10 things you didn’t know about Walt Disney

As an animator and entrepreneur, Walt Disney was known as one of the greatest filmmakers and showmen in history. His name shines in the world of animation and theme park design. Walt Disney once said that: “When you’re curious, you find lots of interesting things to do”. So we thought that it would be a good idea to follow his advice, and discover 10 things we probably didn’t know about him.

1- Walt Disney the soldier

Dropping out of high school at 16, he joined the army. And even though he was rejected for being under 18, he managed to find employment with the Red Cross as an ambulance driver.

2- Walt Disney the voice

Walt Disney himself was the original voice for the famous Mickey we all love so much! From Mickey’s creation in 1928, all the way to 1947, the mouse’s voice was provided by Disney before being turned over to English voice actor Jimmy MacDonaldDid you know that Mickey Mouse’s original name was “Mortimer”? But Walt’s wife Lillian Disney convinced him that Mickey would be more marketable and easier to retain. Talk about woman power!

3- Walt Disney the winner

Winning 22 Academy Awards and receiving 4 four honorary Academy Awards from a total of 59 nominations, he got more Oscar awards and nominations than any other individual in history.

4- Walt Disney the believer

When Walt Disney disclosed his plans to make an animated feature length adaptation of “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs,” many film insiders thought it was going to destroy the company, calling it a “Disney’s Folly”. On December 21, 1937, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, premiered to gross about $1.6 billion. A “Disney’s Folly”  they said? Glad he proved them wrong!

5- Walt Disney the modest

His apartment, where he often worked, is above the firehouse on Main Street in Disneyland. His one-bedroom home was just what he needed as a workspace. Walt enjoyed it so much, because it allowed him to watch families enjoy his park.

6- Walt Disney and hot dogs

Fact: trash cans at Disney World were placed 25 steps away from hot dog booth: that was how long it took him to eat one. In fact, Mickey’ Mouse’s first words in The Karnival Kid in 1929 were: “Hot dog!”

7- Walt Disney and hair

He had a strict no facial hair policy. Employees couldn’t grow facial hair until 2012, and till now it must kept shorter than 1/4 inch. In 1970, men would still get kicked out of the park if they were growing a lot of facial hair. Interesting, hun?

8- Walt Disney and his signature

Or not. His signature wasn’t actually his, and not even close to the real one.

9- Walt Disney and Technicolor

He did what no one else could legally do. In the 1930’s Disney held the exclusive contract for Technicolor, making him the only animator to make colour films.

10- Walt Disney and his fans.

A bond that can never be explained or even broken. Disney’s legacy shaped many generations, and his work revolutionized the film industry. We will be forever grateful to him for creating the world that we can call our escape. A world where we can be heroes, princes, and princesses, and escape the villains of the real world. Thank you, Walt Disney.