Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Walt Disney - The Early Years

We all know about Mickey Mouse and the incredible library of Disney films and characters. It's easy to sometimes assume Donald and Daffy Duck just hatched one day and that Disney World just grew out of the ground. However, in the recent documentary (available on Netflix), "Walt - The Man Behind the Myth," we are given a look into the life of the visionary behind it all, Walt Disney.

As a 22 year old, Disney shot "Alice's Wonderland" with less than $100. How's that for bootstrapping? People had previously merged real people with animation, usually overlaying animation over real scenes. This, however, was one of the first films where the real life actor entered the animated world.

Though it's harder to see almost 90 years later, Disney thought so far out of the box that he created a new one. "Steamboat Willie" was the first cartoon to incorporate overlaying sound with effect (previously there would just be background music). With "Snow White," he created the first feature-length cartoon. After "Snow White" came "Pinocchio," "Fantasia" and "Bambi"--all of which pushed boundaries and created new technologies.

Though I don't claim to be a big cartoon watcher, I can appreciate a man with enough vision to change the world of animation.

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