Sunday, February 22, 2009

Overview of Walt Disney

“If you can dream it, you can do it. Always remember that this whole thing was started with a dream and a mouse.” –Walt Disney

Walt Disney was a pioneer in the field of animation who transformed the world with his optimism, perseverance, and dedication to his craft. His legacy lives on and will continue for many years because of his determination to achieve his dreams. He was born on December 5, 1901 in Chicago, Illinois. Walt was one of five children, including four boys and one girl. Shortly after Walt’s birth his family moved to Missouri. It was here that his interests in drawing and art began to emerge. At the age of seven, he started selling small sketches and drawings to his neighbors. One day Walt painted a pig on the whitewashed siding of the family home using tar as an alternative to paint, infuriating his father.

Walt’s father, Elias, was quite stern, and showed no interest in his artistic attempts. He felt that artistic matters should be left to the wealthy, or those who could afford such frivolity. Elias made his feelings regarding Walt’s interests clear, so Walt made certain his chores were finished before running off with his drawing pad and pencils. Fortunately, he found encouragement from his mother, Flora, and his older brother, Roy.

Walt Disney is an icon of American history. Everyone is aware of his success, but few people are aware of his failures. The fact that Walt was able to achieve so much in the face of many obstacles proves that he epitomizes the qualities of a true leader. Walt Disney, along with members of his staff, received more than 950 honors and citations from every nation in the world, including 48 Academy Awards and 7 Emmys in his lifetime. These achievements were all obtained as the result of Walt’s belief in the power of a dream.

References (2008). Walt Disney: Biography. Retrieved February 12, 2009, from (n.d.). Walt Disney, Biography. Retrieved February 12, 2009, from

Microsoft Encarta Online Encyclopedia. (2008). Walt Disney. Retrieved February 12, 2009, from

Richardson, A. (2004). The story of Disney. North Mankato, MN: Smart Apple Media.

Thomas, B. (1966). Walt Disney: Magician of the movies. New York, NY: Grosset & Dunlap.


  1. Jolene,
    Walt Disney truly exemplifies an American leader. It’s exciting to think what a dream can do for you if just believe in yourself. Walt is similar to Sam Walton in having a dream. Sam never gave up on his dream of making life easier for the American consumer. I found it interesting that Walt did not have the support from his father but did from his mother and older brother. I believe that good leadership involves some level of a support network. As they faced both failure and success, Walt and Sam received support and encouragement from their families. Both leaders’ success can be seen through not only their riches, fame, and awards but through the words that others use to describe them.

  2. Walt Disney is another wonderful example of an exemplary leader. He possesses however, something that most leaders do not…creative intelligence. I believe, and wish I had that level of creative intelligence. Not only does his work have great aesthetic beauty but it also invokes great emotion too. I remember in grade school I wasn't a huge fan of art class but any art projects that could possibly be influenced by his works were, because I loved his animation. Growing up, my favorite movies were always Walt Disney Pictures, especially the animated ones.

    His leadership ability parallels Steven Spielberg in that he has been able to touch the lives of million of people through his films and his passion about his work. No one was better at doing animation than Walt Disney. He truly was both a maker and a master of his domain.

  3. You surely chose one of Americas finest. Walt Disney is a leaders is every aspect of the word. Who else can effect the lives of, not only millions of children, but generations of children and adults alike. His focus on purity and family oriented entertainment has allowed his legacy live on and on. Walt Disney and Arnold Schwarzenegger have both dedicated a special place in their hearts for the children of America. Disney had made the minds of children his focus and Schwarzenegger was focused on their physical fitness. Both cherished the future of this country.