- 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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In 1925, Disney hired an ink-and-paint artist named Lillian Bound. After a brief courtship, the couple married.
A few years later, Disney discovered that Winkler and her husband, Charles Mintz, had stolen the rights to Oswald, along with all of Disney’s animators, except for Iwerks. Right away the Disney brothers,
their wives and Iwerks produced three cartoons featuring a new character Walt had been developing called Mickey Mouse. The first animated shorts featuring Mickey were Plane Crazy and The Gallopin' Gaucho, both silent films for which they failed to find distribution. When sound made its way into film, Disney created a third, sound-and-music-equipped short called Steamboat Willie. With Walt as the voice of Mickey, the cartoon was an instant sensation.
In 1929, Disney created Silly Symphonies, which featured Mickey's newly created friends, including Minnie Mouse, Donald Duck, Goofy and Pluto. One of the most popular cartoons, Flowers and Trees, was the first to be produced in color and to win an Oscar. In 1933, The Three Little Pigs and its title song "Who's Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf?" became a theme for the country in the midst of the Great Depression.
On December 21, 1937, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, the first full-length animated film, premiered in Los Angeles. It produced an unimaginable $1.499 million, in spite of the Depression, and won a total of eight Oscars. During the next five years, Walt Disney Studios completed another string of full-length animated films, Pinocchio, Fantasia, Dumbo and Bambi.
In December 1939, a new campus for Walt Disney Studios was opened in Burbank. A setback for the company occurred in 1941, however, when there was a strike by Disney animators. Many of them resigned, and it would be years before the company fully recovered. During the mid-40s, Disney created "packaged features," groups of shorts strung together to run at feature length, but by 1950, he was once again focusing on animated features. Cinderella was released in 1950, followed by Alice in Wonderland (1951), Peter Pan (1953), a live-action film called Treasure Island (1950), Lady in the Tramp (1955), Sleeping Beauty (1959) and 101 Dalmatians (1961). In all, more than 100 features were produced by his studio.
Disney was also among the first to use television as an entertainment medium. The Zorro and Davy Crockett series were extremely popular with children, as was The Mickey Mouse Club, a variety show featuring a cast of teenagers known as the Mouseketeers. Walt Disney's Wonderful World of Color was a popular Sunday night show, which Disney used to begin promoting his new theme park. Disney's last major success that he produced himself was the motion picture Mary Poppins, which mixed live action and animation.
Disney's $17 million Disneyland theme park opened in 1955.
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