Dreaming of Walt Disney

A massive entertainment company that spans the globe. Theme parks in Europe and Asia plus North America. A Film and Television show-producing juggernaut. The owner of the Star Wars and Marvel franchise. Disney is one of the world’s most powerful and recognisable brands, iconic and family-friendly, but not afraid to take the odd risk. Hard to believe that it started out with the Disney brothers Walt and Roy Disney in a small garage in 1923. It must have been a very productive place, the kind that you would want to protect. The Disney brothers would have been well advised to contact a Garage Doors Taunton based company like www.upandoverdoorsltd.co.uk/garage-doors/garage-doors-taunton to keep them in the best shape.

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The company was looking like it might go under before it had even begun. The Disneys, with their friend and animator Ub Iwerks, created a series of shows. When they were not picked up by distributors, it looked like the venture would fold before it had begun. These were the “Alice Comedies”. They featured a live-action actress talking and playing with animated characters. Looking back, these are the forerunners of MO-CAP technology, where actors use a green screen and characters are one hundred per cent animated by a computer. As luck would have it, a New York distributor liked them and ran them in her theatres. A further series of 6 episodes were signed up for, and the trio were on their way.

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Next came Mickey Mouse. However, if things had been different, it might have been Oswald the Rabbit and not Mickey, who would have become the mascot and star of the company. The Disneys and Iwerks were told they needed new material, so they created the character of Oswald. This was then sold to the huge Universal pictures company. When they tried to reduce the price, and Disney tried to up it, Universal revealed they held the rights to the character. They hired the animators from Disney, and the Disneys and Iwerks were forced to find a new star. They came up with Mortimer Mouse, but following an intervention from Walt’s wife, they changed it to Mickey.

Steamboat Willie was Mickey’s third animated short, and, crucially, it featured sound! Early attempts were for the silent market, and Disney went back and scored them and added sound to the earlier versions. This established Disney as the leading animation studio in the world.