Thursday, December 15, 2016

Your HOLIDAY SOR-BAY: "A Walt Disney Christmas" 1982


little spark of madness

that we could use to artificially maintain our Christmas spirit.

December 15, 1966
Walt Disney dies. Born on a Missouri farm, Walt Disney sold his first sketches to neighbors when he was just seven, and he attended the Kansas City Art Institute at night while he was in high school. At age 16, during World War I, Disney went overseas with the Red Cross and drove an ambulance that he decorated with cartoon characters.
Back in Kansas City, Disney started working as an advertising cartoonist. He founded a company called Laugh-O-Gram with his older brother, Roy, but the company went bankrupt and the brothers left Kansas City for Hollywood with $40 and some art supplies. The brothers built a camera stand in their uncle's garage and started their company in the back of a Hollywood real estate office.
Walt Disney began making a series of animated short films called Alice in Cartoonland and began developing various animated characters. In 1928, he introduced Mickey Mouse in two silent movies. Mickey debuted on the big screen in Steamboat Willie, the first fully synchronized sound cartoon ever made. Walt Disney provided Mickey's squeaky voice himself. The company went on to produce a series of sound cartoons, such as the "Silly Symphony" series, which included The Three Little Pigs (1933) and introduced characters like Donald Duck and Goofy. Meanwhile, the company developed increasingly sophisticated animation technology.
When Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs was released in 1937, it was the first fully animated movie to date and grossed $8 million, an incredible success during the Depression. During World War II, Disney devoted most of his company's resources to the production of training and propaganda films for the military. In 1965, he designed the Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow (EPCOT), which he envisioned as an aid toward improving the quality of life in American cities. He also helped establish the California Institute of the Arts in 1961. His 43-year career earned him nearly 1,000 honors and citations from throughout the world, including 48 Academy Awards and seven Emmys. Harvard, Yale, the University of Southern California, and UCLA all bestowed him with honorary degrees. He was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, France's Legion of Honor and Officer d'Academie decorations, Thailand's Order of the Crown, Brazil's Order of the Southern Cross, Mexico's Order of the Aztec Eagle, and the Showman of the World Award from the National Association of Theatre Owners. In addition to his films, his legend lives on through Disneyland, Walt Disney World, and EPCOT Center, and generations of children have experienced the joy and magic of The Happiest Place on Earth. Walt Disney was 65 years old when he died.

Stay Tuned

Tony Figueroa
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