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Walt Disney – Creator of Wonders!

September 3, 2009

What are the first things we think about when we hear the word ‘Disney’? The evergreen Mickey Mouse, the cute and innocent Snow white, and many more such unforgettable animated characters. But very few of us know about the mastermind behind these immortal creations – Walt Elias Disney.

Walt Disney had the audacity to translate his musings into a billion dollar company. Born on December 5, 1901, Walt Disney spent most of his childhood in Marceline, Missouri, where his family had purchased a farm. It was here, he discovered his passion for drawing when a retired doctor living next door paid him to draw pictures of his horse. But his idyllic farm days didn’t last for long as his father, due to some illness had to sell off the farm, forcing them to move to the Kansas City. Here, Walt worked on a local newspaper route delivering the Kansas City Star.

Walt was sent to the Benton School of Grammar where he got acquainted with Walter Pfeiffer. The Pfeiffers were theater aficionados, and introduced Walt to the world of vaudeville and motion pictures. During high school, Walt engaged his time drawing patriotic cartoons for the school newspaper. And, when he could find enough time, he would attend night classes at the Chicago Art Institute.

At the age of 16, Disney finally dropped out of school to join the Army, only to be rejected for being too young. He even forged his birth certificate to join the American Red Cross Ambulance Corps, but by the time he finished his training, the war had ended. Disney decided to stay in France and worked as an ambulance driver, all the while continuing to spend his spare time drawing, completely covering his ambulance with his own cartoon creations. After two years, Disney returned to America, where he decided to finally pursue his passion seriously.

Disney’s dream of becoming an artist was rejected by his father.  Thus, with the help of his older brother, Roy, Disney found work making print ads at the Pesemen-Rubin Art Studio and continued experimenting with animation. He soon found himself fascinated with the possibilities of animation. Since then, never ever did he look back. His journey from there onwards created wonders for the world. He made his mark in the motion pictures world with his cartoon characters like Mickey Mouse, and adaptations like Alice in Wonderland, Snow White and the seven dwarfs, Sleeping Beauty – the list is endless.

In 1940s, Disney drew sketches of his ideas for an amusement park where he envisioned his employees spending time with their children. He got his idea for a children’s theme park after visiting Children’s Fairyland in Oakland, California.  Thus, was created Disneyland.

Since then, the Disney Empire expanded beyond belief, more amusement parks popped up not only in America, but also all over the world, and films are still being created under his name. And Walt Disney, the man who started it all and added panache of his and the nation’s good morality, will remain a household name forever!

To quote Walt Disney, “I don’t like formal gardens. I like wild nature. It’s just the wilderness instinct in me…” These words say it all!

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