05 December-Walt Disney

Disney families lived for generations in Ireland in both counties Carlow and Kilkenny. Some of the families emigrated to America. Arundel Elias Disney was born in the townland of Clone near Freshford, Co Kilkenny in 1801. He emigrated to north America with members of his family in 1834. The family settled initially in Canada but later moved to the United States. The great-grandson of Arundel Elias Disney was Walt Disney. He was a cartoonist and filmmaker who also became a successful businessman.

Walter Elias Disney was born in Chicago, Illinois in 1901. He did not attend school until he was eight years old. He attended McKinley High School in Chicago but dropped out at the age of 16 to join the army during World War 1. He was rejected because he was underage. He joined the Red Cross and was sent to France where he drove an ambulance. He decorated the ambulance with his own cartoons.

In 1919 Disney returned to America and began working as a newspaper artist in Kansas City. He moved on to making animated commercials and from that to making short animated films. In October 1923 Disney moved with his brother Roy to Hollywood, California where they established Disney Brothers’ Studio. They produced animated films which were successful but lost the rights to the characters they had created to Universal studios.

At the age of 27 Disney created the first Mickey Mouse cartoon. The first two cartoons were not a success. However the third Mickey Mouse cartoon, Steamboat Willie, which had sound for the first time was an instant success. In 1937 he produced Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs which was the first full-length animated film. By 1939 he had opened Walt Disney Studios in Burbank, California and with his staff created cartoon characters such as Minnie Mouse, Donald Duck, Goofy and Pluto.

During his lifetime Disney was the winner seven Emmy Awards and 22 Academy Awards. He gave his name to the Disneyland theme parks which are located in the USA, France, Japan and Hong Kong. He died at his home in Burbank, California on December 15th 1966 the age of 65.

Walt Disney, pioneer of cartoon films and creator of Disneyland, was born in Chicago, Illinois in the year 1901 On This Day.

Walt Disney by GaryRHess on 2012-05-22 10:02:33

Disney’s Magic Kingdom Entrance by Paul Beattie on 2008-10-19 12:50:48

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