Historical story

Walt Disney:He slept in his office because he had no money - How he was inspired by Mickey Mouse

Nick Rennison's book, "1922 - The Year That Changed the World" , brings the landmark year of '22 back to life by focusing on its special significance. The Ottoman Empire collapsed after six centuries. The British Empire began to crumble. The Soviet Union was founded while Mussolini's Italy was becoming the first fascist state. Greece was plunged into mourning with the Asia Minor Catastrophe. Tutankhamun's tomb came to light, the use of insulin caused a revolution.

On the 320 pages of the publication, you will visit month by month the most important events that marked their time, but also the developments that determined the global reality in the decades that followed.

The NEWS 24/7 secured excerpts from the book published by Dioptra and presents them to you every month.

For the month of May, we are publishing the story of the Laugh-O-Gram Studio (also called Laugh-O-Gram Studios). ).

In the early years of animation, the studio was home to many of the pioneers of animation, brought there by Walt Disney, among them was Ub Iwerks. The company had financial problems and by the end of 1922, Disney was living in his office.

Read the exclusive excerpt from "1922 - The Year That Changed the World":


The Laugh-O-gram Movies

On May 23, an important event in the history of American cinema took place in Kansas City, Missouri, which went largely unnoticed by many people. A young cartoonist founded his first production company, which he called Laugh-O-gram Films. It wasn't an immediate financial success, and its twenty-one-year-old head ended the year living in the Laugh-O-gram office because he couldn't afford more luxurious accommodations. However, he had created a series of short black-and-white films based on well-known fairy tales, starting with Little Red Riding Hood .

The designer's name was Walt Disney.

Disney, although born in Chicago, lived in Kansas City as a child and did not return to his hometown until 1917, when he attended classes at the Chicago Academy of Fine Arts. After a stint in France, where he worked as an ambulance driver for the Red Cross, he returned to Kansas City, intending to pursue a career as a cartoonist. While working at Pesmen and Rubin's art studio, he befriended another young artist, Ab Iwerks, and the two set up their own studio in 1920. This was not profitable, and Disney and Iwerks were forced to join the "Company of Kansas City Motion Picture Advertising," where both became fascinated by the possibilities of the fledgling art of animated motion pictures.

In 1921 Disney approached the Newman Cinema in Kansas City showing a sample of an animated film. The movie director liked what he saw and commissioned the young designer to make a series of animated shorts, to be called Newman's Laugh-O-grams. The following year, Disney used the little money left over from the company he had formed with Ab Iworks, as well as an additional $15,000 from other investors, to form Laugh-O-gram Films. Iwerks and others such as Hugh Harman and Fritz Freeling, who went on to illustrious careers in American animation, collaborated with him on a dozen animated films based on fairy tales. Except Little Red Riding Hood , other surviving works are Puss in Shoes , Cinderella and The four musicians of Bremen . Unfortunately, the contract Disney had signed with Newman's director benefited cinema in general far more than Laugh-O-gram. By the summer of 1923 the company was facing serious financial problems. Disney, carrying the reels of the studio's last film (a combination of live actors and animation entitled Alice's Wonderland ), headed to Hollywood to try his luck there.

In later years, Disney told a story that the inspiration for Mickey Mouse was given to him by a mouse visiting him at the Laugh-O-gram studio. He had put it in a cage on his desk and was very fond of it. “By poking it on the nose with my pencil, I trained it to run within a black circle I drew on my drawing board. When I left Kansas City…I didn't want to leave it behind. So I carefully carried it into a yard, after I had ascertained that the neighborhood there was fine, and the tame little fellow ran to safety.' Five years later, the memories of his pet mouse in Kansas City were the secret behind the creation of the most iconic character in animated history. Regardless of whether Disney's story is true—and it seems more fake than entirely accurate—there's no doubt that the Laugh-O-gram films were important to the trajectory of his own career. Without them, there probably would be no Walt Disney Studios and the American film industry would be very different.

The version description:

1922 was a year of great upheaval.

The events that happened then defined the rest of the twentieth century and in many cases continue to affect us even today, a full hundred years later.

The Ottoman Empire collapsed after six centuries. The British Empire began to shake, from Ireland to India.

New states and new polities emerged. The Soviet Union was founded, while Mussolini's Italy became the first fascist state.

And Greece was plunged into mourning with the Asia Minor Catastrophe...

Tutankhamun's tomb came to light, the use of insulin caused a revolution in medicine. And in Munich a young demagogue named Adolf Hitler was briefly imprisoned...

Nick Rennison's book brings this landmark year back to life, a year that changed the world.

It gives us an idea of ​​what people's lives were like back then – what they sang, which celebrities they admired, what they feared, what they dreamed of – and at the same time unfolds before us the events that shook their daily lives and laid the foundations for the cosmogony that would follow in the turbulent twentieth century.

1922 is not a faded period photo.

It is our life – just before it becomes ours.

According to the famous saying of British author Leslie Poles Hartley, "the past is a foreign country. They do things differently there".

A century later, the events of 1922 still have many and varied effects.

Nick Rennison presents in a way that is enlightening and entertaining at the same time snapshots of a past that is incredible how many similarities it has with today.

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