Disney And The Disney Empire

Founded by the Disney brothers Walt and Roy, the Walt Disney Company started as a small animation studio that grew into the second largest media entertainment group in the world. Beginning with Mickey Mouse, the company later introduced the other world-famous cartoon characters that helped pave the way to the company’s success.

Not long after, they established and acquired several other high-profile movie production studios, went and became a major television studio owner, and later built some of the world’s biggest theme parks, and even became the owner of a couple of major sports franchises.

Right now, the company has four major business divisions contributing to the billion-dollar coffers of the mother company: Studio Entertainment, Parks and Resorts, Consumer Products, and Media Networks.

Short history

In 1923, brothers Walt and Roy started the Walt Disney Studio in California with their first series Steamboat Willy featuring Mickey Mouse. Years later, they produce merchandise featuring their animated characters.

In 1937, they did their first feature film, Snow White that became their first hit and went on to become the highest grossing film of all time (before Gone with the Wind). Its success promptly catapulted them into the big time.

Parks, more studios and television

After doing propaganda films during the World War II years, they resumed making feature films (animated and live action) and television shows. In 1957, they established Disneyland Park in California and Disney World in Florida in 1971.

In the following decades, Disney put up more production companies including Touchstone and the Disney Channel and more theme parks. 1996 saw the company grew significantly bigger with the acquisition of ABC Studios and its affiliated radio and television stations, as well as the newspapers.

Business strategy and accountability

Per its website, the “Walt Disney company and its affiliated companies have remained faithful to their commitment to produce unparalleled entertainment experiences based on the legacy of quality creative content and exceptional storytelling.”

On corporate accountability, the issues are centered in the manufacture of toys (and related products) and the company’s ownership of ABC and other media companies.


To date, Disney has contracts with over 40,000 factories and 6,000 vendors all over the world. It has an International Labor Standards code and oversight group of independent auditors.

So far, It had resolved its disputes with some labor watchdog groups regarding low wages, unsafe working conditions, long hours, unpaid overtimes, etc. in some of its factories in China.

Environment and product safety

The company has trademarked “environmentality” to refer to the company’s stated commitment to environment-friendly practices, its environmental Policy Division and its brand of the same name.

However, it is facing present difficulties because of the large number of suppliers all over and supervision is getting to be difficult.

Present company directions

Surprisingly, the overall financial health of the Disney conglomerate is robust and resilient considering today’s volatile economic movements. Some problems crop up now and then, like the need for strong copyright protection of its properties in the Internet, for example)

In a world of volatile and fast changing values, the fully-grown Disney empire left by Walt and Roy had been versatile enough to adapt. In the name of millions of children around the world, the Walt Disney Company will hopefully be still around to entertain them as they did for the last 87 plus years.

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