Walter Elias Disney was an animator, filmmaker, producer, inventor, icon, visionary, and an inspiration to the world. Born into poverty, he started with animated films in 1923, created Mickey Mouse on a train ride in 1928, produced the first full-length animated movie Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs in 1937, and invented the world’s first full scale theme park, Disneyland in 1955.
His love of trains started at age 15 when he worked on the Santa Fe Railroad line selling candy, drinks, and papers.
He created his first cartoon studio in a garage. Steve Jobs
did the same thing for Apple Computer, but it was a different garage, of course!
On October 16, 1923 the Walt Disney Company was founded by Walt and his brother Roy.
Steamboat Willie (1928) became the first cartoon to use synchronize sound with Walt as the voice of Mickey. Mickey Mouse's birthday is November 18, 1928, from the release date of Steamboat Willie. Mickey is supposedly named after Mickey Rooney whom Walt once dated his Mom. Later, Mickey Rooney would mary Ava Garder. Ava would divorce Mickey, date Howard Hughes, and later marry Frank Sinatra. Frank was a good friend of Ernest Hemingway.
In 1932 he received an honorary Oscar for “The creation of Mickey Mouse.” The first recipient of the award was to Charlie Chaplin
and there hasn’t been one since.
Disneyland Opened in 1955.
Disneyland in it’s first year of opening grossed $10 Million.
Walt Disney’s last film as head of Walt Disney Productions was “The Jungle Book” in 1967.
Disney was awarded 29 Oscars for his films.
His wife, Lillian, lived long past Walt. She died December 16, 1997. And interestingly enough she died one day after his passing 31 years later.
Inducted into the National Inventors
Hall of Fame in 2000 for the multiplane camera (Patent # 2,201,689).
His nickname was Uncle Walt.
RETLAW Enterprises holds most of the Disney’s real estate. RETLAW is Walter spelled backwards.
After almost 50 years of Walt’s Passing the Walt Disney Studios has grown into one of the largest studios in the world and has nine theme parks, and several television networks, including ABC and ESPN. It also owns Jim Henson
’s Muppets and has acquired Steve’s Jobs Pixar Animation Studio, which resulted in making Steve the largest individual shareholder of Disney at 7%. Steve bought Pixar from George Lucas for $5 Million in 1986 later to sell it for $7.4 Billion.
On Mickey Mouse, from Walt Disney
“Mickey Mouse is, to me, a symbol of independence. He was a means to an end. He popped out of my mind onto a drawing pad . . . on a train ride from Manhattan to Hollywood at a time when business fortunes of my brother Roy and myself were at lowest ebb and disaster seemed right around the corner. Born of necessity, the little fellow literally freed us of immediate worry. He provided the means for expanding our organization . . .and for extending the medium of cartoon animation toward new entertainment levels. He spelled production liberation for us."
In Walt Disney’s Darby O'Gill and the Little People filmed in 1959, Sean Connery sang for the first time.
December 15, 1966: On Nov 2nd he complained of pain in his neck and back. After some x-rays they found his left lung was cancerous and it was removed on Nov 7th. His lung cancer was due to smoking. He went back to work and spent Thanksgiving with hi family. On Nov 30th he collapsed and was taken to the hospital St. Joseph's Medical Center in Burbank. He remained at the hospital and the doctors nor his family told him his condition was terminal. He died of a cardiac arrest and was cremated. His ashes were placed at nearby Forest Lawn cemetery in Glendale, California.