“The way to start is to stop talking and start doing”
Walt Disney’s life story is really what Americans call a Horatio Alger story, a rags-to-riches story about overcoming difficulties to become a business success. In the case of Walt Disney, he grew up waking up at 4:30 a.m. and doing a newspaper tour while trudging through the snow in the biting cold of Kansas. Often he was so tired that he slept through school. And then he did the same newspaper tour in the evenings after school.
Of course, he became a brilliant newspaper cartoonist and realized that his future lay in making silent cartoons. The philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer wrote: “Talent hits a goal that no one else can hit. Genius hits a target no one else can see. ”In Disney’s case, it created the first sound cartoon with Mickey Mouse in 1928 and then banked its entire future on making a full-length cartoon for three years. Snow white, in 1937 in what critics at the time called “Disney’s Folly”.
Despite the failure of its very first company, Disney saw further than others and opened its Disneyland theme park in California in 1955 to embrace the new technology of television – once the only way to ever see it Clips of Disney cartoons on TV in the UK was through one-off specials at Easter and Christmas – hard to believe – and even the creation of an experimental city of the future, the Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow (EPCOT), which sadly went unrealized at the time of his death 1966.
However, a toxic strike at Walt Disney Studios in 1941 nearly destroyed the company as entertainers resented the wages and working conditions of the increasingly right-wing Hollywood mogul. Some believed that the strike that resulted in key employees leaving the studio was the turning point for Walt Disney and his vision. He began to spend more and more time looking at his own past instead of dreaming about the future, and spent hours cruising around his garden on his lovingly recreated miniature steam train.