Walt Disney, the creator of the famous Disney Productions, which is still today one of the most famous motion pictures, is known for its animated cartoons. Him and his brother, Roy, co-founded this company together.

Early Life

Walter Elias Disney grew up in a family of five, four boys and one girl, with his two loving parents, Elias and Flora Disney. Together they lived in Merceline, Missouri where he lived for most of his childhood. This is where Disney first discovered his passion for drawing and painting; he also started selling his paintings to family, friends, and neighbors. He learned to love trains from his Uncle Mike, who worked as a train engineer. This led to Disney's first job, selling snacks and newspapers to travelers who passed by. He attended McKinley High School, in Chicago, where he drew cartoons for the school newspaper and began taking photography and drawing classes. He took night classes at the Chicago art institute and at 16, tried to register in the army but was denied for being too young. He joined the Red Cross and moved to France to drive ambulences, instead.

Career Takes Off

After being over seas for a year, he started his career as a newspaper artist at Pesmen- Rubin Art Studio. After that, he worked at Kansas City Ad Company, where he made commercials based on cutout animation; this opportunity inspired him to start his own ad company. Disney set up his first previews of his cartoons with a Kansas City theater, which were called Laugh-O-Grams, and they were a huge hit. Because of their success, they started making their own minature fairy tales and the first was called Alice in Cartoonland. Quickly after, the company became bankrupt and Disney and his brother moved to Hollywood once they got back on their feet. They started the Disney Brothers Studio and they started selling their cartoons and ideas to a New York distributer. They started out as silent films, and decided to break away to produce their own creations. This is when Mickey Mouse was first invented in Steamboat Willie, a short film with Walt as the voice of Mickey; everybody fell in love with the newest sensation to film. After his break through to fame, Disney came out with Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, and it made almost $1.5 million during the Great Depression. It won eight Oscars, and soon after, they came out with Pinocchio, Fantasia, Dumbo, and Bambi. After a few slower moving years, due to releases of cartoonists, Disney was back on top with his new releases: Alice in Wonderland, Peter Pan, Treasure Island, Lady in the Tramp, Sleeping Beauty, and 101 Dalmations. Disney started his on theme park Disneyland which became a tourist attraction around the world.


Disney's plans to continue on his new theme park were still in action when he was diagnosed with Lung Cancer. His brother Roy carried out their plans to the theme park, which soon became Walt Disney World.