Kat Lee (katleept) wrote,
Kat Lee

Sorting Characters: Benjamin Franklin and Walt Disney

This is for a challenge over at a_war_of_roses to sort historical characters, or persons, into houses. If you join, be sure to tell them Kat Lee of Team White Rose sent you!

Benjamin Franklin would have easily been determined as a Ravenclaw, the Hogwart's house that values intelligence, knowledge, and wit above all else. Franklin was one of the most brilliant minds not only of his generation but any generation in the country he helped to found, the United States of America, creating many items that we still use today and still being one of the few forefathers who never ran for Presidency but about whom our young students still learn today.

Franklin's creations include the lightning rod, bifocals, the flexible urinary catheter, and even the common, household stove. Perhaps most useful in his long list of inventions is his work with electricity that led both to the lightning rod and to further developments with it, such as the common light bulb that now gives people across the world the ability to see clearly at any time of the day or night. It's hard to imagine our modern day world without the benefit of electricity that began being experimented with so long ago. On the other hand, Franklin also created a thing that most people today detest strongly, the dreaded Daylight Savings Time.

Franklin didn't believe in patenting his creations, believing instead that inventors should be glad to help their fellow humans wherever they could and through whatever inventions they made that were truly useful. This and the fact that he may have complained about the Ravenclaws' eagle mascot, as some say he wanted the turkey to be America's national bird, would have set him apart from other Ravenclaws.

He shared a love of wit with other Ravenclaws, however. He enjoyed creating new, quippy phrases and often used them in his writings and publications, such as the renowned Poor Richard's Almanac. His writings varied from this little phrases and funny stories to helping its writer edit the most important document in America's history, the country's Declaration of Independence.

I believe Walt Disney would have been a Hufflepuff. His hard work, dedication, and patience is seen clearly through his slow but determined build of the Disney empire. He had humble beginnings, and his first studio was opened by himself and another illustrator, Iwerks, when they were laid off from the same company. Disney later broke away from Iwerks, because he could not persuade the other man to try the new cel animation, which Disney believed could prove to be more successful than the traditional, cut-out method -- and it did eventually, but not easily.

Again working with another co-worker, Disney opened another business where they concentrated on making short cartoons through cel animation, but they struggled financially. Trying to save the company, Disney combined animation and live action for the first time in a twelve and a half minute production of Alice in Wonderland that was completed too late to save the company from bankruptcy. It may have been too late to save the Laugh-O-Gram studio, but it was this Alice in Wonderland that eventually led to the creation of the Disney company.

Disney had actually moved away from New York, which was the hub of the cartoon industry at the time, to be closer to his brother, Roy, who was suffering from tuberculosis, another sign of Walt's dedication and loyalty. His efforts to sell Alice had been in vain until he heard from a distributor who was desperate for a new series, as she'd lost the rights to two previous series, including Felix the Cat. Walt and Roy came together and used the Disney studios to produce the new Alice series, with only six "episodes".

The Alice series was a success for a while, but Walt tired of combining live action and animation. His true love was cartoons, and he wanted to return to them. He finally persuaded the distributor, who was now the husband of Margaret J. Winkler, who had first contacted Disney about Alice, to allow him to try new cartoons with Oswald the Rabbit, but the distributor wanted to reduce payments rather than give Disney the larger fee for which he had hoped. The distributor also managed to persuade most of Walt's workers away from him and held the rights to Oswald. Only two of the Disney company's employees remained with Walt at this time: his brother, Roy, and Iwerks, with whom he'd first started a small studio long before when they were laid off from a larger company together.

From Oswald, Disney went to Mickey Mouse, and we all know how the Mouse grew into, as Walt's most renowned creation has become, the Mouse Who Roared. But what few know is of the financial struggles and other Disney continued to endure. He was a pioneer in cartoons, bringing many firsts to the industry, such as the first full-length animated feature with both color and sound, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, that was nicknamed Disney's Folly. Walt Disney's name was smeared continuously, from people expecting him to fall because of Snow White to later people claiming him to be raciest and people both then and now who feel that he has destroyed the classics and/or gives the world too light, or optimistic, a view of real events.

But Walt continued believing. He continued dreaming. He continued building. He never gave up, not on his own beliefs and dreams and not on those who he felt deserved higher recognition, or his loyalty. One such fine example, despite the claims against him, comes from his aid to James Baskett, the first African American actor to win a Honorary Academy Award, which Disney campaigned successfully and chiefly to get him for his work as Uncle Remus in Song of the South, a film surrounded by such controversy as followed Disney his whole life and continues to haunt him now long after his death.
Tags: celeb: benjamin franklin, celeb: walt disney
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