37 — Walter Elias Disney

a.k.a: Walt

Occupation: Animator

Born: 1901

Died: 1966

Brief Description:
Walt Disney was the fourth son of Elias Disney, a carpenter, farmer and building contractor and his wife, Flora Call, a school teacher. When Walt was still very young, his family moved to a farm near a typical small Midwestern town in Missouri, which is said to be the inspiration behind Disneyland’s Main Street. There, Walt began his schooling and first showed aptitude for drawing and painting.

His father soon abandoned farming and moved with his family to Kansas City where he bought a morning newspaper route and compelled his sons to assist him in delivering papers which instilled discipline in them in the process. Walt also began to study art and cartooning while in Kansas City and continued doing so in high school after he had moved back to Chicago.

His career plans were interrupted by World War I, in which he participated as an ambulance driver for the American Red Cross in France and Germany.

Returning to Kansas City in 1919, he found occasional employment as a draftsman and inker in commercial art studios, where he met Ub Iwerks, a young artist with whom he eventually started a small studio in 1922 but was force to file for bankruptcy one year later.

After moving to California, Walt reopened a studio there with Ub and his brother, Roy. They invented a character called Oswald, the Lucky Rabbit, but soon after, they came up with a new character, a cheerful, energetic and mischievous mouse called Mickey. The first Mickey Mouse cartoon, Steamboat Willie, was equipped with voices and music and became an instant sensation when it appeared in 1928.

Disney continued with his animation shorts, creating a new series called Silly Symphonies as well as many new anthropomorphized animal characters like Donald Duck and Goofy and adding color to his animations. But Walt Disney always wanted to push the limits and had long thought of producing a feature-length animated film. So in 1934, he began to work on Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. The success of Snow White paved the way for many more feature-length animations and live-action/animation hybrids which established the Disney studio as a big-business enterprise.

In the early 1950s, Disney had initiated plans for a huge amusement park to be built near Los Angeles. Disneyland opened in 1955. The success of the first Disneyland pushed Walt to create a second Disney park, Walt Disney World, near Orlando but Walt Disney died in 1966 while the park was still under construction.

Why he’s on the list:
Walt Disney’s imagination and vision paired with his technical knowledge makes him a true genius and a visionary capable of mesmerizing his audience. He was also undeniably a huge influence on many other studios and the animation field as a whole, even influencing the Japanese anime style. And in the true spirit of pioneers, he kept pushing the limits of the possible whether it was through his animations or through his theme park.

I grew up watching Disney animations. I’ve watched all Disney animated features (there are more than you think) and a big portion of their animated short films. And to this day, they’re the ones I like the most. And while I haven’t created any outstanding work (yet), I am often told to this day that I have a great imagination and a childlike spirit and I think it’s largely due to Disney’s influence on my childhood.

To conclude, I will end this post with a fun trivia fact:
Walt Disney holds the record for winning the most Academy Awards, 22, as well as the most Academy Awards nominations, 59.
And now, he also holds a spot on my list. =)

38 — José Luis Félix Chilavert González

a.k.a: El Buldog

Occupation: Goalkeeper

Born: 1965

Died: Not Yet

Brief Description:
Jose Luis Chilavert grew up in Luque, Gran Asuncion in a poor family. He made his footballing debut with Sportivo Luqueño. In 1989, he played for the Paraguayan national team for the first time. He later moved to Spain, where he played for Real Zaragoza. After his time at Real Zaragoza, he moved to Argentina, where he played with Vélez Sársfield, helping them win the Primera División four times, as well as the Copa Libertadores and the Intercontinental Cup, both in 1994. He later also played for RC Strasbourg and Peñarol.

Chilavert was voted World Goalkeeper of the Year by the IFFHS in 1995, 1997, and 1998.

Chilavert was famous for taking penalty kicks and free kicks. He participated in the 1998 World Cup, where he became the first goalkeeper ever to take a direct free kick in the World Cup finals. In that World Cup, he helped take Paraguay to the round of sixteen, where the team lost to France (who won that World Cup) on a golden goal scored by Laurent Blanc. And in 1999, he became the first goalkeeper known to score a hat-trick in the history of professional football, while playing for Vélez against Ferro Carril Oeste, scoring all three goals through penalties. In total, Chilavert achieved a goalkeeper record of eight international goals and is also the second-highest goalscoring goalkeeper of all time.

He retired from international football in 2003.

Why he’s on the list:
As the 2022 World Cup is approaching, I find it appropriate timing to share this post.
Since my childhood, I have had special affinity for goalkeepers, so I wanted to choose one as a representative for this position on my list.

Being a goalkeeper is a position that requires agility and fast reflexes, two qualities I have always admired. Great goalkeepers also tend to have great instincts, often having to take decisive actions in a split of a second. And the best goalkeepers are also great leaders (and as such, often their team captains) and the team often looks up to them for confidence and comfort.

And so, when I was 12 years old, watching the 1998 World Cup, I was impressed by this unconventional goalkeeper playing for an underdog team and performing very well against all odds. Since then, he became my favorite.

Finally, I would like to end this post with a special shout-out to Gianluigi Buffon and Iker Casillas who were close alternatives to being the goalkeeper representative on my list.