Walt Disney has been called "the Henry Ford of the imagination. a born-in-the-heartland cultural industrialist."2 In 1922. during Disney’s formative period in Kansas City. learning the rudiments of movie—making, Ford voiced a precept in a popular magazine of the day that Walt surely would have endorsed: “Everyrthing." the renowned automaker said, “can always be done better than it is being done.“
Ford’s assembly—line system was not a precise model for the more relaxed “factory process” forged by Disney in the 1930s. But technological innovation and improved modes of production were key to the success of Disney animation, starting in 1928 with the synchronization of sound and action in Steamboat Willie. In 1932, Walt embraced a cutting—edge system perfected by Technicolor to make Flowers and, Trees, the Silly Symphony that earned him his first Academy Award.

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