Walt Disney
Producer, director and animator
Walt Disney
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.
Biography
Walt Disney's personal information overview.
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Photo Albums
Popular photos of Walt Disney
News
News abour Walt Disney from around the web
Hawaii: Disney's Aulani resort opens on Oahu - MiamiHerald.com
Google News - over 5 years
The Walt Disney Co.'s new upscale, beachside Hawaiian resort Aulani opened last week thousands of miles from the nearest Disney theme park. And while Mickey Mouse and friends can be found on the property, Hawaii's culture, history and natural beauty
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'Bachelor Pad': Vienna, Kasey play golf at Disney World - Orlando Sentinel (blog)
Google News - over 5 years
Kasey and Vienna soak up the sun while playing miniature golf today at Walt Disney World Resort. Photo credit: Preston Mack/Disney We don't know how “Bachelor Pad” will end. The season finale won't be until Sept. 12. But Disney World gave a hint of
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Hawaii's story comes to life at Disney's Aulani - SILive.com (blog)
Google News - over 5 years
According to Tom Staggs, chairman of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, Aulani "captures the very best of the rich Hawaiian storytelling and culture with a touch of Disney." Walt Disney CompanyThe two main towers at Disney's Aulani Resort and Spa overlook
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Disney Launches Turkish Version of 'Desperate Housewives' - Hollywood Reporter
Google News - over 5 years
Walt Disney Company confirmed it has begun production on a Turkish version of the hit show, called Umutsuz Ev Kadinlari, together with local production house Medyapim. The series will air on Kanal D, Turkey's number one commercial network,
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Ex-Disney Film Chief Said to Seek $625M Financing - Bloomberg
Google News - over 5 years
Dick Cook, former chairman of Walt Disney Studios, is seeking to raise $625 million in equity financing to make and distribute family oriented films, according to a banker briefed on the ... -
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A Look at Disney's New Hawaiian Resort 'Aulani' - ABC News
Google News - over 5 years
The Walt Disney Co.'s new upscale, beachside Hawaiian resort Aulani opens Monday, thousands of miles from the nearest Disney theme park. And while Mickey Mouse and friends can be found on the property, Hawaii's culture,
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Walt Disney World Luggage (Medium) - Magical Definition (blog)
Google News - over 5 years
This Walt Disney World logo luggage will provide you with years of use. Black. Medium size (21x14x8) We apologize but we are unable to ship this item internationally. This item comes direct from the Walt Disney World Resort, and is picked up
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Studios, companies unite for Burbank museum - Burbank Leader
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The Falcon Theatre, Walt Disney Co., Cartoon Network and Nickelodeon are among the creative forces that will contribute to an art exhibit at the Burbank Creative Arts Center that opens Aug. 5. The center is celebrating 100 years of the city's
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Hospitals turn to Disney to improve service - Vancouver Sun
Google News - over 5 years
Their instructor: The Walt Disney Co. "Disney understands guest services," said Kathy Cocking, Barton's vice-president of operations. "And we're not as good as we want to be." In classes at the hospital, two Disney consultants taught employees how to
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Chiquita and Walt Disney World reach agreement - The Packer
Google News - over 5 years
Chiquita Brands International, Cincinnati, has made an agreement to supply its products to some Walt Disney World Resort retail points. It plans to supply its products, including its Fresh Express line, to Walt Disney World in Lake Buena Vista, Fla.,
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Timeline
Learn about memorable moments in the evolution of Walt Disney
    LATE_ADULTHOOD
  • 1966
    Age 64
    Disney had been a heavy smoker since World War I. He did not use cigarettes with filters, and had smoked a pipe as a young man. In November 1966, he was diagnosed with lung cancer and treated with cobalt therapy.
