Talk:Walt Disney

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I just realized that a preliminary edit I had never meant to save had been posted here for about an hour... I had not noticed the fact until I actually saved an acceptable version of what I was working on. The previous version was entirely an accidental post as I played around with some of the options available. There is still much sourcing to do here, and I expect I will be at least a few more hours on it today, and might not complete it. ~ Kalki 15:03, 5 December 2007 (UTC)

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Wikiquote no longer allows unsourced quotations, and they are in process of being removed from our pages (see Wikiquote:Limits on quotations); but if you can provide a reliable and precise source for any quote on this list please move it to Walt Disney. --Antiquary 21:55, 29 January 2009 (UTC)

  • A good ending is vital to a picture, the single most important element, because it is what the audience takes with them out of the theater.
  • Adults are interested if you don't play down to the little 2 or 3 year olds or talk down. I don't believe in talking down to children. I don't believe in talking down to any certain segment. I like to kind of just talk in a general way to the audience. Children are always reaching.
  • All cartoon characters and fables must be exaggeration, caricatures. It is the very nature of fantasy and fable.
    • Variant: All cartoon characters and fables must be exaggeration, caricatures. It is the very nature of a fable.
  • Animation is different from other arts. Its language is the language of caricature. Our most difficult job was to develop the cartoon's unnatural but seemingly natural anatomy for humans and animals.
  • Comedy is fine, but if a story has "heart", the audience is apt to remember it longer.
  • Crowded classrooms and half-day sessions are a tragic waste of our greatest national resource — the minds of our children.
  • Disneyland is not just another amusement park. It's unique, and I want it kept that way. Besides, you don't work for a dollar — you work to create and have fun.
  • Disneyland is the star. Everything else is in the supporting role.
  • Everybody thinks that Disneyland is a gold mine — but we have had our problems. You've got to work it and know how to handle it. Even trying to keep the park clean is a tremendous expense. And those sharp-pencil guys tell you, "Walt, if we cut down on maintenance, we'd save a lot of money." But I don't believe in that — it's like any other show on the road; it must be kept clean and fresh.
  • Everyone has been remarkably influenced by a book, or books. In my case it was a book on cartoon animation. I discovered it in the Kansas City Library at the time I was preparing to make motion-picture animation my life's work. The book told me all I needed to know as a beginner — all about the arts and the mechanics of making drawings that move on the theater screen. From the basic information I could go on to develop my own way of movie storytelling. Finding that book was one of the most important and useful events in my life. It happened at just the right time. The right time for reading a story or an article or a book is important. By trying too hard to read a book that, for our age and understanding, is beyond us, we may tire of it. Then, even after, we'll avoid it and deny ourselves the delights it holds.
  • Everyone needs deadlines. Even the beavers. They loaf around all summer, but when they are faced with the winter deadline, they work like fury. If we didn't have deadlines, we'd stagnate.
  • Fantasia, to me is a whole new opportunity. For my medium it opens up unlimited possibilities. Music has always played a very important part since sound came into the cartoon. Now, the full expression that comes from the new Fantasound opens up a whole new world for us.
  • Fantasy, when properly done in the one medium best adapted to its nature, need never stale for the family taste.
  • Get a good idea and stay with it. Do it, and work at it until it's done right.
  • Give the public everything you can give them, keep the place as clean as you can keep it, keep it friendly — I think they're convinced and I think they'll hang on after — as you say, "after Disney."
  • I do have a special feeling for mice. Mice gathered in my wastebasket when I worked late at night. I lifted them out and kept them in little cages on my desk. One of them was my particular friend. Then before I left Kansas City I carefully carried him out into a field and let him go.
  • I don't like formal gardens. I like wild nature. It's just the wilderness instinct in me, I guess.
  • I don't make films for children. I make films that children aren't embarrassed to take their parents to.
  • I don't pose as an authority on anything at all, I follow the opinions of the ordinary people I meet, and I take pride in the close-knit teamwork within my organization.
  • I don't want the public to see the world they live in while they're in the Park. I want to feel they're in another world.
  • I first saw the site for Disneyland back in 1953, In those days it was all flat land — no rivers, no mountains, no castles or rocket ships — just orange groves, and a few acres of walnut trees.
  • I go right straight out for the adult. As I say, for the honest adult. Not the sophisticates. Not these characters that think they know everything and you can't thrill them anymore. I go for those people that retain that something, you know, no matter how old they are; that little spirit of adventure, that appreciation of the world of fantasy and things like that. I go for them. I play to them. There's a lot of them. You know?
