As a pioneering studio of animation, Disney has one of the most fascinating legacies of any major Hollywood landmark. Vestiges of the early days provide a revealing snapshot of what life was like for Walt and co. back in the day, and you can really get a taste of what the burgeoning industry offered people at the time.
The blog Insightful Travels & Tours recently unearthed "The Ropes at Disney," a training manual for Walt Disney Studio employees from 1943. At that time, the operation was partially run by the United States military, and Walt had agreed to use his resources to create training films for soldiers.
Check out the manual below, and decide if you could have handled working under the mouse back in the day!
Mickey, Goofy, and Donald welcome new employees to the fold
"Going fishing" was a common reason to call in sick
And women got double the amount of sick leave as male employees.
It's pretty unreal that the official worker's handbook looks like a children's book
But that definitely makes it more readable!
Most things look pretty standard
Just with a total lack of digital technology.
The policies were understandably strict
Disney definitely didn't want just anyone walking onto his lot.
Quick safety tip: be sure to have a friend on a pillow catch you when sliding down a handrail
You heard it here first.
As someone who used to work in the mailroom, I appreciate this humble request
Hal Adelquist, the artist mentioned here, actually had a pretty sad life after leaving Disney. He ended up as a homeless panhandler in Manhattan, despite working for Disney (with this very handbook) for 23 years.
Some had to walk the tightrope of employment
I'm surprised they couldn't find a more appealing word than "discharge."
This is the happiest image I've ever seen associated with the word "termination"
Just a friendly goodbye before lassoing the stork!
You see throughout the guide a concern with World War II
In 1943, the United States was extremely involved in the war effort, and you can see how drastically that affected daily life at the time, even for citizens not in service.
Don't forget your "Off the Lot Pass"
Or an angry rectangle might just be forced to break out his bayonet.
Even back then, Southern California had a notorious traffic problem
Somehow, I find that oddly comforting.
Poor Aunt Mary and Uncle John
Luckily, lot tours have become much more popular these days.
All employees were welcome to enjoy the onsite restaurant
But only men were permitted at the Penthouse Club.
The last item is a call to avoid inefficiency and wastefulness
Which clearly worked out for them, considering Disney has since grown into one of the largest and most powerful media companies in the world.
All in all, it seemed like a pretty good place to work for the time period!
Especially with the added perk of seeing Donald Duck fly totally off the handle every now and then.