Walt Disney

Biography Project for Mrs. Hemry's 8th grade Language Arts class
Made by Abbey Reau

Walt Disney was born on December 5, 1901 and died December 15, 1966.

Events in History

  • World War I
  • World War II
  • The sound revolution in the film industry
  • The Great Depression
  • The switch to unions

Walt's Childhood

Most of Walt Disney's childhood memories came from a small farm house in Marceline, including the first experience Walt had with art when he and his younger sister Ruth painted the side of the house with tar while their parents weren't home.

People who influenced him

  • Elias (Walt's father)- taught Walt to have a good work ethic.
  • Roy (Walt's older brother)- always supported Walt's dreams and ideas.
  • Aunt Margret- who came all the way from Kansas city with crayons and drawing pads to support Walt.
  • Uncle Ed- was considered dim witted by outsiders but Walt found good company in him.
  • Flora(his Mom)- took care of Walt and taught him to read.

Unique Facts

  • When Walt was about 14 a guy named Bert Hudson saw his caricatures and asked for him to draw one once a week, they were framed at Hudson's barber shop, and Walt got his hair cut for free.
  • Walt never finished high school.
  • In 1933 almost total immersion in his work caused a nervous breakdown.
  • Walt and Mickey where very similar, when drawing Mickey, Walt would even sometimes tell animators "no, Mickey wouldn't do that."
  • Surgery for an old polo injury lead to the discovery of lung cancer.


  • 1926- the Disney Brothers studio turned into The Walt Disney studio.
  • November 18th 1932- The academy of motion picture arts and sciences gave its 1st ever cartooning award to Walt.
  • Walt Disney created Mickey mouse, which saved many jobs and businesses from the Great Depression.
  • Walt was the first to add sound and music to cartoon shorts.
  • December 18th 1933- 13 days after Walt's 32 birthday Diane Marie Disney was born.
  • Walt Disney improved the way color was done changing it entirely so it wouldn't chip and fade.
  • Walt pioneered sound cartoons, color, and many other animations.
  • Walt Disney changed the way amusement parks were built.
  • July 1955- Disneyland opened.
  • Walt also designed Disney World and Epcot before he died, five years after his death they were open as well on October 1971.

The Theme of Walt's life is...

Walt Disney believed that you should always follow your dreams no matter how many things are in your way, persistence pays off, and good can always come from bad.

Words of Advice and What he has Taught me

  • Walt wrote to Roy and Ub "none of them are positive on how this is all going to turn out, but I have come to a definite conclusion: sound effects and talking pictures are more than a mere novelty. They are here to stay and in time will develop into a wonderful thing the ones that get in on the ground floor are the ones that will more likely profit by its future development. That is providing they work for quality and not quantity and quick money.Also I am convinced that the sound on film is the only logical thing for the future at the present it is necessary to have both in order to cover the field one hundred percent." (92)
  • Walt spoke at the Disneyland opening- "The idea for Disneyland is a simple one. it will be a place for people to find happiness and knowledge." (246)
  • Walt once said to an engineer who told Walt his idea was impossible "you know better than to kill an idea before giving it a chance to live. We set our sights high. Thats why we accomplish so many things. Now go back and try again." (263)

I alway knew Walt Disney created Mickey mouse, Disneyland, and many other loved stories but from reading this biography I have realized that Walt Disney was more than a cartoonist, he was an inspiration. Just one book has taught me so many things, I learned how life changing a little optimism can be. I also learned that if you really want something than you should go for it no matter what.

Works Cited

Thomas, Bob. Walt Disney: An American Original. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1976. Print.

"The Galloping Gaucho". Perf. Mickey Mouse.Youtube. 2009. Web

"shirley Temple Presents Walt with a Special Oscar. " Perf. Shirley Temple and Walt Disney Youtube. 11 Feb. 2014. Web.

"Complete Disney Land Dedication Ceremony". Perf. Walt Disney. N.d. Youtube, 19 Apr. 2007. Web

Walt Disney's Original E.P.C.O.T Film (1966) HD FULL VERSION. Perf. Walt Disney. N.d. Youtube, 22 Sept. 2013. Web

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