Moving back to Kansas City in 1919, Walter started working at the Pesmen-Rubin Art Studio, as a ad-writer. He then met Ub Iwerks there.
In 1920, he got employment with Kansas City Film Ad Company. His profile consisted of making commercials from cutout animations. He developed an interest in animation and decided to become an animator.
Walter eventually found interest in cel animation and left the company to start his own business. He offered employment to Fred Harman, who was his colleague at Kansas City Film Ad Company.
Walter entered into a business deal with a theatre owner, Frank L Newman, to screen the cartoons that he named Laugh-o-Grams. The popularity of the cartoons led to the opening of Laugh-o-Grams studio. Financial debt caused the studio to close in 1923.
Walter aimed to set up a studio in California with his brother Roy, and Iwerks. He opened the Disney Brother’s Studio.
They entered into a distribution deal with New York distributor Margaret Winkler for Walt's Alice Comedies. They invented a character, Oswald the Lucky Rabbit and they contracted the shorts at $1,500 each.
In 1925, he recruited artist Lillian Bound, they later became lifelong partners.
Walter and Iwerk worked on creating a new character, based on his pet mouse. The final sketch gave the world of animation a new character named Mickey Mouse. After the success of Mickey’s third short, Steamboat Willie, Walter added sound in all of his cartoons.
In 1929, Walter released a series of musical shorts, Silly Symphonies, which included Mickey’s friends, Donald Duck, Goofy, Pluto and Mickey’s girlfriend Minnie Mouse.
In 1933, he created his most memorable cartoon short, The Three Little Pigs, Which was a big hit.
In 1935, he created history by releasing Flowers and Trees, one of the most popular cartoon shorts back then, in color.
Following the success of his first film Snow White , he started working on several others, including, Pinnochio, Fantasia, Dumbo and Bambi.