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Disney: An extraordinary destiny !

Tomorrow in France, Disney is officially launching its Disney + platform, a new streaming platform which will surely overshadow bigger corporations such as Hulu, Netflix,... Streaming now has a considerable importance in the audiovisual field. It is clearly imperative for "The Walt Disney Company" to release its own platform. As a result, the Grunge News team decided to recount the fabulous history of this company which has left an impactful impression on all ranging audiences.

At the origin of the Walt Disney Company empire, there is a man: Walt Disney.

Walter Elias Disney was born on December 5, 1901 in Chicago, United States and was the 4th son of Elias and Flora Disney. He had attended educational courses at Benton Secondary School and graduated on June 8, 1917. The same year, he decided to take drawing lessons. This was the beginning of a great journey...Walter Elias decided to go to the Chicago Art Institute.

Always passionate about drawing, in 1919 he wanted to work as a designer for an advertising agency. His first real art job was at the "Pesman-Rubin Commercial Art Studio" in 1919 where he illustrated the cover of the "Newman Theater". No longer satisfied with simple illustrations of drawings and advertising animations, he used his spare time to create short animated films (1 minute on average). Seeing this passion for animation, his brother Roy offered to come and work in Hollywood. This is where they founded the "Disney Brothers Studio".

The two brothers had a difficult start, punctuated by debts and theft of rights, even if their talent was undeniable.

However, in the company's first year of operation, on October 16, 1923, the company was awarded a contract to produce 12 films, "Alice comedies", which officially marked the creation of the Disney Studios. It was in 1926 that the company was renamed "Walt Disney Studios".

This is how the story of many famous made up characters such as Mickey Mouse, came to life. This little mouse, who was the second character created by Walt Disney and his collaborator Ub Iwerks was officially born on November 18, 1928 in the cartoon "Steamboat Willie". Their initial character was Oswald the lucky rabbit.

At the very start these animations were silent cartoons, then came sounds and musical backgrounds, bringing with them the success of Disney.

In the early 1930s, the studio signed a partnership with "Columbia Picture", the country's largest film production company. Then, followed the birth of Mickey’s friends like Minnie Mouse, Donald Duck...

In 1932, the cartoon "Trees and Flowers" was the first cartoon to be produced in color (an avant-garde and expensive concept at the time) and even won the Oscar for best animated short film. We can see quite clearly the importance that the cartoon had at that time; it's a real revolution !

In those years, the Great Depression hit the United States hard, threatening the flourishing business of the Disney group.

Yet they decide to work on an extraordinary project ; produce the Disney group’s first animated feature! Working hard with the many artists from Disney, the group released (in 1937) "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs"which immediately became a success, with more than a million dollars in profits.

Contrary to popular belief, this cartoon is not the first animated feature film. Indeed, the first is an Argentinian film released in 1917: "El Apóstol".

The animated film "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs", based on a tale by the Grimm brothers, is considered a masterpiece by many due to the use of many technical artistic processes. Notablably, this short film combined a soundtrack with beautifully colored drawings, something that had never been done before. The film received, up until 2004, more than 9 awards. To further prove that the film has marked the history of cinema, we can conclude that all current animated films have colors and at least one soundtrack.

In the five years that followed, the Disney studios produced a series of other masterpieces such as "Pinocchio" (1940), "Dumbo" (1941), "Bambi" (1942) ...

In the 50s "The Walt Disney Company" directed their own TV show and became a pioneer in children's television series, with the creation of "Zorro", "Davy Crockett" or the "Mickey Mouse Club".

To continue to expand the Disney empire, on July 17, 1955, the first "Disneyland" (theme park) in California was opened. This helped popularize the brand in another way and thus attracted an even wider audience . It was later on April 12, 1992 that a new Disneyland park opened in Paris: Eurodisney.

Unfortunately, in 1966, Walt Disney passed away of cancer. His brother had no choice but to take over this adventure of his and essentially continue to expand the empire. He notably created "Walt Disney World" in Florida, which is today one of the largest amusement parks in the world.

From 1984, a new man took over the business: Michael Isner. His goal is to expand Disney internationally. Isner enabled the company's international expansion, which notably enabled the creation of the subsidiary "Touchstone Pictures" for more adult films. He also renamed the company (in 1986) ... The Walt Disney Company.

The 90s symbolized the golden age of Disney, because they marked the conquest of European television channels but also cinemas with releases that impacted the young and old. In fact, it was in the 1990s that films such as "Beauty and the Beast", "The Lion King", "Aladdin", "The Little Mermaid", etc. were released. such as "Salut les Mickey" (broadcast from October 11, 1983 to December 24, 1984) on TF1 will impact several generations of children.

Entering the 21st century was much more complicated for the business. In fact, fans were not satisfied with the attractions. competition was more and more present and the attacks of September 11, 2001 caused tourism in the United States to drastically decline, ultimately leading to the park's turnover.

To redress the Disney empire, the new CEO, Robert Iger, decided to buy the studio "Pixar" in 2006 and "Marvel" in 2010, with the aim of restarting the group's economic activity. Fished with pride or not, the company managed to take over in 2010 the rights to the first Disney character created: Oswald the lucky rabbit !

In 2012, Disney also bought "Lucasfilm" and thanks to this buyout, new episodes of the saga "Star Wars" had been released ("Star Wars VI: The Force Awakens" released in 2015).

It was in June 2013 that Disney launched its "Disney Infinity" video game allowing the player to connect his "Disney Toy" figure to the video game. This aimed to counter the success of the game "Skylanders" of "Activision Blizzard". In constant mutation, the company, in 2019, announced the release of its "Disney +" streaming platform, a platform where we can find the entire catalog of Disney films and series that have sublimated young and old. This new platform is scheduled for release on Tuesday, March 24, 2020 in France (release subsequently postponed at the request of the French government to April 7, 2020).

Disney is a company that has been able to sublimate the world with its all the technical advances. The feature film "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs" was a success and marked its time by the use of a soundtrack and color drawings, which was a first for an animated film. In addition, throughout the year, the company has been able to extend its empire internationally by

opening theme theme parks, buying the biggest film companies, launching into video games or even streaming. Where and how will Disney further expand? We will find out in the years to come, because this American flagship is not about to disappear.


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