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  1. #1

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    Is "Save Disney" now complete???

    Okay, so here's a question I am throwing open for discussion. With the acquisition of Pixar and all the related changes that are coming with that, can one argue that "Save Disney" as articulated by Roy Disney and Stanley Gold is now accomplished? Some points:

    1) "Save Disney" said that the WDC needed new leadership. Eisner is gone, and Iger has clearly demonstrated that he is willing to make different decisions than Eisner and chart new paths. In addition, Steve Jobs has now been added to the Board of Directors and while he has his own controversies, he is certainly known to value creativity and innovation.

    2) "Save Disney" said that Feature Animation had been abandoned by WDC. The acquisition of Pixar was done because, Iger's words, they needed to revitalize animation, which he called the "heart and soul" of the company. The change is so radical that Ed Catmull and John Lasseter will now oversee all of WDFA, and report directly to Iger and Dick Cook.

    3) "Save Disney" said that new theme parks were built on the cheap and new attractions lacked imagination or innovation. Pre-Pixar buyout, WDC was already saying that their new focus was to enhance the existing parks, not open new gates at DLR or WDW. Matt Ouimet rec'd very high marks from fans for "rehabbing" DL for the 50th anniversary. Now, they have given Lasseter an oversight role over WDI, again reporting directly to Iger.

    Now, we do not know how these changes will play out over the next year, five years, ten years or beyond. We do not know if they will be successful, etc. Obviously, not every single change that every fan would want will be made. But, it seems that the core concerns of the Save Disney campaign have been addressed, and Iger deserves a huge amount of credit for very quickly putting a new vision in place for the future of WDC.

    I'd love to read other people's response to this.
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  2. #2

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    Re: Is "Save Disney" now complete???

    Truly, the Pixar deal has surpassed even my imagination as to what Iger and the Disney board of directors where willing to do on the creative end... The big ticket items regarding managment are worked out... However... Not everything is completed yet...

    I still have some concerns about Imagineering and Parks and Resorts... Tomorrowland still needs continued revitalization, DCA still needs a rework... I am a little concerned about the relationship between Raselo and Lassiter... We need to see how this relationship is going to work itself out... Imagineering is also part of the Disney DNA... Time will tell how Lassiters addition is going to help... You have to remember Parks and Resorts was restructured before the Pixar deal... I think we need to see how involved Lassiter is going to be... right now, "Chief Creative Advisor" seems like a figgure head position without much control... Does the "Green Light" provision extend to Imageneering?

    There is one more Save Disney point that needs to be addressed and that is restoring Cast Member moral... Particularly at the Theme Parks... The turn over rate is higher than the new employee rate... The pay is too low, there is too much attention on Part Timers to fill the gaps... Health Insurance MUST be addressed (even if they can get creative working out a new kind of deal with an insurance company that doesn't undercut costs)... Disney needs to be a better working place all accross the board... When Cast Members needs are being met it will translate to better service and a higher quality experiance for customers...

    Once these issues are tied down, I would say most of what Save Disney was calling for structurally on the business end has been accoplished...
    Last edited by cellarhound; 01-27-2006 at 02:18 PM.
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    Re: Is "Save Disney" now complete???

    Amen to that! I could not agree more with you both of your posts.

  4. #4

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    Re: Is "Save Disney" now complete???

    Quote Originally Posted by Doopey1
    Okay, so here's a question I am throwing open for discussion. With the acquisition of Pixar and all the related changes that are coming with that, can one argue that "Save Disney" as articulated by Roy Disney and Stanley Gold is now accomplished? Some points:

    1) "Save Disney" said that the WDC needed new leadership. Eisner is gone, and Iger has clearly demonstrated that he is willing to make different decisions than Eisner and chart new paths. In addition, Steve Jobs has now been added to the Board of Directors and while he has his own controversies, he is certainly known to value creativity and innovation.

    2) "Save Disney" said that Feature Animation had been abandoned by WDC. The acquisition of Pixar was done because, Iger's words, they needed to revitalize animation, which he called the "heart and soul" of the company. The change is so radical that Ed Catmull and John Lasseter will now oversee all of WDFA, and report directly to Iger and Dick Cook.

    3) "Save Disney" said that new theme parks were built on the cheap and new attractions lacked imagination or innovation. Pre-Pixar buyout, WDC was already saying that their new focus was to enhance the existing parks, not open new gates at DLR or WDW. Matt Ouimet rec'd very high marks from fans for "rehabbing" DL for the 50th anniversary. Now, they have given Lasseter an oversight role over WDI, again reporting directly to Iger.

    Now, we do not know how these changes will play out over the next year, five years, ten years or beyond. We do not know if they will be successful, etc. Obviously, not every single change that every fan would want will be made. But, it seems that the core concerns of the Save Disney campaign have been addressed, and Iger deserves a huge amount of credit for very quickly putting a new vision in place for the future of WDC.

    I'd love to read other people's response to this.
    I think Disney will be saved for the next 10 years until Iger turns green for money like Eisner did. Iger reminds me a lot of Eisner, when Eisner was a beginner CEO.

  5. #5

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    Re: Is "Save Disney" now complete???

    The composition of the Board of Directors is still a concern. Steve Jobs will certainly help the situation, but I would like to see the positions of the dissident directors reinstated, as well.

    Disney also needs more subject-matter experts on the Board who are truly capable of evaluating the performance of the managers and who understand Disneyan culture.

