Walt Disney Biography

Topics: Walt Disney, The Walt Disney Company, Mickey Mouse Pages: 7 (2085 words) Published: May 21, 2011

By : Riezditya Andara Rachmad
Binus Business School – Applied Finance
Walter Elias Disney – Founder of Walt Disney Co.

By : Riezditya Andara Rachmad (1040000245)

I. Introduction
Walter Elias Disney was born on the 5th of December, 1901 in Chicago, Illinois. His father Elias Disney was of Irish/Canadian descent and his mother Flora Call Disney was of German/American descent. Walt Disney had three brothers and one sister. The Disney family were raised on a farm in Missouri, USA where the young Walter developed an interest in drawing and trains. The Disney family moved back to Chicago where Walt attended the McKinley High School and took night classes at the Chicago Art Institute. At sixteen years of age Walt Disney dropped out of school to join the army but was knocked back because of his age. Instead, he joined the Red Cross and was shipped to France for one year, where he drove an ambulance. When Walt Disney returned from France he moved to Kansas City where his brother Roy Disney was working at a bank. He began his career as an advertising cartoonist at the Pesmen-Rubin Art Studio where he created commercial works for magazines, newspapers, and movie theaters. But he was keen to have his own business.  Disney briefly started a company with the cartoonist Ub Iwerks, called "Iwerks-Disney Commercial Artists". The venture did not take off and the pair were forced to seek alternative paths to put food on the table. Disney and Iwwerks would later work together in creating some of the earliest popular Disney cartoon characters, including "Oswald the Lucky Rabbit" and "Mickey Mouse". Walt became a pioneer of the animation industry, working his way through from silent cartoons, to sound, from black and white to Technicolor.  He created the first full length animated musical and went on to combine cartoons with live action.  A surprising switch of focus led to the creation of Disneyland in 1955, the first theme park the world had ever seen.  It was a squeaky sounding mouse with big ears that would go on to be Walt Disney's biggest success. "Mickey Mouse" was born on the 18th of November, 1928. Mickey first appeared in a silent short called "Plane Crazy", but it would be the "Steamboat Willie" cartoon with sound that made Mickey Mouse famous. Even though Walt Disney gets much of the credit and acknowledgment for creating the famous mouse, it is believed that his friend Ub Iwerks actually created Mickey Mouse. Walt Disney was the voice of Mickey Mouse up until 1946. Mickey Mouse would go on to become a symbol for the Walt Disney Company. The little mouse that started the company appeared in many cartoons, full feature films, comic strips, books, video games, toys, and was made into every piece of merchandise imaginable. Mickey Mouse became bigger than just the Walt Disney Company, and even came to symbolize the country of America. The mouse went on to become a cultural icon. Other popular cartoon characters that the Walt Disney Company went on to create include Donald Duck, Minnie Mouse, Butch the Bulldog, Scrooge McDuck, Clarabelle Cow, and many more. The company also animated other characters like Bambi, Cinderella, Alice in Wonderland, Peter Pan, Dumbo, Hercules, and more. The Walt Disney company received many Academy award nominations and was nominated for seven Emmys while Walt was alive. Disney's company had to overcome challenges like the workers strike in 1940, but the company mostly grew forward in leaps and bounds. The company went public in 1957 and continues to be a listed company on the New York Stock Exchange to this day. Disney was working on plans for a theme park when he died from lung cancer complications in 1966. His brother Roy would follow his plans through and the Walt Disney World theme park was opened to the public in 1971. The company continued to grow after the death of Walt Disney and is now one of the largest media and entertainment conglomerates in the world.

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