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  1. #1

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    Not moving forward...

    I think a lot of people here to need stop thinking about what Walt would do and how changing some things is bad.

    If we get stuck in that old way of thinking we'll never have any progress. This is from an interview with Steve Jobs with Walter Isaacson:

    When asked about the story of Jobs telling him to never ask what he would have done:


    So I go over to his house, and—I still remember how he started this discussion. He said, “There has never been a professional transition at the CEO level in Apple.”… And as a part of this, I asked him about different scenarios to understand how he wanted to be involved as chairman. He said, “I want to make this clear. I saw what happened when Walt Disney passed away. People looked around, and they kept asking what Walt would have done.” He goes, “The business was paralyzed, and people just sat around in meetings and talked about what Walt would have done.” He goes, “I never want you to ask what I would have done. Just do what’s right.” He was very clear… He was making this point, and he says, “I hope you listen to my input if I want to input on something.” I said, “Of course.”

    Just food for thought...


  2. #2

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    Re: Not moving forward...

    I wonder what Walt would've thought of Steve Jobs....

  3. #3

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    Re: Not moving forward...

    Walt wanted a lot of things the company never built or realized: Epcot-as-planned community, Mineral King ski resort, Museum of the Weird as part of the Haunted Mansion, on and on. Many of those (EPCOT) resulted in visions and end products that were far removed from anything he even pictured building while he was alive, but were nonetheless imaginative and high-quality.

    I would agree perhaps that asking constantly, what would Walt's new big idea be in the modern age (very hard to guess and extrapolate, as people change), or what he might think of a change specifically to a new technology or artistic choice in storytelling is the equivalent essentially of wandering into a bog without a clear path out and only garbled directions. Opinions of the right way/answer are subjective: they can still be discussed, but there won't be a consensus in all likelihood. Such conversations are largely all based personal viewpoints (and valid ones, for one to like something and another dislike), but the rebuttals and 'disproving' of the opposite viewpoint often can go too far into arguing without proving the basic point one is advocating for.

    It is a different matter to think that there is a certain level/bar of quality (in scriptwriting, in animation, in robotics, in special effects, in craftsmanship and execution, in detail, etc etc) that is and was Walt's standard, and that was often the best he could afford and reasonably provide the consumer. Were there errors in execution and weaker film products under Walt's leadership? Absolutely there were, he was only human and had foibles and made mistakes.

    But the standard and expectation of top quality effort was one he held especially for the motion pictures he oversaw directly, and Disneyland, as 'his park'. That is something I think is fair game to be discussed and not a sidetrack or people dwelling too much on Walt's standards: the overall bar of quality and where it is set on myriad levels, be it for an entirely new attraction or element, or the replacement/refurbishing of a classic, given the history and viewpoints embedded into Disney as a brand and Disneyland as a place by Walt's leadership and decisions.

  4. #4

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    Re: Not moving forward...

    Quote Originally Posted by glenbot View Post
    I think a lot of people here to need stop thinking about what Walt would do and how changing some things is bad.
    I think that's a misrepresentation of what "a lot of people here" -- specifically, the Disney critics you're referring to -- think.

    I think you might want to read the thread Disneyland, nostalgia, change, relevance and New Coke ... and especially this post:

    Quote Originally Posted by gatheringrosebuds View Post
    We don't want an exact recreation of the Disneyland of the past. We want a Disneyland that reflects the levels of style, imagination, creativity, story, artistry, character, sophistication, and immersiveness of the past.
    It has been demonstrated over and over on this forum that critics of what today's Disney Corporation is doing in its theme parks are not calling for a repeat of "what Walt would do." They are calling for a return to the standards of quality that Walt applied.

    Change isn't the issue. Bad change is the issue.
    Last edited by Mr Wiggins; 01-11-2013 at 03:58 PM.
    "With the acquisition of Marvel and now of Lucasfilm,
    Disney may have finally found the grail. You don't need
    imagination or art. All you need is a brand."

