Live Blog: “American Experience: Walt Disney, Part 2”

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/americanexperience/films/walt-disney/

Back for the second half.  On the one hand, yay Disneyland!  And on the other, hard to think this one isn’t going to have a downer of an ending.

  • Ugh, Neal Gabler.
  • Man, can you imagine what your life would be like, if you had bought Disney at $4 a share?
  • Well this seems like an awful long amount of time to spend on Walt’s questionable reaction to the strike, when we spent virtually no time on his stint overseas with the Red Cross seeing the world and learning to cartoon.
  • Ok, I think it’s a little bit of a stretch to say that the whole South American goodwill tour was solely intended to let Walt “skip town.”
  • I think Rockefeller, the US government, and the Nazis might have had a little bit to do with it.
  • Nice.  The Bambi death scene.  HDY.
  • I don’t know–this seems like a long way to come just to pummel us with his involvement in McCarthyism.
  • I’m not sure I buy the whole “man in crisis” pop psychoanalysis.
  • How do we know what the context the quote is in?  Maybe he was being realistic, acknowledging that the market wasn’t going to allow him the same financial and artistic freedom he had with Snow White, and accepting that future productions would be under constraints?
  • With all the talk about how he apparently didn’t care about animation anymore, I don’t see them mentioning that he stated his favorite animated sequence was Marc Davis’ Cinderella transformation scene.
  • …Or maybe the Dude just liked trains?
  • DISNEYLAND
  • It’s weird to me that the interstitial music always starts out like I think they’re going to use the music from “Wall-E.”
  • This Ryman Disneyland drawing has to be one of the most amazing pieces of contemporary artwork ever.
  • This Ellenshaw Disneyland painting with the black-light effect is also one of the most amazing pieces of contemporary artwork ever.
  • It says something about Walt’s powers of persuasion, that after over sixty years later, and as many times as I’ve been to Disneyland, I never fail to feel like getting in the car and driving over after watching him present it.
  • This is weirdly unhappy-sounding music for this building-Disneyland montage.
  • Wow, I would not have wanted to be one of the WED workers who tried to tell Walt to push back opening day.
  • “Traffic was backed up for seven miles on Harbor Boulevard.”  Now, we call that “Friday night.”
  • Oh man, I remember ticket booths.
  • Ah, the world’s least safety-compliant trams.
  • I see we cut away before shooting the dead guy lying outside the burning cabin.
  • I would move into the Monsanto House of the Future in a hot second.
  • Who in Heaven’s Name would ever think Reality was better than anything?
  • You know, I keep finding excuses to pause the video, because I know eventually they’re going to start bashing Disneyland, and then I’m gonna want to leap through the screen and rip someone’s lungs out.
  • Ron Miller!
  • The fact that you can’t imagine someone successful not being a jerk, maybe doesn’t mean that every successful person is, in fact, a jerk.
  • “Mary Poppins” is really practically perfect.
  • Oh, serious?
  • Funny, I actually thought I heard that corn anecdote as something Diane Disney had said to him.
  • Can you even imagine what it would be like to wander around EPCOT in a climate controlled environment?
  • Nooo, not 1966.  It’s too soon!
  • …And, we’re out.  *sniffle*
  • Well, I think it’s nice that it wasn’t a total hatchet job, but clearly they were taking pains to not look like they were making a Disney movie about Walt Disney.
  • On the whole, I’d agree that most of their important points in his timeline were correct–I would just question the lines they drew between them.
  • For example, it’s true that Disney did appear to abandon various mediums as soon as he peaked in them, but they make it seem more like he was constantly racing away from failure and feelings of worthlessness versus pursuing innovation and curiosity.
  • I also understand the viewpoint that says they needed to keep it more general for the broader, non-Disney Geek audience, but realistically, are we really thinking a huge number of people not already interested in Walt Disney are going to be seeking this out?
  • If you’re willing to commit four hours to watching a documentary on something, I think you’ve probably already self-selected yourself into a biased group.  I think it’s ok to dig a little deeper.
  • “True Hollywood” style “he was riding high–but then it all came crashing down” patterns aside, it was a nice looking piece, and if  “One Man’s Dream” isn’t going to be around anymore, it’s good there’s archival footage of Walt’s earlier days available.
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