]

Some people have accused Disney of being racist and antisemitic. [9] This was because he made some insensitive comments and included ethnic stereotypes in his cartoons and films, even though he employed a lot of Jews and people of different backgrounds. [10]


A stolen rabbit and an optimistic mouse

Walt met up with his brother, Roy, who had just overcome tuberculosis. They pooled their money to set up shop in their uncle’s garage in Hollywood. There, Walt dogged studios day after day in an effort to sell his Alice in Cartoonland series. He was rejected time and time again, until he heard from Margaret J. Winkler, a New York cartoon distributor looking for a fresh series.

Walt and Roy were equally ecstatic and moved their operation to a rented room at the back of a real estate office. Walt took charge of animation while Roy operated a second-hand camera. They then hired two girls to ink and paint the celluloids. The rental was small and they lacked employees, but the front door proudly read “Disney Bros. Studio”, and that’s all the incentive Walt needed.

Walt Disney’s series on Alice was well-received, which allowed the studio to hire more animators. His first hires included his friend Ub Iwerks and an inker who Walt would later marry. Their studio went on to create more animated shorts, and later gave life to a chipper, venturesome character called Oswald the Lucky Rabbit.

Image: Oswald the Lucky Rabbit. Credit: Inverse

Things were going seemingly well for the studio. Although five years later, Walt attempted to negotiate a higher fee for the Oswald series, only to find their distributor actually wanted to reduce their fee. It turned out that Winkler and her husband had poached Walt’s best employees and made them their own. He also discovered that they had stolen the rights to Oswald the Lucky Rabbit. He was now faced with the ultimatum of accepting a reduced fee for his work or leaving the studio. Walt chose to leave, along with his loyal animator Ub.

Now at 27 years old, a disillusioned Walt Disney stared blankly out the window while on a train to Hollywood. Disaster seemed right around the corner for his company, but an idea was forming in his restless mind. Walt dug around for his notepad and fervently sketched his idea on paper. The result was Mortimer the Mouse, later baptized as “Mickey” by Walt’s wife. This character was special. He was more human, adventurous, and hugely optimistic – much like Walt Disney himself. He rushed his rather bad sketch over to Ub, who refined Mickey’s appearance while Walt worked on defining his character. Walt’s team was on board with this new cartoon, but would the audience like him?

Snow White and the “ruin of Disney”

Mickey Mouse first appeared in Plane Crazy and The Gallopin’ Gaucho, two silent films which failed to find distribution. But Walt was used to failure by now and knew better than to roll over. He and his team decided to integrate syncronized sound into a third short, called Steamboat Willie. With Ub in charge of animation and Walt lending his own voice as Mickey’s – the first ever sound cartoon hit the NY Colon Theater in 1928.

It became an instant sensation. The reviews were beyond glowing and plans of Mickey merchandise began to bloom.

Image: Mickey Mouse cartoons. Credit: Cartoon Brew

Soon enough, film studios began to line up with all sorts of deals for Walt. From experience, he never sold the rights to his prized Mickey. Along with his passionate team, Walt formed Disney Studios and went on to create a series of sound cartoons. Gradually, their humorous animations and lovable characters flickered across televisions all over the country.

Six years and many successful animations later, Walt Disney continued to push the limits of animation by announcing his first full-length feature film Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. Everyone thought it was a terrible idea. His wife and brother tried to talk him out of it, but Walt took out multiple bank loans and spent the next three years producing his vision. His very own team thought the film would “ruin Disney Studios”.

Yet Walt Disney persevered, and in 1937, the film became the most successful motion picture of the year. It won dozens of awards and turned enough profit to pay off every bank loan and then some.


For More Information

Barrett, Katherine, and Richard Greene. Inside the Dream: The Personal Story of Walt Disney. New York: Disney Editions, 2001.

Green, Amy Boothe. Remembering Walt. New York: Hyperion, 1999.

Logue, Mary. Imagination: The Story of Walt Disney. Chanhassen, MN: Child's World, 1999.

Thomas, Bob. Walt Disney: An American Original. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1976.

Watts, Steven. The Magic Kingdom: Walt Disney and the American Way of Life. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1998.


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