While Walt most certainly started the "larger than life" strategy, the company and several individuals at the company certainly carried it on, possibly even beyond what Walt had envisioned.Originally Posted by fo'c's'le swab
I think there were many aspects of the public "Walt Disney" that Walt didn't like and found to be a burden, while at the same time he relished many other aspects of his notoriety and carefully crafted public persona.
I always thought this biography agreement (crafted by Walt's numero uno legal beagle, Gunther Lessing) was an interesting document illustrating how carefully Walt and the Studio controlled the public perception of "Walt Disney." Especially paragraphs 2 and 3 on page 2.
With such restrictions and rights to delete, amend, and otherwise totally control...you could bet the final published results would most likely be a very incomplete and perhaps even totally distorted view of what the man was actually like. Such restrictions placed on authors and journalists usually result in what is called a "fluff piece." Or basically a company approved bio carefully repackaged as something more.
Personally, I think that by the time of Walt's mid-career...his company had such a finely tuned publicity machine running regarding "Walt Disney"...that it functioned almost on autopilot...requiring very little personal suggestion or action on the part of Walt anymore. And this publicity machine also acted as a defense mechanism of sorts...making truly objective assessments of Walt the man...very difficult.
Some of that still holds true to this day, IMHO.