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  1. #61

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    Re: Why originanlity is going to be severly limited at DL (for the time being)

    Quote Originally Posted by Big D View Post
    I'm saying you need both in order to get the whole picture. And maybe there is a place for having someone who hasn't ridden the ride or seen the show or whatever ...
    I understand the need for there to be compromise and balance in decision making with regard to creative decisions, but I don't think he board is actually the proper place for that. Sometimes you need lawyers and businessmen running a business and that's truthfully the function of the board. The creative decisions should rest with the creative people. What the board of directors are responsible for are hiring creative people like Eisner and Iger, who have the right talents to do the job effectively and delegate decisions to other creative people. Their sole purpose is to watch over Iger and the executive leadership of the company and make sure they are doing their jobs (making money) for the company.

    A side note to this is how detrimental many saw Eisner as he began to micromanage every aspect of projects coming out of Disney. Being emotionally invested and interested in the company like that can definitely be a bad thing and lead to the wrong decisions. Even Disney fans on the internet have difficulty agreeing on the direction they want to see the company go, and they are mostly skewed to a certain group of people. And surely you can see that as a group- they rarely have the best interests of the general population in mind.

    In the end the spreadsheets and numbers can tell the story in the most unbiased fashion possible. The numbers can cut through dissenting opinions and present the truth. Just like our country is run by the numbers (votes) any good business will too.
    Last edited by MrLiver; 10-18-2013 at 06:51 AM.

  2. #62

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    Re: Why originanlity is going to be severly limited at DL (for the time being)

    Well, this is probably too big of an issue to really adequately discuss on a message board. I'll just say that in my experience, I have to completely disagree. I think that relying soley on spreadsheets and market research more often then not leads to erronous conclusions, and anyone who was actually a consumer of their own product is automatically going to better undertsand how to interpret all of those numbers and research. By the way, it's not limited to the board of directors. I think the shareholders (of which I am one) also have the same responsibility, and that there is a huge problem right now with people either not knowing what companies they are actually invested in (probably primarily 401K's). I also think that shareholders should have a similar responsibility, that they need to either be consumers of their product, or at the very least, have an understanding of what they are invested in (because sometimes people invest in companies that sell things they can never afford).
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  3. #63

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    Re: Why originanlity is going to be severly limited at DL (for the time being)

    Quote Originally Posted by Uncle Bob View Post
    This is obviously true, but Disney is an entertainment company, not an oil company or a steel company. Creativity and good taste are an essential part of success in this business. Disney is doing well now by selling other people's creativity, but it's unclear that that strategy will work forever. Perhaps it will, simply due to their massive size and ability to acquire IP's at huge prices. But several times in Disney's history it has shown it can slip into a state of simply losing touch with the audience, and when that happens, the company starts to deteriorate really quickly. Their current strategy is primarily working because they've left the creatives in charge at Pixar and Marvel. But that may not last, and when the business people think they can run those divisions better, they'll be in big trouble. The additional problem with this model is that as Disney becomes more focused on IP acquisition and exploitation, they move their business focus away from actually creating entertainment directly. Which means that there are very few people in the higher corporate structure who come from the entertainment side of things. And the few who do mostly come from TV networks, where they're not used to creating things, they're used to buying IP's and exploiting them. The reality is that Disney's own internal productions seem to be mostly massive failures, while Pixar and Marvel keep churning out hits. That says it all.
    If Disney continues on their current path, there will be little DISNEY left in Disney.More and more of their products are other than Disney. Pixar, Marvel, Lucas, ESPN, ABC, etc. The more non Disney companies they buy and market, the less room there is for the DISNEY. Eventually, their focus could mostly be on outside IP. Now that they are willing to actually eliminate an original land from Disneyland and replace it with Star Wars land, it just appears to be inevitable that actual Disney originality will be lost.

  4. #64

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    Re: Why originanlity is going to be severly limited at DL (for the time being)

    Quote Originally Posted by Big D View Post
    I also think that shareholders should have a similar responsibility, that they need to either be consumers of their product, or at the very least, have an understanding of what they are invested in (because sometimes people invest in companies that sell things they can never afford).
    True. The huge majority of DIsney's stock is held by various funds and many of those 'investors" holding those funds have no idea that Disney is even a part of them. It's just the fund managers that deal with the stock and they have no particular interest in Disney's content. THey probably pretty much base everything on the "spreadsheet".

