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Walt Disney

Geburtstag: 5. Dezember 1901
Todesdatum: 15. Dezember 1966

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Walter Elias „Walt“ Disney war ein US-amerikanischer Trickfilmzeichner und Filmproduzent und eine der prägendsten und meistgeehrten Persönlichkeiten der Filmbranche des 20. Jahrhunderts.

Disney begann in den frühen 1920er Jahren mit seinem ersten Trickfilmstudio in Kansas City kurze Werbefilme und Cartoons zu produzieren, ehe er 1923 nach Hollywood ging und dort mit seinem Bruder Roy O. Disney die Walt Disney Company gründete. Weiteren Kurzfilmen, die sich auch der Mischung aus Trickfilm und Realfilm bedienten, folgte 1928 die Erfindung von Micky Maus, mit der Walt Disney innerhalb weniger Jahre zu einem der weltweit bekanntesten und erfolgreichsten Filmproduzenten wurde. In den 1930er Jahren entwickelte er den Zeichentrickfilm mit seinem Studio stets weiter, beispielsweise durch Ergänzung um Ton und Farbe, um schließlich 1937 mit Schneewittchen und die sieben Zwerge den ersten abendfüllenden Zeichentrickfilm zu veröffentlichen, der heute als Meilenstein der Filmgeschichte gilt. Weitere dieser Filme wie Pinocchio , Bambi , Cinderella oder Dornröschen zählen ebenfalls zu den besten und populärsten Werken des Zeichentrickgenres.

Im Laufe seiner Karriere entwickelte sich Walt Disney vom einfallsreichen Ideenfinder, der den Zeichentrickfilm perfektionieren wollte, zum beliebtesten Filmemacher Amerikas und zum „Märchenonkel der Nation“. Seine Filme waren bei einem breiten Publikum aller Altersgruppen beliebt und die von ihm erfundenen Cartoonfiguren Donald Duck, Goofy, Pluto und andere wurden zu Kultfiguren der Unterhaltungsbranche. Mit dem 1955 eröffneten Vergnügungspark Disneyland erfüllte sich Walt Disney einen Lebenstraum und schuf den Beginn einer Reihe weiterer Disneyparks auf der ganzen Welt. Zudem nutzte er als einer der ersten Filmproduzenten das aufkommende Fernsehen in den 1950er Jahren für die Präsentation neuer Filme und Serien sowie zur Werbung für die Werke seines Studios. Disney wurde mit insgesamt 26 Oscars ausgezeichnet, was bis heute unerreicht ist. Auch nach seinem Tod produzierten die Disney-Studios zahlreiche erfolgreiche Filme und Serien und der Name „Disney“ wurde zur international bekannten Marke für eine umfassende Auswahl an Produkten der Unterhaltungsindustrie.

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Zitate Walt Disney

„We felt that the public, and especially the children, like animals that are cute and little. I think we are rather indebted to Charlie Chaplin for the idea.“

— Walt Disney
Context: We felt that the public, and especially the children, like animals that are cute and little. I think we are rather indebted to Charlie Chaplin for the idea. We wanted something appealing, and we thought of a tiny bit of a mouse that would have something of the wistfulness of Chaplin — a little fellow trying to do the best he could. Stating that the development of the Mickey Mouse character was inspired by Charlie Chaplin's character "the Tramp", as quoted in How to Be Like Walt : Capturing the Disney Magic Every Day of Your Life (2004) by Pat Williams and Jim Denney, p. 52

„Fantasy, if it's really convincing, can't become dated, for the simple reason that it represents a flight into a dimension that lies beyond the reach of time.“

— Walt Disney
Context: Fantasy, if it's really convincing, can't become dated, for the simple reason that it represents a flight into a dimension that lies beyond the reach of time. In this new dimension, whatever it is, nothing corrodes or gets run down at the heel or gets to look ridiculous like, say, the celluloid collar or the bustle. As quoted in "The Rides of Passage" in Via magazine (July 2005)

