America loves pioneers.

In the original sense of the phrase an 'American pioneer' is one of the original settlers who migrated West into the wild frontier .

The term especially refers to those who were going to settle any territory which had previously not been settled or developed by European, African or American society, although the territory was inhabited by or utilized by Native Americans.

A modern American pioneer would be seen as one who follows his or her dream, becomes a success and is an inspiration for others to try and emulate or at least capture in essence ' the American Dream'.

One dreamer who encapsulated both these ideals was Walt Disney.

In his case it was not so much 'Mighty oaks from little acorns grow' it was in his own words: "If you can dream, you can do it. Always remember that this whole thing was started by a mouse."

The mouse in question was called Mickey Mouse who was born on November 18, 1928, when he appeared in a talking cartoon short called Steamboat Willie.

Somerset County Gazette:

It was from that moment, the myth, the legend and the unstoppable force of entertainment nature which was and is the Walt Disney corporation breathed properly for the first time.

The rise and rise of Walt Disney is the subject of a documentary called Walt Disney which part one will be shown at 4.15pm on PBS America on December 24.

The documentary focuses on the success and failure of the young Walt Disney and his entrenched decision, whether subconsciously or consciously to be the antithesis of his father Elias.

Elias's life was peppered with success and large amounts of failure which meant he had a work ethic to succeed but this only lead to failure.

Walt wanted to be different, he needed to follow his own path and be his own boss.

As we learn from watching Walt wanted to make a name for himself and wanted to be a somebody and the centre of attention.

Even though he had limited skill as an artist or cartoon drawer, he knew he had to surround himself with people who could bring his ideas to life.

He was very much a man of the times and the times when cartoons were growing and developing into an art form was an exciting one.

He became a pioneer of what could be possible with cartoons.

Somerset County Gazette:

They did not have to be silly, they could be artistic, creative and appeal to everyone from children to adults.

It was a way for everyone to recapture or have for the first time their childhood.

Disney became a beacon for family entertainment and changed the way people took their holidays as when he created Disneyland.

It is interesting to learn about the birth of The Disney company and to see what it has achieved in less than 100 years.

But its impact on American and world culture is still felt today. It is for many the gold standard for cartoons and films which carry the tag of family entertainment.

You can find PBS America on Sky 534, Virgin Media 276 or Freesat 155.