Friday, April 4, 2014

True Heroes: Dare to Dream, or the infamous "D"

True heroes are all around us, in our every day lives, but some people stand out. During this A-Z Challenge I hope to share several of my real life heroes, and invite you to share yours in the comments.

One of my favorite bits of advice from my teenagedom was "Dare to dream," and when you put that idea together with the fact we live in Florida, there's really only one option for D.

isney, Walt: Here's an extreme risk taker who believed so hard in his dreams that he risked EVERYTHING, and ended up leaving a family legacy for the world.

Walt dropped out of school at 16 and went to work for the Red Cross in France. Upon returning, he tried to find a career as a newspaper cartoonist, but no one would hire him. His brother got him a job at the bank, and he started creating ads for them. When he quit, he and a colleague tried to start their own commercial company.

And failed.

He didn't give up though. He got another job, built connections, and started a "hobby" studio for animation with a friend in their off time. Innovating the cartooning process, he moved into cell cartooning rather than cut out cartooning and landed a deal with a local theater.

Success!

He was able to start his own studio full time, that eventually failed in bankruptcy. Fail #2.

Did he quit? No. He sold what little he could and relocated to Hollywood where he formed yet another studio, going into business with this brother. Finally some success...

Until a New York studio stole his workers and intellectual rights for Oswald the Lucky Rabbit right out from under him. Ah, the legal system...

That would have taken me out of the game, but you know Walt. He didn't quit. He picked up a pencil and created his greatest success and lasting legacy: Mickey Mouse. Finally this inspiring entrepreneur got his feet under him. And then the biggest decision of his career: Snow White.

He mortgaged everything. The world was betting against him. He was literally living off his last pennies when the movie hit the silver screen, and blew the world away.

Did Walt stop there? No. Classic after classic, and then if that wasn't enough, an amusement park! Then another one, including an experimental futuristic community (EPCOT--which he never got to finish). Every endeavor was another huge risk, and as he tells his own story, he expected to lose his shirt with each one. This guy was a visionary and I hear his courage and determination every time someone sings, "No matter how you heart is dreaming, if you keep on believing, the dream that you wish will come true."




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Who inspires you to take risks? Do you like Disney? What's your favorite Disney produced movie?

120 comments:

  1. Sometimes DisneyWorld etc gets knocked down for being too commercial, but when you look beyond that to the dreams and vision behind it, whew! It really is amazing.

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    1. Agreed. We can't spend too much time in the parks, unless it's 90+ degrees and the peek of tourist season. ;)

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    2. Interesting to imagine a world where there is no mega-theme park that is such a destination for kids and families. And no Disney movies. There would be no Frozen!

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    3. I know! That would be insane, right?

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  2. I love that song -- A Dream is a Wish Your Heart Makes! It's timeless.

    It's a good thing Walt pursued his dreams. Without his perseverance, we won't enjoy all those wonderful Disney movies.

    I'm a huge fan of Disney. :-)

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    1. I know! Can you imagine our world without Disney?

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  3. I love Disney films, but I do think the fact they keep pushing the limits on copyright and trademarks is going to be damaging in the end. They also make the Marvel movies now and Star Wars, so I have to love them :). I think one of the Marvel movies has to be my favourite, but I can't say which one, I love too many of them.
    Tasha
    Tasha's Thinkings - AtoZ (Vampires)

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    1. Modern day Disney is so different from the way it's founder envisioned it. I think Walt would turn over in his grave if he could see some of the ways it's changed.

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  4. What an inspiring story. And I totally agree with Madeline about Disney.

    Happy Friday, Crystal!

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  5. That's a great story. It shows that you should never give up on your dreams.

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  6. So inspiring!! He is proof that perseverance pays off :)

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    1. For sure. The only way to fail is to quit trying.

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  7. I LOVE Disney. Call it commercial, call it whatever but you are right. It all started with a dream and his dream and story is pure inspiration.
    Good luck with the rest of the challenge.
    doreenmcgettigan.com

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  8. Such an inspiring story. Just goes to show that if you really have a passion that enthusiasm can't be killed.

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    1. It's true. Eventually that love will win out.

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  9. Walt Disney was certainly an inspiration! I don't know if I would have kept going against all those odds.

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  10. What an inspiring person. I didn't know much about him until I saw Saving Mr. Banks, but I had an all new respect for him after that movie. Can you imaging being on this earth for one lifetime and touching so many generations after you're gone, the way he has?

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  11. When you love something with all your heart and really believe in it, you are willing to risk everything. I hope we all find something like that in our lives.

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    1. Agreed. It will make life so much more amazing.

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  12. Great post and is a reminder to everyone that Dreams can come true! Disney definitely left a legacy behind! I just read a piece about Walt Disney that showed his garage where he first started working out of. We can learn a lot from him. Definitely a great D post on Dare to Dream!

