Thankful For Charles B. Mintz

Note: During the months of November and December, I will be posting something I am thankful for within the spectrum of Disney. With so much negativity in the world, I encourage everyone to be thankful and count their blessings.

Sometimes, its through the lowest points at life that inspiration strikes. Sometime those that appear to hurt us drive us more, and we ultimately grow, even thankful for the experience.

I thought I’d kick off this “Thankful For” series with a twist and touch of Disney history. For those unfamiliar with the name Charles B. Mintz, he was a film producer, distributor and husband of Margaret Winkler, who produced and distributed the Alice Comedies for Walt Disney. When Mintz married Winkler, he took assumed of her business. At his urging, Walt Disney and his animators created a new character, Oswald the Lucky Rabbit, who became quite a hit with moviegoers back in the day.  Most of you know the story from this point: Walt went to New York to negotiate a new contract with Mintz, was informed he’d be making less, that Oswald was not even his property to keep, and all animators save Ub Iwerks had been hired away to continue work on the Oswald shorts for Mintz and Universal. Due to this turn of events, Walt left New York determined to create a new character – one that would be his. Never again would he sign away the rights to any of his properties. Details on the creation of Mickey Mouse and that fateful train ride back to California vary (Disney historian Jim Korkis has a great new article on this exact subject worth checking out!), but one thing is certain: if Walt was determined and driven before this incident, his drive only increased at this point.

I'd like to add, I'm overjoyed Oswald made his way home to the Disney fold. The old Oswald the Lucky Rabbit shorts are quite entertaining, and hope to see more of him in the future!

I’d like to add, I’m overjoyed Oswald made his way home to the Disney fold. The old Oswald the Lucky Rabbit shorts are quite entertaining, and hope to see more of him in the future!

I truly believe the Walt Disney company would certainly look a lot different were it not for Walt losing the rights to a Lucky Rabbit, and we have Mr. Mintz to thank for this. While in Disney legend and lore it’s easy to vilify someone, truth is, Mr. Mintz was a businessman. He saw it as good business to cut costs on what essentially was company property. But in doing so, he fanned a flame. One that grew brighter with Mickey Mouse and only got stronger as the years past.

So, thank you, Charles B. Mintz for your role (albeit unintentional) in inspiring Walt to work harder, create more, and take control of his company. I know this Disney fan is grateful.

Thankful For Disney

Greetings, dear readers and fellow DisNerds!

Last year, I took up a “15 Day Disneyland Challenge.” To this day, it remains one of the most read categories on Confessions. I’ve been wanting to do a new challenge for a while now, and found one to do, revolving around the wonderful world of Disney movies. However, upon a couple extra days of reflection and planning, I’ve decided to delay that challenge to the beginning of next year in exchange for a different kind of challenge – one that I don’t find all that challenging, but am extremely excited to share.

One thing that I’ve always tried to pride myself on is keeping Confessions of a DisNerd positive and original. There are so many Disney bloggers out there with a negative slant – not that I have any arguments with criticism (it’s necessary to help improve and inform), but one can only read so much “watchdog” material before either joining in or getting in a fighting mood themselves. Confessions is about the positive side of Disney, and there is plenty to be positive and thankful for!

Donald may just be thankful he's not a turkey!

Donald may just be thankful he’s not a turkey!

This got me to thinking about the month of November and the holiday of Thanksgiving. During the month, many friends post daily on Facebook what they are thankful for: friends, family, circumstances and opportunities… whatever may strike them as a reason to be thankful. And there really are so many reasons to be thankful in life, aren’t there? If you’re online and reading this blog post, you’re doing better than many. I realize by being able to share this with all of my readers how blessed I am as well. So much to be thankful for!

But I digress.

Likewise, as stated above, there is so much within the Disney universe to be thankful for. Therefore, over the month of November, I will take up the task of posting each day one thing I am grateful for within the world of Disney. Be it movies, theme parks, people who have worked for the company or the man itself, I will share not only what I’m thankful for, but why. I’ve asked Confessions contributor Hayden to share a post or two as well along the way and can’t wait to see what he shares as well! I hope you’ll check back with me on this journey that starts November 1st. I’m looking forward to sharing my thankfulness with all of you, as well as finding out what you all are thankful for. I also hope this encourages you to count your blessings and remember what you are thankful for, Disney-wise and beyond!