The Dark Times of Disney Shed Some Light

Yesterday, my daughter Anastasia and I wanted to relax and watch a movie. She’s eleven and it’s not always easy to find a movie on which we agree. She’s no longer interested in Disney films starring fairies and princesses. (In case you’re wondering – we did not name her after Cinderella’s wicked stepsister. Although, there are days I do see a resemblance. Shhh…our secret.)

We decided on As Dreamers Do – a movie about the early years of Walt Disney. The acting wasn’t top notch – Anastasia was quick to point that out – but the storyline kept us engaged.

As Dreamers Do

As Dreamers Do

I had heard the popular stories of Walt Disney’s failures before he was the man we know today.

– He was fired as an editor of a newspaper for “lacking imagination”.

– He was told by MGM that Mickey Mouse would never work.

– And, my personal favorite…he hired seven small people to portray the seven dwarfs for the premier of Snow White. The night ended with the police hauling off seven naked and drunk “dwarfs” shouting obscenities.

Imagine that happening today with social media. It would have been a marketing nightmare.

The movie focused primarily on Disney’s younger years and his company Laugh-O-Gram. The company wasn’t making money. His co-workers eventually left him. He went bankrupt after 14 months. He couldn’t pay rent and had to live in his office. It got so bad he could only afford to eat…dog food.

It’s inspiring to us because we know the whole story. We know that he grew to become the man behind the most successful entertaining dynasty in history. As small business owners, we’ve had our share of dark days. Many nights have been spent with anxious souls pleading to God for help.

This movie gave me hope along with some good reminders for anyone who may be working towards fulfilling their dream and calling.

1.)  Know your calling. Disney knew in his heart what he was created to do. It’s important for us to continually pray for God to define to us our purpose.

2.)  Stay on your path. Disney didn’t allow his circumstances to dictate his calling but he did adjust with life’s turns. It may be quicker to go straight from point A to point B but life is not a straight shot. We’ve each been given our own trails to travel and each one has twists and turns with various terrain. Don’t look for short cuts for these unexpected diversions prepare us with skills we’ll need later.

3.)  Use your pain to give joy to others. Disney didn’t allow his losses and pain to make him stingy and bitter. Instead he allowed it to fuel him to create movies and theme parks where families could come together and escape the worries of the world.

I never knew how dark things got for Disney in his early career. However, it was in those dark years where his mind birthed Mickey Mouse, Alice and many of his other famous characters.

It’s natural for us to fear the dark, to flee it. It’s filled with unknowns, scary figures and pain.

Dark times in our lives can either make us egocentric or God-centric. When we’re egocentric we fall further into a pit.

When we’re God-centric we can see His face more clearly. We must be proactive and not allow the distractions of our circumstances to steal our focus. It is when we look to God that we receive supernatural inspiration guiding us out of our caves and back onto the paths that were divinely created for us.

Take advantage of your times of darkness for it is here God will give you the light you need for your next step and for the world to see Him working in you.

Go be a blessing to the world.



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