Friday, 27 January 2012

Inspirational People: Walt Disney


(images from weheartit)

Imaginative, intelligent, magical and "the most significant figure in graphic arts since Leonardo DaVinci." In 1966, Walt Disney, one of the greatest imaginations of the 20th Century passed away but even now, almost half a century later he continues to awe and inspire. It is a gift to have a fabulous imagination however, it is a rarity that that imagination comes also with a great business mind and a certain optimism. It is rarer still when those aforementioned qualities are accompanied by compassion and love for family and friends. Walt's daughter, Diane Disney Miller once said, "Daddy never once missed a father's function no matter how I discounted it. I'd say, "Oh Daddy you don't need to come. It's just some stupid thing." But he's always be there, on time."As he spent a lot of his time creating entertainment for children he must have liked them but as I said, he spent "a lot of his time" doing so and it is amazing how he still managed to play a very active role in his children's lives. I am actually writing this whilst listening to the Now That's What I Call Disney CD that I got from my parents for Christmas after I told them how much I wanted it every time that the advert came on TV. 

Disney was born in Chicago in 1901. He loved art and would often sell drawings to neighbours to earn some extra money. In 1918, when Disney was sixteen he joined the Red Cross and was sent overseas to France where he spent a year driving an ambulance which he covered in Disney cartoons. When Walt returned to the UK he pursued his career in commercial art by starting out at a company called Laugh-O-Grams which eventually became bankrupt. However, whilst working there, Disney became a recognised figure in Hollywood after creating his highly popular "Alice Comedies" which were about the adventures of a little girl, named Alice and her cat. He won his first Academy Award from "Flowers and Trees" which was the first full colour cartoon. Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs became his first full length film in 1937. Snow White is one of my favourite Disney films, mostly because it was the first one. Pretty much everyone knows the story of Snow White and the Disney pictures are the first images that come into most people's minds when they hear the title of the story. The film was produced in the Depression and it cost an amazing $1,400,000 to produce. I think that this figure proves how much effort must have taken to put it together and how much determination the makers must have had. Disneyland opened in 1955 and has entertained millions since then; including royalty, celebrities and normal people. Honestly, if you ever get the chance to go, it is a brilliant experience. I get butterflies just thinking about how magical it, so trust me, it is not just for kids. The park is inspirational in itself, as is the monument of Walt Disney holding hands with Mickey Mouse. I have been to Disney World (the best one) in Florida once and Disneyland Paris twice. People like Walt Disney are a gift to this world. His timeless positivity and imagination shine through and make the past, the present and the future a brighter place. 
To read more about Walt Disney click here.

5 Ways to Wear Mickey

Items in this set

My admiration of Walt Disney sprung from my love of his most classic character: Mickey Mouse. When I was eleven two of my favourite things in life were Cadbury's Dairy Milk chocolate and Mickey Mouse. I think that that is where my love of vintage came from; I just loved the classic/original versions of things and seeing where ideas first came from and how they evolved into so much more yet remained not dissimilar from the original. My Mickey Mouse clothing collection contains three tops, but the above one being my favourite. I got it from the Disney store (yes, they do adult clothing there.) 

Mickey Mouse was created in 1928 and is a figure as internationally recognised as The Queen of England or Marilyn Monroe. Walt Disney himself provided the voice for Mickey Mouse until 1947. I so have Mickey Mouse's autograph (although I can't say I have The Queen's or Marilyn Monroe's!) Mickey Mouse is now in his eighties. That's pretty old for a mouse but I am sure that he will live on for centuries into the future as Walt Disney will in the presence of his company, his films, his quotes, his characters and his parks. By the way, many sources have assured me that the rumour that Disney had his body frozen so that he can be brought back to life if science can find a way to do so is just that, a rumour. It is not true. 

The Evolution of Mickey

Plane Crazy was Mickey's first appearance but the first film to actually be distributed starring him was Steamboat Willie which I probably the most famous film starring him. His look changed quite a lot in the few months between Plane Crazy and Steamboat Willie. Plane Crazy was shown to a test audience in March 1928 whereas Steamboat Willie was shown eight months later in November.

"He popped out of my mind onto a drawing pad 20 years ago on a train ride from Manhattan to Hollywood at a time when business fortunes of my brother Roy and myself were at lowest ebb and disaster seemed right around the corner."

Plane Crazy- the first film featuring Mickey Mouse. 

In Plane Crazy, 1928

In Steamboat Willie, also 1928

In the 1950s TV show The Mickey Mouse Club
The mouse that we know and love today. 
The EPCOT park stands for Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow. Walt Disney's wishes were that he could build this "community" and introduce different types of city planning to try and build a perfect community with businesses, community areas, schools and all the features that a city would have. Everything was going to be perfect; all cars were to be driven underground so that there was no danger to pedestrians, there was to be no slum areas and everyone would be employed. There are lots of flowers and lakes at EPCOT to show the start of the project. However, Walt Disney died before the vision was embraced. The business decided not to embrace the idea. I think this is really tragic as knowing that Walt Disney had all the traits that would be perfect for pursuing such a venture. Perhaps the world today would be a better place if the experiment had opened up new ideas on how to govern villages, towns, cities, countries, continents and maybe even the entire world. 

Luckily for me, as I like to include a quotes section in my "inspirational people" posts, Walt Disney has many inspirational quotes and here are my favourite:

"The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing."
"Laughter is America's most important export." 

"Why do we have to grow up? I know more adults who have the children's approach to life. You see them at Disneyland every time you go there. They are not afraid to be delighted with simple pleasures."

"I have been up against tough competition all my life. I wouldn't know how to get along without it." 

"Of all of our inventions for mass communication, pictures still speak the most universally understood language."

"A man should never neglect his family for business."

And of course, Mickey Mouse is an inspiration in himself so here are some of Disney's quotes about probably the world's most famous mouse:

"I only hope that we don't lose sight of one thing - that it was all started by a mouse."
"Mickey Mouse is, to me, a symbol of independence. He was a means to an end."

In case you weren't convinced from my words of praise of Disneyland, then you might need to hear it from Disney himself. If you want to feel a part of the magic and the inspiration then there is no better place to do it than in Disneyland:

"I don't want the public to see the world they live in while they're in the Park (Disneyland). I want to feel they're in another world."

"We did it (Disneyland), in the knowledge that most of the people I talked to thought it would be a financial disaster - closed and forgotten within the first year."

"I first saw the site for Disneyland back in 1953, In those days it was all flat land - no rivers, no mountains, no castles or rocket ships - just orange groves, and a few acres of walnut trees."

"It's something that will never be finished. Something that I can keep developing...and adding to."

"Disneyland will never be completed. It will continue to grow as long as there is imagination left in the world."

"Disneyland is the star, everything else is in the supporting role."

"It has that thing - the imagination, and the feeling of happy excitement- I knew when I was a kid."

Taken with instagram
Taken with instagram

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