    More Details Hide Details On November 30 he felt unwell and was taken to St. Joseph Hospital where, on December 15, ten days after his 65th birthday, he died of circulatory collapse caused by lung cancer. Disney's remains were cremated two days later, and his ashes interred at the Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Glendale, California. His estate included a 14 percent holding in Walt Disney Productions worth $20 million. He left 45 percent of his estate to his wife and childrenmuch in a family trustand 10 percent to his sister, nieces and nephews. The remaining 45 percent went into a charitable trust, 95 percent of which was designated for CalArts, to build a new campus (a figure of around $15 million); he also donated of the Golden Oaks ranch in Valencia for construction of that school. The university moved there in November 1971.
    During 1966, Disney cultivated businesses willing to sponsor EPCOT.
    More Details Hide Details He increased his involvement in the studio's films, and was heavily involved in the story development of The Jungle Book, the live-action musical feature The Happiest Millionaire (both 1967) and the animated short Winnie the Pooh and the Blustery Day.
  • 1965
    Age 63
    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.
    More Details Hide Details Disney World was to include the "Magic Kingdom"a larger and more elaborate version of Disneylandplus golf courses and resort hotels. The heart of Disney World was to be the "Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow" (EPCOT), which he described as: an experimental prototype community of tomorrow that will take its cue from the new ideas and new technologies that are now emerging from the creative centers of American industry. It will be a community of tomorrow that will never be completed, but will always be introducing and testing and demonstrating new materials and systems. And EPCOT will always be a showcase to the world for the ingenuity and imagination of American free enterprise.
  • 1964
    Age 62
    In the United States, he received the Presidential Medal of Freedom on September 14, 1964 and, in 1969, he was posthumously awarded the Congressional Gold Medal.
    More Details Hide Details He received the Showman of the World Award from the National Association of Theatre Owners, and, in 1955, the National Audubon Society awarded Disney its highest honor, the Audubon Medal, for promoting the "appreciation and understanding of nature" through his True-Life Adventures nature films. A minor planet discovered in 1980 by astronomer Lyudmila Karachkina, was named 4017 Disneya, and he was also awarded honorary degrees from Harvard, Yale, the University of Southern California and the University of California, Los Angeles. Disney's public persona was very different from his actual personality. Playwright Robert E. Sherwood described him as "almost painfully shy... diffident" and self-deprecating. According to his biographer Richard Schickel, Disney hid his shy and insecure personality behind his public identity. Kimball argues that Disney "played the role of a bashful tycoon who was embarrassed in public" and knew that he was doing so. Disney acknowledged the façade, and told a friend that "I'm not Walt Disney. I do a lot of things Walt Disney would not do. Walt Disney does not smoke. I smoke. Walt Disney does not drink. I drink." Critic Otis Ferguson, in The New Republic, called the private Disney: "common and everyday, not inaccessible, not in a foreign language, not suppressed or sponsored or anything. Just Disney." Many of those with whom Disney worked commented that he gave his staff little encouragement due to his exceptionally high expectations.
    Disney provided four exhibits for the 1964 New York World's Fair, for which he obtained funding from selected corporate sponsors.
    More Details Hide Details For PepsiCo, who planned to tribute UNICEF, Disney developed It's a Small World, a boat ride with audio-animatronic dolls depicting children of the world; Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln contained an animatronic Abraham Lincoln giving excerpts from his speeches; Carousel of Progress promoted the importance of electricity; and Ford's Magic Skyway portrayed the progress of mankind. Elements of all four exhibitsprincipally concepts and technologywere re-installed in Disneyland, although It's a Small World is the ride that most closely resembles the original. During the early to mid-1960s, Disney developed plans for a ski resort in Mineral King, a glacial valley in California's Sierra Nevada. He hired experts such as the renowned Olympic ski coach and ski-area designer Willy Schaeffler. With income from Disneyland accounting for an increasing proportion of the studio's income, Disney continued to look for venues for other attractions.
    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.
    More Details Hide Details It became the most successful Disney film of the 1960s, although Travers disliked the film intensely and regretted having sold the rights. The same year he also became involved in plans to expand the California Institute of the Arts (colloquially called CalArts), and had an architect draw up blueprints for a new building.
