Walter Elias "Walt" Disney was born
on December 5th, 1901 in Chicago.
During his lifetime he became THE
american film producer, voice actor,
animator and entertainer.
Together with his brother Roy he
founded Walt Disney Productions on
October 23rd, 1923 and they became
one of the best known motion picture
producers in the world. Walt Disney
became a popular innovater in
animation and in theme park design.
Walt Disneys career started with 16.
After a try to join the army (they
rejected him as he was underaged) he
joined together with his brother the
red cross and did some ambulance
transports in France. When he came
back to the USA, became an
cartoonist for the school newspaper.
His cartoons were very patriotic,
specially focusing on World War I.
The Disney brothers saved their
money to set up a cartoon studio in
Hollywood. By 1927 the Disney
Studios expanded due to the success
of "Oswald the Lucky Rabbit". Only
one year later Universal Studios
declined to provide a bigger budget
for the production of Oswald.
Due to the fact that Universal owned
the trademark of Oswald, they
began to start producing the series
by them selves.
After loosing the rights to
Oswald, Disney felt the need to
create a new character. In 1928
Mickey Mouse was born. The first
created animated cartoon with sound
was "Steamboat Willie". Only for
years later, Walt Disney received a
special Academy Award for the
creation of Mickey Mouse.
In 1937 the so called "Golden Age of
Animation" has began and after the
creation of "Snow White and the
Seven Dwarfs". On its debut
performance on December 21st, 1937
Disney earned standing ovations.
Snow White was the first animated
and coloured movie in America. It
became the most successful motion
picture in 1938 and earned over 8
million US dollars.
Short after the release of "Dumbo"
in 1941, the USA entered Word War
II. The US Army contracted most of
the Disney studios at that time in
order to create training and
instructional films for the
military. This agreement didnt
generate any income to the Company
and the new movie "Bambi"
underperformaned due to the Worlds
crises. Disney re-issued Snow White
in 1944 and established the
seven-year re-release tradition
which is lasting until today.
On a business trip to Chicago in the 1940,
Disney began to draw sketches and ideas for
an amusement park. The basic idea was, that
his employees could spend time with their
families and children. These ideas developed
into a concept for a lager enterprise that
was to become "Disneyland". Walt Disney
spend five years of his life to develop
Disneyland and to build a new company,
called WED Enterprises, to carry out the
planning and production of the Park. When he
described his earliest plans to Herb Ryman
(creator of the the first drawing of
Disneyland) Disney said to him: "Herbie, I
just want it to look like nothing else in
the world. And it should be surrounded by a
Walt Disney loved trains and entertaining
his daughters and their friends in his
backyard and taking them for rides on his
Carolwood Pacific Railroad had
inspired Disney to include a railroad in the
plans for Disneyland. The first Disneyland
in Anaheim, California opened on July 17th,
1955. Thousands of people joined the opening
including famous persons like Ronald Reagan
and Bob Cummings.
In 1966 Walt Disney was scheduled for a neck
surgery for and old polo injury. During
pre-surgery checks, the doctors discovered
that Disney had an tumor on his left lung.
They had to tell him, that he had six to 12
months remaining to live. On November 30th,
1966 Disney collapsed in his home, but was
revived by paramedics. In the hospital,
Walter Elias Disney died on December 15th,
1966 at 09:30 AM, only ten days after his
65th birthday. His ash resides at the Forest
Lawn Memorial Park in Glendale, California.
"If you can dream it, you can do it.
Always remember that this whole thing was
started with a dream and a mouse."
Walter Elias Disney