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The Life Of Walt Disney & The Grimm Brothers

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Walt Disney and Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm

Walt Disney and the Grimm Brothers used their talents, and, with help, became some of the most famous children's literature writers and business owners of all time. Many children have read Grimm Brothers' fairy tales and watched Walt Disney's films and cartoons. The creators have used their tales, films, and cartoons not only during their lives, but even now.

Walter Elias Disney was born on December 5, 1901 to a German-Irish-Canadian-American family who lived in Chicago, Illinois. He had three brothers and one sister. His mother was a German-American woman named Flora Call Disney. His father was an Irish-Canadian man named Elias Disney (Encarta Encyclopedia 2).

After a few years, Elias Disney moved his family to a farm near Marceline, Missouri. This was when Walt started taking an interest in drawing and developed a love for animals. He sold his first sketches to some of his neighbors when he was seven years old (Encarta Encyclopedia 2).

Jacob Ludwig Carl Grimm and Wilhelm Grimm in Hanau, Germany. Jacob was born on January 4, 1785 and Wilhelm on February 24, 1786. Their parents were Philipp Wilhelm Grimm and Dorothea Grimm. Philipp and Dorothea had nine children together. In 1971, the Grimm family moved to Steinau. Five years later, in 1976, Philipp Wilhelm Grimm died at the age of 44. At this time, Jacob was eleven years old and Wilhelm was about to be ten (Grimm Brothers' Home Page 1).

In 1910, the Disney family moved to Kansas City. Walt helped his father's newspaper distribution business by delivering newspapers. "Walt attended Benton School, and occasionally surprised his teachers with his talent for drawing and acting. (Disney A to Z, 143)" The family moved back to Chicago where Disney would attend McKinley High School for one year. During this time, he worked on the school newspaper doing drawing and photography. He also attended the Academy of Fine Arts at night (Disney A to Z 143).

The Grimm Brothers' first school was called Lyceum Fridericianum in Cassel, Germany. The school had seven different classes and was used to prepare people for college. "The four upper served to prepare for the university while pupils of the three lower ones did not aim at further academic studies. Unfortunately, Preceptor Zinckhan's lessons had not been enough for Jacob and Wilhelm. Jacob was admitted to the lowest form only while Wilhelm had to get further private tuition before entering the High School."(The Brothers Grimm 21) After their time at the Lyceum Fridericianum, both Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm studied law at Marburg University. Jacob started in 1802 and his brother Wilhelm followed in 1803. (The Brothers Grimm 21)

After his years at school, Walt Disney attempted to enlist for military service. He was rejected because he was only sixteen years old, so he joined the Red Cross and was sent overseas. He spent a year driving an ambulance and driving Red Cross officials. His entire ambulance was covered with cartoons that he had made. (Encarta Encyclopedia 2)

After the war, Disney came back home to America to Kansas City, Missouri. For a short period of time, he worked with the Kansas City Film Company. After that, he started his own company, Laugh-O-Gram Films. With the help of some of his talented friends, he made his first animated cartoons. The company soon went bankrupt. (Disney A to Z 143)

After that, Disney moved to Hollywood, California in 1923 to join his brother Roy Disney to establish The Disney Brothers Studio. Roy had already been in California and has $250 to his name. In August of that year, Disney had come to California with only $40. The brothers combined their money and talent, borrowed $500 and first set up shop in their uncle's garage. "Soon, they received an order from New York for the first "Alice in Cartoonland" featurette, and the brothers expanded their production operation to the rear of a Hollywood real estate office."(Encarta Encyclopedia 2) This was the company's first cartoon series. After that, the company made a year's worth of Oswald the Lucky Rabbit cartoons. (Encarta Encyclopedia 2)

Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm began to collect folktales because of influence by the folkpoetry collections of Clemens Brentano and Achim von Arnim. Clemens was impressed with some of the Grimm Brothers' material that they had collected when he visited Cassel in 1807. After Arnim came to Cassel, he was just as impressed as Clemens. "The brothers generously handed over to Arnim their collection of folksongs, and became ardent collaborators on the second and third volume of the Wunderhorn."(The Brothers Grimm, 47) A little after that, Brentano asked for a loan of the tales collected so far which he wanted to compare with his own store. (The Brothers Grimm 47)

Disney married Lillian Bounds, one of his first employees, on July 13, 1925 in Lewiston, Idaho. "They were blessed with two daughters, Diane, married to Ron Miller, former USC football star, and former Vice President - Executive Producers at the studio; and Sharon, wife of William S. Lund, an executive with Economics Research Associates, an international management consulting firm headquartered in Los Angeles." (Encarta Encyclopedia 2) Diane and Ron Miller had seven children: Christopher, Joanna Sharon, Tamara, Jennifer, Walter Elias Disney, Ronald William, Jr., and Patrick. Sharon and William Lund had only three children: Victoria Diane and twins, Bradford Disney and Michelle Ann. (Disney A to Z 142-143)

On May 15, 1825, Wilhelm married Henriette Dorothea Wild at the age of 39. Together they had three children: Karl, Jacob, and Agnes. Both Jacob and Agnes died in the same year. This marriage provided both Jacob and Wilhelm with many folktale texts. (The Brothers Grimm 95)

The Grimm Brothers first collection of tales was not published until after their deaths. One of their most famous collections was probably Kinder-und HausmÐ'rchen which means Children's and Household Tales. It consisted of 7 volumes that contained many memorable childhood stories. Some of their other works were Altdeutsche WÐ'lder (Old German Forests), Der arme Heinrich von Hartmann von der Aue (Poor Heinrich by Harmann von der Aue), Lieder der alten Edda (Lays from the Elder



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