  • FIFTIES
  • 1955
    Age 53
    Disney also oversaw aspects of the full-length features Lady and the Tramp (the first animated film in CinemaScope) in 1955, Sleeping Beauty (the first animated film in Technirama 70 mm film) in 1959, One Hundred and One Dalmatians (the first animated feature film to use Xerox cels) in 1961 and The Sword in the Stone in 1963.
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    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.
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  • 1954
    Age 52
    In 1954, after the Disneyland funding had been agreed, ABC broadcast Walt Disney's Disneyland, an anthology consisting of animated cartoons, live-action features and other material from the studio's library.
    More Details Hide Details The show was successful in terms of ratings and profits, earning an audience share of over 50%. In April 1955, Newsweek called the series an "American institution". ABC was pleased with the ratings, leading to Disney's first daily television program, The Mickey Mouse Club, a variety show catering specifically to children. The program was accompanied by merchandising through various companies (Western Printing, for example, had been producing coloring books and comics for over 20 years, and produced several items connected to the show). One of the segments of Disneyland consisted of the five-part miniseries Davy Crockett which, according to Gabler, "became an overnight sensation". The show's theme song, "The Ballad of Davy Crockett", became internationally popular, and ten million records were sold. As a result, Disney formed his own record production and distribution entity, Disneyland Records.
    Construction work started in July 1954, and Disneyland opened in July 1955; the opening ceremony was broadcast on ABC, which reached 70 million viewers.
    More Details Hide Details The park was designed as a series of themed lands, linked by the central Main Street, U.S.A.a replica of the main street in his hometown of Marceline. The connected themed areas were Adventureland, Frontierland, Fantasyland and Tomorrowland. The park also contained the narrow gauge Disneyland Railroad that linked the lands; around the outside of the park was a high berm to separate the park from the outside world. An editorial in The New York Times considered that Disney had "tastefully combined some of the pleasant things of yesterday with fantasy and dreams of tomorrow". Although there were early minor problems with the park, it was a success, and after a month's operation, Disneyland was receiving over 20,000 visitors a day; by the end of its first year, it attracted 3.6 million guests. The money from ABC was contingent on Disney television programs. The studio had been involved in a successful television special on Christmas Day 1950 about the making of Alice in Wonderland. Roy believed the program added millions to the box office takings. In a March 1951 letter to shareholders, he wrote that "television can be a most powerful selling aid for us, as well as a source of revenue. It will probably be on this premise that we enter television when we do".
    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.
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  • 1952
    Age 50
    In March 1952 he received zoning permission to build a theme park in Burbank, near the Disney studios.
    More Details Hide Details This site proved too small, and a larger plot in Anaheim, south of the studio, was purchased. To distance the project from the studiowhich might attract the criticism of shareholdersDisney formed WED Enterprises (now Walt Disney Imagineering) and used his own money to fund a group of designers and animators to work on the plans; those involved became known as "Imagineers". After obtaining bank funding he invited other stockholders, American Broadcasting-Paramount Theatrespart of American Broadcasting Company (ABC)and Western Printing and Lithographing Company.
  • FORTIES
  • 1950
    Age 48
    In early 1950, Disney produced Cinderella, his studio's first animated feature in eight years.
    More Details Hide Details It was popular with critics and theater audiences. Costing $2.2 million to produce, it earned nearly $8 million in its first year. Disney was less involved than he had been with previous pictures because of his involvement in his first entirely live-action feature, Treasure Island (1950), which was shot in Britain, as was The Story of Robin Hood and His Merrie Men (1952). Other all-live-action features followed, many of which had patriotic themes. He continued to produce full-length animated features too, including Alice in Wonderland (1951) and Peter Pan (1953). From the early to mid-1950s, Disney began to devote less attention to the animation department, entrusting most of its operations to his key animators, the Nine Old Men, although he was always present at story meetings. Instead, he started concentrating on other ventures.
  • 1949
    Age 47
    In 1949, Disney and his family moved to a new home in the Holmby Hills district of Los Angeles.
