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Whitney Stewart

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As a teenager, WD had a job on an interstate train selling papers and magazines. Trains gave you new places, new adventures. He never lost that joy.

First version of WD Studios made short animated cartoons based on character called Oswald the Lucky Rabbit. But the theatre owner he was selling the shorts to figured he could cut out the middleman by hiring away WD's animators.

So came up with a new character, at first called Mortimer Mouse, then Mickey. But not a success until he added dialogue and sound FX to films. Audiences loved it.

Then a Californian theatre owner came up with a great gimmick. He ran Saturday afternoon sessions of just MM shorts, and enrolled all the kids who came in the Mickey Mouse Club. WD replicated that across America, added MM merchandise and syndicated newspaper cartoons.

Next step was a full length movie. 1933 Snow White and Seven Dwarves, with a quarter of a million drawings to make 83 minutes of film.

The film won WD a special Academy Award - a golden Oscar surrounded by seven smaller Oscars.

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