The Corner

Whistle While You Work Today

Today might be a good day to whistle while you work. On this date in 1937, the first full-length animated feature, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, premiered at the Cathay Circle Theater in Los Angeles. Walt Disney’s pioneering idea led to dozens of other musical films and stage shows, hundreds of wonderful songs, theme parks around the world, and characters that delight the young and linger in the loving memory of the old.

It doesn’t hurt that Walt Disney was a brilliant businessman, an uncommon innovator, an insightful critic of “the critics,” and an unabashed lover of America and its tradition of liberty. A few choice quotes from the man:

“Movies can and do have tremendous influence in shaping young lives in the realm of entertainment towards the ideals and objectives of normal adulthood.”

“Laughter is America’s most important export.”

“We are not trying to entertain the critics. I’ll take my chances with the public.”

“I am interested in entertaining people, in bringing pleasure, particularly laughter, to others, rather than being concerned with ‘expressing’ myself with obscure creative impressions.”

“Whenever I go on a ride, I’m always thinking of what’s wrong with the thing and how it can be improved.”

“There is more treasure in books than in all the pirates’ loot on Treasure Island and at the bottom of the Spanish Main . . . and best of all, you can enjoy these riches every day of your life.”

“I have no use for people who throw their weight around as celebrities, or for those who fawn over you just because you are famous.”

“Tomorrow will be better for as long as America keeps alive the ideals of freedom and a better life.”

John Hood — John Hood is president of the John William Pope Foundation, a Raleigh-based grantmaker that supports public policy organizations, educational institutions, arts and cultural programs, and humanitarian relief in North Carolina ...

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