M.J. Winkler & The Birth of Walt Disney Studios


On October 16th, 1923, contracts were signed between a young unknown animator in Hollywood named Walter Disney and M.J. Winkler, the successful distributor/promoter of the early animated novelties 'Out of the Inkwell' and 'Felix the Cat.' M.J. Winkler was in fact, Margaret Winkler — the only women in film distribution, and the first women in the Producer's Guild.

Adding a fictitious 'J' to her name, Margaret operated as M.J. Winkler. In addition to her distribution prowess, Margaret was a genius at promotion and by the early 1920s, she single-handedly established animation as a standard part of the movie-going experience.

By putting the Disney Brothers under contract in 1923 for six "Alice in Cartoonland" comedies, Margaret helped establish the first animation studio in Hollywood which currently is the longest running animation studio in history. It is no exaggeration that we would not have today's animation industry if it weren't for this women — Margaret 'M.J.' Winkler!


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