Thursday, December 14

Celebrating Walt Disney’s 116 th Birth Anniversary!

Walt Disney
Walt Disney

It was Walt Disney’s 116th birth anniversary yesterday and let’s walk down the memory lane.Who doesn’t know this master animator, voice actor and film producer?

Even today, it’s difficult to escape the draw of his movies, the lure of his theme parks and the morals laid into some of the films he made.

Now, without any hiccups let’s start paying homage to the great man.Firstly, lets start by saying that “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” was the first full-length animated movie he produced.

Disney still holds the world record of winning more Academy Awards than anyone else. It is he, who as an individual holds the record for an individual honoured with the most Oscars(26), according to the Academy.

He selected the Florida site for Disneyland by flying over central Florida’s swamplands in a small plane on November 22, 1963.

Does the day remind you of something else? Yes it was on this day that U.S. President John F. Kennedy was assassinated. To the bad luck of Disney, he got to know about Kennedy’s death when he landed.

A Florida reporter figured out Disney’s secret about his plan to build Walt Disney World in central Florida, and she got him to all but admit what he was doing. Not even the governor knew Disney was moving into Florida. Disney and his brother later held a press conference to announce their purchase of 47 square miles of land.

Disney’s dream for the Florida site was focused on building his Experimental Prototype City of Tomorrow, or EPCOT for short. He died before construction began, and his brother, Roy, insisted on building the theme park first. Disney’s EPCOT never functioned as a real city the way he envisioned, but people still like it for the wine and “culture.” Disney tried to keep his Disney World plans quiet by hiring an attorney who had worked for a precursor to the CIA to create shell companies to buy land for his Florida site. Yeah, the man was that dedicated to his work. If you walk down Main Street USA in Walt Disney World today, you can see the names of those shell companies on the business fronts there.

His company, Walt Disney, was worth an estimated $178 billion as of May 2017, according to Forbes magazine. That puts the company at No. 7 on the list of the World’s Most Valuable Brands. The last movie Disney was involved directly in producing was The Happiest Millionaire, based on the true story of a Philadelphia millionaire. In the movie, the man has pet alligators roaming around his mansion. Disney died during production of the movie.

Walter Elias Disney  introduced several developments in the production of cartoons. As a film producer, Disney holds the record for most Academy Awards earned by an individual, having won 22 Oscars from 59 nominations. He was presented with two Golden Globe Special Achievement Awards and an Emmy Award, among other honours. Several of his films are included in the National Film Registry by the Library of Congress.

Born in Chicago in 1901, Disney developed an early interest in drawing. He took art classes as a boy and got a job as a commercial illustrator at the age of 18. He moved to California in the early 1920s and set up the Disney Brothers Studiowith his brother Roy. With UbIwerks, Walt developed the character Mickey Mouse in 1928, his first highly popular success; he also provided the voice for his creation in the early years. As the studio grew, Disney became more adventurous, introducing synchronized sound, full-color three-strip Technicolor, feature-length cartoons and technical developments in cameras. The results, seen in features such as Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937), FantasiaPinocchio (both 1940), Dumbo (1941) and Bambi (1942), furthered the development of animated film. New animated and live-action films followed after World War II, including the critically successful Cinderella (1950) and Mary Poppins(1964), the latter of which received five Academy Awards.

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In the 1950s, Disney expanded into the amusement park industry, and in 1955 he opened Disneyland. To fund the project he diversified into television programs, such as Walt Disney’s Disneyland and The Mickey Mouse Club; he was also involved in planning the 1959 Moscow Fair, the 1960 Winter Olympics, and the 1964 New York World’s Fair. In 1965, he began development of another theme park, Disney World, the heart of which was to be a new type of city, the “Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow” (EPCOT). Disney was a heavy smoker throughout his life, and died of lung cancer in December 1966 before either the park or the EPCOT project were completed.

Disney was a shy, self-deprecating and insecure man in private but adopted a warm and outgoing public persona. He had high standards and high expectations of those with whom he worked. Although there have been accusations that he was racist or anti-Semitic, they have been contradicted by many who knew him. His reputation changed in the years after his death, from a purveyor of homely patriotic values to a representative of American imperialism.

He nevertheless remains an important figure in the history of animation and in the cultural history of the United States, where he is considered a national cultural icon. His film work continues to be shown and adapted; his studio maintains high standards in its production of popular entertainment, and the Disney amusement parks have grown in size and number to attract visitors in several countries.

And to remember him once again, we have his famous speech at the opening of Disneyland in 1955.

To all who come to this happy place; welcome. Disneyland is your land. Here age relives fond memories of the past…and here youth may savor the challenge and promise of the future. Disneyland is dedicated to the ideals, the dreams and the hard facts that have created America…with the hope that it will be a source of joy and inspiration to all the world.