Back in the days when Disney was a 22-year-old struggling artist and director, he saw five-year-old Virginia Davis in an advertisement and decided to hire her. Alice's Wonderland, the first in a series of short live action/cartoon films was shot in the Davis home in Kansas City with a small role going to Virginia's mother, Margaret Davis. With that film, Walt Disney moved to Hollywood to start his storied climb to stardom. The Davis family soon followed and Disney put little Virginia under contract for $100 a month and began more "Alice" films, shooting in Disney's uncle's garage with brother Roy Disney handling the camera work. There were always neighborhood kids around and Walt would hire them as extras for fifty cents apiece. Walt soon became more interested in animation than with live action and, after thirteen additional "Alice" films, Virginia's contract expired. Virginia went on to a number of uncredited roles, ending with 1946's The Harvey Girls. During this time, she also did some work for Disney, who gave her tips on how to ink and paint. Virginia married in 1943 and soon left acting to earn a degree in Interior Design. She then went on to edit a magazine, Living for Young Homemakers. Later in life she was active in silent film festivals and in Disneyland and Walt Disney World events. She dies in 2009, age 90.
In Alice's Wonderland, a young girl visits an animation studio where she watches the animators at work and where the cartoon characters come to life and she interacts with them. Featured in the film are animators Disney (of course), Hugh Harman, Rudolf Isling, and the legendary Ub Iwerks.