The American Experience: Walt Disney Airs Tonight on KIXE

ca. October 1933, USA --- Walt Disney seated with drawing board on his lap and representations of his creations Mickey and Minnie Mouse behind. --- Image by © Condé Nast Archive/Corbis

ca. October 1933, USA — Walt Disney seated with drawing board on his lap and representations of his creations Mickey and Minnie Mouse behind. — Image by © Condé Nast Archive/Corbis

There are visionaries that transform an art form: Michelangelo finding forms in blocks of marble, Jonathan Swift popularizing the novel, Frank Lloyd Wright pushing the limits of architecture. And there is Walt Disney, showing us the imaginative power of animation.

The American Experience: Walt Disney tells the story of this transformative artist, and reveals to us the process by which his visions were given form. It begins in his childhood of deprivation in Kansas City, carries us forward to his return from World War I and his determination not to repeat the successive failures of his father.

The story is revealed through archival footage and testimonials from the animators and artists who worked with him, as well as from historians and biographers extolling on his legacy. It’s a moving story of a man who came from nothing, but through sheer determination and ambition nearly created an entire art form. But we also see the dark side of that drive, the challenges he faced, and the hubris that threatened everything he had worked for.

It’s also an interesting look behind the scenes at Disney animation. A Disney fan will enjoy the tales of how the movies were made and the stories developed, the risks taken and legacy enshrined. It’s a portrait of a man who saw beyond the limits of what everyone else was doing, and who assembled a team to do what no one else had thought of.

Most of all it’s the story of a man and the family he created, and the family he nearly destroyed in his ambition. It tells the story of Disney Animation from its first inception making Oswald the Rabbit films in the early 20’s, to the multi-media conglomeration it has become today. It’s also a story about Hollywood in its golden era, and how one’s man vision could create an entire industry.

Anyone who loves Disney, or who loves stories of master artists, will enjoy this two-part documentary.

The American Experience: Walt Disney airs Monday Sept 14th, and Tuesday Sept 15th at 9:00 p.m. on KIXE Channel 9.

Chad Grayson
Chad Grayson has been a gas station attendant, sold video games over the phone, and even was the person who cuts the mold off the cheese in the cheese factory, but spent most of his career as a middle school Language Arts and History teacher. He is now a full-time stay at home dad and writer. You can find him on twitter at @chadgrayson and on his blog at cegrayson.wordpress.com.
Comment Policy: We welcome your comments, with some caveats: Please keep your comments positive and civilized. If your comment is critical, please make it constructive. If your comment is rude, we will delete it. If you are constantly negative or a general pest, troll, or hater, we will ban you from the site forever. The definition of terms is left solely up to us. Comments are disabled on articles older than 90 days. Thank you. Carry on.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *