Walt Disney is an American cartoonist, filmmaker, producer, entrepreneur, and founder of Walt Disney Production. The record holder for the number of “Oscars” – he received 26 awards, including one original for “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs”, he was awarded seven more small ones for the main figure. Together with his brother Roy Disney, they managed to create the incredibly successful multimedia empire “The Walt Disney Company”. During his life, Walt directed 111 films and became a producer for 576 works.
In 1955, Walt creates an amusement park – a giant Disneyland country, born from the imagination of an artist. This is a world of magic that was so lacking in childhood.
In 1961, Walt also created the California Institute of the Arts, one of the finest art schools in the United States.
The boy’s childhood was spent in a poor family. They often moved because of the work of their father, who still could not realize himself and often compensated for this discontent on the children. Little Walt sought warmth from his mother and older brother, who gave him cozy evening readings of fairy tales. The child’s passionate desire to live in the magic of fairy-tale worlds, avoiding the gray reality, led to the fact that Walt later began to read a variety of books himself, to imagine the first stories and characters.
The family was very poor, and the boy wanted to paint, so he used what was available at hand – this is how the first charcoal drawing appeared on the wall of the house. One day an elderly doctor asked Walt to paint a portrait of a horse and paid the young artist. From that moment, Walt was eager to make it his profession, although his father was wildly unwilling and did not want to hear about such antics of his son.
Walt’s youth takes place in France, where he serves in the International Red Cross Corral, driving a van painted from head to toe with characters from his own stories.
Drawing became a passion that saved Walt in moments of emotional decline and difficult life situations. Returning to America, Walt continues to fight hard for his vocation to become an artist and gets a job in a cartoon studio. Very quickly, he flies out of there for lack of ability to draw. What is this desperate artist doing? Opens his studio. It is not easy for him: he lives right in the garage, often goes to bed hungry and after a while no longer has anything to pay for rent and that bad place. Walt is emotionally burned out by giving too much of his strength. He closes the studio.
Time passed, and the flame of the old idea re-lit. This time Walt decides to feed himself with the wisdom of his older brother Roy and with the money from the pledge of his property, together they open another studio in one of the garages in Los Angeles. It was complete dedication. The brothers even sold their cars to pay employees. If only the work of the heart remains to be lived.
This is the beginning of the great history of The Walt Disney Company. Brother Roy was in finance. Walt Disney possessed a good artistic talent and at the same time had an entrepreneurial flair that set him apart from many other studio directors. He introduced innovative methods, interesting approaches, not only in animation but also in the management of the company itself.
In the first garage of the studio, cartoons are created with interesting and high-quality musical accompaniment. Among them is the very “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” – the first full-length animated film for 1.5 hours, which paid off completely and brought the first colossal success of the company. With this money, Walt builds a magnificent modern studio with ideal working conditions: those who were in charge of ideas sit in rooms with beautiful large windows and walls on which to paint; those who develop strategies – in offices with calendars and schedules; those who are engaged in criticism and analytical work – in an office without windows and extra furniture that distracts attention.
Without difficulties and a crisis, the development would not have happened. In 1941, at the Disney studio, there was a cold conflict between employees who gave all the time to work on a new cartoon and Walt, who, as it seemed to them, did not want to adhere to their job duties. This strike was a huge psychological shock for the man who created the company, but Walt was able to control himself and showed emotional endurance and patience. A frosty Monday morning, a thin, dark-haired Walt, slightly agitated, but with a prepared speech, goes to his colleagues and begins a monologue that changed the situation. It reminds me of the difficult voyage of this ship, of gigantic efforts and losses, determination and complete dedication, stubbornness, and faith in the cartoon future. He talks about how he was crushed by many setbacks and how he hid them from his employees to avoid panic and loss of team spirit. This speech was like a transition from Walt the artist to Walt the entrepreneur. Although the employees expected more “closeness” from him, work hand in hand, now they realized that he is a leader who is responsible not only for ideas but also for the very life of the company.
Expanding the company, Walt was already coordinating the studio with the help of executives and began to appear less often in the studio. Still, when he appeared, he knew how to inspire.
Walt Disney was a genius not only as a director and an artist, but he also managed to introduce an innovative approach to corporate culture and employee management. That little boy who, as a child, escaped from the tyranny of his father, and dreamed of living a rich life, could now create whatever he wanted in his works. This is a person who has cultivated leadership qualities despite setbacks and difficulties. Inborn perseverance and gaiety added strength to him in difficult times. He became emotionally mature enough to use this knowledge in the management of the company as well. After all, emotional intelligence is very important here.