“The inclination of my life – the motto, you might call it – has been to do things and make things which will give pleasure to people in new and amusing ways. By doing that I please and satisfy myself. It is my wish to delight all members of the family, young and old, parent and child, in the kind of entertainment my associates and I turn out of our studio in Burbank, California. I think all artists – whether they paint, write, sing or play music, write for the theater or movies, make poetry or sculpture – all of these are first of all pleasure-givers. People who like to bring delight to other people, and hereby gain pleasure and satisfaction for themselves.”
As likely most of you know, today is Walt’s birthday. Today we celebrate the one-hundred and eighth anniversary of the birth of Walt Disney the visionary, Walt Disney the storyteller, Walt Disney the pioneer, Walt Disney the man. It is hard, in a way, to celebrate the life of someone most of us only know through books, other people’s memories, and recorded interviews, but in that light we begin to collect the various pieces of his life and come away with a whole picture of Walt Disney.Today, children and teens look to Walt Disney as a figurehead, a company logo in the same vein of the golden arches, not realizing that he was a flesh and blood person who, along with an extraordinary collection of individuals, crafted whole worlds of entertainment and were the spark for innovations across the globe. While many of us never grew up with Walt Disney on our own television sets, we have learned about his life and times, and so will the younger generation provided we keep his spirit alive.
Walt only wanted to do right by the families he sought to entertain. Believing that they deserved more, Walt found ways, or created the avenues, in which to provide such quality. He never wished to repeat himself, and he always kept moving forward. There is a lot to be gleamed from this determination, respect for the family (no matter what the family-unit happened to look like), imagination, and ingenuity. To be even part of the man Walt Disney was would be a great man, and indeed in our leaders, colleagues, and friends we tend to seek out the qualities once inherent to Walt Disney and his accomplices.Look around at my life, even just around my office, there are not words to express the gratitude I have for the wondrous worlds Walt Disney create and the profound impact he never knew he had on my life. The only way to really thank him for all he has given to me, to us, is to keep striving every single day to create quality content, dream and work for a brighter tomorrow, make as many wishes come true as I can, and to live in the spirit of Walt Disney.
Happy Birthday Walt!