hipster-walt hipster-walt

Hipster Walt Disney

Love this never-before-seen image of Walt Disney that popped up on-line recently.

Walt Disney

(via Disney History)

  • What makes him a hipster?

    It can’t be the turtle-neck so it must be the moustache!

    • Ryoku75

      Thats precisely what I was wondering, I didn’t think hipsters had staches though.

    • I would say that the crap tache and skinny look make him hipstery. maybe he is writing with a glitter pen too (hard to tell in sepia tones). I think he looks pretty groovey here. Good on ya Walt

    • The Gee

      What makes him (look) like a hipster?

      Don’t you think it might be mainly because he posed for the photo and that particular look on his face?

      I’m sure there could be other poses and situations he could be in, like leaning in a doorframe mixing martinis or something but…

  • Photoshop that into a black turtleneck and he’d be hip for the ages.

    Any clue on the date of that?

  • The frame on the wall above Walt’s head contained a picture of Mickey Mouse. Not seen in the photo you posted is a photo of Walt’s wife Lillian, which would have been mounted higher up on the wall over his left shoulder, and then just a bit farther to the left of his wife’s picture was a framed image of Minnie Mouse.

    Based on my research, I believe this is the office where they projected the silent Steamboat Willie onto a sheet draped over the window on Walt’s office door, which is off to the left in your photo. (You can just see part of the doorframe.)

    The film projector was placed out back and then the film was projected down the hall onto the sheet. Walt and some of his artists watched the film from the rear in this office and took turns making the accompanying noises to sync with the film, while girlfriends and wifes sat on the other side of the door and watched.

  • @ David L. Fascinating information. Thanks for posting it.

  • Cameron Mc

    It’s because he animated features before it was cool.

  • Lucy

    I like this photo in an ironic way.

  • Looks even more like Steve Jobs than usual there.

  • andreas Wessel-Therhorn

    nice image of Walt. looks like the late 30s

  • ZiggyStardust

    at this point a hipster is anyone doing anything or wearing anything at any point in time.

    • Alimator

      Exactly. I’m no longer sure what it means anymore.

    • Ryoku

      Hipsters are essentially pretentious snobs who feel they’re more intelligent than others because of their admiration for post-modern art.

      They also insist on their uniqueness since they stray from common trends, despite being a group of their own.

      They’re also terrible to argue with as they will stick words in your mouth, strawman you, use adhominem, and will argue to their graves.

      They also have a screwy fashion sense.

      Needless to say, Walt Disney was none of these.

      • Martin Juneau

        We have all a hipster side on us. Gladly, i hate most of post-modern art.

  • Dave

    Too bad it’s $9500:

    That seller has some very interesting items for sale too: Lee Harvey Oswald’s crib, several Vince Lombardi trophies, a gavel from the Clinton impeachment, and so on.

    You can get a very similar (unsigned) reprint photo of “Hipster Walt Disney” for $5:

    • Chris Sobieniak

      I think it’s worth that price for the taped rip alone!

  • Pedro Nakama

    Now if we could just go back in time to when this picture was taken and get him to quit smoking.

    • David Breneman

      When I was a little kid, I’d watch “World of Color” and think, as Walt introduced some new feature film or attraction at Disneyland, “This guy must have the best job in the world!” And, I assumed, that working for him would be the second best job. He died when I was in the first grade, but if he hadn’t smoked he could have easily still been actively at the helm of the company in his late 70s when I got out of school. So, yeah, I’d definitely buy a ticket on that trip to get Walt to give up the coffin nails, but and for totally mercenary reason that he cheated me out of my dream job.

      • Chris Sobieniak

        If he had at least lived a couple more decades, he would’ve continued to still graced our screens every week during my youth!

      • Jason

        And EPCOT would be an actual working city and we’d probably have flying cars! ;)

  • If this is at the Hyperion Studio, doesn’t the Silverlake locale automatically hipster-ize everything?

    • Bud

      15 years ago. Los Feliz/Silverlake/East Hollywood went back out of style 12 years ago. It’ll be back in 10 years or so.

      • Sardonic Tuba

        Eagle Rock is the new Silverlake. Atwater Village the new Eagle Rock.

  • Gerard de Souza

    He does look cool. I don’t usually think of turtlenecks pre-beat generation except for skiing….Certainly not something I assocaite with California 1930s. But what do I know.

  • @Steve Schnier…you’re very welcome.
    @Clay Kaytis…yes, this is Hyperion. I have a two blogs that look at Disney history – one examines vintage things, the other Disney’s involvement in the war.

    I am trying to write a book on the history of the Hyperion Studio. A friend and I have mapped out to scale all of the construction and the renovations/additions that took place there from 1926-1939. I’ve also located quite a few photos from friends’ collections, and various archives and institutions, many of which have never been published before. One friend sent me two photos showing the “L” shaped Animator’s Building No. 1 and the sound stage under construction in 1931.

    A friend sent me a copy of the above image, which I used on my vintage blog. Here’s what I wrote a couple of days ago:

    “Judging by Walt Disney’s office, I’d say this photo was taken no earlier than July 1929, and is no later than the Spring of 1931. As Walt and Roy made a little money, they would expand and add rooms to the original 1926 building at 2719 Hyperion Avenue, in Los Feliz, California.

    The office in this image does not look like the first one occupied by Walt, which was located to the left as you entered the main door of the 1926 building. This office appears to me to be the one that was moved when they added the two western additions to the original building in July 1929. At this time Roy moved into Walt’s first office, and Walt moved into the new western addition.

    When the big “L” shaped Animator’s Building No. 1 was built in the Spring of 1931, Walt’s office was spacious, and had dark colored wood paneling, so the office depicted in this photo is not the office in that new building.

    (UPDATE July 19 – when I posted this image I didn’t have access to the eBay listing. The auction description notes the photo is stamped on verso with the date February 21, 1933. After some consideration, I still believe the image is earlier than that. The date referenced on the image could have been when the photo was distributed by Acme, or used by a particular newspaper. By February 1933 Walt would have moved into his new office in Animator’s Building No. 1, and this is defintiely not that particular office depicted in the photo. Do any of my readers have any thoughts?)

  • Gwak

    He needs to be rocking some white rimmed sunglasses to complete the look.

  • trsanpp45

    Hipster? Well he’s got a turtle neck on …. and….. uh….

  • Justin

    I bet he’s wearing skinny jeans, and his thick rimed glasses are out of the picture on his desk

  • Orgaph

    If Walt had lived, “Robin Hood” would have been a lot better.

    • Gerard de Souza

      Oh, Walt was alive when he did Robin Hood….a live action version.

  • Disney’s Woking Way home has just been listed. Check it out on my blog:


  • Rose

    FYI – A “Hipster” à la the Dictionary is “a person who follows the latest trends and fashions.”

  • Daniel J. Drazen

    A turtleneck and beret, now THAT’S hipster. This, not so much.

  • Bill
  • Actually the turtleneck was something that you see Walt wearing in other photos, specifically playing polo.

  • The turtleneck shirt is seen in other photos of Walt, specifically playing polo.

  • seann

    You guys are checking the threads, when you need look no further than the signature. A ‘hipster’ would NEVER be sincere about ANYTHING.