While fans got a glimpse of 1960s Walt Disney in last year's Saving Mr. Banks, the upcoming Walt Before Mickey gives fans a whole new perspective on the animation legend. The first trailer has been released, starring Thomas Ian Nicholas as a young Walt Disney, who was struggling to survive for 10 years, before the creation of Mickey Mouse. Deadline also reports that the filmmakers are closing in on a distribution deal, with a fall release being planned.
Based on Timothy Susanin's book Walt before Mickey: Disney's Early Years, 1919-1928, this adaptation shows how Walt Disney honed his early animation style while working for a number of different companies before creating Walt Disney Studios and the character that would define his legacy, Mickey Mouse. Take a look at the first trailer, which also features Jodie Sweetin, David Henrie and Jon Heder, then take a look at the official description of Timothy Susanin's book this drama is adapted from.
For ten years before the creation of Mickey Mouse, Walt Disney struggled with, failed at, and eventually mastered the art and business of animation. Most biographies of his career begin in 1928, when Steamboat Willie was released. That first Disney Studio cartoon with synchronized sound made its main character--Mickey Mouse-an icon for generations.
But Steamboat Willie was neither Disney's first cartoon nor Mickey Mouse's first appearance. Prior to this groundbreaking achievement, Walt Disney worked in a variety of venues and studios, refining what would become known as the Disney style. In Walt Before Mickey, 1919-1928, Timothy Susanin creates a portrait of the artist from age seventeen to the cusp of his international renown.
After serving in the Red Cross in France after World War I, Walt Disney worked for advertising and commercial art in Kansas City. Walt used these experiences to create four studios-Kaycee Studios, Laugh-O-gram Films, Disney Brothers Studio, and Walt Disney Studio. Using company documents, private correspondence between Walt and his brother Roy, contemporary newspaper accounts, and new interviews with Disney's associates, Susanin traces Disney's path. The author shows Disney to be a complicated, resourceful man, especially during his early career. Walt Before Mickey, a critical biography of a man at a crucial juncture, provides the "missing decade" that started Walt Disney's career and gave him the skills to become a name known worldwide.