What was the secret to Walt Disney’s success? In a new video for PragerU, “Walt Disney: American Dreamer,” conservative radio host and author Glenn Beck pays tribute to the iconic American visionary. Starting with his humble beginnings in rural Missouri, Beck describes Disney’s tireless pursuit of his vision, which took him across the country to Hollywood where he would launch his small animation company that — with the help of America’s embrace of the free market — would have an immeasurable impact on popular culture.
“I want to tell you about an American Original, a man who saw into the future and made it a reality,” Beck begins. “He isn’t the only one to do this. There were American Originals before him, Benjamin Franklin, the Wright Brothers, John D. Rockefeller. And there are American Originals in our time like Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Elon Musk. But in the middle of the twentieth century, there was no better example than Walt Disney. Fifty years after his death, his name still stands atop a global empire.”
Early on his career, Beck notes, Disney faced both professional and financial struggles, but he had confidence in his vision.
“Raised on a small family farm in Missouri, Walt Disney arrived in Hollywood in 1923 with little more than a suitcase and a pencil,” says Beck. “But he had something else. An idea — an idea to explore humanity’s foibles through cartoon animals. Now, I know it sounds obvious now, but only because we live in the world that he helped create.”
He continues: “At first, Disney, like most entrepreneurs, did everything himself — he wrote, produced, directed, and animated. And animation is a painstakingly, time-intensive task. In the early days, it would take hundreds, if not thousands, of separate drawings to create a moving cartoon.”
Beck adds, “But hard work was never really a problem for Walt Disney. Living on baked beans, and renting a one-room office for $5 a month, he believed he was on to something — and nobody could convince him otherwise.”
Beck concludes by underscoring the role America and the free market played in Disney’s ability to pursue his vision.
“Men like Disney are rare, but far less so in America,” says Beck. “Why? Well, because traditionally, Americans, unlike other people in other countries, don’t rely on the government to get things done. And, ideally, the government stays out of their way. Americans instead rely on their own ingenuity. In America, the only limit to your ambition is your own imagination. And if we want more American originals like Walt Disney, let’s hope we keep it that way.”
You can watch the video below:
You can find more about Glenn Beck at his website.