show episodes
 
The Uncle Walt Podcast is a chronological discussion on the life, career and creations of America's favorite uncle... Walt Disney. This is the story of Walt, from his humble beginnings in Chicago Illinois, to his tragic passing in Burbank California. We only hope that we never lose sight of one thing, that it was all started, not by a mouse, but by a man... Walt Disney.
 
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show series
 
After the success of Walt Disney’s second recording session led to the finalization of the synchronized sound track to Steamboat Willie, Walt turned his attention towards securing distribution for the film. As was common in Walt’s early career, options available to him were at a premium. He soon entered negotiations with Universal Pictures, but, th…
 
As Walt Disney entered a New York recording studio in September of 1928, he believed he had everything ready to successfully record the synchronized soundtrack to his newest Mickey Mouse cartoon ‘Steamboat Willie’. However as the recording session played out, the success Walt had hoped for would slip through his fingers. He refused to leave the eas…
 
In September of 1928, Walt Disney traveled to New York City in an attempt to secure the technology needed to combine a synchronized soundtrack to the recently finished animation of his latest Mickey Mouse cartoon. He ultimately decided on a piece of equipment named the ‘Power’s Cinephone’ which was being pushed by a slick talking salesman named Pat…
 
In early 1928, Walt Disney was failing in his attempts to secure distribution for a series of animations that would star his newest creation, Mickey Mouse. When the Warner Brothers live action film ‘The Jazz Singer’ ushered in a new era of sound films, Walt decided to move ahead with the Mickey Mouse animations utilizing a synchronized soundtrack. …
 
After the loss of his hit character Oswald The Lucky Rabbit, Walt Disney had to regroup and come up with a new series if his studio was to stay in business. Along with Ub Iwerks he came up with a little mouse, whom he called Mortimer, and a rough outline for a short he called ‘Plane Crazy’. Due to contractual obligations, the studio still needed to…
 
Charles Mintz was stonewalling Walt Disney in the ongoing talks to renew their contract in early 1928, partly because he held all of the leverage in the negotiations, and partly because he knew he had an ace up his sleeve. Not only was Mintz stealing Walt Disney’s staff behind his back, but he was also stealing his character as well, as Walt Disney…
 
Walt Disney personally traveled to New York City, in early 1928 to conclude a new deal with Charles Mintz to continue producing their hit animated series ‘Oswald the Lucky Rabbit’. Before he left California, Walt had heard some rumblings about unhappiness within his staff, but he did not realize just how deep the issues ran. When he arrived back ea…
 
Early in 1927, Walt Disney wrapped production on his long time animation/live-action combination series “Alice’s Wonderland”. As that series was coming to an end, both Walt and his distributor Charles Mintz began thinking about what their relationship would be post Alice. Mintz entered into negotiations with Universal Pictures to distribute an all …
 
Walt always faced adversity while growing his studio in the 1920’s. Usually it was financial, sometimes it was creative, other times it was business related. For the first time however Walt started experiencing trouble with his staff. After moving his operation to the new Hyperion Blvd. location, many of Walt’s employees would notice a distinct cha…
 
Walt Disney’s stalemate with Charles Mintz over the future distribution of his Alice comedies was still unresolved. Despite this, Walt and Roy forged ahead with several key changes at the studio. There would be new places, new faces and new names in the world of Walt. Some of these changes were by choice, and others by necessity. Join the discussio…
 
Having returned home from his wedding and honeymoon with his new bride Lillian, Walt turned his focus back to his work. The Alice films were beginning to garner national attention, and Charles Mintz would attempt to use this as leverage against Walt Disney to negotiate more favorable terms in their next contract. Tensions between the two men would …
 
As Walt Disney continued to expand his studio staff, he hired several young ladies to work as ink and painters. Although Walt did not chase women, he did start to catch the eye of one of these young ladies in particular. Her name was Lillian Bounds, and as Roy and Edna finally tied the knot, Walt and Lillian served as best man and maid of honer res…
 
Walt Disney's relationship with his distributor Margaret Winkler was going well. Both of their visions for the future of the Alice series were generally aligned with one another. Somewhat unexpectedly however, Walt found himself dealing with a new distributor all together. With a new distributor came a new contract. With a new contract came an expa…
 