    More Details Hide Details With the help of his friends Ward and Betty Kimball, who already had their own backyard railroad, Disney developed blueprints and immediately set to work on creating a miniature live steam railroad for his backyard. The name of the railroad, Carolwood Pacific Railroad, came from his home's location on Carolwood Drive. The miniature working steam locomotive was built by Disney Studios engineer Roger E. Broggie, and Disney named it Lilly Belle after his wife; after three years Disney ordered it into storage due to a series of accidents involving his guests.
  • 1947
    Age 45
    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.
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  • 1946
    Age 44
    In 1946 he was a founding member of the Motion Picture Alliance for the Preservation of American Ideals, an organization who stated they "believed in, and like, the American Way of Life... we find ourselves in sharp revolt against a rising tide of Communism, Fascism and kindred beliefs, that seek by subversive means to undermine and change this way of life".
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  • 1943
    Age 41
    Disney also produced several propaganda productions, including shorts such as Der Fuehrer's Facewhich won an Academy Awardand the 1943 feature film Victory Through Air Power.
    More Details Hide Details The military films generated only enough revenue to cover costs, and the feature film Bambiwhich had been in production since 1937underperformed on its release in April 1942, and lost $200,000 at the box office. On top of the low earnings from Pinocchio and Fantasia, the company had debts of $4 million with the Bank of America in 1944. At a meeting with Bank of America executives to discuss the future of the company, the bank's chairman and founder, Amadeo Giannini, told his executives, "I've been watching the Disneys' pictures quite closely because I knew we were lending them money far above the financial risk.... They're good this year, they're good next year, and they're good the year after.... You have to relax and give them time to market their product." Disney's production of short films decreased in the late 1940s, coinciding with increasing competition in the animation market from Warner Bros. and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. Roy Disney, for financial reasons, suggested more combined animation and live-action productions. In 1948, Disney initiated a series of popular live-action nature films, titled True-Life Adventures, with Seal Island the first; the film won the Academy Award in the Best Short Subject (Two-Reel) category.
  • THIRTIES
  • 1941
    Age 39
    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.
    More Details Hide Details While a federal mediator from the National Labor Relations Board negotiated with the two sides, Disney accepted an offer from the Office of the Coordinator of Inter-American Affairs to make a goodwill trip to South America, ensuring he was absent during a resolution he knew would be unfavorable to the studio. As a result of the strikeand the financial state of the companyseveral animators left the studio, and Disney's relationship with other members of staff was permanently strained as a result. The strike temporarily interrupted the studio's next production, Dumbo (1941), which Disney produced in a simple and inexpensive manner; the film received a positive reaction from audiences and critics alike. Shortly after the release of Dumbo in October 1941, the U.S. entered World War II. Disney formed the Walt Disney Training Films Unit within the company to produce instruction films for the military such as Four Methods of Flush Riveting and Aircraft Production Methods. Disney also met with Henry Morgenthau, Jr., the Secretary of the Treasury, and agreed to produce short Donald Duck cartoons to promote war bonds.
  • 1940
    Age 38
    Disney grew more politically conservative as he got older. A Democratic Party supporter until the 1940 presidential election, when he switched allegiance to the Republicans, he became a generous donor to Thomas E. Dewey's 1944 bid for the presidency.
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    In response to the financial crisis, Disney and his brother Roy started the company's first public stock offering in 1940, and implemented heavy salary cuts.
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    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.
    More Details Hide Details The studio made a loss on both pictures and was deeply in debt by the end of February 1941.
  • 1938
    Age 36
    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.
