Walt Disney: A cartoonist turned entrepreneur who changed the way people perceive animation: Birthday Special

Walt Disney, the pioneer of animated cartoon films and creator of the our beloved and most famous cartoon characters like Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, Minnie Mouse etc. He has also made fantasy of many children true, by designing and building The Disneyland, in 1955, in Los Angeles, and Walt Disney world, in Florida. His company ‘Disney’ has now become world’s largest animation entertaining venture.

Walt was born on December 5, 1901, in Chicago. He was born in a small family, and was the fourth son of parents, his mother was a public school teacher and his father was a carpenter, farmer, and a building contractor. Young Walt started studying cartooning at a correspondence school, and later at the Kansas City Art Institute and School of Design. In 1917, Disney was cartooning for his school newspaper, and was quiet hopeful of getting a job in one the newspaper as a cartoonist. But his progress was interrupted by World War 1, in which he was appointed as an Ambulance driver for American Red Cross in France and Germany.

After returning to Kansas City after the war Walt found employment as draftsman and inker in a commercial Studio. There he met Ub Iwerks, who later helped Disney in his designing.

Disney and Iwerks started their studio in 1922, with a second-hand camera, for which they made one or two minute animated advertising films for distribution of local movie theatre. The first animated cartoon series was launched named Laugh-O-gram, and Alice the Wonderland.

With the surprise success of Alice the Wonderland, Walt started his business in partnership with his brother Roy, and asked Iwerks to join and assist him in designing the cartoons. They together developed a character called ‘Oswald the Lucky Rabbit’, and contracted the distribution of the film in $1500 each. In 1927, Disney and Iwerks experimented with a new character-‘Mickey’, a cheerful and jolly mouse. Just when their ‘Plane Crazy’ and ‘Gallopin’ Gaucho’ were about to introduce Mickey Mouse, famous Jazz Singer, Al Johnson, brought advancement of sound to the movies. Recognizing the golden opportunity, Disney launched new Mickey Mouse movie, 1923, with sound and music, ‘Steamboat Willie’, which turns out to be a huge success.

Then in 1924, Disney launched a new series ‘Silly Symphonies’ which also gained a lot popularity. All these new experiments required huge cost, which resulting them to be left with no gain. With so much popularity earned by Mickey Mouse and his girlfriend Minnie, Disney and his team launched new characters, such as Donald Duck and dogs Pluto and Goofy.

Later in 1930, during the great Depression, Disney was entertaining the world with his cartoon characters, and it started making good money in spite of the great Depression.

In 1934, Disney started working on classical stories, and later in 1937, they released their first fairy classical ‘Snow White and Seven Dwarfs’.

With the increasing success of the Company, Disney begun to produce animated movie, Beaver Valley (1950), Cindrella (1950), Peter Pan (1953).

A massive change in cinematography was made by Mary Poppins, a Disney Creation, in 1964, which won worldwide popularity.

In early 1950s, the planning for Disneyland was started, then in 1955, Disneyland was opened, which brought nostalgic fantasy was visited by tourist all over the world. Second Disney Park, Walt Disney World, was opened in Florida in 1971, during the time of his death.

The work by Walt Disney brings out child in every human being. His amusement park his for “children of all the ages” throughout the world. He is often recognized as one of the most successful industrialist of all time.

“It’s kind of fun to do the impossible”- Walt Disney

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