    - Neil Gabler


  5. #5

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    Re: Not moving forward...

    Quote Originally Posted by glenbot View Post
    I think a lot of people here to need stop thinking about what Walt would do and how changing some things is bad.

    If we get stuck in that old way of thinking we'll never have any progress. This is from an interview with Steve Jobs with Walter Isaacson:

    When asked about the story of Jobs telling him to never ask what he would have done:


    So I go over to his house, and—I still remember how he started this discussion. He said, “There has never been a professional transition at the CEO level in Apple.”… And as a part of this, I asked him about different scenarios to understand how he wanted to be involved as chairman. He said, “I want to make this clear. I saw what happened when Walt Disney passed away. People looked around, and they kept asking what Walt would have done.” He goes, “The business was paralyzed, and people just sat around in meetings and talked about what Walt would have done.” He goes, “I never want you to ask what I would have done. Just do what’s right.” He was very clear… He was making this point, and he says, “I hope you listen to my input if I want to input on something.” I said, “Of course.”

    Just food for thought...

    I'm with you there buddy, the abuse and use of "well walt wanted this..." and "walt didn't want that" and the loony one "walt would be rolling over in his grave" classic. It's the go to tatic to make someone's own personal view more, um, whatever the point it makes in bringing in Walt's name work for them in their debate.

    But I am well aware no one here is going to stop using Walt as a tatic. It's here to stay and the idea of using him in every debate is never going to go away. Hell I'm sure the company big wigs use him as well in their own inner debates and plans and meetings.
    Micoofy Duck
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    http://www.micoofy.com



  6. #6

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    Re: Not moving forward...

    Quote Originally Posted by glenbot View Post

    When asked about the story of Jobs telling him to never ask what he would have done:


    So I go over to his house, and—I still remember how he started this discussion. He said, “There has never been a professional transition at the CEO level in Apple.”… And as a part of this, I asked him about different scenarios to understand how he wanted to be involved as chairman. He said, “I want to make this clear. I saw what happened when Walt Disney passed away. People looked around, and they kept asking what Walt would have done.” He goes, “The business was paralyzed, and people just sat around in meetings and talked about what Walt would have done.” He goes, “I never want you to ask what I would have done. Just do what’s right.” He was very clear… He was making this point, and he says, “I hope you listen to my input if I want to input on something.” I said, “Of course.”

    Just food for thought...

    If this is all true, it's before Steve Jobs jumped off the sinking Apple ship. That he helped sink.

  7. #7

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    Re: Not moving forward...

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Wiggins View Post
    I think that's a misrepresentation of what "a lot of people here" -- specifically, the Disney critics you're referring to -- think.

    I think you might want to read the thread Disneyland, nostalgia, change, relevance and New Coke ... and especially this post:



    It has been demonstrated over and over on this forum that critics of what today's Disney Corporation is doing in its theme parks are not calling for a repeat of "what Walt would do." They are calling for a return to the standards of quality that Walt applied.

    Change isn't the issue. Bad change is the issue.
    But keyword "bad" is the opinion. Whenever change happens in the Disney parks I have zero issue with them. I understand there is a reason for it. I really don't care the reason, who did it or why. Just that the change has happened. I don't view it as "bad". The only people here who view a change as "bad" are the one who completely disagree with it and feel that they have the answer to what really should be done.

    "The standards of quality"? I see nothing but quality all the time, everytime I go to the park. People here choose to look at the downside or "declining degrees" of the Disney parks. The depths threads go to to point out how flawed the parks are, well it's just doing nothing for the parks. It's good to have a voice against the grain but to go back to Walt time and time again I feel is a waste of a time to prove a point.

    I will always view it as a selfish tatic for a person to better their own views/argument on the parks. Simple as that. If people don't personally like something, then just stand by it. I'm fine with that. But to throw in Walt is just a waste of time.

