stumbling through life with one eye shut
I only watched the first two. On the one hand, I'm not too surprised. On the other hand, they've got a few anecdotes from people who worked there and a few self-made Disney biographers for their sources. Woulda been really quite nice if the documentary had included interviews with well over a dozen different employees.I can't really defend any of what I saw in Part 2, but there is one thing I wanted to bring up which is more gray and than it is black, and that's his "no philandering, ladies!" memo he sent out. Was that sexist and paranoid? Yes. But admittedly Disney (the company) had become a world-renowned children's entertainment company and so he probably didn't want ANYTHING happening which could have jeopardized that pristine image.As far as race goes, I'm really not surprised given that all of the early Disney films featured whites and stories from Germanic Europe (e.g. Snow White, Sleeping Beauty, Pinocchio). But the thing is, maybe Walt changed as he got older? Maybe he reformed? 'cause I don't think he portrayed Mowgli in a bad way in The Jungle Book.
Well, I finished it. That's really too bad about Walt Disney, but you know something ...now it all makes sense. I always hated Dumbo as a kid, and now I know at least one reason why it was bad: it was the movie whose production was both rushed and unsupervised by (fascist or not) the perfectionist Disney, and the result was 2 hours of what barely passed for an "animated motion picture" and instead felt a lot more like an oddly-strung-together serial of cheap 5-minute cartoons.I'm sort of confused though by the narrator's claim that Bambi was the end of the golden era of Disney animated films. I thought the end of the era was generally agreed upon to be The Jungle Book / Robin Hood, with the Aristocats being the first plunge downward into mediocrity until the 1980s brought The Little Mermaid to theaters and triggered the Disney Renaissance.
Also, he was never cryogenically frozen.
The docu leaves a lot out of Disney's life, like his foray into live action films and, most importantly, his theme parks. If he's really such a bad guy, I have to think there's plenty more stories they could have included. But the lack of artistic talent, his willingness to take credit for others' work, and the commie blacklisting stuff (not to mention the sexism and racism) is pretty deplorable.
"Willingness to take credit for others' work" is a loaded accusation, though. He was the project leader. He was the orchestrator. He was the Henry Ford. It would be like if people on the Ford Motors assembly line complained that Henry didn't know a thing about how to operate the machines in the factory, didn't know how to design an attractive-looking car for shit, etc. It sorta matters, and it sorta doesn't. He's the entrepreneur. He's the one who had the original vision. He's the one who brought you here to work for him. It's natural that Henry Ford get credit for the Ford Mustang even if he only oversaw its design and manufacturing. Same thing for Disney: sure, he didn't draw alongside the drawers. Sure, he didn't ink alongside the inkers. But he was the one who had the visions, and without those Disney (the company) would have been sunk. The proof is in the finished products: Snow White and Pinocchio feel like feature films, whereas Dumbo feels like 2 hours of old-fashioned cartoons strung together. The artists might have been capable artists, but visionaries they were not necessarily.The only point at which I think he crossed the line in terms of taking credit for others' work was when he'd sign off on pictures that weren't his or when he produced canned Mickey Mouse drawings. That is bad of him to have done. But as far as the Oscars go and the size of his name in the credits go, I honestly think that's just effing sour grapes. To this day, the Oscars committee doesn't give an Oscar to the cameraman who actually filmed the film: they give it to the cinematographer. They don't give it to the make-up artists who actually put the make-up on Klingons and Hobbits: they give it to the make-up team leader. There are loads of other examples of this, but fundamentally it's a problem of the how the Oscars are operated and not of Walt Disney being an arrogant son of a bitch. If the Oscars committee had handed out 200+ Oscars for each of the animators and inkers involved with Pinocchio, then things would have been different. But they didn't, and they still don't: they hand out one statue to one man, and if you had to pick one man in Walt Disney Studios to receive the award for Pinocchio, who else but Walt Disney himself?Don't get me wrong, I do sympathize with the artists who feel like they were the ones who did all the work but will be soon forgotten while Disney's name is remembered for centuries to come. But I don't think it's all that different from when Lilly finds a new drug. Does the guy who went on adventures to the rain forest and found the venomous tree frog from whom the chemical was extracted get any credit? No. How about the guy who took care of the frogs back in Indiana? No. How about the leader of the team of chemists who synthesized the drug from scratch? Or the team of chemical engineers who figured out a way to convert the chemists' rudimentary but economically unfeasible synthesis into an economically viable one? No one gets the credit: just "Eli Lilly, Inc."
I'm very sad. He started out good. Then it went bad fast.
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