Defying the Disney Image: The Testimony of Walt Disney Essay

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Walt Disney was born in 1890 to a woman named Señora Isabelle Zamora. His father, Elias, met Isabelle in California of that same year and the two carried on an affair that ended with the birth of Walt. Later, Elias brought the two back to Chicago, Illinois where Isabelle became a housekeeper for the Disney family. Walt was assimilated into the Disney household and treated as the biological son of Elias and Flora Disney. Isabelle was with the family for years, being passed on from the Elias and Flora household to the Walt and Lillian family years later (Eliot 152-157). This account of Walt Disney’s birth poses many questions about myths, legends, and rumours that encircled the life of the “man behind the mouse”. Biographies…show more content…
Mosley’s biography is titled, rather auspiciously, Disney’s World, and gives an account that is very positive. He interprets Disney’s actions during the strike as being motivated by self-preservation and his conservative political ideals. Eliot’s exposé titled Walt Disney: Hollywood’s Dark Prince focuses on revealing the evil duality of Walt Disney. Disney’s actions during the strike are looked at as being caused by his money hungry, stubborn personality and Disney is solely to blame for the long duration of the strike. There does not seem to be any compromise with these two biographers and it is hard to know which one is closest to the truth. Leonard Mosley writes with information supplied by Ward Kimball, one of Disney’s principal animators. Mosley says that in 1940, Walt Disney’s staff was one of the most underpaid and overworked in Hollywood. However, they were not prepared to strike due to Walt’s influence as seen in a quote from Ward Kimball: Walt was our father figure. We both respected and feared him. He ran the studio as a sort of benevolent and paternal dictatorship. He was the total boss. You learned early on never to argue with him or to cross him. Walt might be harsh or egocentric, but we all knew he was a genius whose tough demeanor seemed to stimulate and bring out the best in all of us. Even though he was prone to badger and bully us at one time or another, we knew that Walt had revolutionized the animated cartoon,

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