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    1. I remember watching him on TV when he talked about his cartoons and encouraged moral behavior. He was something special, you know?

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  13. Hundred and One Dalmatians was the first movie I saw in the theater. I think people forget what a marvel Bambi and Snow White were. Walt Disney was my idol when I was a kid.

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  14. What an inspiring post. Great information, too.
    I'm looking forward to reading your book after April.

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    1. Yay! I'm looking forward to you reading it too, Debi. =)

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  15. Wow! What a story! I had no idea! Very inspiring....

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    1. The things you learn from living next door to the happiest place on earth...

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  16. I didn't realize how many times Disney failed before he finally reached success. Too often, we only see the success--we never hear about all the setbacks along the way. Very inspiring post!

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    1. I agree. We need to know about the failures along the way.

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  17. I had no idea Disney's past was so interesting! Thanks for sharing! :)

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  18. Walt Disney!!! You certainly know how to pick the best person for each letter, Crystal. Walt has inspired as all with his legacy. If he hadn't pushed through his failures, our world would be a dark and bleak place.

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    1. *bows* I'll take that compliment for its full worth. ;)

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  19. Such an incredible guy. Great post! :)

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  20. It is amazing. People like him and Rowling really inspire me and push me forward.

    Brandon Ax: Writer's Storm

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  21. His courage and persistence is so admirable, as is that of his wife.

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    1. I know! The fact that she stood beside him through all those losses... She must be something extra special.

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  22. Walt Disney always inspires me with his determination and his creative magic.

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  23. The things you learn ... I think "Aladdin" was the first movie I ever saw in movie theatres, when I was fairly old, since we lived in the far North of Canada when I was younger. "The Lion King" remains the movie I've seen the most times -- though it's not even my favourite! I was just the right age when it came out to be taken as the token child by every adult in the vicinity. (I saw it nine times in the theatre and at least 26 times on video before I stopped counting.) I think I might like "101 Dalmations" and "Beauty and the Beast" best. -- Victoria

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    1. I remember when Beauty and the Beast came out, and everyone was blown away by the beauty of the animation because it was the first time they'd integrated CG into cartooning. Dad was blown away by it.

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  24. What an inspiring story. My grandpa has always inspired me. He was such a hard worker. I always loved Cinderella as a kid and I used to sing "A Dream is a Wish Your Heart Makes" all the time. :)

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  25. I had no idea he had such a history! You're really good at this True Heroes bit. I'm learning so much.

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  26. Crystal, thank your for this. I'm a dreamer and love reading about dreams that came true for those who never gave up. Walt Disney was an amazing man, and we can all learn from his story. I'm listening to the song now and sighing with enjoyment :)
    Shells–Tales–Sails

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    1. So glad I was able to help pick your day up a bit. =)

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  27. He was certainly a man who wouldn't quit.
    Did you see Saving Mr. Banks?

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    1. No, but I need to. Of course, I need to do a number of things.

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  28. I love hearing about artists(or anyone, really) who pioneered their own path, their own way, and in spite of the naysayers. Makes my day.

    The Immarcescible Word

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    1. Seconded. We have to realize the dream is doable, even with the odds, eh?

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    1. One that has been passed for generations.

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  30. He's an awesome example of someone who kept getting back up after being knocked down. His legacy lives on and grows each year because of his perseverance. We can learn a lot from his example!

    River Fairchild – A to Z April Challenge
    Untethered Realms

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  31. What a marvelous inspiration!! And you proved me right...every failure and set back we have just makes our story more exciting in the end!!

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  32. I did not know he failed that many times. (Shame on me. I grew up two miles from Disneyland. I should have known this story.) That's such a great story of perseverance.

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  33. I'm a "wanna be artist" at heart - no talent - but.... Know that question "who would you have for a dinner party - alive or dead?" Top two - Disney and Jim Henson... Such creativity!

    Joshisms A to Z

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    1. Great picks. That would be an excellent party indeed.

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  34. Wow, love Walt Disney! I had no idea his history, but what an inspiration for all of us! Never give up on your dreams--I could use a little of his perseverance about right now!

    By the way, I did a shout out to Moonless on my Swords and Stilettos Facebook page--I finished it and loved it! And I did write a review on Amazon. :)

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    1. I saw the review, and loved it, but I've been neglecting facebook in favor of the blogosphere. Thank you so much for the amazing review and the shout. You are truly epic!

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  35. D for Determined Disney!! Thanks for highlighting such an interesting person. I've been really enjoying your hero posts!

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  36. That is an inspiring success story! Stories like this keep me going even when nothing else seems to be going the way I want it to. You haven't failed until you give up.

