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The Whole World's A Disney Expert

By Katina Brady

Throughout the world Disney has been a fundamental part of childhood memories, with programmes on television, movies released regularly, and the ever-popular merchandising often creating demand that out-strips supply. This means there is a Disney expert in each town, maybe in each street with viewpoints, knowledge and reminisces about the Disney of their childhood and if they are being honest their adulthood as well.

Disney is a super-brand reaching all corners of the earth. They have their fingers in many pies including TV and movie production, merchandising and retail, entertainment and amusement parks. It would be an unusual person indeed who had not come across Disney at least once in their lives.

Since 2000 the Disney brand has expanded even further buying out the Muppets, Pixar Animation Studios, Club Penguin and Lucas Film Ltd who were the production company responsible for the Stars Wars Franchise. They also launched cruise boat company; with two boats the Disney Dream whose maiden voyage was in 2011 and the Disney Fantasy, which made its maiden voyage in 2012.

The history of Disney is a long one starting in 1923 when the Disney Brothers Studio, as it was called then, signed a contract to produce Alice Comedies. Most self-styled experts know that Mickey Mouse, originally Mortimer Mouse, appeared a little later in 1928 in the first short, Steamboat Willie, which also starred Minnie Mouse. Mickey Mouse was himself considered a major celebrity and was the first animated character to get a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

It was not until 1934 that Donald Duck, another favourite character was introduced to the family, with the first colour Mickey cartoon appearing the following year. At this time Disney held the patent on Technicolor meaning he was the only animator making colour films. Mickey was also the first cartoon character to talk, saying the profound words 'Hot Dog!', in 1929 in The Karnival Kid.

These tried and tested characters (Mickey, Minnie, Goofy, Donald, Pluto) were popular for decades, and even started making 'guest appearances' in other movies. For fans who care to look closely, in the opening scenes of the Little Mermaid, Goofy, Mickey and Donald Duck can be seen in the background crowd. I'll wait while you go and look.

In the background of The Rescuers (released 1977) in an original copy there was an image of a naked woman. 3.5 million copies were very quickly withdrawn from sale and it was removed from the scene. In the movie 101 Dalmatians(1996) there are a number of characters from Lady and the Tramp (1955) in the pet shop window.

Walt E. Disney, the founder of the studio and all round fun guy also makes celebrity appearances in some of the films. Just a little more subtly. The sorcerer in the 1940s classic, Fantasia was named Yen Sid. If you have the inclination read it backwards. In 2008, an entire movie was named after the big boss albeit in the disguise of an adorable garbage collector, Wall-E.

Walt Disney received twenty six Academy Awards, which is the record for the most awards in history. He also won three Golden Globes and he was also presented with an honorary Oscar and seven tiny Oscars for Snow White and the Seven Dwarves (1938). In total in his lifetime he was awarded with over 50 awards for his animation contributions. The awards and recognition are likely to continue as the company goes from strength to strength.

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Ditulis oleh: Faisal Reza Siregar - Thursday, February 19, 2015

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