Dear Walt Disney,
My heart swells with gratitude every time that I think of you, about everything you left behind and everything you inspired. I can’t put this in a better way apart from telling you that I could have never imagined living in a world without you. You gave me my childhood, you taught me to dream. You created a world where nothing was impossible, where dreams came true, where one could always follow their heart and be brave, where one didn’t need to grow up, where in a very subtle way you taught us to accept the reality and have faith in ourselves and above all you showed us how we all are connected to each other, how we all are one in the circle of life.
Your genius has always spellbound me and likewise your vision always amazed me. What else can I say, you’re simply phenomenal. There has never been a showman like you and I doubt will ever be. You breathed life in characters and gave them an identity. Your imagination, efforts and passion ushered the world in a golden era of animation. I owe to you more than I can ever express. You’ve made us laugh, thrill, sing, dance, startle, overwhelm and fall in love with Disney. You’ve instilled in us optimism right from the young days of infancy and given us courage to strengthen our will when dark times lie ahead. You’ve been and will continue to be an inspiration, an inextinguishable light.
You have bonded the world with little fantasy, some magic and a touch of happily ever after. You made kids out of adults and gave them their Neverland. I know like me the world misses you. I can never forget you. Your endeavors are a gift to humanity. It’s not that life was a bed of roses for you, but you were someone who believed, "I have been up against tough competition all my life. I wouldn't know how to get along without it." And then again you want us all to not lose sight of –“… that it was all started by a mouse." Yes, Mickey Mouse, something so humble went forward to become world’s most popular cartoon character. This was followed by a series of unprecedented animated galore and the rest is history.
Your legacy is rich and your successors have done nothing short of perfection to live up to your name. Though I must admit, the passage of time has brought about changes in Disney’s nature, some desirable to me while a few which I choose to neglect, I see your values still intact in them. But I know one thing for sure, whenever I feel grown up I can always turn back and find my childhood in you, it’s something no one can take away from me. All I can do at this moment in time is cherish your memories and follow in your footsteps. And then where have you gone? You live in me as I live in you and I can always find you right here in my heart.