In 1929, Walt Disney was just getting started and he needed some help. Mr. Disney was always thinking of the future and already had feature length animation on his mind, but his staff wasn't quite ready to produce anything approaching a feature film. His staff needed further training, so Mr. Disney approached Madame Nelbert Chouinard to get his staff the training they needed. Madame Chouinard ran an art school and was willing to help the upstart animation studio by deferring payments. It is doubtful that Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs would have been able to be produced just eight years later had it not been for Madame Chouinard's generosity.
Flashforward to the 1960's. Sick and a victim of an embezzler, Madame Chouinard's school was on shaky ground. Walt never forgot the assistance she provided, so he set about creating a new institution that would be a merger of Madame Chouinard's Institute and the Los Angeles Music Conservatory- a "Caltech of the Arts"- Cal-Arts.
Located in Valencia, CA on land donated by Walt Disney, Cal-Arts quickly grew into one of the most prestigious arts colleges in the world. Its alumni work on virtually every animated film produced in Hollywood today. Famous alumni include Tim Burton, John Lasseter, Dinah Manoff and Arlene Klasky. Certainly, Cal-Arts has fulfilled Walt's vision for producing new leaders in the art world and beyond.