The Walt Disney Company, usually just referred to as Disney, was founded in Los Angeles in 1923 by brothers Walt and Roy Disney. Originally a cartoon studio, the company got started by producing silent cartoons. Walt’s first film was Alice in Wonderland in 1923 where a female actress interacted with animated characters.
In 1928, Walt created Mickey Mouse. Originally named Mortimer, Walt’s wife, Lillian, disliked the name. Walt changed it to Mickey. Steamboat Willie, their first cartoon with sound, was a huge success.
In 1955, the company opened Disneyland in Anaheim, California, a cartoon themed theme park. Disney’s film studios stayed busy as well, averaging at least five or six releases per year. including Lady and the Tramp in 1955, Sleeping Beauty in 1959, and 101 Dalmatians in 1961.
In 1984, Michael Eisner was brought on as company CEO. Current CEO, Robert Iger, replaced Eisner in 2005.
The company has received criticism for their positive portrayals of gay characters in some recent movies, such as Le Fou from Beauty and the Beast and Scar in The Lion King.
The Walt Disney Company is listed as #17 on the Forbes 2018 list of World’s Best Employers.
Disney is also under fire after announcing that smoking would be completely banned inside their theme parks and that certain “large” strollers would also not be permitted as of May 1, 2019.
Like Netflix, current CEO Robert Iger stated that the company would no longer do filming in the state of Georgia if their strict anti-abortion law goes through in 2020.