Walt Disney Studios was opened by Walt Disney and his brother Roy in Los Angeles in 1923. They began with production of the Alice Comedies, a series of shorts in which a live-action girl was placed in an animated environment. The studio expanded rapidly and by 1925 was constructing its own studio building. The studio created their Mickey Mouse character in 1928 and made him famous in Steamboat Willie, and Disney began producing its Silly Symphonies shortly thereafter. "Flowers and Trees," released in 1932, was the first Technicolor cartoon and won the first Animation Academy Award. The Silly Symphonies franchise was tremendously successful throughout the 1930s, integrating the new technologies of color and sound synchronization.
Walt Disney Studios produced their first animated feature, Snow White and the Seven Dwarves, in 1937. It was technologically innovative, making use of rotoscoping for the Snow White character and the multi-plane camera to created a feeling of depth. The film was successful, and Disney used the profits to help pay for 51 acres of land on which to build a new, state-of the art studio specifically for animation. The film, along with the Silly Symphonies series, set the tone for the majority of Disney's productions. We see stories with fairly clear-cut good and evil characters in which the good characters win through. Animated productions of the studio have typically been on the cutting edge of animation technology, an example being the use of CGI for certain shots in Beauty and the Beast. Music also tends to play an integral role in the films.
In the late 1940s, Disney began producing full-length live-action film business. One of the sound stages was the same that had been used to film the live-action sequences in Fantasia. Well-known live-action Disney classics include 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, Mary Poppins, and Davy Crockett.