August 25, 1923 – Walt Disney Writes Letter About Establishing a New Cartoon Studio
“…I am establishing a studio in Los Angeles for the purpose of producing the new and novel series of cartoons I have previously written about.”
On August 25, 1923, Walt Disney sent a letter to distributor Margaret Winkler stating his intentions of establishing a new cartoon studio, particularly for the development of the series that would go on to be the Alice Comedies. Walt’s other studio, Laugh-O-gram Films, was floundering after not even being open for a year, and in serious danger of going belly-up. During this time, he was inspired by the Out of the Inkwell series of cartoons of an animated character in the world, and started developing the idea of the Alice Comedies. He had written Winkler once he had established the idea and, while she showed interest in distribution, Walt’s funds dried up after the film was only half completed. Eventually, he had no choice but to declare bankruptcy and went out West to Los Angeles. After looking around Los Angeles for directing gigs, he concluded that he would have to break into the industry with his cartoons; he then printed special stationary bearing the title of “Walt Disney, Cartoonist,” and declared his intentions in a letter to Winkler about establishing a new cartoon studio to work on the Alice Comedy “Alice’s Wonderland.” The gamble paid off, and on October 15, 1923, Winkler sent him a telegram with the offer of a contract. The Disney Studio was officially created the next day, October 16, 1923.