On this day, in 1901, Walter Elias Disney was born in the Hermosa section of Chicago. In the subsequent years, he became the manifestation of the American Dream. He was the foundation for cinematic production, animation, musicals, print, and comedic art.
In other words, this man basically invented modern entertainment.
In 1923, Walt Disney and his brother Roy started a small animation company in Hollywood called the Disney Brothers Cartoon Studios. That small animation studio would eventually turn into the colossal Walt Disney Company, a global mass-media conglomerate taking in $40 billion per year in sales and owning a list of assets around the world that is literally too long to post.
No doubt Walt Disney knew how to draw well, a skill he learned right here in Chicago. However, Walt Disney wasn’t the best drawer in the world, nor was he the most skilled animator. His magic wasn’t in animation or drawing; instead, his magic was in story telling. His stories always had great overarching themes, and part of his brilliance was to transfer those themes into real life in the form of theme parks.
The connections he made between different entertainment genres, and the fusion he developed between art and life, continue to make him a transcending figure in our modern social media driven world. Happy Birthday Mr. Disney.