Sunday, 24 January 2010

Origins of Disney

The Walt Disney Company, is the one of the largest, if not the largest, media and entertainment companies in the world. Founded on October 16, 1923 by brothers Walt and Roy Disney as the Disney Brothers Cartoon Studio, the company was reincorporated as Walt Disney Productions in 1929. Walt Disney Productions established itself as a leader in the animation industry before diversifying into live-action film production, television, and travel.

In 1919, Walt Dinsey moved back to Kansas City to begin his artistic career. After considering becoming an actor or a newspaper artist, he decided he wanted to create a career in the newspaper, drawing political caricatures or comic strips. But when nobody wanted to hire him as either an artist or even as an ambulance driver, his brother Roy, who worked at a bank in the area, got a temporary job for him at the Pesmen-Rubin Art Studio through a bank colleague .At Pesmen-Rubin, Disney created ads for newspapers, magazines, and movie theaters. It was here that he met a cartoonist named Ubbe Iwerks. When their time at the Pesmen-Rubin Art Studio expired, they were both without a job, and they decided to start their own commercial company

In January 1920, Disney and Iwerks formed a short-lived company called, "Iwerks-Disney Commercial Artists". However, following a rough start, Disney left temporarily to earn money at Kansas City Film Ad Company, and was soon joined by Iwerks who was not able to run the business alone. While working for the Kansas City Film Ad Company, where he made commercials based on cut out animation, Disney took up an interest in animation, and decided to become an animator. He was allowed by the owner of the Ad Company, to borrow a camera from work, which he could use to experiment with at home. After reading a book by Edwin G. Lutz, called Animated Cartoons: How They Are Made, Their Origin and Development, he found more effective ways of animating and techniques which could help in him his line of work. Walt eventually decided to open his own animation business.

Disney then set his sights on establishing a studio in the movie industry's capital city, Hollywood, California. Disney and his brother pooled their money to set up a cartoon studio in Hollywood. Needing to find a distributor for his new Alice Comedies (which he started making while in Kansas City, but never got to distribute) Disney sent an unfinished print to New York distributor Margaret Winkler who promptly wrote back to him. She was keen on a distribution deal with Disney for more live-action/animated shorts based upon Alice's Wonderland.

Below is a timeline of Walt Disney's career up to his death in 1966. Includes history of the company as well as the release dates of some of Disney's most famous and iconic films.

Walt Disney signed a contract with M.J. Winkler to produce a series of Alice Comedies, beginning the Disney company under its original name Disney Brothers Cartoon Studio, with brothers Walt and Roy Disney, as equal partners.[1]
First Alice comedy, Alice's Day at Sea, released.
Company changed name to The Walt Disney Studio shortly after moving into the new studio on Hyperion Avenue in the Silver Lake district.
Oswald the Lucky Rabbit debuts
Walt loses the Oswald series contract
Mickey Mouse debuts in Plane Crazy Steamboat Willie (the first synchronized sound cartoon)
On December 16, the original partnership formed in 1923 is replaced by Walt Disney Productions, Ltd. Three other companies, Walt Disney Enterprises, Disney Film Recording Company, and Liled Realty and Investment Company, are also formed.
The Skeleton Dance (the first Silly Symphonies cartoon)
Distribution moved to Columbia Pictures
Distribution moved from Columbia Pictures to United Artists
Flowers and Trees (the first Technicolor cartoon)
Mickey's Revue (which features the premiere of Goofy, originally called "Dippy Dawg")
Three Little Pigs
The Wise Little Hen (which features the premiere of Donald Duck)
Distribution moved from United Artists to RKO Radio Pictures.
The landmark Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs is released to wild critical and commercial glory.
Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
On September 29, Walt Disney Enterprises, Disney Film Recording Company, and Liled Realty and Investment Company are merged into Walt Disney Productions.
Studio moves to Burbank, California
Company goes public
A bitter animators' strike occurs
The studio begins making morale-boosting propaganda films for the United States during World War II
Saludos Amigos
The company is short on money; a theatrical re-release of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs generates much-needed revenue and begins a reissue pattern for the animated feature films.
The Three Caballeros
Make Mine Music
Song of the South
Fun and Fancy Free
The True Life Adventures nature film series begins; it lasts until 1960.
Melody Time
The studio begins production on its first all-live action feature, Treasure Island
The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad
Treasure Island (Disney's first all-live action film)
Alice in Wonderland
WED Enterprises is formed to design what would become Disneyland.
Retlaw Enterprises is formed to control the rights to "Disney". It will later own and operate several attractions inside Disneyland, including the Disneyland Monorail System and the Disneyland Railroad
Peter Pan
October 27: Beginning of the Disneyland TV program on ABC.
The studio ends its distribution deal with RKO Radio Pictures and founds Buena Vista Distribution Company to distribute its feature films.
20,000 Leagues Under the Sea
Lady and the Tramp
Disneyland opens in Anaheim, California
Old Yeller
Sleeping Beauty
The Shaggy Dog
Swiss Family Robinson
The studio purchases the film rights to A.A. Milne's Winnie-the-Pooh books, which are a huge source of revenue to this day.
One Hundred and One Dalmatians
The Absent-Minded Professer
The Parent Trap
The Sword in the Stone
Mary Poppins (the first Disney film to receive a Best Picture Academy Award nomination)
Disney News Begins Publication
September: Walt Disney is diagnosed with lung cancer; he dies on December 15.
Winnie the Pooh and the Honey Tree

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