Walt Disney – Futurist, Naturalist, Artist, Humanist, Optimist
When I was a child – of the 1960’s and 1970’s – I often felt isolated, disconnected and lonely. I have two older sisters, but by the time I was eight years old they were mostly out of the house. I didn’t grow up with them, I grew up with Walt Disney.
My eyesight is now weakened from watching so much TV. I loved books but grew up in a house with none available, (not even a set of Encyclopedia) and had no real access to them aside from an occasional school trip to the tiny East End Library in Waterbury, Connecticut. Mostly I learned from “Uncle Walt” and I especially loved his True Life Adventure films, which I never missed on Sunday nights, right before” The Wonderful World of Disney.” Walt Disney was a genius. By humanizing animals he created a sense of empathy for all creatures, the realization that all beings have feelings and that it was cruel not to protect them. I was “seeing” the future through the eyes of a man who believed anything is possible.
His creative ventures often took years to manifest and he was constantly plagued by having to raise money, which he largely left to his brother Roy, save for one particular project, Walt’s legacy, Disneyland. This is the sheer genius of Disney. He knew that all the major networks were hot on getting something from the Disney Studios for the new medium in 1955, television. This was his bargaining chip and he used it to leverage Disneyland’s financing with ABC for The Wonderful World of Disney; two incredibly successful and lucrative projects financed with one stroke! Each time the company was struck with a problem, they overcame it and not only solved the issue but advanced the industry with new technology that they financed and introduced to the animation industry.
There are few people in the history of the motion picture industry who were as celebrated and as successful as Walt Disney. He never stopped thinking, imagining and designing. Disney traveled to research his projects, often taking his entire family with him: a strong attempt at fitting his work into his personal life.
Walt Disney was an optimist. Now, this is definitely not the way I was raised, so perhaps if not for Disney, I would be an entirely different person today. I owe everything to a man I never met. Diane Disney Miller said of her dad in 1956: “Dad functions best when things are going badly,”– yes, much like me, Disney was incredibly stubborn; he refused to accept defeat. This was a trait paramount to his success, the man could hear the word “no” a million times and not take it personally, or allow it to deter him.
The length of your project’s development may actually be equivalent to the largeness of your idea, but it doesn’t matter in the end. Decisiveness, movement and perseverance are three essentials in getting any project done, big or small. NEVER, EVER GIVE UP!. If you do, just remember it immediately becomes you who has dashed your own dreams.
“All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them.” – Walt Disney