We have a lot of news for you today. First up is the surprise announcement that Tom Staggs is departing Disney. It’s a move that throws everything we thought about who would replace Iger right out the window. Perhaps one of you has the perfect candidate in mind. I’ve also got Dr. Strange, Star Wars, DVC and a strange death in the Haunted Mansion for you. Read on dear reader, read on . . .
Tom Staggs to Leave Disney
Disney’s Official Statement: Thomas O. Staggs will leave his current position as Chief Operating Officer of The Walt Disney Company, effective May 6, 2016. He will remain employed by the Company in the role of special advisor to the Chief Executive Officer, Robert A. Iger, through this fiscal year.
“Tom has been a great friend and trusted colleague for more than 20 years,” said Mr. Iger. “He’s made important contributions to this company, earning wide respect across the organization for his achievements and personal integrity. I’m proud of what we’ve accomplished together, immensely grateful for the privilege of working with him, and confident that he will be enormously successful in whatever opportunity he chooses.”
Way to break my heart, Board! I know his chops might be a little weaker than Iger’s in some areas, but show me just about anyone that’s not already heading a conglomerate whose aren’t. We NEED someone in there who has a grasp on finances AND understands the importance of a good storytelling experience. Someone who understands that whatever Disney does has to be grounded in super high quality, because it’s really, really difficult and expensive to buy back your good name once you’ve lost it. Much more expensive than it would have been to keep it in the first place. So keep it.
Mr. Staggs said, “Disney truly stands alone, not only because of the Company’s phenomenal creativity, but also because of the thousands of remarkable people who make it such an extraordinary place. It’s been a privilege to work with them and be inspired by their creativity and commitment. It’s also been a great experience to work with Bob during this dynamic era of unprecedented growth and transformation. I remain grateful for that opportunity, and I’m confident that Disney’s future will be just as exciting as its legendary past.”
With approximately two years left before Mr. Iger steps down as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Disney’s Board of Directors will broaden the scope of its succession planning process to identify and evaluate a robust slate of candidates for consideration.
Any ideas on the ideal candidate for Disney CEO?
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Benedict Cumberbatch Visits Local Comic Book Shop as Doctor Strange
I couldn’t find credit for the photographer, so here’s video of him actually taking the photos!
I love Doctor Strange; I don’t think I’ve seen any of Benedict Cumberbatch’s work outside of animation and poetry audio, so I’m excited to see what he does. I like the way he looks so far!
Doctor Strange was filming on Staten Island in New York, right near JHU Comics, so on break from filming, of course the actor went in and hung with the shop staff and patrons, snapping selfies and posing with the graphic novel his film is based on.
Also in the film, the incredibly beautiful humans Mads Mikkelsen and Tilda Swinton. Rounding out the cast is Rachel McAdams.
Adrian Edmonson Reportedly Joins Star Wars VIII
Alice says, “Only if he wears those studs on his forehead.” You never know.
The British comedian is said to have landed a part after impressing director Rian Johnson and The Force Awakens director JJ Abrams.
British tabloid The Sun says “although his role is being kept under wraps, we should expect it to be an ‘eccentric’ part given his comedy background…While JJ Abrams isn’t directing, he is still heavily involved and he is really keen on British talent.” and while The Sun is a tabloid, it’s got a decent track record for these things.
General Ackbar Actor Erik Bauersfeld Dies
Actually, it was natual causes. He was at his home at the time. Mr Bauersfeld was 93 years old. He voiced the General in Return of the Jedi, uttering the famous line above, and again in The Force Awakens. In the Star Wars galaxy, he also voiced Jabba the Hutt’s majordomo Bib Fortuna in Return of the Jedi, uncredited. He was also in the films A.I. (Artificial Intelligence) and Crimson Peak and in countless radio works.
Accidental Death at Disneyland Paris
Yesterday, a maintenance worker was killed Monday, April 4, Paris time while working in Phantom Manor, due to accidental electrocution. His name was not released, but he was a longtime Cast Member and well-liked by his co-workers. The attraction will be closed through Wednesday.
From the Mailbag:
Nature Enlightens Paris’ Sleeping Beauty Castle
Every evening from 1 to 30 April, Sleeping Beauty Castle will become the stage for an ode to our planet with a unique pre-show to Disney Dreams! An event made possible through a very “natural” partnership with the Disneynature label and the creativity of Disney Business Solutions teams.
Earth Month has been reserved to Disneyland Paris’ backstage area for a long time. But this year it is coming up-front, into Disneyland Park. As it was decided include guests in the festivities linked to Earth Month, Thierry Magne and his colleagues at Business Solutions started right away to work on a show that would be a tribute to nature. This unique, 4-minute production designed for Earth Month is the result of a partnership between the teams at Disneyland Paris and the Disneynature label.
For six months the teams worked in synergy to select the most beautiful sequences from iconic movies such as The Crimson Wings, Pollen, African Cats, Chimpanzees, Bears, or even Monkey Kingdom. They will be put up on the screen –Sleeping Beauty Castle! – every evening throughout the month of April thanks to a unique editing job using a mapping technology synchronised with a music track and the fountains of Disney Dreams!. Certain excerpts, such as the water shots were even especially recorded for this project.
“The Disneyland Park is the perfect place to inspire and make our guests dream in front of our planet’s beauty”, as Thierry Magne, Event Designer at Business Solutions, explains. “By using innovating technologies developed for Disney Dreams!, we have the flexibility to offer new shows on Sleeping Beauty’s Castle, the most majestic screen one could wish for.” The Cast Members are active actors in this event since some of them – casted during the month of March – appear in the editing sequence to give their impressions. The objective was to present an original story that inspires emotion and is thought provoking : it has been met !
Discover in the video here-under of this project, as explained by Thierry Magne, and the first images of the preshow.
Forget About Your Worries and Your Strife…
Let this video from Jimmy Kimmel Live! float you through the rest of the week. It’s Bill Murray as Baloo the Bear and Neel Sitha as Mowgli the Human singing the classic Disney tune “The Bear Necessities” from Disney’s upcoming film The Jungle Book, hitting theaters April 15, with a special engagement at the El Capitan Theater as well.
Disney Cuts Some Benefits for Secondary-Market Purchases
A few years back, Disney Vacation Club cut several benefits for people who did not buy their points directly from Disney. These included being able to use those points for booking hotels and cruises, something that was not a wise investment of points in the first place. Yesterday, members received notice that there would be more cuts to benefits for people buying into the club from the secondary market; they would not get annual pass and shopping discounts, member-exclusive events and special member offers.
There’s where the story ends and the ad begins, but keep reading if you’re remotely interested in this.
I keep telling people to go read stuff at DVCResaleMarket.com to learn things about how DVC works. Not long after the news broke, Nick Cotton had clear, concise, and helpful information up on the website about what this announcement means for people who want to buy and sell Disney Vacation Club points, and for those who already own them; what they can and can’t do, and if it’s still worth it to them to purchase directly or from the secondary market. Spoiler: he leans toward yes. Ultimately, it’s a very personal decision. Make it an informed one no matter what you decide.
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