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Filiera: Teoretica

Profil: Real
Specializarea: Matematică-Informatică

Profesor coordonator, Elev,

Prof. Mantescu Gabriela Spataru Ionescu Beatrice Mihaela
Clasa a XII-a B
MAI 2018


Foreword........................................................................................... 3

Chapter I: Walt Disney and the Beginning of a Legend......................... 4

Chapter II: Disney Classics.................................................................... 7

Chapter III: The Magic behind Disneyland............................................ 10

Afterword…………………………………………………………………. 12

Bibliography.......................................................................................... 13

No matter how old we are, I can say for sure that we all love cartoons. However, during
childhood, we usually take cartoons for granted and simply enjoy them without thinking about the real
people and all their hard work that stand behind the lovely, well-known characters. But now, when we
are older, we tend to think about cartoons from a different perspective, having a wider view on the real
world of cartoons. This is what has happened to me, as well, so I have decided to take a closer look at
Disney, the most famous symbol of cartoons.

With a long history in producing animations, Disney has become an icon in its field all over the
world, but with clear importance in the American culture, which shelters the roots of this great
company. Although Disney has become a real empire stretching its influence not only in film
production, but also in tourism, the cultural significance cannot be diminished by the business aspects,
as preserving their reputation in movie industry remains their main aim with the quality of their work
as a living proof.

The man behind the mouse, as he has often been called, Walt Disney is given the highest credit
for what Disney means today, although his heritage has been kept in good hands since his death. As a
result, Walt Disney has become one of the greatest personalities in the world, adding to the wall of the
American culture a new and important brick.

Apart from the significant role that The Walt Disney Company plays at a large scale, for me it is
all about the animations produced by it. I was lucky enough to be born in a period in which cartoons
were the greatest joy of a child, so every time I think about my childhood I remember about Mickey
Mouse, Donald Duck, Goofy or Pluto and I cannot help smiling broadly.

Having said so, I will let you discover some information about Disney, from its founders to the
magic behind the drawings, from the legendary characters to the productions that gave Disney the fame
it deserves, from its beginning to the present, hoping that its end is far from our sight.

Chapter I
Walt Disney and the Beginning of a Legend

"I only hope that we don't lose sight of one thing - that it was all started by a mouse", said Walt
Disney. However, Mickey Mouse, one of the most beloved characters of all time, would not have had
the chance to be the subject of thousands of people’s admiration if it had not been for its creator: Walt
Disney, the possessor of one of the most fertile and unique imagination the world has ever known.
Born on December the 5th, 1901 in Chicago Illinois, Walt showed his interest in art at an early
age by drawing and selling his creations to neighbors in order to make extra money. Never finding the
path to success, his father, Elias, used to be rather harsh with his children and always emphasized the
importance of discipline. So, having to grow up in a tensed family environment, Walt found in art a
way to escape from it. However, his mother Flora always tried to offset the harshness with support for
her children, so she encouraged Walt to pursue his talents
and study art and photography at McKinley High School in
As World War I had started, Walt Disney took the
opportunity to leave the homestead and tried to enroll in the
military service at the age of sixteen, but being too young he
was rejected. Instead, he joined the Red Cross in 1918 and
was sent in France where he spent a year driving an
ambulance. Although doing something different from art,
Walt did not forget about his passion and spent his time
there drawing whenever he had the chance.
After returning from France, he soon began to pursue a
career in commercial art by producing short animated films
for local businesses in Kansas City and later by starting his
own company, called Laugh-O-Grams. Walt began to create
The Alice Comedies which featured a real girl in an
animated world, but being a poor manager of money, his company went into bankruptcy and Walt could
not continue his work. But armed with an iron-like drive to succeed, Walt did not give up, but headed
for Hollywood to start a new business with his brother Roy, who had better financial dexterity. The two
brothers had already set up a new business, called Disney Brother Studio, when they received an offer
from New York for The Alice Comedies which brought them great success and gave them the
opportunity to expand their production work to a real Hollywood estate office.

