A Tribute to Walt Disney
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Walter Elias Disney was born in Chicago, Illinois, on December 5, 1901. Walt Disney's parents were Elias and Flora Disney. Walt had three brothers, and one sister. His sister was named Ruth, and his brothers were Roy, Ray, and Hubert. His father, Elias, had a bad temper, and he would beat Walt almost every day.
He grew up in Marceline and Kansas City, Missouri. (It is said that these two cities inspired the main streets in both Disney World and Disneyland.) Walt became interested in drawing at an early age, using coal on toilet paper as there wasn't very much paper available. Still, he began selling his first sketches to neighbors when he was only seven years old.
Walt's interest in drawing never wavered; during the fall of 1918, he joined the Red Cross and was sent overseas, where he spent a year driving an ambulance and chauffeuring Red Cross officials. His ambulance was covered from stem to stem, not with stock camouflage, but with drawings and cartoons.
In August of 1923, Walt Disney left for Hollywood with nothing but a few drawing materials, $40 in his pocket and a completed animated and live-action film. Walt's brother, Roy 0. Disney, was already in California, with an immense amount of sympathy and encouragement, and $250. Pooling their resources, they borrowed an additional $500, and constructed a camera stand in their uncle's garage. Soon, they received an order from New York for the first "Alice Comedy" featurette, and the brothers began their production operation in the rear of a Hollywood real estate office two blocks away.
On July 13, 1925, Walt married one of his first employees, Lillian Bounds, in Lewiston, Idaho. They had two daughters, Diane and Sharon.
In 1928 Disney made history with the creation of "Plane Crazy." However, before the cartoon could be released, sound burst upon the motion picture screen. Thus Mickey made his screen debut in "Steamboat Willie," the world's first fully-synchronized sound cartoon. In fact Mickey's squeaky voice was supplied by Disney.
Walt's drive to perfect the art of animation was endless. Technicolor was introduced to animation during the production of his "Silly Symphonies." In 1932, the film entitled "Flowers and Trees" won Walt the first of his 32 personal Academy Awards. That same year, "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs" came out. It was the first full-length animated musical. During the next five years, Walt completed such other full-length animated classics as "Pinocchio," "Fantasia," "Dumbo," and "Bambi."
During his lifetime Disney won a record 30 Academy Awards and has been named among the most successful American entrepreneurs. His entertainment empire includes the amusement parks parks of Disneyland and Walt Disney World, as well as several film studios. Walt Disney died December 15, 1966. Biography from Tombtown.com
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