    But now that I think of it Disney does continue to use Walt's image and likeness to promote, sell and inform people about the parks. I don't see that as anything "bad" only because they are ACTUALLY in the company and it is always used in a positive form. People here use Walt in a negative tone to help better their points or OPINIONS. That's the difference, at least how I personally see it.
    Micoofy Duck
    Disney Theme Park Fan #4,584,376
    http://www.micoofy.com



  8. #8

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    Re: Not moving forward...

    Quote Originally Posted by Micoofy Duck View Post
    I'm with you there buddy, the abuse and use of "well walt wanted this..." and "walt didn't want that" and the loony one "walt would be rolling over in his grave" classic. It's the go to tatic to make someone's own personal view more, um, whatever the point it makes in bringing in Walt's name work for them in their debate.... But I am well aware no one here is going to stop using Walt as a tatic. It's here to stay and the idea of using him in every debate is never going to go away.
    Just like Disney apologists always brand Disney critics as "blinded by nostalgia" and unable to accept change or move on. We're not the only ones with a "go to tactic" to debase and brush aside arguments without really considering what the other was saying or what's best for the park-- it happens on both sides of the argument.

    Quote Originally Posted by Micoofy Duck View Post
    But keyword "bad" is the opinion. Whenever change happens in the Disney parks I have zero issue with them. I understand there is a reason for it. I really don't care the reason, who did it or why. Just that the change has happened. I don't view it as "bad". The only people here who view a change as "bad" are the one who completely disagree with it and feel that they have the answer to what really should be done.

    "The standards of quality"? I see nothing but quality all the time, everytime I go to the park. People here choose to look at the downside or "declining degrees" of the Disney parks. The depths threads go to to point out how flawed the parks are, well it's just doing nothing for the parks. It's good to have a voice against the grain but to go back to Walt time and time again I feel is a waste of a time to prove a point.
    I see less and less original attractions in favor of movie rehashes. Less and less immersive, imagination experiences and more and more passive experiences that spoon-feed you the story. I see more and more cheap, generic Disney Parks merchandise being stuffed into store windows and in every nook and cranny of the park, more and more upcharges for declining quality, less and less respect for Cast Members and customer service, less and less regard for Disneyland's original principles and philosophies, less and less passion and creativity and more and more branding and marketing. And that's the root of my discontentment.
    Last edited by gatheringrosebuds; 01-11-2013 at 05:14 PM.

  9. #9

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    Re: Not moving forward...

    Quote Originally Posted by Micoofy Duck View Post
    "The standards of quality"? I see nothing but quality all the time, everytime I go to the park.
    I respect your choice, and appreciate you making your standards of quality clear.
    "With the acquisition of Marvel and now of Lucasfilm,
    Disney may have finally found the grail. You don't need
    imagination or art. All you need is a brand."

    - Neil Gabler


  10. #10

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    Re: Not moving forward...

    Each generation rebels against the one before it. Parents talk to their children about what they believe, and why, in the hopes that their children will have the same set of standards. Some of the stuff rubs off on the kids, and yet still the kids have a new set of their own standards. Life's lessons are a combination of what we have been taught, and also what we have learned on our own, and this doesn't always match up.

    Measuring everything up to the Walt standard today is a bit like a child being held up to the standards of his parents.

  11. #11

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    Re: Not moving forward...

    I somewhat doubt the accuracy of that quote. Steve Jobs was 11 when Walt died. That's quite precocious for an 11 year old. And even in the few years after Walt's death I'm sure Steve Jobs was too involved with the distraction of the civil rights movement and learning what he had in order to create Apple Computer.

    If however later in life Steve Jobs studied Disney to this extent, I would conclude that Michael Eisner was definitely the wrong man to lead the company. I mean someone with this much knowledge of the company would have been much better suited to do the job.

  12. #12

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    Re: Not moving forward...

    Steve Jobs saw what happened when Walt died? Really? He was an executive at Walt Disney Productions in 1967?

