Winkler Pictures

Walt Writes to Margaret Winkler Looking for Distributor for Alice’s Wonderland

An innovator right from the start, Walt Disney had an idea of taking a live-action character, Alice, and placing her in an animated land of cartoon characters. Animated characters had been seen in live-action worlds, but this technique was a first. On May 14, 1923, Walt wrote to film distributor Margaret Winkler, hoping that she would take an interest in his unfinished short film, Alice’s Wonderland, a pilot for a series of short Alice comedies. Winkler agreed to distribute Alice, and 56 Alice films were produced. The contract, signed on October 16, 1923, stipulated to a starting payment of $1,500 for each reel. That event became the official start of what is now known as The Walt Disney Company, and the year 1923 became the inspiration behind the name of the first official fan club in Disney history, D23.