Growing up as a child and experiencing the magic of Disney was impactful.
I’ve been in love with everything Disney for years. When I had the chance to be part of that world, I jumped on it.
It all began at a startup company called Worlds of Wonder (WOW). After working on Teddy Ruxpin, I had the opportunity to work on the first talking Mickey Mouse and Goofy.
Talking Mickey Mouse and Goofy:
It was amazing visiting Disney’s headquarters in Burbank and talking to their creative team. I was there getting a sign off to start production on another fun project.
It was a dream come true!
After Worlds of Wonder, I had the opportunity to design Disney characters for Applause.
Soon I was designing for Disney’s theme parks and stores.
Plush characters from the movie Pocahontas:
Soon afterward, I was designing for Mattel.
Simba from The Lion King movie for Mattel:
Winnie the Pooh plush treehouse from Mattel:
Soon I started to license my ideas to companies that had a Disney license.
Story Book Pen and Pencil Sharpener / Hunchback of Notre Dame and 101 Dalmatians:
Next was designing for a kitchen company called Trudeau.
Rotating Cups and Containers:
Hunchback of Notre Dame:
Next, I was designing guitar picks.
And finally, designs were created using my rotating label.
Twist N’ Chill / Cars and Hannah Montana:
It was amazing to see products I was involved with come to market.
Seeing my product ideas using the Disney properties sell in major retailers, Disney stores, and theme parks was amazing.
I built a long relationship with Disney over the years. It was an honor and pleasure to work with so many creative people at Disney.
A few things I learned:
1. Treat everybody fairly and never burn a bridge.
2. It’s a small industry. Sooner or later, you’re going to run into the same people.
3. Your reputation is everything.
Thanks for reading!
– Stephen Key