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Walt Disney was an entertainer. He was born in December 1901 to a poor family in Chicago Illinois. His father, Elias Disney, was Irish – Canadian whiles his mother, Flora Call Disney was German – American (Stewart, 2009). Beside him, the parents had four other children. He was very creative, ambitious and hard working. He was a very talented child and had outstanding views, different from others. His imaginations were simply unique and able to give a lot of details to the admirers of artwork.
Later in his childhood, the family moved to Marceline Missouri. Walt spent the better part of his childhood here. In his early days, he was very interested in art work and often made and sold drawings in his neighborhood. He often got into trouble because of not doing his homework and instead spending his time drawing. He, at some point, requested his sister, Ruth, to help him to paint their house with tar. The father was opposed to his ideas because they were poor, but the boy was encouraged by his mother and elder brother.
The environment in which Walt Disney grew up influenced his artwork. One of these major impacts was the family’s occupation- farming. He developed a liking for animals and nature. His artwork was mainly based on these. The other thing was that the family’s farm was next to the railway line. He always tried to hear the trains’ arrival. He would later sell snacks and newspapers to the passengers in the trains. The experience made him build a miniature train set to remind him of what it was like while he was on board. Later in his life, he attended a school known as McKinley high school in Chicago, where he studied drawing and photography (Stewart, 2009). He also contributed to the school’s news paper. He worked extra hard by enrolling for night classes to ensure he perfected his drawing skills. The first movie that Walt Disney saw was on the story of Jesus. He viewed it at the movie house at Marceline. The family relocated to Kansas City while he was in school. He was very active in acting and often entertained his schoolmates. The teachers in the school asked him to narrate stories while demonstrating them on the chalkboard. At home, without the father’s permission, he sneaked out to act in the theaters in their locality (Stewart, 2009).
In 1918, Walt attempted to get recruitment in the military. To his disappointment, they did not recruit him because he was very young. He then decided to join Red Cross. He was posted in France and became a driver of the company’s ambulance. He kept on drawing in the vehicle until he filled it with cartoons. He later returned from France and started to study commercial art in his hometown. He set up a company known as Laugh O Grams. He could not get money to continue running the company and he closed it down (Stewart, 2009). He decided not to give up but rather try to have a fresh start. He went to Hollywood. His brother, Roy Disney, encouraged him and gave him financial support to set up a production company. It is while he was there that he was given a lot of recognition because of his comedies, Alice Comedies. This actually enabled him to get into production of more films in his life. Contracts one after the other came after the production of these comedies. In 1925, he married his employee known as Lillian Bounds. She bore him two children, Diane and Sharon. Three years later, he released Mickey Mouse, an animated movie that gave him a lot of success. Walt Disney later released the first ever colored cartoon known as Flowers and Trees in 1932. This won him an Academy Award. Another success came in 1937 when he released The Old Mill. In the same year, he released the famous Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. It was very costly (considering that the economy was going through depression) but a very great success. He spent the next five years in releasing films such as Bambi, Fantasia, Pinocchio and Dumbo. He is also celebrated as a man that pioneered quality television production. In 1961, he presented a colored program in the television arena.
Besides the art, he was a man that wanted to see people’s life changing for the better. He was able to open a park by the name of Disneyland Park in 1955, something he was always looking forward to. It was the only amusement park then that was known for cleanness and organization. He was also interested in improvement of urban city (Stewart, 2009). In 1965, a very big park was opened in the state of Florida. Here, he set up a park and a motel. It took another seven years to complete it. It was opened to the public in 1989. By setting up this, he wanted people to live in a clean city and at the same time to get entertainments. He also mentored other people by opening a College of the Arts in California. By establishing this institute, he wanted to maintain other talents that would come after him.
Walt Disney died on December 15th in 1966 (Stewart, 2009). He has since then remained an inspiration to millions of people interested in art. He is a legend to reckon; his gift and talent still remains unchallenged. People derive a lot of happiness and joy from his pieces. This is a story of determination and ambition. It is a story of a man who learnt to take the setbacks he faced as stepping stones towards higher heights. The man Walt Disney is an encouragement for every talented person to keep trying until they leave a legacy in life like he did. It reminds us that we must persist and be patient with our dreams in life.