Walt Disney: the Struggles he Faced

By: Julia Lewins


Walter Elias Disney was born on December 5, 1901, in Chicago, Illinois. Walt had four other siblings, but his family never stay in one place for very long. The Disney family has a consistency to not accomplish what they set out to do. For example, Walt's grandfather, Kepple Disney left his family to go join an oil crew, but they had no luck in striking any. Another example is when Walt'd father, Elias, purchases an orange grove, but later had to freeze kill all of the crops. Soon after, the Disney family moved to a farm to live happy, quiet lives. When Walt's father got ill, they had to sell the farm. As a result, Walt and his brother Roy had to get jobs as paperboys with their dad. They worked from morning to night. Walt also started drawing cartoons. He was fascinated by animation! Though every time he tried to draw something for the paper or a magazine, he got rejected. He went to McKinley High School where he practiced drawing and photography. He also took classes at the Fine Arts Institute.


Walter's parents are Elias Disney and Flora Call. He has 4 other siblings which include, Roy, Herbert, Raymond, and Ruth Disney. Later in his life, Walt married Lillian. They had two daughters which are, Diane Marie Disney and Sharon Mae Disney.

Career and Accomplishments:

Walt Disney first started out by drawing cartoon, but he didn't think that it would go anywhere. For the longest time, Disney wanted to join the army, but when he tried, he was rejected. He then became an ambulance driver. Walt started drawing cartoons for his co-workers and submitted some to the paper, but hey were all rejected. Later he started a company with his brother, Roy. His first film was named Newman Laugh-O-Gram, after a local theater. Walt made little profit, but saved enough to buy a camera and to rent a studio. Soon after, he was bankrupt, left with only $40. Even through the hard times though, Walter never have up. He has produced many other films like Mickey Mouse, and Snow White. Just think, if Walt Disney didn't continue making cartoons, there would be no Disneyland! Walt created Disney land so that families could enjoy time together. Disney also won 26 Academy Awards over his life time.
Walt Disney Animation Studios' Steamboat Willie


Walt Disney faced many conflicts while achieving his success. When Walter was young, he was told that he, "lacked imagination and had no original ideas." This discouraged Walt but he kept drawing. Therefore, this conflict would be considered as a character vs. character conflict. Another conflict that he faced was that all of the cartoons that he drew for magazines were rejected, which is character vs. character. Also, Walt went bankrupt. Even though Walt was only left with $40, he still managed pursue in his career. This would be considered a character vs. self conflict.

How Walt Faced these Conflicts:

Even though the hard times, Walt still never gave up on drawing and making cartoons. He never get discouraged if no one like what he did, or when magazines rejected him. Another example is when he was bankrupt. Even though he was only left with $40, he still managed to keep pursuing in his career and what he loved the most. Walt then made the Snow White cartoon, in which he made $8 million off of. This was considered his "Golden Age."

Picture Left: Walt Disney works on his first cartoon, Mickey Mouse.

Mini BIO - Walt Disney

The Death of Walt Disney:

Walt Disney tragically died from lung cancer on December 5th, 1966. He was age 65 when he died and his wife died on December 16th, 1966.

The Theme from Walt Disney:

Walter Elias Disney has inspired many people though out his life and even people today. The lesson or theme that we can learn from Walt is that no matter how much people don't approve at what you do, or how discouraged you might be, never give up and follow your dreams. Disney was told that he had no creativity, but he sure proved everyone wrong! Therefore, never give up and keep following your dream.

Inspiring quotes from Disney:

Some inspiring quotes that Walt Disney said are:

" All the adversity I've had in my life, all my troubles and obstacles, have strengthened me. ...You may not realize it when it happens, but a kick in the teeth may be the best thing in the world for you," (Disney- Overcoming Obstacles.)

"Around here... we don't look backwards for very long. We keep moving forward, opening up new doors and doing new things, because we're curious... and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths," (Disney- Overcoming Obstacles.)

Work Cited

A&E Television Networks and LLC and Say Entertainment.”Walt Disney- Mini Biography. Online Video Clip. Biography.com, September 5, 2012. Bio, video. March 14, 2016.


Astrum People, ed. "Walt Disney Biography: The Man Who Believed in Dreams." Astrum People. Astrum People, n.d. Web. 15 Mar. 2016. <http://astrumpeople.com/walt-disney-biography/>.

Hulton Archive/Getty Images.Walt Disney at his drawing board, 1955.Photograph.Encyclopedia Britannica.Web.March 15, 2016.


MacQuarrie, Ashley. "Overcoming Obstacles: Hard work and persistence payed off for Walt Disney." LearningLiftoff. N.p., 14 Jan. 2015. Web. 15 Mar. 2016. <http://www.learningliftoff.com/overcoming-obstacles-hard-work-and-persistence-paid-off-for-walt-disney/#.Vui4ElWrTnD>.

Portrait of Walt Disney.Walt Disney.Photograph.Asrum People.Web.March 14, 2016.


Walt Disney Animation Studios.”Walt Disney Animation Studios’ Steamboat Willy.” Online Video Clip. LearningLiftoff. Ashley Quarrie, August 27, 2009. Cartoon. March 11, 2016.