No one enjoys a birthday more than Disney!
Disney just spent the last 18 months celebrating the Magic Kingdom’s 50th birthday. Classic Disney films are often celebrated at major milestones. (This year Peter Pan reaches 70, The Nightmare Before Christmas hits 30, and Finding Nemo turns 20, just to name a few.) And who could forget the 90th birthday outfits sported by Mickey and Minnie Mouse in 2018?
But Disney is not the only company celebrating its 100-year mark. Some other big-name businesses started in 2023 too.
The first that comes to mind (and one that is very much like Disney) is Warner Bros.
Warner Bros. was founded in 1923 by Harry, Albert, Sam, and Jack Warner. It is one of the biggest movie-making entities in the country and is responsible for classics like Casablanca (1942), The Exorcist (1973), and Harry Potter (2001-2011). For animation fans, Warner Bros. gave the world Bugs Bunny and the rest of the Looney Tunes gang!
Fun Facts about Warner Bros.
- Warner Bros. made film history when it released The Jazz Singer, the first feature-length film to incorporate synchronized sound. (Walt Disney created the first animated short to incorporate synchronized sound, Steamboat Willie.)
- At the premiere of Yankee Doodle Dandy, Warner Bros. sold war bonds instead of tickets and raised millions.
- Warner Bros. – through its DC Studios – has its own league of superheroes: Superman, Wonder Woman, Batman, Aquaman, and Black Adam.
A second 100th birthday company is the toymaker, Hasbro, Inc. Hasbro makes fun stuff like Monopoly, Nerf, Play-Doh, and Power Rangers.
Founded in 1923 by the Hassenfeld brothers (Herman, Hillel, and Henry), Hasbro started out selling textile remnants. From there, the company moved into selling school supplies, then modeling clay (its first official toy), and children’s doctor and nurse kits.
In 1952, Hasbro hit it big with Mr. Potato Head. In 1954, Hasbro became a Disney licensee, so it too has a Disney connection.
Fun Facts about Hasbro
- In 1970, Hasbro opened a Romper Room Nursery School franchise hoping to take part in President Nixon’s proposal to subsidize daycare for working mothers. (The Family Assistance Plan never passed, and the nursery school chain closed in 1975.)
- Hasbro once had the licensing rights for the Peanuts cartoon characters (remember the Snoopy Sno-Cone Machine?).
- Hasbro hosted a HasCon Convention in 2017. It featured Transformers, G.I. Joe, and My Little Pony.
A third company sharing the 100th-anniversary spotlight with Disney is TIME Magazine. TIME was first published in New York City on Mar. 3, 1923. It was founded by Briton Hadden and Henry Luce, who worked at Yale’s student newspaper together.
TIME – famous for its red border, annual Person-of-the-Year, and list of the 100 most influential people – has featured Walt Disney on its cover twice. On Dec. 27, 1937, Walt was on the cover after the premier of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. On Dec. 27, 1954, Walt appeared for his work on the Disney television hour.
Fun Facts about TIME Magazine
- The original title was Facts.
- People magazine is a spinoff based on TIME’s “People” page.
- From 1923 to 2020, time was published weekly. In March 2020, it transitioned to every other week.
It is quite an accomplishment for a company to reach 100 years, and it is always fascinating to discover connections between Disney and other beloved companies.
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