When Walt Disney arrived in Southern California after losing Oswald, he seemed oddly calm. As he told his brother Roy by telegram, he had a new idea that he was sure would help them out of their predicament. And he was ready to show the world what that was on November 18, 1928. On that day, the world would be introduced to Mickey Mouse in Steamboat Willie. Walt Disney’s world- and ours- would never be the same.
Mickey Mouse would become an instant success and a worldwide sensation who would easily eclipse his older brother Oswald. Soon Mickey would become an empire, his face emblazoned on thousands of products around the world.
The world loved Mickey Mouse and his famous face became known around the world. He would open doors for his creator, allowing him to make his dreams come true. Mickey’s Success would finance Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, a massive new studio and other feature length films.
Mickey would eventually help Walt Disney build his very own Magic Kingdom of DISNEYLAND, where Mickey would meet and greet millions of his fans in the most attended theme park in the world. The park’s success would lead to other attractions located in Florida, Japan, France, Hong Kong and Shanghai. Mickey Mouse would become a smiling ambassador for the United States and The Walt Disney Company.
No matter how successful Mickey Mouse got, the secret of his success is that each of his fans sees him as their personal friend. The fact that he’s often a baby’s first plush toy means he’s always been there for them; he soothes them through illness and is a faithful playmate. We can’t remember never knowing of him and why would we want to? He’s our first and best friend.
To Walt Disney, Mickey was a godsend; the son he never had. Mickey’s optimistic outlook on life mirrored Walt’s, and many people who knew him have said that even today they see a lot of Walt Disney in his famous Mouse.
I can’t imagine my life without Mickey Mouse. The story behind his creation is inspiring; his smiling face reassuring. I can’t imagine a world without Mickey Mouse or DISNEYLAND. He’s always been in my life and brings back happy memories every time I see him. Happy Birthday, Mickey Mouse and thank you for all the great times you’ve given me and the smiles you’ve put on my face. I will forever be a faithful Mouseketeer!
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When Walt and Lillian Disney boarded the train for New York City to negotiate with Universal Pictures for a new series of Oswald cartoons they knew it would be contentious. Universal and its representative Charles Mintz were already signaling that they wanted to lower the cost of producing each cartoon. What the Disneys didn’t know was that Universal had already negotiated to hire away many of Walt’s animators if he didn’t accept their offer.
And Universal thought that it held the upper hand; after all, they had originally negotiated to retain ownership in Oswald’s copyrights. As far as they were concerned, Walt Disney was just an employee working for them. When Walt refused to accept Universal’s lowball offer, he was powerless to stop them from taking his first creation. Oswald would move to Universal and The Disney Brothers Studio would be ruined; or so Universal thought. Walt Disney would begrudgingly board the California Limited, dejected and depressed. It would be a long train ride back home. Walt would send the following telegram to his brother out in Los Angeles:
A strangely upbeat telegram to send considering the dire straits the company found itself in, right?
“Don’t worry everything OK will give details when arrive”.
Walt Disney wasn’t trying to disguise his despair with an overly chipper telegram. He was going back to California with an idea that would not just change his company’s fortunes; it would literally change the world. The idea would catapult Walt Disney to success beyond his wildest dreams. Who could have imagined that a company worth billions of dollars today was all started by a Mouse?
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Who’s the leader of the club that’s made for you and Me?
Mickey Mouse! Mickey Mouse! Forever let us hold our banner high!
Through the years we’ll all be friends wherever we may be. M-I-C-K-E-Y M-O-U-S-E!
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Comic book icon and Disney Legend Stan Lee has passed away at age 95. Mr. Lee was responsible for a second golden age of comic books at Marvel Comics, creating some of the world’s most popular superheroes like Spider-Man and the Hulk. Collaborating with fellow legend Jack Kirby, he displaced DC Comics as the number one comic book company and created an entire universe like no other.
Lee was born in New York City On December 28, 1922 as Stanley Lieber. He was a brilliant student and graduated from high school early, looking to make a career writing novels. His first job out of high school, however, was at Timely Comics where he mainly worked as an assistant, filling up inkwells and fetching lunch for the artists. It would take three years for Timely Comics to give him a chance at writing, his first published story appearing in Captain America #3. He chose to use the pen name “Stan Lee”, figuring he would use his real name on his literary endeavors.
After Jack Kirby left Timely Comics, Stan Lee would be elevated to editor at just 19 years old. He would remain with Timely Comics, only taking a break when he was drafted into World War II. Upon his return he faced a new challenge; the market for superhero comics had cooled considerably. He diversified the range of comics being sold by the company which called itself Atlas Comics by this time. Timely/Atlas had always been on shaky financial ground and Stan soon grew frustrated with his work. He felt he was spinning his wheels and not progressing in his career. He planned to leave the company, which was now called Marvel Comics, but his wife convinced him to finish out his next comic book then see if he still wanted to leave. It would be fateful advice.
Stan Lee, in conjunction with a returned Jack Kirby, would create The Fantastic Four and even more importantly, Spider-Man. Marvel’s second golden age had begun and Stan Lee was at the center of it. This new breed of comic books would spawn a multi-billion dollar empire that is now more popular and relevant than it was even during the golden age. Now a division of The Walt Disney Company, Marvel Comics has become an unstoppable force with no end in sight. Generalissimo Lee’s influence and creations will undoubtedly continue to entertain millions the world over for decades to come. Rest well, Mr. Lee and thank you for sharing your talent with the world.
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