If you are an animation lover, then this erudite and ebullient man must be known to you. Walt Disney, many call him entrepreneur, cartoonist, animator, voice actor and film producer. Though throughout his life he carried these roles with a flourish, still all of us directly relate him with Mickey Mouse. One of the most interesting cartoon characters whose voice was played by Walt himself. His life was entirely dedicated to animation and despite of being so successful, his life was not a bed of roses. Struggles compiled with strong will power are what make a good ingredient for success.
Early life struggles
This showman was born on December 5, 1901 to Elias and Flora Disney in Chicago. The name Disney came from his great grandfather who was a descendant of Robert D’Isigny who had traveled to England with William the conqueror. D’Isigny then transformed to Disney.
They lived in Marceline for some years where he went to school with his sister Ruth. His interest in the field of drawing developed there itself, his neighbour used to pay him for sketching his horse.
The financial condition of family was not well, so in 1911 when they moved to Kansas City, his father bought a newspaper distribution company. So Disney had to help his father in distribution, Walt woke up at 4:30 AM and worked delivering newspapers until the school bell rang. He resumed working the paper trail at 4PM and continued to supper time. He found the work exhausting and due to this he often received poor grades from dozing off in class. This way he under-performed in studies but he was destined to go far beyond, where one could not reach from academic excellence.
Wanted To Join Army
It seems strange, but it is true. He dropped out from school at sixteen to join army, but could not qualify for it being under age. Now this is a god’s marvel, what if he had appeared in the war and died. We won’t be able to enjoy Snow White, Mickey Mouse and others. Afterwards he joined the Red Cross and was soon sent to France for a year where he was assigned a driver job for ambulance.
Disney as ambulance driver
Career in Animation
Walt started his artistic career, adapting to become an actor but later decided to draw political caricatures. He also created advertisements for newspapers and magazines, but in real sense his mental peace was present in animation. Later he joined an advertisement company where he made commercials using cut out animation.
Walt’s business card
After accumulating sufficient capital with his friend, he opened his own animation business and created cartoons called Laugh O Grams. Although his cartoons were well praised, as a consequence of employing many animators and low profit soon he became bankrupt. Despite of obstacles and hindrances even if they are in a plethora, what can stop a flowing river? Disney’s demeanour highlighted this quality and sometime later he was back with Alice comedies and Ostwald the lucky rabbit. Both were successful but later Disney refused the production company’s harsh agreements, who later deprived him of selling it. Again Disney’s career was in vain, but it did not go for long.
Mickey Mouse And Walt
Walt lost the rights for Oswald and hence decided to create a new, titillating character. The character he decided was of a mouse; he had a mouse as a pet and decided to take it up. The original name given to him was Mortimer which he changed at his wife’s advice, who believed that Mickey Mouse would be more effective. After the release of Mickey, Disney gave him voice in the next series Steam boat Willie which was an instant hit. After the advent of Mickey and colourful cartoons with sound, success was kissing the feet of Walt Disney. He became a show man, every cartoon he made was an obvious hit and in no time the whole world was hailing Mickey and Disney. Mickey became the most popular cartoon leaving his creator with a special academy award, bypassing the hot favorite toon of that time ‘Felix the cat’.
Snow White: The Spark In Darkness
After the success of Mickey, still something was missing for Disney. So he planned to produce a full feature film and the character was Snow White. Who can forget this charming lady waiting for her prince and the seven cute dwarfs. For its production Disney bought the latest technological equipments and it was ensured that quality expectations are met. All of this added to the cost and time. More than three years, long time for the world to be aware of this movie and lots of cash for producers. Disney’s company became bankrupt while producing it, but the fruit of hard work tastes more than just delicious. When Snow white and seven dwarfs was released it had a record breaking collection of 8 million $ (equivalent to more than 134 million $ today) on its initial release.
Still from Snow White and seven dwarfs.
Disneyland and its majesty’s legacy
Disney always envisioned families spending leisure time in an amusement park. He tended to bring such a park, the one world had never seen.
Disney spent five years to develop Disney land and set WED enterprises for the building of his park. On 17 July, 1955 the opening ceremony of Disneyland was hosted on TV with many renowned celebrities participating.
Disney was a great visionary and sagacious as well which was reflected in his acts. Later he provided the world with Disney World, an improved and enlarged version of Disneyland. Even 49 years after his death, he remains immortal to all toon lovers and his gift of Disneyland provides everyone with a privilege to get relieved from the hectic and busy life by enjoying in his parks.
Disney won several awards including a record of four in a year. His tally of awards and nominations is more than any individual in history.
He died due to lung cancer, but his works remain alive forever. His life has become a great example to teach others the lesson of hard work. His life was a true inspiration, rising from ashes to reach above the sky as sky was never the limit for him. No matter how many obstacles he faced, he would always reply with a great perseverance and optimism. His name still echoes in the world with Disney entertainment and will remain always in his fan’s hearts; they will always say “Long live Walt Disney, Long live Mickey”.