Walt Disney was born on December 5, 1901 and had the typical childhood of the son of a farmer. His father, Elias Disney (1859-1941), ancestors of Irish, had come to the U.S. from Canada and settled in Chicago shortly after marrying schoolteacher Call Flora (1868-1938), in 1888. Walt was born in 1901, the fourth of five children of the marriage. In 1906-according to some, fleeing the rising crime in Chicago, the family moved to a farm near Marceline, Missouri. Later, Disney would say that those were the happiest years of his life. As he and his younger sister, Ruth, were too small to help with farm work, they spent most time playing. From this period dates the first Disney dabbled with drawing and his great love for trains.

This idyllic period ended a few years later. In 1909, Elias Disney suddenly fell ill with typhoid fever, and, despite having the help of her older children, was unable to continue working on the farm. He sold it reluctantly, and the family lived in a rented house until 1910, when he moved to Kansas City. For the young Disney was very hard having to leave their rural paradise.

In Kansas City, Elias began to work delivering newspapers for the Kansas City Star. Walt and his brother Roy accounted helping his father in the deal, which required hard work getting up every day at twelve o'clock.

According to the records of the public school district in Kansas City, Disney began attending the Benton Grammar School in 1910, and graduated on June 8, 1911. Not a good student because of his job delivering newspapers, he had trouble concentrating and often fell asleep. He was prone to daydreaming and doodling to pass the time.

Elias left his job as a paperboy and became one of the owners of a company dedicated to developing carbonated beverages, the O'Zell Company, based in Chicago. The family moved to this city, and Disney continued his studies at the McKinley High School in Chicago. At the same time, working for his father and attended the evening classes at the Art Institute of Chicago.

At 15, Walt got a summer job selling newspapers and candy to passengers Santa Fe Railroad We train a lot more interested in his work, which was not too successful, since they often stole the goods.

In his school years, Disney was the cartoonist of the school newspaper, The Village Voice. His comics were patriotic and political issue, focusing on the theme of the First World War. In 1918, wanting to follow in the footsteps of his brother Roy, who had enlisted in the Navy, left school to enlist in the army. It was not accepted for being too young. Noting that the ambulance corps of the Red Cross to admit boys of seventeen, Walt forged his birth certificate to show that he was born in 1900 instead of 1901, and had already served seventeen.

He was admitted, but never enter combat. When he finished his training and was transferred to Europe, Germany had signed the armistice, and the war was over. He spent the rest of his time at the Red Cross as an ambulance driver in France, moving to officers. Be entertained by filling drawings of the ambulance he was driving. It was also during this time that he started smoking, a habit that would accompany him throughout his life. In 1919 he asked to be relieved of his military obligations and was sent back to America.
Early in the animation

Determined to pursue a career, he moved to Kansas City. His brother Roy worked at a bank in the area and, thanks to a friend, got him a job-Rubin Art Studio Pesemen where Walt was dedicated to creating ads for newspapers, magazines and cinemas. There he met another artist, Ubbe Iwwerks, with whom he associated, and both decided to start their own business.

Disney and Iwwerks (who shortened his name to Ub Iwerks) founded a company called "Iwerks-Disney Commercial Artists" in January 1920. Unfortunately, they failed too many customers, and finally had to leave. Both were hired by the Kansas City Film Ad Company, which worked in commercials, made with primitive animation techniques to local theaters. Disney was fascinated by the possibilities of animation. He spent several days in the Kansas City Public Library perusing books of anatomy and mechanics. He also read a book on Muybridge Edweard about animation. He used his time at Film Ad experimenting with animation and film techniques. Even borrowed a camera from the company to experiment at home.

After two years in Film Ad, Disney believed it had acquired enough experience to start a new business on their own. In 1922, he founded the company Laugh-O-Gram Films, Inc., dedicated to making animated films based on fairy tales and folk tales for children, like Cinderella or Puss in Boots. Among his employees were Iwerks, Hugh Harman, Rudolph Ising, Carmen Maxwell, and Friz Freleng. The shorts were made famous in the area of ​​Kansas City, but their production costs exceeded the income they provided.

After creating his latest short, mixing live action and animation Alice's Wonderland, the studio went bankrupt in June 1923. Disney then decided to move to the center of the burgeoning film industry, Hollywood. He sold his camera and got enough money for a train trip to California. He left behind his friends and former employees, but he took with him the film of Alice's Wonderland.

He arrived in Los Angeles with forty dollars in his pocket and a film unfinished in his briefcase. Its purpose was to leave the animated film, believing it could not compete with the studios in New York. Intended to become a director of live action movies, and ran unsuccessfully looking for work all the studies.

Finding none, decided to try again with animation. His first studio in Hollywood was a garage at his uncle Robert. Send the movie Alice's Wonderland at the New York distributor Margaret Winkler, who showed great interest in the film and hired Disney to produce more films combining animation and live action.

He joined his brother Roy, who was recovering from tuberculosis in a veterans hospital in Los Angeles and convinced him to take charge of economic management of the study. Roy agreed. At the request of Disney, the leading actress of Alice's Wonderland, Virginia Davis and his family moved to Hollywood from Kansas City. Iwerks and so did his. This was the beginning of the Disney Brothers' Studio, the germ of the future The Walt Disney Company.

The new film, called " Alice Comedies "(" Alice Comedies "), were quite successful. After Virginia Davis, who left the Disney series by not accepting the demands of wage increase of their parents, were starring actresses Dawn O'Day and Margie Gay. Later Lois Hardwick briefly assumed the role. By the time the series ended in 1927, the focus was more animated characters, including a cat named Julius who resembled the cat Felix -.

Oswald the Lucky Rabbit

In 1927, Charles B. Mintz, who had married Margaret Winkler and had taken the reins of his business, called for a new series of films, animation only, to be distributed by Universal Pictures of Carl Laemmle. The new series, " Oswald the Lucky Rabbit, "was an almost instant success. The character was created and drawn by Iwerks. His success allowed the growth of the study, and Walt could rehire Harman, Ising, Maxwell, and Freleng from Kansas City.

In February 1928, Disney went to New York to negotiate a new economic agreement with Mintz, but got a big surprise when he announced that he would not only pay less for each film to produce, but was the main animators Disney-including Harman, Ising, Maxwell, and Freleng (but not Iwerks) - under contract, and would create his own studio if Disney did not accept work for less money. Oswald rights belong to Universal and Disney, and could make the movie without him.

Disney rejected the imposition of Mintz and lost most of the staff study. Those who left formed the nucleus of Winkler Studio, run by Mintz and his brother George Winkler. However, little later Universal assigned production Oswald Rabbit films to a section of his own company who ran Walter Lantz, and Mintz had to devote their study to the production of short Krazy Kat. Harman, Ising, Maxwell, and Freleng created a character very similar to Oswald, Bosko to Leon Schlesinger and Warner Bros., and began work shortly after the first installments of the series Looney Tunes.

The Disney company only regained the rights to Oswald 78 years later, in 2006.

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