Walt Disney: Dyslexic Creator Of The Magic Kingdom


Walt Disney and MickeyBorn in Hermosa, Illinois, on December 5, 1901, Walt Disney would go on and win 32 Oscars and 22 Academy Awards. With help from his brother Roy,

Walt founded what would become one of the most popular motion-picture companies ever, called Walt Disney Productions.

Walt was also an elite cartoon artist, illustrating his work in newspaper comic strips and comic books. Walt Disney created one of the most loved and well known cartoon characters, Mickey Mouse. In 1955, Walt founded the ultra famous theme park Disneyland. He would later open up a similar theme park in the state of Florida called Walt Disney World.

He produced several well known animated features, including Cinderella, Pinocchio, Dumbo, Alice in Wonderland, Peter Pan, Sleeping Beauty, and Lady and the Tramp. Walt Disney became very successful, and he was so popular that two years after his death in 1966, a commemorative U.S. postage stamp with his picture on it was circulated.

Walt Disney’s Road To Building the Disney Empire

The road to building the ever so successful Disney empire was certainly not an easy one for Walt Disney. Walt was diagnosed with a learning disability called Dyslexia. Dyslexia is defined as a condition that hampers one’s ability to read, write and spell. Many skills are affected if a person suffers from Dyslexia, such as social skills, memory lapses, and time management.

Despite being Dyslexic, Walt Disney was determined to make something of himself. At a young age, while growing up in Marceline, Missouri, with three brothers and one sister, Walt began showing much interest in drawing and painting pictures. He would sell some of his pictures to neighbors and to friends of the family.

When Walt Disney was ten years old, he and his family moved to Kansas City, where his uncle, Mike Martin, worked as a train engineer. Walt got a summer job selling newspapers and snacks with the railroad. And at an early age, he worked as a paperboy delivering newspapers.

Walt Disney went to high school in Chicago, Illinois, and enrolled in photography and drawing classes. He also worked as a cartoon artist for the school newspaper. Since he had such an interest in the arts, he attended night classes at the Chicago Art Institute. Possibly having much to do with facing Dyslexia, Walt Disney never graduated high school, as he dropped out of school when he was 16 years old. However, he didn’t drop out of school because he was not smart enough. Walt was actually very intelligent, earning honorary degrees from universities, such as Harvard, UCLA and Yale.

Despite suffering from Dyslexia and dropping out of school at an early age, Walt Disney was very motivated to become successful. He wanted to join the Army, but was turned down for being too young. He then moved to France and joined the Red Cross getting a job driving an ambulance.

In 1919, he returned from France determined to pursue a career in animation. Back in Kansas City, he landed a job as a cartoonist at Pesmen-Ruben Art Studio. Disney was then hired by the Kansas City Film Add Company and began incorporating his animations into commercials. Walt then opened up his own animation business and got his own studio.

Walt and his brother then moved to California and opened up Disney Brothers’ Studio. Soon after, Disney would use his brilliant mind and create a cartoon character “Mickey Mouse”, that is world famous to this day.

In 1955, Walt Disney opened up a theme park named Disneyland. It was an instant success, as families could have fun on the rides and meet their favorite Disney characters. Soon after opening, Disneyland started attracting visitors from around the world. Today, Disneyland has branched out to other countries, such as Paris, Tokyo and Hong Kong. Walt Disney didn’t waste any time and started plans for a theme park to be constructed in Florida.

Unfortunately, in 1966, Walt Disney was diagnosed with lung cancer and died at the age of 65 on December 15, 1966. His brother Roy would finish the job and opened the theme park Walt Disney World in 1971.

Suffering from Dyslexia, Walt Disney is an inspiration to many, as he did not let adversity slow him down on his passion for success in the cartoon and animated film industry.

Walt Disney once quoted “We allow no geniuses around our studio.” This can be deciphered many ways, but perhaps it means only dedicated, hard working individuals who started from the bottom and with hard work, mastered their craft, may work along side the true genius, Walt Disney.

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