    More Details Hide Details Disney was portrayed by Len Cariou in the 1995 made-for-TV film A Dream Is a Wish Your Heart Makes: The Annette Funicello Story, and by Tom Hanks in the 2013 film Saving Mr. Banks. In 2001, the German author Peter Stephan Jungk published (trans: The King of America), a fictional work of Disney's later years that re-images him as a power-hungry racist. The composer Philip Glass later adapted the book into the opera The Perfect American (2013). Disney received 59 Academy Award nominations, including 22 awards: both totals are records. He was nominated for three Golden Globe Awards, but did not win, but he was presented with two Special Achievement Awardsfor Bambi (1942) and The Living Desert (1953)and the Cecil B. DeMille Award. He also received four Emmy Award nominations, winning once, for Best Producer for the Disneyland television series. Several of his films are included in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant": Steamboat Willie, The Three Little Pigs, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Fantasia, Pinocchio, Bambi and Mary Poppins. In 1998, the American Film Institute published a list of the 100 greatest American films, according to industry experts; the list included Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (at number 49), and Fantasia (at 58).
  • 1934
    Age 32
    By 1934, Disney had become dissatisfied with producing formulaic cartoon shorts, and began a four-year production of a feature-length cartoon, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, based on the fairy tale.
    More Details Hide Details When news leaked out about the project, many in the film industry predicted it would bankrupt the company; industry insiders nicknamed it "Disney's Folly". The film, which was the first animated feature made in full color and sound, cost $1.5 million to producethree times over budget. To ensure the animation was as realistic as possible, Disney sent his animators on courses at the Chouinard Art Institute; he brought animals into the studio and hired actors so that the animators could study realistic movement. To portray the changing perspective of the background as a camera moved through a scene, Disney's animators developed a multiplane camera which allowed drawings on pieces of glass to be set at various distances from the camera, creating an illusion of depth. The glass could be moved to create the impression of a camera passing through the scene. The first work created on the cameraa Silly Symphony called "The Old Mill" (1937)won the Academy Award for Animated Short Film because of its impressive visual power. Although Snow White had been largely finished by the time the multiplane camera had been completed, Disney ordered some scenes be re-drawn to use the new effects.
  • 1933
    Age 31
    In 1933, Disney produced The Three Little Pigs, a film described by the media historian Adrian Danks as "the most successful short animation of all time".
    More Details Hide Details The film won Disney another Academy Award in the Short Subject (Cartoon) category. The film's success led to a further increase in the studio's staff, which numbered nearly 200 by the end of the year. Disney realized the importance of telling emotionally gripping stories that would interest the audience, and he invested in a "story department" separate from the animators, with storyboard artists who would detail the plots of Disney's films.
  • 1932
    Age 30
    Flowers and Trees was popular with audiences and won the Academy Award for best Short Subject (Cartoon) at the 1932 ceremony.
    More Details Hide Details Disney had been nominated for another film in that category, Mickey's Orphans, and received an Honorary Award "for the creation of Mickey Mouse".
  • TWENTIES
  • 1931
    Age 29
    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.
    More Details Hide Details With the loss of Powers as distributor, Disney studios signed a contract with Columbia Pictures to distribute the Mickey Mouse cartoons, which became increasingly popular, including internationally. Disney, always keen to embrace new technology, filmed Flowers and Trees (1932) in full-color three-strip Technicolor; he was also able to negotiate a deal giving him the sole right to use the three-strip process until August 31, 1935. All subsequent Silly Symphony cartoons were in color.
  • 1930
    Age 28
    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.
    More Details Hide Details Disney asked Powers for an increase in payments for the cartoons. Powers refused and signed Iwerks to work for him; Stalling resigned shortly afterwards, thinking that without Iwerks, the Disney Studio would close.
  • 1927
    Age 25
    Following the 1927 sensation The Jazz Singer, Disney used synchronized sound on the third short, Steamboat Willie, to create the first sound cartoon.
    More Details Hide Details After the animation was complete, Disney signed a contract with the former executive of Universal Pictures, Pat Powers, to use the "Powers Cinephone" recording system; Cinephone became the new distributor for Disney's early sound cartoons, which soon became popular. To improve the quality of the music, Disney hired the professional composer and arranger Carl Stalling, on whose suggestion the Silly Symphony series was developed, providing stories through the use of music; the first in the series, The Skeleton Dance (1929), was drawn and animated entirely by Iwerks. Also hired at this time were several local artists, some of whom stayed with the company as core animators; the group later became known as the Nine Old Men. Both the Mickey Mouse and Silly Symphonies series were successful, but Disney and his brother felt they were not receiving their rightful share of profits from Powers.
