Walt Disney was one of the greatest American entertainers to ever live. These Walt Disney quotes are legendary and inspirational. Throughout his life, Walt Disney reflected on the meaning of being an American, a good person, and inspiring dreams. The below quotes support those visions.
Best Walt Disney Quotes
This year, the Disney company is celebrating its 100th anniversary, giving us the perfect occasion to reflect on the legacy of Walt Disney himself and the vast contributions he made to the entertainment world through his animation, innovation, and entrepreneurship by looking back at his quotes. A visionary dreamer who gave us Mickey Mouse in the first short cartoon featuring synchronized sound (Steamboat Willie), produced the first full-length animated feature (Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs), and imagined a world of fantasy and adventure where parents and children could escape the trappings of reality and spend meaningful time together making lasting memories, Walt Disney also shared a treasure-trove of wise quotes over the course of his life and career.
Some Walt Disney quotes have been widely circulated and will probably be familiar, and others are lesser known but no less profound. Along with the expected thoughts on dreams, imagination, humor, and retaining the wonder of childhood, he spoke about the value of hard work, facing failure and adversity, and the importance of optimism.
It’s nearly impossible to read Walt Disney’s quotes without getting a sense of who he was, and for Disney fans who identify with his art, passion, and youthful view of the world, it’s hard to do so without feeling an immense kinship of spirit. So, sit back and soak up some motivation and inspiration from one of the most influential people of all time.
Walt Disney Quotes On Nature
Walt Disney was a strong supporter of the preservation of natural spaces and commented sharing the below quotes.
“What I have learned from the animal world, and what anyone will learn who studies it, is a renewed sense of kinship with the earth and all its inhabitants.”
“Sometimes we can recognize ourselves in animals. That’s what makes them so interesting.”
“I don’t like formal gardens. I like wild nature. It’s just the wilderness instinct in me, I guess.”
“Ever since the beginning of wisdom, man has been fashioning a brighter light and a stronger glass to help him probe deeper and deeper into the marvels of nature’s secret world. Often, we can’t explain what we see, but just looking is always a dramatic and thrilling experience.”
Walt Disney Quotes On Growing Up
Always a child at heart, Walt Disney reflected back with the below quotes.
“It’s a mistake not to give people a chance to learn to depend on themselves at a young age.”
“Our greatest natural resource is the minds of our children.”
“That’s the real trouble with the world, too many people grow up. They forget.”
“Why do we have to grow up? I know more adults who have the children’s approach to life… They are not afraid to be delighted with simple pleasures, and they have a degree of contentment with what life has brought – sometimes it isn’t much either.”
“Adults are only kids grown up.”
“I do not make films primarily for children. I make them for the child in all of us, whether we be six or sixty.”
“The worst of us is not without innocence, although buried deeply it might be.”
Walt Disney Quotes On Dreams
Walt Disney was a grand dreamer and shared many quotes over the years reflecting on his dreams and aspirations.
“People often ask me if I know the secret of success and if I could tell others how to make their dreams come true. My answer is you do it by working.”
“The difference between winning and losing is most often not quitting.”
“The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing.”
“All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them.”
“It’s kind of fun to do the impossible.”
“I dream, I test my dreams against my beliefs, I dare to take risks, and I execute my vision to make those dreams come true.”
Walt Disney Quotes On Imagination
Perhaps the man who brought things from his Imagination to life more than anyone, Walt Disney was an incredible man and shared his thoughts on this in the quotes below.
“What seems real to the mind can be as important as any material fact. We live by the spirit and the imagination as well as by our senses. Cartoon animation can give fantasy the same reality as those things we can touch and see and hear.”
“That’s what we storytellers do. We restore order with imagination. We instill hope again and again and again.”
“We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things, because we’re curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.”
“I can never stand still. I must explore and experiment. I am never satisfied with my work. I resent the limitations of my own imagination.”
“Every child is born blessed with a vivid imagination. But just as a muscle grows flabby with disuse, so the bright imagination of a child pales in later years if he ceases to exercise it.”
Walt Disney Quotes On Art
Below are some of my favorite quotes from Walt Disney on creating great art and supporting great artists.
“There are fashions in reading, even in thinking. You don’t have to follow them unless you want to. On the other hand, watch out. Don’t stick too closely to your favorite subject. That would keep you from adventuring into other fields. It’s silly to build a wall around your interests.”
“There is more treasure in books than in all the pirates’ loot on Treasure Island and at the bottom of the Spanish Main…and best of all, you can enjoy these riches every day of your life.”
“I love the nostalgic myself. I hope we never lose some of the things of the past.”
“I am in no sense of the word a great artist, not even a great animator; I have always had men working for me whose skills were greater then my own. I am an idea man.”
Quotes On Work and Life
Work-life balance likely wasn’t a concept that Walt Disney prescribed or followed. He believed that leaning into good work would deliver good results. The below quotes from Walt represent this.
