Part Three: Walt’s Special Camera

Multiplane Camera Photo-1Walt Disney, after the release and great success of Steamboat Willie, was driven to immediately seek advancement in the making of cartoons.  Steamboat Willie was a two-dimensional cartoon.  To make cartoon’s more appealing, Walt wanted them to be more like reality, to have depth, dimension, shading, roundness, appeal due to more human-like characteristics.  

One of his associates had once made a rudimentary multi-plane camera in which several background scenes could be ‘stacked” one upon the other with a space between them.  The camera could then change its focal length and move through/into the scene, causing the nearest foreground scene to move faster as the next backgrounds moved closer, giving the illusion of depth.    This U-Tube link will explain how this new camera works.  

Old Mill poster photo

Walt’s new camera was built in order to greatly improve the upcoming feature length cartoon Snow White.  In order to develop the multi-plane camera and its usage by the photo-crew, Walt Produced a non-plot short animation for the Silly Symphony series called the Old Mill.  This film made an astounding impression on the film industry, earning the Disney Studios an Academy Award in 1937 for Best Short Subject.  is a U-tube link for this short cartoon.

Walt’s p.c. Solar Return for Dec. 5, 1936, located to Hollywood, CA, is shown below.  This Solar Return covers a highly eventful year for Walt.  When we consider the early stages of the movie industry, the crudeness of equipment and that every production, directing, acting innovation lay almost 99% ahead of that time, it is amazing that this man could have achieved so much in so little time.  This RIYAL-calculated chart is shown below with the transit outside, natal planets inside.

Walt SR 1936-J













Of utmost importance in this chart is the location of the natal chart angles so closely matching up with the chart angles of the Solar Return.  This is typical of one’s 39th year.  The movement west to California has moved this momentous year up to Walt’s 35th year.  This will be the year when life can change greatly for Walt Disney.  And, it did.   The re-match up of natal angles to a Solar Return’s angles indicates a new “birth”, a time to kick-start your life in a significant way.  It can also represent the year when one dies to find a new direction in their soul’s evolution.  Dr. Martin Luther King is one of many hundreds of names that can be retrieved from Astrodatabank for those who have died in the 39th year.  It is a time of change.

Note t/Jupiter at the Asc., an expanded and rewarding environment is around him.  Note t/Mercury at the IC angle; Walt will have many new ideas to work with and will communicate better to the world through his work.   Note t/Mars at the Desc. angle; his natal 5th house creative Mars is now operating in tandem with others, a team-work effort will hallmark this year.  Finally, note n/Neptune at the MC; Walt’s fertile imagination and sense of drama will be a large part of his career successes.

We can take note of supportive patterns such as n/Moon-square-n/Mars.  This n/Moon is in the first house, n/Mars in the 4th house of the Solar Return.  This natal urge to do more will be part of his life in this year.  His biography, Walt Disney; The Triumph of The American Imagination by Neal Gabler mentions repeatedly the long hours and frantic nature of the studio in this period to perfect the techniques that would be needed to produce the first full length feature cartoon, Snow White.  The release of the Old Mill short subject cartoon was on Nov. 5, 1937.  This chart is shown below.

Walt PDA 11-05-1937 old mill rel-J













What is most important in this chart is n/Moon at the Asc. and n/Mars at the IC.  This pattern which is so much a part of Walt’s creative drive was evident in the 1936 Solar Return.  His imaginative n/Neptune is close behind the MC angle.  At this point in time Walt’s whole focus was on the production of Snow White, and the release and reception of the Old Mill cartoon short was almost a background part of his life.  The n/Moon shows his momentary recognition of this achievement, but that achievement was already “old news” for Walt at this point, late in 1937.

On a personal note, I was born in 1936 and was just a baby as all of this was going on.  I still remember my parents taking me, during the wars years as a child of five or six, to a Boston theater to see both Snow White, and later, Bambi.  The theater crowds were awesome to my at that age.  I was witnessing a historic time for the movie industry and was quite unaware of it.  Today, we take the most amazing film work as a standard set of expectations.  At that time, the adult world was just as amazed as we are today at what we see before us.

I hope you all enjoy this exploration into a most amazing life.  Dave.



About dadsnook

Dave has been exploring cyclic astrology since the mid-1970's. CYCLIC astrology utilizes both Return charts and planetary-pair cycles for short-term prediction. These practices and nine years of archived material are available for study or reading at A new book, Personal Prediction ISBN 978-9-615-63033-5, has been published and the MC-Solar Cycle technique is now supported through a recognized software provider so that all students and practicing astrologers can apply these techniques for their own use. Recently, Dave has been exploring a new charting format:, transiting Moon to natal Sun Return charts. These moon-sun returns show how we can maintain or deal with change in our lives. A book, Personal Moon-to-Sun Returns 2 has been released in 2015. Contact Dave for details at Dave is a retired business systems analyst and automation systems engineer, enjoys woodcarving and tarot in addition to astrology.
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