A pioneer of entertainment and animation, the legendary Walt Disney would have been 115 years old this year. He made the world believe in fairytales during some of its toughest times and he gave us some stunning classic that will be timeless forever. And yet, there are still many things people don’t know about the mastermind behind Mickey Mouse. Here are 15 magical facts about Walt Disney, the man who changed our childhoods forever.
1. Disney began drawing cartoons out of sheer boredom.
Growing up on a farm in Missouri, Disney didn’t have much to do so he began drawing cartoons of his neighbor’s horse.
2. Walt Disney Studios wasn’t his first venture into the world of animation.
His first studio Laugh-O-Gram where he began telling stories of modernized fairy tales quickly went bankrupt, but he didn’t give up.
3. Mortimer Mouse was originally Mickey Mouse’s name.
Disney first named him Mortimer Mouse, but his wife convinced him that the name was too pompous. Mortimer was the name given to one of Mickey’s rivals later on.
4. Speaking of Mickey Mouse, he wasn’t Disney’s first iconic character.
While at Universal, Disney created Oswald the Lucky Rabbit. However, upon leaving Universal Pictures he had to leave Oswald behind and invent Mickey.
5. Walt Disney actually voiced Mickey Mouse.
He did it from 1928 -1947.
6. He was the only one who believed in Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.
No one else in the industry thought the animated feature was a good idea. They even shaded the film by calling it “Disney’s folly”. It turns out that Disney knew what he was doing because the film made $8 million when it was released which is about $130 million today.
7. Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs was adored so much that Disney got 8 Oscar statues for it.
Disney was presented with one normal-size Oscar and seven miniature ones
8. Disney was one of the first to air programming for children.
His shows included Zorro, Davy Crockett, and The Mickey Mouse Club
9. Walt Disney has received more Academy Awards and nominations than has anyone else.
Between 1932 and 1969, he won 22 Academy Awards and was nominated 59 times after his death.
10. For two years Disney was the only person in Hollywood who could make an animated feature in color.
He had held the patent for Technicolor during that time.
11. His favorite character of all time was Goofy.
We wonder what he would have thought of A Goofy Movie.
12. Walt Disney was obsessed with trains.
As an adult, Disney built a miniature steam railroad in the backyard of his L.A. home and made sure that Disneyland had a monorail.
13. His final words were Kurt Russell.
Though he didn’t speak those words, Disney was able to write them down. It’s very perplexing because Kurt Russell was only a child at the time of Disney’s death.
14. The last film Disney oversaw was The Jungle Book which came out in 1967.
He died of lung cancer before it was released.
15. Walt Disney’s body is NOT frozen somewhere.
Despite the rumors Disney’s body was cremated, and his ashes were buried at Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Glendale, California.