This edited article about Walt Disney originally appeared in Look and Learn issue number 678 published on 11 January 1975.
Mention the phrase ‘Cartoon film’, and the chances are that most people will immediately bring to mind the name of Walt Disney.
For the cartoon films of this delightful film maker have been charming audiences of all ages ever since the first sound films appeared in the cinemas in 1928.
Walter Elias Disney was born at Chicago on December 5th, 1901. Trained as a commercial artist, he went to Hollywood in 1923. There, he built his first studio, in a garage, and drew animal cartoons. It was when he created one particular animal cartoon, Mickey Mouse, in 1928, that the garage developed into a huge film factory in order to keep pace with the sudden demand for Disney productions. Soon, Disney was employing hundreds of draughtsmen and controlling his own studios.
Mickey Mouse, the most famous of Disney’s creations, was followed by Donald Duck, Pluto, and Goofy.
In 1932 Disney began to make short colour films, featuring all these and a host of other characters from nature in his musical Silly Symphonies, of which Three Little Pigs is the most famous.
In 1938, Disney brought all the wit, brilliance and beauty of his film techniques to his first full-length musical cartoon film, Snow White And The Seven Dwarfs. This was followed by the moral fantasy Pinocchio. In 1942 came Dumbo, the baby elephant and Bambi, the baby deer. But a year before this, Disney produced his most ambitious creative work, Fantasia in which he set patterns and stories to eight pieces of classical music.
In 1948 he produced the first in a series of brilliant factual nature films.
In 1955 Disney opened a huge amusement park in Anaheim, California, with scenery and characters based on some of his films. He called it Disneyland, and today, eight years after his death, the park, together with the films which are being shown over and over again, both in cinemas and on the television, continue to give pleasure and delight to millions of people all over the world.
This article and image(s) are available for licensing: click on an image to see further details and licensing options; contact us about licensing textual content.