Walt Disney: Timeline
Here is quick look into major facts and timeline of Walt Disney, the successful American entrepreneur, animator and voice actor famously known for establishing The Walt Disney Company, Disneyland and Disney World.
Walt Disney: Quick Facts
Born: Walter Elias Disney
Date of Birth: December 5, 1901
Place of birth: Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
Date of death: December 15, 1966
Place of death: Burbank, California, U.S.
Parents: Elias Disney and Flora Call Disney
Siblings: 4 siblings – three brothers and a sister – Herbert Arthur Disney (1888-1961), Raymond Arnold Disney (1890-1989), Roy Oliver Disney (1893-1971), Ruth (1903-1995)
Education: Kansas City Art Institute and School of Design; Chicago Art Institute; McKinley High School
Wife: Lillian Bounds (married in 1925)
Children: Diane ( (1933-2013); Lillian (born in 1936-)
Most known for: Founding the Walt Disney Company; Winning 26 Academy Awards (including 4 honorary awards); One of America’s greatest cultural icons in the Animation industry
Walt Disney: Timeline
1901 – At 1249 Tripp Avenue in Hermosa, Chicago, Walter Elias Disney is born [on December 5, 1901 to Flora Call Disney and Elias Disney]
1905 – Disney’s family move to Marceline, Missouri
1909 – Enrolls at the Park School
1911 – Attends school at the Benton Grammar School in Kansas City, Missouri
He was introduced to motion pictures and theatre by a school mate called Walter Pfeiffer
1917 – Purchases shares in O-Zell Company – a jelly producing company
1918 – Enrolls at McKinley High School; he also works as a cartoonist in the school newspaper, where he mainly draws things pertaining to WWI
1918 – Applies to join the U.S. Army, but he is rejected because he is underage
September 1918 – Joins the Red Cross using a forged birth certificate; serves as an ambulance driver in France
October 1919 – Gets a job as an apprentice artist in an art studio in Kansas City
It was around this time that he first meets with fellow artist Ub Iwerks
January 1920 – He and Iwerks are laid off due to financial difficulties at the Pesman-Rubin Commercial Art Studio; the pair then go on to establish their own studio – Iwerks-Disney Commercial Artists
Owing to start-up problems, Disney and Iwerks temporarily work at the Kansas City Film Ad Company
May 1921 – After gaining immense success with Fred Harman in producing cartoons called “Laugh-O-Grams”, Disney establishes the Laugh-O-Gram Studio. The studio employs the likes of Hugh Harman, Rudolf Ising and Iwerks
1921 – Begins the creation of a live-action animation Alice’s Wonderland, which stars Virginia Davis
1923 – Disney and his partners are unable to keep Laugh-O-Gram Studio above water and the studio files for bankruptcy
July, 1923 – Relocates to Hollywood primarily to meet his brother Roy who was suffering from tuberculosis
October, 1923 – Sells Alice’s Wonderland to Margaret J. Winkler, a New York film distributor
To make production smoother, Disney partners with his brother Roy to establish the Disney Brothers Studio. The studio brings on board actor Virginia Davis, animator Ub Iwerks, and ink artist Lillian Bounds.
1925: Marries Lillian Bounds in Lewiston, Idaho
1927: Begins creating Oswald the Lucky Rabbit, which is later distributed through Universal Pictures
1928 – Not only does he lose about half of his staff, he also loses his rights to Oswald the Lucky Rabbit
1928 – Disney and Ub Iwerks begin developing Mickey Mouse
May 1928 – Mickey Mouse makes its first appearance; the cartoons are distributed by Cinephone
October 1931 – Goes through severe bouts of stress as his long-time partner Iwerks goes to work for Pat Powers, a former executive of Universal Pictures.
1931 – Disney enters into an agreement with Columbia Pictures to distribute his Mickey Mouse cartoons
1932 – Disney’s cartoon Flowers and Trees wins the Academy Award for Best Short Subject (cartoon)
1933 – Works on The Three Little Pig, which goes on to win an Academy Award for Short Subject (Cartoon)
December 1933 – Welcomes his first daughter Diane
1934 – Starts working on hit feature-length Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
December 1936 – Disney and his wife Lillian adopt a six-week-old baby called Sharon
1937 – Disney’s The Old Mill, which is produced using a technique known as multiplane camera, wins Academy Award for Animated Short Film
December 1937 – Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs premiers
1937 – Wins an Honorary Academy Award
1938 – Production of Pinocchio and Fantasia begin
1940 – Pinocchio and Fantasia are released; both get lukewarm reception
February, 1941 – Disney studios faces huge financial difficulties as World War II rages; Disney and his brother take the company public
1941 – Animators strike over Disney’s poor handling of layoffs; many animators leave Disney studio
October, 1941 – Dumbo is released and receives positive reviews
1943 – Der Fuehrer’s Face – a propaganda film – wins an Academy Award
1946 – Founds the Motion Picture Alliance for the Preservation of American Ideals – an organization that uses art to fight against Communism and Fascism
1947 – Appears before the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAAC) and chastises the 1941 animator’s strike for their association (alleged) with Communist elements
1948 – True-Life Adventures is released
1950 – Cinderella – a $2.2 million-Disney production (at the time) – is released; the film receives good reviews and garners about $8 million in the first year
1950 – The live-action feature Treasure Island comes out
1951 – Alice in Wonderland is released
1952 – Live-action feature The Story of Robin Hood and His Merrie Men is released
July, 1952 – Construction of Disney Theme Park in California begins
July 1955 – Disneyland officially opens
1955 – Collaborates with NASA to make Man in Space – an episode in Disneyland series
1959 – Serves as a consultant on American National Exhibition in Moscow
1960 – Chairman of Pageantry Committee in the lead up to the 1960 Winter Olympics in California
1964 – Helps in the production of Mary Poppins; the film goes on to receive very excellent reviews
1965 – Makes plans to construct a new theme park called Disney World in Florida
1966 – Involved in the production of The Jungle Book
1966 – Diagnosed with lung cancer and subsequently dies on December 15
Interesting Facts about Walt Disney
- He was involved in a total of 81 feature films, winning 22 Academy Awards and a ton load of Academy Awards nominations. He also won two Golden Globe Special Achievements Awards and an Emmy Award.
- Many of his films have been registered at the National Film Registry run by the Library of Congress
- He developed the character Mickey Mouse in 1928. His wife is credited with naming the character.
- During the formative years of Disney Studios, he voiced a number of characters, including Mickey Mouse.
- He helped develop a host of animation and film techniques such as synchronized sound, multiplane camera, and Technicolor.
- His hit films – Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937), Pinocchio (1940), Fantasia (1940), Dumbo (1941), and Bambi (1942) – won five Academy Awards.