Walt Disney

Walter Elias Disney  December 5, 1901 – December 15, 1966) was an American entrepreneur, animator, writer, voice actor, and film producer. A pioneer of the American animation industry, he introduced several developments in the production of cartoons. As a film producer, he holds the record for most Academy Awards earned by an individual, having won 22 Oscars from 59 nominations. He was presented with two Golden Globe Special Achievement Awards and an Emmy Award, among other honors. Several of his films are included in the National Film Registry by the Library of Congress.

Today, Disney is an entertainment giant of nearly unfathomable scale. It holds hundreds of properties, including Marvel Studios and the Star Wars franchise, and continues producing record-setting films and operating theme parks around the globe. Behind the initial company was the innovative, imaginative genius of Walt Disney himself. While many people recognize his earliest successful films, few know the difficulties he faced prior to making them. Disney’s first animation studio was dissolved, and Disney could not afford to pay his rent. Even after the successful premiere of Snow White, many of Disney’s early movies–classics like Pinocchio and Fantasia–were financial failures.

The strength of an idea cannot be objectively measured by its relative success or failure. Most of Disney’s earliest films are considered masterpieces, even though commercially, they were objective failures. Even Disney’s first studio, which went under, likely produced some amazingly high-quality work.

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