Didier Ghez: What is the history behind the famous contract between Disney and your father?

Dominique Bigle: My father was working for Paul Winkler who was the representative of Hearst [King Features Syndicate] in France and in Belgium. He had a press agency called Opera Mundi. My father was a journalist. He was part of the Resistance and then he became a war correspondent in the US Army. He was one of all those journalists who wrote reports and filmed the war. And so he met many people in the journalistic field, and also many people who worked in cinema. He knew Hemingway, Stevens, and all those guys who wrote and took pictures when Paris was liberated and during the campaign in Germany. He followed all of this. So that was the end of the war. Then after he left the Army, he started to work. Brussels was a city where doing business was easier than Paris, in which goods were still rationed for a long time. So he went to Belgium. And Belgium, as far as journalism and cinema were concerned, was a bit more active than Paris, since Paris was still a bit tense. So he worked for Paul Winkler at Opera Mundi and one day Winkler [who was in Paris] told him, “Soon Walt and Roy will come to Brussels.” I believe it was to attend a film festival. Paul Winkler had met Walt in 1935. He was one of the first publication licensees. The publications stopped during the war, since Winkler, being Jewish, left and went to the US. When he came back he was still involved in the publishing business, but had mostly forgotten Le Journal de Mickey.


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