History of the Mouse

The History of the Mouse

1923- Walt Disney arrived in California with dreams he wanted to make into a reality. He stared off with a short film series called Alice’s Wonderland. He wanted to use it as a “pilot” to sell to distributors.

Soon after on October 16, 1923, a NY distributor M.J. Winkler cut a deal to release the Alice Comedies. Right then and there that became the true beginning of The Walt Disney Company.

Walt and his brother Roy became partners soon creating Walt Disney Studios and took it to Hollywood!

Alice Comedies were made for four years pushing Walt’s cash flow and animation.

1927- Walt picked up his cartoon series and created Oswald the Lucky Rabbit. In that same year Walt made 26 cartoons staring Oswald. He needed additional money from Winkler, but soon found out that a distributor had gone behind his back to make Oswald his own. Sad but true, the Oswald rights were not granted to Walt. From then on out, walt made sure that everything he created was his!

Everything happens for a reason right? After loosing Oswald, Walt created a fun, new character that looked like a mouse. Walt first named the mouse Mortimer, thank god his wife Lilly disagreed calling the new character Mickey. Soon a star arose and Mickey Mouse had his own cartoons.

1928-The first ever sound cartoon was called “The Jazz Singer”. Soon after two more were released staring the Mouse in Steamboat Willie in November. Everyone fell in love and now is the poster child for the Disney company for all ages!

1930-First Mickey Mouse book was published and the first newspaper comic strip.

1932- Walt won an Academy Award for Best Cartoon for “Flowers and Trees”, a symphony and first full-color cartoon. The rest of the decade Walt sweeped the Oscars winning every year.

1933-Voted the most sensational, “Three Little Pigs” was released. This was a anthem for fighting the Great Depression…..”Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf?”

Consumer Products came into to play. While the cartoons were gaining support, Walt was approached for $300 to put Mickey’s head on a child’s writing tablet, Walt was in.

1934-Walt gathered his animators together and started working on the first animated feature film.

1937- Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs was finished. It became a hit! It was the highest grossed film of all time. It flew by “Gone With the Wind”.

1940- The beginning of WWII, the company lost access to it’s foreign markets. Two new feature films were created in despite, “Pinocchio” and “Fantasia”.

1941-“Dumbo”was released but produced on a very low budget.

1942- “Bambi” was released but was expensive, right after the United States entered the war.

1950- (1) Studio’s first live action film, “Treasure Island”, (2) Classic animated features returned with “Cinderella”, and (3) First Disney TV show at Christmas time.

1954- Walt launched the Disneyland anthology series, mini-series such as Davy Crockett. These series ran on three networks and went through six title changes. Despite all of that, it remained on the air for 29 years making it the longest-running prime-time TV series in history.

1955- The Mickey Mouse Club was born. Stars like Justin Timberlake and Britney Spears had their stardom on this show.

July 17th Disneyland was built and ready for action. Bringing characters and the Disney world alive!

Entertainment was brought to a whole new level with Disneyland. Kids got to fly with Peter Pan and go on crazy tea party rides with the Mad Hatter.

The studio began to produce more popular films: Lady and the Tramp, Sleeping Beauty, action films; 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea and The Shaggy Dog, and a popular TV series Zorro.

1960’s- Brought more films we know today such as 101 Dalmatians.

1964- The classic Mary Poppins film was brought to life with animatronics that soon changed Disney rides forever.

1966- December 15th was a sad time. Walt Disney died and the world and imagination stopped for a second in time.

1967-1970- Roy Disney took over and started taking charge of the company. The Jungle Book and Aristocats were created. The Love Bug came out in 1969 was became the highest grossing film of the year.

1971- Roy Disney honored his brother was 28,000 acres that became Walt Disney World in Florida. The park opened on October 1st that many southern’s soon flocked to.

Two months after breaking ground in Florida Roy died. Right after the company was led by the team of Card Walker, Donn Tatum, and Ron Miller who all were trained by the Disney brothers.

1979- The new team broke ground with the second phase of Walt Disney World with the EPCOT center.

1982- On October 1st, the EPCOT Center was opened with an investment of over one billion dollars!!!!!

1983- First foreign Disney park was opened on April 15th in Tokyo.  The park set a range of theme park attendance records and sold more mouse ear hats!

1984- Touchstone Pictures released Spalsh and a staged hostile takeover swamped the company. Michael Eisner and Frank Wells became chief executive officer and president, still to this day.

1986- Golden Girls was created with a Disney Sunday Movie.

1988- Disney led Hollywood studios with a gross of $100 million EACH with Who Framed Roger Rabbit, Good Morning, Vietnam and Three Men and a Baby.

1989-George Lucas and Francis Ford Coppola added there own touches to the park and opened Splash Mountain.

Animation bounced back with the release of The Little Mermaid.

1991- Beauty and the Beast was the only animated film ever to be nominated for an Academy Award Best Picture

1992- Aladdin was the first animated film to gross more than $200 million

1994-The Lion King killed all records with $321 million just in the United States and $783 million worldwide. Disney went to Broadway with the opening of Beauty and the Breast.

1995-1999- Pocahontas, Hunchback of Notre Dame, Hercules, Mulan, Tarzan, and Fantasia(2000) were all released.

2000(s)-Began the Pixar era with Toy Story (2), A Bug’s Life, Monsters Inc, Finding Nemo, and The Incredibles.

2001- Walt Disney Attractions opened 2 new theme parks :Disney’s California Adventure and Tokyo DisneySea.

2003- Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl and Finding Nemo excelled reaching $3 billion at the box office.

2005- Robert Iger became the chief executive officer and emerged with technolgies that connected with it’s consumers. Disney became the first braodcasted to have its TV shows made readily available via iPod.

2006- In January he Iger announced Disney and Pixar to form a partnership, Disney/Pixar.

Now- Disney is excelling in all aspects. Developing TV shows such as Grey’s Anatomy has created a new era. Disney from the past to Disney as the future has changed dramatically but has kept its same values.

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