Twitter Celebrates Walt’s 119th Birthday
Like many of you, I am often referred to (derisively?) as “that Disney person.” A moniker earned as much for my proclivity to mention that many problems can be solved by thinking “WWWD (What Would Walt Do?)” as for my beloved Mickey Mouse t-shirts.
I have Walt Disney books scattered around my house and office, love watching the new Mickey Mouse shorts, and even watch the modern fairytale “Walt Before Mickey” a couple of times a year.
However, my admiration for Walt Disney comes — not out of some old fashioned, out-dated love for mid-century modern thought or a misguided desire to be reactionary (however, I will admit that there are moments at Walt Disney World where the comfort of my grandparents’ greatest generation outlook whispers in my ear) — but out of an understanding that Walt was, indeed, human.
My favorite image of the man is this:
The caricature lives just next to my office chair and reminds me that, like me — like ALL OF US — Walt had bad days.
Walt’s 119th Birthday
He got frustrated. Disney could be taciturn. Walt could be emotional. And, as Rolly Crump often explains, Walt Disney would cuss. But, he persisted. He dreamed. And he created. Moreover, he is remembered.
Just look at Twitter on the occasion of Walt Disney’s 119th birthday:
On this day in 1901, #WaltDisney was born. Remembering him today in appreciation for his vision, inspiration, and all of the wonderful seeds he planted for our company to grow from. pic.twitter.com/3Lz2xPWDIC
— Robert Iger (@RobertIger) December 5, 2020
Bon Anniversaire Walt Disney !💗🎂 pic.twitter.com/bV22iMCw9g
— Disneyland Paris (@DisneylandParis) December 5, 2020
Walt Disney was born in Chicago, Illinois, on this date in 1901 to parents Elias and Flora. Happy Birthday, Walt! Photo: Walt at the Hyperion Avenue studio, ca. 1931 pic.twitter.com/Ii6lJTvAMQ
— Walt Disney Archives (@TWDCArchives) December 5, 2020
It's Walt Disney's birthday! Crowds Artist Yasser Hamed recently created this one-of-a-kind portrait of Walt Disney that uses 12,000 1 1/16 inch pins. The portrait took weeks to construct and was designed using a mix of robotics, image processing & computation, and manual work. pic.twitter.com/0JsEsBzddN
— Disney Animation (@DisneyAnimation) December 5, 2020
“Life is beautiful. It’s about giving. It’s about family.”
💕 — Walt Disney pic.twitter.com/fAnD1elbrg
— Bindi Irwin (@BindiIrwin) December 5, 2020
“It’s kind of fun to do the impossible.” 🎶 ♥️ Happy Birthday to Walt Disney! 🎉 pic.twitter.com/AAnY9ZUy7B
— Disney Music (@DisneyMusic) December 5, 2020
Happy birthday Walt Disney! We've enjoyed celebrating with you all this week—honoring the many innovations Walt and his Company have contributed to the entertainment and animation industry, and the diverse artists that continue his legacy of innovation today. pic.twitter.com/RAYQDRqf9I
— The Walt Disney Family Museum (@WDFMuseum) December 5, 2020
On this day in 1901: Walt Disney born.
This was his first business card: pic.twitter.com/k7tVHpEeh7
— Jon Erlichman (@JonErlichman) December 5, 2020
Happy Birthday To Walt Disney.
— Chicago History ™️ (@Chicago_History) December 5, 2020
Walt Disney was born on this day in 1901. “We have all been children, and many of us have children of our own,” Anthony Lane writes. “In the twenty-first century, that puts us squarely in Disney’s debt.”https://t.co/n1XSRs3WOS
— The New Yorker (@NewYorker) December 5, 2020
The above article is beneficial, not only because it discusses Walt as a very human being, but also ends up on the side of Disney’s memory remains in many ways a boon to us.
“Disney’s letters and memos [during the Great Depression] sound like lines from popular songs: “Old Man Opportunity rapping at our door”; “Slap as big a mortgage on everything we got”; “ ‘Are we downhearted?’ HELL NO,” wrote the New Yorker’s Anthony Lane in 2006. “That clarion call should be borne in mind whenever Disney is berated for his cheerfulness. Again, it echoed the good cheer of Dickens: not a vapid exhortation to enjoy the easy life but the half-desperate will to soldier on even when trouble has a paw in the door [writer’s note: emphasis mine].”
Walt’s Memory Remains Alive
So, folks. Beyond that informed optimism, what, ultimately, does Walt’s example, his unique life, teach us to do with the days allotted to each of us?
A person should set his goals as early as he can and devote all his energy and talent to getting there. With enough effort, he may achieve it. Or he may find something that is even more rewarding. But in the end, no matter what the outcome, he will know he has been alive.” Walt Disney
Happy Birthday, Walt. And thank you for still being “alive.”