- NAME: Walt Disney
- OCCUPATION: Entrepreneur
- BIRTH DATE: December 05, 1901
- DEATH DATE: December 15, 1966
- EDUCATION: Kansas City Art Institute and School of Design, McKinley High School, Chicago Art Institute
- PLACE OF BIRTH: Chicago, Illinois
- PLACE OF DEATH: Burbank, California
- Full Name: Walter Elias Disney
- AKA: Walt Disney
Best Known For
Walt Disney was an American motion-picture and television producer and showman, famous as a pioneer of cartoon films and as the creator of Disneyland.
Walt Disney - Mini Biography (4:15)
Because of the open space and year-round warm weather, Walt Disney chose Orlando, FL to build his dream theme park, Walt Disney World. Though he died before the park's completion, his dream resort opened in 1971.
Walt Disney loved drawing at an early age and opened an animation studio in 1923. In 1928, his animated short film "Steamboat Willie" was released and introduced Mickey Mouse, who would become the mascot of The Walt Disney Company.
Animator and film producer Walt Disney introduced a series of lovable characters like Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck and created the first full-length animated feature, "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs."
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Walter Elias "Walt" Disney was born on December 5, 1901, in Hermosa, Illinois. He and his brother Roy co-founded Walt Disney Productions, which became one of the best-known motion-picture production companies in the world. Disney was an innovative animator and created the cartoon character Mickey Mouse. He won 22 Academy Awards during his lifetime, and was the founder of theme parks Disneyland and Walt Disney World.
"Laughter is America's most important export."
"There's nothing funnier than the human animal."
"I love Mickey Mouse more than any woman I have ever known."
"You may not realize it when it happens, but a kick in the teeth may be the best thing in the world for you."
"I don't believe in talking down to children. I don't believe in talking down to any certain segment. I like to kind of just talk in a general way to the audience. Children are always reaching."
"I have always thought of Walt Disney as my second father."
"I've always found Mr. Disney to be somewhat of a shy person, a kid at heart."
Walter Elias "Walt" Disney was born on December 5, 1901, in the Hermosa section of Chicago, Illinois. His father was Elias Disney, an Irish-Canadian, and his mother, Flora Call Disney, was German-American. Disney was one of five children, four boys and a girl. He lived most of his childhood in Marceline, Missouri, where he began drawing, painting and selling pictures to neighbors and family friends. In 1911, his family moved to Kansas City, where Disney developed a love for trains. His uncle, Mike Martin, was a train engineer who worked the route between Fort Madison, Iowa, and Marceline. Later, Disney would work a summer job with the railroad, selling snacks and newspapers to travelers.
Disney attended McKinley High School in Chicago, where he took drawing and photography classes and was a contributing cartoonist for the school paper. At night, he took courses at the Chicago Art Institute. When Disney was 16, he dropped out of school to join the army but was rejected for being underage. Instead, he joined the Red Cross and was sent to France for a year to drive an ambulance.
When Disney returned from France in 1919, he moved back to Kansas City to pursue a career as a newspaper artist. His brother Roy got him a job at the Pesmen-Rubin Art Studio, where he met cartoonist Ubbe Iwerks. From there, Disney worked at the Kansas City Film Ad Company, where he made commercials based on cutout animation. Around this time, Disney began experimenting with a camera, doing hand-drawn cel animation, and decided to open his own animation business. From the ad company, he recruited Fred Harman as his first employee.
Walt and Harman made a deal with a local Kansas City theater to screen their cartoons, which they called Laugh-O-Grams. The cartoons were hugely popular, and Disney was able to acquire his own studio, upon which he bestowed the same name. Laugh-O-Gram hired a number of employees, including Harman's brother Hugh and Ubbe Iwerks. They did a series of seven-minute fairy tales that combined both live action and animation, which they called Alice in Cartoonland. By 1923, however, the studio had become burdened with debt, and Disney was forced to declare bankruptcy.
Disney and his brother, Roy, soon pooled their money and moved to Hollywood. Iwerks also relocated to California, and there the three began the Disney Brothers' Studio. Their first deal was with New York distributor Margaret Winkler, to distribute their Alice cartoons. They also invented a character called Oswald the Lucky Rabbit, and contracted the shorts at $1,500 each.
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