Father of the childhood classics known and loved by all ages, Walt Disney dedicated years of his life to creating a brand which has come to inspire and capture the imagination of countless people across the world. But who was the man behind the mouse, a character who Disney originally voiced and designed himself? Famous for his influence in entertainment throughout the 20th, as well as now the 21st, Century Disney was born in 1901 in Chicago, but it wasn’t until he moved away to the state of Missouri that Disney discovered his creative spark. The first glimpse into the animation world which peaked Disney’s interest was when he worked for Kansas City Film Ad Company. Here Disney was tasked with creating commercials based around animation. Soon after Disney started his own animation company where he began to make cartoons called ‘Laugh-O-Grams’ which were shown in local theatres in Kansas. These ‘Laugh-O-Grams’ made Disney very popular and well known in Kansas City, however Disney had set his sights higher and decided to bring his talent in animation to Hollywood.
Once in Hollywood Disney returned to the idea of Mickey Mouse, originally named Mortimer, based upon a very real mouse he had owned whilst living in Kansas. The company worked hard on the character of Mickey, creating one of his first cartoons to feature sound called Steamboat Willie. Steamboat Willie became a huge success, introducing many of the characters we know today such as Minnie Mouse. In 1934 Disney began the creation of his first full length animation film, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, a project which many thought would drastically fail. The reality was quite the opposite. With the money Disney earned from the success of Snow White he was able to build a new studio and began what was known as the ‘Golden Age of Animation’. After Snow White came many more films such as Bambi, Peter Pan, Pinocchio and Alice in Wonderland. As the years went of Disney’s success only grew and his popularity expanded. Disney opened a series of theme parks in the 50’s as well as continuing with animation, he also introduced live action features like The Parent Trap and Treasure Island. After many years of production Disney is still a very prominent part of people’s lives today, with the image of Cinderella’s castle appearing at the beginning of every Disney film becoming an international icon. Disney passed away in 1966, and left behind him a huge legacy, one that teaches children, as well as adults, to never stop dreaming and not to lose track of your beliefs. A legacy that if you wish upon a star, you dreams come true.