Walt Disney

When You Wish Upon A Star…

Walt Disney dreamed for all of us, and then he made those dreams come true.

Walter Elias "Walt" Disney was an Animator, Screenwriter, Producer, Pioneer and Innovator.  But most of all he was a dreamer.  Born in Chicago in 1901, Disney was a teenager in WWI.  He tried to enlist in the military but was turned away because of his youth.  Instead, he joined the Red Cross driving an ambulance in France shortly after the war.  Upon returning to America, he found himself jobless, but after some time, his brother managed to get him a temporary job creating ads for newspapers and magazines at Pesmen–Rubin Art Studio.  Disney’s interest in art was re-ignited.

After several failed starts at his own business Disney finally found his future in a little character named Mickey Mouse. Mickey made his debut in 1928 with the animated short entitled, “Steamboat Willie”.  His popularity increased in the 1930’s and Disney made a deal with Columbia Pictures for distribution.

Soon, other cartoon characters followed and the shorts became full length films. In 1932 Disney was given an Academy Award for creating Mickey Mouse.  Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs followed in 1937.  Snow White was so successful that Disney was able to build his own studio in Burbank, California.  More films followed, earning Disney 26 Academy Awards and 59 nominations in his career.  

Disney expanded to live action film with Treasure Island debuting in 1950. Also throughout the 1950’s, Disney made educational films with NASA, most notably “Man in Space” in 1957.  In 1955 he realized a decade old dream by opening Disneyland in Anaheim, CA. 

Today, Disney’s legend and vision lives on in Walt Disney Pictures and Walt Disney Studios companies with animation still being a key specialty in collaboration with Pixar Studios.  And Disney Theme Parks have grown immensely with added locations around the world including Florida (USA), Japan, Paris, Tokyo, Shanghai and Hong Kong.  The estate of Walt Disney has annual revenues of $35 billion dollars.

Image: wilsonsalmanac.com

Tags: Walt Disney, Disneyland, Mickey Mouse, Steamboat Willie, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, House Un-American Activities Committee

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