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Walt Disney's Failures Could Inspire Entrepreneurs

Walt Disney's Failures Could Inspire Entrepreneurs ByStephen SchochetYou are a struggling entrepreneur and sometimes it feelslike you are pushing a 3 ton boulder up a steep hill. Costskeep mounting an...

Walt Disney's Failures Could Inspire Entrepreneurs By
Stephen Schochet

You are a struggling entrepreneur and sometimes it feels
like you are pushing a 3 ton boulder up a steep hill. Costs
keep mounting and you are considering giving up. Well before
you do, check out these 10 setbacks that Walt Disney had,
some were financial nightmares that put him millions of
dollars in the red:

1) Walt formed his first animation company in Kansas City in
1921. He made a deal with a distribution company in New
York, in which he would ship them his cartoons and get paid
six months down the road. Flushed with success, he began to
experiment with new storytelling techniques, his costs went
up and then the distributor went bankrupt. He was forced to
dissolve his company and at one point could not pay his rent
and was surviving by eating dog food.

2) Walt created a mildly successful cartoon character in
1926 called Oswald the Rabbit. When he tried to negotiate
with his distributor, Universal Studios, for better rates
for each cartoon, he was informed that Universal had
obtained ownership of the Oswald character and they had
hired Disney's artists out from under him.

3) When Walt tried to get MGM studios to distribute Mickey
Mouse in 1927 he was told that the idea would never work-- a
giant mouse on the screen would terrify women.

4) The Three Little Pigs was rejected by distributors in
1933 because it only had four characters, it was felt at
that time that cartoons should have as many figures on the
screen as possible. It later became very successful and
played at one theater so long that the poster outside
featured the pigs with long white beards.

5) Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs was sneak previewed to
College Students in 1937 who left halfway during the film
causing Disney great despair. It turned out the students had
to leave early because of dorm curfew.

6) Pinocchio in 1940 became extra expensive because Walt
shut down the production to make the puppet more sympathetic
than the lying juvenile delinquent as presented in the
original Carlo Collodi story. He also resurrected a minor
character, an unnamed cricket who tried to tell Pinocchio
the difference between right and wrong until the puppet
killed him with the mallet. Excited by the development of
Jiminy Cricket plus the revamped, misguided rather than
rotten Pinocchio, Walt poured extra money into the film's
special effects and it ended up losing a million dollars in
it's first release.

7) For the premiere of Pinocchio Walt hired 11 midgets,
dressed them up like the little puppet and put them on top
of Radio City Music Hall in New York with a full day's
supply of food and wine. The idea was they would wave hello
to the little children entering into the theater. By the
middle of the hot afternoon, there were 11 drunken naked
midgets running around the top of the marquee, screaming
obscenities at the crowd below. The most embarrassed people
were the police who had to climb up ladders and take the
little fellows off in pillowcases.

8) Walt never lived to see Fantasia become a success. 1940
audiences were put off by it's lack of a story. Also the
final scene, The Night On Bald Mountain sequence with the
devil damning the souls of the dead, was considered unfit
for children.

9) In 1942, Walt was in attendance for the premiere of
Bambi. In the dramatic scene where Bambi's mother died,
Bambi was shown wandering through the meadow shouting,"
Mother! Where are you, Mother?" A teenage girl seated in the
balcony shouted out, " Here I am Bambi!" The audience broke
into laughter except for the red-faced Walt who concluded
correctly that war-time was not the best time to release a
film about the love-life of a deer.

10) The sentimental Pollyanna in 1960 made Walt cry at the
studio screening but failed at the box office. Walt
concluded that the title was off-putting for young boys.

Walt was human, he suffered through many fits of anger and
depression through his many trials. Yet he learned from each
setback, and continued to take even bigger risks which
combined with the wisdom that experiencing failure can
provideFree Web Content, led to fabulous financial rewards.

Article Tags: Failures Could Inspire, Could Inspire Entrepreneurs, Failures Could, Could Inspire, Inspire Entrepreneurs

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Stephen Schochet is the author and narrator of two highly
acclaimed audiobooks "Fascinating Walt Disney" and "Tales Of
Hollywood". Hear RealAudio samples at

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