With the first Alice films now finished and well received by the public, Walt Disney and Margaret Winkler decided to speed up production on the films and produce not 1, but 2 films per month. This meant an increase in workload for the already understaffed Disney Bros. Studio. For weeks Walt had been corresponding with old friend Ub Iwerks in hopes …
 
Walt had his contract from Margaret Winkler signed and ready to go, but being unsure of how to proceed, he would turn to his brother Roy for help getting his new venture off the ground. He needed an office space, supplies, a camera but most importantly he needed animators. Would he find some talented artists or would he go it alone? What was the pr…
 
When Walt was in Kansas City, he had an animation company and no distribution. When he moved to California, he had acquired distribution but had no animation company. In October of 1923, with a contract in hand for his Alice films, Walt now had to figure out how he was going to produce the series. He turned to Older brother Roy for advice. Hear thi…
 
With Walt Disney settling into life in California, he received some news he had long been hoping for. A film distributor from New York had seen a reel of 'Alice's Wonderland' and wanted to negotiate a distribution deal. Who was the distributor? What were the terms of the contract? All this and more on this episode of The Uncle Walt Podcast. Margare…
 
When Walt Disney first arrived in Hollywood, CA in 1923, he knew he wanted to be in the movie business. He just wasn't sure exactly what he was going to do. He had not completely given up on animation, but it did take a back seat to his new hope of becoming a live-action director at a major motion picture studio. In this episode of The Uncle Walt P…
 
Walt Disney put everything he had into his Laugh-O-Gram's animation studio. It was his dream come true in his early 20's. Unfortunately Walt's lack of experience showed. By summer of 1923 both Walt and his studio were at rock bottom. Would Walt stay in Kansas City and keep trying his hand with Laugh-O-Grams? Or, would he leave town in search of his…
 
By 1923, Walt Disney had hit rock bottom. Not just with his animation studio, but personally as well. Neither he nor Laugh-O-Grams had any money and Walt needed a hit cartoon badly if he was going to keep his dream alive and keep his beloved studio afloat. In what essentially amounted to a last ditch effort, Walt dreamed of a new series that would …
 
Walt had the men of his studio begin work on their first official contract in fall, 1922. Though the contract was not exactly what Walt had hoped for, it was all he had and the men pushed forward. when financial troubles threatened to put an end to the work before it was completed, Walt Disney began to search for alternative ways of bringing income…
 
In autumn of 1922, Walt Disney's fledgling animation studio signed it's first official contract for the delivery of 6 animations. The contract almost never happened though, and when it did, it was far from ideal. On this episode of The Uncle Walt Podcast you'll hear the circumstances surrounding this contract and the plan Walt set in motion to fulf…
 
In the summer of 1922, Walt Disney had finally found himself heading his own animation studio. It was a legitimate business, with real employees and an official work space. However there was one thing that Laugh-O-Gram Films Inc was short on... Cash. Without proper working capital and very little assets, Walt had to use his creativity and persuasiv…
 
In this episode of The Uncle Walt Podcast, we'll hear about Walt's struggles in Kansas City after the departure of his family. Most of the Disney's headed out west in search of a milder climate, but Walt stayed behind to grow his young animation studio. Without family around Walt struggled to fill the void left from their relocation. The most notab…
 
Walt knew he wanted to branch out beyond his 'Newman Laugh-O-Grams' and begin a new series of animations based on well known fairy-tales. To set them apart however, he wanted to base these familiar stories in a 1920's contemporary setting. With help from his buddies, he set out to do just that. Would he succeed in making these animations a reality?…
 
Walt Disney's first commercial animations, his 'Newman Laugh-O-Grams' were a big hit in Kansas City in 1921. Unfortunately for Walt, their success did not translate into financial gain. Wanting to branch out and start his own organization, Walt began recruiting a group of co-workers and friends to join him in his new endeavors. Hear these stories a…
 
After experimenting in the garage behind his Kansas city home for a few months, Walt Disney felt he was ready to create his own commercial animations. He conceived of a series of films he called 'Newman Laugh-O-Grams' with the hopes of selling them to the Newman Theater chain. He wrote, produced, and hand drew a 1 minute pilot reel of these Laugh-O…
 