  • I happen to be a kind of inquisitive guy and when I see things I don't like, I start thinking why do they have to be like this and how can I improve them?
  • I have a great love of animals and laughter.
  • I have been up against tough competition all my life. I wouldn't know how to get along without it.
  • I have more latitude in television than I ever had before. If I had an idea for something, I had to then go and try to sell it to the distributors, to the theater men, and everyone else. With television, I just get my gang together and we say we think that will be something interesting — let's do it. And I go direct to that public.
  • I have no use for people who throw their weight around as celebrities, or for those who fawn over you just because you are famous.
  • I just want to leave you with thought, that it's just been sort of a dress rehearsal and we're just getting started. So if any of you start resting on your laurels, I mean just forget it, because… we are just getting started.
  • I know different ways of looking at things. I have my stockholders, and I feel a very keen responsibility to the shareholders, but I feel that the main responsibility I have to them is to have the stock appreciate. And you only have it appreciate by reinvesting as much as you can back in the business. And that's what we've done… and that has been my philosophy on running the business.
  • I met a guy on the train when I was comin' out. It was one of those things that kind of makes you mad. I was out on the platform — I was in pants and coat that didn't match but I was riding first class. I was making conversation with a guy who asked me, "Goin' to California?" "Yeah, I'm goin' out there." "What business are you in?" I said "The motion-picture business." "What do you do?" I said "I make animated cartoons." "Oh" "It was like saying I sweep latrines." "Some people make you mad, and you want to prove something to them even though they mean nothing to you. I thought of that guy... when we had the premiere of Snow White.
  • I never called my work an "art" It's part of show business, the business of building entertainment.
  • I remember when we opened... we didn't have enough money to finish the landscaping and I had Bill Evans go out and put the Latin tags on all of the weeds...
  • I started, actually, to make my first animated cartoon in 1920. Of course, they were very crude things then and I used sort of little puppet things.
  • I suppose my formula might be: dream, diversify and never miss an angle.
  • I take great pride in the artistic development of cartoons. Our characters are made to go through emotions which a few short years ago would have seemed impossible to secure with a cartoon character. Some of the action produced in the finished cartoon of today is more graceful than anything possible for a human to do.
  • I try to build a full personality for each of our cartoon characters — to make them personalities.
  • I want people to graduate from there really able to do things. I don't want a lot of theorists. I want to have a school that turns out people that know all the facts of filmaking, I want them to be capable of doing anything needed to make a film — photograph it, direct it, design it, animate it, record it, whatever. That's what I want. Heck, I've hired theorists, and they don't have any knowledge I can use. I want to have everyone in that school come out capable of going in and doing a job. These dilettantes who come out with pseudo-knowledge, they give me a pain. I want it so if an actor is needed, they can get an actor right out of school. If a musician is needed, they can go to the music department and find a musicians who can compose music. **On CALarts (California Institute of the Arts)
  • I was doing Sorcerer's Apprentice with Mickey Mouse and I happened to have dinner on night with Leopold Stokowski. And Stokowski said, "Oh, I'd love to conduct that for you." ... Well, that led to not only doing this one little short subject but it got us involved to where I did all of Fantasia and before I knew it I ended up spending four hundred and some thousand dollars getting music with Stokowski. But we were in then and it was the point of no return. We went ahead and made it.
  • I would rather entertain and hope that people learned something than educate people and hope they were entertained.
  • I'm doing this because I want to do it better.
  • I've always maintained that you can't just coast, if you do, you go backwards. It's just a slow way of liquidating... Let's do anything to get some action, you see?
  • I've always said that there will never be another Disneyland, and I think it's going to work out that way. But it will be the equivalent of Disneyland. We know the basic things that have family appeal. There are many ways that you can use those certain basic things and give them a new decor, a new treatment. This concept here will have to be something that is unique, so there is a distinction between Disneyland in California and whatever Disney does in Florida.
  • I've never believed in doing sequels. I didn't want to waste the time I have doing a sequel; I'd rather be using that time doing something new and different.
  • Ideas come from curiosity.
  • If certain events continue, much of America's natural beauty will become nothing more than a memory. The natural beauty of America is a treasure found nowhere else in the world. Our forests, waters, grasslands and wildlife must be wisely protected and used. I urge all citizens to join the effort to save America's natural beauty... it's our America — do something to preserve its beauty, strength and natural wealth.
  • If I were a fatalist, or a mystic, which I decidedly am not, it might be appropriate to say I believe in my lucky star. But I reject "luck" — I feel every person creates his own "determinism" by discovering his best aptitudes and following them undeviatingly.