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„That's the real trouble with the world, too many people grow up. They forget.“

— Walt Disney
Context: That's the real trouble with the world, too many people grow up. They forget. They don't remember what it's like to be twelve years old. They patronize; they treat children as inferiors. I won't do that. I'll temper a story, yes. But I won't play down, and I won't patronize. From Walt Disney World: Then, Now, & Forever: Too many people grow up. That's the real trouble with the world, too many people grow up. They forget. They don't remember what it's like to be 12 years old. They patronize, they treat children as inferiors. Well, I won't do that. I won't do that. I'll temper a story, yes. But I won't play down, and I won't patronize.

„Deeds rather than words express my concept of the part religion should play in everyday life.“

— Walt Disney
Context: Deeds rather than words express my concept of the part religion should play in everyday life. I have watched constantly that in our movie work the highest moral and spiritual standards are upheld, whether it deals with fable or with stories of living action.

„Life is composed of lights and shadows, and we would be untruthful, insincere, and saccharine if we tried to pretend there were no shadows. Most things are good, and they are the strongest things; but there are evil things too, and you are not doing a child a favor by trying to shield him from reality. The important thing is to teach a child that good can always triumph over evil, and that is what our pictures attempt to do.“

— Walt Disney
Context: I don't believe in playing down to children, either in life or in motion pictures. I didn't treat my own youngsters like fragile flowers, and I think no parent should. Children are people, and they should have to reach to learn about things, to understand things, just as adults have to reach if they want to grow in mental stature. Life is composed of lights and shadows, and we would be untruthful, insincere, and saccharine if we tried to pretend there were no shadows. Most things are good, and they are the strongest things; but there are evil things too, and you are not doing a child a favor by trying to shield him from reality. The important thing is to teach a child that good can always triumph over evil, and that is what our pictures attempt to do.

„EPCOT will be an experimental prototype community of tomorrow that will take its cue from the new ideas and new technologies that are now emerging from the creative centers of American industry. It will be a community of tomorrow that will never be completed, but will always be introducing and testing and demonstrating new materials and systems.“

— Walt Disney
Context: EPCOT will be an experimental prototype community of tomorrow that will take its cue from the new ideas and new technologies that are now emerging from the creative centers of American industry. It will be a community of tomorrow that will never be completed, but will always be introducing and testing and demonstrating new materials and systems. And EPCOT will always be a showcase to the world for the ingenuity and imagination of American free enterprise.

„All the adversity I've had in my life, all my troubles and obstacles, have strengthened me...“

— Walt Disney
Context: All the adversity I've had in my life, all my troubles and obstacles, have strengthened me... You may not realize it when it happens, but a kick in the teeth may be the best thing in the world for you. As quoted in The Story of Walt Disney (1957)

„Here in Florida … we have something special we never enjoyed at Disneyland — the blessing of size.“

— Walt Disney
Context: Here in Florida … we have something special we never enjoyed at Disneyland — the blessing of size. There's enough land here to hold all the ideas and plans we can possibly imagine.

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„I told her that was just the point — mine wouldn't be.“

— Walt Disney
Context: When I started on Disneyland, my wife used to say, "But why do you want to build an amusement park? They're so dirty." I told her that was just the point — mine wouldn't be. As quoted in "The Rides of Passage" in Via magazine (July 2005) http://www.viamagazine.com/top_stories/articles/ride_yourlife05.asp

„Well, my greatest reward, I think, is that I've been able to build this wonderful organization.“

— Walt Disney
Context: Well, my greatest reward, I think, is that I've been able to build this wonderful organization. I've been able to enjoy good health, and the way I feel today, I feel like I can still go on being part of this thing after forty some odd years of business, and also, to have the public appreciate and accept what I've done all these years. That, that is a great reward. … Well of course, happiness is a state of mind. You can be happy or you can be unhappy. It's just according to the way you look at things. You know. So I think happiness is contentment but it doesn't mean you have to have wealth. But all individuals are different. Some of us just wouldn't be satisfied with just carrying out a routine job and being happy. Yet I envied those people. I had a brother who I really envied because he was a mailman. But he's the one that had all the fun. He had himself a trailer, and he used to go out and go fishing, and he didn't worry about payrolls and stories and picture grosses or anything. And he was the happy one. I always said, "He's the smart Disney." Interview with Fletcher Markle (25 September 1963) in Walt Disney: Conversations (2006) edited by Kathy Merlock Jackson The Walt Disney Story (1973) http://waltdatedworld.bravepages.com/id140.htm

