“Drunk History,” the Comedy Central series in which drunk celebrities explain real history, set their inebriated sights last night on Walt Disney, Ub Iwerks, and the creation of Mickey Mouse.
It’s perhaps a mixed blessing that the only public personality who talks frequently about Walt Disney nowadays is the right-wing political commentator/conspiracy theorist Glenn Beck.
Before I got hired at Disney Features, I sold a few magazine articles and developed a love of writing for print, where there was nothing between writer and reader but words on a page. When I became a Disney employee, I realized I was surrounded by animation veterans with vivid memories of the rambunctious days at the old Hyperion studio, and the creative struggles that went into making “Snow White,” “Pinocchio,” and the other early features. Talking to older Mouse House staffers, it dawned on me they could provide great source material for articles.
I was back in Don Duckwall’s office, exchanging insincere smiles with him. I had been on “The Fox and the Hound” with Larry, Woolie, and everybody else for half a year. But now Don wanted me to go on another assignment.
Believe it or not, one of the best online sources for animation history buffs is YouTube. Amazing and rare materials, often digitized from private film collections, is posted regularly on the streaming site. You just have to know where to look.
After all of the recent Walt Disney mudslinging, it’s nice to see a positive mention of the man, even if that positivity happens to be in the form of a TV commercial trying to sell you a luxury automobile.
Did Tom Hanks’ performance as Walt Disney in Saving Mr. Banks wet your whistle for another depiction of Mr. Disney on the big screen? Then 2014 just might be your year, because two independent biopics are scheduled to be released later this year.
While we’ve already debunked Meryl Streep’s accusations that Walt Disney was a “gender bigot,” let us use her commetns as an opportunity to dig even deeper and find out what actions Disney actually undertook to encourage the advancement of women at his studio.
There’s a reason that Disney CEO Bob Iger made $34 million last year, and that’s because he knows how to commodify every nook and cranny of the Disney enterprise, including but not limited to the facial hair of the company’s dead founder.