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Walt Disney

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Imagine the world without the famous characters Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Donald Duck and the rest of the magical family. To this day, they have been the reason children wake up early and charge towards the television. Walter Elias Disney was born in Chicago, created many of the Disney characters, and built some of the world’s largest amusement parks. If someone were to say “Walt Disney”, automatically everyone thinks Mickey Mouse, Disney channel, Disneyland and Disneyworld. With imagination and creativity Walt Disney has made the “Happiest place on Earth”.
Disney was born on December 5, 1901 in Chicago, Illinois. His father was a farmer and his mother was a teacher. He was the fourth sibling out of five. His parents decided to move to a farm near Marceline Missouri when Disney was a few months old. He lived in an old fashioned town which inspired the Main Street of Disneyland. His father got fed up with being a farmer so they moved to Kansas City, Missouri. In Kansas City, Disney delivered papers for his father’s morning newspaper route. Disney started to study cartooning at Kansas City Art Institute and School of Design. In 1917, the Disney family moved back to Chicago and he attended McKinley High School. He drew drawings for the school paper, took photographs and studied cartooning so that he could get a job as a newspaper cartoonist. During the fall of 1918, Disney was rejected for the military service because he was only 16 years old (“Walt Disney”). During World War I he volunteered to be an ambulance driver for the American Red Cross in France and Germany. Disney loved drawing so much that he covered the ambulance in paintings of cartoons. After serving his time in the war, he returned to Kansas City for an apprenticeship as a commercial illustrator ("Walter Elias Disney Biography"). This has led Disney into created animated cartoon advertisements. The love Disney had for drawing has made him create many short films.
In 1922, Disney set up his own shop with Ub Iwerks. Ub Iwerks was a young artist with creative talents who contributed to Disney’s success. Disney and Iwerks made one and two minute animated advertising films for local movie theatres. They worked together to make sketches called Laugh-O-Grams. After this Disney started to create The Alice Comedies, which was about a young girl living in a life full of adventures. Things started to go downhill and his company Laugh-O-Grams went bankrupt. Disney headed out to Hollywood to start off fresh. He had no money but with the help of his brother Roy they set up a shop in their uncle’s garage. Disney, Roy, and Iwerks worked together and invented a character called Oswald the Lucky Rabbit. They sent out the films at $1,500 each (“Walt Disney Biography”). In 1925, Disney married one of his employees, Lillian Bounds. They had two daughters, Diane and Sharon, who were both in the Disney industry. In 1927, Disney and Iwerks created the most famous Disney character ever known, Mickey Mouse. The short films called Plane Crazy and Gallopin’ Gaucho introduced Mickey Mouse. He was an eccentric, bubbly, mischievous mouse. Mickey Mouse was becoming very popular, therefore Disney created Minnie Mouse, Donald Duck, Goofy and Pluto. In 1933, Disney produced a short, The Three Little Pigs; this was during the Great Depression. It was about hardworking pig who built his house while the big bad wolf tried to destroy it. It relates to the economic hard times the United States was having during the ’30’s. At home, Disney was a great father figure and always showed love towards his family. He was always there for his family and friends and never turned anyone away. His daughter Diane said, "Daddy never missed a father's function no matter how I discounted it. I'd say Oh, Daddy, you don't need to come. It's just some stupid thing. But he'd always be there, on time"("Walt Disney, Biography"). Disney would do anything for his family he never gave up and was there for whenever they need him. Disney just kept working harder and harder. His next step was creating animated cartoon movies.
Disney expanded his studios where many animators developed the first feature-length cartoon. Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs premiered in Los Angeles, producing $1,499,000 during the Depression (“Walt Disney”). Other famous movies were Pinocchio, Bambi, and the Fantasia. Fantasia was an unusual and exciting musical. In 1940, Disney’s studio was completed under construction. During World War II, 94 percent of the Disney studios were involved in producing propaganda films for the armed forces (“Walt Disney, Biography”). In 1957, Disneyland was opened in Anaheim, California. This has been the most successful amusement park in history with 6.7 million people visiting it by 1966(“Walter Elias Disney Biography”). This has brought tourists to California just to visit Disneyland. In 1971, Disney World opened in Orlando, Florida. This was a place where families could go have fun together. Ever since then, Disney theme parks have opened in Paris and Tokyo. In 1982, EPCOT opened, which stands for Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow. This theme park was almost like a real life community that focused on the creativity of technology. Disney said “I don't believe there is a challenge anywhere in the world that is more important to people everywhere than finding the solution to the problems of our cities. But where do we begin?” Disney believed EPCOT was the solution and that this community would become a prototype for the future. Disney didn't just build theme parks. He built the California Institute of the Arts. This was a school where artists can come together and create all kinds of art. This taught people how to work together so their dreams can come true. In November of 1966, Disney was in bad health he was in and out of the hospital and the doctors discovered that he had cancer in his left lung. He spent his birthday in the hospital and ten days later he passed away due to acute circulatory collapse. His daughter Diane said she remembers him saying, "‘When I'm dead I don't want a funeral. I want people to remember me alive’"(Disney in “Walt Disney, Biography”). No one will ever forget him.
Without a doubt Walt Disney has changed the world. He started off drawing sketches, created short films and animated cartoons, produced hundreds of movies, and created America’s largest amusement parks. He was a creator and a very imaginative person. His creativity will never die; it will always be within everyone. He has made children the happy kids they are. He has made everyone believe that magic does exist. He has proved that you don't need money to become successful; all he need was the courage from his family and friends. He made the world a happier place and transformed the entertainment industry into what it is today. He brightened everyone's future with all of imagination. Even forty years after his death we still continue to hold on to his ideas and fun that he has brought to this world of magic. Imagine what the world would without Walt Disney.





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