    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.
    More Details Hide Details After Mintz requested new material to distribute through Universal Pictures, Disney and Iwerks created Oswald the Lucky Rabbit, a character Disney wanted to be "peppy, alert, saucy and venturesome, keeping him also neat and trim". In February 1928, Disney hoped to negotiate a larger fee for producing the Oswald series, but found Mintz wanting to reduce the payments. Mintz had also persuaded many of the artists involved to work directly for him, including Harman, Ising, Carman Maxwell and Friz Freleng. Disney also found out that Universal owned the intellectual property rights to Oswald. Mintz threatened to start his own studio and produce the series himself if Disney refused to accept the reductions. Disney declined Mintz's ultimatum and lost most of his animation staff, except Iwerks, who chose to remain with him. To replace Oswald, Disney and Iwerks developed Mickey Mouse, possibly inspired by a pet mouse that Disney had adopted while working in his Laugh-O-Gram studio, although the origins of the character are unclear. Disney's original choice of name was Mortimer Mouse, but Lillian thought it too pompous, and suggested Mickey instead. Iwerks revised Disney's provisional sketches to make the character easier to animate, and Disney provided Mickey's voice until 1947. In the words of one Disney employee, "Ub designed Mickey's physical appearance, but Walt gave him his soul."
  • 1926
    Age 24
    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.
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  • 1925
    Age 23
    Early in 1925, Disney hired an ink artist, Lillian Bounds.
    More Details Hide Details They married in July of that year. The marriage was generally happy, according to Lillian, although according to Disney's biographer Neal Gabler she did not "accept Walt's decisions meekly or his status unquestionably, and she admitted that he was always telling people 'how henpecked he is'." Lillian had little interest in films or the Hollywood social scene and she was, in the words of the historian Steven Watts, "content with household management and providing support for her husband". Their marriage produced two daughters, Diane (born December 1933) and Sharon (adopted in December 1936, born six weeks previously). Within the family, neither Disney nor his wife hid the fact Sharon had been adopted, although they became annoyed if people outside the family raised the point. The Disneys were careful to keep their daughters out of the public eye as much as possible, particularly in the light of the Lindbergh kidnapping; Disney took steps to ensure his daughters were not photographed by the press.
  • 1924
    Age 22
    In July 1924 Disney also hired Iwerks, persuading him to relocate to Hollywood from Kansas City.
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  • 1923
    Age 21
    Disney moved to Hollywood in July 1923.
    More Details Hide Details Although New York was the center of the cartoon industry, he was attracted to Los Angeles because his brother Roy was convalescing from tuberculosis there. Disney's efforts to sell Alice's Wonderland were in vain until he heard from New York film distributor Margaret J. Winkler. She was losing the rights to both the Out of the Inkwell and Felix the Cat cartoons, and needed a new series. In October they signed a contract for six Alice comedies, with an option for two further series of six episodes each. Disney and his brother Roy formed the Disney Brothers Studiowhich later became The Walt Disney Companyto produce the films; they persuaded Davis and her family to relocate to Hollywood to continue production, with Davis on contract at $100 a month.
  • TEENAGE
  • 1921
    Age 19
    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.
    More Details Hide Details The Laugh-O-Grams cartoons did not provide enough income to keep the company solvent, so Disney started production of Alice's Wonderlandbased on Alice's Adventures in Wonderlandwhich combined live action with animation; he cast Virginia Davis in the title role. The result, a 12-and-a-half-minute, one-reel film, was completed too late to save Laugh-O-Gram Studio, which went into bankruptcy in 1923.
  • 1920
    Age 18
    In January 1920, as Pesmen-Rubin's revenue declined after Christmas, Disney and Iwerks were laid off.
