The studio played a role in the early years of animation: it was home to many of the pioneers of animation, brought there by Walt Disney, and is said to be the place to have provided Disney with the inspiration to create Mickey Mouse.
The studio building has fallen to ruin and efforts are being made to restore it. The Disney family has promised $450,000 in matching funds for the restoration.
The company had problems making ends meet: by the end of 1922, Disney was living in the office, taking baths once a week at Union Station.
Thomas McCrum, a Kansas City dentist saved him from total failure when he commissioned Disney for $500 for Tommy Tucker's Tooth, a short subject showing the merits of brushing your teeth.
After creating one last short, the live-action/animation Alice Comedies, the studio declared bankruptcy in July 1923. Disney then moved to Hollywood, California. Disney sold his movie camera, earning enough money for a one-way train ticket; he brought along an unfinished reel of Alice's Wonderland.
In 1928 during a train trip to New York he showed the drawing to his wife Lillian Marie Bounds and said he was going to call it "Mortimer Mouse." She replied that the name sounded "too sissified" and suggested Mickey Mouse instead.