The Creation of Mickey Mouse

"The life and ventures of Mickey Mouse have been closely bound up with my own personal and
professional life. (…) He still speaks for me and I still speak for him." – Walt Disney

Mickey Mouse can undoubtedly be considered the absolute symbol of Walt Disney’s work.
Putting the name Walt Disney into spotlight and transforming it into a legend in the American culture,
the famous mouse changed the life of his creator forever.
Surprisingly, the history of this well known mouse actually starts with a rabbit. In 1927, Walt
Disney created a character called Oswald the Lucky Rabbit, who instantly became a hit in the
animation field. But when Disney went to negotiate with his executives a new contract for 1928, the
studio announced that it had hired all the employees and retained the rights to Oswald. The studio
offered Disney the chance to keep him, but for a lower salary, an offer which Walt refused. Having lost
Oswald, Disney had to come up with a new character. Helped by Ub Iwerks, the only loyal animator
that stayed with Disney Brother Studio, Walt turned the rabbit into a mouse, which he called Mortimer,
a named that, however, did not last. There are lots of tales that attempt to explain why, perhaps the most
popular one being that Walt’s wife did not like the name and suggested its replacement. So this is how
Mickey came to life.
Conceived on a long, lonely train journey to Hollywood in 1928, Mickey Mouse was designed
for maximum ease of
animation. He had two
large circles, one for the
trunk and one for the
head, to which were
added two smaller
circles, representing ears,
along with rubber arms
and legs that finished
with plump hands
(ungloved at that early
stage) and large booted feet. He was also given a long, skinny tail, a plump shaped nose and buttoned
eyes. But despite his simplistic appearance, Mickey Mouse was provided with something totally new in
the cartoon field: a real personality. This very detail actually made him human and provided his
popularity, because everybody saw in him a little fellow trying to do the best he could.

To compete with other successful cartoons such as Felix the Cat
or Oswald himself, Disney searched for an advantage for his animated
productions, so he chose to use sound, a new feature unused in the
cartoons in that period. So, Mickey Mouse’s official birthday is
November the 18th 1928 when he made his screen debut in Steamboat
Willie, the world’s first synchronized sound cartoon. Although
expensive, the sound equipment was provided by Pat Powers, Disney’s
new distributor and it made Steamboat Willie an instant success and
Mickey Mouse a rising star in the world of animation. Between 1929
and 1932 a million children joined the first Mickey Mouse Club. Since
then, Mickey Mouse starred in over 120 Disney cartoons, making his
image the most reproduced in the world.
In 1935, Mickey received his first makeover. A young animator, Fred Moore, gave him a pear-
shaped body, which gave him more freedom in movement, along with a pair of white gloves and a
shortened nose to make him cuter. Mickey also appeared for the first time in color that year. By 1937
Disney Studio was producing about 12 Mickey shorts a year, with Disney himself giving Mickey
Mouse his voice.
Being a football hero, a hunter, a tailor or a symphony conductor, Mickey has become above all
everybody’s hero, gaining our sympathy because no matter what adventure he takes part in he is always
upstanding and moral, trying to do the best for his role played in his every animated short movie.

Chapter II
Disney Classics

Driven by his endless ambition for creation and improvement, Walt Disney continued to rise in
the animated productions’ world with his innovative spirit. As he was constantly searching for
perfection in the art of animation, his cartoons often had the chance to be real trend-setters in the
motion picture industry making Walt not only a pioneer in the animation technology, but also a symbol
of a magical perfection.
Not long after sound was added to his cartoons, Walt also introduced color to his animated
creations during the production of Silly Symphonies, signing a deal with Technicolor, which allowed
him to make the only color cartoons in the industry for the next two years. This obviously gave him an
advantage, so in 1932 Walt won the first of his studio’s Academy Awards for the production entitled
Flowers and Trees.

Meanwhile, other characters such as Minnie Mouse, Donald Duck, Goofy and Pluto were added to the
animation that increased Disney shorts’ popularity. Minnie Mouse was created in 1928, although she
was not given a name back then. Her character was supposed to become Mickey Mouse’s love interest,
but she soon became more than that because of her innocent and loving personality. Initially named
Minerva Mouse, Minnie Mouse is now often considered the Queen of Disney. Another popular
character in the world of animation is for sure Donald Duck. Mostly stubborn, impatient, grumpy and
jealous on Mickey’s popularity, Donald was created with a unique personality which aimed to include
some negative traits that could not be seen in Mickey’s upstanding portrait. But despite his trouble-
maker reputation, Donald quickly gained everybody’s sympathy. Being one of Mickey Mouse’s best
friends, Goofy is also among the main protagonists in Disney’s cartoons. An early Goofy version was
Dippy Dawg, who appeared in 1932 as an irritating member of the audience, who was constantly
crunching peanuts and laughing loudly. But by his seventh appearance, in 1934 he gained the new