    More Details Hide Details They started their own business, the short-lived Iwerks-Disney Commercial Artists. Failing to attract many customers, Disney and Iwerks agreed that Disney should leave temporarily to earn money at the Kansas City Film Ad Company, run by A. V. Cauger; the following month Iwerks, who was not able to run their business alone, also joined. The company produced commercials using the cutout animation technique. Disney became interested in animation, although he preferred drawn cartoons such as Mutt and Jeff and Koko the Clown. With the assistance of a borrowed book on animation and a camera, he began experimenting at home. He came to the conclusion that cel animation was more promising than the cutout method. Unable to persuade Cauger to try cel animation at the company, Disney opened a new business with a co-worker from the Film Ad Co, Fred Harman. Their main client was the local Newman Theater, and the short cartoons they produced were sold as "Newman's Laugh-O-Grams". Disney studied Paul Terry's Aesop's Fables as a model, and the first six "Laugh-O-Grams" were modernized fairy tales.
  • 1919
    Age 17
    Disney returned to Kansas City in October 1919, where he worked as an apprentice artist at the Pesmen-Rubin Commercial Art Studio.
    More Details Hide Details There, he drew commercial illustrations for advertising, theater programs and catalogs. He also befriended fellow artist Ub Iwerks.
  • 1918
    Age 16
    After forging the date of birth on his birth certificate, he joined the Red Cross in September 1918 as an ambulance driver.
    More Details Hide Details He was shipped to France but arrived in November, after the armistice. He drew cartoons on the side of his ambulance for decoration and had some of his work published in the army newspaper Stars and Stripes.
    In mid-1918, Disney attempted to join the United States Army to fight against the Germans, but he was rejected for being too young.
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  • 1917
    Age 15
    In 1917, Elias bought stock in a Chicago jelly producer, the O-Zell Company, and moved back to the city with his family.
    More Details Hide Details Disney enrolled at McKinley High School and became the cartoonist of the school newspaper, drawing patriotic pictures about World War I; he also took night courses at the Chicago Academy of Fine Arts.
  • CHILDHOOD
  • 1911
    Age 9
    In 1911, the Disneys moved to Kansas City, Missouri.
    More Details Hide Details There, Disney attended the Benton Grammar School, where he met fellow-student Walter Pfeiffer, who came from a family of theatre fans and introduced Disney to the world of vaudeville and motion pictures. Before long, he was spending more time at the Pfeiffers' house than at home. Elias had purchased a newspaper delivery route for The Kansas City Star and Kansas City Times. Disney and his brother Roy woke up at 4:30 every morning to deliver the Times before school and repeated the round for the evening Star after school. The schedule was exhausting, and Disney often received poor grades after falling asleep in class, but he continued his paper route for more than six years. He attended Saturday courses at the Kansas City Art Institute and also took a correspondence course in cartooning.
  • 1909
    Age 7
    He and his younger sister Ruth started school at the same time at the Park School in Marceline in late 1909.
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  • 1906
    Age 4
    In 1906, when Disney was four, the family moved to a farm in Marceline, Missouri, where his uncle Robert had just purchased land.
    More Details Hide Details In Marceline, Disney developed his interest in drawing when he was paid to draw the horse of a retired neighborhood doctor. Elias was a subscriber to the Appeal to Reason newspaper, and Disney practiced drawing by copying the front-page cartoons of Ryan Walker. Disney also began to develop an ability to work with watercolors and crayons. He lived near the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway line and became enamored of trains.
  • 1903
    Age 1
    Aside from Disney, Elias and Call's sons were Herbert, Raymond and Roy; the couple had a fifth child, Ruth, in December 1903.
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  • 1901
    Born
    Walt Disney was born on December 5, 1901, at 1249 Tripp Avenue, in Chicago's Hermosa neighborhood.
    More Details Hide Details He was the fourth son of Elias Disneyborn in the Province of Canada, to Irish parentsand Flora (Call), an American of German and English descent.
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