Since the introduction of Mickey Mouse in the late 1920s, the world has been enthralled by the creations that began with the imagination of Walt Disney (Stein, 2011, p. 1). Today, Mickey Mouse is recognized internationally as the symbol of a company equated with family entertainment (Stein, 2011, p. 1). The Disney Company's beginnings date back to 1923, when Walt Disney and his brother Roy began producing short cartoons in an uncle's garage. After the debut of Mickey Mouse in 1928, Walt Disney and his associates formed the Walt Disney Studio and began creating what was ultimately to become a legacy of animated characters featured in charming, uplifting, stories (Stein, 2011, p. 2). The debut of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs in 1937 was the world's introduction to a full-length animated feature film. This set a standard for the movie industry that influenced the future of animated films (Stein, 2011, p. 2).
The Walt Disney Company, together with its subsidiaries and affiliates, is a leading diversified international family entertainment and media enterprise with five business segments: media networks, parks and resorts, studio entertainment, consumer products and interactive media (Disney, 2014). After the death of Walt Disney in 1966, the Disney Company continued to grow and change with the times. New leadership brought new ideas (Stein, 2011, p. 2). Since then, the company has expanded far beyond the parameters of films, television programs, and theme parks into travel, sports, radio, and online media (Stein, 2011, p. 2).
The Disney Company is involved in so many different areas of the entertainment industry that it manages to offer something for practically everyone, even those who may not consider themselves Disney fans (Stein, 2011, p. 3). The Disney Company owns its own cable channel, the Disney Channel, which appeals to teens, and "tweens: and ESPN which appeals to all sorts of consumers.