Monday, 17 October 2011

Disney Turns 88

88 years yesterday, on October 16, 1923, The Walt Disney Company was founded.

Starting off as the pipe-dream of brothers, Roy Disney and the eponymous, Walt Disney, as Disney Brothers Cartoon Studio, this was the studio destined to become the world's largest media conglomerate, changing the world forever, in terms of films, TV and in terms of all of the millions of lives it has touched.

From the Golden Age of its animated films way back when, with films like Snow White, Pinocchio and Dumbo, through the Silver Age of films like 101 Dalmatians, The Jungle Book and more, and to the Renaissance of such modern classics as Beauty and the Beast and The Lion King and beyond to modern day; Disney has long been the gold standard of animation. Although accused of a dip in quality in more recent years (although currently undergoing a revival), Disney is, in essence, the company that made animation an art form.

From the debut of "Disney's folly" and Walt and his company proving to all comers that animation was, and is, a sustainable medium that can inflame the imagination and inspire the world, moving us all to laughter and tears, to today, there is rarely a person on the face of the world who hasn't heard of Disney and its famed mouse.

I'll try to keep this brief, as there is oh so much I could say about Disney, its influence on the world and on its influence on me, and more - particularly, of how, without it, it is questionable that Pixar would be the giant it is today.

Disney, in one word, means magic. At its best, nothing can touch Disney, the classics are unparalleled and without rival. Magic is imbued into every frame of so many Disney films, although Disney has rolled out several not so brilliant films, the fact that this is the company that brought us Bambi, Cinderella and The Little Mermaid more than makes up for that.

Simply put, I love Disney and I'd like to take this opportunity to say: thank you Disney. Thank you for the films, thank you for the music, thank you for the magic, thank you for the memories and thank you, most of all, for making my childhood as wonderful as it was.

Long live Disney!

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