Disney, an Influence on Modern America
While most just think of Walt Disney as the creator of the Disney movie empire and the Disney theme parks, those such as author Steven Watts, who think more deeply about Disney, consider him to be the “influential architect of modern America” (Watts, p. 4). While the genius of Walt Disney has affected many aspects of American, and now overseas, cultures, his empire has had a significant impact on what people experience during childhood.
BACKGROUND OF THE DISNEY EMPIRE
Walter “Walt” Disney was born on December 5, 1901 in Illinois, but he lived most of his life in Missouri. He began drawing and painting when he was quite young and would sell his work to family friends and people in the neighborhood. As he grew older, he went to work with his uncle who was a train engineer. Disney had a fondness for trains and would sell food and newspapers to the people on the train (Biography.com)
In high school, Disney took photography and drawing classes and at night he went to classes at The Chicago Art Institute. Disney quit high school when he was 16, joining the Red Cross and going to France to drive an ambulance. He stayed in France for a year and when he returned to the United States his brother, Roy, got him a job at an art studio. He left the art studio for a job at the Kansas City Film Ad Company where he learned to use cutout animation to make commercials. Considering all of his talents, Disney made the decision to open his own animation business (Biography.com)
Unfortunately, this first endeavor of owning his own studio was not successful. He had a few short animated fairy tales to produce, but the company soon went bankrupt. However, he did not give up on the idea of having his own stu...
... middle of paper ...
...sms of Disney, these really can’t be validated as having any real effect on children and families. There is no harm in providing a fantasy and imaginative world for children to enjoy. Parents, along with the Disney Company, support the notion that a child should be a child. Children should have fun and enjoy the world of imagination while they are little. Parents also enjoy the world of imagination by providing it to their children.
The impact of Disney on our society is based on providing this fantasy world to children. There is no other company on the globe that can do so with such success. It is a niche that children gravitate to. Yes, it makes a tremendous amount of money for the company, but there is no harm in providing products and services that children want. While Disney is ever present throughout our society, the impact on the culture is positive.