Great Throughts Treasury

A database of quotes

Walt Disney, fully Walter Elias "Walt" Disney

American Entertainment Businessman, Founder of Disneyland/Disney World, Animator, Film Producer, Director, Screenwriter, Voice Actor, International Icon

"If you can dream it, you can do it."

"All our dreams can come true - if we have the courage to pursue them."

"[Being a celebrity] doesn't even seem to keep the fleas off our dogs - and if being a celebrity won't give me an advantage over a couple of fleas, then I guess there can't be much in being a celebrity after all."

"A good ending is vital to a picture, the single most important element, because it is what the audience takes with them out of the theater."

"A person should set his goals as early as he can and devote all his energy and talent to getting there. With enough effort, he may achieve it. Or he may find something that is even more rewarding. But in the end, no matter what the outcome, he will know he has been alive."

"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."

"A man should never neglect his family for business."

"Adults are interested if you don't play down to the little 2 or 3 year olds or talk down. I don't believe in talking down to children. I don't believe in talking down to any certain segment. I like to kind of just talk in a general way to the audience. Children are always reaching."

"All the adversity I’ve had in my life, all my troubles and obstacles, have strengthened me… You may not realize it when it happens, but a kick in the teeth may be the best thing in the world for you."

"All right I am corny, you know? But I think there are just about 140 million people in this country who are just as corny as I am, you know? I'm not a politician, I do it because I like it."

"All cartoon characters and fables must be exaggeration, caricatures. It is the very nature of fantasy and fable."

"All your dreams can come true if you have the courage to pursue them."

"All you've got to do is own up to your ignorance honestly, and you'll find people who are eager to fill your head with information."

"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."

"Animation is different from other parts. Its language is the language of caricature. Our most difficult job was to develop the cartoon's unnatural but seemingly natural anatomy for humans and animals."

"Always like to look on the optimistic side of life, but I am realistic enough to know that life is a complex matter."

"Animation offers a medium of story-telling and visual entertainment which can bring pleasure and information to people of all ages everywhere in the world."

"Animation can explain whatever the mind of man can conceive. This facility makes it the most versatile and explicit means of communication yet devised for quick mass appreciation."

"As long as there is imagination left in the world, Disneyland will never be finished."

"As the original Mary Poppins budget of five million dollars continued to grow, I never saw a sad face around the entire Studio. And this made me nervous. I knew the picture would have to gross 10 million dollars for us to break even. But still there was no negative head-shaking. No prophets of doom. Even Roy was happy. He didn't even ask me to show the unfinished picture to a banker. The horrible thought struck me — suppose the staff had finally conceded that I knew what I was doing."

"Art was always a means to an end with me. You get an idea, and you just can't wait. Once you've started, then you're in there with the punches flying. There's plenty of trouble, but you can handle it. You can't back out. It gets you down once in a while, but it's exciting. Our whole business is exciting."

"Around here, however, we don’t look backwards for very long. We keep moving forward, opening up new doors and doing new things, because we’re curious… and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths."

"Born of necessity, the little fellow [Mickey Mouse] literally freed us of immediate worry. He provided the means for expanding our organization to its present dimensions and for extending the medium cartoon animation towards new entertainment levels. He spelled production liberation for us."

"Children are people, and they should have to reach to learn about things, to understand things, just as adults have to reach if they want to grow in mental stature. Life is composed of lights and shadows, and we would be untruthful, insincere, and saccharine if we tried to pretend there were no shadows. Most things are good, and they are the strongest things; but there are evil things too, and you are not doing a child a favor by trying to shield him from reality. The important thing is to teach a child that good can always triumph over evil, and that is what our pictures attempt to do."

"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."

"Being a celebrity doesn't even seem to keep the fleas off our dogs — and if being a celebrity won't give me an advantage over a couple of fleas, then I guess there can't be much in being a celebrity after all."

"Biggest problem? Well, I'd say it's been my biggest problem all my life. MONEY. It takes a lot of money to make these dreams come true. From the very start it was a problem. Getting the money to open Disneyland. About seventeen million it took. And we had everything mortgaged including my personal insurance."

"Cartoon animation offers a medium of storytelling and visual entertainment which can bring pleasure and information to people of all ages everywhere in the world."

"Courage is the main quality of leadership, in my opinion, no matter where it is exercised. Usually it implies some risk — especially in new undertakings. Courage to initiate something and to keep it going, pioneering and adventurous spirit to blaze new ways, often, in our land of opportunity."

"Crowded classrooms and half-day sessions are a tragic waste of our greatest national resource - the minds of our children."

"Direct and easy communications — freedom of speech in all forms and in its broadest sense — has become vital to the very survival of a civilized humanity."

"Deeds rather than words express my concept of the part religion should play in everyday life. I have watched constantly that in our movie work the highest moral and spiritual standards are upheld, whether it deals with fable or with stories of living action."

"Disneyland is a show."

"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 not just another amusement park. It's unique, and I want it kept that way. Besides, you don't work for a dollar - you work to create and have fun."

"Disneyland is the star, everything else is in the supporting role."

"Disneyland is a work of love. We didn't go into Disneyland just with the idea of making money."

"Disneyland is dedicated to the ideals, the dreams, and the hard facts that have created America… with hope that it will be a source of joy and inspiration to all the world."

"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."

"Disneyland would be a world of Americans, past and present, seen through the eyes of my imagination–a place of warmth and nostalgia, of illusion and color and delight."

"Disneyland is something that will never be finished. It's something that I can keep developing. It will be a live, breathing thing that will need change. A picture is a thing, once you wrap it up and turn it over to Technicolor, you're through. Snow White is a dead issue with me. But I can change the park, because it's alive."

"Do what you do so well that they will want to see it again and bring their friends."

"Do a good job. You don't have to worry about the money; it will take care of itself. Just do your best work — then try to trump it."

"Don't tell me about the problems - I make the problems."

"EPCOT will be an experimental prototype community of tomorrow that will take its cue from the new ideas and new technologies that are now emerging from the creative centers of American industry. It will be a community of tomorrow that will never be completed, but will always be introducing and testing and demonstrating new materials and systems. And EPCOT will always be a showcase to the world for the ingenuity and imagination of American free enterprise."

"Dreams, ideas, and plans not only are an escape, they give me purpose, a reason to hang on."

"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."

"Everyone falls down. Getting back up is how you learn how to walk."

"Every person has his own ideas of the act of praying for God's guidance, tolerance, and mercy to fulfill his duties and responsibilities. My own concept of prayer is not as a plea for special favors nor as a quick palliation for wrongs knowingly committed. A prayer, it seems to me, implies a promise as well as a request; at the highest level, prayer not only is a supplication for strength and guidance, but also becomes an affirmation of life and thus a reverent praise of God."