“Whatever you do, do it well.”
“My fun is working on a project and solving the problems.”
“When you’re curious, you find lots of interesting things to do.”
“The greatest moments in life are not concerned with selfish achievements but rather with the things we do for the people we love and esteem, and whose respect we need.”
“All the adversity I’ve had in my life, all the troubles and obstacles, have strengthened me. You may not realize it when it happens, but a kick in the teeth may be the best thing in the world for you.”
“I have been up against tough competition all my life. I wouldn’t know how to get along without it.”
“Get a good idea, and stay with it. Dog it, and work at it until it’s done, and done right.”
“Everyone needs deadlines. Even the beavers. They loaf around all summer, but when they are faced with the winter deadline, they work like fury. If we didn’t have deadlines, we’d stagnate.”
“Laughter is no enemy to learning.”
Walt Disney Quotes On Optimism
Forever an optimist, the below optimistic Walt Disney quotes reveal a look at his view on the world.
“I decided to see every problem as the opportunity to find a solution.”
“The more you are in a state of gratitude, the more you will attract things to be grateful for.”
“Why worry? If you’ve done the very best you can, then worrying won’t make it any better. I worry about many things, but not about water over the dam.”
“Never get bored or cynical. Yesterday is a thing of the past.”
“I always like to look on the optimistic side of life, but I am realistic enough to know that life is a complex matter.”
“In bad times and good, I’ve never lost my zest for life.”
Walt Disney Quotes On Disneyland
For all of our passion for Disneyland, it is fascinating to hear Walt Disney himself look back on Disneyland with these quotes.
“Disneyland is the star. Everything else is in the supporting role.”
“We believed in our idea – a family park where parents and children could have fun – together.”
“I don’t want the public to see the world they live in while they’re in the Park. I want them to feel they’re in another world.”
“Fantasy, if it’s really convincing, can’t become dated, for the simple reason that it represents a flight into a dimension that lies beyond the reach of time.”
“Disneyland will never be completed. It will continue to grow as long as there is imagination left in the world.”
“Disneyland is a work of love. We didn’t go into Disneyland just with the idea of making money.”
“To all who come to this happy place: Welcome. Disneyland is your land. Here age relives fond memories of the past—and here youth may savor the challenge and promise of the future. Disneyland is dedicated to the ideals, the dreams and the hard facts that have created America—with the hope that it will be a source of joy and inspiration to all the world.”
Walt Disney Quotes On Animation and Entertainment
Perhaps most interesting are Walt Disney’s quotes reflecting on the nature of storytelling and entertainment itself. Many of these quotes are still held up as great lenses to look at the entertainment industry. These Walt Disney quotes still live on.
“I just make what I like – warm and human stories, ones about historic characters and events, and about animals. If there is a secret, I guess it’s that I never make the pictures too childish, but always try to get in a little satire of adult foibles.”
“Sheer animated fantasy is still my first and deepest production impulse.”
“Animation can explain whatever the mind of man can conceive.”
“When people laugh at Mickey Mouse it’s because he’s so human, and that is the secret to his popularity. I only hope that we never lose sight of one thing—that it was all started by a mouse.”
“To captivate our varied and worldwide audience of all ages, the nature and treatment of the fairy tale, the legend, the myth have to be elementary, simple. Good and evil, the antagonists of all great drama in some guise, must be believably personalized. The moral ideals common to all humanity must be upheld. The victories must not be too easy. Strife to test valor is still and will always be the basic ingredient of the animated tale, as of all screen entertainments.”
“If anybody gets highbrow around the studio, out he goes.”
“When I was a kid, a book I read advised young artists to be themselves. That decided it for me. I was a corny kind of guy, so I went in for corn.”
“I’m just corny enough to like to have a story hit me over the heart.”
“The span of years has not much altered my fundamental views of mass amusement. Experience has merely perfected the style and method and the techniques of presentation. My entertainment credo has not changed a whit. Strong combat and soft satire are in our story cores. Virtue triumphs over wickedness in our fables. Tyrannical bullies are routed or conquered by our good little people, human or animal. Basic morality is always deeply implicit in our screen legends. But they are never sappy or namby-pamby. And they never prate or preach. All are pitched toward the happy and satisfactory ending. There is no cynicism in me and there is none allowed in our work.”
Walt Disney Quotes On Happiness
“Happiness is a state of mind. It’s according to the way you look at things.”
As the Disney100 celebration continues throughout the year, take a second to think back on these inspiring words of the man who started it all. The Disney100 celebration at the parks includes special decor, platinum character costumes, limited time merchandise, new parades, events, and entertainment. Walt Disney World will be participating in the celebration as well, and EPCOT will be hosting with a sparkling new Spaceship Earth light show, a new nighttime spectacular, and more!
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