100 Years Today! Disney’s First Century Begins with a Suitcase and a Dream
Today is the 100th anniversary of The Walt Disney Company. Founded on October 16th, 1923, Walt and Roy agreed to produce a series of Alice cartoon shorts. It was a start that was clouded by bankruptcy, unemployment and illness. But that start has endured and is now one of the most successful–if not the most successful–entertainment companies in the world. We celebrate the anniversary today by sharing with you the first chapter in “A Century of Powerful Disney Insights Volume I: The Walt & Roy Disney Years.” I’ll impart just how all of this came to be 100 years ago and what messages it has to you as you move into the next century. Join us as we share how Walt Disney got started with a Suitcase and a Dream.
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It is from there that the Alice comedies turned into Oswald the Lucky Rabbit, and Oswald became Mickey Mouse. Mickey led to the Silly Symphonies, and the Silly Symphonies paved the way for Walt’s first full-length animated film, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. Snow White led to a legacy of amazing full-length animated films, and those films gave Walt experience and courage to go into live action, documentaries and television. Television enabled Walt to build Disneyland, and Disneyland became the blue print for something much bigger, Walt Disney World. All of this happened not just because of Walt’s persistent vision, but because of his brother Roy’s persistent love and support of his brother. Even after Walt’s passing, Roy’s leadership led to the fulfillment of Walt’s dream, and for the company to move forward as it has today.
This is The Walt Disney Company. But once upon a studio it began with two brothers. Speaking of Once Upon a Studio, I assume you have seen the new short the company put out for the 100th anniversary. Please be sure to see it–many times–if you haven’t already. Know that behind every one of those characters are scores of people who made those characters come to life over the decades. It could have been a lead animator, a writer, an actor giving voice, an ink and paint artist, a camera man, an archivist, a trainer, a third hour security guard or a custodial host.
Since Monday, October 16th is not only the 100th anniversary of the company but my birthday, I will be celebrating here in the parks at Walt Disney World. In the months to come I will be sharing one chapter from each of the decades over the last 100 years. I guess that means I better have Volume II fairly well underway in five months. You can count on Disney Insights to share the great things of this last century and to help you liken those experiences with your own life’s work. In the meantime, be sure to visit Amazon and get your own copy of “A Century of Powerful Disney Insights”. The link can also be found on the podcast notes as well as the blog that covers this podcast on DisneyInsights.com.
Mel wrote: “Very entertaining, informative, thorough, and this writer has a wonderful way with words! Everything you want to know about Disney in one magical book! It really is hard to put down. So fun to read!”