Disney is not just a production company, a vacation spot, or even a brand. Disney is a mega-force of influence, ideas, and memories which we all have a fond affection for in some way. Maybe some of you are reading this right now just because you saw Disney in the title.
“I hope we all never lose sight of one thing—that it was started by a mouse.”
– Walt Disney
It’s hard to wrap your head around all that Disney produces nowadays, especially if you pinpoint it all back to a train ride from New York to California.
Everyone knows Mickey Mouse. You may not have heard that before Mickey, Walt Disney’s big cartoon was “Oswald the Lucky Rabbit.” As a 24-year-old cartoon production company head, this was Walt’s bread and butter. They were contracted by a man named Charlie Mintz to produce a series of Oswald cartoons. While meeting in New York in 1928, Walt asked for a raise to help with production costs, but Mintz counter offered with less than he was currently paying him, which wouldn’t cover even the basics. Walt then realized in the fine print that Mintz’s company legally owned Oswald.
Walt gave over his lucky rabbit and boarded a train back to California with his wife to meet with his brother and team of artists who didn’t know they’d lost their meal ticket.
Have you ever had an idea, a career, or even a relationship that hit a dead end at some point? It’s a very difficult time when what you put your hope in or bet your money on is taken from you. But the truth is, it may be the best outcome that could happen to you. It’s a chance at a new beginning.
New ideas. New dreams. New direction.
Here is what Walt said about that train ride:
“Was I downhearted? Not a bit! I was happy at heart. For out of the trouble and confusion stood a mocking, merry little figure. Vague and indefinite at first. But it grew and grew and grew. And finally arrived—a mouse. A romping, rollicking little mouse… by the time my train had reach the Middle West I had dressed my dream mouse in a pair of red velvet pants with two huge pearl buttons.”
Walt had an idea for a mouse, heavily influenced by Charlie Chaplin, he named Mortimer. Legend says his wife told him to change the name to something less pretentious.
After losing his dream idea, Walt dreamed again. And now we pay half of our retirement savings to visit his parks.
Have you lost something you invested in? Have you hit a dead end? Has someone stolen something from you? Have you lost your dream?
Dream again. You never know what seemingly small ideas you’ll come up with on a train ride.