BIOGRAPHY

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 train."

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