Walt Disney is quoted as saying ‘It All Started With A Mouse’ but there’s a whole lot that happened before the world famous mouse made it’s way onto our screens and changed entertainment history. ‘Walt Before Mickey’ a 2014 movie, based on the book of the same name, explores the origin story of our favourite mouse and the man behind him, in an unfortunately clunky way.
We’ve had this film queued up on our Netflix for awhile, waiting for the right opportunity, and tonight seemed like the perfect movie night. The film has a ‘Lifetime’ movie feel, with lots of heart fluttery moments and some drama that is acted out about as melodramatically as the ‘bad child actor’ who portrays Alice, there’s even a Russian accented, dark clothed ‘bad guy’.
That said, if you’ve never heard the story of Walt before Mickey, and you don’t have the time to really delve into a great version of the tale, such as the fantastic biography ‘Walt Disney’ by Bob Thomas, then this is a great entry point. It covers the bases of the story, and there are a number of endearing moments, especially between Walt and Lillian Disney, and the burgeoning friendship of Walt and Ub Iwerks. Plus there’s a lot of great little historical references, and even a hidden Mickey or two (even though this certainly isn’t a Disney film.)
There’s a lot of heartbreak and red ink before the world is gifted with the Mouse, and although this film gives it all a ‘Disneyfied’ happy ending (trust me, it’s not all magic and happiness post-Mouse) Walt’s story is one of courage, determination, and the power of a dream. This isn’t the best telling of that story, but worth a watch if, like us, you’re a Disney nerd and Netflix subscriber.