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When Disney first heard Clarence Nash he cried, “That’s a duck!” Thus, 20 years ago, was choleric Donald added to American folklore, with Nash as the voice. For Disney, the versatile magician who makes movies with or without animals – and with or without human beings – is always only a child at heart.

FOR upward of thirty years, Walt Disney, the greatest of the Hollywood magicians, has been a walking refutation of the dictum that the dispersion of one’s talents leads inevitably to failure. In an age gone mad with specialization, Disney has flung his talents about the entertainment field with wild prodigality. He is the motion-picture industry’s equivalent of Charlie Peterson, the incomparable trick billiardist, whose slogan is: "Show me a shot I can’t make.”

Into his first simple animated cartoons of animals, made in the silent days in black and white, Disney integrated sound and color as they came along. From six-minute shorts he went into six- to eight-minute Silly Symphonies, then on into classic fantasies of full feature length. Some of these fantasies were all cartoon, others combined live actors with cartoon characters. Then came standard feature-length movies made with human actors, in which animals appeared – noncartoon and nontalking – only in supporting roles, as do cowboys’ horses in Westerns. From there he went into photographic animal pictures in which no human beings were visible at all. Among other ventures now in preparation are live-action films of the ways in which the inhabitants of the less-known parts of the globe live their daily lives, the animals again being subordinated. With Disney there is always something new.

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