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Tuesday, December 5, 2023

'Curiosity keeps leading us down the path'


“Life is composed of lights and shadows and we would be untruthful, insincere and saccharine if we tried to pretend there were no shadows. 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 Roger Rabbit or any other animated “rabbit” character,  Disney -- born on this date in 1901 -- created Oswald the Lucky Rabbit.  Praised as “exceptionally clever,” Oswald was hugely popular and had a high merchandise tie-in performance.


As Oswald’s popularity continued to soar, Disney decided he’d like a little larger share of the profits. But instead of giving him more, the powers that be in the New York advertising world proposed reducing his amount and threatening to take away the rights to Oswald if the animator did not agree.  He did not and he lost Oswald.  Fortunately for the rest of the world and for posterity, that resulted in Disney turning to a new creation – a little mouse named Mickey.


Mickey Mouse also talked and beginning in 1927, the year of Mickey’s arrival on the scene, an entertainment empire was formed.  As for Oswald, he faded from the scene once Disney left him behind.


While he was a terrific writer in his own right, Disney had an uncanny ability to recognize and adapt others’ writing into the many movies his new studio produced.  By the time of his death, at the relatively young age of 65, Disney had won 22 Academy Awards (nominated an astounding 59 times) and 4 honorary Academy Awards for his work.  He also won 7 Emmys for his television productions.


“All our dreams can come true,” Disney said, “if we have the courage to pursue them.”

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