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* 1923: Walt Disney signed a contract with M.J. Winkler to produce a
series of Alice Comedies - October 16 - the date used as the start
of the Disney company. Originally known as the Disney Brothers
Cartoon Studio, with brothers Walt and Roy Disney, as equal
* 1924: First Alice comedy, Alice's Day at Sea, released.
* 1926: At Roy's suggestion, the company changed its name to the
Walt Disney Studio shortly after moving into the new studio on
Hyperion Avenue in the Silver Lake district.
* 1927: The Alice series ends; first Oswald the Lucky Rabbit
* 1928: Walt loses the Oswald series contract; first
cartoon, Plane Crazy; Steamboat Willie released at the Colony
Theatre in New York, the first cartoon with sound on November 18.
Mickey Mouse has gone on to be one of the most recognized symbols in
* 1929: First Silly Symphony, The Skeleton Dance. On December 16,
the original partnership formed in 1923 is replaced by Walt Disney
Productions, Ltd. Three other companies, Walt Disney Enterprises,
Disney Film Recording Company, and Liled Realty and Investment
Company, are also formed.
* 1930: First appearance of Pluto.
* 1932: First three-strip Technicolor short released: Flowers and
Trees; first appearance of
* 1934: First appearance of
Donald's voice, one of the most identifiable voices in all of
animation, was performed by voice actor Clarence "Ducky" Nash up to
* 1937: Studio produces its first full-length feature film, Snow
White and the Seven Dwarfs.
* 1938: On September 29, Walt Disney Enterprises, Disney Film
Recording Company, and Liled Realty and Investment Company are
merged into Walt Disney Productions.
* 1940: Studio moves to the Burbank, California buildings where it
is located to this day. Release of animated features Pinocchio and
* 1941: A bitter animators' strike occurs; as the USA enters World
War II, the studio begins making morale-boosting propaganda films
for the government. Dumbo is released.
* 1942: Saludos Amigos marks the beginning of a series of low-budget
"package" animated films that would continue until 1950. Bambi was
released, after a six-year production period.
* 1943: Saludos Amigos is released in the United States.
* 1944: The company is short on money; a theatrical re-release of
Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs generates much-needed revenue and
begins a reissue pattern for the animated feature films.
* 1945: For the first time, the studio hires live actors for a
feature film (Song of the South).
* 1947: Sign First Independent Studio, The byrnest studio in Orlando
that went bankrupt three years later.
* 1949: The studio begins production on its first all-live action
feature, Treasure Island; the popular True-Life Adventures series
begins. The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad is released.
* 1950: Cinderella is released, ending the series of "package"
animated films and reviving Disney feature animation.
* 1951: Alice in Wonderland is released.
* 1952: Walt Disney forms WED Enterprises on December 16 to design
his theme park.
* 1953: Walt Disney forms Retlaw Enterprises on April 6 to control
the rights to his name. It will later own and operate several
attractions inside Disneyland, including the Monorail and the
Disneyland Railroad. Peter Pan is released. The studio founds Buena
Vista Distribution to distribute its feature films.
* 1954: Beginning of the Disneyland TV program, which runs for
decades under several different titles. Disney becomes one of the
first American theatrical TV producers to show his recent films on
television, although most of them are first shown in truncated
versions to fit a one-hour time slot. Others are divided into two or
more one-hour segments over several weeks, so that they can be shown
on Disney's TV show.
* 1955: Disneyland Resort opens in Anaheim, California. Lady and the
Tramp, the first widescreen animated film, is released.
* 1957: Walt Disney Productions went public on November 12.
* 1959: Sleeping Beauty is released.
* 1961: One Hundred and One Dalmatians is released, the first
feature-length animated film to use Xerography.
* 1963: The Sword in the Stone is released.
* 1964: Mary Poppins is released.
* 1966: Walt Disney dies of lung cancer.
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