Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Who's Who Wednesday: Walter Elias Disney

I've been reading a biography of WaltDisney. It's a 633 page book and I am nowhere near finished. I did think that it was appropriate to start this segment off with him, for whith out him none of the others would be in existnace. This just happens to be the week of Walt's birthday also. He was born on December 5, 1901 in Chicago, Illinois to Elias and Flora Disney. Walt had 4 brothers and sisters. The family moved around alot so Elias could try his hand at a new investment or job opportunity, trying to strike it rich. When he was young his family moved to Marceline, Missouri. There, Walt started drawing and was even paid for some of his artwork by neighbors and other folks in the town. He went to a high school where he could study art and photography. Walt claimed that is fatherwas a harsh man, his siblings agreed that he was stern, but not as harch as Walt made him out to be. When Walt was 16 he tried to join the military. He was denied due to te age restrictions at the time. He then filed paperwork to join the Red Cross. After his mother signed the paperwork, Walt changed the date of his birth on the form. He was accepted and was sent to France where he started driving ambulances and carrying higher officials from place to place. When Walt returned home from France, he began working harder to pursue a career in art. Walt worked and piddled around with a few companies making ads. He even started his own company, Laugh-O-Grams, which eventually folded. Soon after that he headed to California. He made a few comedy "films" called the Alice Comedies. These were considered his first successful works. Walt got married in to an employee named Lillian Bounds on July13, 1925. They had two daughters, Diane and Sharon, the latter of whom was adopted. Things then began to pick-up for Walt and his family. He and his brother Roy founded their own studio and Walt soon won his first Academy Award in 1932. On December 21, 1937, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, premiered in Los Angeles. This was the first ever full-length, animated musical feature film. Within the next five years the studio would relase Pinnochio, Fantasia, Dumbo and Bambi. The original Diney classics. Walt loved to live carefree and that is what amusement parks reminded him of. People have good times as families, children having fun and everything being carefree. With all of this in mind, he began designing his own theme park. Disneyland California opened in 1955. He also started producing on T.V. with shows such as The Mickey Mouse Club. M-I-C-K-E-Y M-O-U-S-E! Mickey was created after Disney lost the rights to Oswald the Lucky Rabbit. Walt provided the voice for Mickey Mouse until 1947. Mickey debuted first as Steamboat Willie. Walt passed away from complications of lung cancer, due to the many years of smoking unfiltered cigarettes, on December 15, 1966. While reading the book and writing this article I have tried to imagine a life without Walt Disney. Sure, we would have other animators and cartoons, but none could have the love for it and the drive to make others as happy as Walt did. My family has made so many wonderful and unforgetable memoies because of him. We watch movies, wear the t-shirts, visit Walt Disney World and sing the songs. This article barely scratches the surface of his life and his dreams. I hope to be true to what Walt was all about with my blogs and share my love of the magic with you. Thanks for stopping by and come back soon!

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