  5. #65

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    Re: Why originanlity is going to be severly limited at DL (for the time being)

    Quote Originally Posted by DLFan1995 View Post
    If Disney continues on their current path, there will be little DISNEY left in Disney.More and more of their products are other than Disney. Pixar, Marvel, Lucas, ESPN, ABC, etc. The more non Disney companies they buy and market, the less room there is for the DISNEY. Eventually, their focus could mostly be on outside IP. Now that they are willing to actually eliminate an original land from Disneyland and replace it with Star Wars land, it just appears to be inevitable that actual Disney originality will be lost.
    But in another five, ten, twenty years (depending on the pace of release) those "outside" IPs will *be* "Disney". Snow White, Cinderella, Alice in Wonderland, Pinocchio etc. are all outside storylines that are now very strongly "Disney" simply because Disney created iconic versions of old stories. If they can continue Marvel, Star Wars etc. storylines with quality offerings and support them with the might of the Disney empire, they will definitely be remembered as "Disney" brands.

    At one point the name "Disney" in entertainment meant nothing but little cartoons. Then it became cartoons and movies. It kept expanding from there. The only "original" in the initial build up was the Mouse and stable of characters that have been helped by Walt and his successors effectively mining older fairytales, stories and other non-original properties.
    There's nothing like being in heavy rehearsal for a new season to remind you that this isn't just a hobby.

  6. #66

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    Re: Why originanlity is going to be severly limited at DL (for the time being)

    Quote Originally Posted by DLFan1995 View Post
    If Disney continues on their current path, there will be little DISNEY left in Disney.More and more of their products are other than Disney. Pixar, Marvel, Lucas, ESPN, ABC, etc. The more non Disney companies they buy and market, the less room there is for the DISNEY. Eventually, their focus could mostly be on outside IP. Now that they are willing to actually eliminate an original land from Disneyland and replace it with Star Wars land, it just appears to be inevitable that actual Disney originality will be lost.
    Exactly. The more that Disney slaps its name on its growing department store of disparate brands -- many of which were previously well known under their original ownership -- the closer the "Disney" name will get to becoming as generic as General Electric, PepsiCo or any other multinational corporation.
    "With the acquisition of Marvel and now of Lucasfilm,
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  7. #67

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    Re: Why originanlity is going to be severly limited at DL (for the time being)

    Quote Originally Posted by DLFan1995 View Post
    If Disney continues on their current path, there will be little DISNEY left in Disney.
    What can be truthfully considered Disney? Mickey Mouse?

    The other animated classics were all from stories that Disney reused. Walt ran his studio like every other studio and bought the rights to stories and screenplays he thought would make good movies (can't wait for Saving Mr Banks). To save on costs (because Walt was super cheap I guess. Did they have spreadsheets in Walt's day?) They used a lot of stories and books that were in the public domain. Is there really a quantifiable way of saying which items are Disney and which ones aren't?

    Heck even the rides at Disneyland were built by Arrow. Doesn't make them any less Disney.

  8. #68

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    Re: Why originanlity is going to be severly limited at DL (for the time being)

    In a weird way, one section of this kind of summarizes the best aspects of Disney using other IP:

    Quote Originally Posted by MrLiver View Post
    Heck even the rides at Disneyland were built by Arrow. Doesn't make them any less Disney.
    Very agreed. Working together, Disney and Arrow took the entire concept of theme park rides and completely reworked them, even to the point of refining and more or less perfecting ride systems that are now considered the bedrock of almost the entire theme/amusement park industry (even leaving the refinements in dark rides out here, there's not enough that can be said about the importance of the Matterhorn regarding the evolution of the modern rollercoaster).

    There's nothing wrong with adapting and running with someone else's idea, so long as you can improve on it and make it yours (legally and all that). It only becomes an issue when simply republishing what's come before is *all* you do, and I think it's still extremely early to judge the SW/Marvel buyouts on those terms.
    There's nothing like being in heavy rehearsal for a new season to remind you that this isn't just a hobby.

