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The Influential Man: Walt Disney Essay

3004 words - 13 pages

“We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things, because we're curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.” – Walt Disney (brainyquote). When looking for influential American artists, one man sticks out a life-changer for many. Throughout his career, Walt Disney touched the hearts of millions; first, he created the company Laugh-O-Grams, that lead to the creation of Oswald the Lucky Rabbit; then, with the formation of Mickey Mouse, a new age of animation began with Disney leading the field; lastly, the opening of Disneyland changed the way that people view theme parks and left a lasting legacy with the opening of Walt Disney World shortly after his death.
Walt Disney was born on December 5, 1901 in Chicago and soon moved to Missouri. As a child, Disney continued to move around frequently and was quickly inspired by animals to draw. At one of his many family homes, Walt Disney and his younger sister drew on the side of the house with tar. Later, when a family relative saw Disney drawing on toilet paper, she bought him an art kit including plain paper. Once he got older, Disney began working as a newsboy and then working for his father’s company. Disney’s first animation job was at the Kansas City Film Ad Company. This is where he learned animation.
Wanting to delve further into a newer style of animation known as cel animation, Disney and his friend Iwerks started their own company known as Laugh-O-Grams (Wikipedia). While with Laugh-O-Grams, Walt created several well-known fairy tales including “Cinderella”. However, soon the company was bankrupt and only Walt was left. He had used all the company funds to produce the beginnings of the Alice shorts. This mixed animation and real life film together for the first time. With no money left, Disney moved to Los Angeles to be with his brother Roy. Disney then sent a copy of Alice to New York and received a reply that they could begin production. The huge paycheck that came with each new short gave Walt enough money for him and his brother to start a new company.
With the desire to return to full animation, Disney and Iwerks created Oswald the Lucky Rabbit. The rabbit was instantly loved and soon several critics started to pay attention to Walt Disney. However, when Universal Studios wanted to pay Walt less per animated short, he wanted to depart from Universal (Wikipedia). Unfortunately, Universal Studios held the rights to Oswald and had many of Walt’s workers under contract. Wanting more money for his work, Disney left Universal and lost the rights to Oswald the Lucky Rabbit.
In order to replace Oswald, Disney created a character that the public soon learned to love, Mickey Mouse. The drawing of Mickey Mouse was edited for animation by Disney’s long-term colleague, Iwerks. With the introduction of sound movies, Disney wanted to also add sound to the Mickey Mouse shorts. However, animators had the added challenge of matching the sound to the characters. Walt and his...

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