Walt Disney

Walt Diney\'s name is known worldwide. Most people have seen one of his
films. However, few people know what he was like as a person. I would like
to introduce him to you in my paper. I hope that after reading this you will
better know the man behind the movies.
Walt Disney knew at a very young age that he wanted to be an artist.
He was born in Chicago on December 5, 1901. When he was five his family
moved to Marceline, Missouri. He lived on a farm with his parents Flora and
Elias, his older brothers Ray, Hubert, and Roy, and his little sister, Ruth.1
His love for art began on the farm. Since he was too young to work on the
farm, he drew the animals. When he was seven, he and his sister began
attending school, but in 1917 his family returned to Chicago.2 In Chicago he
took a summer job on a railroad. When he began at McKinley High School,
he took the money he earned to pay for art classes at the Chicago Academy of
Fine Arts.3 When he was sixteen he lied about his age to join the American
Red Cross during World War I.
Walt Disney had difficulty holding a steady job. His father advised
him to take a job at the Chicago jelly factory. But, he determinedly replied," I
want to be an artist."4 His first endeavor was the Iwerks-Disney firm. He
and his friend , Ub Iwerks, rented a small studio and designed ads for local
businesses. They payed the rent of the studio in artwork.5 In April of 1920,
Disney took a better paying job at the Kansas City Film Ad company. Ub
also took a position at the company.6 Later Walt Disney left the company
and moved to Hollywood. He wanted to make longer animated cartoons in
stead of short animated ads. Disney\'s first character with a personality, was
Oswald the Rabbit. But, in a scandal, he lost the character and several
animators. Outraged by the loss he vowed," Never again will I work for
somebody else."7 After his last disappointment he made another
character, Mortimer Mouse. His wife disliked the name and renamed him
Mickey Mouse.
Mickey Mouse was the beginning of several successful films. The
best known of the early Mickey cartoons was Steamboat Willie, the first
animated film with sound. Walt used his own voice for Mickey.8 Walt
Disney still wished to make even longer films and now the invention of the
multiplane camera made it possible. The multiplane camera made Disney\'s
cartoons look better and saved his animators work. Walt Disney\'s next film
was a masterpiece the that changed animation forever. Snow White and the
Seven Dwarfs was the first full length animated film. It premiered December
21, 1937 and made eight million dollars on its first release. Snow White also
won an Academy Award for best picture of 1937.9 His next full length film
was Pinocchio, an Italian folk tale. To raise Mickey\'s popularity, he put him
in " The Sorcerer\'s Apprentice," which was a segment of another movie,
Fantasia. Fantasia was entirely classical music and dancing characters, no
dialogue. Both films did well.10 He made many other successful films, that
weren\'t animated, nature films. Though critics claimed they weren\'t true to
life, many people liked them. Disney was the first person to make nature
films and some of them received well deserved Academy Awards.11
A strike and World War II put Disney Studios deeply in debt. Many of
Disney\'s animators went on strike because they felt weren\'t being payed
enough for the long hours they worked.12 During World War II, Disney
Studios wasn\'t the only organization that needed money. Henry Morgenthau
asked Disney to make a movies to encourage citizens to their taxes. The
movies that Walt Disney made starred Donald Duck. Morgenthau didn\'t like
Donald Duck but he approved the film anyway. A survey showed that 37%
of the people who saw the movies were more willing to pay their taxes.13
Disney Studios was in debt five million dollars. to pay off the debt a few live
action films were made. In 1950 the debt was payed by money from the full
length animated film, Cinderella. The money remaining finished two movies
Peter Pan and Alice in Wonderland. Neither film did well and the Disney
Studios were again in debt.14 Careless spending was another reason that
Disney was in debt. He borrowed three million dollars to build a new studio
in Burbank and have unnecessary changes made to older studios.15
Walt Disney\'s dream of an amusement park seemed unrealistic.