“Snow White”, “Sleeping Beauty”, “Mulan”, “Brave”, and “Moana”, I am pretty sure some, if not most have heard of these iconic names and even more so have seen these movies under the globally known television channel, Disney channel.
A lot of people know about Disney channel and maybe even some of the celebrities who played in some of their reality shows and movies such as Zac Efron, Vanessa Hudgens, Cole and Dylan Sprouse, and more, having the company excel in more than one type of television genre to boot. Other than that, Disney is also a famous landmark in several countries such as Hong Kong and the United States, going by the name of Disneyland wherein it is an amusement park, hosting several rides, and games predominantly themed by Disney Princesses, Disney shows, and/or other noticeably famous movies/series, and more.
Now the question is, do many know the man behind the inspiration of Disney? If not, then let me guide you in knowing the man behind it all, the innovator that changed world views on motion-pictures on television, and his name is Walt Disney!
Walter Elias Disney or better known as Walt Disney is an American born producer for both motion-picture and television, as well as a showman and a world-known pioneer for his cartoon, especially Mickey Mouse, and the creation of Disneyland. He was born and raised in Hermosa, Chicago, Illinois on the 5th of December 1901. He also had a brother named “Roy” and with him, they founded Walt Disney Productions and through Walt Disney’s innovation on animation and cartoon illustration, having Mickey Mouse as his main print, he not only had Walt Disney Productions become a highly regarded motion-picture production company but had him win 22 Academy Awards for his lifetime, earning him enough revenues to start the famous Disney parks Disneyland, and Walt Disney World.
In terms of familial and social relationship, we already know about his brother Roy, but what we do not know is that his parents are Elias Disney (father), an Irish-Canadian mix, and Flora Call Disney (mother), a German-American mix. He started his drawing career by selling his paintings to neighbor and family friends. His spent most of his childhood in his hometown in Missouri and there he developed his drawing and painting skills. It was in 1911 when his family moved to Kansas City that he developed his love for trains. After moving to Kansas he applied for a summer job at a train station where his uncle works as a train engineer. He started selling snacks and newspaper to travelers and would also helped as railroad maintenance.
When Disney was still in High School he became the contributing cartoonist for their school paper. He also took up drawing in photography class to enhance his skill more in hopes of becoming a professional cartoonist. He studied night and day in two different schools which are Mckinley High School and Chicago Art Institute, but when he reached the age of 16 he dropped out from both of the schools he was enrolled in. He did this because he had his calling in joining the military but he was not allowed because he was too young at that time. In 1919 he flew back to the United States and pursued his career as a cartoonist in a newspaper.
He became an animator for an advertising company and that gave him a chance to work and play with a camera. He would practice his camera skills when given ample time and then he realized that he can put up his own company having enough skills. He first employee was Fred Harman and they called their cartoon series Laugh-O-Grams. They made a deal with the local Kansas theater to play their cartoons and that became the start of their bigger careers. Despite the beginner’s luck they still faced bankruptcy because of all the debts the company had. It was such a failure but Disney’s dream and passion did not die because right after that bankruptcy he again invested in another company together with his brother Roy, and they called their new company Disney Brother’s Studio. Their luck in that studio continued years later Walt Disney developed the character of Mickey Mouse for silent films entitled Plane Crazy and The Gallopin. It became a sensation and from that moment, Mickey Mouse became the face of Disney. He won the first Oscar Award for his cartoon Flowers and Trees and became the very first colored cartoon to win an award. December of 1937 when he released the first full length animated film Snow White and the seven dwarfs and that was the start of all the Disney fairytales.
After several years of hard work he finally have the capacity to open his own theme park. With the budget of 17 million dollars, he introduced Disneyland to the people. It is a place where families will enjoy the rides and meet all the Disney characters. In just a few years the capital money that was spent in opening the theme park was doubled ten times and tourists from around the world flew from their hometowns just to visit the theme park. In the early 2000’s the Disneyland branched out in Tokyo, Paris and Hongkong for it to be nearer to some of it’s patrons.
The rise and fame of Disney’s work rocketed as years passed by, but the legend is ageing and it cannot be helped. He was soon diagnosed with cancer and died on December 15, 1996 at the age of 65. He was cremated and his ashes lies at the Forest Lawn Cemetery in Los Angeles, California. He may be gone but the magic of Disneyland and all the characters he created will forever live in our hearts.