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  #1  
Old 06 December 2010, 07:56 PM
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Disney Walt Disney killed an owl

Comment: My friend told me that the reason there is always an owl in
disney movies is because when Walt Disney was young he shot and killed an
owl and felt terribly guilty for it. Is this true?

Also discussed here: http://msgboard.snopes.com/cgi-bin/u...0;t=000340;p=1
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  #2  
Old 07 December 2010, 01:31 AM
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There is also Deer, mice, and Rabbits...

Did he kill each of them as well?
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  #3  
Old 07 December 2010, 01:40 AM
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It's stated as fact on IMDB, but we all know what that's worth. I've also seen it attributed to "an old Reader's Digest story," but haven't seen any reputable print source.

Last edited by musicgeek; 07 December 2010 at 01:50 AM.
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  #4  
Old 07 December 2010, 01:45 AM
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I keep reading this as Walt Disney was killed by an owl. That would change things a bit!
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  #5  
Old 07 December 2010, 03:01 AM
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The story of the owl has appeared in lots of books and stories, many with direct quotes from Disney. He was afraid and stamped on it, killing it. (There are a few different tellings but this gist is basically the same.) I haven't found anything on the "owl in every movie" claim. Disney said it might have had something to do with his love for animals.
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Old 13 December 2010, 07:59 PM
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Is there an owl in every Disney movie, though? I honestly don't watch that much Disney, and most of the ones I have seen, I haven't seen since I was younger. I can't recall seeing an owl in The Lion King (are there owls in Africa - I have no idea), or The Little Mermaid. Again, that doesn't mean there aren't owls in those movies, just that I don't remember.

Here's wiki's list of Disney Feature Films. Can anyone think of a Disney film that definitely does not have an owl in it?

This is going to bother me, now. Does it count if the owls are hidden? Are they like the Ns (or is it Ms?) in Thomas Kinkade paintings? Or Where's Waldo or like how Hitchcock used to randomly show up in his movies? Is it like a game of find the owl?

I may be thinking about this too much...
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  #7  
Old 13 December 2010, 08:49 PM
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There absolutely weren't any owls in a lot of the live action movies, and of the animated movies, I'm pretty sure that a lot of them didn't have any owls either.
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  #8  
Old 13 December 2010, 09:42 PM
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Don't be so certain. After all, I was sure that Mickey, Donald, and Goofy don't make and appearance in the Little Mermaid.


Oops.
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  #9  
Old 13 December 2010, 09:54 PM
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Okay, then, where's the owl in 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea?
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  #10  
Old 13 December 2010, 10:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crocoduck_hunter View Post
Okay, then, where's the owl in 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea?
I dunno... my point was that just because there isn't an obvious reference doesn't mean one isn't there. For all we know, there's an owl shape surreptitiously hidden amongst the controls and clockwork of the sub.

Or maybe there isn't.

Google "Hidden Mickey" and you'll see examples all throughout the Disney empire of hidden images of the trademark mouse, from the parks to the films. Perhaps there are similarly hidden owls.
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  #11  
Old 13 December 2010, 10:58 PM
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Quite a few people obviously know about the hidden Mickeys, though - I can't recall ever hearing about any owl-significance before now.
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  #12  
Old 14 December 2010, 02:11 PM
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The owls are not what they seem.
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  #13  
Old 21 December 2010, 06:26 PM
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It's not mentioned "Walt Disney: An American Original", which is the only authorized biography of Disney out there- it was written by a guy that was given everything he could possibly need to write his biography. Then again, the whole coercing lemmings to jump off a cliff wasn't mentioned, either.
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  #14  
Old 21 December 2010, 07:04 PM
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The source of this anecdote appears to be the following article:

Disney's "Philosophy"
Douglas W. Churchill
The New York Times
6 March 1938, p. 117

The article opens with the following paragraphs:

Quote:
An owl drowsing in the cool shade of a tree on a Missouri farm one afternoon thirty years ago influenced the career of a man and helped fashion the fantasy of an era. Blinking in he uncomfortable light, the bird felt hands encircling it. Instinctively it beat its wings and clawed, and just as instinctively a frightened lad of 7 hurled the owl to the ground and, in his terror, stamped on it.

That owl is the only thing that Walt Disney ever intentionally killed. The incident has haunted him over the years. Occurring in a formative period, it directed his attention, subconsciously, to the birds and gentle beasts that play such an important part of his craftsmanship, and helped to shape his philosophy.
Since the bulk of the article is a discussion of Disney's film-making philosophy as described by Walt in an interview with the reporter, presumably the information presented in the paragraphs quoted above was supplied by Disney himself.
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