This week marks the 100th anniversary of Disneythe animation studio that originally started out entertaining the young (and young at heart) but is now a multinational entertainment empire.
Disney is a commercial giant that expands beyond children’s films into television, theme parks, cruise ships and more – there is hardly a sector of the entertainment industry that is not connected to the Walt Disney Company in one form or another.
But that wasn’t always the case.
How did Disney start?
The Walt Disney Company had humble beginnings, initially as a business venture between Walt Disney and his financial brother Roy, which they named “The Disney Brothers Cartoon Studio” in 1923.
Disney had previously worked as a cartoonist for some time and had his own company, Laugh-O-Gram Studio, but it went bankrupt in 1923, which led to him moving to Los Angeles, where his brother lived – he and producer Ub Iwerks founded them Your business.
In LA, Disney managed to sell his first short film, Alice’s Wonderland, and also managed to get a contract for six more films, and in order to make the films, Disney needed a company to produce them: and so began the story of The Disney Brothers Cartoon Studio.
The company initially began working on Alice comedies and an animated series centered around a character named Oswald the Lucky Rabbit, which it eventually succeeded in doing in a surprising turn of events, lose the rights to it. But after that came his most popular and memorable creation – the one that would change everything: Mickey Mouse.
Mickey first appeared in the short film Steamboat Willie in 1928, and Disney even voiced him in the beginning. The character became the focus of a series of short films that rapidly gained popularity, and this convinced the cartoonist to make his first feature film.
The first full-length Disney film was Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, which went 400% over budget and required the work of 300 animators to complete. But the effort was worth it, as it was a huge success when it was published in 1937.
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This made the company a huge success, and from then on Disney began producing more and more films to delight audiences, such as Fantasia, Bambi and Cinderella, the latter being the most financially successful for the studio after Snow White and receiving widespread attention Return to form for the studio in 1950.
Disney produced both animated and live-action films, including the critically acclaimed 1964 film “Mary Poppins,” and the studio also began opening theme parks such as Disneyland.
The company was officially renamed The Walt Disney Company in 1986, twenty years after Disney’s death at age 65 from lung cancer.
Although Disney died, his legacy lived on through the studio, which continued to grow and grow both in terms of film releases and acquisitions of other companies. In addition, the company also launched its own streaming platform Disney+ in 2019.
With its touching stories, stunning animation, and major blockbuster live-action films produced by its parent companies, it’s no wonder the studio has left such a lasting legacy, and it’s likely to continue – perhaps for another hundred years.
Watch a trailer for Disney’s 100th anniversary short film “Once Upon a Studio.”