  9. #69

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    Re: Why originanlity is going to be severly limited at DL (for the time being)

    Quote Originally Posted by BogLurch View Post
    But in another five, ten, twenty years (depending on the pace of release) those "outside" IPs will *be* "Disney". Snow White, Cinderella, Alice in Wonderland, Pinocchio etc. are all outside storylines that are now very strongly "Disney" simply because Disney created iconic versions of old stories. If they can continue Marvel, Star Wars etc. storylines with quality offerings and support them with the might of the Disney empire, they will definitely be remembered as "Disney" brands.

    At one point the name "Disney" in entertainment meant nothing but little cartoons. Then it became cartoons and movies. It kept expanding from there. The only "original" in the initial build up was the Mouse and stable of characters that have been helped by Walt and his successors effectively mining older fairytales, stories and other non-original properties.
    it's kind of ironic that we hold Walt Disney in such high regard when it comes to story telling, animation and entertainment when a lot of the European countries where the stories that Walt used hold somewhat of a bitterness again Walt for "ruining" the original works. They feel he lost the meaning behind a lot of the stories that he adapted and if I'm not mistaken the author of 101 Dalmations was very unhappy with Walts potrayal of the story. Everything from The Jungle Book to Robin Hood, to Peter Pan, and of course Mary Poppins; the list goes on but I digress. Truth is, He knew what would sell and what the market was like. Why don't people get on Walt's case for not always using "original" ideas for movies?

    I'm really excited to see how Saving Mr. Banks is, in fact I was happy to see that Disney was willing to be open about the fact that there was tension and worry before and after handing their works over to him.

    -just my two cents
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  10. #70

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    Re: Why originanlity is going to be severly limited at DL (for the time being)

    I believe I posted something like this 7 years ago here.

    Disneyland is somewhat of a museum nowadays. At least, to me.

    The attractions I love (not like, but LOVE) are quite old by now. Matterhorn, Space Mountain, Pirates, Small World, Jungle Cruise. The places I love are the original ones - castle, hub, Tom Sawyer's, Fantasyland, etc.

    The new stuff, frankly, can't compare. Nemo is nice, but I rode it twice and lost interest. Buzz is fun, but it's more of a novelty.

    DCA, to me, is a travesty. A pig in make-up. No matter what they do they'll never be able to fix the basics - the park lay-out. There's no attraction I consider really good there. Carsland has me completely baffled - I loved Cars, but that movie was never a hit, and I can't imagine people talking about it in 10 years.

    So, I guess I agree with your original post. Somehow, along the way, Disneyland lost most of its charm. I suppose Indy was the last great attraction. That was 17 years ago.

  11. #71

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    Re: Why originanlity is going to be severly limited at DL (for the time being)

    Quote Originally Posted by MrLiver View Post
    What can be truthfully considered Disney? Mickey Mouse?

    The other animated classics were all from stories that Disney reused. Walt ran his studio like every other studio and bought the rights to stories and screenplays he thought would make good movies (can't wait for Saving Mr Banks). To save on costs (because Walt was super cheap I guess. Did they have spreadsheets in Walt's day?) They used a lot of stories and books that were in the public domain. Is there really a quantifiable way of saying which items are Disney and which ones aren't?

    Heck even the rides at Disneyland were built by Arrow. Doesn't make them any less Disney.
    Thank you. Well put. There seems to be a persistent mythology that Walt wasn't a business man, that his interest in building Disneyland (and making movies) was purely creative, perhaps even philanthropic, not economic. It's simply not true.

    Walt's concept of the theme park was original, revolutionary, in fact. His source material was, for the most part, derivative or adaptive of existing works (and I don't use those words in a pejorative sense). The reason his interpretations of those works garnered so much attention (and yes, money) was that he understood which stories meant something to people, and then went on to execute the telling of those tales exceptionally well.

    The idea that nothing original can germinate from an existing vehicle simply isn't true. If you aren't personally engaged in attractions based on Star Wars or Monsters Inc. (or POTC, or Snow White, or Toy Story, or whatever), that's one thing, but that does not, by definition, make those attractions unoriginal.