    No, more like he was in junior high school in 1967. Steve Jobs didn't see diddley-squat what was happening behind the scenes at WDP after Walt died. He also didn't see it when he was in college, or creating Apple with Steve Wozniak in the 1970s. In fact, Steve Jobs never saw anything about what was going on at Disney until the '90s at the earliest.

    Oh he may have READ things, or HEARD things, but then, so have all the rest of us.

    Walt Disney Productions actually DID progress and grow after Walt died, and it was on the verge of a whole new era BEFORE the whole takeover threat and Eisner & team being brought in happened. Anyone remember the original TRON? Yeah, 1982 - BEFORE Eisner. Anyone remember Tex? Also 1982, also before Eisner. Anyone remember Night Crossing? Also 1982, also before Eisner. Remember Never Cry Wolf and Something Wicked This Way Comes? 1983, also before Eisner. Remember Return to Oz? It was greenlit and had gone into (an admittedly problem-plagued) production BEFORE Eisner, and given a very lukewarm theatrical release, with very weak support, by the Eisner team, since it had been a product of the Miller Administration (an old Hollywood game that executives play; the new guys release but don't support any projects greenlit by the last regime, so as to make themselves look better). And let's not forget 1984's Splash, also greenlit in the Miller era (it was Miller who created the Touchstone brand that year as well). Disney was starting to go beyond the older, traditional Disney style of filmed entertainment before Eisner came along. They were already becoming more sophisticated in their productions, with less "corny" entertainment offerings. They were already learning to think and adapt on their own, and ask "What would Walt do?" less and less.

    But asking that question isn't something that will mire a company in the past. Returning to the founder's philosophy is something that all companies can benefit from. It's not something that's meant to be asked on every minor decision, but rather to help keep a company in focus.

  13. #13

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    Re: Not moving forward...

    ^ Excellent post, Retrocool!
    "With the acquisition of Marvel and now of Lucasfilm,
    Disney may have finally found the grail. You don't need
    imagination or art. All you need is a brand."

    - Neil Gabler


  14. #14

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    Re: Not moving forward...

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Wiggins View Post
    I respect your choice, and appreciate you making your standards of quality clear.
    "ohhh burn!" - Easy A

    Always again, an opinion. I see a great theme park, as it is and as it moves forward. You want some kind of higher standard that you set yourself. I walk in happy, you walk in seeing flaws. Have fun.
    Micoofy Duck
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    http://www.micoofy.com



  15. #15

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    Re: Not moving forward...

    Quote Originally Posted by Micoofy Duck View Post
    Whenever change happens in the Disney parks I have zero issue with them. I understand there is a reason for it. I really don't care the reason, who did it or why. Just that the change has happened. I don't view it as "bad". The only people here who view a change as "bad" are the one who completely disagree with it and feel that they have the answer to what really should be done.
    This is a very simplistic way of looking at the issue. In your mind, all change is good, no matter what. You also dismiss any critics of change as being in complete disagreement and claiming to know what's best.

    Each change needs to be evaluated on its' own merits. Very few people want Disneyland to remain stagnant, but change solely for the sake of change is not necessarily a good thing.

    No one knows what Disneyland would be like if Walt were still alive, but we can certainly look to how he did things as a guide. Quality, original, and groundbreaking is how I would describe Walt's Disneyland. I know not every new attraction will be an E-ticket, but can we not ask if changes to Disneyland are indeed of high quality, unique, and something we haven't seen before?

    Movie tie-ins are fine, but the balance between those and original concepts for attractions has gone off-balance in many people's opinion.

    Look at something like Winnie the Pooh. Another tie-in which doesn't do anything dramatically better than existing dark rides. They could have blown us away by transplanting Hunny Hunt, but went for cheap and easy instead. Is that what Walt would have done? I don't think so, and if you blindly declare such an attraction as being "good", just because it's a change, I don't know what to say.
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