    The Walt Disney Company needs better corporate governance rules, still, and the influence of Michael Eisner needs to be diminished even further, as well.

  6. #6

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    Re: Is "Save Disney" now complete???

    Quote Originally Posted by PragmaticIdealist
    The composition of the Board of Directors is still a concern. Steve Jobs will certainly help the situation, but I would like to see the positions of the dissident directors reinstated, as well.
    I agree, I don't see any GOOD reason why Gold should not be reinstated... Other than wanting to remain at a distanced position... He resigned over what looked like was strong arm tactics... As for Roy, well, I think he has more power outside the board room.

    However, I don't think Save Disney was about getting both of them reinstated to the board...

    The Walt Disney Company needs better corporate governance rules, still, and the influence of Michael Eisner needs to be diminished even further, as well.
    Selecting the next Chairman is key (someone who is more active in corporate governace - George Mitchel, as it was pointed out by Save Disney, didn't even bother to review what was coming out of the studio...), also who Iger picks as a second (President/COO) I think would be a key issue... But I think both these issues are a biproduct of what Save Disney was calling for...

    I think a less passive board is important... It doesn't mean they have to be active... They should show more interest and not just be a rubber stamp for Iger... (I mean granted he needs to be allowed to make changes, but not with out being held accountable... like Eisner, who wasn't held accountable...)
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    Re: Is "Save Disney" now complete???

    The fight isn't over until we get a WRE in every park!!!

    Seriously now, I agree with the majority of what Cellarhound said. There's are a lot of small things that need to be done in order for the parks to return to their pre-1994 operations state. Let's hope for solid, lasting, baby steps.

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    Re: Is "Save Disney" now complete???

    Certain Board Members STILL need to be eliminated
    including a former non honorable US Senator.

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    Re: Is "Save Disney" now complete???

    Quote Originally Posted by Aladdin
    Certain Board Members STILL need to be eliminated
    including a former non honorable US Senator.
    Isn't George Mitchell stepping down after his current term expires? That would resolve that problem, although we obviously don't know who will replace him.
    "I'm working on changing Hollywood...at the studio that fired me twice."
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    Re: Is "Save Disney" now complete???

    Quote Originally Posted by Doopey1
    Isn't George Mitchell stepping down after his current term expires? That would resolve that problem, although we obviously don't know who will replace him.
    Yes he is sometime this year.

  11. #11

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    Re: Is "Save Disney" now complete???

    I don't think that the goals of the SaveDisney movement have been accomplished quite yet. Yes, Lasseter is moving everything in the right direction. Yes, Jobs will have a big influence on the board even if there are a majority of the "old guard" directors still there.

    But I think that the fight has just begun. I know that there are forces on the other side who are going to wage a counter attack. They are NOT going to let their power be stripped away from them without a fight! Look for news leaks that Lasseter does not know what he is doing. If Cars is not a blockbuster hit, I know that there will be a campaign to lessen Lasseter's grip both on animation and the parks. Iger stuck his neck out on this one. I am sure that the old powers did not count on him being such a revolutionary. Look for the old Disney empire to strike back!
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  12. #12

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    Re: Is "Save Disney" now complete???

    The Save Disney campaign worked out BETTER then expected.

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    Re: Is "Save Disney" now complete???

    I fully expect Roy to lobby for Steve Jobs as the new Chairman. I think he will also be instrumental in helping get the parks back on track and mending old wounds with people like Lucas.
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    Re: Is "Save Disney" now complete???

    Quote Originally Posted by Disney Wrassler
    I think Disney will be saved for the next 10 years until Iger turns green for money like Eisner did. Iger reminds me a lot of Eisner, when Eisner was a beginner CEO.
    Eisner wanted to be this generation's Walt Disney from the beginning. He constantly put his face all over the TV products, apeing Walt's old intros from WWoD, doing the narration for Walt's tribute movie at DMGM, etc. All of this was fine until he started bullying people.

    Iger does not seem to have as much ego invested into his personality as he does his ability to run a business. This could change, of course, but in the meantime it's a good thing because the company could stand to benefit from someone who takes pride in their business succeeding than their own personal fortunes and celebrity.

  15. #15

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    Re: Is "Save Disney" now complete???

    I hope the SaveDisney campaign is never complete.

    What started as a call to arms by Roy Disney and Stanley Gold became a grassroots campaign championed not just by Disney stockholders, but by Disney fans who demanded a return to a standard of creativity and excellence that had been sorely lacking at the Walt Disney Company. What we've witnessed the last few years is truly unprecedented. Has a corporation ever been pressured into regime change not just because of a lack of profitability, but because of a lack of magic? Has a company ever completely restructured its corporate leadership, not because of falling dividends, but because of a failure to uphold the creative vision of its founder--who had been dead for nearly 40 years?

    When we cheer the Disney-Pixar merger, we're not just cheering for revenue potential (and that potential is staggering). We cheer for an innovative thinker who has bucked convention most of his life (sound familiar?). We also cheer for a former Jungle Cruise captain, who understands that Disney isn't just a business, it's a state of mind. He gets it. He's one of us.

    The mission of SaveDisney was to "restore the magic." That may well have been accomplished. The responsibility remains, however, to preserve that magic for future generations, something this website and countless others like it sets out to do every day. We praise, criticize and cajole Disney because we care about what it means to us and to our families--and that has nothing to do with profit and loss statements. So we will continue to hold Disney accountable, like no other group of fans does for no other company, for living up to its legacy.

    I'm looking forward to it.

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