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1930-2009

Roy E. Disney

I read the news today, oh boy.

More on this tonight, but Roy… you’ll be missed terribly.

UPDATE: The official statement from The Walt Disney Company.

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4 comments to 1930-2009

  • Another Voice

    Roy E.’s legacy with Disney was a long, complex and – ultimately – a checkered one. It will take time before all the events and their consequences can be understood and Roy’s place in the grand story can be truly recognized. For those that are interested, Nikki Finke’s ‘Deadline Hollywood’ blog has an excellent recap of Roy’s roles in the Eisner/Iger era (http://www.deadline.com/hollywood/r-i-p-roy-disney/ ).

    But there is one thing that is certain.

    We are quickly loosing the personal element of Disney – the connection to the talents, skills, vices and foibles of the very real people that created the “magic” that’s all too often taken for granted these days. Walt, Roy, and their fellows are becoming less human, more …more…a corporatized symbol like Colonel Sanders. Statues are erected in faux tribute; quotes taken out of context to justify corporate committee decisions and to counterfeit a sense of legitimacy, ghostly images endlessly recycled in hopes that the “Golden Age” will rub off on today…

    Roy E. was the last reminder inside The Company that “Disney” meant ideals lived by a group of people that accomplished amazing things. That the “Disney” legacy meant something about quality and a unique way of looking at the world, something beyond a marketing label denoting corporate affiliation of assorted business units. That “Disney” history is relevant today because the lessons painfully learned in the past can be built upon and improved, rather than having to be relearned with each new spin of boardroom musical chairs.

    The last flickers of the real Disney “magic” are fading from the organization that bears the family name.

  • All very, very true. I’m still waiting for a work to come along that tells the entire story – with everything in its context. It seems to me that there’s a lot still untold, or at least not incorporated into the full story.

    About the personal element, this is also a result of the fact that fewer and fewer people are “lifers” anymore. Used to be, pretty much all key creative personnel stuck around forever. Some had their fallings out and left, of course, but how many animators and imagineers spent their entire working lives on the Burbank lot?

    We don’t see that anymore. People work from contract to contract, and come and go. All that institutional memory is lost. People make the same mistakes over and over, because there’s no collective memory to learn from. People aren’t apprenticed under folks who learned from Walt. The line is broken. And the most anyone ever stays as head of Disneyland is three years.

    It’s something they need to work on, and quickly, before it’s too late.

  • philphoggs

    All respects to Mr. Disney, and condolences to the family. And to Mike, a very well written eulogy on the latter post indeed.
    I can only agree, I suppose in retrospect, you see a man balancing his financial holdings with the best interest of his heritage. That’s the level we as fans will miss; that one very strong root to another era.

  • Thanks – I totally agree.

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