When did Walt Disney become a billionaire

: In the beginning there was Mickey Mouse


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The following is the anecdote of success: Walt Disney entered the office of the advertising company "Chimney & Chimney" in New York just at the moment when a mouse drove the female employees, who were getting on the rocks, onto tables and chairs. He is said to have laughed, resounding, of course; and that's why he was "fired". So, he went home, remembered scribbling mice in his Abc shooter notebook, and made Mickey Mouse.

Walt Disney set up his first studio in his father's garage. If you want, you can see symbolic elements in it: Of all things, an American myth of the 20th century was born out of a bare garage, that dreary storeroom of everyday machinery: Mickey Mouse with the mini muscle game is the small, but indomitable man, the Even in the economic crisis, it still finds its loophole. It wasn't the worst myth of the century.

"Steamboat Willie" (1928) was the name of the film that made Walt Disney famous from the day it premiered. It was the heyday of the cinema, which was also expressed in the program sequence: cultural film, or whatever you thought it was, newsreel, main film, but finally Mickey Mouse. Nobody had to go home without laughing.

Walt Disney became a millionaire and so big that he could casually cross the gap between art and kitsch. Maybe he never noticed it himself. But Mickey Mouse looked at it. She had walked around in those props that were not by chance Charlie Chaplin's trademark: in old, much too wide, worn boots. She was one of the great clowns who caricatured our decades of parade marching. Suddenly, however, she was wearing brand new, highly polished shoes. A successful experiment with the art of the grotesque, the "adventure of a drawing pen", to use Alfred Kubin's cue, was over.

Walt Disney had moved from the garage to an assembly line studio. No more myth came off the assembly line; there were products that only caused a grim shake of the head from serious film reviews, but which now completely turned Walt Disney into the "man who makes dreams come true" among the audience in all countries. With "Bambi" the spikes swelled. With "Pongo and Perdita", Dalmatian dogs became fashion. With "Fantasia" all imagination went wild.

Enough of that, and not a word further about the icing plaster from "Disneyland" with its postcard romance, this fairground for the Schreewittchen industry. Walt Disney last had 3,300 employees. They gave the fairy tale world no more time to ascend "in old splendor"; they dragged it into the company's production process, as it were.

Of course, whatever was offered from Walt Disney's studio or from his camera teams stalking in the wilderness - there was always one thing that was impressive: its perfection. The tragedy in life lies in the fact that precisely this perfection of art finally left no more gaps. Walt Disney's. Whoever mourns him now must also mourn Mickey Mouse, the one in the old boots. Donald Duck may comfort you a little.