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With 12 Disney parks, dozens of Disney hotels, and over 85 million downloads of the Disney Tsum Tsum mobile puzzle game, it is safe to say that Disney is a constant presence in most people’s lives. But what do you know about the man who started the company?
Walt Disney was the creative genius behind the Disney company. Under his guidance, the company produced classic animated movies such as Pinocchio, Cinderella and Bambi. He also created many classic Disney characters, such as Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck. But success didn’t come easily.
Disney formed his first animation shop, Laugh-O-Gram Studio, in 1921, but it had trouble making money and closed down. Disney started again from the ground up, founding the Disney Brothers Cartoon Studio in 1923 with older brother Roy. The studio was successful and led to a familiar-looking cartoon character: Oswald the Lucky Rabbit, created for Universal Pictures in 1927.
Oswald was popular, but when Disney wanted more money to make the cartoons, he was turned down. Worse, he discovered that Universal owned the intellectual property rights to Oswald. So, he dropped Oswald and created a new character that looked a lot like Oswald — Mickey Mouse.
Things began to look up in the 1930s. His Snow White received praise for its new animation techniques. But Disney’s path was still a difficult one. Many of the movies we know and love, such as Fantasia, actually lost money for the company when they were first shown in cinemas. In fact, Walt and Roy had to cut their employees’ wages to make ends meet. This led to a strike of animators.
In spite of all the setbacks, Walt Disney never gave up, continuing to create animations and new ways to entertain throughout his life. (Hannah Brown)
This article was provided by The Japan Times Alpha.