name “Goofy” and became a regular member of the gang along with the other characters. As his name
suggests, Goofy is usually a clumsy and silly dog, but totally lovable and comical. The last, but not the
least is Pluto, Mickey Mouse’s pet. Represented as a normal dog, without human characteristics, Pluto
can be considered an unusual Disney character. However, he is not less important. Pluto’s first
appearance was in 1930 as a bloodhound on the trail of the escaped prisoner Mickey Mouse, and then
he was adapted as Minnie Mouse’s dog, Rover. Eventually, his name was changed to Pluto and Mickey
became not only his owner, but also his best friend. Pluto’s loyalty and friendly personality made him
one of my all time favorite Disney characters.
Although having so many lovely characters in his short movies that brought Disney a huge and
well deserved success, his satisfaction did not last too long, so he soon began to consider the
production of a full-length animated film. He was willing to work within an expanded format that
would give him the chance to explore more complex
ideas and to give them a natural flow. So, in 1937
Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs became Disney’s
first full-length movie, followed in the next years by
other animated classics such as Pinocchio, Fantasia,
Dumbo, Bambi, Cinderella, Alice in Wonderland and
so on. As most of these productions introduced human
characters in action, Disney artists were provided
special classes of anatomy to improve their knowledge
for their exclusive goal: bringing the human form to life, which they perfectly succeeded. As a result,
the 1950s marked the transition from the early Disney masterpieces to a
greater focus on fairy tales and princesses, who would figure in animated
musical adventures.
The fame that Disney gained through his productions was
enormous. But unfortunately, despite already having an everlasting name,
Walt’s life was limited. Before his death in 1966, he managed to
complete The Sword in the Stone, the last full-length animation done
during Walt Disney’s life. After that, the magical world that he created
remained in the hands of his brother Roy.
Walt Disney’s death was undoubtedly a tragic event, but Walt Disney Studios had to move on
and ensure that it will continue to symbolize its founder’s dedication to creating dreams of lasting
beauty and significance. However, changes were sure to come. Unfortunately, the immediate period
was one of turbulence mainly because of the differences between Walt’s leadership that would always
seek the customer’s satisfaction and the new leadership that would put money first. But the fact that
nowadays Disney still manages to impress the audience represents a clear proof that Walt’s magic has
been kept alive. Many wonderful productions were still to be created; lots of magical characters were
waiting in the shadow for their first appearance. Movies such as The Jungle Book, The Aristocats, The
Little Mermaid, The Lion King and so many others were the living proof of the true Disney’s survival.

As Disney animations have always been known for their usage of the latest techniques in movie
production, computer-generated animation has also been applied to Disney movies. As a result, Disney
Studios produced in 1995 Toy Story, an animated film which came as a result of collaboration with
Pixar, a computer animation company. Toy Story introduced a new era in the motion picture industry
with such authority that it established itself as an instant classic. Created under the same basic
technique, Tangled is Walt Disney Animation Studios’ latest production and the 50th animated feature in
the Walt Disney Animated Classics canon.
Tangled was aimed to be an animated movie that
would look and feel like a traditional hand-
drawn Disney Classic in 3D and thanks to the
newest development in computer technology,
producers actually succeeded in making the
computer as “pliable as the pencil” and creating
a visual fairy tale that would probably please
even Walt himself.
However, if you ask me, films animated by
computer may be intensely beautiful experiences, but nothing compares to the early Disney cartoons,
lovingly drawn and painstaking assembled, cell by cell. But no matter what stage you prefer, browsing
through Disney classics will always be similar to a time travel, with Disney himself being your
personal guide. It is for sure an enchanted journey that leads you back in the middle of your childhood
and lets you flow in more innocent times. After all, who says we cannot go back in time?

Chapter III
The Magic behind Disneyland

"To all that come to this happy place: welcome. Disneyland is your land. Here age relives fond
memories of the past, and here youth may savor the challenge and promise of the future. Disneyland is

dedicated to the ideals, the dreams, and the hard facts that have created America... with hope that it
will be a source of joy and inspiration to all the world." – Walt Disney

