Just got back from lunch and the Disney shareholders meeting. I want to get over to Disneyland, but I did want to leave ya'll with some impressions based upon what I heard, saw, and people I spoke with.
Bob Iger wasn't nearly as stiff as at DL's 50th, but he isn't yet overly comfortable in the spotlight.
It was nice to see Roy Disney and wife Patty there -- and get acknowledged by Iger in a classy move. All's right in the Disney world again.
It's obvious that animation will again be the creative focus that drives the Disney company, that much is certain. I loved when Bob started talking about huge animation news that rocked the industry ... and then up one the screen was ... Oswald saying 'I'm back.'' Kewl.
You'll get all the basic stuff elsewhere, so let me just talk a bit about the mood. Enthusiastic ... cheerful ... excited ... Disney is going to be Disney again. You can just feel the tide of the past decade is gone.
Tony Baxter will play a MAJOR role in what goes on in Glendale and what goes into Disney parks again ... you could tell just by watching him 'play the room' and crowd, that he was back on top on the winning team. He exuded confidence and optimism. Very different than when I've seen him/spoken to him in the past 3-4 years.
People will be leaving WDI, and Tony will get more power. As one friend told me, ''Anything and everything seems possible again ... at least they want the ideas on the table,even blue sky stuff, not buried in filing cabinets.''
John Lasseter got the biggest cheers of the day when he went up and spoke from the heart -- not of a teleprompter -- about what Disney means to him and how much he was looking forward to working with Disney Animation again AND BUILDING THEME PARK RIDES!
Anyone who thinks John will just right the ship with animation, but not have any real power ... well, that just won't be the case.
And while John's efforts will likely be first felt at DCA in the VERY NEAR FUTURE ... he'll have a role in some future attractions at WDW as well. I can confirm that Monsters will be invading the MK's old Timekeeper attraction and that two different concepts for an Incredibles attraction are indeed being bandied about.
I've also heard rumors of attractions for both the Studios and another MAJOR attraction planned for DAK by 2010.
I was also told that DSP's Toon Studios will be much better than just the simple addition they appeared to be.
That's it for now ... I want to get to DL before the rain ...but I can honestly say its' been a very long time since I've felt this positive about the entire direction of Disney from parks to animation to ABC to technology.
Creative folks are in vogue again at Disney and many old faces will be returning.
Finally, saw a never before seen clip from Cars and the first trailer for Ratatouille and they both look like typical Pixar -- great. As does the new POTC -- Dead Man's Chest.
Now I'm going to my happy place ... more to come over the weekend.