In 1925, he recruited ink-and-paint artist Lillian Bound, little knowing then that the two would become lifelong partners.The dream-run for Disney ended in 1928 when he realized that Universal Pictures had bought the trademark for Oswald and that most of his creative designers, except Iwerk, had forsaken him for the Universal Pictures.Together with Iwerk, he worked on creating a new character, based on his pet mouse which he adopted during the Laugh-o-Gram days. The final touches to the sketch gave the world of animation a new character in Mickey Mouse.While the first two animated shorts did not bring Mickey Mouse much fame due to them being silent movies, the third short, was sound and music equipped became an instant success and created a sensation. Walt gave his voice for Mickey.After the supper success of Mickey’s third short, Streamboat Willie, he launched sound in all of his subsequent cartoon.
In 1929, he released a series of musical shorts, titled ‘Silly Symphonies’, which featured Mickey’s friends, Donald Duck, Goofy, Pluto and Mickey’s girlfriend Minnie Mouse.
In 1933, he created his most memorable cartoon short, ‘The Three Little Pigs’. The cartoon was a big hit and garnered positive reviews. Furthermore, its anthem song, ‘Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf’ became an iconic number during the Great Depression.
In 1935, he created history by launching ‘Flowers and Trees’, then one of the most popular cartoon shorts, in color. For the same, he was bestowed with the prestigious Academy Award.
In 1934, he planned to come up with a full-length animation feature. People deemed it to be ‘Disney’s Folly’ and the mark of his downfall. His wife and brother even encouraged in talking him out of the project but in vain.
After a successful training schedule, his high-profile leap of a feature film titled, ‘Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs’, went into production in 1934. After three years, the film premiered at the Carthay Circle Theatre, Los Angeles.
‘Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs’ opened to public in February 1938. The film was a blockbuster at the box office and went on to become the most successful film of 1938. In its initial release, the film had grossed $8 million.
The grand success of Snow White not only catapulted the position of Disney in the world of animation but also brought about an era, which later was given the name as the Golden Age of Animation.Following the success of his first film, he started working on several others, including, ‘Pinnochio’, ‘Fantasia’, ‘Dumbo’ and ‘Bambi’. Simultaneously, the short staff continued to work on the characters of Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, Goofy, and Pluto cartoon seriesIn 1939, he opened the Walt Disney Studios in Burbank. However, two years later, a strike by Disney Animators resulted in heavy losses for the studio as many of the animators resigned from work.By 1950s, after stabilizing the financial condition of Walt Disney Studios, he started focussing again on feature films. The first to release was ‘Cinderella’ in 1950, which was followed by ‘Alice in Wonderland’, ‘Peter Pan’, ‘Treasure Island’, ‘Lady in the Tramp’, ‘Sleeping Beauty’ and ‘101 Dalmatians’.
-In the early 1930s, Walt suffered what he called, "a heck of a breakdown." He was anxious about the ability for cartoon shorts to really deliver serious profit. Beyond being irritable at his employees, that breakdown included sleepless hours in bed at night. There were story sessions where he was completely unfocused and unable to contribute. He would even plunge into crying spells at a moment's notice. At the urging of others, he and his wife took a second honeymoon by going on a long-anticipated voyage down the Mississippi River. But when they arrived at the St. Louis waterfront, they found out that the Great Depression had wiped out the passenger trade. They had to go elsewhere to vacation.