If you had been with Walt Disney in the summer of 1949, you would have found yourself in England.
The Disney Studio was hard at work on the live action feature, Treasure Island. Since it was being filmed in England, Walt traveled there and took his family with him. Lillian, Diane, and Sharon were there as Walt supervised production. During their stay they spent time in not only England, but Ireland, France, and Switzerland.
One day Walt had gone out on a walking tour of Paris and his family reported that he returned with dozens of wind up mechanical toys.
They remembered he put them on the floor of the room, wound them up, turned them on and just watched them. They flipped, flopped, rolled, whistled, and when they stopped…Walt restarted them.
The one that most fascinated him was the mechanical bird, in a cage it flapped its wings, swished its tail, and made warbling sounds.
“Look at that!” Walt said, in an account retold by his daughter Diane. “Such a simple mechanism, but it looks like a real bird!”
As the Disney returned home to the states, Walt took the bird to the studio and handed it to Wathel Rogers with the instructions to open it up, see what makes it tick, and then give Walt the information he discovered. Rogers did as asked and found out what made the bird so unique and fascinating.
At the time, Walt’s family had no idea why he had suddenly become so fascinated with mechanical toys. He loved them it seemed. He couldn’t get enough and couldn’t study them enough. It would take years for it all to come together and make sense.
His daughter Diane said, “He could see Audio-Animatronics. We just thought he was crazy.”
It’s true, Walt’s fascination with this mechanical marvels were the inspiration for the creation of the robotic technology that many have enjoyed called Audio-Animatronics.
Walt was driven by a desire to discover things…new ways of doing things, new ways of creating, new ways of telling a story. His curiosity was relentless and he never stopped learning. Because he didn’t, he always had a fresh idea, a new dream, or a new project to tackle.
In a day and age where people are surrounded with brilliant technology it is sad to see and hear that they are often bored. We need to awaken with us a renewed curiosity for life and the world around us. Perhaps we should make it our goal to make one new discovery each day. Maybe we should take up a new hobby, learn a new skill, or read something that we have never read before…whatever it is…we might just find that a refreshed curiosity make energize us for the day ahead.
In a world where people are often complaing about being bored or life being dull…we can find a way to embrace, really live, and make life an adventure.
Walt Disney followed his curiosity one day in Paris, went for a walk, and came back with an armload of toys…and the rest became history.
What about you? Where might you go today to make some new discovery?
Curious? Good…discover something new today!