Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Oswald a Forgotten Character

Walt Disney: Oswald the Lucky Rabbit - Rival Romeos (1928) 
It seems like no one ever remembers Oswald. He was an unsuccessful Disney cartoon before the success of Mickey Mouse.  Here he is in one of my favorite Oswald cartoons called Rival Romeos.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Monday, March 18, 2013

When will my REFLECTION show? -Mulan

Walt Disney an American Original was one of my favorite books I have ever read.  I don't like non-fiction reading, but this book changed that opinion and I am now a true believer in the writings of Bob Thomas.  I would recommend this book to anyone.  Of course, I was Disney fan long before this book, but I was interested to learn more about this amazing man. But if it weren't for this assignment I wouldn't have read a biography on his life.  I am very glad I did.  The amount of information I gained from this reading is shocking and this book is by far the most interesting I've read.   I loved how Thomas wrote the book as a story not as a compiled book of facts. This blogging experience has been a positive one.  I have always enjoyed looking through blogs but until now, I never knew how much effort and preparation went into every post.  This has also given me experience in case I decide to make a blog in the future.  I liked how with blogging you could make it entirely your own; the background, the font, and the format according to your vision as a blogger.  Overall I really enjoyed creating my blog and reading my non-fiction book.

5 Facts
  1. 2 million separate drawings were used to create Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.
  2. The Tiki Room at Disneyland was inspired by an animatronic bird that Walt's wife, Lily found while antique shopping in Puerto Rico. 
  3. In early cartoons Walt was the voice for Mickey Mouse.
  4. Lily had come up with the name for Mickey Mouse it was originally going to be Mortimer Mouse.
  5. When Walt first came to Hollywood he wanted to become director not a cartoonist. 

Saturday, March 16, 2013



This last section of the book covers the ideas and planning for Walt Disney World  and EPCOT until Walt's death.  Walt and his wife Lilly traveled the world on Walt's Private plane.  They went to Paris, Switzerland, Cuba and many more exciting places.  Walt was always looking for inspiration for Disneyland and for new movies.  For example, when he was in Cuba he went to a pirate's island and was inspired to make Pirates of the Caribbean and when Lilly found a mechanical singing parrot in Puerto Rico it became inspiration for The Enchanted Tiki Room.

Mary Poppins
Walt was asked to go to present attractions at New York's World Fair in year 1964. Ford commissioned Walt to make an attraction that Walt called Magic Skyway which was a ride through time starting at the Stone Age through present day.  General Electric sponsored the making of The Carousel of Progress as it was called after the ride moved to Disneyland from New York. Walt also created It's A Small World with artist Mary Blair who did all of the artwork and design features.  This ride was also moved to Disneyland after the world fair.  Walt with the help of all the workers at WED created all of these attractions including the very complicated Audio-Animatronic President Lincoln for the attraction Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln. Once the stress of the World Fair was over Walt put his attention into making Mary Poppins the highest grossing and most successful Disney Film.  It had thirteen Academy Award nominations and made $44,000,000. He also put in the Haunted Mansion in Disneyland and made movies including the Jungle Book and LT. Robin Crusoe. 

Tiki Room
Mary Poppins with Bert

Walt received his highest award on September 14th, 1964 when President Johnson presented him with The Medal of Freedom the highest award that a civilian can receive.  A big part of Walt's life came when he decided to help art conservatories by helping create Cal Arts and college for talented young individuals. 

Walt decided he wanted to have another Disneyland in Florida in 1958.  He also decided that he wanted to create a City of Tomorrow later called EPCOT using state of the art technology and creating a community environment where citizens would have a simplistic lifestyle.  All land for the Florida Project as WED called it was settled in 1965.  Walt had two of his best men Marv Davis and Joe Potter assist him in this ambitious project. EPCOT became Walt's obsession and put most of his time and effort into it.  In 1966 Walt was made the Grand Marshal at the Tournament of Roses Parade.  After this event Walt's health greatly decreased; his polo injury was bothering him more than ever, he suffered from and chronic sinus problem, he had developed a kidney ailment.  Walt even as a young man had a premonition that he would die before finishing his work and his illness reinforced that thought.  During this time though Walt and Lilly became closer and spent more time together.  He also worked more seamlessly with his brother Roy and didn't have as many quarrels.  But Walt's heath continued to worsen and when he went for an X-ray they found his lung cancerous and had to remove it.  He was optimistic about it and returned to work as soon as he could.  But he was admitted back to the hospital soon after he left his physical pain was excruciating. His family finally thought he was feeling better when he died on December 15, 1966 from an acute circulatory collapse. He never got to see his final project.  His death was mourned by many, but business had to go on. Roy took control of the company and saw out the the Florida Project that Roy decided to call Walt Disney World.  But soon after its opening Roy too died just barely seeing out his brother's dream. 
Roy Disney at Walt Disney World's opening
Walt's Dream of EPCOT

The  Walt Disney name continues to stand for what it did then; quality, family, entertainment and he will always be remembered by those who knew him and people who experienced the Disney dream. 


