Why Disney’s Characters were Given Human Traits

July 8, 2018 11:31 pm0 commentsViews: 514

Disney Brothers Cartoon Studios changed its name to Walt Disney shortly after it was founded. Roy Disney suggested the new moniker – it was shorter, snappier and had more of a ring to it.

Mickey Mouse, created in 1928, is the biggest symbol of Disney but was not among the first characters created by the Disney brothers. From 1923 until 1927, Disney produced a series of short animations about the adventures of a young girl called Alice. It was successful but ran its course, allowing another character to be born from the minds of Walt and Roy. Oswald the Lucky Rabbit was created in 1927 and was a success with the press and the public. Nine short episodes of the rabbit were created by Disney before a contract disagreement resulted in the loss of the character. However, all was not lost, as this resulted in the creation of Mickey Mouse, a character who would become the company’s globally recognised icon.

Many Disney characters, especially early ones, are animals with human traits. This is known as anthropomorphism and is noticeable characters like Mickey Mouse, Goofy (who is based on a dog) and Donald Duck. The character Pluto was one of the few deviations from this norm. He was just a dog and apart from some exaggerated facial expressions, he remains simply a pet to Mickey.

Walt Disney’s first feature length animation, Snow White and the Seven Dwarves, was made in 1937 and was critically acclaimed world-wide. It was so successful that Walt decided to expand his studios in order to meet the audience’s expectations and so moved to a bigger studio in Burbank using Snow White’s profits.


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