Monday, August 30, 2010

Introducing The Walt Disney Story

On October 16, 1923, Walt Disney signed his first contract to produce the "Alice Comedies" in California. For the young filmmaker and his brother, Roy, it was a momentous occasion. For the company they founded, Walt Disney Productions, it was the first step on a long road that would lead to its eventual recognition as one of the foremost names in the world of entertainment.

Walt and Roy proudly displaying their first Oscar
with the world's most famous mouse

In a more personal sense, the success of the company was the triumph of its founder's hard-earned and deeply felt values — the belief in the inherent goodness of man, the conviction that life is meaningful and happiness relevant, and an abiding faith in the capacity of the human spirit for joy, for beauty, and for greatness.

"The Walt Disney Story," a new attraction recently opened on Main Street, U.S.A. at Disneyland and presented in cooperation with the Gulf Oil Corporation, presents, in a dramatic way, the evolution of Walt Disney's philosophy in his work, in his personal commitments, and in his dreams for the future.
Utilizing rare film footage, photographs from family archives, and a fascinating collection of memorabilia as well as national and international awards, a Disney team of more than 200 designers, technicians, archivists, musicians, writers, film editors, and artists spent nearly three years developing the attraction.

The central focus of the show, a 28-minute film tracing the lives of Walt and Roy Disney from their Midwestern boyhood through the tumultuous Hollywood years to eventual international celebrity, is unique.

Assembled from over 70 hours of taped interviews made by Walt Disney during his lifetime and combined with film footage obtained from sources as various as the Motion Picture Department of the Library of Congress and the Los Angeles County Museum, the film literally features Walt Disney telling the Disney story in his own words.

Guests will learn of the origin of Mickey Mouse as his creator first envisioned him, hear how the world's first full-length animated feature — "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs," — developed and how it was received, share the creative thoughts which led to the development of "Audio-Animatronics" (the electronic process of animating three-dimensional figures), and enjoy the optimistic vision Walt Disney had of the future when he speaks of EPCOT, the community "where people actually live a life they can't find anywhere else in the world."

Prior to entering the motion-picture theater, guests pass through an elaborate exhibit area where individual Disney achievements and accomplishments are presented in a highly unusual manner.

An array of visual and audio media, including a speeded-up film of the creation of Disneyland and a demonstration of the complicated process of combining animation with live actors, is used to single out five important areas of the Disney career: Walt Disney the Film Maker; the TV Pioneer; the Naturalist; the International Ambassador; and the Artist and Impresario.

As guests stroll among the five areas, they will recognize many mementos of the past: Zorro's dashing black cape and shining sword from the early days of television; original Mickey Mouse posters and the earliest Mickey Mouse watches; some of the hundreds of insignias created for American forces during World War II; and original art from such Disney classics as "Cinderella," "Pinocchio," "Fantasia," "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs" and "Mary Poppins."

Guests will also see Walt Disney's original office, furnished with authentic pieces used during his lifetime, and will have the opportunity to view some of the most significant of the 950 honors, awards and citations presented to Walt Disney from every nation in the world.

Located in the Main Street Opera House in Town Square, "The Walt Disney Story" is a free attraction. It is a dramatic tribute to the "Master Storyteller of the World" no guest will want to miss.

From the Summer 1973 edition of Vacationland magazine, published by Disneyland.

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