The name "Walt Disney" or just "Disney" in general has essentially become synonymous with the term "movie magic." But what do you really know about the man behind the mouse? Can you see past the colorful stories and know the core of their creator? Or are you one of those shallow types that merely thinks they know about Walt Disney because they can sit through Bambi or The Lion King without shedding a single tear? Below is a list of questions about Walt Disney to see how much you really know about the man who gave us Mickey.
In 'Saving Mr. Banks' Walt Disney says he was a newspaper boy when he was younger. Fact or myth?
Fact! Walt Disney really did have a paper route that he worked for his father, Elias Disney.
Rumor says that when Walt Disney died, his body was cryogenically frozen. Fact or myth?
Myth! While it was popularly believed that Walt's body was cryogenically frozen, he was in fact cremated and his ashes buried in Glendale, California's Forest Lawn Memorial Park. The first cryogenic experiment with humans came two months after Walt's death. His daughter Diane was quoted as saying, "There is absolutely no truth to the rumor that my father, Walt Disney, wished to be frozen. I doubt my father had ever heard of cryonics.”
Walt originally named Mickey Mouse "Mortimer." Fact or myth?
Fact! Walt did indeed name the beloved Mickey Mouse "Mortimer"! However, fortunately for the millions of fans since then, his wife Lillian told him that the name Mortimer sounded "pompous" and suggested changing the name to Mickey instead. Interestly, Mortimer Mouse later became the name of Mickey's rival for the affection of Minnie Mouse!
Walt Disney never actually drew Mickey Mouse or the famous Disney signature. Fact or myth?
Fact! Surprising as it may be, Walt did the original concept sketches for Mickey Mouse, but the design we all know and love today was actually the work of Disney animator Ub Iwerks. The famous "Disney signature" that has been the company's logo for many years, is in fact not Walt Disney's signature at all, but a stylized version of it! His real signature was reputedly much less interesting and intricate. In fact, there are some sources that say Walt couldn't even reproduce the famous signature when he tried!
Walt Disney's last written words were "Kurt Russell." Fact or myth?
Fact! The last words Disney ever wrote were in fact "Kurt Russell," the name of a popular actor. Interestingly, no one seems to know why this would have been the last thing Disney wrote. During a 2007 interview, the actor himself was quoted as saying, "It's true. I don't know what to make of that. I was taken into his office one time after he died and I was shown that."
When Walt proposed 'Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs' as a full-length animated film, the studio execs loved the idea. Fact or myth?
Myth! As it turns out, the other Disney executives thought it would destroy the company and dubbed the movie "Disney's Folly." However, 1.6 billion box office dollars later, they were singing a very different tune. "Disney's Folly" indeed.
Walt Disney's animatronics 'It's a Small World' and 'Great Moments with President Lincoln' first debuted in Disneyland. Fact or myth?
Myth! The animatronics were in fact first exhibited at the 1964 World's Fair. The two exhibits were surprisingly more popular than most of the other exhibits at the Fair, which included many types of pre-Space-Age technology, and notably, the first IBM computer.
Walt Disney's apartment in Disneyland, where he often worked so he could watch his dream come to life, still exists. Fact or myth?
Fact! The small but fully-functional apartment does indeed still exist above the firehouse on Disneyland's Main Street! Walt is said to have loved the apartment because from it, he could watch guests enjoy his creation. Interestingly, there exists only one photo of him inside the apartment, which was taken for an article in National Geographic. Some of the papers Walt was last working on have been left on his desk, but most of the original furniture has been worn out and replaced with replicas.