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The Walt Disney Company has had a great impact on the American culture for close to a century. Currently, it is viewed as the largest entertainment and Media Company in terms of revenue. Originally the Disney Brothers Cartoon Studio as founded in 1923 by Walt and Roy Disney, it has grown to incorporate other diverse fields such as television, travel and live films. However, the most notable industry it has had the largest impact on is the American Animation with the most popular of its productions being Mickey Mouse.
The Disney Corporation's impact in the United States can be analyzed through sound, animation, theme parks, cal arts and television. In 1928, Steamboat Willie, a cartoon starring arguably the most popular cartoon character Mickey Mouse, was launched. It had synchronized sound which was created by Pat Powers via the Cinephone System. This cartoon largely premiered in then famous theatres such as B. S. Moss's Colony Theater which is now the Broadway Theatre in New York.
The first animated film, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs was created by Walt Disney. This production therefore revolutionalised the animation industry and was greatly popular for its originality. This consequently earned him the Academy Award. The Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs was a feature-length film based on the fairy tale written by the Grimm Brothers and was released in 1934. By 1939, it was the highest-grossing film. This film served to usher a new dimension into the industry. Further profits earned from it served in construction of new Walt Disney Studios in California which boosted the already expanding California film industry. In 1940, the company had grown to a capacity that enabled it to issue an initial public offering (IPO). Other notable short animated films produced under the new studios are Pinocchio and Fantasia in 1940; Dumbo in 1941 and Bambi in 1942.
The impact of the Walt Disney Studios in spreading propaganda in the Second World War cannot be ignored. With profits declining, many of the Company's animators were drafted into use by the armed forces and the studios were used to produce training films and propaganda productions such as the award winning Der Fuehrer's Face in 1943. Other films released throughout this period such as the Education for Death and Victory through Air Power were instrumental in galvanizing public support. Basically, Americans associated these films with the character Donald Duck as depicted in several comical propaganda films. This was however useful in keeping the company afloat in the lean time of the war.
The Disney Corporation's resurgence into the media industry can largely be attributed to Alex Seropian. The founder of Wide load, Alex Seropian, was hired by the Disney Company to become the vice president with the Disney interactive. Disney viewed him as an employee who not only had great talent but also had a great imagination and an ability to breathe life into his imagination. The original creativity of Alex has done much in building his reputation. He has helped in the exceptional design, turning the great story telling and has also polished the game play to the killer app for the Xbox. Disney acquired the Marvel Company whose characters include iron man, spider man, x-man, the fantastic four and the captain America. This acquisition of marvel combined with the creativity of Disney's has resulted to creative skills, the global portfolio of family entertainment and other franchises and business structures that has maximized the value of creativity across the multiple platforms and territories.
Disney has embarked on the pursuance of joint ventures and the expansion of the media business. At the end of the month of August, the Disney-ABC television group with the company of the Hearst Corporation and the NBC universal acquired the A&E television network and its lifetime entertainment services subsidiary. This television station is known for catering for the women social issues and the development of popular television series including the project runway, the drop dead diva and the Army wives.
This agreement upon its closure will be useful in the consolidation of the three national top cable networks under the single management while at the same time preserving the distinct brand identities for each network. The company will be in addition be the global media content company which will reach over 250 million people from their homes internationally in more than 140 countries in the world. There is a global economic crisis but this has not affected the profitability of Disney.
Looking at the history of Disney, he started with short cartoons. He then went into the full length movies which were animated; later on he made films with other actors. At that historic time, he was not the first person to make short animated films. He however created characters that were outstanding and the audience he was targeting to influence was different from his competitors. With his full length animated films he was able to reach out to a whole new family market. The quality of his films was quite high and it still outstands even to date. This high quality in the production of the early films made them highly popular with the viewers. He released his first full length film, Snow White, in the year 1934. The plan was to finish this project in 18 months at an average cost of $250,000. It however took 5 years at a cost of $1.7 million. To the end of the year 1960, the film had earned $22 million. Further, the nature of these films is quite timeless since they appeal to every person from the young to the old. The Disney Corporation first released movies such as snow white and Fantasia in 1940 which are still popular and profitable up to date. The nature films and the live action films from Disney's also appealed the large family market. The Television which is the mass media vehicle encouraged Disney to extend its message to the individual homes.
The major reason why Disney went into television was because his brother could not agree to finance him in building his own theme parks from the company account. The NBC and the CBS were reluctant to hosting the shows since they were quite different from the regular shows they did. ABC however accepted the shows. It was rated third and would do anything to increase the share of its audience. Disney did produce weekly 1 hr shows that were incredible and successful. Each of this shows promoted the Disney land and Disney shows. The money earned was used to implement the next idea which was the theme parks.
Some of the things that made Disney different from all the other competitors were the incorporation of Disney characters, the nice restaurants and the new and different rides in the fantasy land. Another different thing was the size of Disney's theme parks. In the fields of Chicago, it is possible to go round the rides in a single day but the area of operation of Walt Disney world was as big as the whole of San Francisco. The world of Disney consists of magical kingdoms, typhoon lagoon (the water park), the pleasure island or the night looking entertainment, the Epcot and the nature preserve.
In conclusion Walt Disney has not only largely impacted on the family entertainment but also on the entertainment industry. Disney enacted some of the earliest changes in the 1920 when he used the weapon of the mass media moving pictures for the short films that were animated. He ended with the television programs, the full length high technology animated films and the parks which were an amusement to the families.