The Amazing Walt Disney

Today I went to visit the Walt Disney museum in San Francisco. The museum is so appropriately situated in the Presidio area with a splendid view of the Golden Gate bridge. Although I knew about Disneyland, Mickey Mouse, and Mary Poppins, I learned a few special things today and I thought I would share.

First, I learned that Walt Disney and Roy Disney (brothers) didn’t always have it easy. Their first animation company (Laugh-O-Gram) went into bankruptcy in 1923. After that, the brothers moved to LA and started a new studio. Even then, Walt’s first successful character, Oswald the Lucky Rabbit, wasn’t owned by him and caused him business problems. His bad experience with Universal inspired him to create a new character that he would own — Mortimer Mouse (quickly changed to Mickey Mouse).

Second, I learned that the Disney company workers conducted a 3-month strike against Walt Disney in 1941. They picketed with signs that read “Snow White and the 700 Dwarfs”. Walt was so discouraged that he almost shut down the company. Walt Disney testified before Congress claiming that the communists were involved (see the attachment of the testimony).

Third, I learned that Disney Studios helped the World War II effort by creating erotic cartoons for soldiers (see blog picture). Most of us aren’t aware of this, but again it shows how Disney didn’t just create according to some predefined rules, but rather he always had his mind towards imagination that could make people’s lives better…whomever those people might be.

Walt Disney had a great career and was an inspiring character.