“We keep moving forward, opening new doors and doing new things, because we’re curious, and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.” – Walt Disney
Before there was Bugs Bunny or any other animated “rabbit” character, there was a 1926 rabbit named Oswald. Praised as “exceptionally clever,” Oswald was hugely popular and had a high merchandise tie-in performance – always a plus in the animation world.
As Oswald’s popularity soared, his young creator, Walt Disney, who was born in December 1901, decided he’d like a little larger slice of the profits. But the powers that be in the New York advertising world proposed reducing his amount instead, and Walt lost complete control of his creation. Fortunately, for the rest of the world and for posterity, that loss led Disney to a new creation – a mouse named Mickey.
Mickey Mouse also talked, and from 1927, the year of Mickey’s arrival on the scene, until 1947, Disney also provided Mickey’s voice –and personality. In the words of one Disney employee, "Walt gave Mickey his body AND soul."
Disney also was a terrific writer and had an uncanny ability to recognize and adapt others’ writing into the many movies his new studio produced. By the time of his death in 1966, Disney had won 22 Academy Awards (nominated an astounding 59 times), 4 honorary Academy Awards, and 7 Emmys for his television productions.
Success, Disney said, follows a simple formula: “First, think. Second, dream. Third, believe. And finally, dare.”
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