Walt Disney was an American television and motion-picture producer and a showman.
He became very famous for his cartoon films and his creation of Disneyland. Disney was born on December 5, 1901, in Hermosa, Illinois and died December 15, 1966, in Chicago, Illinois. He was one of five children, four boys, and one girl. His father, Elias Disney, was an Irish-Canadian, and his mother, Flora Call Disney, was a German-American. Disney spent most of his childhood in Missouri.
There he started to love drawing and painting and he would sell his work to neighbors or family friends. In 1911, Disney and his family moved to Kansas City where Walt developed his love for trains. He worked in the summer at a railroad selling snacks and newspapers to people. Disney went to McKinley High School and continued to be involved with art classes. He later dropped out of high school to join the army but was underage so he got rejected. Instead, he joined the Red Cross and was sent to France to drive an ambulance.
After a year of doing that he moved back to the U.S. in 1919. He met Ub Iwerks during his job at Pesmen-Rubin Art Studio who later became important in his cartoon business. After that, Disney worked at the Kansas City Film Ad Company, where he made commercials based on cutout animation.
He decided to make his own business with his own animations. Walt first started with cartoons called Laugh-O-Grams, which was very popular. Then the business made a series called Alice in Cartoonland. However, their studio had a great amount of debt and had to declare bankruptcy.
Walt, his brother Roy, and Iwerks decided to take all the money they had and move to Hollywood to began the Disney Brothers’ Studio. They started out distributing their Alice cartoons to with a New York distributor Margeret Winkler. They also invented a new character called Oswald the Lucky Rabbit. Then one of the most popular animations ever was created, Walt Disney’s Mickey Mouse. Disney made Mickey Mouse because he had nothing after Winkler and her husband had stolen Oswald and all the Disney animators, except for Iwerks. Their first shorts were not very successful because they had no sound, at the same time sound was making its way into films so Disney knew that is why the shorts were not doing so well. Then his first big hit was Steamboat Willie, it was Mickey Mouse riding in a boat, Steamboat Willie.
Soon after this Disney found commercial success in his films. He had created Silly Symphonies, featuring some of Mickey’s new friends such as Minnie Mouse, Donald Duck, Goofy, and Pluto. Then came a very popular cartoon called Flowers and Trees, which won an Oscar. The Three Little Pigs and a title song called, “Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf?” which became very popular during the time of the Great Depression. Then came Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, a full length animated film, which reeled in tons of money and won eight Oscars. Following this came Pinnochio in 1940, Fantasia in 1940, Dumbo in 1941, and Bambi in 1942. Disney opened a new studio in Burbank, however, a major setback occurred when a lot of the animators went on a strike, it took years for them to fully recover and go back to making the animated films. After all of this shaped up, there was a lot more films to come, Cinderella in 1950, Treasure Island 1950, Alice in Wonderland 1951, Peter Pan 1953, Lady and the Tramp 1955, Sleeping Beauty 1959, and 101 Dalmatians in 1961.
All in all, over 100 different features had been produced by his studio. Disney became one of the first people ever to use television as an entertainment medium. He produced a few more popular shows such as Zorro and Davy Crockett, The Mickey Mouse Club, and Walt Disney’s Wonderful World of Color, in which he started to promote his new theme park. Disney’s last major success in producing was the motion picture Mary Poppins. Now, for one of Disney’s biggest projects, the opening of Disneyland, opened on July 17, 1955, in Anaheim, California.
It was in major liking to people around the world. There were more and more locations opening around the world. Lastly, Disney was planning on opening another park called EPCOT (Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow) in Florida.
During construction of this new park, Disney, unfortunately, was diagnosed with lung cancer and passed away on December 15, 1966, at the age of 65. EPCOT was finished by his brother Roy and opened 1971 with the name of Walt Disney World.