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Walt Disney Remembered

There’s no doubt Walt Disney is an American Icon. What he was able to achieve in his 66 years on the planet shaped the American psyche in ways that we’re still just beginning to understand (see virtual reality for instance). I always find it hard when just 10 days after celebrating his birth, we find ourselves observing his much too early death.

Director Jon Favreau, who is working on a movie called “Magic Kingdom” recently wrote an essay about the influence of Walt for the LA Times.

Walt flirted with bankruptcy his whole life. He took every success and let it ride. Both financially and creatively. And the secret sauce was always technology. We think of “Steamboat Willie” as an old timey black-and-white cartoon but, at the time, it was bleeding-edge tech.

For most Disney fans there’s nothing really new presented in the essay, but it’s nice to see the passion in Favreau. It’s a passion we Disney fans all recognize.

Speaking of passion, there’s a lot of anger in the fan base right now about how the Walt Disney Company is dropping ‘Walt’ from its brand marketing. As if “Disney The Muppets” instead of “Walt Disney’s The Muppets” somehow tarnishes the legacy that Walt left for us all. That’s not to say fans shouldn’t get upset when the company deviates widely from Walt’s vision. There are good fights to be had for sure. I’m just not sure elevating the Disney name to a global brand on the same level as Coca-cola is one of them.

Walt’s real legacy was the drive to be the best, live our dreams, sometimes risking it all, with every resource at our disposal. No matter what the company that bears his name does going forward, the flame Walt ignited will never expire. More than ever it is up to each of us, not the company, to keep it stoked. As fans it’s time we start acting like it.

8 thoughts on “Walt Disney Remembered”

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  2. It doesn’t bother me that it is not called Walt Disney’s the Muppets. Walt Disney himself didn’t use his first name when naming things. Disneyland is a perfect example. Walt Disney World is so named in respect to Walt.

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  5. I remember Walt Di8sney with Love and Respect everyday of my life. I cherish my memories of Uncle Walt and all he has brought to my life and to the World. He is sorely missed! I Love You Om Walt

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  7. What I still don’t understand is why they’d take out the “apostrophe s” so everything that doesn’t have Pixar’s involvement has just “Disney” instead of “Disney’s” above the title. Before 2006, there were many titles that featured the “apostrophe s.” Was something wrong? I believe the comic books made by Boom! Studios include “Ducktales,” “Chip ‘n’ Dale Rescue Rangers,” and “Darkwing Duck” have “Disney’s” above them, but why not the movies and TV shows after 2005? Not to be finicky or anything, but the absence of the “apostrophe s” automatically makes a title/name look a little bland.

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