Disney - an icon in entertainment

Disney - an icon in entertainment

I am amazed at how popular anything Disney is but I should not be. All of we "oldies" grew up with Disney watching The Wonderful World of Disney on TV. We marveled at the magic of Disneyland and dreamed of visiting it. These days Disney has become highly collectible some of the prominent collectibles have been Britto figures, Ravensburger jigsaw puzzles, plush toys, DVD’s and much more. 

Following is a brief history of Disney  

Walt Disney arrived in California in the summer of 1923 with a lot of hopes but little else. He had made a cartoon about a little girl in a cartoon world, called Alice’s Wonderland. We all know that story now. 

Walt Disney made his Alice Comedies for four years, but in 1927, he decided to make a new series, he created a character named Oswald the Lucky Rabbit. Walt made 26 of these Oswald cartoons, but the distributor had gone behind his back and signed up almost all of his animators, hoping to make the Oswald cartoons in his own studio for less money without Walt Disney. Walt realized that he did not own the rights to Oswald—the distributor did. It was a painful lesson for the young cartoon producer to learn. From then on, he saw to it that he owned everything that he made. 

Walt had to come up with a new character, and that character was Mickey Mouse. With his chief animator Walt designed the famous mouse and they animated two Mickey Mouse cartoons, but Walt was unable to sell them because they were silent films, and sound was revolutionizing the movie industry. So, they made a third Mickey Mouse cartoon, this time with fully synchronized sound, and Steamboat Willie opened to rave reviews at the Colony Theater in New York November 18, 1928. A cartoon star, Mickey Mouse, was born. The new character was immediately popular, and, a lengthy series of Mickey Mouse cartoons followed. 

While the cartoons were gaining popularity in movie houses, the Disney staff found that merchandising the characters was an additional source of revenue. A man in New York offered Walt $300 for the license to put Mickey Mouse on some pencil tablets he was manufacturing. Walt Disney needed the $300, so he said okay. That was the start of Disney merchandising. Soon there were Mickey Mouse dolls, dishes, toothbrushes, radios, figurines—almost everything you could think of bore Mickey’s likeness. The year 1930 was a big one for the mouse that started it all, as it saw the first Mickey Mouse book and newspaper comic strip published. 

In 1934, Walt informed his animators that they were going to make an animated feature film, of Snow White and the Seven DwarfsThe landmark film debuted in 1937 and became a spectacular hit.  

Pinocchio and Fantasia, were released in 1940. Dumbo was made in 1941 and Bambi in 1942. The war put a pause on the production of high quality cartoons and it took until 1950 for their first completely live-action film, Treasure Island, the return to classic animated features with Cinderella, and the first Disney television show at Christmas time.  

The 1950s also saw the release of the classic 20,000 Leagues Under the SeaThe Shaggy Dog—first in a series of wacky comedies—and a popular TV series about the legendary hero Zorro. In the 1960s came Mary Poppins but the ’60s also brought the end of an era: Walt Disney died December 15, 1966.  

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