As often happens with aspiring types, Walt Disney arrived in Burbank, California with dreams greatly exceeding his budget. After a childhood spent mostly in farm work in Kansas and a brief stint in a commercial art studio in Kansas City, Disney traveled to Tinseltown with his brother Roy, opening up a small animation studio in several storefronts before eventually settling in Hyperion Avenue, trying to sell his “Alice Comedies,” a take on Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland story.
On this day, February 8, in 1926, Disney renamed his fledgling business “Walt Disney Studios” from the previous “Disney Brothers Cartoon Studio,” at Roy’s suggestion. Walt Disney also found a more permanent home for his studio, moving out from the back wall of a realty office.
While Walt was the frontman and the creative genius behind Disney, Roy was its operations genius. Roy ensured the company had enough to operate (a task not easy in the early years, when Walt lost the rights to Oswald the Lucky Rabbit). Content to let his brother take publicity, Roy worked behind the scenes to expand the empire, in his later years taking over managing the building of Walt Disney World after his brother’s death.