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Born Dec. 5, 1901, Hermosa Illinois. He was innovative animation, creator and voice of Mickey Mouse. Co-funded Disney with his brother, Roy Won 22 academy awards. Founder of Disneyland and Walt Disney World, Married Lillian Bounds, an ink and paint artist, in 1925. One of five children, 4 boys and 1 girl. He lived most of his life in Marceline, Missouri. This is where he began painting, drawing, and selling pictures to neighbors and family. He moved to Kansas City in 1911, here he developed a love for trains. He later became a train engineer who sold snacks and newspapers to travellers.
Disney took photography and drawing in High School, and was a cartoonist for his school paper. He dropped out at 16 to join the Army but was rejected because he was underage. So instead he joined the Red Cross and was sent out to France and became an ambulance driver. He moved back to the US in 1919. After coming back into the US, he moved to Kansas City, with the help of his brother, he got a job at the Pesmen-Rubin Art Studio where he was trying to pursue a career as a newspaper artist. Here he met Ub Iwerks and later moved on to work at Kansas City Film Ad Company where he made ads based on cut out animation.
During this process, he began experimenting with a camera and hand drawn cell animation and decided to open his own animation business. He recruited Fred Harman as his first employee. With his business he created Laugh-o-Grams which were short animations. These comics were widely popular and with the money he was able to buy his own studio.They hired on a number of new employees and together created a 7 minute short that combined live action and animation, which was called Alice in Cartoonland. However, by 1923, the business had run out of money, and Walt Disney was forced to declare bankruptcy. Later, Walt Disney and his brother Roy saved up enough money to relocate to Hollywood, California. Here they began to work on creating the Disney Brothers” Studio. Their first deal was with Margaret Winkler, a NY distributor, to distribute their Alice cartoon. They also created a character Oswald the Lucky Rabbit and contracted the shorts at $1,500 each.
A couple years later Disney had discovered that Winkler and her husband had stolen the rights to Oswald and as well as their animators. Because of this the brothers began working on shorts that featured a character Walt Disney had been working on for a while, Mickey Mouse.They first two shorts they created were Plane Crazy and The Gallopin” Gaucho, both of which were silent films. They were unable to find someone willing to distribute it however. When sound finally made it into animation, they created a third comic, named Steamboat Willie, which included Mickey Mouse voiced by Walt Disney himself. The cartoon was an instant hitIn 1929, the Disney company created Silly Symphonies, these included MIcky’s new friends that we know today. Minnie Mouse, Donald Duck, Goofy, and Pluto. One of the most popular cartoons, Flowers and Trees, was the first to be produced in color and win an Oscar. In 1933, The Three Little Pigs and it’s theme song Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf became a theme song for people throughout The Great Depression In December, 1937, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs was the first full lenght animated film and produced a whopping 1.5 million despite being in the midst of the Great Depression. It won 8 Oscars.In the next five years Disney’s company created four more full lenght animated movies, Pinocchio (1940), Fantasia (1940), Dumbo (1941) and Bambi (1942).
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