Walt Disney

Producer + Director and Animator
Born Dec 5, 1901

Walter Elias "Walt" Disney was an American film producer, director, screenwriter, voice actor, animator, entrepreneur, entertainer, international icon, and philanthropist, well known for his influence in the field of entertainment during the 20th century. Along with his brother Roy O. Disney, he was co-founder of Walt Disney Productions, which later became one of the best-known motion picture producers in the world.… Read More

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Learn about the memorable moments in the evolution of Walt Disney.


Walt Disney was born on December 5, 1901, at 1249 Tripp Avenue, in Chicago's Hermosa neighborhood. … Read More
1903 - 1906 2 More Events
1909 7 Years Old He and his younger sister Ruth started school at the same time at the Park School in Marceline in late 1909.
1911 9 Years Old In 1911, the Disneys moved to Kansas City, Missouri. … Read More


1917 15 Years Old In 1917, Elias bought stock in a Chicago jelly producer, the O-Zell Company, and moved back to the city with his family. … Read More
1918 16 Years Old 1 More Event
In mid-1918, Disney attempted to join the United States Army to fight against the Germans, but he was rejected for being too young.
1919 17 Years Old Disney returned to Kansas City in October 1919, where he worked as an apprentice artist at the Pesmen-Rubin Commercial Art Studio. … Read More
1920 18 Years Old In January 1920, as Pesmen-Rubin's revenue declined after Christmas, Disney and Iwerks were laid off. … Read More
1921 19 Years Old In May 1921, the success of the "Laugh-O-Grams" led to the establishment of Laugh-O-Gram Studio, for which he hired more animators, including Fred Harman's brother Hugh, Rudolf Ising and Iwerks. … Read More


1923 21 Years Old Disney moved to Hollywood in July 1923. … Read More
1924 22 Years Old In July 1924 Disney also hired Iwerks, persuading him to relocate to Hollywood from Kansas City.
1925 23 Years Old Early in 1925, Disney hired an ink artist, Lillian Bounds. … Read More
1926 24 Years Old By 1926 Winkler's role in the distribution of the Alice series had been handed over to her husband, the film producer Charles Mintz, although the relationship between him and Disney was sometimes strained.
1927 25 Years Old 1 More Event
The series ran until July 1927, by which time Disney had begun to tire of it and wanted to move away from the mixed format to all animation. … Read More
1930 28 Years Old In 1930, Disney tried to trim costs from the process by urging Iwerks to abandon the practice of animating every separate cel in favor of the more efficient technique of drawing key poses and letting lower-paid assistants sketch the in-between poses. … Read More
1931 29 Years Old Disney had a nervous breakdown in October 1931which he blamed on the machinations of Powers and his own overworkso he and Lillian took an extended holiday to Cuba and a cruise to Panama to recover. … Read More


1932 - 1934 3 More Events
1938 36 Years Old Disney has been portrayed numerous times in fictional works. H. G. Wells references Disney in his 1938 novel The Holy Terror, in which World Dictator Rud fears that Donald Duck is meant to lampoon the dictator. … Read More
…  Both films were released in 1940, and neither performed well at the box officepartly because revenues from Europe had dropped following the start of World War II in 1939. … Read More
1941 39 Years Old The latter measure, and Disney's sometimes high-handed and insensitive manner of dealing with staff, led to a 1941 animators' strike which lasted five weeks. … Read More


1943 - 1946 2 More Events
1947 45 Years Old In 1947, during the Second Red Scare, Disney testified before the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC), where he branded Herbert Sorrell, David Hilberman and William Pomerance, former animators and labor union organizers, as Communist agitators; Disney stated that the 1941 strike led by them was part of an organized Communist effort to gain influence in Hollywood.
1949 47 Years Old In 1949, Disney and his family moved to a new home in the Holmby Hills district of Los Angeles. … Read More
1950 48 Years Old In early 1950, Disney produced Cinderella, his studio's first animated feature in eight years. … Read More


1952 50 Years Old …  In March 1952 he received zoning permission to build a theme park in Burbank, near the Disney studios. … Read More
In mid-1954, Disney sent his Imagineers to every amusement park in the U.S. to analyze what worked and what pitfalls or problems there were in the various locations and incorporated their findings into his design.
1955 53 Years Old 1 More Event
Despite the demands wrought by non-studio projects, Disney continued to work on film and television projects. In 1955 he was involved in "Man in Space", an episode of the Disneyland series, which was made in collaboration with NASA rocket designer Wernher von Braun.


In 1964, Disney produced Mary Poppins, based on the book series by P. L. Travers; he had been trying to acquire the rights to the story since the 1940s. … Read More
1965 63 Years Old In late 1965, he announced plans to develop another theme park to be called "Disney World" (now Walt Disney World), a few miles southwest of Orlando, Florida. … Read More
During 1966, Disney cultivated businesses willing to sponsor EPCOT. … Read More
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