Walt Disney | KCUR

Walt Disney

Segment 1: Mahatma Gandhi's grandson reflects on his family legacy.

As the world begins celebrating Gandhi's 150th birthday, Park University brings the iconic leader's grandson and biographer to town for celebrations and talks. The elder Gandhi sought to attain purity as a way of leading entire nations to peace; his grandson believes that we can contribute to that greater good, even while falling short of perfection in our lives.

Public domain

Everything about Walt Disney is legendary, especially in his hometown of Kansas City where a mythology has grown up around the young ad man who created the world’s most-beloved character.

But, what does anyone really know about that mouse?

"How can the most popular fictional character in the world be someone that no one knows anything about?" author Jeff Ryan asked Central Standard host Gina Kaufmann.

Segment 1: The forgotten Kansas Citian behind Mickey Mouse.

The story of how Mickey Mouse got his start is part of Kansas City mythology. But Walt Disney isn't the only Kansas Citian responsible for the famous mouse. We'll hear the story of another man whose role in making Mickey is just as crucial.

He only spent four years of his childhood there, but Walt Disney always held Marceline, Missouri close to his heart. On this edition of Up To Date, we learn why the north-central  Missouri  town had such an impact on the entertainment mogul's life. 

Guests:

Laura Spencer / KCUR

An attempt to breathe life into a building near Troost Avenue with ties to Walt Disney could help erase the corridor’s stigma as a key dividing line in Kansas City, says Butch Rigby.

Rigby, chairman of the non-profit Thank you Walt Disney, is behind an effort to revitalize Laugh-O-Gram Studio, which is just east of 31st Street and Troost.

Laura Spencer / KCUR

In the early 1920s, when Walt Disney was in his early 20s, he was heading up a struggling animation studio on Kansas City’s east side.

A small field mouse became his pet, lived in a drawer in his office, and shared his food. That mouse would later provide the inspiration for Mickey Mouse. Disney's studio, where early animators cut their teeth making black-and-white silent cartoons, is still struggling. There are now plans for a green future.

Paying Tribute in Missouri