All things Disney are in demand by collectors. And for good reason. The creator of Mickey Mouse and founder of Disneyland and Walt Disney World, Walt Disney (1901-1966) was a pioneer and innovator, having one of the most fertile imaginations the world has ever known.
A Walt Disney stylishly signed personal check from 1956 sold for $7,320 at Goldin Auctions in December. The check, made out to the Walt Disney Special Account for the amount of $1,250, comes from his personal account at the Bank of America. Ever the artist, even while doing some banking, Disney penned “Walter E. Disney” in blue marker on the check that features stamps and markings typical of a bank-handled check.
Disney, received forty-eight Academy Awards and seven Emmys in his lifetime. In 1937, in the depths of the Great Depression, Disney released Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, the first full-length animated musical feature. Produced at the unheard of cost of $1,499,000, the film is considered one of the great feats of the motion picture industry. During the next five years, Disney released Pinocchio, Fantasia, Dumbo and Bambi, setting an unparalleled creative course that continues today long after his death.
The short film, Steamboat Willie, starring Mickey Mouse, launched Disney's career. Premiering November 18, 1928, it was the first cartoon with synchronized sound. While Mickey Mouse wasn't Walt Disney's first cartoon character—that was Oswald the Lucky Rabbit—he is, in the words of the late innovator, the one who "started" it all.
“He popped out of my mind onto a drawing pad 20 years ago on a train ride from Manhattan to Hollywood at a time when the business fortunes of my brother Roy and myself were at lowest ebb, and disaster seemed right around the corner,” the legendary animator wrote in a 1948 essay titled “What Mickey Means to Me.”