Disney DVD: Walt & El Grupo

Disney DVD: Walt & El GrupoToday we bring you a great Disney DVD recommendation that chronicles a very important, critical time for Walt Disney and the Disney Company. The feature documentary Walt & El Grupo provides a rare glimpse of a ten week tour in 1941 that Walt Disney, his wife, and sixteen colleagues from Walt Disney Studios embarked on in South America. The film specifically chronicles Walt and his team visiting with many Latin American officials to gather story material for a series of films Walt was planning to release with Latin American themes. Not only does the documentary help give insight into Walt and the inner workings of his animators, but it helps to highlight relations between the United States and Latin America during this time period as well as give an unprecedented look into the personal life of Walt Disney during one of the more challenging times of his career.

Times were a bit tough for the Walt Disney Studio during the early 1940’s. Though Walt achieved great success with Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs and PinocchioFantasia, Walt’s musical experiment, struggled to achieve the same box office success of it’s two predecessors. On top of Fantasia’s financial troubles, just as work was being completed on the animated feature, Dumbo, a rather nasty strike broke out at the Studio and left Walt Disney feeling rather downtrodden. It was the first time Walt had been faced with a union strike and he had trouble understanding why anyone would rise up against him in this manner. As if all of this wasn’t enough, World War II was raging on in Europe during this time and Walt ended up loosing the financing of many of the European banks and film distributors he was working with. This hit the Studio pretty hard and ended up putting Walt and his company nearly $4 million dollars in debt.

Around this time the American Government stepped in and offered Walt to take some of his Studio heads down to South America as a good will ambassador trip to help strengthen relations, particularly in light of the War raging on in Europe. At first Walt was against the idea, as he wasn’t looking to go anywhere to merely shake hands and provide lip service. However, Walt ultimately changed his mind when he realized he could use the trip as an opportunity to research Latin American culture for future films. Two great films that Walt ended up producing and later releasing as a result of his visit to South America were Saludos Amigos and The Three Caballeros.

Disney DVD: Walt and El Grupo

Walt & El Grupo is directed by Theodore Thomas, who happens to be the son of one of Walt’s original 9 animators, Frank Thomas, and follows Walt’s trip to South America by showing us the locales Walt and company visited in the present day. The film is produced by The Walt Disney Family Foundation and as such provides wonderful private and archival film footage from Walt’s personal camera as well as the cameras of some of the folks touring with Walt.

The documentary gives great insight into Walt Disney and the persona he lead outside of the public eye. For the first time we get a glimpse of Walt during one of the more difficult periods of his life. If you’re a Walt Disney fan, or just a fan of history in general, this is definitely a film  you need to check out. We here at WaltDisneyQuotes can’t recommend it any higher.

Disney DVD: Walt & El Grupo

Purchase Walt & El Grupo today from our friends at Amazon

Disney Classics – Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs

Today we launch a new blog series entitled, Disney Classics- a monthly feature highlighting a different animated classic film Walt Disney personally developed and worked on. While Walt became known for many creative endeavors over his lifetime, it was his love of animation and the family feature film that ultimately put him and the Disney Company on the map. Walt fundamentally changed the animation industry and the animated feature film as we know it today would not exist without the vision and drive of Walt Disney. Naturally, as we begin our new series, what better film to start with than the one that started it all for not only Walt Disney himself, but feature animation as a whole- Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.

The early 1930’s were proving to be a great year for Walt Disney and the Disney Brothers Studio (founded byDisney Classic: Flowers and Trees Walt and his brother Roy Disney). Mickey Mouse was growing in popularity and the new Silly Symphony shorts were taking off as well. However, with the success of his cartoon shorts, Walt knew that he wanted to keep pushing the envelope. The next natural transition was to colorize his animated shorts by a process called Technicolor. While Technicolor had been around for a bit, a newer three-strip process was developed and early tests excited Walt to the point that he knew he needed the technology for his cartoons. As a result, Disney Studios was able to sign an exclusive deal with Technicolor and Walt soon released the first three-strip Technicolor animated silly symphony cartoon, Flowers and Trees. Flowers and Trees was an immediate commercial and critical success and got Walt thinking about how to push the envelope even further… in fact, Walt decided he wanted to try something that no one, up to that point, had thought of doing- creating a full length animated feature film.

Disney Classics: Walt with Snow White Animation CelsIn 1934, Walt Disney called his most trusted animators, along with his brother Roy, into a storyboard room and decided to clue them into his next big idea for the Studio; he wanted to create the world’s first full length animated feature film and wanted to base it off of the Grimm Brother’s fairy tale story, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. You can well imagine some of the puzzled looks Walt’s animators gave him, to say nothing of the disbelief of his brother Roy. However, after dropping the bomb shell, Walt immediately began to act out the entire story to the animators, start to finish, with such passion and enthusiasm, that by the time he was finished, any doubts they initially had, had been quelled. Many of Snow White’s eventual animators later went on to say that, although they were very proud of the film they released, it never did turn out quite as good as how Walt originally told it that day.

