Building Happiness

Written: Dec. 2nd, 2020 Approx Reading Time: 4 mins

Animation is incredible. Taking inanimate imagery and creating the illusion of motion.

It's always blown me away. I grew up on Disney Animation.

Mulan. Meet The Robinsons. The Lion King...

And I've always wondered how they did it. Create powerful animated stories with such a strong attention-to-detail. I can only imagine the amount of effort it must've taken to create a scene. Let alone a film.

I recently to an animation and videography course in school. It was such a thrilling course but damn was it difficult + time-consuming. (Shoutout to my teacher Larry Jacobs for all the guidance)

The Walt Disney Company helped pioneer the way for animation.

Increasing frames-per-second. Combining art and animation.

Taking this:


Adding pixie dust (via animation techniques + technologies). & turning it into this:


Drastically improving the ability of creating the motion illusion.

Disney is an entertainment company. They're most well-known for creating entertainment in the form of films: animated and now live-action.

What's always amazed me is how much they've contributed to technological progress (one of their core values + a strategy components). Not just in the world of animation...

Films tell stories, evoke emotion, and action. They're powerful tools for change and entertainment.

One flaw: it's complete.

Watch Aladdin once. Sick movie. Watch it again—still a sick movie but the same.

Animation took drawings off the page and onto the screen. How do we take films off the screen?

What's the next step? Answer: immersive stories. Essentially, virtual reality.

& Disney does just that with theme parks.

They turn stories into immersive worlds where guests can experience their favourite stories.

People get such an immense feeling of happiness, fulfillment, or however you define that feeling.

The story can be experienced from the POV of the guest and its dynamic—the parks change overtime. The trees grow. Things evolve. Technology advances rapidly to maintain the feeling.

Disney has to stay ahead of the technical curve, in order for the illusion to feel real.

Reminds me of one of my favourite quotes by Arthur C. Clarke:

"Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic."

The people behind these incredible immersive experiences + technologies are called Imagineers.

Imagineering is a career that intersects art + engineering. With a goal of telling storytelling + building happiness. Imagineers are engineers, artists...

I remember finding a DVD at my local library on Gravity by Disney Imagineering. It was the first time I learned what an Imagineer was and it sounded like the dream job.

Why am I writing about Disney today? Well in short— it's been on my mind a lot lately.

I stayed up through the night again yesterday. Was in flow state.

I worked on schoolwork and my new website. Put my favorite show on in the background.

It's called The Imagineering Story. For starters, from a film perspective, I love how it was put together. And of course, it was all about the people who build happiness at Disney.


(Left: Avatar Animatronics, Right: Mary Blair concept art for 'It's A Small World')

Every time I watch it I get so moved by the storytelling and empowered to work on challenging things by their relentless efforts towards making seemingly impossible projects happen.

It's helped me identify some of the key areas to train if I want to become a person who works on challenging projects.

(Some) Areas:

  • Being detail-oriented
  • Having a strong vision
  • Storytelling
  • Collaborative skills
  • Relentlessness + the ability to figure things out
  • & More

I could talk, write, or think about this for hours. I love Disney + Imagineering so much.

I don't think I'd have the mindset that anything is possible if I'm determined enough to figure-it-out if it wasn't for the experiences I was privileged to have growing up with Disney.

Disney does what it does with a goal of building happiness. People watch the films or visit the parks to escape reality for a bit. To essentially be a kid again. Not take life so seriously for a little.

Something that has led me to think about more is how I can build happiness or fulfillment in my own life.

I love a lot of the philosophies the Walt Disney Company has. I hope to be working on creative + impactful work. They've helped me realize that.

So if building happiness to me looks like working on creative + impactful work I need to train to become the type of person who is able to do so. I need to do things in those areas. Build.

I know that build mode is a major theme this month has in store for me. After that I hope it's more instilled in me than before and I can stay in build mode.

Looking at Imagineering as something I'd love to spend my time doing can be a good motivator to keep building.

Action item: work on something at least once a day that helps me create a future where I work on creative and impactful work. & keep enjoying Disney it makes you happy.

The Daily Rundown

  • A Chemistry lab
  • Setup my UN Women USA Membership
  • Filmed a video on renewable energy for YOUNGA
  • Piezoelectricity work session
  • Sync with battery team
  • Futureshot sync
  • Accelerate (program for accelerated training in my stream at TKS) Session # 2 —> we were given an exciting playbook today that I can't wait to dive into!
  • Worked on website
  • A package arrived for the Female-Self-Awareness challenge 🥳 — Thank you, Izzy! 💜 I'm so very very pumped to get started. Planning to begin reading the book (In the FLO By Alisa Vitti) from the package before I sleep.

(An excited me with my package)

Good List

  • MAIL! It's such a good feeling to get mail from friends. 💌
  • UN Women USA Membership
  • Hugs


  • The people in my life right now
  • Hot chocolate ☕ + also hugs

That's a wrap for day two. Time for me to read: In the FLO and then 😴

Your friendly neighborhood: imagineer-in-training

- Astro Girl 💜

Written by @astro_adara in December 2020.