„To retreat from any of the principles handed down by our forefathers, who shed their blood for the ideals we still embrace, would be a complete victory for those who would destroy liberty and justice for the individual.“

— Walt Disney
Context: To me, today, at age sixty-one, all prayer, by the humble or highly placed, has one thing in common: supplication for strength and inspiration to carry on the best human impulses which should bind us together for a better world. Without such inspiration, we would rapidly deteriorate and finally perish. But in our troubled time, the right of men to think and worship as their conscience dictates is being sorely pressed. We can retain these privileges only by being constantly on guard and fighting off any encroachment on these precepts. To retreat from any of the principles handed down by our forefathers, who shed their blood for the ideals we still embrace, would be a complete victory for those who would destroy liberty and justice for the individual.

„All we ever intended for him or expected of him was that he should continue to make people everywhere chuckle with him and at him.“

— Walt Disney
Context: All we ever intended for him or expected of him was that he should continue to make people everywhere chuckle with him and at him. We didn't burden him with any social symbolism, we made him no mouthpiece for frustrations or harsh satire. Mickey was simply a little personality assigned to the purposes of laughter. As quoted in A Walt Disney World Resort Outing : The Only Vacation Planning Guide Exclusively for Gay and Lesbian Travelers (2002) by Dann Hazel and Josh Fippen, p. 211

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„The worst of us is not without innocence, although buried deeply it might be.“

— Walt Disney
Context: I do not make films primarily for children. I make them for the child in all of us, whether we be six or sixty. Call the child "innocence". The worst of us is not without innocence, although buried deeply it might be. In my work I try to reach and speak to that innocence, showing it the fun and joy of living; showing it that laughter is healthy; showing it that the human species, although happily ridiculous at times, is still reaching for the stars. As quoted in A Walt Disney World Resort Outing : The Only Vacation Planning Guide Exclusively for Gay and Lesbian Travelers (2002) by Dann Hazel and Josh Fippen, p. 211

„To all who 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.“

— Walt Disney
Context: To all who 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 the hope that it will be a source of joy and inspiration to all the world. Speech on the opening day of Disneyland (17 July 1955) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bf2TMwtCUr4

„They patronize; they treat children as inferiors. I won't do that. I'll temper a story, yes. But I won't play down, and I won't patronize.“

— Walt Disney
Context: That's the real trouble with the world, too many people grow up. They forget. They don't remember what it's like to be twelve years old. They patronize; they treat children as inferiors. I won't do that. I'll temper a story, yes. But I won't play down, and I won't patronize. From Walt Disney World: Then, Now, & Forever: Too many people grow up. That's the real trouble with the world, too many people grow up. They forget. They don't remember what it's like to be 12 years old. They patronize, they treat children as inferiors. Well, I won't do that. I won't do that. I'll temper a story, yes. But I won't play down, and I won't patronize.

„Courage is the main quality of leadership, in my opinion, no matter where it is exercised. Usually it implies some risk — especially in new undertakings.“

— Walt Disney
Context: Courage is the main quality of leadership, in my opinion, no matter where it is exercised. Usually it implies some risk — especially in new undertakings. Courage to initiate something and to keep it going, pioneering an adventurous spirit to blaze new ways, often, in our land of opportunity. As quoted in The Magic of Teamwork (1997) by Pat Williams <!-- also quoted in The Disney Way Fieldbook (2000) by Bill Capodagli and Lynn Jackson, Act III : Dare, p. 147 -->

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