Have You Seen the Missing ‘Toon in This Photo? An Excerpt from the Actor’s Devotional for Dec 5th

Posted: December 5, 2011 in Uncategorized

December 5

When we lose one blessing, another is often, most unexpectedly, given in its place.

~ C.S. Lewis

It is amazing the things we will miss if we refuse to embrace the adventure of riding the tilt-o-whirl of Life.  It can sometimes seem scary.  It can be intimidating.  It can be not-fun and just plain tedious.   However, when we embrace the ride, as opposed to simply enduring it, there is not end of great things that might happen.  Walter had been like that.  He had been an animator for years in the privacy of his little bedroom.  Now as a teen, he had been given a scholarship to the prestigious Chicago Institute of Art.  He studied all kin of art, but was particularly intrigued by commercial art, as it used cartooning a lot and he was invested greatly in this.  He and his brother, a talented artist himself, decided to start a business together that used cartoons in advertising.  He supplemented this with the income he made doing political cartoons for local Chicago newspapers.  By this time he and his brother had developed a network of cartoonists and moved to Kansas City.  Here they began working with local PR firms who were using cartoons in film to do advertising on the big screen.  Walter convinced his boss from one of these firms to let him borrow one of the animation cameras, and in this way he taught himself what would become his lifelong passion…animation.  Walter was convinced that animating cells was the wave of the future, and all he needed was a good character (Felix the Cat was the most popular cartoon at this time) and he could begin making animated short films of his own.  His first tries were fairly successful.  He made films called laugh-o-grams that showed all over the Kansa City area…they caught on.  Now if he could just find that elusive popular character that the American public could buy into nationally.  His good friend Ubbe Iwerks would be the one to solve the puzzle.  The character was Oswald the Lucky Rabbit…he was an instant hit.  Thanks to the distribution of film producer Margaret Winkler, the films were put on show before the American public through Universal Pictures.  Unfortunately, it was also through Miss Winkler that the rabbit would be stolen from Ubbe and Walter.  For in the next few years Winkler married a man named Charles Mintz who took over the day-to-day operation of the film works.  Unbeknownst to Walter, Mintz hired away all his animators (except Iwerks who would never have gone) and tied up the copyright of Oswald the Lucky Rabbit with Universal…making it so they controlled the property and not Walter.  He had struggled and strived for almost 20 years, just to get to the point where he had one property that America wanted to see.  And when he arrived what did he get?  Treachery, that’s what.  He would have to begin all over again. The heartbreak, the discouragement he must have felt must’ve seemed insurmountable at the time, but he had his good friend Iwerks and his brother Roy, and that was something.  All he needed was one good idea…one more hot property that would capture the imagination of the masses.  He experimented.  He kept at it, and it was a good thing he did.

Because the next character he created was a little fellow you may have heard of…Mickey Mouse.  It was on this day in 1901 that Walter Elias Disney…Walt Disney…was born.  He would be with us exactly 65 years and 10 days…way too short a time for a man who won 22 Academy Awards to live.  I wonder whatever happened to Oswald the Rabbit.  In 2006 when NBC wanted to have Al Michaels host Sunday Night Football, they had to buy his contract from ABC.  Did you know that ABC I owned by…Walt Disney Company?  Did you know that NBC was owned by Universal?  Guess what ABC asked for as part of the remuneration for Al Michaels contract buy out.  Welcome back to Disney Oswald…you Lucky Rabbit!

Romans 8:28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.


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