Walt Before Mickey

Walt Before Mickey poster

Yesterday, we took a look at the sounds that are distinct to Magic Kingdom’s Main Street, U.S.A. While what you hear is a huge part of what sets the stage on Main Street, it wouldn’t be half as immersive if the sights didn’t match up.

Unfortunately, there aren’t a lot places left that you can go visit to give you that feel. But I found one interesting alternative that would at least let you see some of the inspiration behind Main Street.

The story goes that Marceline, MO, a town Walt spent some limited time in as a child, grew to be a place he identified with. It also served as a sort of model for what he wanted Main Street to look like.

Walt Before Mickey is a recent movie that delves into the early years of Walt pursuing his dream of animation. While it doesn’t spend much time on the Marceline part of Walt’s life, it does spend a decent amount of time with the Laugh-O-Grams studios in Kansas City. It’s not a 1:1 comparison, but it does give you that early 20th century feel that is central to the idea of Main Street, U.S.A.

And, for that matter, it also covers Walt’s big move to Los Angeles. Since Disney’s Hollywood Studios uses early Hollywood as its inspiration, you’re basically getting a Disney Parks two-fer in this movie.

It’s not an award winning documentary, but I think it’s an entertaining film adaptation. There is some notable talent in the film, such as Thomas Ian Nicholas starring as Walt, and Jon Heder as Roy. If you have a Netflix account, it’s currently available to stream.

Have you seen the film? What did you think – did it give you that Main Street, U.S.A. or Hollywood Studios sense of nostalgia? Let me know in the comments!

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