Walt Disney: the man behind many of our beloved childhood movies. He didn't have it as easy as people may think, and he went through many struggles on his road to fame. When he would start getting successful results with audiences, he would hit another bump in the road. However, he remained hardworking and driven while on this roller coaster of successes and letdowns, and produced many whimsical films we still enjoy today. If you are curious about learning more about him, here are some things you may not have known about the one and only Walt Disney.
1. He adopted a love for art at a very young age.
He once got in trouble with his mom because he drew a horse on the side of his house. If his mom had known he would grow up to be this famous, she probably wouldn't have been that mad. He was also a cartoonist for his high-school newspaper.
2. He went to war when he was 16.
With World War II going on, young Walt wanted to do something to help, but he was rejected because he was too young. Of course, the only solution for him was to lie about his age -- and they believed him! Either he applied to different people who didn't remember him from the first time, or he had a really good mustache disguise to pass for an adult.
3. He had his own villain.
Walt Disney had the spotlight stolen from him by a greedy man named Charles Mintz. Mintz hired all of Disney's workers and they all accepted the offer, except for Walt's good pal Ub Iwerks. Appropriately, the villain in the movie "Up" was based on Mintz. This man was so bad in fact that he even took over his wife's animation company because he believed the place for all women in life was to raise children and be a homemaker. I know, right? Euch. In the end, Walt Disney Studios obviously surpassed the company that Mintz owned, because Walt Disney Studios is still around producing quality content, and I haven't heard anything from a Charles Mintz, have you? Didn't think so.
4. Oswald the Lucky Rabbit was his first famous character.
Before Mickey Mouse was even an idea, Walt and Iwerks created Oswald the Lucky Rabbit. This was the first animated character for Universal Pictures. Walt Disney created 26 animated Oswald features that eventually lead to the creation of other popular animated characters, such as Mickey and Minnie Mouse.
5. "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs" was the first Disney movie.
And also the world's first animated feature film. It was highly successful and led to the production of "Pinocchio," "Bambi" and "Fantasia."
6. He had a real-life mouse friend.
While he was struggling with bankruptcies, Walt lived in his office, which also happened to be the home of a little mouse. He and the mouse become best pals, and it is thought that this mouse gave him the inspiration for the character we all know as Mickey Mouse.
7. Mickey Mouse was Walt's alter ego.
It is said that Disney doodled Mickey Mouse on the back of an envelope on a train, and he would often describe Mickey as his alter ego. Mickey is everywhere now, so in a way, they are keeping the spirit of Walt alive in the form of Mickey.
8. The last movie he approved was "Aristocats."
My all-time favorite movie just happens to be the last movie he approved the production of and the first Disney movie to be produced after his death. Some people believe that the movie lost something because of the absence of Walt's input. Could that movie have been even better if Walt had helped produce it? Possibly, but I suppose that is something we shall never find out.
If you enjoy Disney movies, hopefully you also enjoyed learning some more about the man behind them.