The development of the Walt Disney Company:
Era (1930-1950) in which filmmaking, distribution, and exhibition was dominated by theatre corporations. Era (starting in 1950) in which television became popular and people started to buy television sets to watch TV at home 3 Cp.: Hill, John and Pamela Church Gibson (eds.), The Oxford Guide to Film Studies (1998) pages 245 ff.
The company was founded in California in 1923 by the two brothers Walt and Roy Disney. At that time Walt Disney had just produced his first short cartoon film, called Alice´s Wonderland. After a distributor for the first short film was found and the first contract was signed the successful story of the company, managed by the two brothers, was started. The first period of the business development can be set until the beginning of the Second World War. Until 1940 the two brothers had great success with the never ending innovations they created. After the creation of the first cartoon series, “Oswaldo the Lucky Rabbit” the first full color cartoons were produced by the Walt Disney Company. Furthermore in 1932 the two brothers were the first to detect merchandising and started to sell merchandise articles to their fans and customers. Within the same decade another novelty of the company was the first animated feature film “Snow White and the seven dwarfs”, which was announced in 1937. At that time it was the highest grossing film which was ever shown. With the beginning of the Second World War the Walt Disney Company got into financial problems. The highly innovative business of the Disney brothers was tremendously expensive. As a result they needed high incomes from their produced films to be able to profit from their work. During the war the company was not able to sell their films to foreign markets and therefore it did not have the sales it had before. Earnings decreased and the costly film productions were not profitable anymore. The animated feature films “Pinocchio”, “Fantasia”, and “Dumbo” made losses. Then “Bambi”...