Walt Disney Company
Walt Disney and his brother Roy discovered the Disney Brothers Cartoon Studio in Hollywood, California, on October 16, 1923. Now known as the Walt Disney Company, the studio has had an overwhelming impact on the entertainment industry and is now one of the world’s largest media companies.
Walt Disney, a talented artist from a young age, drew cartoons for different publications while working for the Kansas City Film Ad Company and became interested in cel animation. Walt moved to Los Angeles, where Roy was recovering from tuberculosis, after his Laugh-O-Gram Studio went bankrupt in 1923. While there, a short film produced by Laugh-O-Gram, Alice’s Wonderland, was finally sold and a contract was signed to make six more such films. The brothers founded their company to produce the series and persuaded both Virginia Davis, who played Alice, and Ub Iwerks, their collaborator, to join them in Hollywood.
Disney began work on his most famous creation given the success of the Alice Comedies and an episode based on a character named Oswald the Lucky Rabbit. The world was introduced to Mickey Mouse with the 1928 release of Steamboat Willie. The character would go on to become one of the cartoons in history, if not the most recognizable. The popularity of the Mickey Mouse shorts convinced Disney that a feature film could be produced by his studio, which he began making in 1934. The project, which some dubbed “Disney’s Folly,” went 400 percent over expenditure and required over 300 animators, artists, and assistants, but when it debuted just before Christmas 1937, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs was a smash hit.
The Walt Disney Company has created dozens of groundbreaking and acclaimed films since then. It has developed into a holding company for all kinds of media and entertainment properties, opening theme parks around the world in 1955 and acquiring dozens of businesses in the ’90s and 2000s. ABC, ESPN, Pixar, Marvel Studios and Lucasfilm are now owned and run by Disney. What started with a handful of animators producing short children’s cartoons is one of the world’s most iconic businesses today. Some of the most popular and enduring entries in the American canon are original Disney cartoons and feature films. history.com – Walt Disney Company
Expansion: ABC, Pixar, Lucasfilm, and Marvel Entertainment
While movies continue to be a major component of the Disney Company, they are one of the many successful undertakings in recent years. In Paris, Tokyo, and Hong Kong, and DisneyQuests, indoor theme parks with interactive virtual-reality arcades, debuted in Orlando, Florida, and Chicago, were opened in new Disney theme parks; the latter subsequently closed. More than 115 million people worldwide visited Disney attractions annually at the beginning of the 21st century. The first ship on the Disney Cruise Line, The Disney Magic, was launched on July 30, 1998, offering holiday packages to the Caribbean islands. Broadcasting interests have been extended to include the ABC network, the ESPN sports cable network and Radio Disney, in addition to the long-running Disney Channel cable network. Its foray into Broadway musicals was the company’s most visible and notable enterprise of the 1990s. Stage adaptations of Beauty and the Beast and The Lion King animated features, both visually bright and long-running achievements, premiered in 1994 and 1997, respectively. In 1997, the company bought the New Amsterdam Theatre on Broadway and has been credited with many civic improvements in the Broadway area. A modern version of Aida (2000), with a score by the Lion King composing team of Elton John and Tim Rice, is Disney’s most ambitious stage production. The Walt Disney Company was one of the biggest entertainment conglomerates in the world at the end of the 20th century, and it consistently ranked among the top 50 corporations in America.
The partnership of Disney with Pixar continued to bear fruit in the 21st century, and their innovative films challenged previously held concepts of what could be done with computer animation. Several of their films have won Academy Awards for best animated film, including Finding Nemo (2003), Ratatouille (2007), WALL∙E (2008), Up (2009), Toy Story 3 (2010), Inside Out (2015), Coco (2017), and Toy Story 4 (2019). Disney’s own computer-animated movies have proved popular as well. Tangled (2010), Wreck-It Ralph (2012), and Frozen were among those (2013). When Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (2003), a film loosely inspired by a ride at Disney theme parks, scored huge numbers at the box office, Disney’s live-action films experienced something of a rebirth. The film, which featured Johnny Depp as Captain Jack Sparrow, the sea-addled pirate, launched a franchise that grossed more than $3.7 billion globally.
In 2005, Michael Eisner concluded his two-decade run as the CEO of Disney. Former ABC Chairman Robert Iger succeeded him. Iger supervised the Disney brand’s dramatic expansion and orchestrated a string of high-profile acquisitions. Disney bought Pixar for $7.4 billion in 2006 and acquired Marvel Entertainment, a company best known as a publisher of comic books, for $4 billion in 2009. At the time of the purchase, Marvel, which had just begun to speed up its film development schedule, produced a string of superheroic blockbusters in a shared world known as the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). With standout titles such as The Avengers (2012), Guardians of the Galaxy (2014), and Black Panther (2018) captivating audiences around the world, the MCU films quickly became the top-grossing franchise in box office history. Disney’s animated classics, including Alice in Wonderland (2010), Cinderella (2015), Beauty and the Beast (2017), Aladdin (2019), and Mulan (2019), continued to produce live-action remakes (2020).
Disney purchased Lucasfilm Ltd. from filmmaker George Lucas for around $4 billion in 2012. The acquisition brought the Star Wars franchise under the umbrella of Disney, and the company released the seventh installment in the series, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, led by J.J., in 2015. Abrams.-Abrams. In the Star Wars universe, Disney also produced stand-alone films, the first of which was Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (2016). Disney agreed in 2017 to buy most of 21st Century Fox’s holdings, including the 20th Century Fox film studio. In 2019, the deal closed and was valued at approximately $71 billion. Disney entered the crowded streaming market with Disney+ in November 2019, a subscription video service that collected on a single platform some of the most recognizable film and television franchises in the world. britannica.com – Walt Disney Company