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  37. I honestly was going to say the same thing that LG Keltner posted. You haven't failed until you give up. :) Great, great post!

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    1. I think that would be the third time someone has stated that in this comment thread--but it's SO true.

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  38. He is (not sure if I should use was) a true inspiration.

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  39. Wohoooo today's Walt Disney's! and here's one man the world will be remarkably different without. Now all I need to do is keep moving forward :) :P

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    1. Have you seen Meet the Robinsons? It gave me a totally new perspective on Walt.

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  40. Haha, yup, if you live in Florida, this is one you have to choose! Even if I don't agree with all of Walt's views, I have to admire his amazing drive, determination, and creativity!

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    1. Especially his creativity, but yeah, those other too. =)

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  41. Wow, I knew he'd overcome a lot of odds, but I didn't realize he had so many 'failures' under his belt. Whenever I'm feeling like this writing thing might just be too hard, I only have to think of what Walt overcame to become a household name.

    Hope you’re having fun with the A to Z challenge,
    Jocelyn

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    1. It's pretty amazing when you see how many times he fell, eh?

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  42. Crystal I love Walt Disney... he created magic and you know how I feel about magic... it is like love :) I went to Disney World once the year after it opened... I was so young... I don't remember much but I do have memories of all the fun we had...

    D is one of my favorite letters... it has so many memories for me as that is what I called him... my 'D'... Have a great weekend :)

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    1. Wow! Right after it opened? That's amazing. It's changed SOOOOO much. =)

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  43. I love the story of determined Disney (and can't wait to see the movie about him). Thanks for his inspiring story! :)

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  44. Wow...I had no idea he's failed so much. He is such an inspiration. I love this!

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  45. Great story! I know so very little about Disney. I've enjoyed some of the films, but I'm not as huge a fan as some people I know :)

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    1. I became a much larger fan after moving to Florida. Imagine that. =)

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  46. He is definitely one of my heroes. Super choice. I've had a Disneyland pass for 25 years. Never gets old.

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    1. 25 years? That's amazing. We've gotten them 3 times, but we're waiting until we get them again until the new Fantasy Land innovations are complete.

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  47. I love animations and Disney has held a close hold on my heart. Fantasia was how I introduced my kids to classical music and they played it over and over and over again. We all know the songs from most Disney movies and my teenage daughter and I are singing the latest together. I have a dream and I was flagging in my believe magic but your post has boosted me up again. Thank you

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    1. I love that. My kids would adore Fantasia, but I don't have a copy yet. *sigh*

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  48. That's who I want to be, Crystal... someone who keeps trying even if she fails time and time again. Sometimes it's hard because friends and loved ones sometimes wonder/ask why not give up when something doesn't work? In that vein, I'm also impressed with Walt's brother who went into business with him AFTER his first venture failed. Now that's someone who believes in you.

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  49. Walt Disney is such a success story. I have grown up with Disney characters, as have entire generations of kids.

    Damyanti Co-host, A to Z Challenge 2014, Latest post on Daily (w)rite
    Twitter: @damyantig
    #atozchallenge

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    1. He really is, but he wouldn't be without the failures.

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  50. Walt Disney is an inspiration and a sure sign of the rewards of never giving up.

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  51. Walt Disney is definitely an inspiration. His perseverance despite everything is so incredibly admirable!

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  52. Wow, if that's not inspiring, I don't know what is! I love me some old school Disney!!

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  53. I can't get enough of Disney! Excellent post :)

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  54. It's so inspiring to hear of the struggles of someone who turned out to be so successful.

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  55. I had no idea Disney had tried and failed all of those times. I'm glad he kept going! The Little Mermaid is my favorite Disney cartoon of all time, and Pollyanna is my favorite non-animated Disney movies. I know some people think Disney is cheesy, but it's just so happy. Sometimes a little reality break is nice.

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    1. I'm right there with you. You can count on certain things out of a Disney experience. =)

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  56. Thanks for sharing this, Crystal. *waves* Sorry it's been forever since my last visit. Speaking of visits: we live in California, so we'll be visiting Disneyland here next month. It never gets old for me.
    I have a lot of dreams for my writing, but really the thing that keeps driving me is the regret I'll have in my old age if I didn't try. No one is going to tell me I didn't try hard enough once this ride is over...
    I hope you have a great week!

    -Jimmy

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    1. I hear you! You have to go after your dreams because, "The saddest word of tongue or pen are these four words: it might have been."

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  57. Awesome choice for D! We all think of Walt Disney as such a success that we often forget all that he overcame in order to make his dreams come true. He kept getting back up and chasing his dreams. What an inspiration. Thanks for sharing and for the reminder that anything is possible. :)
    ~Jess

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    1. Getting back up is the most important part, eh?

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Hit me with your cheese!