    Art, creativity, and originality are totally subjective. I fully support anyone who takes the position that they aren't a fan of X, Y, or Z (whether I agree with them or not). What baffles me is when opinion becomes dogma: when someone's dislike of an attraction (or a franchise, a creative choice, etc.) is elevated to evidence that it is unworthy or unoriginal.

    Walt's originality didn't stem from the individual stories or attractions -- he didn't invent pirates, cowboys or fairy tales after all -- but from harnessing the stories, worlds, times and characters that touch human beings emotionally, that make us laugh and scream and take pictures and come back for more (and more and more).

    This is not to say that all is right and perfect in the world of Disney. There's plenty of room for improvement. But originality is not dead at Disney. Carsland (especially at night) is a lovely example.

  12. #72

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    Re: Why originanlity is going to be severly limited at DL (for the time being)

    Quote Originally Posted by emwhysee View Post
    There's plenty of room for improvement. But originality is not dead at Disney. Carsland (especially at night) is a lovely example.
    Carsland is hardly original. Every character, scene and scrap of rockwork is lifted wholesale from the Cars video. The main ride, while entertaining, is nowhere near the inventiveness of a classic Disneyland E-Ticket experience.

    Carsland is Corporate Disney doing paint-by-numbers. Very detailed and precise paint-by-numbers, indeed, but paint-by-numbers nonetheless. (And in lackluster efforts like Finding Nemo Submarines and the Little Mermaid ride, they can't even achieve that.)

    Based on Disney's performance in the last fifteen years, the standards of originality, innovation, ingenuity and inventiveness that were the hallmark of Disneyland's first fifteen years are indeed dead -- or if not, then so near flatline as to be breathing their last.
    Last edited by Mr Wiggins; 10-18-2013 at 08:40 PM.
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  13. #73

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    Re: Why originanlity is going to be severly limited at DL (for the time being)

    Quote Originally Posted by christianAdam View Post
    it's kind of ironic that we hold Walt Disney in such high regard when it comes to story telling, animation and entertainment when a lot of the European countries where the stories that Walt used hold somewhat of a bitterness again Walt for "ruining" the original works.
    There's no irony at all, when one considers the century-long tradition of European literati disdain for Hollywood in general. (A Europe which, mind you, considered Jerry Lewis a genius filmmaker.)


    Quote Originally Posted by christianAdam View Post
    They feel he lost the meaning behind a lot of the stories that he adapted and if I'm not mistaken the author of 101 Dalmations was very unhappy with Walts potrayal of the story. Everything from The Jungle Book to Robin Hood, to Peter Pan, and of course Mary Poppins; the list goes on but I digress. Truth is, He knew what would sell and what the market was like. Why don't people get on Walt's case for not always using "original" ideas for movies?
    Here again there's neither a reason to "get on Walt's case" nor is there any irony or inconsistency, when one considers the countless authors who've detested the stage and screen adaptations of their works, going back to the 19th century.

    From Snow White to Mary Poppins, Disney's adaptations of literary works for films are no more invalid than any other screen adaptations of literary works. And to the point of the DLR, Disney's adaptations of literary works for films are in no way equivalent to the creatively lazy, blatantly toy commercial-style cloning of film franchises for rides that is the hallmark of Disney's last two decades of marketeering.

    Not imagineering, marketeering.

    Last edited by Mr Wiggins; 10-18-2013 at 08:43 PM.
    "With the acquisition of Marvel and now of Lucasfilm,
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  14. #74

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    Re: Why originanlity is going to be severly limited at DL (for the time being)

    Quote Originally Posted by MrLiver View Post
    It is certainly possible it was made up, but it wasn't from Eisner. I don't recall exactly where the story came from and I don't have my books on hand so I will have to look it up. Marty Sklar has been know to spread complete lies ( and obviously not one of Eisner's men)
    Here is the story from Bruce Gordon's Nickel Tour:

    Inside the land, the designers were already becoming aware of a serious conceptual problem. In a memo written to Joe Fowler on August 12, 1955—less than a month after the Park opened, George Whitney (who had now become manager of Fantasyland) expressed concern that guests coming out of the dark rides were “confused at not seeing Snow White, Peter Pan, or Mr. Toad.”

