America's Man (a Walt Disney TL)

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PNWKing

Banned
Let's start from the beginning. An itinerate Canadian immigrant and a WASP belle with roots in the United States going back to Colonial Massachusetts. Elias and Flora Disney were as unlikely a couple as can be.

However, this unlikely couple welcomed several children. But the one we will focus on was born on December, 5, 1901, in Hermosa, Chicago, IL. His name was Walter Elias Disney. Walter was from his father's pastor, an influence on his life.

However, Elias was not a perfect Christian on the surface. He was a violent man, and he let this violence out on his sons and his daughter Ruth, born 1903. Ruth's one friend was her older by two years brother Walt.
 
Young Walt

PNWKing

Banned
Elias would move a lot. When Walt was four years old, Elias moved the family from Chicago to Marceline, Missouri. It was in Marceline that Walt first discovered his true passions: art and trains.

Walt began to draw. He soon began taking commissions for his drawings. His drawings became known around Marceline. Elias did not approve of this as he did not see it as the path to a successful career.

Elias encouraged Walt's other interest: trains. He saw Walt working on the trains and making money off of it. When Walt began to draw the trains, Elias though, disapproved.

However, another influence entered Walt's life at 8 years old, in 1909. He started school with his younger sister, Ruth. It was there that he was engrossed in the world of tales. He found the German tales of the Brothers Grimm intriguing. The collections also included people like Charles Perrault. And he found the latest novels by one Lyman Frank Baum, who published as L. Frank Baum.

Walt encouraged Ruth to read, which Elias did not like. This was what lead him to another great American writer, Samuel Clemens, or as his pen name was, "Mark Twain".
 
From the way this is currently shaping, I think Elias Disney might want to consider a presidential term, what with how he doesn't want little girls to read, or how adamant he is on forcing kids to not express creativity.

Of course, I could very well be wrong on this.
 

PNWKing

Banned
From the way this is currently shaping, I think Elias Disney might want to consider a presidential term, what with how he doesn't want little girls to read, or how adamant he is on forcing kids to not express creativity.

Of course, I could very well be wrong on this.
Naw. Elias was born in Canada.

Also, that's not where I'm going with this.
 
World War I

PNWKing

Banned
1914. Now, most years are just moves of the planet around the Earth, but some have consequences. 1914 was one of them. Archduke Franz Ferdinand was shot in Serbia by a Serbian nationalist. Because Serbia was allied with Russia, France, and the UK and Austria-Hungary was allied with the German & Ottoman Empires, soon Europe was thrust into a war of Biblical proportions.

Within a few years, the Lusitania, a British ship carrying Americans was sunk. "Remember the Lusitania!" calls came out from every street and every home in America. Including the one in Chicago owned by an investor in the Zell-O company, Elias Disney. 16-year old Walt Disney was as caught up in the patriotic fervor as any American.

Finally in March of 1918, Walt got his mother Flora to falsify his record so instead of 16 he was 18. He could now enlist. Walt found himself serving with the 16th Battalion in France, in what turned out to be one of the final battles of the war [1].

After the armistice, Walt met up with a young artist and fellow war veteran named Ub Iwerks. Walt realized that Ub also had ties to the Kansas City, MO, area and thought, "We should go into business together." However, he thought the name Iwerks-Disney sounded wrong and that Disney-Iwerks sounded like a place that made eyeglasses. So, he came up with a new name, the Kansas City Commercial Art Company.

[1] First divergence from OTL.
 
Walt found himself serving with the 16th Battalion in France, in what turned out to be one of the final battles of the war.
he thought the name Iwerks-Disney sounded wrong and that Disney-Iwerks sounded like a place that made eyeglasses.
Impressive change! Instead of being relegated to a chauffeur for ambulances, Walt actually helped fight in his country's side of the war.

When you sound it out like that, I can see why he would believe in those thoughts. Although, of those two, I like the former better, if only because it comes across as egocentric for Walt to not like that name.

Not saying the name they eventually chose was bad, but I think that "I Works Disney" sounds rather Popeye-esque for a time and place like theirs, while I can't agree more that "Disney Eye Works" does, in fact, sound more like a factory for glasses than an animation studio.
 
Laugh-O-Gram

PNWKing

Banned
As the 1920s began, the Kansas City Commercial Art Company had become successful. But in 1923, a letter to the Kansas City Commercial Art Company was received from a New York distributor named Margaret Winkler, demanding new films for release. Walt soon answered Winkler's letters with a series of shorts, the Alice Comedies. These comedies starred a cartoon cat and a human actress named Virginia Davies.

In 1924, Walt began making more and more of the Alice Comedies. These had become profitable for the Kansas City Commercial Art Company, which changed it's name to the Laugh-O-Gram Company.

In 1925, however, Winkler stopped buying the Alice Comedies and the Laugh-O-Gram Company lost their revenue. This was a disaster, as the company declared bankruptcy and was liquidated.
So, in 1926 with his last $40 and a change of clothes, Walt Disney decided to take a train to join his brother, Roy, in Los Angeles, California. The sleepy town had grown with the rise of the film industry.
 
Oswald

PNWKing

Banned
1927 marked a year of change for Walt Disney and his new Walt Disney Company. The company was looking for a distributor. MGM, UA, Universal, Paramount, the newly formed 20th Century-Fox, and Columbia Pictures were all on the docket.

Walt realized soon he could try for Universal, and he made a character with Ub Iwerks. Oswald the Lucky Rabbit debuted and became a successful franchise for Universal. But Charles Mintz wanted more.
 
1927 marked a year of change for Walt Disney and his new Walt Disney Company. The company was looking for a distributor. MGM, UA, Universal, Paramount, the newly formed 20th Century-Fox, and Columbia Pictures were all on the docket.

Walt realized soon he could try for Universal, and he made a character with Ub Iwerks. Oswald the Lucky Rabbit debuted and became a successful franchise for Universal. But Charles Mintz wanted more.
If or when Oswald fails, could we see Fox distribute Disney's content? Just asking.
 
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