One Inspiring Disney Woman

In honor of International Women’s Day, Estelle from This Happy Place Blog and I decided to celebrate the fierce and powerful women who make Disney awesome and inspiring for young girls. You can read Estelle’s post here. But keep reading for mine.

Walt, Lillian and Mortimer
Walt, Lillian and Mortimer

Picking someone was, if you must know, surprisingly hard because there really weren’t a whole lot of awesome contenders to select from. So, like Pooh, I did some think, think, thinking, and I came up with a great, if unconventional, Disney woman to celebrate today: Lillian Disney.

How much do you know about the Lilster? You know she has some boats and railroad cars and stuff named in her honor, but do you know the complete extent of her awesome??

For starters, she was a career girl. Did you know that? Did you know that she met Walt while she was working in the Ink and Paint department as a secretary?

At a time when most women weren’t working at all, she was not only working at a company where it was notoriously hard for women to get in the door but she was getting credits to her name! She is credited as an ink artist on Plane Crazy! That is badass, and I love it.

She was also all about speaking her mind and letting her opinions be heard. For real, though. At the time of her death, Roy Disney is quoted as having said: “She was a great lady, full of laughter and fun and always prepared to speak the truth, tough and loving at the same time.” Who doesn’t love a truth teller?

When Walt was like, “Mortimer Mouse, yea. I like that,” Lillian was like, “Uhhhhh … how about no?” That’s right, people. She named Mickey Mouse. Forget the Phoenicians: we should thank Lillian! Can you imagine how flat Mortimer Mouse would have fallen?? Walt, thankfully, recognized her keen genius, and he frequently sought her opinion on his projects.

And, yea, she was richer than rich, but she also did a ton of good with her money: she helped found the California Institute of the Arts and gave more than $50 million to the Music Center of Los Angeles County. We like that a lot!! In fact, I like pretty much everything about her!

What Disney woman inspires you? Let us know in the comments. 


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