How much was Walt Disney worth?
|Net Worth:||$1 Billion
|Date of Birth:||December 5, 1901 (aged 65)|
|Country:||United States of America|
|Height:||5 ft 10 in (1.78 m)|
About Walt Disney
After growing up in poverty, not even Disney himself would have thought drawing a cartoon mouse would have brought him the success and extreme wealth that it did. Everybody knows the name Walt Disney, whether it’s from his name appearing at the beginning of most movies released today, or due to being one of the 52 million yearly visitors of his theme park. Over 50 years since his death, the cartoonist is still the most famous drawer of all time with a list of production credits that would unravel for miles and includes Snow White, Pinocchio, Dumbo, Bambi, and Sleeping Beauty.
Walt Disney had a net worth of $1 billion dollars (inflation adjusted) at the time of his death, in 1966. If he was alive today it is estimated his net worth would be as high as $40 billion. The Walt Disney Company is worth an estimated $130 billion.
Though the animator grew up poor, it wasn’t long before Disney started making hundreds of thousands of dollars from what were initially doodles. The first animated short Disney made was Steamboat Willie and it introduced the world to Mickey Mouse. Disney even voiced the animated character himself, and as early as 1928 the character became famous across the world. Disney next went on to make Flowers and Trees and The Three Little Pigs, the 1930s productions that further cemented the artist as a groundbreaking visionary.
It was the late 30s when Disney became unrivaled in the industry and went on to produce classics that are commonly household favorites and movies that are passed down from generation to generation. One of his first major successes came in 1937 with Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, a film that is revered for its development in Technicolor and synchronized sound.
The 40s proved to be even better, as in the start of the decade Disney came in to multiplexes with the one, two punch of Pinocchio and Fantasia. And not long after came Dumbo and Bambi, movies that are constantly remastered to suit new platforms due to their popularity.
As Disney produced several films per year, he might have had a few misfires with some feature length movies underperforming at the box office, but the successes far outweigh the flops as he has won an unreachable amount of Academy Awards, 22 to be exact.
Disney holds the record for the highest amount of Academy Award wins and no other producer has come close in the 50+ years since his passing. Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, the first ever feature length movie produced by Disney, won eight Oscars alone.
A few other of Disney’s productions include Alice In Wonderland, Peter Pan, Treasure Island, and 101 Dalmations, but none are as important or as treasured to the producer as Mary Poppins. Mary Poppins was the last movie that Disney produced and one that he was so passionate about that the making of the movie was even adapted in to a film, Saving Mr. Banks, wherein Tom Hanks played the coveted producer.
The creator of Mary Poppins did not want her work to be adapted in to a movie, but with Disney being the powerhouse that he is, managed to convince her and it became one of the most successful films in Disney’s career, mixing animation with live action.
Having produced over 100 movies in his lifetime, it’s safe to say that Disney did rather well for himself financially, despite a few flops here and there. Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs was an experiment more than anything, as at the time a feature length animated movie was unheard of.
But the experiment worked out well as the film grossed almost $1.5 million in 1937. That might not seem like a lot of money now, but adjusted for inflation that $1.5 million would be $270 million today.
This inspired Disney to go full steam ahead and produce tonnes of feature length animated movies in the years later.
Disney’s estate is now worth billions, as the empire has set their sights on existing properties outside of classic animated movies.
Disney now owns Pixar, another animation studio that made computer generated animation mainstream and released classics such as the Toy Story series, Monsters Inc, Up, and more. It’s rare when a Pixar animated movie doesn’t make more than one billion dollars worldwide. Disney also owns the Star Wars and Marvel franchises, and though they aren’t always critical darlings, almost all of them are massive financial successes.
The Avengers: Endgame, part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, is the highest grossing movie of all time, and many other Marvel movies are in the top 50 grossing movies of all time too.
Though the man passed away half a century ago, the theme park that he built, Disneyland, is the most visited vacation destination in the world and it gets an average of 52 million visitors per year. Being based in Florida, that is almost three times the amount of the place’s population itself.
Though Disney was known to be shy and insecure throughout his whole career, he put on a faux confidence when in the presence of others. Though he was his own critic and didn’t enjoy the expectations fans would have of him, he would always act kind and out-going in the public eye.
Not only do people remember him for re-writing the book on how films should be made, but he was highly revered and adored by the people who knew him because he was so warm-hearted, and that’s a primary reason as to why he was so successful in his career, as people trusted him.
Above all else, he is determined, and Disney didn’t get to where he is now without taking several risks. To fund building his theme park, Disney took out a loan from his life insurance policy. He even mortgaged his house to fund Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, and as documented in the biopic Saving Mr. Banks, he is highly convincing, and arguably manipulative, as he managed to convince the most stubborn writers who were protective of their work to hand over the rights to him.
It might sound strange, but what makes Disney so successful posthumously is his signature.
At the beginning of a trailer of an upcoming Disney movie, when you see his signature scrawl across the screen you know it means that the movie will be of high quality and that the animation will be second to none.
Though it wasn’t all fun and games when he first began his career, Walt Disney overcame his anxieties, honed in on his craft, and made expert business decisions to become the most influential animator on the planet. At the time of his death in 1966, Disney was worth more than an estimated $1 billion. The company he founded is now worth over $200 billion.
His amusement parks are what attendees hold every other theme parks’ standard to and the empire that he built is now home to all the movies in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the Star Wars franchise, and has acquired Fox. With the arrival of the streaming service Disney+, a slew of entertainment is at our fingertips that millions of households signed up to before it was even released.