With the opening of KVibe Productions’ feature film, Walt Before Mickey, less than a month away, we thought it was a great time to look back at the American icon and his incredible influence over so many other artists and entrepreneurs.
Disney may have primarily been a pioneer in the animation and film production industries, but his influence extends far beyond those fields. He was a dreamer, first and foremost, and he has inspired countless people from all walks of life.
Coming from humble beginnings, Disney created an empire through, at times, sheer will and passion. His spirit was infectious and he brought out the best of those around him.
Take it from us as longtime NJ and NY video production vets, there’s a lot to learn from the storytelling legend. So, let’s take a look at some of the most valuable lessons the late, great Walt Disney has taught us.
1. Don’t get complacent.
Some filmmakers and animators would probably call it a career after a hit like Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, but Disney always pushed on. By the time a project found success, Disney was usually already deep into developing the next one.
Think about it; if Disney got complacent, would we have Oswald the Rabbit yet no Mickey Mouse? Mickey but no Minnie? Would there never have been a Disney World for Super Bowl winners to head to after the big game?
It’s not just about the amount of work he did either, but the quality of it as well. The designs for some of Disney’s most iconic characters were reworked numerous times before he ultimately settled on a look.
The point is, one of the greatest lessons we can learn from Disney is to keep at it. Don’t let the well dry up. If you find success, don’t back off, but instead take it as a sign that you’re on the right track.
Whether you’re in NY and NJ film & corporate or commercial video production like us or in another line of work, you must continue to explore your talents, hone your skills, and take risks.
2. It takes many minds to realize one great idea.
Walt Disney understood the need for a collective approach to creation, once saying, “You can design and create, and build the most wonderful place in the world. But it takes people to make the dream a reality.”
There’s a well-known anecdote about how Disney presented his idea for Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs to his animation team, a story that had been with him his entire life. He told it in great detail, taking on each character’s movements and mannerisms, and sold the story so passionately that his team couldn’t wait to get started on the project.
The point is, Disney understood that he needed to do everything he could to instill in his team the same passion he had for a project, and he also understood the power of storytelling. Considering his track record, that should come as no surprise.
He knew that not everyone can be sold by hearing a strategy. People need stories to be inspired, and being a NJ / NY film and commercial / corporate video production company, that’s something we can attest to.
People want to understand why a project needs to be completed, why a story needs to be told, and Disney knew just how to inspire and motivate his team to get on board.
3. Do what you love.
Another one of the greatest lessons we can learn from Walt Disney is to do everything in your power to ensure you end up doing what you love. Disney understood the importance of doing something you’re genuinely passionate about in life, no matter how much they pay you to do it.
He went through a series of other jobs, but always found his way to back to what he loves, an aspect of his life you get a taste of in Walt Before Mickey, KVibe’s upcoming film about the legend.
Disney knew that if making money is your only objective, you’ll more than likely find failure, or you’ll eventually quit. He knew that to realize a dream, you need to be head-over-heels in love with the work it takes to get there.
If it were only about the money, Disney wouldn’t have felt the need to keep pushing forward, to evolve his empire, to improve his work. He did it because he loved doing it; it’s as simple as that.
4. Never give up.
Disney had to endure a series of failures, rejections, and obstacles of all kinds on his journey to success, the kinds of obstacles that would drive the average artist or business person to call it quits.
Take the story of Oswald the Lucky Rabbit, for example, a character Disney had created. When Disney went to New York to get more money out of his producer, the producer offered him less instead, and reminded Disney that he owned all the rights to the character.
While the development forced Disney to quit his job and abandon the character, he never gave up on his dream, and on the train ride home after losing Oswald, Disney created another character, except this one wasn’t a rabbit but a soon-to-be famous mouse.
Disney was also repeatedly told no one would sit through an animated feature film, that animation couldn’t work with real life actors, and that his vision for a theme park would never come to fruition.
He was able to put all that aside and keep pushing forward. He never stopped believing in himself and his team and, eventually, he proved all the naysayers wrong. As the icon once said, “The difference in winning and losing is most often, not quitting.”
If you can’t learn something from Walt Disney, you’re not paying attention.
The bottom line is, Walt Disney created an empire from scraps, essentially. It’s no surprise that by taking a closer look at his journey, we can all learn something from it.
So, follow the old legend’s lead and don’t get complacent, try to inspire the people around you because you’ll need their help to realize your dreams, do everything you can to ensure you end up doing what you love in life, and remember to never, ever give up.
To learn more about the incredible journey of one of America’s most beloved icons, keep an eye out for Walt Before Mickey (you can check out the trailer below and visit the official movie site here) and don’t forget about KVibe’s next feature, Brandini, the story of a young man who sacrifices everything to pursue his dream.
About Us: A full-service film & video production company in NJ, KVibe Productions can guide you every step of the way from development through distribution. Whether you need a web promo video, a commercial, a corporate video, or a feature film, KVibe creates to inspire.