Trailer for the Walt Disney Biopic - WALT BEFORE MICKEY
I'm surprised that we haven't seen a really good biopic based on the life of Walt Disney. The closest thing we've gotten is his portrayal by Tom Hanks in the movie Saving Mr. Banks. There is an independent film coming though called Walt Before Mickey, which chronicles the early days of Walt's animation career. The film was directed by Juilliard graduate Khoa Le, and it's based on a 2011 book by Timothy Susanin called Walt before Mickey: Disney’s Early Years, 1919-1928. The feature stars Thomas Ian Nicholas (American Pie) as Walt, Jon Heder (Napoleon Dynamite) as his brother Roy, David Henrie plays an animator, and Jodie Sweetin (Full House) as Charlotte Disney.
This may seem like the kind of made for TV movie biopic that you'd see on Lifetime, but it's what we've got for now. I'm sure someday fans of Walt will get the amazing biopic we've all be waiting for. This is just something to tide us over. I've included a description of book to give you a better idea of what to expect in the film:
For ten years before the creation of Mickey Mouse, Walt Disney struggled with, failed at, and eventually mastered the art and business of animation. Most biographies of his career begin in 1928, when Steamboat Willie was released. That first Disney Studio cartoon with synchronized sound made its main character–Mickey Mouse-an icon for generations.
But Steamboat Willie was neither Disney’s first cartoon nor Mickey Mouse’s first appearance. Prior to this groundbreaking achievement, Walt Disney worked in a variety of venues and studios, refining what would become known as the Disney style. In Walt Before Mickey, 1919-1928, Timothy Susanin creates a portrait of the artist from age seventeen to the cusp of his international renown.
After serving in the Red Cross in France after World War I, Walt Disney worked for advertising and commercial art in Kansas City. Walt used these experiences to create four studios-Kaycee Studios, Laugh-O-gram Films, Disney Brothers Studio, and Walt Disney Studio. Using company documents, private correspondence between Walt and his brother Roy, contemporary newspaper accounts, and new interviews with Disney’s associates, Susanin traces Disney’s path. The author shows Disney to be a complicated, resourceful man, especially during his early career. Walt Before Mickey, a critical biography of a man at a crucial juncture, provides the “missing decade” that started Walt Disney’s career and gave him the skills to become a name known worldwide.
The movie doesn't have a distributor yet so there's no release date. Thanks to Deadline.