Watching Disney movies growing up, I never knew the story of how “Disney” all began. I never knew the hard times that Walt Disney overcame before he became a huge worldwide success. At Walt Disney World in Florida, there is an attraction called “Walt Disney: One Man’s Dream.” It is a walk-through attraction with over 400 artifacts featuring animation art, paintings, storyboards, photos, models, props, costumes and set pieces. At the end of the tour, there is a 15 minute film hosted by Julie Andrews. It was here, that I truly felt inspired to continue Adventures of the Bunny Baron: Captain Barnacle’s Revenge. At one point, I felt too busy and didn’t have faith in myself to make it happen. After watching this video, seeing the hard times and great times that Walt Disney himself went through and overcame, I knew I could do it. It gave me new hope, and reassurance that no matter what happens, I wanted to finish my book, and I wanted the world to be able to read it!
I found a Biography on Walt Disney online and decided to add it to this post. It follows Walt’s highs and lows early on in his career, including many things that I saw in the “One Man’s Dream” video.
Walter Elias Disney was born on December 5, 1901, in Chicago, Illinois. He was one of five children, living in Marceline, Missouri. His love for drawing started early, and as he got older, he began drawing, painting and selling pictures to neighbors and family friends. In 1911, his family moved to Kansas City.
A few years later Walt Disney moved again and took drawing and photography classes at McKinley High School in Chicago. There, he was a cartoonist for the school paper. At night, he also took courses at the Chicago Art Institute. When Disney was 16, he dropped out of school to join the army but was rejected for being underage. Instead, he joined the Red Cross and was sent to France for a year.
Disney returned from France in 1919 and moved back to Kansas City to pursue a career as a newspaper artist. His brother Roy got him a job at the Pesmen-Rubin Art Studio. He met cartoonist Ubbe Iwerks. From there, Disney worked at the Kansas City Film Ad Company, where he made commercials based on cutout animation. Disney began experimenting with a camera, doing hand-drawn cell animation, and decided to open his own animation business. His first employee was Fred Harmon from the ad company. Continue reading