Walt Disney was an American motion-picture and television producer and showman, famous as a pioneer of cartoon films and as the creator of Disneyland.
“Laughter is America’s most important export.”
Walt Disney – Mini Biography (TV-14; 04:15) Walt Disney loved drawing at an early age and opened an animation studio in 1923. In 1928, his animated short film “Steamboat Willie” was released and introduced Mickey Mouse, who would become the mascot of The Walt Disney Company.
Walter Elias “Walt” Disney was born on December 5, 1901, in Hermosa, Illinois. He and his brother Roy co-founded Walt Disney Productions, which became one of the best-known motion-picture production companies in the world. Disney was an innovative animator and created the cartoon character Mickey Mouse. He won 22 Academy Awards during his lifetime, and was the founder of theme parks Disneyland and Walt Disney World.
Walter Elias “Walt” Disney was born on December 5, 1901, in the Hermosa section of Chicago, Illinois. His father was Elias Disney, an Irish-Canadian, and his mother, Flora Call Disney, was German-American. Disney was one of five children, four boys and a girl. He lived most of his childhood in Marceline, Missouri, where he began drawing, painting and selling pictures to neighbors and family friends. In 1911, his family moved to Kansas City, where Disney developed a love for trains. His uncle, Mike Martin, was a train engineer who worked the route between Fort Madison, Iowa, and Marceline. Later, Disney would work a summer job with the railroad, selling snacks and newspapers to travelers.
Disney attended McKinley High School in Chicago, where he took drawing and photography classes and was a contributing cartoonist for the school paper. At night, he 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 to drive an ambulance.
When Disney returned from France in 1919, he 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, where he met cartoonist Ubbe Eert Iwwerks, better known as Ub Iwerks. From there, Disney worked at the Kansas City Film Ad Company, where he made commercials based on cutout animation. Around this time, Disney began experimenting with a camera, doing hand-drawn cel animation, and decided to open his own animation business. From the ad company, he recruited Fred Harman as his first employee.
Walt and Harman made a deal with a local Kansas City theater to screen their cartoons, which they called Laugh-O-Grams. The cartoons were hugely popular, and Disney was able to acquire his own studio, upon which he bestowed the same name. Laugh-O-Gram hired a number of employees, including Harman’s brother Hugh and Iwerks. They did a series of seven-minute fairy tales that combined both live action and animation, which they called Alice in Cartoonland. By 1923, however, the studio had become burdened with debt, and Disney was forced to declare bankruptcy.
Disney and his brother, Roy, soon pooled their money and moved to Hollywood. Iwerks also relocated to California, and there the three began the Disney Brothers’ Studio. Their first deal was with New York distributor Margaret Winkler, to distribute their Alice cartoons. They also invented a character called Oswald the Lucky Rabbit, and contracted the shorts at $1,500 each.
In 1925, Disney hired an ink-and-paint artist named Lillian Bounds. After a brief courtship, the couple married.
A few years later, Disney discovered that Winkler and her husband, Charles Mintz, had stolen the rights to Oswald, along with all of Disney’s animators, except for Iwerks. Right away the Disney brothers, their wives and Iwerks produced three cartoons featuring a new character Walt had been developing called Mickey Mouse. The first animated shorts featuring Mickey were Plane Crazy and The Gallopin’ Gaucho, both silent films for which they failed to find distribution. When sound made its way into film, Disney created a third, sound-and-music-equipped short called Steamboat Willie. With Walt as the voice of Mickey, the cartoon was an instant sensation.
Walter Elias Disney (Chicago, Illinois; 5 de diciembre de 1901 – Burbank, California; 15 de diciembre de 1966) fue un productor, director, guionista y animador estadounidense, de rumoreado origen español.Figura capital de la historia del cine de animación infantil, está considerado un ícono internacional gracias a sus importantes contribuciones a la industria del entretenimiento durante gran parte del siglo XX, famoso por personajes como el Pato Donald o Mickey Mouse. Fundó junto a su hermano Roy O. Disney la compañía Walt Disney Productions, que años después se convirtió en la más célebre productora del campo de la animación y en la actualidad es la mayor compañía de medios de comunicación y entretenimiento del mundo. Esta corporación, que se conoce hoy con el nombre de The Walt Disney Company, obtuvo solo en el año 2010 unos beneficios de 36 000 millones de dólares.
Disney adquirió renombre como productor de cine, como innovador en el campo de la animación y como diseñador de parques de atracciones. Junto a su equipo creó algunos de los personajes de animación más famosos, en especial Mickey Mouse, una caricatura de un ratón, a la que el propio Disney puso su voz original. Durante su extensa y exitosa carrera en el cine de animación fue premiado con 26 premios Óscar de un total de 59 nominaciones, y recibió otros cuatro premios honoríficos, lo que lo convierte en la persona que más premios de la Academia ha ganado. También fue galardonado con siete premios Emmy.
Walt Disney murió el 15 de diciembre de 1966 a causa de un cáncer de pulmón.