Walt Disney

By: Anna Donaldson

The Life of Walt Disney

Walt Disney was born on December 5, 1901. He was born in Hermosa, Illinois to a family of five children. He began selling drawings and paintings to neighbors and family friends at the age of 7. He attended McKinley High School where he was the contributing cartoonist for the school. During high school, he took courses at the Chicago Art Institute at nights. In 1919, Walt moved to Kansas City to become a newspaper artist. He decided to open his own animation business called Laugh-O-Grams. This eventually led him to become bankrupt and move to Hollywood where his brother lived. There, Walt and his brother opened the Disney Brother Studio. One of his first employees was an ink and paint artist named Lillian Bounds. Soon after she was hired they got married.

A few years later sound was able to be put into film. Disney produced a short clip called Steamboat Willie with his voice as Mickey Mouse. The cartoon was an instant sensation and his first major airing. After this, the Disney Brother Studio took off and produced more films. People loved the work of Disney. Later on, Walt created the first full length animated film called Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.

In 1955, Walt Disney got his dream of a clean and organized amusement park called Disneyland costing him 17 million dollars. Walt Disney continued making films until he passed away from lung cancer on December 15, 1966 at the age of 65. At the end of his career, Walt Disney had produced 653 films and shorts. He had won 26 Academy Awards and holds the record for most wins and nomination titles.

Mini BIO - Walt Disney

Movie Questions

1. What three men opened the Disney Brothers Studio?

2. What was the first film created in the Disney Brothers Studio?

(Hint: The corner stone of the company.)

3. What was the inspiration behind Walt creating Disneyland?

Walt Disney's Impact on the 1920's

Walt Disney was a very influential person. He had a huge impact on the entertainment industry and the pop culture of the 20's. He helped grow consumerism and the movie industry. Walt Disney was one of the greatest animators of his time. He invented the first cartoon with synchronized sound and the first full length animated feature film. Above all else, he put joy into peoples' lives and let them have a little fun.