May 11, 2014
The Myths and Legends of Disney
We all have known and have all heard of the magic of Walt Disney. It takes us to place a in the world like no other. It can make the eyes and smiles of children widen with happiness, and even make an adult feel like the youngest of hearts. But behind every great magical detail that we may see or encounter there is some kind of myth, urban legend or folklore to tell. Some was found to be true while others remain just what they are myths. Some of these myths range from the discrimination of women in the Disney films, educational films for young girls about their menstrual cycles, to park and movie secrets, to even Walt Disney’s death itself. Walter Elias Disney was born on December 5, 1901 in Hermosa, a suburb of Chicago, Illinois to Elias and Flora Disney. When Walt was four, his family moved to Marceline, Missouri were his father Elias purchased a farm. Being in Marceline, the young Disney developed his love of drawing. Walt had quite a difficult childhood growing up. Walt’s father Elias ruled with an iron fist which later drove him to join the Red Cross at a very young age. After the war, he then began his artistic career. He landed several jobs where he was drawing political caricatures or comic strips. Walt would eventually meet several individuals who helped his career in animation. He later created Oswald the lucky rabbit to whom he lost rights to his former business partner. However being the optimist that he was, Walt developed a new character by the name of “Mickey Mouse.” With the birth of Mickey Mouse, Walt’s dreams were finally coming true, the essence of magic were beginning to taking form. (http://www.justdisney.com)
According to Charles River author of American Legends: The Life of Walt Disney Walter Elias “Walt” Disney built his legacy and leadership based on his greatest dreams, creative imagination and the lifelong desire to experience magic. The “Disney magic” started its humble beginnings when Walt had a vision and a mission to provide entertainment and happiness to people of all ages. Walt used his vision and imagination to carry over his mission to improve and challenge the future of technology. Walt was a leader and dreamer. He only and employed individuals who are exceptionally talented with a strong desire for excellence. (Editors) Walt’s traits as a leader showed that he was both innovative and creative with a high respect for the arts and saw technology to be boundless with untapped potential. He was also a risk taker despite many financial setbacks, he kept chasing his dream of creating the magic. Being the charismatic person that he was he promoted casual and personal relationships with employees. Always creating something innovative and the desire to do better attitude proved his strive for success and his attention to detail. But with fame also came many myths and urban legends that people still to this day question. Disney used to have a policy stating that women could not be hired at the animation studio outside of the Ink and Paint department. It's sadly true, though no longer the case. As the above 1938 rejection letter received by animator Mary Ford reads, "Women do not do any of the creative work in connection with preparing the cartoons for the screen, as that work is performed entirely by young men." The concern was that Disney would invest a considerable amount of time and money in training a new animator only to lose that investment when she "inevitably" left to get married and start a family. This says more about the culture of the time than about women animators, who may well have been happy to keep their jobs had they lived in a society that allowed them to do so. The taboo menstruation film of 1946, explaining the menstrual cycle to young girls. This was thought to be a myth of sorts it may seem hard to imagine Disney, which generally tries to tiptoe around anything remotely...
Cited: Barrier, Michael. The Animated Man: A Life of Walt Disney / Edition 1 . University of California Press, 2008.
Editors, Charles Rivers. American Legends: The Life of Walt Disney. CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, 2014.
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