“To all that come to this happy place: welcome. Disneyland is your land. Here age relives fond memories of the past, and here youth may savor the challenge and promise of the future. Disneyland is dedicated to the ideals, the dreams, and the hard facts that have created America… with hope that it will be a source of joy and inspiration to all the world.”
Walter Elias Disney. The American hero, dreamer, and visionary, who revolutionized the entertainment industry. A train enthusiast, perfectionist, and legend. Everyone at the studios called him Walt, no matter the rank of employee. Though he passed away on December 15th 1966, today, December 5th, 2013 would have been his 112th Birthday.
He was extremely devoted to his family. Daughter Diane Disney Miller told the Huffington Post,
“No one understands that he was really a dad. He drove my sister [Sharon Disney] and me to school every morning. Every weekend, either Saturday or Sunday, he’d say it was Daddy’s day, where he’d take us all day to the local park where they had a beautiful carousel or take us to the studio — we’d run around the studio on weekends when there was nobody there, we’d go into every animation room and prowl around the lot. He was really a dad. He went to every school function, every Father’s Night.”
She and a friend would often do skits in the their school’s talent shows. Diane described him as amazingly supportive of her shows, “we went with my dad to the studio and we went to the carpenter’s shop and he himself made some props for us. He was very good with his hands, he had worked as a carpenter with his father.”
Walt still to this day holds the record for both the most Academy Award nominations (59), Oscars awarded (26). He created some of the most iconic characters and films. He started out with cartoons such as, the Alice Comedies, Oswald the Lucky Rabbit, Mickey Mouse, and Silly Symphonies. In 1937, Walt released the first full-length cel animated feature in motion picture history, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. Since then, the Walt Disney Company has released 501 films including their newest masterpiece Frozen.
His words are incredibly inspiring. These are a few of my favorites. “I do not make films primarily for children. I make them for the child in all of us, whether we be six or sixty.” “All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them.” “Laughter is timeless, imagination has no age, and dreams are forever.” “Why worry? If you’ve done the very best you can, worrying won’t make it any better.” “If you can dream it, you can do it. Always remember that this whole thing was started with a dream and a mouse.”
I can’t think of a better way to conclude this post than Walt singing There’s a Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow and another of his spectacular quotes, “Around here, however, we don’t look backwards for very long. We keep moving forward, opening up new doors and doing new things, because we’re curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.”
Happy Birthday Walt. We love and miss you.
Walt recording Mr Mouse Takes a Trip in 1940
Walt’s final filmed appearance in 1966