Inspirational Messages For LIfe

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Walt Disney: The Man of Inspiration Messages

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Walt Disney Showing Plans Of Disneyland To Officials


“All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them.”

Walt Disney

We all like to dream and find the inspiration messages to project ourselves into a better life. The cinema has always had the ability to transport us to somewhere else – even if only for a couple of hours.

One of the greatest dream makers the world has ever produced is Walt Disney. His name is known all over the world and his movies, characters and theme parks are as influential now as they ever were. But who was the man behind the fantasies?

Walter Elias Disney was born on 5 December 1901 in Chicago, one of five children. He had three brothers and one sister. His father, Elias was Irish-Canadian and his mother had German roots. Soon after Walt’s birth the family moved to Marceline, Missouri where the young Walt took a keen interest in the rural life, including the animals around him.

From a very early age, he loved drawing and sold sketches to friends and neighbours. His uncle worked on the Santa Fe Railroad and later Walt worked selling newspapers and refreshments to passengers. During this time he also developed a love of the railway.

At high school in Chicago, the young Walt continued his interest in art and a new-found love of photography. He contributed illustrations to the school newspaper and took a course at Art College in the evenings. He was profoundly influenced too when he saw his first movie in a small early cinema in Marceline.

During the closing year of the First World War, the 16-year-old Walt travelled to France to work with the Red Cross. The ambulance he worked in was covered in cartoon drawings!

Back in America, Walt was fascinated by the idea of animated drawings. His brother Roy found him a job at a Kansas City art studio and then at an advertising agency producing animated commercials. Still enthusiastic about animation, Walt started his own company with a colleague, Fred Harman.

The two began to produce cartoons and to show them at a local theatre, calling them ‘Laugh-O-Grams.’ The shows were extremely popular so the pair hired more employees and produced more shows, including some combining cartoons and live action. Sadly in 1923, financial problems forced Disney to declare himself bankrupt.

His natural enthusiasm meant Walt was not cowed by his failure and he joined his brother Roy, who had moved to California. Together with a former employee of ‘Laugh-O-Gram,’ Ubbe Iwerks, the pair borrowed $500 and set up a studio in an uncle’s garage. They produced a short movie, ‘Alice In Cartoonland,’ which they sold to a New York company and a series of shorts based on the character Oswald the Lucky Rabbit.

After some success, Walt discovered the New York distributor had stolen the rights to Oswald the Lucky Rabbit along with most of their illustrators. Nonetheless, Walt’s enthusiasm kept them going and the two brothers, along with Iwerks, started work on a new character Walt had created called Mickey Mouse.

In the meantime, in 1925, Walt had fallen for one of their employees, an artist named Lillian Bound, and the pair married. Both the brothers’ wives worked in the new company and, after failing to find a market for their silent Mickey Mouse films, the advent of talking pictures enabled them to create, and distribute, a new short movie, ‘Steam Boat Willie.’ Walt provided the voice of Mickey and the new film, the first of its kind, was a massive success.

Statue Of Walt Disney And Mickey Mouse At Disneyland

The next few years were ones of great success for Disney. ‘Silly Symphonies,’ produced in 1929 introduced more of the characters we associate with this great dreamer, Donald Duck, Minnie Mouse, Pluto and Goofy. Walt’s first of 22 Oscars was won by ‘Flowers and Tree,’ the first animation produced in colour, and ‘The Three Little Pigs’ included the song ‘Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf.’

Disney produced the first full-length musical animation in 1937 with ‘Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.’ This movie cost an astronomical (at the time) $1.4 million but quickly earned more than $8 million, rapidly becoming a milestone in the history of the movie industry. The film is still hugely popular today.

Now began among the most successful years of Disney productions with films like Bambi, Dumbo, Pinocchio and Fantasia wowing audiences all over the world. A new studio complex was opened in 1939 but there were also two events that shook Walt both personally and professionally.

In 1938, his mother, the source of most of his words of motivation in the early years was accidentally killed by carbon monoxide in her home. Walt felt this terribly for the rest of his life.

A large number of animators went on strike in 1941, halting production. Unfortunately many of them left the company and it was some years before the company resumed full production although during the war years most of the output was for training, health and propaganda films.

After the war, Walt Disney found his stride again, producing a new strain of live-action movies using animals as both a source of entertainment and education. He also produced some memorable mixed animation and life action movies, including ‘Mary Poppins,’ which was the last film produced by Walt. The studio also began its venture into television with some success.

A new dream drew Walt Disney’s enthusiasm. In 1955 the $17 million Disneyland Park opened to the public and very quickly returned an income many times the money invested. In it’s first 25 years, Disneyland had over 200 million visitors. The next idea was for a huge theme park in Florida. With an area twice the size of Manhattan, the park was to be a resort encompassing education and entertainment. It took more than 7 years to plan and construct.

Walt Disney died of lung cancer in December 1966, five years before the opening of Walt Disney World. His brother, Roy, oversaw the completion of the project.

The legacy of Walt Disney lives on in our hearts. Few other people can have inspired and entertained so many people and the Walt Disney Corporation, formed in 1923 by Walt and Roy with a $500 (plus $250 of their own savings) now has an annual revenue of more than $25 billion.

What can you achieve with a dream and enthusiasm?

“All the adversity I’ve had in my life, all my troubles and obstacles, have strengthened me… You may not realize it when it happens, but a kick in the teeth may be the best thing in the world for you.”

Walt Disney

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