This section for me was very depressing.  The author kept hinting that the inevitable was coming, but I refused to look at the signs.  I was procrastinating to read until the end because I was afraid of the emotional wreck I would become.  I had to read it eventually and as I predicted I cried.  It's like watching the Titanic; you know what is coming and you tell yourself you're not going to cry this time, but then you always do. Of course this section wasn't all about his death but also his final accomplishments.  I found it to be very interesting that a few of Disneyland's most successful rides started at the World Fair.  The mission to create the perfect Audio-Animatronic Lincoln was inspiring.  I did like reading about the start of Walt Disney World because being there this past Summer I had many questions that were answered in this part. Walt really did live a wonderful life and it was an amazing experience for me to read about his journey.

Focus: Explain Why Walt Disney was so successful.

Walt Disney was successful because of his dedication and passion for the entertainment business.  He stayed true to his ideas and morals.  He never wavered from the dream he was trying to make reality.  He was not always successful but it was his failures that made him stronger in his future.  Walt also had a great family to support him as well as thousands of employees and millions of fans.  His father was an entrepreneur and sparked Walt's innovative mind.  Walt was always driven by what the people would like and it was because of his attention to detail that he was as successful as he was. 

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Weekly Quote

Were not trying to entertain the critics.  I take my chances with the public.
-Walt Disney

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Weekly Quote

Disneyland will never be completed. It will continue to grow as long as there is imagination left in the World.
-Walt Disney

Disneyland- Ears


In this section Walt's dream of Disneyland becomes a reality.  It starts with the creation of the movie 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea the Studios first live-action movie.  It was immensely successful and very expensive film to make.  It posed many challenges including the building of a realistic giant squid.  He made Lady and the Tramp in this period as well.  Walt really started to put his ideas into action for Disneyland in December of 1952 when he created WED Enterprises which was a personal corporation  for Walt's endeavors outside the film industry. To get money for the park Walt used television and created shows like, Zorro, Davy Crockett, and the Mickey Mouse Club.  Bu this first was the Disneyland Story, staring Walt telling the audience what Disneyland would be like.  Another challenge that Walt faced was where to put Disneyland; he decided on an orange grove in Anaheim, California because of its cooler temperature and easy access. He started excavating land in August of 1954 only eleven months before it was scheduled to open.  During this time he was also working on a documentary on how 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea was created; this film aired on television and earned an Emmy for the best show of the year.

 Davy Crockett
Jungle Cruise
In Disney's personal life his daughter Diane was married and had a child named Christopher Disney Miller.  Though Walt was secretly disappointed they didn't name their son after him.  Construction started on the park and Walt was there every day supervising and planning out every detail, even the trash cans.  There was going to be five different lands, True-Life Adventurland, The Word of Tomorrow, Fantasyland, Frontier Country, and Holiday Land.  The Disneyland Railroad was one of the first things to be completed and was modeled after Walt's scale model train in his back yard. Walt even built an apartment so he could stay in the park overnight.  He also made what were called "dark rides"  including Mr. Toad's Wild Ride, Snow White, Alice in Wonderland, and Walt's favorite Peter Pan.  He also had the Jungle Cruise and King Arthur's Carousel.  Somehow they managed to open on July 17th 1955 but it was a disaster with food shortages, a gas leak and many more problems.  Walt moved on and fixed the problems and was also working on new attractions. So in 1959 the Matterhorn, Monorail, and Motor Boat Cruise were opened.  Movies were also released during this time including The Shaggy Dog, Lady and the Tramp, Sleeping Beauty, 101 Dalmatians, The Parent Trap, and the very successful Swiss Family Robinson. Walt Disney's Wonderful World of Color was Walt's fist colored television show and was revolutionary in the business.  Because of the success of the movies and Disneyland on April 25, 1961 Walt and Roy Disney had finally paid off their loan to Bank of America.
Lady and the Tramp

Opening of Disneyland


This section was particularly interesting for me because of the creativity that went into the making of Disneyland.  Being Disneyland obsessed long before this book it was amazing to see how much though and effort was created to make the perfect place for children and families. Walt would stop at nothing to see his vision become a reality.  He pushed his engineers to new heights and imagined what couldn't be dreamed about.  Everything his was for the people and it was very interesting for me being on all of the rides depicted and knowing that Walt personally rode them to make sure they were perfect. It was wonderful to read about a place that I love so much in it's first steps of creation.  I have long been a Disney lover but now I truly have an appreciation the amazing accomplishments he made.
First Map of Disneyland
1955 Disneyland Overview

Focus: Describe how Walt Disney's wealth changed him.

The truth is Walt was never change by money.  He remained the same loving, driven, and hardworking man he had always been. One thing that did change was his car.  He was driving home from work when he saw this beautiful Mercedes Benz coupe, he told his sister, and he said to himself, "Gee,  I wish I could afford that,"(276) and continued driving.  When he had gone a few blocks down the road he said "Yes I can!" and turned right around and bought it.  He told interviewers, "I've always been bored with just making money," (276).  Some people thought he had no regard for money but that was untrue.  Walt only saw money as something he could do with, to better things.  An example of his kind heart came before Disneyland's opening. The Studio received a letter from a mother with a seven-year-old son with leukemia, her son requested that he do two things meet Pinky Lee a comedian, and ride Walt Disney's train.  The train had almost been completed when the family arrived at Disneyland, the pieces of the train were still being put on my crane.  The engine was started for the first time and Walt took the little boy in his arms and took him on the first ride on the train.  He also gave the boy one of two gold frames from Lady and the Tramp artwork the other given to movie star Grace Kelly.  After the boy's trip Walt had only one request, no publicity.