While working at the Kansas City Film Ad Company, Walt Disney discovered something amazing, that would change his life forever... Animation. It was a new and exciting art form that allowed Walt to literally see his illustrations come to life. He became obsessed with it and wanted to learn everything he could about animation. After borrowing a camer…
 
In early 1920, Walt Disney and Ub Iwerks were failing in their attempts to run their own commercial art operation. With no money coming in, Walt took a job working for a man named A. V. Cauger at the Kansas City Slide company, a company that specialized in film advertisements. Ub would soon join him there and the two men would become fascinated wit…
 
In early 1920, Walt and fellow artist Ub Iwerks decided to go into business together and start their own commercial art studio. Without supplies or even a location in which to work, the two young artists turned business men had a lot of work ahead of them to bring their company to profitability. How would the fortunes fare as Walt and Ub ran their …
 
As Walt was settling back in to life in America, he pursued a lifelong dream of becoming a professional artists; and he did just that when he was hired as an apprentice at Pesmen-Rubin Commercial Art Studio. His time there would teach him valuable lessons about illustrating for advertisements, as well as introduce him to someone who would leave a l…
 
When Walt walked once again on American soil, he looked towards his future with an amazing optimism. He hoped to reconnect with family and old friends alike, but when he return to Chicago following his service in France, he realized that things were not as he hoped they would be. Following a string of disapointments, Walt set his sights on achievin…
 
While serving in the Ambulance Corps, Walt Disney did what he always did, he drew. In fact he drew for anyone, at anytime and on anything. However after both of his brothers had left the armed forces and returned home to Kansas City, Walt started to think of his own return to the United States, and he began to feel homesick. He would soon meet up w…
 
After joining the American Red Cross Ambulance Corps, Walt Disney traveled via ship to Europe to take part in the post-war efforts. He was stationed in France and experienced things that would change him forever. In this episode of The Uncle Walt Podcast, we discuss Walt's arrival in France, the locations he served in and some of the people he met …
 
With war waging in Europe during the fall of 1918, 16 year old Walt Disney wanted to join the fight. He was turned away however by the American Armed Services because of his age. Walt was so determined to participate though that he resorted to some trickery and even forgery to insert himself into the war effort. We discuss all this and more on this…
 
In the Summer of 1917 Elias moved his family back to Chicago Illinois, to work in the factory of a fruit and juice company he had been investing in named O-Zell. Walt stayed behind in Kansas City for a few months and worked as a news butcher on the Santa Fe rail line, but when he did return to Chicago he enrolled as a freshman at McKinley High Scho…
 
After graduating the 7th grade at age 16, young Walt Disney now found himself at a crossroad in life. He had no job, and no prospects of work as a professional artist. He needed to find a way to earn money during the summer of 1917 and he turned to something that always fascinated him, the rails. We discuss all that plus Elias' last chance at fortu…
 
Walt Disney was never a very good student, but he loved going to school. In this episode of The Uncle Walt Podcast we talk about Walt's time attending the Benton Grammar School in Kansas City, Missouri. Including some of the faculty members that encouraged him and a few stories of grade school Walt's antics. Then we circle back to Walt's first love…
 
This episode of The Uncle Walt Podcast dives into Walt Disney's growing love of performance. From plays and skits to comedy routines, Walt loved to be front of an audience. He also shared this love with a neighbor boy who would become one of his best friends and acting partner in his adolescent years. View fullsize Walt Pfeiffer and Walt Disney as …
 
Walt may have had a strained relationship with his father, but his relationship with his mother, Flora, was one that he would always cherish. In this episode of The Uncle Walt Podcast, we discuss Flora Disney and her role in the family. Plus, we talk about another family member that would look after Walt as he was growing up. Someone who would beco…
 
This episode of the Uncle Walt Podcast tells the story of Walt Disney as a young child in Kansas City Missouri. We'll learn of the paper route that Elias purchased after their move from Marceline and how it forced Walt into work at a young age. The paper route took priority in all of the Disney's life at the time and although he was still expected …
 
In this very first episode of The Uncle Walt Podcast, we'll take a step back and discuss the people and places that preceded Walt. Including his Grandfather Kepple Disney, the birth of his father Elias, and the marriage of his parents. We'll also discuss how the Disney's came to be in Chicago on the day that Walt was born and just what exactly were…
 
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