Out of all the famous and influential people in the world, only a few names are recognized by everyone, and that is none other than Walt Disney. Disney has cemented itself as a force to reckon with, building on and off-screen entertainment for both kids and adults. What do you know about this company besides their beautiful fictional princesses? Here’s how Walt Disney created a multi-billion dollar company.
Who Is Walt Disney?
Born on December 5, 1901, Walter Elias Disney was a passionate American animator and film producer. This entrepreneur pivoted the animation industry, introducing new techniques such as synchronized sound and color cartoons via his hit cartoon Steamboat Willie in 1928.
He is known as the father of the beloved cartoon character Mickey Mouse and founded the Disney Brothers Cartoon Studio with his brother, Roy O. Disney. Today, the company is now known as Walt Disney and is valued at around $160 billion.
How Did Walt Create the Company?
Walter Disney left his unsuccessful animation company, which he called Laugh-O-gram Films, in 1923. He used his last $40 to board a train for himself and his brother to Los Angeles and began animating in his uncle’s garage. He sold a short film called Alice’s Wonderland and signed a contract.
Together, they formed the Disney Brother Company in October 1923. The success of Alice’s Wonderland and his Oswald the Lucky Rabbit series projected his success. In 1928, he introduced Steamboat Willie, bringing Mickey Mouse and Walt Disney to the limelight.
How Did Walt Create the Theme Park?
When Walter received numerous letters from his fans about visiting the Walt Disney Studios, he realized he had nothing interesting to show. The concept of Disneyland came when he was visiting Griffith Park with his daughters and got inspired to build something similar.
He planned on building a place where adults and children can have fun. He designed small play parks and roller coasters that will be built near the Burbank studios. The park concept was based on the Mickey Mouse character; however, he later got inspiration from other building structures.
The Inspiration Behind the First Cartoon
Contrary to popular opinion, Oswald the Lucky Rabbit was Disney’s first fictional cartoon character. This character was inspired by Douglas Fairbanks, an American actor and filmmaker. Oswald was slightly different from Mickey Mouse and lacked the popularity the mouse had.
However, Walt Disney was forced to forego the rights of Oswald to Universal Studios, which made him create Mickey Mouse as a replacement. After several years, Disney initiated a trade with NBC to bring back Oswald in 2006.
How Was the First Cartoon Created?
Disney’s first cartoon, Mickey Mouse, was created specially. His unique circular ears, which remain noticeable regardless of any outfit or hat, played an iconic role in the character’s popularity. Disney and his chief animator, Ub Iwerks, used Oswald as a template for Mickey.
They reformed Oswald’s elderly look into a sleeker frame to fit Mickey. Disney incorporated Oswald’s mischievous personality into Mickey. The Duo aimed at reinventing Oswald’s weakness into a perfect character everyone would love.