Walt Disney the American Hero
Walt Disney; When that name is spoken faces of children and adults alike light up with looks of sheer joy. When debating what to see at the movies the newest Disney flick is almost always decided upon over the others. With Disney people are 100 percent sure to walk out of the theater happy and smiling. From the catchy theme songs to the thrilling theme parks Disney has built the fantasy empire. Although he built the fantasy world Disney was not a man who walked around with his head in the clouds. He used his animation and film making skills to not only make fantastic movies but to also bring joy into times of war, fun into times of education, and excitement into times of vacation making him, Walt Disney, the epitome of an American hero.
At the young age of sixteen Walt Disney was not the typical teenager. He was not obsessed with how he looked, or who did or didn’t like him. His concerns were of the world and the fate of his country. In 1918, Walt signed up to defend his country in the military, but because of his young age he was turned away(www.tudlp.org Walt Disney Biography). Rejection was no discouragement to Walt, in fact, it was quite the opposite it was an encouragement to join the American Red Cross. With the Red Cross Walt was immediately shipped over seas to be a chauffeur and ambulance driver(www.tudlp.org Walt Disney Biography). Even in times of war Disney could bring smiles. Disney risked being captured, by covering his ambulance not with usual war time camouflage but with bright lively Disney cartoons(www.tudlp.org Walt Disney Biography). Again, unlike most other teenagers, who were more concerned with getting the job witch paid the most money and entailed the least amount of physical labor, Disney volunteered out of his own free will to risk his life for his country with his only reward being the moments of happiness he had brought to a country plagued with war.
As part of his down to earth optimistic nature Disney had always put the advancement of education at the top of his priorities. He was a man who knew that education should be fun and wanted to do everything possible to make it that way. As Disney got older he realized that along with fame comes influence. He used his influence to build a school, a college of the creative and performing arts in California in 1961. He wanted his school to be a “community of the arts” where students of all facets of art could join to learn together in a collaboration of the arts. Along with music and art, Disney’s school taught such things as theater design, cinematography, sculpture, ceramics, and fashion design(www.tudlp.org Walt Disney Biography). Although many Americans have grand dreams very few follow through with them to the extent that Disney did. While in the midst of building his school Disney said “It’s the principle thing that I hope to leave when I move on to greener pastures. If I can help to provide a place to develop the talents of the future, I think I will have accomplished something(www.tudlp.org Walt Disney Biography).” His need for the advancement of education shows that Walt Disney was not a common man. It shows that he was in fact a man with the makings of an American hero.
Along with his serious Down to earth side Disney also lived part of his life in the realms of fantasy and imagination. His great love of fantasy and the great lack of family entertainment in America inspired Walt to build a theme park of his own. All of America thought that this time Disney had really gone crazy. As Disney once said about the reactions to his ideas for a park “Almost everyone warned us that Disneyland would be a Hollywood spectacular – a spectacular failure. But they were thinking about an amusement park, and we believe in our idea – a family park where parents and children could have fun together(ww2.netnitco.net Disney’s Great Quotes).” So he went on with his dream building a scaled down model before they had found a building site(Finch, Christopher. 150). Once the park was finished the critics were still skeptical as to weather Disney’s park would sink or swim upon opening, but as it turned out they had nothing to worry about. Again Disney had shown the world that he had what it took to get the job done and make everyone happy in the end. Upon the opening of the park Disney gave his description of it “Disneyland is like Alice stepping through the looking glass, to step through the portals of Disneyland will be like entering another world(ww2.netnitco.net Walt Disney’s Great Quotes).” He, Walt Disney had again achieved all that he had wanted and then gone further until he had done better than his best. Just minutes before the opening of Disneyland Disney turned to the crowds and finally said “Here you leave today – and visit the worlds of yesterday, tomorrow, and fantasy(ww2.netnitco.net Walt Disney’s Great Quotes).” In creating his park it was as if Walt built the park from the inner child that he never quite let go of to give America a chance to glimpse what things could be like if everyone kept at least part of their inner child.
Even still, the thing Disney is remembered most for is his films. It all started with Mickey that lovable mouse that is known the world over. It progressed from there to Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs Disney’s adaptation of the classic fairy tale by the brothers Grimm. Snow White, The first full length animated film was a masterpiece in itself. Disney made many technical revolutions in the animation field to get his film perfect. Disney incorporated the use of music, in the form of songs, into his movie making the music a significant element in the movie instead of just being background noise as it had been in the past(Great Events from History. Disney releases Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs). Disney also developed the process of Technicolor where many shades of paint are mixed to use throughout the film instead of just doing the cartoon in garish primary colors that were used before Snow White(Great Events from History. Disney releases Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs). Another key element to the success of his movie was his advertising campaign. This was the first time ever for a major motion picture to be backed by posters, clothing, toys, and even coffee cups(Great Events from History. Disney releases Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs). All of Disney’s hard work eventually brought him his first of many Oscar awards. Along with Disney’s Oscar for best musical score he received a special Oscar award for having produced “a significant screen innovation which has charmed millions and pioneered a great new entertainment field for the motion picture cartoon. The award was presented by Shirley Temple consisted of one full sized Oscar and seven dwarf sized Oscars(Great Events from History. Disney releases Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs).
Walt Disney created the American fantasy from thoughts pulled out of the far reaches of his imagination. He was a man who had never let go of his inner child. By simply reaching for that inner child he created every child’s dream in the form of a simple talking mouse. That mouse became his trademark. Mickey was a trade mark to be used to his advantage though. With his fame and money gained from Mickey he could go on to do heroic things like build schools, work to aid his country during war, build family friendly theme parks, and make unforgettable movies. Walt Disney once said “The way to get started is to quit talking and start doing(ww2.netnitco.net Walt Disney’s Great Quotes).” That is exactly what Disney has done and what all Americans should strive to do. Throughout his life Disney taught the world that “It’s kind of fun to do the impossible(ww2.netnitco.net Walt Disney’s Great Quotes).” If all of America strove to do the impossible everyday then every American would soon fit in beside Walt Disney under the category of an American hero. This paper is the property of MyTermPapers.com Copyright 1999-2002