Walt and his animators began prep work on Snow White immediately. Around this time, Walt was activeDisney Classic: The Old Millly seeking out new and exciting animation techniques and testing them out on his Silly Symphony cartoons. He figured if it worked for Flower and Trees, it could work for other shorts as well. In 1937, Disney released The Old Mill, the first short to utilize Walt’s new multiplane camera technology. The multiplane camera was an apparatus that filmed multiple animated cells at one time and gave the illusion of depth of field and presented the artwork in a more believable way. The multiplane camera test was so successful, Walt would later go on to use it in many of his feature length animated films. In an effort to improve the skills and development of his animators, Walt also began to host animation courses at the Studio, taught and instructed in the way Walt believed they needed to be.

Disney Classics: Snow White Poster from 1937Now that Walt felt comfortable with the education and techniques his animators were learning, work began on character and story development. In nearly all incarnations of Snow White up to this point, including the Grimm Fairy Tale, the “Dwarfs” of the story didn’t have individual personalities and acted sort of a singular hive mind. Based on the critical success of another Silly Symphony short, The Three Little Pigs, Walt knew that he wanted his Dwarfs to have unique and individual personalities. He handed the job off to Fred Moore, the animator behind the design of The Three Little Pigs, and Doc, Bashful, Happy, Sleepy, Sneezy, Grumpy and Dopey were born. Walt’s hunch on the Dwarfs turned out to be right on the money as the different personalities of the seven dwarfs became one of the most endearing things to audiences of the film. Couple the wonderful character development of the dwarfs with the spot-on, perfect casting of Adriana Caselotti and Lucille La Verne as the voices of Snow White and The Wicked Queen respectively, and Walt was doing is very best to stack the deck in his favor.

Though Walt and his animators were firmly behind Snow White, the rest of Hollywood was admittedly not so Disney Classics: The Premiere for Snow Whitekeen on the idea. In fact, many dubbed Snow White as “Walt’s Folly” and pretty much wrote the entire project off as Walt’s crazy dream that would lead the company to bankruptcy. Even Walt’s own brother, Roy, had his doubts about the film and urged his brother to proceed with extreme caution. Walt would not be deterred though and decided that if he was going to do this, he was going to do it right and wouldn’t second guess a thing. The gamble was huge as Walt and Roy both poured every cent their company had into the production of Snow White. Had the film flopped financially, The Disney Brothers Studio would have closed it’s doors and Walt’s many critics would have been correct on their assumption.

Walt Disney's Special Oscar for Snow WhiteLucky for Walt and Roy, Snow White proved to be a huge critical and financial success. Opening on December 21, 1937 at the famed Carthay Circle Theater in Los Angeles, the big Hollywood premiere attracted nearly every big name in the industry at the time. The theater was packed and the audience was completely enthralled with the picture from start to finish. Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs went on to gross over $8 million during it’s first year of release- a feat quite remarkable considering the average price for a movie ticket back during this time was only 25 cents. Snow White literally put Walt Disney and his company on the map. In fact, that same year, Walt was given a special Oscar at the annual Academy Awards program for his achievements with Snow White. The film was so successful that Walt was able to move his studio to a much bigger lot in Burbank and Walt Disney Animation was born.

Though he was told he was crazy through the whole thing, Walt had a vision and, like many things in his life, he believed in what he wanted so passionately that he would not let anyone dissuade him. Walt bet everything he had on Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs and as a result he went on to create the world’s premiere animation studio, a studio that still continues to produce industry topping films today.

Disney Classics: Snow Poster from 1937



Short Inspirational Quotes

Welcome to our look at 10 Short Inspirational Quotes from Walt Disney. Walt was never a man short on words. He was always happy to talk about his life, his business and whatever else anyone would want to talk to him about. Something Walt became particularly adept at over his lifetime was being able to turn his trials and tribulations into positive momentum for himself and his business. Lucky for us, Walt was always quick to dispense what he learned and offered up many short inspirational quotes during his lifetime. Collected here are the 10 short quotes we feel are his most inspiring. Have a quote not on our list? Be sure to leave it in the comments section.

Walt Disney Inspirational Figure


10) You can design and create, and build the most wonderful place in the world. But it takes people to make the dream a reality.


9) Laughter is America’s most important export.


8) The more you like yourself, the less you are like anyone else, which makes you unique.


7) We are not trying to entertain the critics. I’ll take my chances with the public.


6) Disneyland is a work of love. We didn’t go into Disneyland just with the idea of making money.


5) You’re dead if you aim only for kids. Adults are only kids grown up, anyway.


4) I only hope that we don’t lose sight of one thing – that it was all started by a mouse.


3) There is more treasure in books than in all the pirate’s loot on Treasure Island.


2) It’s kind of fun to do the impossible.


1) All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them.



Walt Disney Source of InspirationHopefully you find as much inspiration from these 10 quotes as we do. When you study Walt Disney the man, you can’t help but walk away feeling inspired and filled with a strong sense of determinism. Walt wasn’t  going to let anything or anyone stop him from achieving his goals. Though he was met with many hardships and flat out rejections, he didn’t let them dissuade him in anyway. In fact, Walt was fueled by his “failures;” he learnt much more from a failure or mistake than he did with immediate success. What ultimately set Walt Disney apart from his contemporaries was his innate ability to learn and become stronger from his failures. His unwavering determinism to bring about his inner dreams allowed him to craft an empire and fundamentally change the way parents and children have fun together. If there’s one thing to take away from the life of Walt Disney, it’s to make sure you never sell your dreams short- no matter how impossible they might seem. Walt Disney built a career out of making the impossible, possible.

