10 Things You Didn’t Know about Walt Disney?

Walt Disney revolutionized animation in his 65 years by moving it from a black-and-white unfamiliar genre to a well-known genre that produces Oscar-level films. The miniscule animation house that Disney founded on October 16 1923 has now reached unimaginable success and is said to be worth more than $42 billion. The following are aspects of Walt Disney’s life that have been forgotten due to his accomplishments later on in life.

1.    1. Walt Disney dropped out of high school in order to join the army.

During the First World War, a 16-year-old Disney dropped out of school and attempted to enlist in the army. He was rejected because he was underage, but he received a position with the Red Cross as an ambulance driver. He was dispatched to France for a year, but by the time he arrived, the armistice had already been signed.

2.     2. Mickey Mouse was originally named “Mortimer"

Mickey Mouse is essentially a synonym for Walt Disney, but had Disney’s wife not intervened, Mortimer Mouse would have been the Mouse’s name. Lillian Disney believed that Mickey would be a more marketable name than Mortimer, and Walt took his wife’s advice and changed the name. Mortimer Mouse became Mickey’s rival who lived in Brooklyn and wanted Minnie Mouse for himself.

3.     3. Walt Disney was the original voice behind Mickey Mouse.

While he is mostly known for his skills as an animator, director and producer, Disney also dabbled in voice acting. From 1928 to 1947, Disney was the voice of Mickey Mouse before the job was given to English actor Jimmy Macdonald. He enjoyed voice acting so much that he voiced Mickey Mouse again in 1955 for his company’s television show The Mickey Mouse Club.

4.     4. Even when everyone around him thought it was crazy, Disney was determined to produce a feature-length animated film.

Industry Insiders believed that Disney’s efforts to turn Snow White into a feature film would fail, and they were partially correct, as he did run out of funding during productions. Disney had to show loan officers a draft cut of the film before receiving additional funding. However, luckily for Disney, the movie was a success as it earned $8 million during its initial release- around $130 million today.

5.     5. He could be the US government’s best friend.

Disney aided numerous government agencies throughout his career with his animations. Training films for the US military, propaganda films persuading Americans to pay their taxes and several anti-Hitler films designed to increase US spirit at home were created. The film Saludos Amigos was created by Disney in order to help the State Department form positive relations with South America. Later, Disney helped NASA by making documentaries about their space program.

6.     6. Disney contributed to the anti-communist sentiment.

The fear of communism riddled the US after the Second World War. The anti-communist Motion Picture Alliance for the Preservation of American Ideals (MPA) was created by Disney along with other industry executives, as he was a believer in the Red Menace. He was the MPA’s vice president, and Disney also testified against a few labour organizers who he believed motivated his animators to strike. The Screen Actors Guild was also accused by Disney of being a communist front, and he claimed that their 1941 strike was a socialist plot.

7.     7. He came close to building a ski resort.

In 1955 after opening Disney Land, Walt became interested in a ski resort in Mineral King Valley, which is located near California’s Sequoia National Park. He planned on building a vacation spot with six ski areas, all built around a Swiss-style base village. This spot was set to have a daily capacity of 20 000 skiers total. Disney had approval from the Forest Service and had a deal with the Governor of California, making the project close to development. However, the company believed it could only manage one big project at a time after Disney’s death in 1966. They chose to finish Disney World instead.

8.     8. Disney received more Academy Awards and nominations than any other person in history.

Disney won 22 Academy Awards and was nominated a total of 59 times between 1932 and 1969. There are three awards created specifically for him included in this bevy of Oscars: one for created Mickey Mouse, a second that recognizes his contribution of music in animation and finally a third that is a prize honouring Snow White and the Seven Dwarves that had a traditional statuette, and seven miniature versions with it.

9.     9. His last words are a mystery.

His last words remain a mystery because no one knows what they were supposed to mean. A few moments before dying of lung cancer, Disney wrote down the name “Kurt Russell”. When Russell was asked why Disney might have written his name down, the actor, who is most known for his role in The Thing and Escape from New York, said that he does not know. Russell was a child actor and was not yet famous at the time of Disney’s death.

10. 10. After his death, he was NOT cryogenically frozen.

Many believe that the one thing they know about Walt Disney is that his body is preserved through cryogenics but this is not the truth. All documents prove that Disney was cremated after his death. As well, the first cryogenic freezings are documented to have taken place a month after Disney’s death

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