When Walt Disney and his company gained international success in the early 1930s, the company established branches in foreign countries to secure their rights to the Disney characters in conjunction with the publication of books, magazines, comics and toy production, etc. Distribution of their films occurred through already-established distribution companies, so Disney’s foreign departments were not involved beyond having some supervision of the film distribution. The first foreign department that was created was “Walt Disney— Mickey Mouse Ltd.” in London, UK in 1930. The reason for this choice of name was first and foremost that “Mickey Mouse” at that point was a much more familiar brand name than “Walt Disney,” especially in Europe. The American, William B. Levy, was the department’s first employee, and the department would also be responsible for some other European countries, including Scandinavia (Norway, Sweden, and Denmark). In 1933, Kay Kamen (1892– 1949) made a contract with Walt Disney to take over all responsibility for the Disney’s license agreements, aiming for a greater percentage of revenues. Kamen also took over the office in England and employed his nephew George Kamen to take care of business in Europe, while William B. Levy took over other responsibilities, such as the production of Disney comics in the UK.


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