Thursday, December 5, 2013

Happy Birthday Walt Disney

Happy Birthday Walt Disney
December 5th, 1901 to December 15th, 1966

Walter Elias Disney was an American Entrepreneur. Many consider him an Entertainment Icon and film maker. Walt Disney was more than just a Motion-Picture, Television producer, Animator and showman.

Walt Disney was a pioneer. One theme kept being repeated in many of the things he said, “Keep Moving Forward!” In other words don’t rest on your laurels and past accomplishments. Instead move forward and do something new and different! Walt did that and made that a company focus.

Besides making the first feature length animated feature, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs he developed new ways of creating his movie magic over the years. From art classes for his animators to new technology such as the Multi-Plane Camera he pioneered new ideas.

After making his money in movies Walt wanted more. He wanted an entertainment venue unlike any other. He wanted a place where families could come together to “play” and spend time together. He envisioned parents doing things with their children not just watching from a bench as he had when his girls were little. Years after the general idea came to him he build Disneyland. Once Disneyland was set and doing well he started working on ideas for a much larger Walt Disney World. He did not get to see WDW finished but his brother did. Roy O Disney, and the company he left behind made sure his ideas came true as always.

So what is so special about this simple man from the farmland of America? He never graduated High School and had no further “formal” education. He dropped out of school at 16 and lied about his age to join the Red Cross as part of the team in Europe at the end of WWI. He started 3 studios that failed and went broke before finally coming to California and starting the Disney Brothers Studio in 1923 at the age of 22.

Walt Disney gave the world memories. From movies that generations can and do enjoy together to “Theme” Parks where families and friends are immersed in a world of Yesterday, Tomorrow and Fantasy. Disney created an empire that continues decades after his death that looks back to his life and focus to “Keep Moving Forward”.

He gave us many wonderful characters to enjoy. He gave us Mickey Mouse to model our lives after, an everyman with a good heart and positive attitude. Goofy with his constant troubles and laughter in response, always the optimist! Donald with his grumpy attitude ready to explode but truly with a heart of gold. Donald teaches us to control our temper and not act like him all the time. All of these and more have been examples for us as children and for our children to model their lives on and learn from.

Walt shared with the world his love for America. He felt as long as America was strong the world would be strong and all would be right. He was not arrogant or rude about it. He did not believe that the world needed to become like America. He loved the differences in cultures and understood that each is precious and needs to be treasured. He just felt that America, as a mix of cultures was the best.

Walt Disney left a legacy that is still going strong today. There have been threats and his family has stood firm to protect it. There have been lies about him and again his family stood up to show people Walt the Man.

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