  • If the audience is conscious of the music during the screening of a picture (not a musical), it is over-written. Music should augment the story, not take over.
  • If we are to have a true and honest culture, we must be aware of the self-appointed tyrant who puts a fence around painting or art or music or literature and shouts "This is my preserve. Think as I do or keep out."
  • In learning the art of storytelling by animation, I have discovered that language has an anatomy. Every spoken word, whether uttered by a living person or by a cartoon character, has its facial grimace, emphasizing the meaning.
  • In my view, wholesome pleasure, sport, and recreation are as vital to this nation as productive work and should have a large share in the national budget.
  • In order to make good in your chosen task, it's important to have someone you want to do it for. The greatest moments in life are not concerned with selfish achievements but rather with the things we do for people we love and esteem, and whose respect we need.
  • In planning a new picture, we don't think of grownups and we don't think of children, but just of that fine, clean, unspoiled spot down deep in every one of us that maybe the world has made us forget...
  • In this volatile business of ours, we can ill afford to rest on our laurels, even to pause in retrospect. Times and conditions change so rapidly that we must keep our aim constantly focused on the future.
  • Inside every sophisticated grownup adult is a little kid just dying to get out.
  • It is good to have a failure while you're young because it teaches you so much. For one thing it makes you aware that such a thing can happen to anybody, and once you've lived through the worst, you're never quite as vulnerable afterward.
  • It's like the city of tomorrow ought to be. A city that caters to the people as a service function. It will be a planned, controlled community, a showcase for American industry and research, schools, cultural and educational opportunities.
  • It's no secret that we were sticking just about every nickel we had on the chance that people would really be interested in something totally new and unique in the field of entertainment.
  • It's something that will never be finished. Something that I can keep developing... and adding to.
    • On Disneyland
  • Money is something I understand only vaguely, and I think about it only when I don't have enough to finance my current enthusiasm, whatever it may be. All I know about money is that I have to have it to do things. I don't want to bank my dividends, I'd rather keep my money working.... Money — or, rather the lack of it to carry out my ideas — may worry me, but it does not excite me. Ideas excite me.
  • More than ever, I believe in the permanence of any well-founded institution which recognizes and caters to the basic needs of the people, spiritually as well as materially. And in my opinion, entertainment in its broadest sense has become a necessity rather than a luxury in the life of the American public.
  • Movies can and do have tremendous influence in shaping young lives in the realm of entertainment towards the ideals and objectives of normal adulthood.
  • My biggest problem? Well, I'd say it's been my biggest problem all my life. Money. It takes a lot of money to make these dreams come true. From the very start it was a problem. Getting the money to open Disneyland. About seventeen million, it took. And we had everything mortgaged, including my family. But we were able to get it open and in the ten or eleven years now we have been pouring more money back in. In other words, like the old farmer, you have to pour it back into the ground if you want it to grow. That's my brother's philosophy and mine, too.
  • My brother called and said that we owed the bank four and one half million dollars. And I began to laugh. And he said, "What are you laughin' at?" And I said, "I was just thinking back when we couldn't borrow a thousand dollars."
  • My role? Well, you know I was stumped one day when a little boy asked, "Do you draw Mickey Mouse?" I had to admit I do not draw anymore. "Then you think up all the jokes and ideas?" "No," I said, "I don"t do that." Finally, he looked at me and said, "Mr. Disney, just what do you do?" "Well," I said, sometimes I think of myself as a little bee. I go from one area of the Studio to another and gather pollen and sort of stimulate everybody. I guess that's the job I do."
  • No one person can take credit for the success of a motion picture. It's strictly a team effort. From the time the story is written to the time the final release print comes off the printer, hundreds of people are involved — each one doing a job — each job contributing to the final product. And — if the picture wins an award, the feeling of satisfaction... can rightfully be shared by each and everyone.
  • Now, when we opened Disneyland, outer space was Buck Rogers. I did put in a trip to the moon....and, of course, we were going up to the moon long before Sputnik. And since then has come Sputnik and then has come our great program in outer space. So I had to tear down my Tomorrowland that I built 11 years ago and rebuild it to keep pace.
  • Of all of our inventions for mass communication, pictures still speak the most universally understood language.
    • Variant: Of all our inventions for mass communication, pictures still speak the most universally understood language.
  • Of all the things I have done, the most vital is coordinating the talents of those who work for us and pointing them towards a certain goal.
