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See the fact file below for more information on Walt Disney or alternatively, you can download our 22 page Walt Disney worksheet pack to utilise within the classroom or home environment.
Early Life and Beginning of a Career in Drawing
- Walter Elias “Walt” Disney was born on December 5, 1901, in Hermosa, Chicago, Illinois. He was one of five children of Irish-Canadian father, Elias Disney, and German-American mother, Flora Call Disney.
- Young Walt spent most of his childhood in Marceline, Missouri. He began drawing and selling his works to neighbors. By 1911, his family moved to Kansas City.
- Under the supervision of his uncle Martin, a train engineer, he took a summer job at the railroad.
- In Chicago, Walt attended McKinley High School where he took photography and drawing classes. While in school, he was the cartoonist of the official paper. In addition, he also attended Chicago Art Institute at night.
- At the age of 16, Walt joined the Red Cross as an ambulance driver and was sent to France for a year.
- In 1919, he went back to the United States and became a newspaper artist in Kansas. He met cartoonist Ubbe Eert Iwerks while working at Pesmen-Rubin Art Studio.
- Walt started making commercials using cut-out animation when he worked at Kansas Film Ad Company. After exploring hand-drawn celluloid animation, he decided to open his own business. Fred Harman, a colleague, became his first employee.
- Together with Harman, Walt screened their cartoon called Laugh-O-Grams, at the local theater in Kansas. After the success of his cartoons, Walt hired more employees including Iwerks.
- The studio house produced the first series of fairy tales called
- Alice in Cartoonland. It was a seven-minute series of live action and animation about the adventures of a girl, named Alice.
- In 1923, after unfortunate business negotiations and huge debt, Walt announced the studio’s bankruptcy.
The Birth of Mickey Mouse and Disney’s Success
- In order to revive his career, Walt and his brother, Roy, moved to Hollywood, California, and started the Disney Brothers Studio. Luckily, Iwerks also relocated to California where he joined the team.
- Margaret Winkler became the first distributor of the Alice cartoons. In addition, they also created Oswald the Lucky Rabbit character, which were sold for $1,500 per short. A few years after this success, Winkler’s husband Charles Mintz and other employees of Disney conspired and stole the rights for Oswald.
- After the losses, the Disney brothers, Iwerks, and their wives worked together and produced a new character, Mickey Mouse, featured in the silent shorts Plane Crazy and Gallopin’ Gaucho. Music was incorporated into the animated short, Steamed Willie. Walt became the voice of Mickey Mouse, and it gained instant popularity.
- By 1929, the short, Silly Symphonies, was created featuring new characters including Donald Duck, Goofy, Pluto, and Minnie Mouse. Moreover, Walt and his team also produced the first colored cartoon, Flowers and Trees, that won an Oscar.
- In 1933, at the height of Great Depression in the U.S., Disney created The Three Little Pigs.
- Disney’s first full-length animated film, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, premiered in Los Angeles on December 21, 1937. Amidst the depression, it earned millions and won eight Oscars.
- Following the 1939 opening of Walt Disney Studios in Burbank, he produced full-length animated films like Pinocchio (1940), Fantasia (1940), Dumbo (1941), and Bambi (1942).
- In 1941, a number of Disney animators resigned and Walt was set back for some time. By 1950, he created the film Cinderella (1950), followed by Alice in Wonderland (1951), Peter Pan (1953), Lady and the Tramp (1955), Sleeping Beauty (1959), and101 Dalmatians (1961).
- Walt Disney was also the first to use television as a source of entertainment. A variety show called The Mickey Mouse Club featuring the ‘Mousekeeters’ became popular to children.
- On July 17, 1955, Disneyland theme park opened in Anaheim, California. The $17 million theme park was allowed families to enjoy rides and meet their favorite Disney characters.
- The Sunday night show, Walt Disney’s Wonderful World of Colors, became a medium to promote the theme park.
- In 1964, Mary Poppins, a combination of live action and animation, became one of Walt’s self-produced works.
Walt Disney’s Death and Legacy
- In 1966, during the ongoing plans for a new theme park, Disney was diagnosed with lung cancer. On December 15, 1966, he died at the age of 65. His body was cremated and interred at Forest Lawn Cemetery in Glendale, California.
- By 1971, after the death of Roy, Walt Disney World theme park was opened in Florida. Through the years, Disneyland expanded with parks in Tokyo, Hong Kong, Paris, and Shanghai.
- During his lifetime, Walt won 22 Academy Awards and was nominated 59 times. In addition, he received four honorary Oscars.
- In 2013, the film Saving Mr. Banks featured Tom Hanks as Walt Disney.
Walt Disney Worksheets
This is a fantastic bundle which includes everything you need to know about the wonderful Walt Disney across 22 wonderful pages. These are ready-to-use Walt Disney worksheets that are perfect for teaching students about the life of the man who brought joy to so many children across the world. These worksheets are cross-curricular and can be used in Social Studies as well in English Language Arts.
Complete List Of Included Worksheets
- Walt Disney Facts
- Uncle Walt
- Before Mickey
- First Characters
- All About Mickey
- Walt’s Journey
- Sing Disney
- Mapping Disneyland
- Disney Characters
- Your Voice Sounds Familiar
- Disney Diary
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Link will appear as Walt Disney Facts & Worksheets: https://kidskonnect.com - KidsKonnect, March 8, 2018
Use With Any Curriculum
These worksheets have been specifically designed for use with any international curriculum. You can use these worksheets as-is, or edit them using Google Slides to make them more specific to your own student ability levels and curriculum standards.