Walter Elijah Disney He is possibly one of the greatest visionaries of all time, and as has been repeated in more than one story, despite being extremely misunderstood at the beginning. The person responsible for what was the great animation monopoly that every generation born from the 20’s of the 20th century knows, was not always successful, because even was about to fall into total bankruptcy, being saved by the most famous cartoon in the world: Mickey Mouse.
The story began long before the commercial illustrator even thought of creating an animal in animation and giving it a whole family of characters that today are recognized anywhere in the world by adults and children, such as the Donald Duck, Minnie Mousethe Daisy Duck either Pluto chipbecause during his childhood things were not easy at all and even less when his tendency towards the fine arts and the world of entertainment went against any career or common trade among men of his age and generation.
Almost a century after the moment that not only changed its history, that of the children’s entertainment industry and that of humanity in general, the idea that a mouse with red shorts, yellow shoes and white gloves saved someone from bankruptcy and It even became the main image of one of the most remembered, successful brands that generate millions of dollars in annual profits, it seemed crazy, however this is the story.
An interest in drawing born of chance
Although there is a legend that says that Disney’s birthplace was Mojácar (Almería), officially the data shows that he was born on December 5, 1901 in Chicago, United States, he was the fourth son of Elias Disney, originally from the United Province from Canada, although her father was also an American with German and English ancestry.
The biographical profile that the magazine National Geographic created about him indicated that in 1906, when Disney was four years old, the family moved to a farm in Marceline, Missouri, where his uncle Robert had just purchased land. There Disney he developed his interest in drawing when he was paid money to draw a pencil and color portrait of the horse of a retired neighborhood doctorbeing possibly the most tender coincidence that would mark the bright future of someone who would work for millions of children.
His father, Elias, was a subscriber to the newspaper Appeal to Reasonso he easily practiced copying the cartoons that appeared in the newspaper. Since they lived near a railway station, she used to go with her little sister to see the trains, which she would later paint.
In 1911 his family moved to Kansas City, where a young Walt Disney befriended Walter Pfeiffer, a schoolmate, whose family was fond of the theater, and they invited the young man to attend vaudeville shows and moviesexpanding its artistic panorama to more elements and branches.
The first world war and its caricatures giving encouragement to humanity
As if it weren’t already very complicated to be a man with artistic aspirations in the 20th century, Walt had to live through one of the greatest conflicts of humanity: the first World War. Like all young people his age, his interest in defending his nation was one of the main motivations for his short life, however he was not of legal age, so he did the unthinkable but something already seen in movies like Captain America the First Avenger: managed to falsify his birth certificate and joined the Red Cross in September 1918 as an ambulance driver.
When he was sent to the front, in France, the war was over. Even so decorated the sides of his ambulance with caricatures, which were published in the newspaper military Bars and stars. After his European military adventure was over, he returned to Kansas, finding work as a cartoonist for advertising, theater programs and catalogs.
An empire was born that quickly came close to falling
As an artist apprentice in the Commercial Art Studio Pesmen-Rubinbegan a successful path in animation and a good friendship with Ubbe Ert Iwwerksor known as Ub Iwerkswho lovers of drawings recognize very well because he is the real person responsible for the creation of Mickey Mouse. The design of the mouse drawing belongs to Iwerks ingenuity, while his personality and character development in the first short films came from the hand of Walt Disney.
Their work in groups began to bear fruit after being fired due to budget cuts in the first company where they met, with the commitment they had but still without specifying the name that we all now know of the mouse, with plane crazya short film that followed the wave of enthusiasm for Charles Lindbergh that swept the country after his successful Atlantic crossing, it failed shortly before it even recovered the investment.
This is how the idea of not only animating but voice-doubling their personas came about. He projected a silent copy of the tape while, behind a sheet, several of the animators and himself (he handled the ‘dialogues’ between the various animals) performed a simplified version of the soundtrack, songs included. That attempt to synchronize image and sound was a resounding failurebut Disney he sold his car and invested it in another test.
Willie and the steamboat (Steamboat Willie): salvation from the ruin of Walt Disney
Directed and written by Walt Disney and Ub Iwerks, it was first screened on November 18, 1928 -yes, this date is considered the birthday of the beloved cartoon- in the new yorker Universal’s Colony Theater –today The Broadway Theatre-. This project not only meant that he he hadn’t been wrong with his gamble on having all faith and resources put into an animated mousealso represented the stroke of luck that catapulted him for the rest of history.
The public was amazed when the mouse appeared, which finally had a name, Mickey Mouse, guiding a boat down the river while whistling a tune. In interviews for international newspapers such as New York Times either The Wall Street JournalWalt Disney came to describe before his death -December 15, 1966, at the age of 65- that moment that would change his destiny and save him from losing everything he had sold for believing in the project.
The criticism of Variety summed it up thus: “It represents a high degree of ingenuity of cartoon, cleverly combined with the sound effects. The union caused laughter aplenty, it came so easily at the Colony, they tripped over each other.”
Mickey Mouse It is not only a clear example that the dream of any persevering, hard-working person faithful to their ideals can achieve their great dream, despite having the circumstances against it, because almost 100 years after its invention, the colorful mouse is still the most popular cartoon in history. The idea of two people who, working together, succeeded in showing that you are never too small to be great.
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Reference from www.infobae.com