In search of the real Walt Disney

One of the names most often associated with this time of the year is Walt Disney.

The company bearing his name has produced a number of films which are regularly enjoyed throughout the festive season. And while the company continues to make new films, some of its most popular titles are the ones which Walt was personally involved with, and are available on DVD and Blu-ray today.

However while these are family friendly films some of them deal with quite grown-up subjects. Who could, for example, forget what happened to Bambi’s mother?

For me one of the most terrifying of all villains is Maleficent from The Sleeping Beauty, who gave me many sleepless nights when I was young. For many people Walt Disney is more of a brand than anything else. However this Saturday at a quarter to nine on BBC2 there is the first part of a two part documentary on Walt Disney. This documentary features some recently released footage of Walt and helps to build up a picture of what the man behind the films was really like.

There will be contributions from his family, his friends, animators and designers as well as scenes from some of his most famous films.

The real man was somewhat different to what people often think that he was like. He had a rather less pleasant side to him and he was very single-minded about what he was trying to achieve. The first part of the documentary covers his early days through to the great success that he had with his first full length animated feature.

Walt’s story is inspiring, but there is also a price that has to be paid for his ambition. The second part is on at the earlier time of five to eight next Saturday.

Ian K