p. 04 p. 05

The outlook and interests of the century’s greatest storyteller were formed by the relatively brief time when young Walter Elias Disney and his family lived on a farm near Marceline, Missouri.

“Marceline was the most important part of Walt’s life,” recalled his wife Lillian. “I remember when we used to take the train across country, he would drag people out in the middle of the night when we passed through Marceline. He had to show them where he grew up. He didn't live there very long, but there was something about the farm that was very important to him.”

Ironically, Walt was born not on a farm but in one o f America's biggest cities, Chicago, Illinois, in 1901. What changed Walt from a city mouse to a country mouse was his father's decision to become a farmer. In the spring of 1906, the Disneys moved from Chicago to farmland near the tiny town of Marceline, Missouri. Described by Walt’s brother and business partner Roy as “a very cute, sweet little farm,” the Disney homestead afforded Walt a classic American boyhood, worthy ofTom Sawyer. (Mark Twain’sown hometown of Hannibal, Missouri is only about sixty miles from Marceline.) Walt fished and skinny- dipped in the creek. In winter, there was skating and sledding. In tow n. Main Street held a variety of fascinations; it was at the Main Street movie house where the future filmmaker saw his first moving picture shows.