Home    Walt Disney.. A Fairy-Story Life for a Fairy-Story Teller

In 1901, a boy was born into a large family as one of five children, and unaware of the success he was going to live. What we’ve already found from previous inspirational heroes, is that they seem to do well for themselves when they stick with what they’ve always known and loved, and for Walter #Disney, that was drawing. Even as a young child, he would spend hours sketching and painting before selling his pieces onto neighbours and family friends. At McKinley High School in Chicago where he studied, he took drawing and photography classes, and that was alongside a night course he was taking at Chicago Art Institute. His skills with a pencil only grew stronger and stronger, so it would be easy for us to see how he could have turned this into a world of incomparable animation films. However, what we bet you don’t know is that Walter Disney had a tough time too, just like other heroes we have brought to your attention.

Up the Ladder.
Walter Disney had to battle for his dreams and fought many obstacles on his way up the professional ladder. Surprisingly, his first set back was his own doing when he changed career paths at the young age of 16; he dropped out of school to join the army, and when he was rejected for being too young, he joined the Red Cross. From there, he was sent to France to drive ambulances. He may have taken a sketchbook with him, but let’s be honest, how much free time would he have found to do a bit of drawing? Thankfully, that ambition only lasted a year, and Disney was soon safe back home and pursuing a career as a newspaper cartoonist – sticking with his strengths…smart man.

His brother Roy got him a job at the Pesmen-Rubin Art Studio where Disney started experimenting with a camera, familiarising himself with hand-drawn cel-animation. #inspiration struck him here and he decided to open his own animation studio. Disney produced a series of 70-minute fairy stories called Laugh-O-Grams which combined live action and cartoons. The next hurdle Disney faced was due this venture – in 1923, the studio became burdened with debt and was forced to declare bankruptcy.

However, Disney was not giving up. He knew he was in touch with a special spark of imagination and sharing his stories was what he had been born to do. Brother Roy believed in him too, so they pooled their money together and used the cash to move to Hollywood and open Disney Brothers’ Studio.

Hey Mickey!
Shortly after the Hollywood studio opened came Disney’s most iconic character who soon became the symbol of the Disney works. Mickey Mouse was born in 1928 and has grown in popularity and fame ever since. The Mouse’s first two films were both silent, but then Steamboat Willie came along and Walter Disney himself was the voice of Mickey Mouse. A year later, Silly Symphonies added to the Disney family – there was Minnie Mouse, Donald Duck and the Disney dogs, Goofy and Pluto.

Trophies and Legacy.
Disney was awarded his first Oscar in 1932 for Best Short Subject (Cartoon) with Flowers and Trees, but although would have been a landmark for him, he had better successes coming his way. His first full-length film for example was released on December 21, 1937 and won him 8 Oscars in one go. You may have heard of it…Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.

Towards the end of his life, animation films were not all Disney had to his name. In fact, children all around the world today (and even some adults) have made it their lifelong ambition to visit Disneyland for a holiday, the theme park Disney opened on July 17, 1955 in California. Here, families could ride on rollercoasters, walk around the Disney village buying official merchandise and even meet the characters they’d grown to love, all of whom would hug, wave and take pictures with visitors. The California park cost $17 million to build from the ground up, but its popularity soared as high as Disney’s dreams and increased its investment tenfold only a few years after opening.

Disney died after being diagnosed with lung cancer in 1966, aged just 65. The last film he produced himself was Mary Poppins in 1964, so at least we can say he went out with a bang. And with well over 100 animated movies to his name, a theme park named after him and the entire world familiar with who he was, he would not have passed on feeling dissatisfied with his accomplishments.

Moral of this story…
After this story, our advice from #EnlightenEstateAgents today is this; follow your gut instinct and stick with what you have a passion for. If you follow your passion then your dream will flow a whole lot easier. But don’t give up at the first wall you hit – take it down brick by brick if you have to, but break through. No one deserves to be staring at a wall for the rest of their life wondering what lies on the other side.

For more inspirational stories, visit out blog; www.enlightenea.co.uk/blog

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