Friday, August 31, 2012
This post I'd like to start with a quote by Walt Disney; "The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing". My awesome Dad found this really neat book about Walt Disney at a book store in Dallas. The book is in one of my favorite series called Childhood of Famous Americans. This book told a little more than just about his childhood which I enjoyed reading. I learned the following about his life from this book:
In the year 1906, when Walt Disney was four years old, his parents, three brothers and one sister all moved to a farm in Marceline, Missouri because his father thought city life was unhealthy for his sons. Walt's brothers were named Roy who was thirteen at the time, Herbert who was seventeen, and Raymond who was fifteen. Walt Disney's sister Ruth was two. Walt's brothers Herbert and Raymond were not too fond of leaving Chicago but were excited about moving to Missouri. On the train ride to Marceline, Walt befriended the conductor and was shown around the train which he greatly enjoyed.
When they moved to the farm, Walt's Dad, along with Herbert and Raymond plowed, planted and tended the crops. Roy's job was looking after two horses and a few cows. He also milked the cows in the morning and at night. Walt Disney's Mom tended her small garden, cared for the chickens and sold eggs in town. Walt's chore was tending the pigs which was a hard task because there was not a pigpen built yet. Walt really enjoyed his chore; once he even dressed up one of the pigs! He also rode the hogs and named them too. One day Roy taught Walt how to milk the cows. Walt enjoyed this job and liked feeding the barn cats milk. Walt Disney's father had brought some tar near the house to fix a leak in the roof. When Walt saw this he thought it was paint and began to paint a picture of one of the pigs on the house. Soon his Dad found out and Walt was punished. Paper was scarce on the farm so when his Aunt Maggie gave him a drawing book he was really happy. One day a doctor asked Walt if he could draw a picture of his horse. Walt agreed when the picture was finished the doctor payed him a nickle. Walt Disney was very pleased for this was his first picture he had ever sold. Herbert and Raymond left the farm and went back to Chicago. The remaining Disney family had to sale their farm because there were few buyers for their crops.
Then they moved to Kansas City where their father ran a newspaper company. Roy and Walt were both paperboys for their father's business. Between delivering papers and school,Walt did extra jobs to earn money such as deliveryman at a drug store and a part time job at a candy store. Walt Disney took a class on how to draw comics through the mail. One day when Walt was looking for something to draw he drew a picture of the barber. His picture was so good that he obtained a job drawing comics for the barber to put up in his shop each week. It was then when he decided to become a cartoonist. Sometimes while he was on his paper route, he would find stray dogs. Then he would take them home to play with after school. They never would be there when he returned though. One day on his paper route, he found a baby mouse on a sidewalk. He put it in his pocket to keep it safe while he continued his chores. Later, while he was at school the baby mouse had woken up and began to explore his pocket. Soon it escaped and sat on Walt's desk. This caught the other students attention and the teacher made Walt let the mouse free outside. Another time Walt and his Mom and sister went to a magic show, Walt was picked as a volunteer for a card trick. After the trick was over, Walt knew that he wanted to learn how to do magic tricks too. When he went home, he found a magazine with magic tricks for sale. He purchased a plate lifter and an few card tricks. He learned how to do all of the tricks and taught his mother how to use the plate lifter because she wanted to try it out on Walt's Dad. When Walt's Mom tried this, Walt's Dad couldn't tell that his plate was moving. Walt Disney also liked to see vaudeville shows, moving pictures and really liked Charlie Chapman. He liked putting on his own little acts with his friend Walter Pfeiffer.
The Disney family moved again this time back to Chicago. Walt Disney's Dad purchased a jelly factory with his and Walt's money. When not in school, Walt's jobs at the Jelly factory were preparing the fruit into jelly, running machinery,and helping with the packing. Once he even was a night watchman for the factory. Beside the job at the jelly factory he was a gate-man and worked at post office. Two of his brothers were serving over in Europe and Walt wasn't old enough to serve. So one of his friends found him a job with the Red Cross. Together they left to take the job. They spent some time in Chicago and Connecticut training. Later Walt and fifty others left for France. Walt Disney's tasks included driving ambulances, making posters, driving supply trucks, and served in the canteen. When Walt returned from France his father offered him a job at the jelly factory. Walt refused the job and told his Dad that he was going to be a cartoonist. This made his father upset but finally he agreed to let him go.
When Walt Disney moved back to Kansas City, he found a job at Gray Advertising Company that payed fifty dollars a month. The first person he told was his aunt Maggie who was very excited for him when he told her the news. Walt's job at Gray Advertising Company ended after six weeks. After being layed off from his job, he and his friend Ub Iwerks decided to start their own business called Iwerks-Disney Commercial Artist. Walt found a job at the Kansas Film Ad Company so he and Ub got a job there. They really enjoyed making animated cartoons. Walt made his own animated cartoon advertisements called Laugh-O- Grams and sold them to the theaters. Then he decided to animate seven fairy tales which were each seven minutes long. The next thing Walt Disney came up with was his own small company called Laugh-O- Gram Corporation. Sadly, Walt's company went bankrupt and Walt was out of a job again. This time he found a job taking pictures of people's kids. With the money Walt had earned, he went to see his brother Roy. There they decided to go in the cartoon business again. Walt along with other artists would draw the cartoons and Roy would manage the money.
Walt Disney married a lady named Lilly. Together they went to New York City to ask the distributor of one of his films for more money. Instead of getting more money, to film the distributor said he could make the cartoon without Disney's help. Sadly, he and Lily left to go back to California. While on the train he came up with the idea of Mortimer mouse. His wife didn't like the name so he changed it to Mickey Mouse. After allot of time, he and Roy made Mickey Mouse a success. Mickey became famous world-wide by
the Queen Mary of England, President Theodore Roosevelt, and even the Italian dictator Mussolini. Then Walt started animating Snow White and the Seven Drawfs; this became a huge success. After WW2 was over, Walt used the English countryside for a setting for Robin Hood, Treasure Island and Rob Roy.
No one really knows where Walt Disney came up with Disneyland but it first started when Walt ran a mini train through his yard. Then he convinced Roy to come up with the funds to create a theme park that would be fun for Dads too. One thing led to another and soon lead scientists started helping build and design Disneyland. Walt lived to get to see it finished in 1955. Walt Disney died in the year of 1966 of lung cancer. His legacy still lives on in Disneyland and Disneyworld. I woul like to close with a qruote by Walt Disney " Whenever I go on a ride, I'm always thinking of what's wrong with the thing and how it can be improved". Thanks for reading.
If you have any questions or suggestions please fill free leave a comment.