Walt Disney: Quote . . . Unquote

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — Walt Disney was quoted on many topics of
entertainment, his life and career. Here’s a sampling from the new
Disney Editions book, “The Quotable Walt Disney,” compiled by
Disney archivist Dave Smith . . .

On Mickey Mouse:

  • “I only hope that we never lose sight of one thing–that it
    was all started by a mouse.”
  • “Mickey Mouse is, to me, a symbol of independence. He was a
    means to an end. He popped out of my mind onto a drawing pad . . .
    on a train ride from Manhattan to Hollywood at a time when business
    fortunes of my brother Roy and myself were at lowest ebb and
    disaster seemed right around the corner. Born of necessity, the
    little fellow literally freed us of immediate worry. He provided
    the means for expanding our organization . . . and for extending
    the medium of cartoon animation toward new entertainment levels. He
    spelled production liberation for us.”
  • “All we ever intended for him or expected of him was that he
    should continue to make people everywhere chuckle with him and at
    him. We didn’t burden him with any social symbolism, we made him no
    mouthpiece for frustrations or harsh satire. Mickey was simply a
    little personality assigned to the purposes of laughter.”

On the parks:

  • “When I started on Disneyland, my wife used to say, ‘But why
    do you want to build an amusement park? They’re so dirty.’ I told
    her that was just the point–mine wouldn’t be.”
  • “I think what I want Disneyland to be most of all is a happy
    place–a place where adults and children can experience together
    some of the wonders of life, of adventure, and feel better because
    of it.”
  • “Disneyland is a work of love. We didn’t go into Disneyland
    just with the idea of making money.”
  • “Disneyland is like a piece of clay: If there is something I
    don’t like, I’m not stuck with it. I can reshape and
    revamp.”
  • “Disneyland is often called a magic kingdom because it
    combines fantasy and history, adventure and learning, together with
    every variety of recreation and fun designed to appeal to
    everyone.”
  • “Disneyland will never be completed. It will continue to
    grow as long as there is imagination left in the world.”
  • “Believe me, it’s the most exciting and challenging
    assignment we have ever tackled at Walt Disney Productions.” (on
    Walt Disney World).”

On children, young and old, and the family:

  • “I do not make films primarily for children. I make them for
    the child in all of us, whether we be six or sixty. Call the child
    innocence. The worst of us is not without innocence, although
    buried deeply it might be. In my work I try to reach and speak to
    that innocence, showing it the fun and joy of living; showing it
    that laughter is healthy; showing it that the human species,
    although happily ridiculous at times, is still reaching for the
    stars.”
  • “Every child is born blessed with a vivid imagination. But
    just as a muscle grows flabby with disuse, so the bright
    imagination of a child pales in later years if he ceases to
    exercise it.”
  • “The way to keep children out of trouble is to keep them
    interested in things. Lecturing to children is no answer to
    delinquency. Preaching won’t keep kids out of trouble. But keeping
    their minds occupied will.”
  • “That’s the real trouble with the world, too many people
    grow up. They forget. They don’t remember what it’s like to be
    twelve years old. They patronize; they treat children as inferiors.
    I won’t do that. I’ll temper a story, yes. But I won’t play down,
    and I won’t patronize.”
  • “It’s a mistake not to give people a chance to learn to
    depend on themselves while they are young.”
  • “To the youngsters of today, I say believe in the future,
    the world is getting better; there still is plenty of opportunity.
    Why, would you believe it, when I was a kid I thought it was
    already too late for me to make good at anything.”
  • “Childishness? I think it’s the equivalent of never losing
    your sense of humor. I mean, there’s a certain something that you
    retain. It’s the equivalent of not getting so stuffy that you can’t
    laugh at others.”
  • “The important thing is the family. If you can keep the
    family together–and that’s the backbone of our whole business,
    catering to families–that’s what we hope to do.”
  • “A man should never neglect his family for
    business.”

On America:

  • “Laughter is America’s most important export.”
  • “Actually, if you could see close in my eyes, the American
    flag is waving in both of them and up my spine is growing this red,
    white and blue stripe.”
  • “In my view, wholesome pleasure, sport, and recreation are
    as vital to this nation as productive work and should have a large
    share in the national budget.”

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