    Remember, the designers meant for the guests to be the stars of the show—as you rode through the show, you were Snow White, you were Peter Pan, you were Mr. Toad. But George knew this concept was a pretty obscure one for the already overwhelmed Disneyland audience to pick up on. “Since it is almost impossible to convey this thought properly to the people,” he continued, “it might be best to put an animated Peter Pan or appropriate character in these rides.”

    George had sensed the problem quickly, but it would be more than thirty years before a solution was found.

  15. #75

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    Re: Why originanlity is going to be severly limited at DL (for the time being)

    I agree, great posts both Big D and TL 1967

    Light Magic, TL-98, and DCA. Yes, those are definitely 3 of the most miserable failures in the history of Disneyland. And caused because of lack of proper investment both $-wise and creatively, and a myriad of other issues (Light Magic suffered from- in addition to what you mentioned) too many chefs in the kitchen, and micromanaging of Eisner) . I would also add as another decline the downgrading of Critter Country, by replacing both Country Bear Jamboree Theaters with the sub par Pooh - dark ride.

    And don't forget the Paul Pressler years also damaged DL with the lack of proper maintenance and training of DL facilities, with the Monorail parts literally falling from the tracks and the deaths and injuries due to the Mark Twain and Big Thunder incidents, and in the case of several other attractions, just shut down, instead of properly maintaining (Skyway, Subs,) Even the facades on Main Street were not being maintained properly The issues with TL 98 and DCA have severely crippled the DLR with no new major projects in DL for going on 15 years. And 2015 will mark 20 YEARS since the last major E-Ticket was added to DL!

    And consider how bad TL 98 really was: nearly EVERYTHING in TL has been changed in some way or another since 1998, and TL is STILL in dire need of HELP! I won't go into an itemized list, but even the Astro Oribitor went to a different color scheme, and its rotating feature seldom works properly, and the huge rolling boulder had it's area changed a couple times, too, and Innoventions has undergone a minimum of 3 major changes - still a failure.

    Thankfully, with proper oversight and imagination, largely due to John Lasseter, DCA began to turn around. BUT this cost WELL over the 1 Billion dollars you mention. Al wrote about a year ago:

    I've said it before, but its still important to note that the massive overhaul of Disney California Adventure is unprecedented in the history of Disney theme parks. (And for the record, Toy Story Midway Mania and most of World of Color’s budget wasn’t part of the 1.2 Billion slotted for it.)
    from Ready, Set... - MiceAge.com

    In fact, including all the projects, expansions new projects that were attempted in the DCA rehab, it no doubt tops well over 2 Billion Dollars. Just consider some of the additions since DCA opened:
    - Construction and Opening of the Millionaire Building and Attraction,
    - Return of the Electrical Parade - with its costs of getting it back in working condition and its subsequent "Tinkerbell" transformation.
    - Make over of the Hyperion Theater to replace the initial show "Steps in Time" for the subsequent shows, BLAST and then ALADDIN.
    - The transformation of Superstar Limo into Monster Inc
    - The Bug's Land addition
    - Tower of Terror expansion
    - Changes of shows/experiences in the Animation Building
    - Changes to Redwood Creek Challenge Trail (Brother Bear/Up changes)
    - Block Party Bash and Pixar Play Parade
    and as Al mentioned
    - Little Mermaid attraction
    - World of Color
    -
    not to mention all the street shows and entertainment throughout DCA and other countless embarassing attempts at attracting the public, (summer concerts, x games, etc )

    BUT in regard to originality going by the wayside, DCA's LONGEST LINE and LONGEST WAITING TIME, and MOST ORIGINAL attraction was Soarin' Over California! It was DCA's STAR Attraction on opening day. So much so, that is was built in other Disney Parks around the world.

    Summarizing DCA and TL 98, IF those two projects would have been done right, the first time, think of what could have been done with all that extra money, energy, and imagination at Disneyland park over the past 15 years, and how many new E-Ticket DL could have had by now, rather than trying to fix to completely screwed up projects.

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