  • Other parks can have parades, they can have bands and thrill rides, and all that kind of stuff. But we have the Disney characters. Don't you realize how much they mean to people? A family comes into the park and they see one of our characters and they immediately have their child run over. They get their camera out and they take pictures of their little kids with Mickey or Minnie or Goofy or whoever happens to be there at the time. This is what people enjoy and this is what is important to us.
  • Our contribution to television is entertainment, created without deviation from our conception of what entertainment should be.
  • Our greatest natural resource is the minds of our children.
  • Our heritage and ideals, our code and standards — the things we live by and teach our children — are preserved or diminished by how freely we exchange ideas and feelings.
  • People are always analyzing our approach to entertainment. Some reporters have called it the 'Special Secret' of Disney entertainment. Well, we like a little mystery in our films, but there's really no secret about our approach. We're interested in doing things that are fun — in bringing pleasure and especially laughter to people. And we have never lost our faith in family entertainment — stories that make people laugh, stories about warm and human things, stories about historic characters and events, and stories about animals.
  • People look at you and me to see what they are supposed to be. And, if we don't disappoint them, maybe, just maybe, they won't disappoint us.
  • People spend money when and where they feel good.
  • People still think of me as a cartoonist, but the only thing I lift a pen or pencil for these days is to sign a contract, a check, or an autograph.
  • People who have worked with me say I am "innocence in action". They say I have the innocence and unself-consciousness of a child. Maybe I have. I still look at the world with uncontaminated wonder, and with all living things I have a terrific sympathy. It was the most natural thing in the world for me to imagine that mice and squirrels might have feelings just like mine.
  • Physical America — the land itself — should be as dear to us all as our political heritage and our treasured way of life. Its preservation and the wise conservation of its renewable resources concerns every man, woman and child whose possession it is.
  • Sheer animated fantasy is still my first and deepest production impulse. The fable is the best storytelling device ever conceived, and the screen is its best medium.
  • Since the beginning of mankind, the fable-tellers have not only given us entertainment but a kind of wisdom, humor, and understanding that, like all true art, remains imperishable through the ages.
  • Somehow I can't believe there are any heights that can't be scaled by a man who knows the secret of making dreams come true. This special secret, it seems to me, can be summarized in four C's. They are Curiosity, Confidence, Courage, and Constancy — and the greatest of these is Confidence. When you believe a thing, believe it all the way, implicitly and unquestionably.
  • That place is my baby and I would prostitute myself for it.
    • On Disneyland.
  • The era we are living in today is a dream coming true.
  • The important thing is the family. If you can keep the family together — and that's the backbone of our whole business, catering to families — that's what we hope to do.
  • The inclination of my life — the motto, you might call it — has been to do 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.
  • The kind of entertainment we create is meant to appeal to every member of the family.
  • The life and ventures of Mickey Mouse have been closely bound up with my own personal and professional life. It is understandable that I should have sentimental attachment for the little personage who played so big a part in the course of Disney Productions and has been so happily accepted as an amusing friend wherever films are shown around the world. He still speaks for me and I still speak for him.
  • The medium of animated film is perhaps the most flexible, versatile, and stimulating of all teaching faculties.
  • The opportunities are still there.
  • The public has been my friend. The public discovered Mickey Mouse before the critics and before the theatrical people. It was only after the public discovered it, did the theatrical people become interested in it; and did the critics become interested. Up to that time, the critic wouldn't have bothered using any space, you see? So it all comes down that newspapers and people who write for newspapers are only interested in people after the public is interested. The key to it is the public.
  • The way I see it, my park will never be finished. It's something I can keep developing and adding to. A movie is different. Once I've wrapped it up and have turned it over to Technicolor to be processed, I'm through with it. As far as I'm concerned the picture I've finished a few weeks ago is done. There may be things I don't like, but if there are I can't do anything about them. I've always wanted to work on something alive, something that keeps growing. I've got that in Disneyland, even the trees will grow and be more beautiful every year.
  • The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing.
  • There are fashions in reading, even in thinking. You don't have to follow them unless you want to. On the other hand, watch out! Don't stick too closely to your favorite subject. That would keep you from adventuring into other fields. It's silly to build a wall around your interests.
  • There is a big, exciting period ahead of us, and I say it's television. Television is an open sesame to many things. I don't have to worry about going out and selling the theater man. I mean, I go right to the audience. I have a chance by getting there twenty-six times every year. I have a chance to have a pretty good batting average and not have to get in a rut.
  • There is great comfort and inspiration in the feeling of close human relationships and its bearing on our mutual fortunes — a powerful force, to overcome the "tough breaks" which are certain to come to most of us from time to time.
