The Disney Corperation

Emma Freiberg

Walt Disney

Walter “Walt” Disney was born on December 5, 1901 ( 1). Disney grew up in Kansas City, and when he turned sixteen, he dropped out of the school to join the army but was rejected and joined the red cross (Barnes 1). According to a biography on Walt Disney, when he returned him and his younger brother, Roy, pooled their money and moved to Hollywood ( 6). After working for almost four years and launching two previous Mickey Mouse cartoons, the Disney brothers had their first hit, Steam Boat Willie (Barnes 1). In the years 1929-1937 Disney produced more cartoon shorts and became a pioneer in the film industry ( 7). In late 1937, Walt Disney produced his first full length film, Snow White ( 7). For nearly thirty years he continued producing films, but stated that Mickey was his favorite (Stephenson 4). Disney himself once said, “I love Mickey Mouse more than any woman I have ever known” (3). Walt Disney died in 1966, but his legacy lives on today ( 14).

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Walt Disney

New York World-Telegram & Sun Collection. Walt Disney Portrait. 1958. Photograph. Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.

Disney World

Contrary to popular belief, Disneyland (California) was built before Walt Disney World (Orlando). In 1966, the Disney brothers began sketching and creating plans for a new “Tomorrowland Center” to follow the sucsess of Disneyland ( 13). Soon after the idea, Walt Disney was diagnosed with lung cancer and died (Lantek 1). After five years of constructing, Disney world opened in 1971. Roy, Walt’s younger brother, gave a speech at the grand opening. He was quoted as saying, “Walt Disney World is a tribute to the philosophy and life of Walter Elias Disney... May Walt Disney World bring joy, inspiration and new knowledge to all who come to this happy place” (Disney 2). Little did Roy know that what was just one park and two hotels, has become a multibillion dollar corporation with four main theme parks and twelve hotels (Disney 1). Over 16.97 million people come to Walt Disney World each year, and it has became one of the nation’s premier tourist spots (Barnes 1).

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Cinderella's Castle

Walt Disney World: Cinderella Castle. Photograph. Britannica Online for Kids. Web. 31 Oct. 2013.

Disney Movies

Disney movies have impacted pop culture since the early 1920s. The Disney empire began in the early 20s, with the first mickey mouse cartoons ( 6). With all the success Disney had it was no wonder Snow White made millions of dollars despite being released in 1937, the midst of the depression. According to Tracy Mollet, “Disney films.. [gave] hope and positivity to a society struggling with the depression” (1). Disney then produced iconic films such as Cinderella and Peter Pan. the last film Walt Disney personally worked on was Mary Poppins ( 11). In the movies produced after Disney died, music and animation have been the recognizable aspects. The Walt Disney Company has had award winning composers, such as Stravinsky to compose soundtracks for their films (Mollet 1). Bolt, a 2008 animated film, used 400 artists for 88 weeks to finish all the animation (Robertson 1). All being said and done, the Walt Disney Corporation is one of the most respected production companies in the film industry (White 1).

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Mickey and Pluto

Disney, Walt. Disney's Friends. 1966. Photograph. Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.


Barnes, Brooks. "Clash of the Theme Parks." EBSCO Host. EBSCO Industries, n.d. Web. 1 Nov. 2013.

Mollet, Tracy. ""With a Smile and a Song.."" EBSCO Host. EBSCO Industries, n.d. Web. 1 Nov. 2013.

Robertson, Barbra. "Back To The Future." EBSCO Host. EBSCO Industries, n.d. Web. 1 Nov. 2013.

Stephenson, Tracy. "Mickey Mouse and the Ideology of an Icon." SIRS. ProQuest LLC, n.d. Web. 1 Nov. 2013.

"Walt Disney Biography." A&E Networks Television, n.d. Web. 01 Nov. 2013.

White, Timothy R. "From Disney to Warner Bros: The Critical Shift." EBSCO Host. EBSCO Industries, n.d. Web. 1 Nov. 2013.