What are some of your biggest dreams in life? What are a few things you’ve longed to achieve? Start planning how to get there now. You owe it to yourself to pursue your greatest passions. Who knows, you could very well redefine your field as Walt Disney did… and even if you don’t achieve that level of success, don’t you you think you at least owe it to yourself to try?

Until next time, keep on dreaming.

Walt Disney Inspirational Figure



Top 5 Walt Disney Quotes

When it comes to creativity, vision and overall optimism, it’s hard to find someone more fitting of those discriptors than Walt Disney. For most of Walt’s career he faced many challenges- whether it was trying to convince the film world that people would pay to see a full length animated feature, or convincing his own family that investing in a theme park would be highly successful, Walt faced each challenge with an upbeat attitude and an unwavering belief in what he was doing. We can definitely draw inspiration and motivation from Walt’s attitude toward business and life in general. Gathered here are the top 5 quotes we believe are his most inspirational. Please enjoy and if you have a favorite Walt Disney quote, be sure to share it in comments below!

5.) “It’s kind of fun to do the impossible”

This was one of Walt’s main credos in all he undertook. He believed that anything he could dream up, no matter how far fetched, was entirely possible to bring to life. Walt thrived on people telling him what he wanted was impossible, it definitely inspired him and pushed him forward. No matter what you’re faced with in life, or you’re wildest dreams, don’t let the naysayers in your life discourage you. Think as Walt and know that with hard work and determination, you can do the impossible.

Walt Disney Quote #5


4.) “I have been up against tough competition all my life. I wouldn’t know how to get along without it”

Walt thrived on competition. Whether it was for his films or later Disneyland, Walt enjoyed taking in the competition, dissecting it and figuring out how he could do it better. Anything we do in life we’ll definitely be faced with competition. It can be very easy to look at strong competition and be discouraged… but think as Walt, don’t look at your competition as competition, look at it as a blueprint to gauge what can be done better. Learn and study your competition and you’ll go far.

Walt Disney Quote #4


3.) “Disneyland will never be completed. It will continue to grow as long as there is imagination left in the world.”

I’m sure most of us have heard this quote before. Disneyland was Walt’s greatest legacy, not to mention his favorite. With Disneyland Walt set out to create something no one had before, a place where parents and children could have fun together. Most theme parks of the day were geared toward children and were very dirty, almost carnival like. Parents wold take their children and sit on benches pretty much the entire time. Walt knew there had to be a better way, and so Disneyland was born. Aside from Walt’s original vision, what has made Disneyland so successful over the years has been it’s tendency to grow and change based on the whims of it’s patrons. Walt knew that in order for Disneyland to be truly successful, it would have to change and adapt to what it’s park visitors wanted. Walt’s philosophy toward Disneyland can be applied to our own undertakings as well. Make sure you listen to those around you, seek advice often and put it into practice. Don’t be afraid to change and bend your ideas as needed- that’s how they stay relevant.

Walt Disney Quote #3


2.) “We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things, because we’re curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.”

What made Walt Disney so successful was his willingness to try new things and risk potential failure. Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs is a perfect example. Critic upon critic told Walt that a full length animated feature would never work. People would be unwilling to pay money to see a feature length cartoon. Walt disagreed and was willing to invest everything he and his company had in order to make Snow White a reality. Had Snow White failed, there would be no Walt Disney Company today. Walt took the ultimate gamble and it paid off in spades. Not only did people come see Snow White in theaters, but it had one of the biggest openings of that year. Draw inspiration from this in what you do in life. Don’t be afraid to take risks. Believe in yourself wholeheartedly and go at whatever you do will full tenacity. Dream big and go after those dreams. If you’re afraid to try then you’ll never know.

Walt Disney Quote #2


1.) “All the adversity I’ve had in my life, all my troubles and obstacles, have strengthened me… You may not realize it when it happens, but a kick in the teeth may be the best thing in the world for you.”

Our number one quote kind of goes in tandem with our number two as well. Walt failed a few times during his career, not everything he tried was met with immediate success- but the important thing was he learned from each failure. In his early days, paricularly, Walt didn’t have it very easy. He was met with a lot of rejection and really didn’t have much money to his name. Through it all though, Walt gained strength and learned from his trials and tribulations. We can’t be afraid to fail. A failure we learn from is never a failure at all. Learn from your mistakes and you’ll go far. Treat each adversity as an opportunity to learn something about yourself. Adversity, if viewed in the right light, strengthens us more than we could possibly imagine. Keep Walt in mind when you face a hardship in life. Take it in, learn from it and apply what you have learned to the next big thing.

Walt Disney Quote #1

More Quotes from Walt Disney

Inspirational        Business        Family        Mickey Mouse        Disneyland