All Because of a Little Mouse

All Because of a Little Mouse

by Catherine Castle


photo by Catherine Castle

This past week we’ve been watching PBS’s documentary on Walt Disney. At our house we love anything Disney. If we didn’t have a Southwest decorating scheme, we’d probably go for Disney décor. In fact, Mickey Mouse has been creeping into certain spots in our house, but I digress.

Walt Disney was a driven man. Driven to not fail like his father had failed over and over. Driven to have his art form—animation—recognized by Hollywood as legitimate art and recognized as Oscar-worthy film making. He was driven to find new ways to make animation better every time he started a project.

With his first feature film, “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs”, he pushed his animators, the composers, and everyone else connected to the movie to go above and beyond the standard of the current animated cartoons, which had their appeal based in slapstick humor and getting laughs from the audience. Walt wanted his animated characters to display the depths of human emotions. He wanted the audience to suspend belief while watching a cartoon and get so wrapped up in the characters that they gasped at the Wicked Queen’s diabolical plan, cried when Snow White died, and rejoiced when the Prince kissed her and she awakened to live happily ever after.

As the documentary ended last night, it occurred to me that we, like Walt Disney, should be as driven when it comes to our writing. After, all we want the same things.

  • We want our readers to suspend belief and be carried into our imaginary world.
  • We want to write 3-dimensional characters that will be so real to our readers that they forget they only exist in the pages of our stories
  • And we should always want to make our books better, exploring new ways to turn a phrase, finding new, fresh plot twists, and constantly searching for that unexpected something that will make our books best-sellers.

We should not become discouraged when success doesn’t leap into our laps the first time. Instead, we should take a page from Walt’s failures, and yes, he had a few. His first venture into his own animation business resulted in the creation of Oswald the rabbit. After repeated successes with Oswald, the cartoon character was lost to him when the distributor, who owned the rights to the character, took him from Disney’s company.

But that didn’t stop Disney from going forward. Instead, Walt created Mickey Mouse. From that tiny creature a magical kingdom rose up and made Disney a household name across the world.

The moral of my rambling?   Never give up and embrace your failures. You don’t know when they will lead you to success.


Catherine Castle

About  Catherine Castle–Sweet and Inspirational Romance

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