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The Walt Disney History

December 13, 2017

Alice in Wonderland,Cinderella, Mickey all these legendary faces have marked our childhood but how was this company launched?


The company started in 1923 with two men: Walt and Roy Disney, two brothers. They produced short animated films called the Alice Comedies. This sucess allowed them to  spread and  to move to Burbank.

Disney created his first character known as Oswald the lucky rabbit, however Charles Mintz took the rights of Oswald from Walt Disney and claimed Oswald as an official Universal Studios character. Universal pictures  is an American film studio too. Following this event Mintz hired four of Disney’s  animators  to start his own animation studio.

They tried to find a way to replace Oswald.  Walter created a mouse named Mickey which will became a legendary character, a  mascot of the Disney company. Mickey officially begins  in the short film Steamboat Willie, one of the first  sound cartoons. He  appeared  in 130 productions of Disney.

In 1932, Disney signed an exclusive contract with Technicolor to produce cartoons in color, beginning with Flowers and trees .

The success:

The movie Snow White and the seven Dwarfs was released in 1937. It became the highest-grossing film of that time by 1939. Using the profits from Snow White, Disney financed the construction of a new 51-acre (210,000 m2) studio in Burkank, California; the new Walt Disney studio in which the company is headquartered to this day,

SNOW WHITE AND THE SEVEN DWARFS, producer Walt Disney, with models and sketches, 1937

The studio continued releasing animated films, such as Pinocchio(1940), Fantasia(1940), Dumbo (1941), and  Bambi (1942).

The slowing down of the compagny:  WWII

After World War II  box-office profits declined. When the United States entered the war after the attack of pearl Harbor many of Disney’s animators were enrolled into the armed forces. The U.S. and Canadian governments commissioned the studio to produce  propaganda movies.

In 1942, 90% of its 550 employees were working on war  films such as the Victory Through Air Power and Education for death. Both released in 1943, they were meant to  support  the war effort and raise people’s awareness.

Post War:

After the end of the war,the producers started to slowly produce short animation movies and then they tried to throw feature length animation again. The release of Cinderella in 1950 proved that feature-length animation could still succeed in the marketplace. Other movies were released: Alice in Wonderland (1951) and Peter Pan1953), both were in production before the war had begun.

In October 1954, the ABC network launched Disney’s first regular television series, Disneyland.This allowed Disney a platform to introduce new projects, and ABC became Disney’s partner in the financing and development of Disney. In 1954, Walt Disney used his Disneyland series to unveil what would become Disneyland: a place  where parents and children could both have fun at the same time. On July 18, 1955, Walt Disney opened Disneyland to the  public.

The death of Roy and Walter Disney:

Walt Disney died from  cancer in 1966, his brother Roy renamed “Disney World” as “Walt Disney World”. His two last movies were The Jungle Book and The Happiest Millionaire which were released in 1967. On December 20, 1971 Roy died of a stroke.  Walt Disney was never a rich man despite the success of Disney , because he valued perfection for his movies more than his profits. “I don’t make movies to make money,” he once said, “I make money so I can make more movies.” was Walt’s state of mind.

Donn Tatum, Card Walker  and Walt’s son-in-law Ron Millereach trained by Walt and Roy were at the head of the compagny after their deaths.

The 1990s were a hugely successful decade for the Disney Company. Animated films continued in 1994 with The Lion King, which soon became one of the highest-grossing films of all-time. It was followed by Pocahontas in 1995, The Hunchback of Notre Dame in 1996, Hercules in 1997, Mulan in 1998, Tarzan in 1999

More recently movies such as  Finding DoryVaina, Vice Versa or Frozen have also been a great success for Disney.

The magic of these movies is that adults and children are used to watching them regardless of their ages. They keep watching the old and the recent Disney movies.


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