Walt Disney once said, "I love Mickey Mouse
more than any woman I have ever known." And this quote
came from a man who knew Annette Funicello. That's pretty
More impressive than Walt Disney's love of an
animated mouse is the company that he and his brother Roy
built; a company that came to be inextricably linked to
the lovable rodent. And even though the phrase "Mickey
Mouse Operation" now refers to a sub-par organization, The
Walt Disney Company has become anything but.
Who in the United States hasn't heard of Disney?
Who in America hasn't owned at least one or more
And who has never seen a Disney production of some
The answer is, of course: The Amish...and few
Religious sects aside, there are few people in the
world who haven't been exposed to Disney in some way. Walt
and his alter ego (Mickey Mouse) have influenced us all
over the years.
The company has had an impressive string of
successes since 1928 when it released the first sound
cartoon (Steamboat Willie) starring (you guessed it)
Mickey Mouse. Since then, despite a few bumps in the road,
Disney has extended its winning streak and become the
iconic multi-billion dollar entity it is today.
Through its many years Walt's company has compiled
an impressive list of achievements, but the 1950's seem to
best represent the Disney magic as we know it today.
(Ironic that a mouse would become one of the most imposing
figures in show business, isn't it?)
In the 50's decade Disney had 4 of the top 10 films
released in the United States. Sleeping Beauty (1959) was
listed at #6, Cinderella (1950) was reported to be #3 in
box office grosses, Peter Pan (1953) came in at #2 and the
#1 film of the 1950's was Lady and the Tramp (1955).
It's interesting that Mickey Mouse is mostly black
and white. He has been turning other studios green (with
envy) for decades. And the 50's were no exception. Just
some of Disney Studio's 1950's accomplishments read like a
wish list for any entertainment conglomerate.
1950 - 1959
- Wins 23 Oscars (Walt Disney holds the record as most
nominated person with 59.)
1950 - NBC
airs the television special One Hour in Wonderland which
captures 90% of the viewing public.
Present - Disney creates Buena Vista Pictures
Distribution, Inc. to distribute all features produced
by Walt Disney Pictures. The company still exists and
Present - ABC airs Disneyland, a weekly TV program
establishing a television presence that still exists
1955 - 1959
- The Mickey Mouse Club airs 5 days a week.
Present - Disneyland opens in Anaheim, California and
still entertains millions of visitors a year.
were truly golden years for Disney. And today the
ripples of that era still emanate from the achievements of
Walt Disney (and his friend Mickey Mouse).