Walter Elias Disney (December 5, 1901 – December 15, 1966) was a multiple Academy Award-winning American film producer, director, screenwriter, voice actor, animator, entrepreneur, and philanthropist. Disney is notable as one of the most influential and innovative figures in the field of entertainment .
Disney is particularly noted for being a film producer and a popular showman, as well as an innovator in animation and theme park design. He received fifty-nine Academy Award nominations and won twenty-six Oscars, including a record four in one year.
Disney died of lung cancer on December 15, 1966, a few years prior to the opening of his Walt Disney World dream project in Orlando, Florida.
He then moved to Kansas City to begin his artistic career. In January 1920, Disney and Iwerks formed a company.
Mickey Mouse was based on a mouse Disney had adopted as a pet while working in a Kansas City studio.Ub Iwerks reworked on the sketches made by Disney so that it was easier to animate it. However, Mickey's voice and personality was provided by Disney. As many of the old animators have commented, "Ub designed Mickey's physical appearance, but Walt gave him his soul." The mouse was originally named "Mortimer", but later christened "Mickey Mouse" by Lillian Disney who thought that the name Mortimer did not fit. Mortimer later became the name of Mickey's rival for Minnie, who was taller than his renowned adversary and had a Brooklyn accent.
The first animated short with Mickey in it was titled, Plane Crazy, which was, like all of Disney's previous works, a silent film. After failing to find a distributor for Plane Crazy or its follow-up, The Gallopin' Gaucho, Disney created a Mickey cartoon with sound called Steamboat Willie.
In 1932, Disney received a special Academy Award for the creation of "Mickey Mouse", whose series was made into color in 1935 and soon launched spinoff series for supporting characters such as Donald Duck, Goofy, and Pluto;
When the film industry came to know about Disney's plans to produce an animated feature-length version of Snow White, they dubbed the project as "Disney's Folly" and were certain that the project would destroy the Disney studio.
Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, as the feature was named, was in full production from 1934 until mid-1937, when the studio ran out of money. The film became the most successful motion picture of 1938 and earned over $8 million in its original theatrical release. The success of Snow White, (for which Disney received one full-size, and seven miniature Oscar statuettes) The feature animation staff, having just completed Pinocchio, continued work on Fantasia and Bambi, while the shorts staff continued work on the Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, Goofy, and Pluto cartoon series.
Pinocchio and Fantasia followed Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs into the movie theaters in 1940, but both were financial disappointments.
Traditional hand-drawn animation, with which Walt Disney started his company, no longer continues at the Walt Disney Feature Animation studio. After a stream of financially unsuccessful traditionally-animated features in the late-1990s and early 2000s, the two satellite studios in Paris and Orlando were closed, and the main studio in Burbank was converted to a computer animation production facility. In 2004, Disney released what was announced as their final "traditionally animated" feature film, Home on the Range. However, since the 2006 acquisition of Pixar and the resulting rise of John Lasseter to Chief Creative Officer, that position has changed, and the upcoming 2009 film The Princess and the Frog will mark Disney's return to traditional 2-D animation.
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