Walter Elias Disney

Success in the making

Thursday, Dec. 5th 1901 at 12:30am to Thursday, March 17th, 2:30am

Hermosa, Chicago, IL, United States

Chicago, IL

The Life of Disney
Walt Before Mickey - Exclusive Trailer (2014) Walt Disney Biopic

A Beginning

He was born on December 5 1901. He had 3 older siblings and 1 younger, Roy, Herbert, Raymond, and Ruth. His whole family had a knack for business except him. He started school in 1909 and had to repeat the 2nd grade. In eighth grade he made cartoons for the school newspaper.
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Hoping to join the army during WWI he dropped out of school at 16 but was rejected so, he joined the Red cross instead. He drove an ambulance in France just after WWI.
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Coming Back to the U.S.

  • When he got back to the U.S. he got a job at an art studio but that only lasted about a month

  • He then started a company called Iwerks-Disney with a colleague, Ub Iwerks, but Disney soon left for a job in Kansas City


Animation caught Disney’s eye so he sought out to learn more, “I gained my first information on animation from a book, which I procured from the Kansas City Public Library,” he said. He soon decided he wanted to become a director so he founded Disney Bros. studio in Hollywood along his brother. Working again with Iwerks they created Mickey Mouse (they called him Mortimer) and made two movies with him in it (no sound). They could not find a distributor so they added sound to the third, “Steam Boat Willy”. (only watch the first minute)
Walt Disney Animation Studios' Steamboat Willie


  • He created his own company

  • He won 20 academy awards

  • In 1934 he created snow white and the seven dwarfs, his first full length film

  • after that he created Pinocchio, fantasia, Dumbo, and Bambi. All of which are still being watched to this day.

  • On July 17, 1955 Disneyland was opened in Anaheim, California

What you Don't know about Disney

  • Disneyland was made because Walt was bored
  • Mickey was named by Walt’s wife, he was originally named Mortimer
  • Before Mickey was created, Oswald the lucky rabbit was Walt’s first big hit, But he sold him in 1927. 79 years later, NBC (which is owned by Universal) wanted to hire sportscaster Al Michaels for their newly acquired Sunday Night Football. Michaels, though, was under contract with ESPN, which is owned by Disney. Luckily, the two were able to come to a fair trade: a sportscaster for a rabbit.
  • Mickey’ Mouse’s first words were in The Karnival Kid in 1929. In fact, those were the first words ever to be spoken by an animated character. Those words? “Hot dog!”
  • In 1938 Walt was awarded an Oscar for ‘Snow white and the seven dwarfs’ and he was also awarded 7 miniature Oscars
  • For a few years in the 1930’s Walt owned technicolor making him the only person who could make color animations

Disney Dies

  • After many years of making animations and creating a huge amusement park Walt Disney Died of lung cancer in 1966 (age 65) in Burbank CA


Casey Starnes, Walt and Mickey statue, Photograph, Dlr Prep School, Prep School Corporation inc, web, 16 March 2016

Oswald the Lucky Rabbit, Photograph, This Day in Disney History, This Day in Disney History, web, 16 March 2016

Walt Baby Picture, Photograph, Pinterest, Disney Enterprises inc, 1902, web, 16 March 2016

Walt With Red Cross, Photograph, mtfca, mtcfa, 1918, 16 March 2016

Movie Spawn, Walt Before Mickey trailer, online video clip, You Tube, You Tube, 12 September 2014, web, 16 March 2016

Walt Disney Animation Studios, Steam Boat Willie, online video clip, You Tube, You Tube, 27 August 2009, web, 16 March 2016