  • There is more treasure in books than in all the pirates' loot on Treasure Island and at the bottom of the Spanish Main... and best of all, you can enjoy these riches every day of your life.
  • There's nothing funnier than the human animal.
  • Think beyond your lifetime, if you want to do something truly great. Make a fifty-year master plan. A fifty-year master plan will change how you look at the opportunities in the present.
  • This proves that you're not infallible... Well, nobody is. Whoever thinks they're infallible is gonna really fall into a big hole some day. I've fallen into holes and I will watch out for them now, and I don't fall in as deep as I used to. But, I mean, I've been in some big holes — but I climbed out.
  • To some people, I am a kind of Merlin who takes lots of crazy chances, but rarely makes mistakes. I've made some bad ones, but fortunately, the successes have come along fast enough to cover up the mistakes. When you go to bat as many times as I do, you're bound to get a good average. That's why I keep my projects diversified.
  • To the youngsters of today, I say "Believe in the future, the world is getting better; there still is plenty of opportunity." Why, would you believe it, when I was a kid I thought it was already too late for me to make good at anything.
  • To think six years ahead — even two or three — in this business of making animated cartoon features, it takes calculated risk and much more than blind faith in the future of theatrical motion pictures. I see motion pictures as a family-founded institution closely related to the life and labor of millions of people. Entertainment such as our business provides has become a necessity, not a luxury. Curiously, it is the part which offers us the greatest reassurance about the future in the animation field.
  • Togetherness, for me, means teamwork. In my business of motion pictures and television entertainment, many minds and skillful hands must collaborate.... The work seeks to comprehend the spiritual and material needs and yearnings of gregarious humanity. It makes us reflect how completely dependent we are upon one another in our social and commercial life. The more diversified our labors and interest have become in the modern world, the more surely we need to integrate our efforts to justify our individual selves and our civilization.
  • We believed in our idea — a family park where parents and children could have fun — together.
  • We can learn a lot from nature in action.
  • We felt that the public, and especially the children, like animals that are cute and little. I think we are rather indebted to Charlie Chaplin for the idea. We wanted something appealing, and we thought of a tiny bit of a mouse that would have something of the wistfulness of Chaplin — a little fellow trying to do the best he could.
  • We get advance reactions to our movies at previews and if the women's reaction is good, I feel fine. If it is adverse, I begin to worry. I feel women are more honest about this than men. The men are more sentimental in one way — that is, they will sit there with tears streaming down their faces and will then come out and say "Mfff." They won't admit it, because they are more cynical or shy or think it unmanly to show their sentiment. But the children, of course, are the most honest of all.
  • We have always tried to be guided by the basic idea that, in the discovery of knowledge, there is great entertainment — as, conversely, in all good entertainment there is always some grain of wisdom, humanity, or enlightenment to be gained.
  • We have created characters and animated them in the dimension of depth, revealing through them to our perturbed world that the things we have in common far outnumber and outweigh those that divide us.
  • We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things, because we're curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths. We're always exploring and experimenting.
  • Whatever we accomplish is due to the combined effort. The organization must be with you or you don't get it done... In my organization there is respect for every individual, and we all have a keen respect for the public.
  • When people laugh at Mickey Mouse, it's because he's so human; and that is the secret of his popularity.
  • When they come here they're coming because of an integrity that we've established over the years. And they drive for hundreds of miles. I feel a responsibility to the public.
  • When we consider a project, we really study it — not just the surface idea, but everything about it. And when we go into that new project, we believe in it all the way. We have confidence in our ability to do it right. And we work hard to do the best possible job.
  • When we opened Disneyland, a lot of people got the impressions that it was a get-rich-quick thing, but they didn't realize that behind Disneyland was this great organization that I built here at the Studio, and they all got into it and we were doing it because we loved to do it... We did it, in the knowledge that most of the people I talked to thought it would be a financial disaster — closed and forgotten within the first year.
  • When you're curious, you find lots of interesting things to do. And one thing it takes to accomplish something is courage.
  • Whenever I go on a ride, I'm always thinking of what's wrong with the thing and how it can be improved.
  • Why do we have to grow up? I know more adults who have the children's approach to life. They're people who don't give a hang what the Joneses do. You see them at Disneyland every time you go there. They are not afraid to be delighted with simple pleasures, and they have a degree of contentment with what life has brought — sometimes it isn't much, either.
  • You can design and create, and build the most wonderful place in the world. But it takes people to make the dream a reality.
  • You reach a point where you don't work for money.
  • You're dead if you aim only for kids. Adults are only kids grown up, anyway.