- 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."
“Money doesn't excite me–my ideas excite me.”
“Disneyland is dedicated to the ideals, the dreams and the hard facts that have created America...with the hope that it will be a source of joy and inspiration to the world.”
“[Y]ou'll not find a single mousetrap around the house. I've never forgotten it was a mouse that made me what I am today.”
“The age we're living in is the most extraordinary the world has ever seen. There are new concepts of things, and we now have the tools to change those concepts into realities. We are moving forward.”
“Life is composed of lights and shadows, and we would be untruthful, insincere, and saccharine if we tried to pretend there were no shadows.”
“I don't care about critics. Critics take themselves too seriously. They think the only way to be noticed and to be the smart guy is to pick and find fault with things. It's the public I'm making pictures for.”
“For years afterward, I hated Snow White because every time I'd make a feature after that, they'd always compare it with Snow White, and it wasn't as good as Snow White.”
“I always like to look on the optimistic side of life, but I am realistic enough to know that life is a complex matter. With the laugh comes the tears and in developing motion pictures or television shows, you must combine all the facts of life — drama, pathos and humor.”
“All our dreams can come true — if we have the courage to pursue them.”
“Never do anything that someone else can do better.”
“Everybody in the world was once a child. We grow up. Our personalities change, but in every one of us something remains of our childhood.”
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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