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Alexandria Fife Professor Presnull English 1102 11 April 2014 Characters of Disney Why Disney?

I have always been interested in Walt Disney World and really anything that has to do with Disney. When considering what I wanted to learn about, I came up with so many options that I really wanted to know more about. I was considering the light show on Cinderellas castle, how the Pirates of the Caribbean ride looks so real, or how Aerials ride became so interactive. I soon realized, after reading about different attractions and events, that all of those things had to do with Disneys characters so they had to begin with the characters. I then decided that I wanted to know where those characters originated and how they became to be as popular as they are now. It All Began With A Mouse Oswald the Lucky Rabbit was Walt Disneys first animated character. I read on DisneyHistory.com that the idea of Oswald came from Charles Mintz. Eventually, Walt found out that Mintz actually owned the rights to Oswald and used it against Walt Disney. Mintz eventually took

Oswald The Lucky Rabbit

Oswald to Universal Studios, leaving Walt crushed. Walt Disney was forced to start over

completely after losing Oswald the Lucky Rabbit. Soon after, Walt came up with a version soon-to-be Mickey Mouse but named him Mortimer. In

Mickey Mouse

MarrNor91s blog, I read that this was soon after changed to Mickey Mouse by the suggestion of Walts wife, Lillian. Im sure Walt wouldnt have guessed this but Mickey would become a very popular face and have one the most recognizable images in the world, even beating out Santa Claus, Claire Suddath tells us in the TIME magazine article on the History of Mickey Mouse. After the name change, Mickey Mouse was officially born. Steamboat Willie was one of the first sound-cartoons ever made and was the first cartoon to reveal Mickey Mouse and his girlfriend Minnie Mouse to the public in 1928. Mickey Takes the Stage After Steamboat Willie came Walts first colored cartoon, Flowers and Trees and with that success, Walt continued with The Band Concert, in 1935, which was the first cartoon presenting Mickey Mouse is Technicolor. This is also the first cartoon that presents Donald Duck. In a TIME Magazine article on the History of Mickey Mouse by Claire Suddath, I read that in that same year, Mickey underwent a makeover done by Fred Moore. Moore created a more defined and sophisticated Mickey, who had previously been drawn using only circles which limited Mickeys movement. Moore gave Mickey a pear-shaped body, pupils, white gloves and a shortened nose, to make him cuter, Claire Suddath tells us. Walts success so far was nothing compared to what was going to air in the near future. MattNor91 tells us in his blog that Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs first aired in 1937. Although Walts accomplishments before that were great, this one definitely exceeded what had already been done. Disney just never stopped surprising. Soon after Snow White, Mickey began to decline is his popularity status. Mickey was being overshadowed by other various cartoon characters including the Looney Tunes and Popeye. Walt knew that

something had to be done to earn Mickeys spotlight back. Walt came up with the story of The Sorcerers Apprentice which eventually evolved into a little segment of the movie Fantasia. Although the movie didnt excel in the box office, it did a good enough job to somewhat get Mickey his spotlight back. In 1941, Disney released and Mickey and Pluto cartoon Lend a Paw; this was a remake of a film from 1933 called Mickeys Pal Pluto that was released in black and white. Lend a Paw was the first Mickey Mouse cartoon to win an Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film in 1941; it was officially the first Mickey Mouse cartoon to win an Academy Award. In 1955, Mickey was still escalating with the releasing of The Mickey Mouse Club. The show involved children and was led by Jimmie Dodd. Mickey was hardly seen in the show, except for in the beginning but that was okay because Disneyland opened in 1955. Mickey Mouse and the dreams of Walt didnt stop there. Soon after Disneyland opened, Walt Disney World opened in 1971 followed by Tokyo Disneyland in 1983, Disneyland Paris in 1992, Hong Kong Disneyland in 1996, and Shanghai Disneyland. Walt was not around for the openings of any parks other than Disneyland but that never stopped the magic. From Mouse to Princesses Many people are familiar with Mickey Mouse but they are also very familiar with all of the Princesses that came to life through Disney. One of the most popular princesses is Cinderella. She has an amazing story and after all, she lives in a beautiful castle right there on Main Street. Walt Disney loved stories that supported the underdog since he grew up on a farm while working and delivering newspapers. In another blog that I read by Demosthenes on Reel History I learned that this is why Walt Disney loved Snow White so much and why he was about to undergo the extremely hard challenge of telling Cinderellas story in 1950.

Cinderellas Castle

To keep costs down, Walt decided to first shoot the movie, Cinderella, using a live audience. This involved very few actors and a little set. Demosthenes goes on to explain that this helped the animators to the exact movements of the characters and their clothes or other objects. Cinderella is a very happy story I have known for years and hopefully my kids and grandkids will know. Because of this, I am thankful that Walt Disney told this version of Cinderella rather than the Grimm Brothers versions of Cinderella which Demosthenes describes in his blog. In their version, when the prince is trying to find women to fit into the slipper, the stepsisters cut off parts of their feet in order to fit the slipper perfectly. While doing this they are caught and birds come and peck their eyes so that they will end up like blind beggars. I would much rather watch Walt Disneys version. Conclusion I guess I didnt really know what I was going to find when I decided to research the characters of Walt Disney World. Now that I have, I have learned about their backstories, the making of the characters, and the road in which the characters have made it down in order to make an impact on the lives of all the people who admire them. There is magic in their stories and there is magic in Disney World; but there was a lot of work put into the characters and the physical place where we can go and be a kid again. The characters arent just there for us to enjoy but for us to see that anything is possible and hard work pays off. Walt Disney lost Oswald for a little while; he got Oswald back in 2006 but in the meantime, he didnt pout over losing something, he worked harder and made new stories and new characters. Yeah, these are just characters, but to those who love them, they are symbols of magic, hard work, inspiration, and hope.

Works Cited Demosthenes, . "Disneys Cinderella." Reel History. N.p., 06 Jul 2011. Web. 8 Apr. 2014. MattNor91, . "Retro Junk." The History of Mickey Mouse. N.p., 2012. Web. 26 Mar. 2014. "Oswald the Lucky Rabbit: Mickeys Predecessor."DisneyHistory.com. N.p.. Web. 11 Apr 2014. Suddath, Claire. "A Brief History Of Mickey Mouse." TIME. 18 Nov 2008: n. page. Web. 26 Mar. 2014.

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