5 Things You Probably Didn't Know About Walt Disney

The pioneer of the animation industry and the creator of Mickey Mouse, Walter Elias Disney was born on this day in 1901. Here are 5 things you probably didn’t know about Walt Disney…  

 
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He Was The Voice of Mickey Mouse Mickey Mouse made his official debut in a 1928 short film titled “Steamboat Willie,” one of the first cartoons ever to use synchronized sound effects. When Mickey spoke for the first time, in 1929’s “The Karnival Kid” (his words were “Hot dog, hot dog”), Walt was unhappy with how the character sounded and went on to lend his own voice to the mouse until 1947’s “Mickey and the Beanstalk,” when he said he was too busy to continue doing so.

He Made Propaganda Films During World War II During World War II, Disney’s studio made an Academy Award-nominated Donald Duck film that encouraged Americans to pay their taxes because money was needed to support the war effort. In addition, the studio produced training films for American soldiers. In 1943, it produced Donald Duck animated shorts that poked fun at the Nazis.

 
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He Won More Academy Awards Than Anyone Else Walt Disney won or received a total of twenty-six Academy Awards, and holds the record for most Academy Awards in history. He won a total of twenty-two competitive Academy Awards from a total of fifty-nine nominations, and also holds the records for most wins and most nominations for an individual in history. Most of his Oscars, won between 1932 and 1969, came in the category of Best Animated Short, including The Three Little Pigs, The Ugly Duckling and a posthumous win for Winnie the Pooh and the Blustery Day.

The Opening Day at Disneyland Started Out as a Disaster Disneyland was originally planned as a small park but the idea grew, and 160 acres were purchased to build the attraction. Those 160 acres also included a secluded apartment for Disney to watch what was going on during construction. However, on opening day, too many people showed up, some of the rides broke down, a gas leak shut down Fantasyland, and some people even tried to get in by using counterfeit tickets. Despite the problems, Disneyland was a huge success and  more than 500,000 visitors had visited the park after about one month.

The Rumor That Disney Was Cryogenically Frozen Isn’t True Disney died of lung cancer in Burbank on December 15, 1966, and the rumor that his body had been preserved cryogenically spread around the country. The truth is that Disney’s body was cremated and his ashes are interred in Glendale, California at Forest Lawn Cemetery. The first individual who chose to be cryogenically frozen was actually a university professor in 1967.