Walt Disney: A Mouse Is Born
Born in Chicago on December 5, 1901, Walter Elias Disney spent his childhood on a farm in Missouri. Inspired by the animals around him, the young Walt began to draw at an early age, selling sketches to his neighbors when he was just seven. The Disneys next lived in Kansas City, where his father ran a paper route, returning to Chicago in 1917 when his father invested in a jelly factory there. During high school, Walt took night classes at the Chicago Art Institute and drew cartoons for the school paper.
At the age of 16, Walt dropped out of school to serve in World War I. Rejected by the Army because he was underage, he joined the Red Cross and drove an ambulance in France. After the war, Walt returned to Kansas City to pursue a career as a cartoonist. He soon became interested in the new field of animation, and founded Laugh-O-Gram Studio to create animated cartoons. Unfortunately, the studio soon went bankrupt, and Walt decided to 1 try his luck in Hollywood. With $250 in capital, he and his brother Roy started Disney Brothers Cartoon Studio in 1923. His first employees included Ub Iwerks, who became Walt’s lifelong collaborator, and Lillian Bounds, who became his wife.
When Walt and Ub’s first creation, Oswald the Lucky Rabbit, was stolen by the studio that distributed it, they decided to create their own character. Walt came up with a cheerful mouse named Mortimer, but Lillian thought Mickey sounded better. The premiere of The Jazz Singer— the world’s first “talkie”—provided him with his eureka moment. Walt decided to give Mickey Mouse a voice, and the famous rodent has been talking ever since.
十六歲那年，華特輟學，準備要從軍投入一次大戰。陸軍以不足齡為由拒絕他之後，他加入紅十字會，到法國駕駛救護車。戰爭結束後，華特回到堪薩斯市想以漫畫家為業。不久後，他對動畫這個新領域產生興趣，於是成立 Laugh-O-Gram 工作室從事卡通影片的創作。不幸地，這工作室沒多久後即宣告破產，於是華特決定到好萊塢碰碰運氣。帶著兩百五十元資金，華特和他的哥哥洛伊於一九二三年創立迪士尼兄弟卡通工作室。他最初的雇員中，有後來成為他終身工作夥伴的厄伯艾沃克，以及成為他妻子的莉蓮邦茲。
institute (n.) 學院，機構
ambulance (n.) 救護車
creation (n.) 創作（品），產物
distribute (v.) 發行，經銷