Walt Disney’s cartoons were originally called “Laugh-O-Grams.”
Source: Original photo by Sueddeutsche Zeitung Photo/ Alamy Stock Photo
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Walt Disney’s cartoons were originally called “Laugh-O-Grams.”

Before founding the animation studio that bears his name, Walt Disney was a commercial artist in Kansas City, Missouri. It was there, around 1919, that he began making hand-drawn cel animations of his own, which were screened in a local theater and dubbed “Laugh-O-Grams.” The studio he acquired following his cartoons’ success had the same moniker, but it was a short-lived venture — Laugh-O-Gram’s seven-minute fairy tales and other works were popular with audiences, but financial troubles forced Disney to declare bankruptcy in 1923.

Walt Disney was cryogenically frozen.
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It's a Fib
Intriguing though it may be to think otherwise, “Disney on Ice” is just a show. Not unlike Elvis still being alive and Paul McCartney being replaced by a look-alike, this odd urban legend has persisted for decades despite being based on nothing more than tabloid rumors.

Disney, his brother Roy, and cartoonist Ub Iwerks moved to Hollywood the same year and founded Disney Brothers Cartoon Studio, which quickly changed its name to Walt Disney Studios at Roy’s behest. Had it not been for Laugh-O-Gram, however, it’s likely that Disney’s most famous creation would never have been born. The inspiration for Mickey Mouse came from a brown mouse who frequented his Kansas City studio trash basket — a “timid little guy” Disney was so fond of that before leaving for Hollywood, he “carefully carried him to a backyard, making sure it was a nice neighborhood,” at which point “the tame little fellow scampered to freedom.”

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Numbers Don’t Lie
Academy Awards won by Walt Disney, the most of any individual
Box-office gross of “Frozen II,” Disney’s highest-grossing animated film
$1.45 billion
Disney Parks around the world
Feature films produced by Walt Disney Animation Studios
Mickey Mouse’s original name was _______.
Mickey Mouse’s original name was Mortimer Mouse.
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Think Twice
Walt Disney was the original voice of Mickey Mouse.

For the first 20 years of his existence, Mickey Mouse was voiced by none other than Walt Disney himself. The world was introduced to Mickey in 1928’s animated short Steamboat Willie, though Disney produced two prior shorts featuring Mickey that same year, Plane Crazy and Gallopin’ Gaucho, which weren’t picked up by distributors. Steamboat was the first of these to feature sound, though Mickey didn’t utter his first actual words (“Hot dogs!”) until the following year’s The Karnival Kid. The last regular short Disney lent his vocal talents to was 1947’s Fun and Fancy Free, though 2013’s Get a Horse! patched together previous recordings to once again feature him as the voice of his most famous creation.

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