Sure, watching Disney cartoons and movies can be really entertaining and fun, but shaking
Mickey Mouse’s oversized glove yourself must be priceless. As you probably already know, there is a
place where you can do this and so much more, a place called Disneyland, an amusement park that
defines itself as a place that “brings dreams to life”.
While visiting different amusement parks with his daughters, Walt Disney noticed that most of
them offered a playing environment for children, but their parents had nothing to do there, so they
would be anxious to go home, even though children were still having fun. So, as he was always willing
to provide entertainment for the entire family, Walt Disney came up with the concept of Disneyland, a
place where adults and children could go and have fun together. The park designed by Disney would
give you the illusion of a perfect world, where you can escape the reality and its time, distance, size and
physical laws limits. Opened on July, 18th 1955 in Anaheim, California, Disneyland is one of the
world’s best known trademarks Disney
has made.
Disneyland invites visitors to be
part of a continuous celebration, full of
parades and fireworks, with costumed
performers of the well known Disney
characters and endless invitations to
fun. In the various attractions found
here, people seem to travel from past to
future, from reality to fantasy, while
enjoying every minute of this magical
journey. Each of the eight areas or “lands”, that Disneyland has, hosts a small world in it in which
everybody can find something interesting to see and do. There was also a ninth area called
Holidayland, a picnic ground which operated between 1957 and 1961 and was often referred to as the
lost land of Disneyland.
Main Street is among the eight existing lands that can be visited and resembles Walt’s boyhood
town of Marceline, Missouri. Disney used here forced perspective by angling all the buildings a little
towards the magic castle making the walk there seem longer than the walk back. Another part of
Disneyland is Adventureland, which aim to recreate the feel of an exotic tropical place, far from
civilization. But if you do want to experience the Disney-like civilization, you should definitely visit

Mickey’s Toontown, the home of the most popular cartoon characters. Here you will find the house of
Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse and Goofy, as well as Donald Duck’s boat. Another land of endless
magic is Fantasyland, of which Walt himself said “What youngster has not dreamed of flying with
Peter Pan over moonlit London, or tumbling into Alice's nonsensical Wonderland? In Fantasyland,
these classic stories of everyone's youth have become realities for youngsters – of all ages – to
participate in." But before ending your Disneyland experience there is a lot more to see. From New
Orleans Square to Frontierland, from Critter Country to Tomorrowland, Disneyland is all about finding
yourself caught in a world full of surprises, fantasies and real adventures.
Walt Disney’s desire to create something unique for the people around him made him produce
not only cartoons and movies of undisputable value, but also a real place where everybody can
experience the magical feeling of being part of a fairy tale world, a place called Disneyland, which
“will continue to grow as long as there is imagination left in the world.” – Walt Disney.


The word ‘Disney’ itself clearly reveals its significance for anybody who hears it, as it has
become a synonym for cartoons, childhood and innocence or why not even for a powerful empire. But
a concept with a reputation like this deserves to be discovered from its roots in order for people to
understand and appreciate its real value in the American culture and this is what my research paper has
intended to do.
Written in chronological order, the brief history of the Walt Disney World that I have tried to
present within these pages focuses on Walt Disney, the creator of this magical cultural field and his
evolution in the animation world. As a result, I structured my paper in three chapters, each revealing
important stages in the Disney history: Walt Disney and the Beginning of a Legend, Disney Classics
and The Magic behind Disneyland.

The first chapter, as its title suggests, presents the beginning of Walt Disney’s career, from
relevant facts about his life as a child and a young entrepreneur, to the creation of Mickey Mouse which
brought him the early fame. This chapter leads the reader back in time to let him discover the things
that made Walt become what he represents today.
Once the background is set, the second chapter focuses on the most important achievements that
Walt Disney obtained in the animation field: his movies, from the well known shorts to the full-length
animations, most of them known as Disney classics. However, the history of movie making under the
name of Disney continues even after Walt’s death, so this chapter also presents some of the productions
that have been made after this event and even in the present.
The last chapter reveals another side of the Walt Disney World, a side which cannot be found on
the screen: Disneyland. Here the reader can find out about the creation of Disneyland and take an
imaginary round trip into the world that took shape under Walt’s magical touch.
Writing and reading about Disney is almost as fun as watching its movies. So, now that my
paper is complete, all I have to do is sit back and watch my favorite cartoons and I invite you to do the
same. Enjoy!


1. Alef, Daniel. Walt Disney: The Man Behind the Mouse. Santa Barbara: Titans of Fortune
Publishing, 2010
2. Krasniewicz, Louise; Blitz, Michael. Walt Disney. Santa Barbara: ABC-CLIO, 2010
3. Susanin, Timothy S; Miller, Diane Disney. Walt before Mickey. Jackson: University Press of
Mississippi, 2011
4. Just Disney. 15 April 2011
5. Malloy, Betsy. Disneyland History. 2 April 2011
6. Suddath, Claire. A brief history of Mickey Mouse. Time 18 Nov. 2008
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7. The Disney Wiki. 9 April 2011