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  1. #1

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    Adding perspective to the billion dollar makeover

    Bob Weis. Is this name familiar at all? No? Well he's the big time, high profile Imagineer that is overseeing the extensive DCA redo. Well not really. He was in charge of Disney's America. Oh now the name is beginning to ring a bell.

    Well, with all this discussion about construction, sightlines, theme, and the overall beautification of Disney’s California Adventure, it’s only appropriate to get things straight and hold Bob Weis accountable for the changes facing DCA and not John Lasseter. Not to say John Lasseter has no involvement in the process, he was the one who appointed Weis, just the assumption that Lasseter is at the drawing board calling the shots should be put into focus.

    Understandably, Lasseter’s celebrity heavyweight status might prompt any casual fanboy to credit Lasseter for every single change going into DCA. But the lofty and decidedly vague title of Principal Creative Advisor for Walt Disney Imagineering does not automatically translate to ultimate creative control. I’m sure since many of the lands tread closely to Weis’s original designs for Disney’s America he's the one to offering hands on ideas and has signed off on most of the projects under construction.

    Another reason one might assume Lasseter is in Glendale drawing up blue sky sketches or pitching ride proposals himself, is because Disneyland has an equally legendary creative in charge over there. And while no one is calling him the next Walt Disney, his influence is equally impressive. Tony Baxter, who has worked on projects like Splash Mountain and Discoveryland at Disneyland Paris, is the perfect fit to survey future development plans for Disneyland. Which is why one would think if a WDI heavy hitter is in one park, another heavy hitter should be in the other park.

    And lastly, don’t let the increasing presence of PIXAR characters fool you into thinking Lasseter has a creative monopoly over the Disneyland Resort. (Don’t give the man too much credit.) The fact is Disney serving the public’s demand for the PIXAR characters and stories. Perhaps if Disney would produce more hit feature films in the future we might not see as many PIXAR tie ins.

    Ultimately, I say give credit where credit is due. It’s easy to heap praise (or blame) on Lasseter being that he is the most visible, but that should not diminish the work by Bob Weis who is basically tasked with making this 1Billion dollar make over work.
    Last edited by Sir.Mouse; 09-21-2010 at 10:22 AM.

  2. #2

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    Re: Adding perspective to the billion dollar makeover

    Thank you for setting the record straight.
    Your clarifications are greatly appreciated.

  3. #3

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    Re: Adding perspective to the billion dollar makeover

    That's very good to know. Thank you for letting everyone know who's really in charge.

  4. #4

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    Re: Adding perspective to the billion dollar makeover

    I agree for the most part. Most of the best parts of the DCA project seem to have a clear influence from Bob. It's easy to see if you are familiar with his work. He seems to really love trying to capture a place and time, and I think the new overall vision for the park is largely his. You can see it in strongly in BVS and the new PP.

  5. #5

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    Re: Adding perspective to the billion dollar makeover

    In looking up Bob Weis I found a look of cool bits of information. Did you know that he's a Filmmaker,Designer and Concept Developer? He also has a twitter and blog account! He's a sample from his blog:

    SUNDAY, MARCH 30, 2008
    "DCA Journal"
    I had the opportunity to speak to a group from the California Redevelopment Association on March 26. We met at the Grand Californian and then took a VIP tour of Disney's California Adventure. These are professionals who work to create great places, and have to do so in real cities with complex constituencies...I think it also is interesting how old downtown streets we all remember have as many as 5 or 6 separate shop fronts, maybe a theater, and a newsstand or cart--all on the same single block...


    Target reigning over a block of Pasadena.


    Back then we had all those entrepreneurs doing their own signs, entrances, canopies, and shop windows, streets must have been very active, optimistic places, tugging at you all along the sidewalk. We try to re-create that in projects today by simulating what it might have been like--and breaking blocks up into multiple stories and styles to reconnect with that sense of community.

    A classic American downtown, with multiple storefronts.
    nice!

    I also found this blurb on Laughing Place:
    DCA Executive to lead Shanghai Disneyland

    Executive Vice-President, Creative, Walt Disney Imagineering Bob Weis has been appointed as creative lead for the upcoming Shanghai Disneyland Resort. Bob has never led a foreign park project and was chosen over Vice-President, WDI R&D Scott Trowbridge. Bob will lead all of the creative and master planning activities for the Shanghai project (inlcuding all hotels, retail, dining and entertainment development) that is currently awaiting approval from the central government in China.
    Double Nice!!

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