Walt Disney’s Impact on American Culture

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In American culture, animations and film influence our actions and imaginations every day. Walt Disney developed a new world of animation in the 1900s that transformed the way that Americans viewed entertainment. Today, we feel the effects of what he accomplished in our culture with cartoons, films, and theme parks. Walt Disney was and still is influential because he was hard-working, optimistic, and innovative in the realm of animation and film. Hard-working Walt Disney was a hard-working man who never gave up through burdensome situations. From the age of nine, Disney had a strong work ethic, leading him to get a job and make money to support himself and his family. Disney had an ambitious vision that he wouldn't give up on regardless of the difficulties he faced, and we can see his ambitious vision through him continuing his work of animation after his first business, the Iwerks-Disney commercial artists, failed after one month (Cain). Disney established another company in Kansas City, and it also fell short, leading him to declare bankruptcy. When Walt Disney was near rock-bottom, he still did not give up and he went to Hollywood with little money, few supplies, and an enormous dream. During The Great Depression, he still continued to expand his business, despite the hardships that America and the economy were facing (About Walt Disney).

Even after all of these setbacks, he did not abandon his dreams of creating animations, and he ended up making his most famous character, Mickey Mouse in 1928 (Jolley). His rigorous work in the film industry paid off in the end and he won 950 honors and citations throughout his lifetime (About Walt Disney). Disney possessed an intense entrepreneurial drive that inspired his employees and ordinary people in America (Cain). Walt Disney's work ethic influences artists, animators, and children to never give up even when life hits you with major or minor letdowns. Disney displayed his hard work through the makings of Disneyland and the start of Disney World. Walt Disney always said that it's kind of fun to do the impossible and he accomplished the impossible in his theme parks. Since Disney's ideas were based on fantasy, he had to put in an excessive amount of effort to make them come true in his parks (Jolley). Disneyland in California was Walt's first theme park, and he designed it himself. Disney spent around seventeen million dollars on Disneyland, which was a tremendous amount in the 1950s.

He intended Disneyland to have educational as well as amusement value to entertain adults and their children, so he designed his park to benefit the minds of people both educationally and imaginatively, which means that he had to work hard to make both themes actively portrayed (Disneyland Opens). Millions of families wanted to travel to Disneyland because they were inspired by the creativity that he put into the theme park. Even after Disneyland, he was unsatisfied and continued to work on new ideas. Disney planned the park, the motels, and EPCOT for Disney World (About Walt Disney). Disney worked on EPCOT and the framework for Disney World until the day he died (Wiegand). His theme parks influenced amusement parks to become more than just roller coasters; they became a new land to dream and use imaginations. Disney and his employees worked hard so that Americans could experience a modern world of fantasy that had never been discovered before.


Disney was an optimistic man who fantasized about an idyllic world, and he displayed his dreams through his theme parks and animations. Specifically, he showed his dreams of a utopian world through Disney World's EPCOT (Cain). Walt Disney wanted EPCOT to represent how we may be living in the near future (Wiegand). EPCOT stands for Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow, and he wanted to show how creative the American industry could be (About Walt Disney). Disney believed technology was the key to an effective future, so he used high-quality technology in his theme parks to portray how marvelous the future could perhaps be. The monorails at EPCOT are one feature that demonstrates his futuristic technology because in the 1950s that is what people imagined when they thought of the future (Queen). EPCOT influences people by allowing them to visit a place that lets them use their imaginations. His fantasies were virtually impossible, but Disney still tried to make them a reality.

Walt Disney tried to see the best in real-world situations by making cartoons of them. The generation of children that Walt was making animations for was the Baby Boomers. He believed that the Baby Boomers could accomplish more than their parents. He illustrated his optimistic spirit by developing films and products that showed the Baby Boomers newborn spirit and ideals, which were different from the past. Walt believed their future could be remarkably better than what America had been in previous years, and the Baby Boomers were influenced by his cartoons (Wiegand). Walt created a Disneyland television show that contained episodes of improving life on Earth because he wanted to demonstrate how the future could be more decent than the past (Queen). Disney also believed that the middle class could lead to a more successful, cheerful future, so he made cartoons that presented middle-class characters who had to work to sustain themselves. He used themes of virtuous American folk and stressed individualism in his productions, because he felt that individuals could lead to a better future with their ideas and he wanted to present this through his animations (Crowley). His cartoons influenced people to keep being optimistic through laborious situations. Disney consistently said to, stay optimistic because he had been through difficult situations in his past and used his cartoons as an outlet to let Americans see what a more prosperous future could be.

Innovative Walt Disney innovated the world of animation and films. From creating Steamboat Willie to Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, he changed the way Americans viewed animated films (Cain). Disney's innovative work led to him making the First fully synchronized sound cartoon, Steamboat Willie, and this was an immense accomplishment which inspired artists and animators across the Globe (About Walt Disney). Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs was the 1st full-length animated musical feature, and this film ended up being Disney's most extraordinary accomplishment and it is still accounted as one of the great feats and imperishable monuments of the motion picture industry(About Walt Disney). Using the same style as Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Disney also created Dumbo, Fantasia, Bambi, and Pinocchio (Cain). In 1920 he marketed his first cartoons and perfected a method for combining live-action and animation, and this method was the first innovative tool that Disney created in his lengthy career (About Walt Disney). Disney also created his own style of animating, and it was called The Disney Style, (Jolley). Disney's innovations influence artists, animators, children, and adults to imagine the unimaginable. Disney created many television shows that were completely different from anything that had been seen in the past. Specifically, The Mickey Mouse Club, Wonderful World of Color, and Davy Crockett. The character Mickey Mouse was invented by Walt and he was inspired to make Mickey Mouse by an actual pet mouse in his office (Jolley). The Mickey Mouse Club was an innovative cartoon television show created in the 1950s that still exists today, and it influences children to solve problems and work towards their goals (Casabona). Disney's Wonderful World of Color innovated cartoons by being one of the first full-color programs in 1961 (About Walt Disney). Wonderful World of Color entertained its viewers by its artistry and inspirational stories (World of Color). Walt Disney's Davy Crockett was an innovative television series, and its frontier hero, Davy Crockett, inspired children across America to persevere in difficult situations and fight for freedom (Wiegand). All of these television shows were innovative in their own way and they influenced people of all ages.


Walt Disney influenced millions of Americans in the realm of entertainment by being hard-working, innovative, and optimistic. With the widespread use of technology, what we see on television is what influences our everyday life. Disney's cartoons and animations are still watched every day by children and adults around the world. He accomplished a tremendous amount in the field of entertainment and achieved his accomplishments by working hard. Disney was always optimistic, and his dreams were to inspire the imaginations of people of all ages. He was innovative in the world of animation, film, and amusement parks. Walt Disney's creations led individuals across the globe to dream the undreamable.Walt Disney Introduction In American culture, animations and film influence our actions and imaginations every day. Walt Disney developed a new world of animation in the 1900s that transformed the way that Americans viewed entertainment. Today, we feel the effects of what he accomplished in our culture with cartoons, films, and theme parks. Walt Disney was and still is influential because he was hard-working, optimistic, and innovative in the realm of animation and film.

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Walt Disney's Impact on American Culture. (2019, Aug 08). Retrieved July 20, 2024 , from

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