Happy Birthday, Walt Disney!

By Brooke Benjamin

Can you imagine a world without the magic of Disney? Personally, I’m not sure it would be a world worth living in.

So today, as we celebrate his birthday, we pay homage to Walt Disney, the man who created the empire and perhaps one of the most influential and innovative figures in the history of the entertainment industry.

Disney came from a relatively humble background, growing up with his four siblings on a farm in Missouri. He showed an early interest in art and creating – as a youngster he would often sell his drawings to neighbours for some extra pocket money.

Disney’s journey certainly wasn’t always a smooth one, but every bump along the road forged the way for great success. His first film company Laugh-o-Grams went bankrupt after only two years, prompting him to leave Missouri for Hollywood, where in 1928, he first introduced the world to a cartoon mouse. Mickey Mouse made his big screen debut in Steamboat Willie, which also happened to be the world’s very first synchronized sound cartoon. With his imaginative mind, Disney released a slew of much beloved animated features and did the groundwork for his real passion project, Disneyland.

In honouring one of the greatest visionaries of our time, click through our slideshow and watch the evolution of Disney’s motion pictures, as well as a selection of memorable quotes from the man himself.

Steamboat Willie

“I only hope that we don’t lose sight of one thing – that it was all started by a mouse.”

Snow White

“All cartoon characters and fables must be exaggeration, caricatures. It is the very nature of fantasy and fable.”


“When you’re curious, you find lots of interesting things to do. And one thing it takes to accomplish something is courage.”

The Rescuers

“I am not influenced by the techniques or fashions of any other motion picture company.”

Sleeping Beauty

“I have been up against tough competition all my life. I wouldn’t know how to get along without it.”

Little Mermaid

“The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing.”

Toy Story

“We are not trying to entertain the critics. I’ll take my chances with the public.”

Finding Nemo

“You’re dead if you aim only for kids. Adults are only kids grown up, anyway.”

Princess and the Frog

“Of all of our inventions for mass communication, pictures still speak the most universally understood language.”